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Letters to the Editor - Volume 2, Number 2
Letters to the Editor - Volume 2, Number 2
Volume 2 , Issue 2

Dear Editor:

I received my copy of Volume 2, number 1 of The Jewish Review. This is my first exposure to it.

Please accept my congratulations for this very fine publication. The articles are full of intelligent comment and important insights--especially Ira Berkowitz' plan for Jewish Literacy, Rabbi Basil Herring's reflections on the tensions between truth, unity and principle, and the sensitive and powerful interview with Rabbi Marc Angel about death and life and on being an orphaned adult, to mention only a few.

Equally heartening was the openness of the tone. While solidly based on Orthodox values and observance, you show consistent respect for the non-Orthodox, the non-observant and people that you are trying to reach. Even such little touches as the comment ?use of the male or female pronoun should be understood to refer to both genders? shows a sensitivity to values that are not always respected in the Orthodox community.

In short, you have the promise of being an important publication that can speak to a wise variety of people and bring them closer to Torah. May your work prosper and go from strength to strength.

Rabbi Irving Greenberg

[Rabbi Greenberg is a founder and current President of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.]

Dear Editor:

In the September-October, 1988 issue of The Jewish Review appeared an article on Yemenite Jewry by Andrew Krakauer. In his article, the author states that anti-religious Zionists sought to destroy the religiousity [sic] of Yemenite Jewry. The implication is that all Zionists are anti-religious. This is simply not so. Some Zionists are anti-religious--others are not. Rav Kook and his followers, for example, were and are Zionists, but religious. Mr. Krakauer should have said that anti- religious elements were involved, not anti-religious Zionists. Mr. Krakauer would be advised to choose his words more carefully.

Joseph Rosenbloom

Dear Editor:

?A Women's View? in your last issue states the ?process of separation [between wife and husband during menstruation] parallels the relationship between the Jewish people and God.? This metaphor conflicts with some basic Jewish concepts regarding the nature of God, freedom of choice, accountability and reward and punishment.

In Deuteronomy, Chapter 30, God tells the People of Israel they will be rewarded if they keep His commandments and punished, ifthey do not. ?... I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life ...? The People of Israel are given the choice of nearness to or estrangement from God. On the other hand, menstruation is a natural biological process over which women have little, if any, control. Menstruation is not an act of free will.

Applying the metaphor and saying separation and reunion with God is like the separation and reunion with a husband as the result of menstrual cycles, implies a belief in a fickle God whose mood swings are determined by time and nature and are not a response to our actions. This is not a God who ?grants kindness to a pious man according to his deeds and gives adversity to a wicked man according to his wickedness,? (Yigdal) and not the God of Judaism.

Conversely, saying the separation and reunion between husband and wife is like the separation and reunion between God and Israel as the result of Israel's transgressing or keeping the commandments, equates conjugal separation with punishment and menstruation with sin! I do not know of any Judaic source that supports this point of view.

Barbara Mazor

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