Letters to the Editor | Dec. 21, 2022


A nice piece of lox

It was so nice to see Sam Lerner get the publicity that he so rightfully deserves (“Slicing lox with Sam Lerner,” Dec. 15). A true feel good story. He’s always behind the scenes making whatever the occasion more meaningful and worry free as the food artist. He does it with a smile, he does it with warmth, he does it because he cares, he does it because he is a mentsh and he does it even when the ovens are not working, as was the case at my daughter’s bat mitzvah in a newly renovated kitchen and social hall.

Rightly or wrongly, food is part of our Jewish culture, and Sam always does it right. This is not an advertisement for any establishment that Sam is associated with, but rather a testimony to a man who has enhanced so many of my events, Jewish and secular, with his wonderful persona and culinary talent. And by the way, the food is always good…even when the ovens aren’t working. Thank you, Sam. Here’s to many more events in the future.

Menorah needs diversity

In reference to the article “A Symbol Endures,” why does a rabbi from Chabad always preside over the National Menorah lighting? If the president and first lady or their designees light the national Christmas tree, why can’t the same individuals kindle the menorah? If a prayer is said, any number of Jewish leaders, religious or secular, could lead the blessings.

The national tree is not lit by a clergy person from the same denomination year after year. I daresay, Chabad no more represents American Jews than a Episcopalian priest, for example, would be the voice of all Christians in the United States. How about alternating individuals who light the Chanukah menorah? I do realize we have come a long way since the 1970s. On the first night of Chanukah during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, prior to 1979, the national tree was illuminated, but the president or his designee did not mention the Jewish celebration. There was no menorah lighting.


Birth of informed consent

In “What made Nazi physicians unusually evil?” (Dec. 8) that discussed medical ethics issues with human medical experimentation, it is mentioned that Walter Reed intentionally exposed subjects to a potentially fatal disease when he and his team did the experiments that determined that the cause of yellow fever was by transmission of a virus by mosquitos.

However, it needs to be noted that Walter Reed, as head of the 1900 Yellow Fever Commission, was in charge of the creation of the first recorded use of informed consent in human research. The form was created because “researchers wanted to be certain that all volunteers understood the potential hazards of the research.” This is a quote from the website of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, a museum where one can actually see one of the signed consent forms at its exhibits.

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