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Letters Week of Sept. 6, 2012
What About Separation of Church and State?
Concerning the recent brief news item about rabbis supporting President Barack Obama (City & Suburb: "600 Rabbis Show Support for Obama," Aug. 30), this action is a demonstration of rabbis who, by endorsing a political candidate for election, put their political "religion" ahead of their loyalty to the institutions they serve.
To the extent these rabbis are the leaders of Jewish institutions -- and any disclaimers to the contrary -- they represent the congregation, school, charity or whomever employs them.
Not only does such action compromise their employers, they also demonstrate hypocrisy when it comes to separation of church and state, assuming they support this separation.
I personally could not affiliate with a congregation or contribute to a religious cause that engages in this type of political activity.
We've Had Many Shoahs in the Last Eight Decades
As a child of Holocaust survivors, believe me, the Holocaust is with me all the time.
However, I do believe that we all have suffered more than two holocausts in 80 years already (Editorial & Opinions: "Can the World Really Tolerate Two Holocausts in 80 Years?", Aug. 30).
Begin with Hiroshima, Cambodia, Somalia, Syria -- and go on and on and on.
No, "the world" has not learned and, horror of horrors, has become inured to tragedy, even on such a grand scale. In fact, we can watch on our big screens right in our living rooms at home while these horrible things just keep going on and on.
Raoul Wallenberg: A True Hero for All Times
I was disappointed that the Jewish Exponent did not report on quintessential Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg on the centennial of his birth on August 4.
Dr. Robert Rozett, director of Yad Vashem Libraries, described Wallenberg "as a representative of the best in Western civilization," suggesting that this summer "we remember Wallenberg, learn about him ... and discuss his deeds and their meaning for us today."
Late July, President Obama signed a bill to posthumously award Wallenberg the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor. Wallenberg has been an honorary U.S. citizen since 1981.
Sent by the U.S. War Refugee Board in 1944 to save the remnants of Hungarian Jewry, the 32-year-old Swede courageously saved 100,000 lives in just six months.
In January 1945, after he approached Soviet troops for food and medical supplies for the survivors of Budapest, he was illegally arrested by the Soviet secret police.
But he was never seen again as a free man; and the Russians have never provided an incontrovertible explanation about how and when Wallenberg died.
As Sen. Joseph Lieberman said at the unveiling of the U.S. Wallenberg stamp, "We can never do enough to perpetuate his memory and what he stood for."
Ilene Munetz Pachman