|Letters to the Editor|
|Written by Jewish Chronicle Readers|
|Thursday, May 03 2012 11:00|
Don’t sell out our heritage
The JTA News & Features article on the movie plans for “Judah Maccabee” published in The Chronicle April 26 including Mel Gibson’s involvement in it shows that Hollywood Jews are still like the movie moguls during World War II. They fall all over each other praising Gibson and do all they can to dismiss his Holocaust denials and public anti-Semitism. During World War II, the Jews in the movie industry pushed being Americans while shelving any mention of their Jewish roots. It is sad to read that in 2012 that Hollywood Jews who support Gibson refused to be quoted. We can only hope that inner shame caused them to hide their identities.
It may not make a difference to Mr. Holocaust Denier, but we will NEVER see another movie with which he is associated. He will continue to laugh all the way to the bank, and will secretly add thoughts about how money can make Hollywood Jews sell out their own heritage.
Concert healing salve
I would like to sincerely thank Jill Maidhof, Jacob Schrieber and other staff of the Jewish Community Center for bringing the Yuval Ron Ensemble to the Kansas City area and more particularly, to the JCC on April 3. This group of superb musicians from Jewish, Christian and Muslim backgrounds with roots in the Middle East, does much more than just make beautiful, inspiring music. They provide exactly the kind of healing salve which our conflict-ridden, traumatized world needs, especially in relation to the Middle East where religious tension often stokes the fires of war and aggression originating with political conflict.
I had a chance to talk with Yuval Ron after the show and he shared that he was inspired to start the ensemble after the second intifada in Israel and the Palestinian territories, out of concern for ongoing risk to innocent lives. He didn’t mention which “side” the lives were on. I would say both, but in any case these distinctions were also absent when listening to mostly Hebrew and Arabic songs from all three Abrahamic faiths: the same sense of sacredness and peace pervaded the music from each tradition and judging from the response of the audience — a rather large one for a Tuesday night — I was not alone in appreciating this.
It’s natural to rally around our own tribe/religion/nation when we are under attack and it is probably human nature to hold resentment and anger toward “the other” when members of their group have hurt us. But it’s also natural — even inevitable — to appreciate the humanity in others when we see and hear it in their sacred music and traditions. Then we start looking for a way to connect and work with them rather than finding new ways to fight them. And fuel of resentment, which keeps conflicts burning, begins to die out.
Thanks again to visionaries like Yuval Ron and his troupe for keeping hope and peace alive and to those community leaders who had the vision to see the importance of bringing this precious type of experience to our community.
Shalom, salaam, peace.