Letters to the Editor Week of Sep. 8, 2005

Don’t Champion Flight; Stress the Sorrow of It!

The tears that streamed down the faces of thousands of Jewish men, women and children forcibly removed from their homes in Gaza are not even dry yet.

Yet Leslie Susser of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is already championing the expulsion of hundreds of thousands more of our co-religionists from Judea and the rest of Samaria (Cover story: “Pullout Goes Well: Little Strife, No Violence,” Aug. 25).

What could Susser possibly be thinking?

Rather than focusing on little Israel making itself even smaller, Susser and the Jewish Exponent should be reminding readers that the Palestinians have not kept one promise nor lived up to a single commitment to cease inciting anti-Jewish hatred, dismantle terror groups or seize illegal weapons.

Why isn’t the Exponent stressing these issues, instead of trying to persuade its readers that Israel can survive without Judea and Samaria?
Robert Sandler

Note for the Record: A Miracle Happened!

The Jewish settlers in Gaza prayed for a miracle. Despite what might otherwise appear obvious, their prayers were indeed answered.

Within the explosive tinderbox of disengagement — a mix of heightened emotions due to religious fervor, loss of home, loss of identity and loss of dreams, combined with intense rhetoric and a plethora of weapons — not one serious injury occurred.

Some 8,500 settlers and thousands of strident supporters confronted tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers and police, and no one was hurt (A Matter of Opinion: “They’re Still Heroes!” Aug. 25).

Could anyone have imagined this? There have been numerous instances of situations in our country where army or police have had to confront protesters — just think of Waco, Texas; the Move fiasco in Philadelphia; recent anti-globalism protests in Seattle; the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. All resulted in violence and death.

In Israel, the thousands of settlers evicted from their homes were brave people — true heroes who daily risked their lives on the Israeli frontier. But they would not inflict injury on the army that came to evict them.

Of course, Israeli army and police were well-trained, sensitive and patient as they carried out their duty to uphold the democratic values of a free people. They, too, are heroes.

Much has been written in the press about the effectiveness of the well-executed plans of the Israeli government in dealing with the settlers.

But to fail to recognize the impossibility of performing that task without any serious incident, even accidental, is to fail to recognize the obvious.

No matter the rightness or wrongness of disengagement from Gaza (only time will tell), a miracle took place. The unity of the Jewish people held.

Let the world know: Am Yisrael Chai — “the people of Israel live!”
Alan Moldoff
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Credit the IDF Soldiers for Restraint and Clarity

The Jewish Exponent featured a front-page picture of an Israeli soldier hugging a Gaza evacuee (Cover story: “Bidding Farewell to the Gaza Strip,” Aug. 18).

One of our family members mistakenly thought the soldier in the picture was her cousin, our son Avi, currently serving in the Israeli army tank corps.

She began calling people, and by the end of the weekend, we were besieged with prayers for his well-being.

However, after contacting our son, he confirmed that it was not him in Gaza. In fact, he had returned to Ramat Hagolan from Gaza the week before. He conveyed to us the psychological damage his fellow soldiers faced, having carried out orders despite pleas from many rabbis to disobey.

Sanctions should be taken against these rabbis. Had their advice been taken, they could have caused a catastrophe!
David Mermelstein

Skip the Edamame Salad, and Bring Back the Kugel

I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss the good old days of opening up the Jewish Exponent to read and clip some wonderful haimishe recipes.

My friends and I would compare notes on how the brisket or kugel turned out, and how our guests loved the meal.

Well, not anymore!

What is it now with ingredients that can only be found in specialty shops — things I’ve never heard of, like quinoa and edamame? These foods belong in other ethnic periodicals.

I’m not Mexican, Italian or Japanese. If I want a book on Japanese fare, I’ll buy one. I’m Jewish, and I expect this paper to represent my rich heritage of wonderful foods.

Please, with the High Holidays quickly approaching, give me a nice challah, kugel, chopped liver or a mushroom-barley recipe like Bubbie used to make. I’ll even allow you to make them cholesterol-free!
Nanette Schriftman
Huntingdon Valley

Engaged Couples: Forget the Pet and Spruce Up!

I remember when engagement announcements would feature only the prospective bride’s photograph. The young lady would appear alone, and almost always well-dressed, at least as nicely as she would for a job interview.

As years passed, protocol somehow was morphed so that engagement announcement photographs began to include the prospective groom as well. To my thinking, that was a good thing: Two smiles are better than one. And the groom would also be well-dressed, at least in coat and tie, quite befitting the couple’s first formal presentation to the community.

Alas, times have changed.

In recent years, I’ve noticed that most of the happy young men are decked out in T-shirts, sweatshirts or rumpled polos.

As if that wasn’t the icing on the upcoming wedding cake, now readers are being treated to seeing happy couples with their dogs.

Bring back some basic decorum — some sense of dignity!

Young men, you might look a whole lot better if you simply wear a tie and decent shirt to match, and left the family pet out of the photo.
Robert A. Faber



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