The crisis in Syria remains a challenge for western powers. The United States and Russia must work together to resolve it. If the outside world intervenes militarily, it will be in the middle of a vast ethnic conflict. If it doesn’t intervene, it will be caught in a humanitarian tragedy.
As Jews living in the post-Holocaust era, we ought to be sympathetic to the powerless in war-torn countries. Yes, even with enemies of Israel – as I once heard an Israeli army captain say to his troops in the Golan in the 1970s. Can you tell the difference between an Israeli baby crying out of hunger and/or pain and a distressed Syrian child? We know the answer, yet we do nothing to assist those innocent victims in Syria today. It’s shameful what we close our eyes to. The world closed its eyes to us, our relatives in Europe during World War II. The Syrian crisis is a test of our character and values in the West, and yes, the Jewish community worldwide. Compassion is for those who need our assistance – the young, the elderly, the disabled – regardless where they may be. As Jews, we cannot allow the politics of a global event to dictate whether we provide assistance to a group that is being victimized. We must never forget our history of victimization.
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Idea for Mideast peace
Using the continuity of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel during the last 2,000 years, it might be possible to convince the Palestinians that at no time did the Jews ever lose title to their homeland, the Land of Israel. Thus the Palestinians might lose the heart to continue the fight against Israel, as the basis for their fight seems to be the idea that Muslims do not let non-Muslims take over Muslim territory. But if the Land of Israel never was Muslim territory, then the possession of the Land of Israel might lose much of its relevance to Muslims. To those who think such a resolution is not possible, one must ask, has such a resolution ever been tried? A lot of other resolutions have been tried with little success. After all, when did the Jews ever surrender or abandon their homeland? Perhaps it’s time for something apparently really unusual and different. What, after all, is there to lose with such an approach? It doesn’t appear that lives have to be lost on either side with such an approach.
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Wants help discovering who he is
I am writing this letter out of some frustration that I feel about a situation that I consider unfair and hypocritical.
My maternal grandfather’s name was Siegfried Weinberg. He was a German Jew who was born in Germany. I do not know much of his family, but I guess that the Weinbergs had been settled in Germany for many generations. He married a German non-Jew, and my mother and my uncle were born from that union. All was well until the Nazis came to power. So my grandfather took his family to the United States in October 1939 and then on to Canada. There was a lot of prejudice in Canada then, so my grandfather changed his name to avoid this prejudice.
My mother married a non-Jew, so I am one-fourth Jewish. I am proud of my Jewish ancestry. I am trying to learn about the Jewish faith, and I have a Talmud that I am trying to study. I know that under Jewish law, I am not a Jew. But I feel like a Jew. Most of my mother’s family in Europe is gone, because they were exterminated. My mother was called names and spit on when she came to Canada because of who she was and that fact that she spoke only German and Yiddish. A lot of Jews will not give me the time of day because “I am not a Jew.” I find this attitude unfair and hypocritical. I am just asking for some compassion and help in discovering who I am.
P.O. Box 4510