Letters | Amendments and Lexicon


First Amendment Not Really the ‘First’

I read editor-in-chief Joshua Runyan’s column about the First Amendment with interest (“Thinking About the First Amendment,” Aug. 22). It raised some important issues that have to be thought about when pondering the amendment’s meaning.

However, he states that the Founding Fathers thought the principles of the First Amendment were so “foundational” that the amendment was the “first” of the Bill of Rights.

This continues a misassumption about the First Amendment. The first Congress submitted 12 possible amendments to the states in 1791. The current first was the third amendment submitted. The first two were not ratified at that time. One dealt with apportionment of the House of Representatives. If that had passed, we would now have about 6,000 congress-people.

The second prohibited raising congressional salaries unless an election intervened from the approval by Congress and the approval of the amendment by the states. This became the 28th Amendment, about 40 years ago.

Jay Sklar | Philadelphia

Not in the Jewish Lexicon

A recent article tells of a new Sephardi shul in Rhawnhurst and a “christening” of the Torah and space (“Sephardi Synagogue to Open in Rhawnhurst,” Aug. 22). Come on! Jews don’t christen people or places.

“Christen” means approved in Christ’s name. Educate your writers. l

David Mermelstein | Elkins Park


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