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Letters to the Editor

Support without substance

I was appalled by Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg’s statement of support for Donald Trump as reported in the Debra Rubin article in the Dec. 31, 2015, edition of The Chronicle (“Rabbi for Trump” seeks “like”-minded Jews). All of his reasons for support are without substance. Just because Trump is the GOP frontrunner or has a Shabbat observant daughter are hardly reasons to support someone whose choice of language is inflammatory and derogatory. Trump’s views are certainly contrary to Jewish values.

 I am disappointed that The Chronicle seemingly chose to publish this article because Rabbi Rosenberg grew up in Kansas City. The article has no newsworthy value and its content is an embarrassment to the rabbinate.

Alan L. Cohen

Rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Shalom

Boynton Beach, Florida

Iran deal still apalling

I was shocked and disturbed by a sentence beginning on page 4 of the Jan.7, 2016, issue (Will 2016 be the year of the female Orthodox rabbi? by Uriel Heilman, JTA News & Features) regarding the Iran deal: “Still facing strong domestic headwinds, proponents of a deal in both Washington and Teheran will have to work hard to make sure it doesn’t fall apart in 2016.”

On what planet has this writer been living? This deal is catastrophic. It is the reason Netanyahu addressed Congress, pleading unsuccessfully to kill the proposal. Iran has just fired two ballistic missiles and has shot rockets toward vessels of the U.S. Navy. What has Obama done about such outrageous behavior but sit back in the White House and gloat over his so-called “legacy?”

David S. Jacobs, M.D.

Overland Park, Kansas

Definition missing

Pages 1 and 20 of the Dec. 31, 2015 edition of The Chronicle used the acronym NGO at least 14 times, in the article titled “Advancing NGO bill, Isarel’s Cabinet fires another shot at its critics” without once telling us the actual name of exactly what it meant. (Editor’s note: The acronym NGO stands for nongovernmental organization.)

I would suggest that each article in every edition of the Chronicle spell out the actual name immediately following the first use of the acronym. Then we might have an idea of what we are reading about.

Thank you kindly for keeping your readers informed.

Gerald R. Rosenblum

Kansas City, Missouri

Israel — a teaching experience

Israel is our only dependable ally in the Middle East. It’s a small country — 8 million people — with a diverse population. It’s forced to deal with terrorism on a daily basis. We could learn a lot from our Mideast ally.

The following are just several viable ideas. Israel requires its citizens upon reaching 18 to serve in the military — men for three years and women for two years. This means they are 20-21 when they are ready for college. They have been subjected to several years of military discipline. They have been kept employed and busy. Some opt to remain in the military and other ‘deploy’ into the job market. Most are better citizens for the experience.

Imagine if our youth today were similarly required to serve for two to three years in the military. This does not imply or necessitate conscription. There would be several exemptions of which, in our society, would be unduly taken advantage. There could be other avenues for ‘conscientious objectors such as foreign and domestic peace corps. Imagine the benefits if our 18-year-olds were given the opportunity to work in our communities performing some sort of community service.  

“The idle mind is the devil’s playground!” Such a program would put our youth to work, get them off the streets, and, in some cases, build character by teaching them work ethics. I hear the usual response — but what does it cost? My answer is simple — what is it costing by not doing it?

Steve Katz

Leawood, Kansas