Congratulations to Maayan Jaffe on her editorial on anti-Semitism (“Anti-Semitism is Alive And Well,” Nov. 22). Growing up in 21208 or 21209, or even 21217, or upper Park Heights or lower Park Heights or
Forest Park can be very blinding and narrow. And suddenly the real world hits one when it is time to go to college. Wow, there are people other than Jews. And, for the first time in one’s life, the terror of anti-Semitism is there. It can be very subtle, but it is there. What about the anti-Semitism of Jew against Jew, because one’s skirt is too long or too short or one’s arms are exposed or one’s black hat is different from another? And what about the Jew who is anti-Semitic against another who is not as religious and not even considered a Jew? Or the non-religious Jew who believes that observant Jews are living in the past? To me, Jew against Jew is the worst form of anti-Semitism.
My husband grew up in a very small town — one of 60 Jewish families — where he learned to take the long way home from school for fear of being beaten up again. Two years ago, he was asked to talk on graduation day at that same school he attended then. He didn’t want to because “they didn’t like me then, so why should they like me now?” He was convinced by a few people to do it. However, a week before the graduation he got a snail mail telling him he was “uninvited” to talk with no explanation. My guess was that he probably was uninvited because they had him confused with another Dr. Morton, whose parents owned the only department store in town, and they accidentally asked the poor Jew who lived in the city.
In your article about organizations that help those in need (“A Helping Hand,” Nov. 25), you seem to have ignored those organizations that help the Jewish community such as Ahavas Yisroel Charity Fund and Gevuras Yarden, among others.
Hillel Eli Markowitz
I am writing in reference to two items in Nov. 15 issue. One is a letter written to the editor by Michael Rodels in which he states that he ordered something from Attman’s and was told he could not eat it there and that they would not give him a refund. The second item is the article about Dr. Bert Miller (“Dirty, Smelly Jew”) who had taught in Baltimore County Schools for 40 years. After working at New Town High School, he retired in protest prior to a termination date in order to maintain his retirement benefits. After all these years of teaching, he is suing the county to have his name cleared and the ability to work again. Of course, he is claiming anti-Semitism among other things. In this day and age, it is hard to believe that these things are happening to these gentlemen. I would think by now we would have gotten over the many prejudices that so many people have.
The article, “Analysis: Global Jewish Shuk,” in the Nov. 15 issue presents a real conundrum. In the seeking of religious rights, there are those who wish to sit where they want, pray where they want and dress the way they want. In so doing, they trample on the rights of those who want to sit, pray and dress the way God wants. A religion, like a family and a school, is not a democracy. We don’t get to vote.
I just visited the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and saw an exhibit of Iraqi Jewish artifacts (“Who Owns Iraq’s Jewish Past?” Sept. 6). The backstory is that American soldiers in 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, found a cache of Jewish religious and communal papers and books in one of the flooded rooms in the secret police headquarters in Baghdad. These artifcats, 2,700 years old in 26 metal boxes, were plundered from Jewish synagogues and centers during Saddam Hussein’s rule. Realizing the importance of the find, they called the National Archives, which came to Iraq and attempted to preserve as much as possible. They did a remarkable job. In this small exhibit is only a tiny representation of the richness of this community, including prayer books, Talmud books, Torah scrolls and pictures of Jewish communal life. Unfortunately, the American government has promised to return the items to Iraq after the exhibit concludes on Jan. 5. I would advise all those who can to visit the remarkable exhibit. A few feet away from this exhibit is the rotunda exhibiting the signatures of this county’s founding fathers who penned the basis of our religious and national freedom —namely the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.