March 29: Comments on Passover Supplement

My great grandfather, Levy Wetherhorn, was one of the Jewish soldiers on the Confederate side. He and his four brothers all fought for the South, and all survived the war.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Comments on Passover Supplement
Sir, – Ruth Gan Kagan makes some valid points in “In defense of spring cleaning” (Passover Supplement, March 25) about not letting the concept “all things in moderation” go too far. But instead of simply sharing her bubbe’s wisdom and educating the reader about various other cultural approaches to the yearly purging and cleaning, she chooses to follow the tired path of denigrating the wisdom of others to make herself look spiritually superior.
Basically reducing Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’s essay about meaningful rather than obsessive Passover cleaning to drenching your home in bleach so you can spend time with the kids, Kagan points out that she looks for the spiritual aspects in the cleaning process – something her curt dismissal might lead the reader to believe Aviner and his ilk don’t bother with.
And she is not satisfied with this: She suggests that by offering clarity about differentiating between ridding the house of hametz and spring cleaning, such rabbis are actually denying women their due praise and even insulting them. Those who are trying to ease the burden of women are actually denigrating them? Kagan missed the opportunity for timelessness, an invariable result of basing one’s writing on an attack against someone else’s approach.RUTH EASTMAN Neveh Daniel
Sir, – The caption accompanying the photo in Dafna Laskin’s nostalgic piece on Streit’s Matza and the other brands (“Matza do about nothing,” Passover Supplement, March 25) should have identified the rabbi shown supervising kashrut as Ahron Soloveichik, and not his older brother, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik.
As the article itself correctly mentions, Ahron Soloveichik (his spelling) was indeed a renowned scholar of Talmud and halacha in his own right, albeit having been somewhat overshadowed by his illustrious brother.
The writer is a rabbi
Sir, – I enjoyed reading “Passover on the battlefields” (Passover Supplement, March 25).
My great grandfather, Levy Wetherhorn, was one of the Jewish soldiers on the Confederate side. He and his four brothers all fought for the South, and all survived the war.
Levy was in a local Charleston, South Carolina, infantry militia unit that was called up to guard the artillery batteries that fired on Fort Sumter to begin the war. Later he joined Capt. Waganer’s German Artillery Battery, which was active against the Federal naval forces blockading Charleston harbor.
Family tradition says Levy was imprisoned, briefly, in Fort Sumter at the end of the war. He had been captured by a Federal patrol while foraging.
Levy was the first son born in America, in 1842.
His two older siblings had been born in Germany. His brother Solomon was wounded during the fighting in Virginia late in the war but recovered.
The family belonged to Kehilat Kodesh Beth Elohim in Charleston. The main temple building is an American historical treasure, and you can still see the two stained glass windows on the right side of the bima donated in honor of the Wetherhorn and Kahn families by my grandparents.
CORRECTION It was Rabbi Moshe Ben- Maimon who was known as Maimonides or the Rambam, and not as stated in “A fight for the future of Acre’s Old City” (March 28).