Speaking up for Trump
Those people spray-painting hateful, racist graffiti on some Canadian churches, mosques and synagogues are vandals (“In Ottawa, a new wave of anti-Semitism,” Nov. 24). They could just as easily be supporters of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, apolitical or even anarchists. Naturally, some who are against Trump or Republican policies might be inclined to blame Trump. But the experts you cited were merely speculating.
It’s worth knowing Trump spoke out clearly in a television interview with 60 Minutes’ reporter Lesley Stahl against those committing violence, saying, “I hate to hear that… I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together… I am saddened to hear that. And I say stop it. If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.” Those are strong and healing words that the nation needed to hear.
Trump won the election fairly and promised to work on behalf of the best interests of all American citizens. He will take the oath of office as president to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States. Let’s hope for the best and give him a chance to try to improve the well-being of his country’s people. Let’s not rush to blame him, without any evidence, for some hateful acts of vandalism in Canada.
Penny Hassan , Montreal
I belong to a Jewish group, all professionals, who celebrate the victory of Donald Trump. Any rational research of his proposed cabinet will reveal potentially the strongest U.S. supporters of Israel since 1948. This includes Steve Bannon, former executive chair of Breitbart News, which was conceived in Jerusalem by Andrew Breitbart, who was Jewish. The website maintains a 10-person staff in Israel.
The right thing to do for the Jewish community is to get over this obsession with the left, who seem to love everyone and every cause except themselves and their own. Rather, they should put their energy into the unconditional support of Israel.
Saul Glober, Toronto
Dealing with difficult people
Lauren Kramer describes her deceased Uncle Dan in very negative terms in one story after another (“The family tree’s heaviest branch,” Dec. 15).
Only at the end of the column does she offer the observation that “the only choice we have is in how we live our lives – whether we infuse it with love… or, as in Uncle Dan’s case, if we allow the chip on our shoulder to fill us with fury and malice.”
There are difficult relationships, injured souls, imperfect people all around us, and they are also to be found in our Torah. Our sacred text, rather than a telling of the lives of people who were perfect, is instead filled with examples where the protagonists are less than perfect. Our rabbis and sages have much to say on how we can learn from challenging situations and individuals.
This article should have been more than just a screed against a dead relative. We could all use some serious advice and insight when it comes to dealing with difficult people and distinguishing between challenging relationships and abusive ones.
Lana Rottenberg, Toronto
Leonard Cohen remembered
Thank you for turning the spotlight on Leonard Cohen’s poetry for a change (“The books that got away: Leonard Cohen in the ‘70’s,” Dec. 15).
It was refreshing to read about his poems in print, and it was important to me, since I came to love Cohen’s work as a wordsmith first, long before I knew he was a songwriter. Moreover, both books you highlight, Death of a Lady’s Man and The Energy of Slaves, continue to be sources of great inspiration for me. I turn to them quite often in moments of disillusionment, despair and general malaise. Words as medicine, if you will.
Cohen will be missed, but hopefully his poetry will no longer remain stored away in “secret books” and will keep finding new, younger audiences. Your article should help.
Jason Santerre, Verdun, Que.
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