Letters Week of March 28, 2013


A look at the prophet Elijah, Joan Rivers's brand of comedy and what it means to disagree with the president.


Elijah Is a Lot Like Who?
To compare Elijah to Santa Claus because each theoretically journeys around the world is ludicrous (“Is Elijah, the Annual Pesach Guest, Like a ‘Jewish Santa’?”, March 21). That’s like saying oranges and lemons taste alike because they are both citrus fruits. Elijah’s place at the seder was established by the rabbis, but by no stretch of the imagination could this fanatic, who roamed the mountains wearing nothing but a loincloth and proclaiming the demise of the world because of sin, be compared to the rotund benevolent figure we call Santa Claus. He was more like Chicken Little claiming the sky was falling down.
The author of your article maintains that “Most Jews probably don’t know the story of Elijah in the Bible.” He, however, feels it is all right to replace ignorance with misinformation. In fact, Elijah was a crusader against the pagan god, Baal, and all idolatry.
No one should mistake the Bible for history, but the characters and events depicted were selected through reasoning. When U.S. history is studied, heroes and villains are presented, warts and all. We can do no less when we teach our children their Jewish heritage.
Ralph D. Bloch
Not Only the Oscars Crossed a Terrible Line
I read with interest the Exponent Feb. 28 Arts piece “Oscars Crossed a Line into Bigotry.” Like the criticized Seth MacFarlane, Joan Rivers also has an arrogant sense of “comedic entitlement,” allowing her to joke about mastectomies and the Holocaust. Her latest “crack” was made after the Oscars, as she talked about Heidi Klum’s dress: “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”
Rivers, who refuses to apologize for her insensitivity to Holocaust survivors whose loved ones were burned in the very ovens she breezily referenced, has the chutzpah to justify her joke by saying she is “reminding people” that the Holocaust “happened” and that her husband “lost his entire family in Auschwitz.” Her humor should be condemned and boycotted.
Ilene Munetz Pachman
If We Disagree With Obama, We Are Not Haters
I am in support of Mr. Steve Heitner, who stated in a letter in the March 14 edition of the Exponent that Barack Obama is the most polarizing president in history. I fully agree.
But I feel that there is one point that Mr. Heitner missed. President Obama and those who support him have waged a very insidious (and successful) campaign to label any and all of those who oppose his policies, ideas or statements as “haters.”
If you are in favor of marriage being only between a man and a woman, you are a “homophobe.” If you are in favor of abortion only when the life of the mother is in danger, you are a “misogynist” who wants to keep women as second-class citizens. If you want to find fiscally responsible ways to reduce health care costs and not just tax one group of people to give it to another, you are “racist” who hates the poor and working classes.
The lack of respect and outright animus that the administration and its supporters show is evident in its basic philosophy that (as Mr. Heitner stated): “We’re right, you’re wrong, and as soon as you realize that, everything will be OK.”
Harold S. Rose


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