Letters to the editor November 8
In your article on the Aish HaTorah debate between Michael Medved and Rep. Dan Frankel you quoted one audience member as saying “How can anybody who believes in God vote for a Democrat?”
I was the person who asked Rep. Frankel that question, but your quote is partial and taken out of context.
What I asked Rep. Frankel was, after watching the Democratic convention this past summer and hearing a repeated chorus of “boos” when there was an attempt to re-insert a belief in God into the party platform, how could anybody who believes in God vote for a Democrat? His response by the way, didn’t address the question. He said something about some meetings opening with a prayer.
I realize that by the time this is published, the election will, thankfully, be over, but I wanted to clarify your story.
I am proud that my synagogue of almost a half- century, Rodef Shalom Congregation, is taking a leading role in fighting for the rights of women in Israel, particularly the basic right to public prayer.
While I was pleased to read the letter signed by 19 area rabbis (“Rabbis Support Equality in Israel,” Nov. 1) to express outrage over the treatment of Anat Hoffman, whose “crime” was recitation of the Shema, it is sad that the signatories are all Reform or Conservative leaders, no Orthodox clergy.
Are we to conclude from this that Orthodox rabbis either support or are unwilling to challenge the violation of a woman by purported law enforcement authorities: that it is acceptable to handcuff, strip-search, shackle, drag, arrest and hold someone in jail for praying? Are there any Orthodox leaders willing to boldly and courageously speak out for what is right and just?
I do not understand how the hatred and contempt displayed by some Israeli fanatics toward women can fail to be denounced and condemned strongly and regularly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a man with close ties to the West and to modernity. I suppose that the need to retain their (ultra-Orthodox parties) loyalty to the prime minister in a coalition government explains how it is that Mr. Netanyahu can stand by while a campaign of hatred is conducted against innocent people of goodwill.
Upper St. Clair