Letters | Mikvahs and Award-Winners


Correcting the Record on Mikvahs

Shir Ami Bucks County Congregation wishes Rosie Weinstein and Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein mazel tov on the groundbreaking of Bucks County’s third, not second, mikvah (“Newtown Mikvah to Break Ground,” Jan. 23).

Shir Ami opened Newtown’s first mikvah in 1998. We are one of the very few Reform synagogues in the country to operate a mikvah on our premises. Dozens of men, women and children new to Judaism come every year from the Greater Philadelphia area, Mercer County, New Jersey and beyond to our mikvah to complete their conversion. Individuals preparing for their wedding day use our mikvah. People who have survived a traumatic experience including abuse and other forms of domestic violence use the ritual of mikvah as part of their healing process.

We welcome people from all streams of Judaism to use our mikvah for its most traditional rituals and for contemporary rituals to mark transitional moments in people’s lives. It will be wonderful for Newtown to house a second mikvah in Newtown. While

awaiting that facility to be completed, we invite any member of the Jewish community to come to Shir Ami and use our mikvah.

Rabbi Charles K. Briskin | Shir Ami Bucks County Congregation

Award-Winner’s Local Ties

I realize this is kind of a distant relationship but I did a fair amount of research for my book at the Katz Center library and my daughter lives in Cherry Hill (“Jewish Book Award Winners Have Philadelphia Ties,” Jan. 23). Coming from a small family in Nebraska, I never win at Jewish geography so I have to emphasize even my tenuous ties. Thanks for the story.

Kenneth D. Wald | Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville

Cool It

It’s time to cool the hate, it’s time to cool the viciousness, it’s time to cool the irrationality (“No Longer Agreeing to Disagree: A Worrisome Change,” Jan. 23). We live in the greatest country in the world. Let’s keep it that way. That means we control our emotions, respect the Constitution, including the First Amendment, and understand that if we stop others from expressing their opinions, it’s inevitable that sooner or later others will do the same to us.
When the Exponent considers nixing the opinion section, we’re on the road to disaster. The First Amendment was placed first because if you can’t talk without fear, the very pillars of a free society are undermined. So here’s the bottom line: Are you willing to live with some frustration to hear another person’s opinion to insure that others will to do the same for yours? l

Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, New York


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