Concert for Sharsheret

On behalf of Temple Emeth, I invite the entire community to a free concert to benefit Sharsheret, an organization based in Teaneck that offers support to Jewish women with breast cancer and their families.

This concert will feature our own Cantor Ellen Tilem along with Rebecca “beccs” Gastfriend, a talented jazz and soul singer. The program will include traditional chazzanut, Yiddish and Hebrew songs, and some original compositions. Two of our choirs also will participate.

The concert will be on Saturday, December 10, at 8 p.m. at Temple Emeth, 1666 Windsor Road in Teaneck. There is ample parking. Please bring your checkbook or credit card so that you will be able to make a donation to Sharsheret after hearing about some of the life-changing work it does.

What a wonderful way to gather as a community, prepare for Chanukah, and embrace the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh (saving a life)!

Rabbi Steven Sirbu
Temple Emeth, Teaneck

Approach to intermarriage unrealistic — also wrong

Three objections to your article, “In or out doesn’t work any more” (December 2).

First of all, I object to calling these two rabbis Conservative. While both were ordained by JTS, both have either resigned from the Rabbinical Assembly or indicated that they are about to resign.

Secondly, Rabbi Lewittes’ desire to perform intermarriages when both spouses “accept Jewish life “ is unrealistic. It totally ignores the pull Christianity would have on the non-Jewish spouse. Conversion, such in the case of Trump-Kushner, at least guarantees there will be some attempt to convey Jewish life to the next generation. There is no such guarantee in the case of Clinton-Mezvinsky. Indeed, Rabbi Lewittes’ proposal is much more unrealistic than requiring conversion as a prerequisite for the rabbi performing the ceremony. One has to wonder what Rabbi Lewittes’ Jewish life is, i.e. eating bagels, lox and cream cheese on Sunday.

Thirdly, while it is not the same threat as intermarriage, rabbinically sanctioned same-sex marriages are wrong. To sanction said marriage is to sanction same-sex intimacy. To sanction same sex intimacy is comparable to abolishing the dietary laws or the Sabbath. The only halachic justifiable lifestyle for the gay or lesbian is to abstain from intimate relations. The two rabbis have opted for political correctness over Jewish law. While gays and lesbians should not be excluded from the Jewish life in the same way non-observant are not excluded, nobody should be allowed to rewrite thousands of years of Jewish law.

Alan Mark Levin
Fair Lawn

Clarity, please

It’s pretty clear from your November 25 two-page article on Stephen Bannon (“Bannon rejects, and ammunition to, those who label him anti-Semitic) that Mr. Kampeas doesn’t like him. But the article contains no specifics or examples of what he finds offensive. Instead it is riddled with smears and allegations of guilt by association.

We get charges that the Breitbart site has “echoes of anti-Semitic theory,” that it advances “conspiracy theory” and contains “elements of classic anti-Semitic propaganda.”

Further, in those few places where Bannon defends himself saying he is an “economic nationalist” you follow with a link to the old anti-Semitic World War II era America First movement, or where Bannon distinguishes his views from white supremacism the article follows immediately into unexplained theories of “globalists maintaining control over the working class.”

Unsaid in the article is that most Jews support left-wing and liberal politics while Bannon and Breitbart are conservative. This should not be considered as anti-Jewish. In fact conservatives generally align better with Israel’s politics, while the left wing comes down hard against those who support Israel and its settlements.

In these days where words are recklessly bandied about, you would do your readers a service by providing clear examples of your allegations.

David M. Weiss

Stop picking on Jared!

We, the authors of this letter, have been friends for almost 50 years. We have often taken diametrically opposed positions on many political and social matters. However, we find ourselves in total agreement when we expressed our disappointment regarding the article purportedly providing insight into the Jews who are in Trump’s inner circle of advisers (“Meet the Jews in Donald Trump’s inner circle,” November 18). The article we reference took a precipitous slide when assessing Jared Kushner.

Far from assessing Jared Kushner’s strengths or weaknesses as an adviser to a President-elect Trump, this article marched unceremoniously into the tawdry irrelevancies of his family’s past criminal conduct. Either your background inquiry into Jared Kushner’s attitudes and potential influence in a Trump administration were woefully thin, or worse, your decision to sacrifice essence for overt salacious appeal was painfully thick.

With this article you have not only trivialized the subject matter that you presumably sought to address but also diminished yourselves as a source for fair and unbiased reporting of the news.

Charles Moche

Jack Nelson
Cliffside Park

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