Letters | Religious Observance and Religious Freedom


Jewish Objection to Religious Observance a Disheartening Outcome

As a Jew by choice for nearly 50 years, I was disheartened to read that the Senecals had more support from the non-Jewish members of the board than their Jewish brethren, with one person telling them they consulted with a rabbi who said, “Shabbat rules are 2,000 years old and are no longer applicable” (“Orthodox Family Feels Trapped on Shabbat,” July 12). What a shanda.

This is not the first time I’ve heard stories like this, of Jews being trolled by “our people.” A friend decided to pull her young daughter out of the school she was attending because one of the other Jewish girls taunted her about bringing a kosher lunch to school. Years ago, one of my friends who taught Hebrew school was blasted by a parent who freaked out that he was showing his students where to find the hechsher on food packaging.

I know there have probably always been Jews self-conscious about the display of outward appearances of theirs or other people’s Jewishness. But as Jews exercise their G-d-given freewill, some seem to think their freewill entitles them to shame fellow Jews for being “too Jewish.” Is this what we have become in the 21st century, intolerant of our own people?

Rachel Garber | Philadelphia

Humanist Adds Voice to Anti-Kavanaugh Crowd

I was heartened to see a recent op-ed examining the threat to religious freedom that Judge Brett Kavanaugh poses (“The Supreme Battle,” July 11). This is an interfaith issue that spans both faith and philosophy as we all seek to be free from government intrusion in our personal beliefs.

As a humanist, I share in the commitment to compassion and care, and see the threat to secular principles that this potential Supreme Court justice promises.

As “well-informed thinkers and doers,” I join with those urging each and every progressive person to call upon his or her senator and let them know that our values will not fold, and neither should they.

Roy Speckhardt | Executive Director, American Humanist Association


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