Letters Week of Dec. 20, 2012


Lamenting the end of a Main Line kosher butcher and the lack of support for interfaith couples years ago. 

Saddened by Closing of Kosher Butcher

I am so saddened, as are many of my friends, that Main Line Kosher Meats has closed (Cover story: “Abrupt End to a Beloved Institution,” Dec. 13).

Hanni Nitzan and her mother performed an invaluable service for many of us elderly by enabling us to remain in our homes due to the arrival each week of their nourishing food.

Rabbi Aaron Felder lacks understanding of Main Line’s value when he states, “There are more places in Philadelphia to buy kosher.” Surely, there are no kosher markets that can compare with Main Line.

Compassion, as we all know, is a hallmark of Jewish teaching. Yet, where is compassion for Hanni who’s told she must close “because she is too close to two kosher markets.” She was there first!

Bernice Berue Zoslaw | Abington

We Jews Need to Help, Not Destroy, One Another

As the Main Line sits shivah for its only kosher butcher, I lament the lack of effort to keep the store in business (Cover story: “Abrupt End to a Beloved Institution,” Dec. 13).

It’s true that fewer non-Orthodox people keep kosher. But the owners were willing to obtain a stricter hechsher to reach out to their Orthodox neighbors. They were turned down because Rabbi Felder claimed it would be in violation of halachah for them to compete with two nearby supermarkets with kosher sections.

He is also quoted saying that there are more than enough kosher outlets around so that this store was not needed. Better to support a goyish chain than a member of the community!

When my father had his kosher butcher shop, there were several hundred shops in the city, sometimes several on the same block. They were friendly competitors. We Jews need to help, not destroy each other.

David Mermelstein | Elkins Park

Warm Welcome: 50 Years Too Late for This Man

I attended a birthday party several weeks ago. I have known the parents of the birthday girl since before they married. I knew their last name sounded Jewish but that they did not consider themselves Jewish. I had met the grandparents several times and they came to celebrate the big event.

The grandmother and I started talking, and I mentioned that in the Nov. 29 Jewish Exponent, there were articles about welcoming interfaith couples and that it seems the Jewish community has really changed. She said she wished it had been so when she got married 50 years ago.

“You see, when we got married, my husband’s family was so embarrassed that I wasn’t Jewish, they rejected us,” she said. “I even offered to convert, but that wasn’t good enough for his parents. My husband felt so rejected. Only after we had children did his mother begin to speak to us again. I always liked his parents but he was so hurt.”

She told her husband that people were now welcoming interfaith couples. This pleasant and happy grandfather looked at me with a hint of bitterness and said, “Fifty years too late.”

As we sang “Happy Birthday,” I looked at this happy family and I wondered about what could have been. And a voice in my heart said, “You can’t fix the past; just work on the future.”

Wendy Armon | Director InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia


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