Letters – August 23, 2018
Should Iran’s Bad Year Be Made Even Worse?
Kobi Erez, representing the Zionist Organization of America, urges all of us to work on strangling the already struggling economy of Iran, keeping Iran from getting any kind of relief from Europe and, maybe ultimately, as he hopes, destroying its “current regime.” (“Iran’s Bad Year,” Aug. 9, 2018, page 6).
My eyes crossed, reading that. Yes, Iran’s government is anti-Semitic and militantly anti-Israel. But to deliberately inflict such terrible suffering on the more than 80 million people of Iran so that they rise up violently against it … Is that what we really want?
— Michael Dallen
Applauding The Various Shades Of Judaism
Two weekends ago, we happened to spend Shabbat at a Chabad small synagogue in Northern Virginia where we celebrated a granddaughter’s bat mitzvah. Following the Shabbat meal with the rabbi’s family, we sang, among others, the famous Hebrew song: Hineh ma tov u’ma na’im shevet achim gam yachad, translated to “how good and pleasant it is for brethren to sit together.” It is one of my favorite Hebrew songs, which I knew since early childhood in Israel and which I found especially poignant nowadays.
Each and every Shabbat eve, we attend the Kabbalat Shabbat service at B’nai Israel of West Bloomfield, where last Shabbat Eve we welcomed the Shabbat Queen, together with our friends and neighbors at Temple Kol Ami, also in West Bloomfield.
The siddurim — prayer books — were much different in the three aforementioned houses of worship and so were the songs that accompanied the coming of the Shabbat, but they were all beautiful and uplifting. It reminded me that our Judaism comes in different shades, all of them beautiful and just as Jewish, and we should applaud this diversity that characterizes our ancient faith.
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