Extreme View vs. Extreme View

I don’t get it. The BDS movement’s vision is that of a single binational state as the proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Which is exactly what the ZOA has in mind (Your Say, April 11).

Rapscallion extremes meet and galvanize one other. Too bad the rest of us get stuck in the crossfire of their rhetorical slog.

A plague on both their houses.

Stephen Arkan
Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Bravo to the Bald

We at Har Sinai Congregation are enormously proud of our rabbi, Rabbi Benjamin Sharff (“Bald is Beautiful,” April 11). His participation in this effort was born out of love and compassion, not only for the Sommer family as they grieve for their son, “Superman Sam,” but also for all victims of childhood cancers.

If any good can be said to come from such tragedy, it is this outpouring of support on the part of rabbis, their colleagues, their students, their congregants, their friends and their families to vanquish childhood cancer!

Anne L. Berman
2nd Vice President
Har Sinai Congregation
Owings Mills

Adelson Not the Problem

While there may be legislation passed to reduce the influence of individual givers to political campaigns, the use of intermediates, both individuals and organizations, will circumvent these restrictions (“A spectacle for King Sheldon,” April 4).

But I am more comfortable with the contributions of Sheldon Adelson, who is devoted to supporting candidates concerned about the security of the State of Israel, than those of George Soros, who has attempted to delegitimize the Jewish state. His contributions to such groups as J Street, Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund have only one purpose.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring

Las Vegas? Really?

I congratulate the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on its  choice of venue for its recent annual get-together (“What happens in Vegas,”  “A spectacle for King Sheldon,” April 4).

After all, what U.S. city resonates better with Torah and rabbinic values such as mitzvot (commandments), gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness) and tzedaka (charity), but especially taharat ha-mishpacha (family purity) and tzniyut (female modesty), than Sin City, aka Las Vegas?

Indeed, given Halachah’s extremely low opinion of gambling and everything that is associated with it, what better location than America’s historic and premier gambling mecca?

Forsooth: A circumcised Bill O’Reilly might even characterize such in-your-face Orthodoxy-bashing behavior as evidence of a deliberate RJC “war on Judaism”!

Stas Cohen
Newark, Del.

My Dear Friend, Len

After reading the beautiful words of Barbara Bloom in the JT about her late husband, Leonard Bloom, I had to add a tribute to my friend. Len and I had been friends for more than 70 years. We grew up in the same neighborhood at North Avenue and Payson Street and began a friendship that lasted until his passing (Nov. 23, 2013).

Len was a brilliant scholar, who had a wonderful character. He graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute first in his class and earned a four-year scholarship to the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering, where he pursued electrical engineering. At graduation he was just a few points shy of being first in his class. He served in the Army during World War II as a lieutenant. He then worked for Black and Decker in the patent office. He attended law school at night at the University of Baltimore, and shortly after passing the bar, he became the chief patent attorney at Black and Decker. Years later, he started his own successful patent law firm.

Regardless of his success and intelligence, he was a humble person and treated everyone fairly. He always had a sense of humor, always had a joke to make you laugh. After all these many years of friendship, I miss my friend. My best wishes to his lovely wife, Barbara, and her family.

Harold Surosky
Owings Mills

Fox News Reports the Truth

Saul Edelman’s snide comment about Fox News in his April 4 letter (“Fantasy vs. Reality”) cannot go without challenge. I am a retired media executive, highly qualified to comment.

Maybe the Jewish Times is not the best forum for the following remarks, but the JT opened the door by not editing out Edelman’s outrageous statement (“Ideology is not facts, except, perhaps, on Fox News”), which had nothing to do with the point of his letter.

Fox News is No. 1 rated. Period. Not No. 1 just with Republicans or conservatives, but with all. It is No. 1 because it tells the truth. Even though thousands of viewers like Edelman may disagree with Fox’s editorial stance, they know they are getting the complete story, both from Fox’s opinion shows and in its news reports.

MSNBC and CNN are battling for the bottom of the ratings. “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox is the top-rated cable show in the world, [and] Fox employs James Carville, Bob Beckel, and Juan Williams, hardly voices of conservatism. Left-leaning guests are the norm on Fox.

Anyone who depends on liberal media for news does not have a clue to what is actually going on. Edelman and his ilk should learn that the truth will set you free. It may tick you off, but it will set you free.

Robert Z. Goldberg

Beware of the King

Omitted in the JT’s April 4 editorial (“A Spectacle for King Sheldon”) was consideration of the true beneficiary of the unsavory competition among GOP presidential hopefuls for Sheldon Adelson’s largesse: anti-Semites.

The casino mogul is an anti-Semite’s delight, because his political campaign behavior gives the lie to the truth about “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” “The Protocols” purports to depict a plot by Jews, operating behind the scenes as puppet masters, to control the world, which, in the 2lst century, means America.

“The Protocols’” fiction becomes reality in billionaire Adelson’s all-consuming financial effort to buy the White House for the GOP for the sake of his own ultra-hard-line “Greater Israel” agenda. Where Adelson’s behavior differs from “The Protocols’” scenario is that he is out front with his involvement, not operating behind the scenes.

As such, media coverage of Adelson’s open-checkbook attempt to purchase the presidency must make the likes of Pat Buchanan, David Duke, et al, salivate.

Steve Weissman

Our Commitment to Israel

The JT has covered the American Studies Association (ASA) academic boycott of Israel and the local response. We agree that it’s important that JT readers be kept fully informed on this issue.

That’s why we are pleased to report that the Maryland General Assembly took action to address this. We voted for the budget that just passed today [April 5], and the text in this area speaks for itself. Here’s an excerpt:

“The General Assembly declares that it is the policy of the State to(1) reaffirm our Declaration of Cooperation with State of Israel that has resulted in the successful exchange of commerce, culture, technology, tourism, trade, economic development, scholarly inquiry, and academic cooperation; (2) oppose Maryland public institutions’ support of the … movement Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions; (3) condemn the American Studies Association’s boycott against institutions of higher education in Israel.”

We will continue to work with our community and its organizations to support Israel, to restate that support whenever and wherever possible and to oppose any attempts to weaken the relationship between Maryland and Israel.

Delegate Dan Morhaim (D-District 11)
Delegate Dana Stein (D-District 11)
Delegate Jon Cardin (D-District 11)
Delegate Adrienne Jones (D-District 10)
Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-District 11)
Baltimore County

Mankind’s Fresh Start

More insightfully than was perhaps intended, Michael Fox’s film review of “Noah” (“Opening the Floodgates,” April 4) characterized the saga as a “reboot of civilization.”

In other words, Noah is a reset, a fresh start for mankind. With Noah, the world starts over. This is theologically monumental and a point inexplicably overlooked by most students of the Bible.

Even reading Scripture in a literal, chronological and fundamental fashion, it means that whatever happened previously — whatever did or did not transpire in the Garden of Eden and (mis!)understood by Christianity as “original sin” — is now overridden and canceled out. Noah is the second Adam, not Jesus, as the New Testament (1 Cor. 15:45) contends. The biblical text explicitly supports such a view, describing Noah as if he were the “new Adam” (Gen. 9:1, 9:6b). Logically then, since the state of affairs encompassing “original sin” has been rendered null and void, there is no need for a countervailing atonement or savior to obviate it.

No wonder that Christian ultra-traditionalists are so upset with this movie, even in [director Darren] Aronofsky’s catawampus rendering of the biblical tale. For the flood narrative presents nothing less than an energetic refutation of a core theme of Christian dogma.

S. R. Cohen

Thanks for Writing

The March 21 article by Leah Fishman (“BBYO and AIPAC: Leading the Next Generation”) was one that I could relate to. Leah and I have had many BBYO experiences that were similar. I also was a Jewish teen leader for BBYO. I also was a teen chapter president for BBYO.

There was an article in the JT a few months ago about me being the first woman state president of B’nai B’rith and winning the Outstanding District President’s Award in July 1990 at a district convention in Florida. That article was the result of a JT story about BBYO last April. It is great that I can write to you about two BBYO articles that were in your paper.

Frada A. Wall