Not a subject for debate
Jonathan Kay engages in intellectual jousting with his mother, Barbara Kay, on an issue that is far too serious to be viewed as a proposition to be argued in some debate society (“Kay vs. Kay”).
The words he uses to contend that Jews who stand in line with the enemies of Israel are not malicious or dangerous do not diminish the anxiety that many of us feel for the future of our children, grandchildren and our brothers and sisters in Israel.
He is either too naive or too wishfully hopeful that the crescendo of the anti-Semitic symphony we are hearing will not lead to the same tragic consequences which have plagued the Jewish People. The fact that Jews are performers in this orchestra betrays a monumental historical amnesia.
The state of the Jewish family
I enjoyed reading Marilyn Lazar’s “Modern seder raises more than four questions,” (April 21).
It was a beautifully written piece, except for one thing: her underlying thesis. Is the familial dismemberment plaguing the modern Jewish family, mirroring the faltering footsteps of the non-Jewish world, a light unto that world or a reflection of its failings? Is it something we should “lovingly” embrace or honestly question?
The more we embrace, the less true, I suggest, we are to ourselves and the less demanding we become of ourselves.
When familial disarray is made the new family norm, Jewish decline becomes a self-realizing and self-justifying social phenomenon. Broken families become “blended” families. Disarray equals diversity, conflict pretends to be harmony, and judgment is confused with the judgmental. Self-deception is seductive and self-soothing.
A warning for parents
Kudos to Lauren Kramer “We owe it to our kids to expose sexual predators.”
As a high school student, I used to go to Hillel hoping to attract a Jewish boyfriend. I used the library during these visits.
Once the rabbi came into the library, shut the door and asked me to sit beside him. He then proceeded to rub my legs. I was shocked and probably my face showed it. He said,“ I won’t hurt you dear.”
Just then laughing voices coming up the stairs became audible. The rabbi opened the door.
My friend wanted me to report it. I did not want to, envisioning having to meet with staff and the rabbi, and I did not want to go through the trouble. I told my friend not to report it. I felt thankful that the rabbi’s approach was limited to a touch.
I am writing to warn parents to discuss this possibility with both their sons and their daughters. Just because someone holds an official position in Judaism, or any other religion, is no guarantee they won’t be an abuser.
Name withheld on request
No haven in Israel
Maya Fennig’s op-ed is remarkable for its insight, clarity and understanding of Jewish values and social justice (“Let’s remember Israel’s refugees from Sudan and Eritrea”).
It’s a breath of fresh air amid the foul manoeuverings of the Israeli government against the African asylum seekers in Israel. They are refugee claimants under international law. Their lives are being made intolerable by bigoted politicians fomenting vicious public animosity against them, while Israel incarcerates them as “infiltrators” instead of hearing their cases in a compassionate and timely manner.
Canadian immigration law permits a group of people to sponsor a refugee or refugee family and to assist with their integration into Canadian society. We are proud that Canada has this unique path for refugees to come here. As Jews, we are ashamed that Israel, calling itself a “Jewish state,” denies one of the most fundamental characteristics of Judaism and menschlichkeit.
Gilda and Bernard Katz, Sylvia Lustgarten, Harriet and Andrew Lyons, Shlomit Segal and Lev Jaeger, Max Wallace