We all need “Fiddler”; Nothing like a Messianic synagogue – J.
OR: Can I watch Porky Pig?
Thank you for your thought-provoking JTA article, which sided with the Orthodox Union’s decision to consider Impossible Pork non-kosher, even though all of its ingredients are kosher and herbal (“Why Impossible Pork should not be kosher â, October 15 in print).
The rationale for the decision was based on the pork brand labeling of the product. Wouldn’t that logic similarly prohibit all vegetarians from eating Impossible Pork (and Impossible Burger, for that matter), due to labeling meat inference?
If the simple word “pig” now makes it inedible, are the paintings of British artist Francis Bacon now invisible? If, as some argue, Sir Francis Bacon was the true author of the Bard’s plays, then is âThe Merchant of Veniceâ now impossible to watch? Anyway, wouldn’t the first syllable of “Hamlet” now make Hamlet absolutely indigestible?
Is the brilliant flamenco singer CamarÃ³n de la Isla (Island Shrimp) suddenly becoming unlistenable? Should Jewish girls who think they are wearing “braids” be avoided or clipped? If the OU were to reconsider their decision regarding Impossible Pork, then could we be allowed to consume it with a spoon?
After reading this article, I couldn’t bring myself to read J.’s other article on Alexander Hamilton’s Jewish identity, because a real Yiddishe kop would surely have changed its name.
Not all offenses are created equal
I am dismayed that the judge publishes a JTA article (“On a turn, the conservative movement publicly lists the rabbis it expelled and suspended”, October 25) by Asaf Shalev with an opening paragraph that lists the assaults sex, dues and performing mixed marriages as equivalent examples to suspend / expel rabbis.
How on earth can you write something so disrespectful to survivors of sexual assault?
The article went on to list the sexual offenses for which some rabbis were expelled and includes a couple of rabbis named for marrying interfaith couples. How insulting to your readers in multi-faith marriages that their union is listed next to assaults. It’s so offensive on so many levels. Be better.
Not a synagogue
I found your article on the attack on the âMessianic Synagogueâ sad, but not for the reason you imagine (âMessianic Synagogue near Sacramento Targeted by Anti-Semitic Leaflets and Vandalism,â October 22).
The so-called âMessianic Jewsâ are by no means Jewish in form or form. They have been repudiated by all bona fide Jewish organizations on the planet. Calling their church – that’s what it is – a synagogue is not only insulting to Jews, but also misleading to those who might not be sure what this Jesus-believing group really is or what it represents.
“Barbarity” of circumcision
Regarding circumcision, I find the many philosophical, religious, political and medical arguments for and against circumcision very interesting but, at least for me, irrelevant (“These Jews want to normalize and not circumcise – and they want that synagogues help â, Oct. 8).
The reason is simple. When my son was born thirty years ago, I decided to have him circumcised.
Why? Since I am a progressive and atheist Jew, I can only say that at that time I had some belief in the value of tradition. However, I will never forget what my baby looked like when the nurse returned it to us. He was as white as a sheet. He looked like a ghost. I swore that if I ever had another son, there was no way I would have him circumcised. The barbarity of the procedure was obvious to me, and no rationalization could ever justify another circumcision.
Googlers should be ashamed
J.’s article on Ariel Koren and Gabriel Schubiner broke my heart (âJewish Googlers Play Key Role in Pushing to Cancel $ 1.2 Billion Israeli Contract,â October 22).
Don’t they know the history of Israel and the constant attacks on Jews by “Palestinians”? They choose their “Palestinian” friends over Israel. They could have had their own country in 1948 and several times since, but refuse because they want to rid the Jews of the river to the sea in Israel.
Koren and Schubiner should be ashamed of themselves. I hope their quest to end the Google-Israel deal is a complete failure. They should beg forgiveness that they won’t get from me.
We all need âTradition! “
Ms. Irene Katz Connelly from The Forward I can’t believe I’m doing this because it’s not my style, but I’m so disturbed by your review in J. of “Fiddler on the Roof” that if I don’t. not express myself, I will be plagued by your written story all day! (“I went 26 years without watching ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. My first viewing was disappointing – until it didn’t,” November 4.
My first thought is that you don’t have to enjoy musical theater, TV shows like “Glee” or Disney movies. Fantasy for about an hour is not your thing. OK, not everyone can turn into an escape for a few minutes. You must need to be real, in the moment, aware of your exact existence at all times. I understand.
What I don’t get is your naive critique of the music, lyrics, and choreography of one of the greatest plays / movies of all time.
Unlike you, over the decades I have watched the film 25 to 30 times, and have seen “Fiddler” on stage in various cities with a variety of actors who have never failed to touch the hearts of all participants, Jews and non-Jews.
And here is the problem I have with your opinion on one of the most important stories in Jewish culture: “Fiddler on the Roof” is the heart of the Jewish people!
It’s our story to tell – not that other cultures haven’t had the same experiences – corn is the heart storytelling for our story, and that’s where my biggest beef lies with you: It is the best vehicle to ensure that our young people know where they are coming from!
Your parents (not wanting to insult them) failed to teach you a great Jewish lesson: without knowing where we came from, we can never really know or understand where we are going. It is secular Judaism: it is to transmit the stories! It is repeating them generation after generation after generation.
And here’s the punch: it’s about heritage. Forget stocks and bonds and big bank accounts, jewelry and condos. Leave a legacy of your / our story by telling stories to your loved ones.
No one does it better than Tevye.
Trump had the right idea
Editorial J. “The California-Israel Partnership Is a Model of Diplomacy” (October 27) and the accompanying article on the kidney exchange between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (“The historic kidney exchange between Israel and the United Arab Emirates started at Stanford â) are moving reminders of our human capacity to overcome differences and achieve something better for all.
However, while both articles make it clear that this progress “was made possible by the signing in 2020 of the Abrahamic Accords,” neither credit nor mention President Trump, whose leadership led to this most significant breakthrough. significant towards regional peace in 25 years.
While a greater sense of fairness and objectivity is in order, this deep antagonism towards Mr. Trump can have dire consequences for the Jewish community in at least one other important area of ââconcern. In December 2019, President Trump issued an executive order directing the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to act on complaints of discrimination against Jewish college students.
As we focus more and more on the growing anti-Semitism that surrounds us, we must recognize that it is Jewish university students who are among the most vulnerable in our community and have been for a long, long time.
It is more than sad to think that the Jewish community might not use the incredibly powerful enforcement mechanisms of the federal government due to an all-Trump aversion. Unfortunately, this conclusion seems reasonable in the absence of conflicting evidence.
If the reality here is different, then someone should enlighten me.
However, if the community refuses to use available federal aid to help Jewish university students, then let us all try to correct this loophole immediately. Those who need help the most can only benefit from legal intervention by the federal government.
Must support Israel. Must.
Thanks for Oren Jacobson’s opinion piece âMy progressive colleagues always ask me if anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. This is what I tell them â(October 29).
First, Jewish identity transcends adherence to Judaism as a faith. In the words of a Camp Achva song, “The Jews are a people, a nation, a law, a land and a civilization.” In Israel, after nearly 2,000 years of persistent oppression, pogroms and genocide as a powerless diaspora community, Jews have regained self-determination in their ancestral homeland. To oppose Israel’s right to exist is to deny Jewish history and the Jewish people.
In addition, ending Israel’s existence as a Jewish state would result in ethnic cleansing and murder of Jews on such a vast scale that it deserves the name “Holocaust II”.
Criticizing Israel’s policies is not anti-Semitic, but condemning the Zionists is. As Martin Luther King Jr. observed: âWhen people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You talk about anti-Semitism.
In an October 13 editorial in the Washington Post, Elisha Wiesel wrote that her father, Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, “understood what it meant to live in a world. without a Jewish state, and he saw the anti-Zionist movement for what it was: an extension of a millennial anti-Semitism, which unfortunately is becoming more and more mainstream and acceptable today.
He noted that Israel faces bloody libel and vitriol from people “without any trace of compassion for the Israeli people facing violence and terrorism.”
Echoing his father’s famous warning to President Reagan against visiting the Bitburg cemetery in West Germany, Wiesel called on “well-meaning people” to recognize that if a movement tolerates “the anti-Semitic poison” of anti-Zionism, “this place is out of place”.
Those who truly honor his father’s legacy of human rights advocacy in Kosovo, Darfur and Cambodia must also support Israel.
Stephen A. Silver