June 21, 2024
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June 21, 2024
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Don’t Preach Communal Responsibility

I was deeply disturbed by the letter to the editor entitled “Communal Responsibility” (January 14, 2021); so much so that I lay awake pondering it.

First, I very much enjoy reading The Jewish Link. We also have spent many beautiful Shabbats in Teaneck.

The letter got to my core because it is written very well, is persuasive, but is also deeply flawed. I want to share my insights. The contributor negates the premise of American democracy where we are allowed to make our own personal and informed decisions. Mr. Appelbaum tells his co-community members who voted for Trump that “they did not commit any crimes.” The mere fact that he repeatedly feels the need to write this is really shocking. Of course no one committed a crime in their vote, and no one on either side should be guilt shamed either!

Furthermore, he goes on to imply that if you voted for Trump because Israel is your number one priority you are being disloyal to the United States. Respectfully, one can have dual loyalty. That is the beauty of the relationship between Israel and the U.S. And lets not forget that it is only because of the state of Israel that we live freely as Jews in the diaspora.

I would never have the chutzpah to tell anyone who to vote for. I will not make you feel guilty for your right to vote in our “beloved America” or even worse tell you to look into your soul to face what you have done—“cheshbon hanefesh!” So please stop this preaching, and let’s begin the work to move forward together—“one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

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