Week of June 30, 2016

Week of June 30, 2016

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Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO
Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO

Mount Sinai memories

A nice surprise happened when I opened the June 16 edition of our CJN. The article on Jewish hospitals showed a picture of my father, Dr. Simon Fines, examining a boy at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was accompanied by Dorothy Dworkin and, I am quite sure, E.F. Singer, the then chairman of the board.

The date on the photo of 1923 could not be correct, as my father did not graduate from University of Toronto’s medical school until 1930. Then he was hired as the hospital’s second medical intern. The first was my uncle, Dr. Milton Raymers, in 1929.

My father went on to be the first superintendent (medical director), to be hired by Dworkin and Singer, in 1932, and he stayed until 1954, with the second Mount Sinai building having just been completed. He guided the hospital to gain its first accreditation and was the first to suggest the use of covered plates with a hot stone under the plate to keep patients’ meals warm.

He was much loved by the community for his modesty, honesty, egalitarian spirit and leadership during that time.

Joyce Fines Dain 

Hamilton, Ont.


More advice to graduates

I commend Yoni Goldstein on his excellent list of advice to graduates.

I would add that graduates should not forget their Jewishness, and I do not mean just religion, but fighting anti-Semitism and supporting Israel, whether it be joining socially active Jewish groups and even running for political office where their voices can be heard. Additionally, they should be active in charitable organizations and contribute to society other than their chosen profession.   

Bert Raphael 

Toronto


Take the fear out of broccoli

Why did the rabbinate not obsess about bugs in fresh produce 50 years ago? (“The nuances of being a kosher vegetarian”).

This zeal has created an unfortunate situation of avoidance, in which certain fruits and vegetables are being banned or avoided unless bearing a “checked’ certification. This began all of a sudden about 20 years ago. Why?

Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, yet their consumption is surrounded by a climate of anxiety unless they undergo rigorous de-bugging. As a kosher-observant vegetarian and health-conscious consumer, I give my vegetables a good soaking in water (or water and vinegar) and have yet to find an insect in a head of cauliflower.

Dorothy Lipovenko 

Montreal 


Victimhood drives policy

Quoting Charles Krauthammer, Rabbi Dow Marmur writes, “memory is sacred, but victimhood cannot be the foundation stone of Jewish identity.” (“There’s more to Polish Jewry than the Holocaust”).

That’s news to every politically successful minority in the western world today. Political power today rests on pride of victimhood. That incontrovertible fact may be a distressing commentary on the Realpolitik that defines anti-Zionist ideology today and drives human rights policy in progressive liberal democracies. But it is ignored at our own risk by Jewish sages who fail to heed its disarming lessons or instil them in the next generation of
Jewish political activists – unless, of course, the Chosen People are exempt from the contemporary rules of political success that govern all other historic minorities.

Perhaps our youngsters visiting concentration camp sites should take better care to not wrap themselves in the Israeli flag, for it might offend our generous hosts.

Stefan Braun 

Thornhill, Ont.


Israel and the Diaspora

Diaspora Jews should not have a voice in Israeli politics (“Kay vs. Kay: round 2. Is Benjamin Netanyahu a cynical opportunist or a political realist? Discuss”).

We live in the comfort and security of the United States or Canada. We have no real idea of daily life in Israel, what the people live with, their vital security needs, and what policies should be in place.

Janet Sherman   

Toronto 

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