May 15, 2020: Generation gap

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Regarding “Thirteen Seconds of History” (May 8), in my own case I was just finishing my freshman year in college when those Kent State killings in Ohio took place. In his piece, writer Alan Rosenbaum specifically refers to the “rift in American society” which we at the time called the “generation gap.” Those were the feelings that I experienced in those last days of May 1970. I remember demonstrating at my university with sit-down strikes and closing down classroom buildings. The looks of disdain on the faces of both administrators and faculty members are etched in my mind.
Also, I’ll never forget my congregational rabbi’s reaction when I donated four prayer books to be used for the upcoming High Holy Days with the inscription, “In memory of the four students assassinated at Kent State University 5/71.” He begged me to change the wording, but I refused.
I will remember forever the words “Four dead in Ohio” sung to the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Kudos to the Magazine for not forgetting them as well.
I was a Clevelander 31 years, and I lived near Kent. I protested the war through music, and was never against the soldiers. I look back now and know the US had to help the Vietnamese fight for democracy.
The shootings happened as the soldiers were ordered and trained to keep civilians/townspeople safe. There were some violent/rock-throwing people attacking soldiers and townspeople. This was not a nonviolent protest.
These violent protests were happening throughout the US. There were Communist/ungodly influences deceiving the young people; anger and hatred were running amok. It is sad that anyone had to die or be wounded. Safety and security must be practiced.
Loveland, Colorado
For some time the press has highlighted (often with just cause) the noncompliant attitude of various segments of the haredi population to the safety precautions in combating corona. Nothing has been said of the noncompliant attitude of the rest of the population.
Since Friday, May 8, and especially on Shabbat, May 9, the behavior of particularly the secular people on the promenade on Netanya’s Nitza Boulevard has been a disgrace. Sitting on the lawns in close proximity to one another, not wearing masks anywhere, old and young alike, one could have believed that they were in another, non-corona, world.
As the general age of the inhabitants of that part of Netanya is certainly in the high-risk range, the danger that these noncompliant visitors pose is considerable and extremely selfish – if not stupid.
Regular visits by the police have not ensured that masks are worn by all – not only those wearing kippot.
Stewart Weiss writes about overstressing the importance of Halacha versus belief (“Do we worship Hashem or Halacha?” May 8). There seems to be a tendency toward stringency in all halachic decisions. It’s as if “if we pressure ourselves more, then it’s better, more correct.” This, of course, is not true.
The extremely stringent decision is just as far from the truth as the extremely lenient decision.
The State of Israel is weighed down by extremely stringent rabbinic decisions. This not only irritates the general public, but even the Modern Orthodox community is beginning to fall away. The rabbinate should consider the historical perspective in its decisions. We are a renewed nation coming from all the countries of the world. All these returning Jews bring customs of their own and various degrees of observance. This is not the right time to decide matters stringently. Living in a modern society necessitates adaptation to modern times, to a certain extent.
It’s like the baffling problem of the coronavirus. The Health Ministry must “give in” on some of its policies in order to accommodate the demands of the financial bodies. Each side must take into consideration the perspective of the other.
Givat Shmuel
As usual, after the event has progressed months down the line, everyone and his brother have the solutions to defeating this latest virus affecting most countries around the world.
However, in Maayan Hoffman’s column (“The first step,” May 8) she captures the essence of how Israel did more things right than most and generally in timely fashion, proving that the sooner measures are introduced, the sooner coming out of the lockdown leading to a new normality can be achieved.
There are lessons to be learned, especially in respect of our health system, which, like many around the world, has suffered neglect in recent years.
It appears that since 2008 and especially following actions on economic cutbacks, some vital institutions had their funding cut, and although there is a high cost to pay to maintain the required standards, this latest epidemic proves not to do so has deadly consequences.
Israelis heard the call and, as in previous emergencies, responded correctly to the requisite guidelines, which hopefully will pay dividends going forward.
While 2020 will no doubt leave its dark mark on history, it is hoped that all that has been learned regarding coronavirus averts anything similar happening in the future, for the sake of all humankind.
Tel Aviv