March 8, 2007
In which our loyal readers take us to task for various and sundry
(Page 3 - Previous Page)Chaim Sisman
Zev Chafets says that we should not criticize evangelical Christians for fear that they will stop their "welcomed support", and that "Jews don't know the first thing about evangelical Christians" ("Q"&"A With Author Zev Chafets," March 2).
Is it possible that Israelis have not heard of the "Left Behind" series of books which have sold more than 50 million copies, or the Tom Hess book "Let My People Go!" in its seventh edition?
This evangelical Christian literature clearly encourages Diaspora Jews to live in the Holy Land to hasten the Rapture which will lead to the extinction of Jews and Judaism. Chafets indicates that because he "is not a Christian" their beliefs are meaningless to him.
Is it meaningful to him that mainstream Christians consider the evangelical religious right agenda "radical," and against the separation of church and state? I believe that we should have learned not to dismiss the beliefs of any religious fundamentalists.
Martin J. Weisman
Rabbi vs. Journalist
We read your (Feb. 23) story "UCLA Hillel Rabbi Apologizes, Settles 2003 Case With Journalist."
But it was student David Lazar's (Feb 20) unforgiving editorial in the Daily Bruin about giving Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller "the boot" that compels us to write.
These are times to remember that our prophet, Joseph, forgave his brothers who, in a moment of anger, left him to die.
He helped his needy siblings re-establish their lives when they again met years later in Egypt, where trustworthy Joseph had earned the confidence to keep safe the nation's food supplies.
"Hillel needs a director who has respect and self-control," Lazar insists. Except for that one, extraordinary moment of frustration four years ago, for 10 years we have known Rabbi Seidler-Feller as only mature, spiritual, and totally responsible to shepherd his UCLA Hillel community.
Who of us has not experienced rage in the face of threat to people, principles, or dreams we hold dear?
Has each of us not had to go inside, self-correct, ask for the understanding of others, then carry on as a better human being?
We have spent time with the rabbi before and after his unusual experience We know his regret for his self-forgetting moment, and his deep connection to his faith, students, and Hillel.
As co-founders of the 14-year-old Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, we have observed and encouraged Seidler-Feller's ground-breaking work to do what most youth advisors cannot or will not -- help bring UCLA's alienated students into conversation and relationship, with a new quality of listening about matters of the Middle East.
We think the greatness of Hillel and the UCLA campus community will reside in their capacity to see Rabbi Seidler-Feller for the excellent human being he is and to move forward together with forgiveness and charity toward one another.
Libby and Len Traubman
'On Second Avenue'
We am sure that we speak for the more than 4,000 people who attended one of the performances of "On Second Avenue" when we say that this production was just outstanding ("Yiddish Curtain Rises," Feb. 16).
We were privileged to see this show in New York and there is no doubt that the Los Angles production was far superior.
Congratulations to Mike Burstyn, the Folksbiene Theater and all those connected with bring this wonderful experience to Los Angeles.
We hope that it returns -- soon!
Faye and Paul Jeser
In "Borat, Meet Eli" (Feb. 23), Arthur Lenk should have been identified as consul for communications and public affairs. Uriel Palti served as deputy consul general.
In the March 2 Tommywood ("Assume Everyone is Jewish"), the author of the book should have been listed as Daniel Shneer.
The Journal regrets the errors.
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