Letters to the Editor: ‘Hateful’ Torah Portion


Torah Portion Makes Hateful Generalizations
Unlike most of the Torah portion submissions, Rabbi Jankovitz’ “The Question of Unity” (Jan. 28) is not a “perspective on Torah commentary” as envisioned by the Board of Rabbis, but a shameless excuse to engage in a blatantly political and hateful rant that has nothing to do with the Torah, but much to do with the author’s left-wing politics.

Yes, hateful, as the writer manages to demonize half of the population of this great country while making arguments for ostracizing them or worse. The article is full of generalizations, short on specifics and long on outright lies. And it ends with a lie.

No, Rabbi, this Jew who happens to be a Republican, just like the tens of millions of us, Jews and non-Jews alike, is not part of some sort of a cabal who “sought to destroy [you]” or eager to debate civil liberties every four years as you stated — this is because we believe they are not up for debate, period.

And no, we have nothing in common with few, yes few, idiots and scum who attacked the Capitol.
And finally, unlike you, we have the decency and common sense not to equate you and other good people on the political left with the death and destruction that your fellow travelers inflicted over the past year.

Isaac Svartsman | Philadelphia

This is the most hateful column I can ever recall reading in the Exponent. I am surprised that a rabbi would write such a divisive and mean-spirited column.

Howard Lurie | via jewishexponent.com

Protect Israel’s Reputation
A news outlet that serves the Jewish community should care about the well-being of the Jewish state of Israel. Part of that well-being includes Israel’s reputation.

Yet in an online-only article from JTA asserting that a significant member of Congress was upset with Israel and accused it of depriving COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian-Arabs (“Some Democrats, Including Joaquin Castro and Rashida Tlaib, Criticize Israel on Vaccines for Palestinians” Jan. 27), author Ron Kampeas placed the most salient part of the story at the bottom rather than in the lead and/or the headline: The Palestinian-Arabs do not want the vaccine from Israel, nor, under the vaunted Oslo Accords, is Israel responsible for supplying the Palestinian-Arabs with vaccines. The Palestinian-Arabs are governed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and not Israel. Furthermore, Castro reveals his bias by accusing Israel of committing “occupation” in the quote the Exponent published. There is no “occupation.”

Since, in the article Israel is also accused of being “racist,” it is unfortunate Kampeas opted to omit from the article entirely the fact that all of Israel’s Arab citizens – be they Christian, Muslim, Druze, Baha’i or other — are receiving the vaccine along with Israel’s Jewish citizens.

Steve Feldman | Executive director, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, Zionist Organization of America

Student Writer Should Not Be Afraid
Sophia Rodney (“I’m a Student and I’m Afraid of Where My Party Is Headed,” Jan. 28) should not be afraid of where her party is headed. Certainly, the opinions of Democratic legislators are many and varied, and some may seem frightening. But there is nothing more frightening than a child (Israeli leadership) spoiled by parents (Trump and friends) who give the child everything he or she desires.

The huge majority of Democrats, and indeed those in the White House, will never want to see the slightest harm come to our longstanding ally in the Middle East. But this unwavering support should never be diminished by a desire for fair treatment for other constituencies in the area, as America seeks to reestablish its leadership and negotiating capability.

When, in my view, Israel’s leadership follows policies involving grabbing what it can that may not belong to it at the expense of other residents in the area, I cannot sit idly by without speaking out. I am sure some would say I am anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Not so. But I do support policies that are balanced and fair to all peoples in the Middle East, while at the same time guaranteeing Israel’s right to exist and to do so in peace.

Frank L. Friedman | Philadelphia


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