May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

What About the Other Jews?

I was delighted to read your Dec 2 op-ed article, entitled, “This Is the Greatest Threat to the Jewish Community,” by the Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union Rabbi Moshe Hauer. He is correct. The great tragedy of the massive assimilation and intermarriage of our people is far more damaging than antisemitism.

The Orthodox Union is worried about the assimilation within our own Orthodox ranks, and the “falling off the derech” of too many young adults, and has decided to focus their energies on our own. The lures of the secular culture are powerful and for many, it is difficult to believe in our Torah or stay fully observant.

He writes, “The Chanukah Menorah now must be lit inside the house, not publicly out towards the windows,” “The battle for religious freedom is waged within our own ranks,” “Our future will be made by the Judaism we live as families, by the consistent and immersive Jewish lives we create for ourselves and by the menorah burning bright in our homes.”

Rabbi Hauer hopes the many other organizations and institutions can reach out to the non-Orthodox and strengthen their religious connection.

Jonathan Rosenblum, in an excellent article reprinted in The Jewish Link from Sapir, “There Is More That Unites Us Than Divides Us,” on November 18, writes many specific ideas on how to reach out to non-religious Jews and have an effect on their Jewish lives, with friendship and warmth, invitations for Shabbos meals, studying texts with them, teaching them and explaining the beauty of Jewish living.

Chabad is lighting more than 15,000 public displays of Chanukah menorahs all around the world, touching and strengthening Jewish identity for hundreds of thousands. Many Jews are not Orthodox, but they are still connected! Many millions of Jews light menorahs but are not shomer Shabbos. Many millions of Jews eat matzah on Pesach and have a Seder, but do not keep Shabbat. God loves them and will not give up on them.

We must never give up on any Jew!

Martin Polack
Teaneck
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