March 1, 2007
Shutting Jewish mouths; A civil tone of voice
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Perhaps Alan lost his curly hair on the way to becoming a successful showbiz celebrity. Or just maybe he shaved his head like so many of the people in his profession. Whatever the case may be, I think it would be a mitzvah for those followers of Alan to know that in younger days that he had the most beautiful of curly tops.
Allen L. Mitchell
Aleinu DUI Program
I want to thank Julie Fax for an excellent article on the Aleinu DUI program ("Peers Give Orthodox Teens Lesson in Drug Use, Abuse," Feb. 16).
I want to clarify that the DUI video was created by the boys as part of their recovery process. These boys empowered themselves to make a difference in the world. Their brave parents validated their children's courage and joined them in their mission.
Many of the boys have been clean and sober for almost a year and continue working on sobriety. The boys were applauded at the end of the video presentation.
I, too, want to publicly applaud the Aleinu Issues Anonymous group for their efforts to get their message across, as well as their success in achieving their path toward recovery. Kol Hakavod!
Debbie Fox, LCSW
Aleinu Family Resource Center
Kosher Food for Thought
Your article regarding the recent increase in fancy kosher cuisine by Amy Klein made my stomach churn ("L.A.'s Gourmet Kosher Makeover," Feb. 16). It didn't make me hungry, rather sick.
I enjoy a good steak and a bottle of fine wine just as much as anyone but to drop half a grand on a Tuesday night sounds a little absurd. Jews should have a sense of responsibility for each other.
The $450 that you are spending on dinner could be put to more noble causes, such as poverty-stricken families in Israel or the myriad Jewish causes starving for money.
Prime Grill sounds like a wonderful restaurant, but does the Orthodox community really need a top-of-the-line steak house. If the answer to this question is yes, then I think we need to re-examine our priorities.
So as you sip your third glass of French wine after devouring an $80 steak, I hope you sleep well knowing that most of us will be spending our hard earned money on more important causes.
David Klinghoffer defends Dennis Prager and mentions Michael Medved, and there you have the three notorious Jewish hypocrites of the religious right ("Prager Shouldn't Lose His Museum Post," Feb. 16).
These Jewish counterparts of Hannity and O'Reilly support the evangelical Christians, even though they know that the evangelicals do not respect Judaism and consider our religion only a precursor to Christianity.
Martin J. Weisman
The Jewish hypocrites (Prager, Medved, etc.) to some in the community are true heroes to the Orthodox and conservative -- valued Jews who certainly have more in common religiously and morally with evangelical Christians than with Jews who've never met a leftist they didn't like (Letters, Feb. 23). Those Jews either don't believe in teshuva, or believe conservatism is the unforgivable sin.
Saul Z. Newman
Looking Into the Future
Bruce J. Schneider's letter in the Feb. 23 Jewish Journal troubles me. "It's three or four years down the road. Obama is president. Iran has developed nuclear weapons while continuing to talk about the genocide of Israel.... Israel nukes the heck out of Iran. What will Obama (or Hillary or John Edwards) do?...John McCain would stand with Israel."
If I understand the Schneider scenario, Iran wouldn't be throwing bombs. It's just throwing words - terribly ugly words but words nonetheless. Iran hasn't even escalated its words. According to this setup, it's been throwing around the same hot air for years but hasn't fired a single shot in Israel's direction. Nevertheless, Israel attacks Iran - not by sabotaging nuclear plants or using conventional weapons against military targets but by nuking the heck out of the country as a whole.
The attacks and the ensuing clouds of radiation would probably wipe out millions of Iranian civilians; sicken or kill Turks, Pakistanis, Iraqis and others, and plunge the United States and other countries into an energy crisis by rendering major oil-producing areas uninhabitable.
Like Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, a nuclear strike on Iran would invite retribution -- if not from Iran, then from the suddenly panicked leaders of other governments, including some that have their own nukes.
Under those circumstances, I don't know if a President McCain would stand with Israel or not. I do know that Iran's President Ahmadinejad runs for re-election in 2009. By the time we get three or four years down the road, Iran may have changed its rhetoric, just as it changed after Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. Even if Iran doesn't change, I don't think that committing unprovoked nuclear genocide would benefit Israel, the United States or anyone else.
Stein's View of Carter
Regarding Peter L. Rothholz's report on Dr. Kenneth W. Stein's presentation at Sinai Temple ("Former Carter Fellow Addresses Sinai Temple," Jan. 19): Dr. Stein's compliments to President Carter's intelligence and memory and the belief that the former president is "not anti-Semitic" leaves him only one conclusion to explain Carter's memory lapses or his misrepresentations of experiences in the Middle East: Carter must dislike Israel.
Dr. Stein's conclusions serve well the president's purpose to provoke Jewish consternation so that he can qualify as an acceptable mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What appear to Stein to be flaws in the president's book are simply fictions (ala the fiction "Munich") to portray his understanding of the Palestinians' plight.
Even though both works have been accused of inaccuracies, both contain truths that escape Jewish readers. The negative outpouring (Imagine 14 Jews resigning en masse from the Carter Center Board. Some fatwa.) reflects the insecurity of Jews and our inability to consider the other hand that we have so carefully nourished in our cultural persona.