Letters | Food for Thought


A Different Kind of Dialogue Is Needed

Saundra Sterling Epstein of the Cheltenham Area Multi-Faith Council champions the need to build bridges and dialogue with individuals of our faiths (“Conducting Multi-Faith Dialogue More Important than Ever,” March 8).

She writes that “we find ourselves today in a most-difficult time of fractured loyalties, conflict, too many hurtful words and such.” The same could be said about the tensions within the Jewish community — maybe more so. Perhaps it is time for the Jewish community to put aside dialoguing with Christians and Muslims and concentrate instead on building better relations with people of our own faith.

Consider that Jews today may be just as divided as we were before the destruction of the Temple. Has the name-calling changed since antiquity? On our national mourning days of Tisha B’Av and Tzom Gedaliah, in addition to mourning the Temple’s destruction we mourn the loss of our sovereignty and of our homeland because of this baseless hatred and infighting.

Now is the time for in-reach and not outreach. The dictum of charity beginning at home should apply to eliminating the things that divide Jews from one another as well.

Joshua Goldstein | Ridgewood, N.J.

Another Reason for Sexual Harassment

A recent article bemoans the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Jewish community (“Female Rabbis Contend Sexual Harassment Persists,” Jan. 25). But that persistence is related to thousands of years of patriarchal primacy and gender bias within Judaism. That bias creates a context (and for some perpetrators an excuse) for continuing sexual harassment in addition to the influence of non-Jewish norms.

Anthony Moss | Philadelphia

Pro-Israel and AIPAC Not Necessarily Equivalent

A recent editorial seems to infer that the pro-Israel community and AIPAC are one and the same (“Dream Come True for AIPAC,” March 1). Some of us are pro-Israel, but not all of us are AIPAC supporters. We support Jews everywhere, but we do not always support the policies of the Israeli government.

Believe what you wish, that Trump administration policies will, in the long run, be better for Israel than what the Democrats have to offer. Maybe. But the president’s policies will not further the cause of peace anywhere. Once one side has grabbed all of its entitlements, a balanced peace will be harder to achieve.

Those who take a more balanced approach to the Middle East may turn out to be better friends for Israel than those who believe that Israel unquestionably should have everything it wants.

Frank Friedman | Philadelphia


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