Letters to the Editor, 7/28/10

Prop. C opposition

Jewish organizations are elated that Congress finally passed the Health Care Reform Act which provides for universal health care for all Americans. This is accomplished by requiring almost everyone to purchase health care insurance. It is preposterous that the Missouri legislature would try to negate one of its main objectives by putting on the Aug. 3 ballot, Prop C, which would allow Missourians to opt out of purchasing health care insurance without paying a penalty.

Decimating newly passed health care reform before giving it a chance to work, is counterproductive and irrational.

I urge a ‘No’ vote on Prop C.

Sydell Shayer, Creve Coeur

Thank you for publishing Steve Skrainka’s July 14 commentary about the new health reform law. It is very clear that the new law will bring immense benefits to all Missourians, including those of us who already have health insurance. For that reason, many St. Louis Jewish organizations and congregations have actively worked to pass health care reform. As a chiropractor, I see how the current system hurts patients and know how badly reform is needed.

One other thing is also clear: Proposition C, on the Aug. 3 ballot, is nothing more than the latest attempt to play politics with health care. It would have no impact on health care access, costs, or quality. All it will do, if passed, is allow politicians to continue using health care as a political football, distracting us from the important issues of implementing the new law and reaping all of the benefits that Steve described.

If Proposition C passes, we’ll spend taxpayer money defending this law, because it contradicts federal law. I can think of dozens of better ways to spend that money.

It’s time to tell politicians to stop playing politics with health care. I plan to vote NO on Proposition C. I encourage everyone else to do so as well.

Maggie Duwe, D.C., Kirkwood

‘Unwavering support’ should only go so far

As an Orthodox Jew I am concerned with the recent series of allegations involving other Orthodox Jews who are involved in financial improprieties. The most recent of these events was published in the July 14 edition of the Jewish Light.

Of course I am disturbed by those who condemn the entire Orthodox community over the actions of a few individuals. However, I am even more disturbed by the Orthodox community’s responses to these allegations. The Orthodox community always has a knee-jerk reaction of defending those individuals who are involved in scandals merely because they follow an Orthodox lifestyle. The Orthodox community must realize that we are being taken advantage of in these cases.

We are being taken advantage of by those who expect our unwavering support. The Orthodox community must mature and be willing to admit there are in fact those among us who ignore their Torah values in the work place. Although it is commendable to assume innocence until guilt is proven, when guilt has been proven there should be a chorus of Orthodox voices condemning the actions of all those involved.

Stuart Klamen, University City


Pulpit and politics

I was disappointed that Rabbi Randy Fleisher editorialized his support of President Obama (June 23 edition). Whether I agree with him or not is immaterial (I happen to disagree with him on President Obama). I don’t think it is good for rabbis to venture into politics and their personal views. Rabbi Fleisher will certainly anger at least a few people – perhaps at his own temple. He is not a political pundit and should concentrate on the main duties of a rabbi, which happen to fall under the realm of spirituality, how to be a better person, getting closer to the Almighty, etc.

Just because he is accomplished in one area does not mean he is an expert in others. Responding as a rabbi to a political dispute just encourages polarization.

I certainly hope that he doesn’t carry his political beliefs onto the pulpit – they don’t belong there.

James Pollock, Town and Country