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United Church must change focus

 

The United Church should really get out of the boycott business. (“Group mobilizes against United Church boycott,” The CJN, Dec. 19.) After preaching hatred of Jews for nearly 2,000 years, the Christian church is hardly a neutral party. There are more than two million Canadians out of work and needing assistance. Why not help people here at home, rather than extending yourself 5,800 miles to a situation you may not fully understand.

Edward J. Farkas

Toronto

 

Silence doesn’t defeat hatred

 

Josh Morry, a representative of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union, might have history, logic, common sense and the moral high ground on his side in his efforts to call out Israel/Jew-hatred on his campus at U of M (“To protest or not to protest,” The CJN, Dec. 26), but does that make his decision to counter Israel/Jew-hating lies a wise decision?

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) believes that all historical evidence showing that Jew-hatred rhetoric precedes Jew-hatred violence  no longer applies.

But CIJA would be wiser to take notice of three important and irrefutable facts: First, Israel is more politically isolated than ever, facing numerous boycott resolutions from academics, student, teacher, union and church groups worldwide. Second, it was because of vocal advocacy that hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews escaped persecution at home and helped bring an end to racial segregation in the United States and South Africa. Finally, there is no evidence showing the benefits of silence in the face of hate and lies.

Steven Werner

Dundas, Ont.

 

Kudos to The CJN

 

I am writing to commend The CJN team for increasing your coverage of diverse Jews and Jewish communities in far away lands. It’s imperative that we, Ashkenazi Jews in particular, but all Canadian Jews, start to realize that Jews come in all colours, have lived in every country on the planet and that emerging and re-emerging Jews need our support, beginning with recognition and inclusion.

The Nov. 28 edition really struck me, and I was so excited that I sent The CJN web link to friends all over the world, for there were no fewer than seven stories that dealt with diverse Jews. Amazing!

As chair of the Jewish diversity committee of Congregation Darchei Noam and now also founding president of the Canadian Friends of Kulanu, I commend you.

Andria Spindel

Toronto

 

Lev Tahor responds

 

I read the editorial “Let’s wait to pass judgment” (The CJN, Dec. 26), and I agree with every word.

If someone forces a person into marriage, it is a crime against humanity and against the Torah. If someone abuses a child, it is also a crime against humanity and against the Torah. If we know someone like this in our community, we will be the first to hold him responsible for his actions.

Regarding the kidnapping charges against Lev Tahor leader Shlomo Helbrans, there was no claim at all that the rabbi abducted a child. The charges  only allege that the rabbi gave the child, who was running away from his mother, advice by phone on where to run.

While the legality of such action in New York is in doubt, the accuracy of the allegation is also in doubt, since it was denied by the child himself during a trial and he continues to deny it 20 years later, now that he is secular and has served in the Israeli army.

We would be more than happy if the court removed the publication ban from the court documents, so that every reporter can see the nonsense of these allegations. We are also always ready to co-operate fully with authorities.

Nachman Helbrans

Lev Tahor

Chatham, Ont.

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