Learning from d’var Torah
The explanation of the Torah portion Sh’mot by Rabbah Arlene Berger (“Remembering and knowing,” D’var Torah, WJW, Dec. 31) was quite helpful for me. Her insight on remembering was key to understanding what “a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph” really could mean.
Thank you Rabbah Berger, and thanks to Washington Jewish Week for the comments in the d’var on the Torah portion each week.
Iran nuclear deal is working
I strongly disagree with Lawrence Grossman (“What will it take for Iran nuclear deal supporters to admit their mistake,” Voices, WJW, Jan. 7) who insists that the Iran nuclear deal was a mistake. The purpose of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, nothing else. The deal is working according to plan. Iran has shipped out its enriched uranium and has dismantled its ability to produce plutonium. Until the deal, Iran was two months away from being able to produce a weapon.
Now, it is at least 15 years away. Also, Iran agreed in writing never to produce a nuclear weapon, even after it can start enriching uranium again up to nuclear nonproliferation treaty limits, after 15 years.
So why is Mr. Grossman kvetching? The deal does not make Iran a nice guy in the region. The deal does not stop Iran from trying to dominate the region. But that was not the purpose of the deal. By the way, has Mr. Grossman noticed that all of the terrorists currently killing people in Syria, Iraq and sub-Saharan Africa in the name of Islam are doing so on the basis of Salafist religious ideology that comes from a country in the Middle East that is not Iran? Also, the Iran military and its surrogates in Hezbollah and the Iraq militias are fighting the Islamic State and taking lots of casualties. Also, Iran and Hamas have stopped being friends over disagreements over Syria. Iran is also an enemy of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Finance and weapons for these nasties is coming from “friends” of the United States, not Iran.
Speaking as a Republican, I want to congratulate President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for an outstanding diplomatic achievement in the Iran nuclear deal.
HERMAN J. COHEN
U.S. ambassador, retired
Some candidates lack track record on Israel
It is sad to continue to have to read the ravings and rantings of armchair Zionists bashing the likes of respected candidates for the Democratic nomination for the Senate, Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards (“Candidates embrace Left-leaning policies,” Letters, WJW, Nov. 26).
Do these letter-writers really want us to vote for the likes of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson? Those candidates have nothing to lose by appealing (or should I say pandering) to the Jewish community. They have never been elected to public office and have no public record of support for Israel other than their campaign rhetoric.
I take some solace in knowing that most Jews don’t agree with these extremist writers you choose to publish.
The majority of educated and involved Jews will vote for Van Hollen or Edwards, and Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton rather than the spewers of hate and intolerance. By continuing to print these venomous letters, you only make readers like me question your credibility and wonder why I should continue subscribing to your paper.
I disagree with Mr. Katz. In all likelihood, a new populst Pharaoh- from a different lineage and dynasty- knew Joseph all too well: as the regime official whose land-grab machinations transformed independent yeoman farmers into slave laborers for the Egyptian State. It was now payback time, to give the Israelites a taste of what the Egyptian peasantry had gone through. Turnabout is…