Unfair to talk about forced marriages

I wish to comment on a misleading article that appeared in 5-31-19 article entitled Unchained at Last.

First, the issues of child marriage and forced marriage have little if either Charedi or chasidic communities. The shidduchim are not forced at all but can be accepted or rejected. It may speed up the courtship process quite a bit but it is not forced. Advocates such as Fraidy Reis seem to have a vendetta against Orthodox Judaism.

Secondly, the article seem to present Ms. Reiss as a heroine, Clearly, she is not. It is true that she came from a disfunctional childhood and later marriage but does not entitle her to trash the community she came from. It is understandable why family members may not want to talk to her since she attacks the community that is their world.

Thirdly, there is an assumption here that the newly secular mothers should always have custody. I do not think so. Radical shifts in lifestyle may indicate questions on stability and such shifts are not in the best interest of the children.

In the future, please try to be fairer to the Orthodox.

Alan Mark Levin
Fair Lawn

Thoughts on ‘Modesty, Adultery, Homosexuality, and Abortion’

R. Engelmayer makes interesting points in his column about Torah values that are/were part of American culture (“Celebrate Shavuot, then proclaim liberty throughout the land,” May 31). He might have quoted a few more verses related to topics such as Modesty, Adultery, Homosexuality, and Abortion — which are changing the texture of our society — but I don’t know if his readers are interested in those verses.

Jacob Yablok

Thoughts on the Supreme Court

What an interesting article in your May 31st edition, “Pursuing Justice From the Bench,” about Rabbi Joseph Prouser of Temple Emanuel of North Jersey and two congregants, Mike Fisch, who talks about Justice Benjamin Cardozo, and Peter Safirstein, who talks about Justice Abe Fortas. I thank you for your absorbing account of these two Jewish Supreme Court justices.

The Supreme Court’s interpretation of law affects our rights to freedom, justice, and equality. It affects our daily lives. It is important we know about the nine justices that sit on the Supreme Court. They are powerful people.

For example, the court has made decisions on abortion, the separation of church and state, class suits, death penalty decisions, obscenity, and school desegregation, among many other decisions.

As noted in the article, Abe Fortas defended Clarence Gideon, a poor convict in Florida, before the Supreme Court, and won his right to legal representation. The story of Gideon shows the workings of the Supreme Court and how it works. It is a landmark case in American Justice. This decision is part of our Bill of Rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

To quote Thomas Paine, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must … undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

Grace Jacobs
Cliffside Park

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