Letters the Week of August 15, 2013


Readers respond to an opinion piece about recent Jewish scandals and offer another slant on Poland's ban on kosher slaughter.

What Other Jews Do Reflects Upon All of Us

In Burt Siegel’s “The Real Jewish Heroes: Do They Even Exist?” (Opinion, Aug.8), the author writes, referring to feelings of pride and shame for what other Jews do, “I would like to think that such emotions are things of the past”; in addition, he states: “But what disturbs me more are the Jews who think this incident somehow reflects on the rest of us.”

We are a tiny tribe of people that has always been singled out for hatred and prejudice, and we are often a high-profile people. What every Jew does most certainly reflects on all of us whether we like it or not — and no matter how tenuous that person’s relationship is to the Jewish people. We cringe and are shamed, and we are proud — these emotions are not things of the past, at least not with me. Personally, I love seeing Jewish names associated with good things going on in the community. I have no idea if I am in the minority about this.

Except for a few factual statements, I disagree with almost the entire article. I also take issue with the generally unpleasant and negative attitude and tone throughout.

Lisa Sandler, Pipersville

Poland’s Ban Isn’t ‘Unmitigated Anti-Semitism’

Poland’s recent actions banning kosher slaughter (Opinion: “Kosher Slaughter Ban Shows Poland Has a Jewish Problem,” Aug. 1) need not be looked at as unmitigated anti-Semitism. It is also an illustration that what we today consider humane treatment of animals has changed.

Jewish methods of ritual slaughter are not divinely ordained; only the permitted species are. The rest is rabbinical interpretation that was appropriate when formulated.

The rabbis of the different streams of Judaism should now come together to define kashrut for today’s condition. This condition includes factory farming, factory slaughter and mass marketing of kosher products. A new definition should include technology change over the past 2,000 years, as well as a focus on a modern definition of humane treatment of animals from birth to slaughter, as well as ethical business practices to provide availability and competitive prices in the mass market.

It’s too bad the secular community has to inform us.

D. Korenstein, Wayne

Cover Story Took the Side of Israel’s Enemy

Not being Fox News, the Exponent does not have to be “fair and balanced,” but I would think as a Jewish-oriented paper, you would not be taking the side of the enemy of Israel.

Your Aug. 8 front-page JTA article, “Why Such Urgency in Kerry’s Push to Forge Deal,” is a piece seen through the eyes of the Palestinians only. Where is the balance in Ron Kampeas’ piece. He should at least look like he cares about Israel’s survival.

He mentions Syria and Egypt, he mentions “core” issues, but not once does he mention Israel’s right to exist.

Civilizations exist because, over time, people learn to live together and obey rules set up by governments.

When the Arabs begin to care more about making a better life for their communities and their countries — instead of fomenting hate against Israel — they will have begun to mature and be part of the civilized world.

Ron Wolf, Warrington


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