Letters | August 25, 2022


Make that 11

In your article “10 Jewish baseball players” (Aug. 18), you didn’t mention Al Rosen who played third base in 1948 for the Cleveland Indians. He played in the 1948 playoff games against the Boston Red Sox in one of the most exciting games in baseball history. The Indians then advanced and won the World Series. He retired from baseball at the end of the 1956 season.
Montgomery Village

Religion and peoplehood

A recent letter to the editor “History and Zionism” (Aug. 3) purports that Judaism is only a religion, just like Protestantism and Catholicism. This is the basic premise of the American Council for Judaism, with which the author is or was associated. This was the initial thinking of many Jews in Western Europe after the Jewish emancipation in the late 18th century. In this spirit, the Reform movement was born and transported from Germany to the United States in the 1800s. In their famous 1885 Pittsburg Platform they affirmed that neither peoplehood nor Israel were integral to Judaism and that Judaism was solely a religion.

That view has been unequivocally reversed in Reform Judaism by their Columbus Platform of 1937 which endorsed a Jewish state in Palestine.

The Tanach tells us that we were a people (from Abraham) before we were a religion (from Sinai). This is nuanced and misunderstood by most of the world. Our peoplehood, just like for example those of the French and Germans, demands that Jews have a state to provide for self-determination in our ancestral homeland as a nation among nations, after 2,000 years of exile and persecution.

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  1. This is intended as a letter to the editor – I couldn’t find how to send it:
    Your editorials for Aug 15,2022 display a sharp contrast in willingness to express a definite stand. In “The threat of Itamar Ben-Gvir”, you express displeasure with the likes of Ben-Gvir and right wing extremists in their degenerative effect on Israeli democracy. But in “The Trump effect” you are obviously hesitant to take a stand on the deleterious effect of Trump on USA democracy limiting your tut-tuts to the potential “impact of one man on the electoral process.” You perhaps imply this is deplorable without saying so explicitly but it all looks weasly and spineless. Are you afraid to state openly that the Trump effect is as degenerative on US democracy as Ben-Gvir is on Israeli democracy? Or is there some reason we should know that this is not the case? Please speak up with a backbone.


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