Welcome, Rabbi Lopatin
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article “Mixed Welcome” (page 10, June 21, 2018, issue).
Our Metro Detroit Jewish community is distinguished by its diversity and inclusion. There is practically a place of worship for each and every Jew, and with the addition of Rabbi Asher Lopatin and his wife, Rachel, a real ezer k’neged throughout his rabbinical career, it’s going to be even more so, and I look forward to it.
Granted, the kind of inclusive Judaism that Rabbi Lopatin espouses and follows is in variance with Orthodoxy, but my wish is that he will be welcomed by each and every one of our Orthodox rabbis, even if they aren’t able to completely agree with him. Let’s make the wide tent of Judaism in our Metro Detroit Jewish community even bigger and wider. I personally extend my bruchim habaim (welcome) wishes to Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Rebetzin Rachel Lopatin and their four children.
Embracing All Jews
The JN article states that “[Rabbi Lopatin’s] position on gay marriage is what raises the ire of Orthodox rabbis both locally and nationally.” While this is true, it is important to note that in the Book of Tanya, Chapter 32, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Chassidic movement, cites Talmudic sources that the mitzvah of loving a fellow Jew as yourself applies to even those Jews who stray from a Torah lifestyle. Although the Orthodox tradition rejects homosexual activity, we certainly accept every Jew: intermarried or not, kosher or not, Shabbat-observant or not, straight or gay. We may disagree with their belief system, but we embrace all Jews.
Rabbi Elimelech Silberberg
Sara Tugman Bais Chabad Torah Center
Trump’s Outrageous Policies
I understand how many Jews are rejoicing over some of President Trump’s actions: the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem and the tentative rapprochement with North Korea; but there isn’t a day where there isn’t some new outrageous policy posted in tweets contrary to the ethos of our country, i.e. America.
That’s what’s most disturbing; that as Jews we are not united in condemning his most grievous acts related to immigration, the environment, relationships with our allies and his personal conduct.
I welcome the views of Trump supporters, but I suspect if they travel abroad this year they will encounter the same disbelief and despair that I feel. Every day brings more bluster and blundering from the White House. Sad!
FDR’s Legacy Of Indifference
Regarding Dr. Medoff’s commentary “Stop Making Excuses for FDR’s Abandonment Of The Jew” (page 8, June 21, 2018, issue), Breckinridge Long, a personal friend of FDR, was the American assistant secretary in charge of the Immigrant Visa Division during most of WWII. Long instituted policies that delayed and obstructed nearly all immigration into the United States. Long, an admirer of Hitler and Mussolini, believed that immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants, were either communists or spies.
The mountain of bureaucratic paperwork required for anyone to immigrate into the United States was meant to deliberately delay all Jewish immigration into America. For example, German immigrants applying for visas were required to show five copies of the visa application, two copies of a birth certificate, an Affidavit of Good Conduct from German authorities, a satisfactory physical examination, proof of permission to leave Germany, proof that the immigrant had already booked passage to America, and two sponsors in America who preferably were close relatives and who were American citizens. Sponsors were required to supply a certified copy of their federal tax return, an affidavit from a bank about their accounts and an affidavit from an employer or a statement of commercial rating.
Although Franklin Roosevelt is largely credited for defeating Hitler, the largest stain on his reputation remains his indifference to an immigration policy that estimates indicate could have saved nearly 200,000 Jewish men, women and children.