Letters, the Week of Dec. 10, 2015


Community members discuss terrorism and the Jewish Exponent’s Holiday Guide.

Suggestions for “Questions”
Your Winter Holiday Guide is a professional, slick and well-done supplement. The article on page 48 titled, “Chanukah FAQ’s for Non-Jews,” caught my eye and raised several feelings. These included the following:
1. It is particularly well-written.
2. It is a much-needed perspective — too much that is written
at this time of year is focused on “commonalities,” rather than distinctions, between the various holidays occurring near
  each other from a calendar perspective.
3. The theme of religious freedom, and the need to fight for it, is primary, not “peace,” which is a primary theme of Christ-
mas. This could have been more deeply explored.
4. But most of all, the article is not in the best venue to reach its intended audience. The article’s content should be in a venue
that can reach a broad, non-Jewish audience, such as the In-
quirer or Daily News. I am aware that non-Jews do read the
  Exponent and its supplements, and that the article could be shared with non-Jews, but that is not as broad-based as I
would prefer. As a suggestion, I would encourage you to make it available to all schools, including private ones — religious
or otherwise, as a teaching opportunity. Maybe you could add a speaker if desired.
5. Keep up the good work, but target this type of material in a more directed manner. It could present a whole new educa- tional arena for the work of the Exponent.
Sanford M. Barth | Newtown Square
It Appears, at First Bush…
Just to let you know, I also interpreted this cover as decorations for a Chanukah bush. Next year, could you design a pictorial explicitly relating to the Jewish holiday of Chanukah?
Maxine Waxman | Wynnewood
Know Thine Enemy to Defeat Him
There are still those who blame successful terrorist recruitment on “lack of jobs,” “political oppression,” etc. But by now, it is well known that many, if not most of the “militants” have been and are middle- and upper-class with good educations and opportunities.
More realistically, the traditional rabbinic duality of yetzer ha-ra and yetzer ha-tov points out that every human is born with an evil inclination and a good inclination, with the evil predominant until one is molded into a decent human being.
What we are seeing are individuals who have plugged into an ideology that justifies, and even celebrates their evil inclination. Although especially vicious in a significantly powerful segment of Islam, it is not unique to Islam. The same process permeated various societies throughout history. Nazism was the most dangerous international plague during the last century. But, like Nazism, the manifestation cannot be combated and defeated with politically correct platitudes.
Arthur Rabin | Wynnewood


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