April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

To the Editor:

I don’t believe I had ever seen a halachic decision rendered by a newspaper editorial until I was sent yours concerning metzitza bipeh, oral suctioning after ritual circumcision (editorial, August 28).

While your editorial board may feel that the practice runs afoul of Judaism’s forbiddance to endanger life, rest assured that the “unenlightened” halachic authorities (another first, as a tabloid judgment) who require the ritual are equally, in fact more keenly, aware of the cardinal importance of protecting human life. They, however, deign to disagree with the “facts” as you render them.

As do respected scientists, like Dr. Daniel Berman, Infectious Disease Specialist, Albert Einstein Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center; Brenda Breuer, Director of Epidemiologic Research; and Awi Federgruen, mathematician at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.

Those medical and statistical experts have gone on record as having reviewed all the “evidence” against metzitza bipeh and as having concluded that the practice “has never been proven to be related to, let alone a cause of HSV-1 in newborn infants.”

Those scientists, incidentally, belong to “modern Orthodox” communities where metzitza bipeh is rarely performed, have no ideological commitment to the issue, and offered their expertise entirely pro bono.

Editorials can certainly promote points of view, but they should avoid presenting opinions as facts, or gut feelings as halachic decisions.

Rabbi Avi Shafran
Director of Public Affairs
Agudath Israel of America

To the Editor:

I hope all those who grouse about liquor being served in a kosher restaurant, since it sends the wrong message, are also bothered when liquor is served at our kiddushim and smachot. I for one think it is better for liquor to be served by a legally bound adult rather than a border-line inebriated one. I would prefer beer be served in the house of dogs rather than the house of God.

Mark M. Zomick
Teaneck

To the Editor:

I refer to your article in the September 4th Edition of the Jewish Link. I also read the separate announcement in the same issue under the heading “Germany Agrees to Pay Child Survivors”.

I am a “Child Survivor” although I never call myself that, except that I am too old under the age definition of the Agreement. I am born March 14th 1927 and the Agreement arbitrarily starts at January 1st, 1928.

How was that age determined and for what reason?

I was 11 years old at the Kristallnacht and have a vivid memory of my father and uncle being arrested that night and my trip with mother to the Festhalle in Frankfurt to bring my father his winter coat only to be stopped from doing so by a wild horde of Nazis outside the building. I also remember very vividly my stopping on the way to school the next day, just a few hundred feet from the burning Friedberger Anlage Synagogue and watching the flames shooting out of the windows, and being told to go back home. I have given a 45 minute talk on my Holocaust experience in many schools and hotels in New York and New Jersey as well as to students and teachers in four different German schools in and around Frankfurt. Those memories and many others live with me through my life.

I am at a loss to understand the cut-off date of January 1st, 1928, and look forward to comments from Greg Schneider, vice-president of the Claims Conference.

Norbert Strauss
Teaneck

(Ed. note: Mr. Strauss’ letter was forwarded to Mr. Schneider and he promised a response.)

To the Editor:

L’shana Tovah!

As we enter 5775 together, I join with northern New Jersey’s entire Jewish community in celebrating this New Year, commemorating the year gone by, and remembering those we have lost.

Of course, our thoughts for peace and security extend further than our own hopes for our families, reaching beyond the boundaries of our homes and local communities to halfway around the globe in Israel. Over the past several months, Israel and the Jewish people have again been forced to defend themselves against the twin evils of terrorism and anti-Semitism. Many of us have have had numerous friends and family impacted by Hamas’ recent campaign of terror, and we have fervently prayed not just for their safekeeping, but for Israel’s overall security, and, most importantly, for peace.

I share your concerns and commitment to a strong Israel that continues to be a beacon of peace, hope and democracy for the Middle East.

Closer to home, many among us are still struggling to recover from the recent recession, whether it be in finding a good job or protecting their own home. We are lucky to live in the greatest nation on Earth, yet we must be mindful that there remain many families who still need our help. I share in your commitment to these neighbors in need, and will continue to advocate for them.

Together, we can make our communities – both at home and in Israel – stronger.

I hope that 5775 is a year of good health, much happiness, and continued success for you and your families!

Roy Cho
Democratic Candidate
for Congress – 5th Cong. District

 

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