I would like to comment on your editorial (“Time to get the guns”) and Joanne Palmer’s op-ed (“They were all God’s children”) in your December 21 issue.
I agree entirely with your editorials about the urgent need for gun control and for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Every day that goes by without gun control extends the risk of more mass murders of children and adults. As to the consequences of gun violence, I agree with Ms. Palmer that “We are united in our grief and outrage” and “That all of [the children and staff] were innocent and that all 26 dead deserved to liveâ€¦.” But that is not “all that matters” to me.
If one of those who was murdered was one of my family, I still would grieve deeply for all the others, but I would grieve more intensely for my relative. Noah Pozner was a Jewish “little man,” as his mother called him. Therefore, he is a member of my extended family. All mankind is bound together, but some more closely than others. I grieve for all the people in the world dying of starvation or murderous wars, but I am more concerned for the safety of my cousins in Israel than I am about similar conditions for other people. I could rely on general media for news about the world, but I read the Jewish Standard because you focus on issues of concern to our Jewish community.
Furthermore, there is a difference in being Jewish in Newtown. The community memorial service was held in a church. Comfort for the bereaved is sometimes offered in Christian terms. At this time of year everyone is wishing each other a merry Christmas and a happy new year. To the extent that this isolates the Pozner family, we should let them know that they and Noah have a special place in our hearts. And maybe the murder of innocents means more to us because of the Shoah and the insecurity in Israel.
We are human beings first, but we should not be ashamed to stand up as Jews as well.