Letters Week of Jan. 16, 2013


A suggestion for stopping gun tragedies and more disappointment about the closure of a Main Line kosher butcher.  

Here’s How to Stop Another Gun Tragedy

In order to prevent another tragedy resulting from a mentally unbalanced gunman (“Some Gun Owners Ready to Consider Control Measures,” Jan. 10), I suggest the following: Set up a commission to organize volunteer armed guards in all schools and public buildings. The guards should be thoroughly screened retired policemen, military vets or others who desire to give back to society. A small compensation should be offered to entice them to volunteer, such as a tax break or an annual parade to honor them. Publicity should be made to make society view them as heroes.
In every school and public area entrance, there should be a bulletproof shield (and when necessary a mobile shield on a golf cart-type vehicle) with a gun port from which the guard can safely defend the public.
I believe that this commission must help enact restrictions on violence as displayed in the media and video games to which the public is exposed. This step will serve to prevent the public’s desensitization to violence and restore perceived value to human life.
Ken Patkin | Philadelphia
Rabbi’s Letter Doesn’t Foster Understanding
Rabbi Steven M. Brown in his Dec. 27 letter to the Exponent, “Connecticut Shootings Were Not an Act of God,” takes strong exception to Rabbi Shmuel Jablon’s statement that “We believe God has a reason for everything.” He is so offended that he puts it in a category of a “theological obscenity.” He links this to the Evangelical preachers’ statement that Hurricane Katrina was a punishment by God and that he wants “no part of a God who would act in such a way.”
First of all, Rabbi Jablon’s complete sentence reads: “We believe that God has a reason for everything, but that doesn’t mean we know the reason or understand the reason.” This happens to be an Orthodox belief: We try to understand Hashem, but we do not claim to be in his confidence.
I also take strong exception to Rabbi Brown’s harsh language referring to “theological obscenity” and “blasphemy.” This is divisive language on the part of a program officer of the AVI CHAI Foundation, whose mission statement says it seeks “to encourage mutual understanding and sensitivity among Jews of different religious backgrounds.” “Blasphemy” taken to its logical end would imply excommunication, not mutual understanding. 
Luba Anton | Philadelphia
Decision on Closing Butchers Jewish Values
We are very disappointed about the closing of Main Line Kosher Meats (Cover story: “Abrupt End to a Beloved Institution,” Dec.13). We were customers for over 30 years and relied on the shop not only for kosher meats but on the expert catering skills of Hanni Nitzan and her family for many of our Shabbat and holiday celebrations.
We are even more disappointed by the decision made by the rabbis to not give Main Line Kosher the hashgachah needed in order to maintain kosher certification. The rabbis stated, “We don’t discuss it with anybody. It was a closed meeting among the rabbis.”
This is not all that was closed. The rabbis closed their minds, hearts and neshamot. They failed to make the right decision due to politics. This decision truely butchers Jewish values.
Marla and Rob Zipkin | Wynnewood 


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