Letters Week of Nov. 18, 2010



Advertisements Stir Up Nothing but Resentment
I was glad to see that people were speaking out against the ads that David Gordon, owner of Roosevelt Memorial Park, has placed in the Jewish Exponent, but was disappointed that the negative response was only about cremation. I called Mr. Gordon after noticing the first ad in the paper, many months ago, to share my disgust.

I find the ads to be distasteful, and that they play on scare tactics. They started appearing at a time when my husband and I were beginning to investigate buying plots, and his ads made it clear to me that his cemetery was not a place I wanted to spend any time in — life or death.

I hope Mr. Gordon takes a good hard look at his advertising methods and replaces his current campaign with one of compassion and caring.
Anne Rubin
Elkins Park

Why Shouldn't Cremation Be a Viable Option?
After seeing the advertisment for Roosevelt Memorial Park's cremation option, I knew there would be a lot of negative feedback from your readers. I personally would not choose cremation, but why should I condemn someone who would?

The Jews who were exterminated in the Holocaust did not choose to die — nor the method by which they died. Shouldn't people who may have had their bodies ravaged by cancer be allowed to choose cremation?

I think we should accept a person's final wishes whatever they may be, whether we personally agree with them or not.  
Leslie Fried

There's More to Torah Than This Rabbi Let's On
We owe Rabbi Seymor Prystowsky (Letters: "Blind Faith: Hardly the Path for Modern Jews," Oct. 28) a debt of gratitude for so clearly articulating his approach to the Torah: that it is a mere human work and does not demand of us anything we wouldn't ask of ourselves in its absence.

The Jewish religious tradition that has kept us a people for several thousand years, however, has a very different take on this — namely, that the Torah represents God's will for His people, and that even the parts of it that give Rabbi Prystowsky indigestion have much to teach us.

Hopefully, by stating his view, the rabbi will have stimulated some Jewish readers to go out and explore the fullness of their religious heritage.

There is nothing wrong with questioning any part of the Torah. However, not knowing the answer is not a license or a reason to claim that the Torah — which the Jewish people have studied, observed and sacrificed for thousands of years — is one big ruse.

There are many places to search for answers. You can start by buying Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary to the Torah, or an ArtScroll/Mesorah book, or by visiting a website like aish.com or torah.org.

I am confident that if a person sincerely searches for the truth — even without perhaps finding a solution — he or she will discover the veracity and timelessness of the Torah.
Rabbi Dovid Max
Community Torah Center of Bucks County

One Thing's Clear: Tea Party Isn't Friend of Jews
How wonderful to know about Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor's possible elevation to the highest post a Jew has ever had in Congress.

Please note, however, that he is the only Republican Jew in Congress.

Make no mistake: The Tea Party and the conservative, reactionary forces that drive it are no friends of the Jews.

Religion and the state should not mix; and despite the Tea Partyers claim to Jeffersonian ideals, they seem to conveniently forget that Jefferson was not a religious man, nor did he profess any church preference and was not a regular attendee — if at all. I'd much rather emulate Ben Franklin, who mixed and mingled with all religions extant at his time in the United States.

Thank you, but I'll practice my religion the way I am guaranteed to in our Constitution — and not by what some pork-chop preacher tells me is "the truth."
Henry A. Seigel



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