With all that is troubling today in our Jewish community, we can ill afford the negative and divisive lines penned in last week’s editorial, “Absence underscores great divide.” To claim that the absence of any Orthodox representation at the Hackensack “service of rededication” must be linked to the fact that Temple Beth El is not Orthodox is to sadly and unnecessarily misrepresent the facts. The importance of the program at Temple Beth El cannot be disputed; yet one can and should always be able to “judge one on the side of merit” and appreciate any number of situations that could have reasonably precluded many from being able to attend. Why stoke the fires when its heat will not warm our hearts.

We are a fragmented community with too many pockets. Yet seeds of enmity were sown here where bridges could better have been built. Still, “from the bitter can come something sweet” if we focus on efforts in earnest to better connect in the hope of reducing the distance that is more than just about religious movements.