October 13, 2017: Assumptions

By
October 12, 2017 22:47

I must respectfully challenge his underlying assumptions.

3 minute read.



October 13, 2017: Assumptions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking with Ma'aleh Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Assumptions

Rabbi Bruce Alpert’s “The High Holy Day sermon I did not give” (Comment & Features, October 9) is heartfelt.

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Yet I must respectfully challenge his underlying assumptions.

Most startling is his reference to “the miracle” of American Judaism, which has kept the faith alive in a Christian nation and atmosphere of religious freedom. But with the exception of Orthodox Judaism, American Judaism is dying. Its adherents marry out in shocking proportions, and are not even reproducing themselves. Today, it is Christian Zionists who provide more solid political support for Israel than do those identifying with the progressive branches of Judaism.

Kol Hakavod to the rabbi for teaching his congregants about Israel. However, in sharing his discovery that many at the periphery of Jewish life do not care, he has come to the heart of the problem: Non-Orthodox American Jewry has failed to sustain the most essential connections between Judaism and Israel.

The failure is deep, pervasive and has to do with a great deal more than a plaza at the Western Wall. To reduce it to this trivializes it.

The Diaspora Jew’s sense of connection to Israel should be intrinsic. What about Jewish history, the Torah, God’s promise regarding the land, the prayers concerning Jerusalem, the miracle of the rebirth of an ancient nation and the ingathering of the exiles? What about a sense of awe and pride regarding the extraordinary way in which Israel reaches out to help others around the world? What about an understanding that the Holocaust could not have happened had there been an Israel, and recognition that Israel moves to protect Jews worldwide? As to Israel having “reneged” on a promise to build a mixed-gender plaza at the Kotel, that plaza exists and has for some time now. Any Jew can come and pray in a mixed-gender group. What was withdrawn was a promise on peripheral issues.

ARLENE KUSHNER
Jerusalem

Our land

Mazel tov! The fake Palestinians have done it again! Gradually, they are being accepted by world bodies as a legitimate state (“PLO envoy: We’re joining world bodies ‘as a state,’” October 8).

US President Donald Trump – known for his success in closing big deals in property and desperate to make the greatest deal by convincing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (which doesn’t take much) to surrender the Jewish land to our enemies – has been outfoxed by Russia and China. Not surprising, therefore, to read that PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour intends for the Arabs (“Palestinians”) to operate diplomatically, like a state: “We want to live in our national homeland and we have national rights....”

Our enemies must be disabused of their “rights” to the Jewish land. To any of our so-called friends who don’t like it, tough luck! It’s our land, not yours!

YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya

Leaning right

In your October 4 editorial “BDS absurdities,” you write that “the Palestinians have chosen to support an intransigent political leadership....”

What about our leadership? We have Benjamin Netanyahu, Yariv Levin, Ze’ev Elkin, Naftali Bennett and other government ministers who proclaim that we will never separate from Judea and Samaria (and some 2.5 million Palestinians, I might add) and that a Palestinian state will never come into being.

What can one expect from a right-leaning newspaper?

GILLAM KEINAN
Mevaseret Zion

Preconditions

Although I am willing to accept a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel, it should be conditioned on the following, in which the states come into being on the same day: France supporting an independent Corsica; Spain supporting Basque and Catalonian homelands; England supporting independent Scotland and Wales; Iraq supporting an independent Kurdistan; Morocco supporting an independent Polisario homeland; Egypt supporting an independent Coptic homeland; Lebanon supporting an independent Christian state; Australia supporting an independent Aboriginal homeland.

There are additional possibilities, such as an independent Native American region, but I do not wish to be ahead of my time.

LARRY LEFKOWITZ
Modi’in


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