Letters Week of May 3, 2013


Did a rabbi sidestep the important issue in his Torah commentary, was Federation wrong for not supporting a crucial community event and is Jewish food just as significent as Jewish news?

In Torah Commentary, Rabbi Sidesteps Issue

In Rabbi Shmuel Jablon’s April 18 Torah commentary, “Most Vital Mitzvah: We Must Love All Jews,” he misses an opportunity to reverse hundreds of years of discrimination against homosexuals by at least beginning a discussion of the possibility that the verses in this portion supposedly banning homosexuality are mistranslated.

Firstly, in the translation, “Do not lie with man as with woman,” a word or prefix for “as with”’ or “just like,” in Hebrew being ­“k’mo,” doesn’t appear nor does anything resembling it. Secondly, “mish-k’veh” is plural. Lyings down with woman does not refer to committed homosexual relationships. It is a condemnation of participating in the ritualistic orgies of the surrounding nations.

Instead, he treads lightly on loving all Jews while, of course, leaving open the allowance to condemn their actions without mentioning specifics. Readers of this portion know those specifics.

I, for one, am disappointed in the rabbi’s unwillingness to address this topic in a way that would start a discussion on the portion’s contemporary relevance.

Maurice Feldman, Wyncote

Disappointed By Lack of Support for Program

I read with great disappointment a story in the April 11 Exponent regarding the refusal by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to support a program organized by AISH Philadelphia with the participation of Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes (“Israel Advocacy Stirs Passion in the Community”).

As described, the reason for the refusal was Federation’s feeling that the program would not be balanced. In other words, these two distinguished thinkers, whose unwavering support for Israel is well known and who do not hesitate to call Islamism and Islamists what they truly are — a menace to the civilized world in general and to Israel in particular — somehow provide an unbalanced view and thus are “outside the tent”!

At the same time, an organization like J Street, whose major donor is a leftist billionaire and major Israel antagonist, George Soros, and which gets high marks from groups like CAIR and reportedly also receives funding from Muslim sources, is somehow “inside the tent” and thus gets a seat at the table.

Jeffrey Gladstein, Penn Valley

Jewish Food Is as Important as Jewish News

I’ve been enjoying the Exponent for decades. I always read the recipes first — and sometimes that is all I read.

Over the years, I have made many, many wonderful dishes from your food section. I could feel it shrinking recently and wanted you to know that I am upset. It just isn’t the same.

I am taking the time to tell you, when others may not. We get plenty of news on TV and the Internet so do not be surprised that many educated, smart people like me just want to find delicious and timely recipes from a place that kept them coming for so long.

Please do not lose the food section. Jewish food is as important as Jewish news, obits and announcements.

Erica Strause Peruzzi, Cheltenham

Editor’s Response: To all our recipe lovers, please be assured that we have no intention of cutting out our food section!


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