Letters to the Editor: More Political Debate


Runyan Is Right
It is good to hear Rabbi Joshua Runyan’s voice again — a voice that speaks with logic and compassion (“Why Trump’s Not Getting This Orthodox Vote: He’s Neither Good for the Jews, Nor for Judaism,” Sept. 10).

His editorial is well thought-out. First, he lists the positive he’s seen in the Trump administration and then the longer list of negatives. He comes to the conclusion that Trump is neither good for Jews or Judaism. And, of course, for the country. I hope more in the Jewish community agree with him.

Diane Kenion | Philadelphia

Runyan Is Wrong
As a response to Joshua Runyan, former editor-in-chief of the Jewish Exponent, attorney in Center City and rabbi, I am surprised at the opinion piece he wrote on “this Orthodox vote” and President Trump, taking the highly presumptuous position that “he’s neither good for the Jews, nor for Judaism.”

Besides the fact that the op-ed is short on facts, it also contradicts the position on the state of Israel, home to millions of other Jews who take a very different position from Runyan.

Jeffrey M. Melin | Meadowbrook

None of the Above
Appreciated that the Exponent presented opposing views from Orthodox representatives (Opinion, Sept. 10) regarding the choice for president.

As Binyamin Rose reminded readers, President Trump uses communication in a way that all too often is at variance with Torah guidance for appropriate conduct.

On the other hand, Rabbi Runyan’s framing the vice president as a principled leader, referring to the current reckoning over slavery and the failure of Reconstruction, and his ability to not be divisive, in a way, reflects limited exposure to wider narratives which affect perception of the nature of these matters.

Quoting Runyan’s preference for “intellectual honesty,” after reviewing conduct by his preferred choice in a more informed manner, and exploring the “principled way” the parties have behaved, including destroying character with innuendo and false assertions, in opposition to Torah principles, his advocacy should be for “none of the above.”

As is, a vote for documented falsehood, questionable mental competency, language demonizing the other (projection of; the shadow kind) is a vote for enabling a continued sense of victimhood and division. The helpful focus is with transcending demonization and partisanship, not enabling the status quo.

Rick Koven | Philadelphia

What-Aboutism Doesn’t Acknowledge Facts
Binyamin Rose purports to carefully weigh both sides in concluding that he will vote for President Trump (“Many Orthodox Jews Support President Trump. I’m One of Them — Here’s Why,” Sept. 10). He instead unevenly evaluates the two candidates. To give one example: Rose freely acknowledges the “major uptick” in anti-Semitism from Trump’s “divisive rhetoric,” yet finds this matched by the support by “Democratic progressives” of the BDS movement. He then asks: What’s the bigger threat for an Orthodox Jew: “A far-right extremist in a distant rural town or a looter in a Jewish neighborhood?”

This what-aboutism approach is factually outrageous. White supremacy is excused by Trump; there is no similar pro-BDS statement from Biden, whose decades-long support for Israel is well-known.

Secondly, looting (anywhere) has been roundly denounced by Biden, even as he supports free speech protest.

Last, I do not view the shooting at the Tree of Life complex in Pittsburgh to be in a “distant rural town.”

Marc Schneier | Dresher


  1. In Politics.

    In politics it seems this year, that when you’re right you’re proudest
    But when you’re left, you’re also right and also scream the loudest
    So, if you’re right, you’re really right
    And if you’re left you’re right
    And if you just don’t give a damn, well, that’s not right then, right?
    Let’s hope that this election doesn’t break up any friends
    That would be a real big shame to really put an end
    To life long friendships ‘cause you’re right or
    ‘Cause you’re left you’re right
    So, let’s stop all this silliness
    Peace out, ✌️ my friends, good night!

    Nanette Schriftman


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