Jewish Values Conservative, Not Democratic
The article on JDCA Executive Director Halie Soifer (“Halie Soifer Leads JDCA Into Campaign Season,” May 16) quoted her saying that “Jews are ultimately Democratic because of their values.”
Like so many other left-leaning American Jews, Soifer assumes that Jewish values and the liberal/progressive values that the Democratic Party holds dear are synonymous. Rather, one could argue that Jewish values are more at home with conservative beliefs, which represent the core ideology of the Republican Party.
After all, conservative judges are the ones defending Jewish liberties under assault by activist judges, progressive organizations and Democratic-dominated city councils who have attempted to ban shechita (ritual slaughter), brit milah (ritual circumcision), eruvim and the construction and enlargement of synagogues in communities across America.
And while Democrats perpetuate a cycle of dependency on government subsidies by promoting the expansion of programs like welfare and Medicare, it is the core conservative (and Republican) principle of self-reliance that is also a core Jewish value.
Indeed, of Maimonides’ Eight Levels of Charity, “the greatest level is to support a fellow Jew by … finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others” (Mishnah Torah 10:7).
Jerry Stern | Merion Station
Holocaust Survivor Defends Israel
In response to the letter from J Street members (“Disappointed in Op-Ed,” May 16): What arrogance. It is so easy to criticize Israel. With sorrow I recall living in Germany, 1938, Dad lamented, “If only we were allowed to enter Palestine.”
Earlier, he had purchased land, but the English government refused us entry. Sadly, many European Jews could have survived had there been an Israel to welcome them.
This small nation has ample enemies. It is devastating especially after the Holocaust and present increase in anti-Semitism that we have Jewish groups, including J Street, who with impunity constantly find fault with this proud nation.
I urge you to allow the democratically elected leaders in Israel to make the difficult decisions about what is best for their country’s security.
Ronnie Breslow | Elkins Park