Universalism isn’t enough
Regarding “Peter Beinart, Seth Rogan and the future of Judaism” (Letters, Aug. 13):
Yes, Judaism has a universalist side, but viewing Judaism in an exclusively universalist manner begs the question, “Why be Jewish?” Jews can marry non-Jews, raise their children without religion and still fight for human rights for all. Has Judaism survived centuries of persecution only because the persecutors wouldn’t let Jews blend in? Or have we survived because we have a special relationship with God that includes a longing for the return to Zion?
What is the take-home message? We can disagree on policies of the Israeli government, but we need to support Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jews in the Jews’ ancestral homeland. And we need to educate our children about Israel’s side of the story.
Support for Israel shouldn’t be the total sum of our Judaism. Having a place that has to take us in when we have to go there would have saved a lot of Jewish lives during the Shoah and is still saving Jews from persecution in Russia, Ethiopia and France. We need to teach our children about Judaism and encourage them to develop a love for their fellow Jews.
TOBY F. BLOCK
A 1930s argument
Letter writer Allan C. Brownfield presents the identical argument about American Diaspora Jews having no connection with Israel as many German Diaspora Jews clung to in the 1930s (“Peter Beinart, Seth Rogan and the future of Judaism,” Aug. 13). Those assimilated German Jews looked disdainfully on Israel (then Palestine) as nationalistic and not a place for real universalist Jews to support. History has proven the utter myopia of their position.
Get in line
Regarding “Voters, Unite!” (Editorial, Aug. 6): Agreed that elections should be held as scheduled. However, that agreement shouldn’t extend to mail in-voting. Any time voting takes place away from the controlled and observed confines of a polling place, it is less secure.
If we can wait in line to enter Home Depot to buy light bulbs, we can certainly wait in line to enter a school gym to cast our votes. To rely on universal mail-in voting is to invite fraud and chaos.