Letters the Week of March 12, 2015


Readers sound off on anti-Semitism, the Israeli elections and a movie about the Holocaust era in Poland.

Taking the Fast Lane to Solidarity

During last week’s Fast of Esther, prior to Purim, I fasted in solidarity with my ancestors, who fasted in fear and preparation for their imminent death. At the time, they didn’t know that their brave queen would save them. They didn’t know that God would make another miracle and spare them, yet again. Instead, they thought they were approaching death and decided to unite to support each other and remain faithful as Jews.
Jews also used to fast in preparation for wars. They fasted to remind themselves of the spiritual preparation necessary, so that they did not focus on the material aspects. I find this so inspiring today, as my focus moves away from “what am I going to eat for lunch?” and moves to a deeper reflection on the purpose of fasting and what it means to me.
I am fasting in solidarity with Jews around the world. Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is as real today as it was in the time of Esther. For an extreme example, we can look to the Holocaust, where Hitler almost succeeded in carrying out Haman’s plan. Or, we can look to two months ago to the events in France, in which Jews were attacked, terrorized and some were killed, only because of their religion. 
Sadly, every day, Jews are persecuted around the world, even in our own country. We hear horror stories of the anti-Semitism that exists on so many college campuses. Jews — adults, teenagers, children — live in fear of who may ridicule them next, who may attack them tomorrow. Today, I stand in solidarity with them, and with our ancestors. Unfortunately, as Jews, terror never seems so far away, but we can defeat this fear by standing strong and by standing together.
Leah Zebovitz | Sophomore, Franklin & Marshall College
Equal Time = Less Confusion
It’s true that for those of us living here in the United States, where our political system is so different, “Israel’s Elections are Confusing” (Cover story, Feb. 12). But that needn’t be the case, as those of us who heard Gershom Gorenberg’s New Israel Fund-sponsored talk at Rodeph Shalom in early February can attest.
It’s a shame that the Exponent couldn’t balance out its coverage of Israel a little more by attending and reporting on Gorenberg’s fair, insightful and respectful description and analysis of the current electoral situation.
Rabbi Alan LaPayover | Philadelphia
Exposing Film’s Dark Secret
Re: “ ‘Ida’ Wins Best Foreign Language Film, Individual Jews Also Come Up Big at Oscars” (Lifestyle & Culture, Feb. 26).
The article describes Ida as “a Polish film about a Catholic novitiate who learns she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed by the Nazis.” But what makes the story especially dark is that the parents were killed not by Nazis but by Polish peasants. 
Alan Luxenberg | Philadelphia


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