Letters Week of Aug. 16, 2012




Another mohel weighs in on the circumcision debate and a reader warns about which politicians to trust.

Another Mohel Weighs In on Circumcision Debate

The pre-historic artist who depicted circumcision on his or her cave walls and those who committed records of its practice to stone tablets could not have known of the frightening maladies that could come of its practice — or not (City &¿Suburb: Debate Over Circumcision Resonates Locally,"¿Aug. 9). It wasn't for thousands of years more that there existed the provenance in tradition that gives us the majority opinion for its fundamental position in Judaic thought and Abrahamic covenant.

Today, if you ask a pediatrician or a gerontologist for an opinion on infant circumcision, you'll get totally different views on its timing and efficacy. Judaism today offers us the comfort of interpretation.

In the '70s, my father and I, as mohels, started applying non-invasive topical anesthetics, as I do to this day. I admonish new parents not to dither over the decision because doing so will create greater pain and problems for the baby. It also heavily overshadows the parental decision. One can err more by omission than commission. Choose well.

Joel Shoulson 

At least Arabs and Jews Agree on Circumcision

Sixty-four years after the establishment of the State of Israel, the Arabs and the Israelis finally agree on one thing: the 6,000-year-old practice of circumcision (City &¿Suburb: Debate Over Circumcision Resonmates Locally,"¿Aug. 9). Ah, but it's banned in Cologne. It is difficult to decide which is worse — religion interfering with government or government interfering with religion.

Ralph D. Bloch 

Be Careful Which Politicians You Trust

I find human nature both fascinating and frightening. In the July 19 article, (Cover, "Political Debate Gets Workout at Keneseth Israel Event"), Freyda Thomas states that she is voting for Obama because she trusts "his intelligence and integrity." Also, she states, "We need to keep Israel where it is and safe because it is the only democracy in the Middle East."

Elsewhere in the paper (Israel &¿Mideast), it states that the U.S. State Department excluded Israel from the 29-country "Global Counterterrorism Forum" that was launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I suppose the U.S. State Department's opinion of terrorism is that terrorism does not exist in Israel. The president panders to Israel and the secretary of state excludes them. Quite a juxtaposition. Seems to me that Jews trusted government before with dire results.

Frank Ujfalusi 

What President Hasn't Supported Two States?

The letter titled "We Can Truly Support Israel by Voting Wisely" in your Aug. 9 edition argues that we should not vote for President Barack Obama because he advocates the two-state solution.

That is not a reason for not voting for President Obama. Presidents Bush Sr., Bush Jr. and Clinton, as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mitt Romney have all spoken in favor of the two-state solution.

Harold Jacobs

Paper Runs Another One-Sided Story on Penn State

The Jewish Exponent has again published a very one-sided article about the disgraced former Penn State president Graham Spanier (Nation & World: "Penn State's Jewish Community Weighs How to Move Forward," July 26).

We are very proud of our Penn State, where three generations of our family have gone, including our youngest child who is now a student there.

But under Mr. Spanier's watch, this school has sustained untold damage, both in terms of reputation and in financial gain. In neither of your articles thus far did the authors interview any current students or anyone who might have had a negative opinion of Mr. Spanier's actions — or lack thereof.

Ellen Cohen 
Cherry Hill, NJ


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