Change your luck

Curt Leviant’s “The Czar’s Soldier, A Chanukah Tale” (December 8) was absolutely wonderful. It was a Sholom Aleichem kind of story. What we learn from this story is you can come home, contrary to the Hebrew expression, “Change your place, change your luck.” Five years ago, we changed synagogues. We joined Congregation Beth Shalom of Pompton Lakes. At the same time Rabbi David Bockman was hired to lead our congregation. For me, that was a choice of good luck. The people of the synagogue welcomed us with warmth and caring. And Rabbi Bockman is one of my favorites of all time.

So I did change my place and it changed my luck — for the better.

David Judovin

Why is Luzer an atheist?

While I admire the article regarding a revival of a Yiddish play ( the Yiddish language is an important part of our Jewish heritage), I am appalled at the bottom of the page which seemed to focus on one of the actors, Luzer Twersky and his leaving the Belzer community to become an atheist (“Luzer Twersky talks about ‘Awake and Sing,’” December 15).

While one should respect Mr. Luzer’s non-belief in God, one has to wonder about what happened to the two children who now have been abandoned by their father and a wife who no longer has a husband. Or could it be that the collapse of his marriage sparked his atheism.

Alan Mark Levin
Fair Lawn

Giving the devil his due

It seems that little can be more simplistic than an educated man who shows a poor sense of reality, like Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner in “The world is becoming more simplistic every day” (December 15).

We read that according to him, “Jerusalem has been the de facto capital of Israel since 1948.” Wrong, Jerusalem has a been the de jure capital of Israel since 1949. This despite the fact that our State Department doesn’t even accept the fact that Jerusalem is located in the State of Israel. It will be interesting to see if after his announcement President Trump orders and forces the State Department to acknowledge that Jerusalem is part of Israel.

The rabbi suffers from the knowledge that even though he supports the decision by President Trump to “recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he must find ways to distance himself, lest he find himself as accused of being in Trump’s camp. He distorts Trump policies regarding immigrants, the police, and Ku Klux Klan to validate his bona fides.

He wrote that the long overdue recognition of Jerusalem as the capital was “made by a reality television figure,” and compared it to a butcher doing the work of a surgeon. This after accusing Trump of “engaging in childish name-calling.” Why add ad hominem arguments to deflect from the validity of this decision?

We’re also reminded by Kirshner that various U.N. resolutions will “remind all involved of the multiple claimants to one sacred city.” Should this mean that the Vatican has a claim to rule Jerusalem? Or the seat of any other religion, just because they have a holy site there? The only logical answer is, “No!” Under Israeli rule and law, each religion has primacy regarding their holy places with the possible exception of the Temple Mount where the Muslims have their mosque complex. The U.N. is the furthest that one can get to an “honest broker.”

“Legitimate blame falls on the shoulders of American and Israeli leaders over the past 50 years,” he writes. What blame? That the Americans did not force the leaders of Israel to agree to committing suicide? Many times the Arabs were offered a state and many times they refused.

Why not just congratulate Trump for doing what should have been done by our government 69 years ago? One should write the reality that any further riots and terrorism on the part of the Arabs is a continuation of past deeds, not a new manifestation resulting from current events.

For those who dislike Trump, in this case one should, to use an old expression, “Give the devil his due.” He made the right and honorable decision.

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford

Yes Israel does take refugees

Gold and Simon are at it again with their Israel-bashing, blame-the-Jews view of the world (“We once were refugees ourselves,” December 15). Israel inexplicably allowed entry to 80,000 economic refugees from Sudan and Muslim Eritrea. This number represented more than 1 percent of Israel’s population. An equivalent number of refugees — given the American population — would be more than 4 million if taken into the United States. Israel is a nation which has been at war since 1949 and had already absorbed more refugees per capita than any nation in history. Given the impossibility of assimilation into Israeli society and the severe social issues that ensued, Israel has embarked on the most humane repatriation plan in existence. Gold and Simon criticize this and from the heights of hypocrisy they cite a section from the Torah. These are the same individuals who call for the unilateral removal of all Jews from Judea and Samaria [the “West Bank”] — the very land promised to the Jewish people in the Torah they conveniently cite! They would demand Israel retain foreign economic refugees, but expel 600,000 Jewish citizens from their homes. Whose side are they on?

Scott David Lippe, M.D.

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