Letters to the Editor, Aug. 11, 2010

Kavod for our rabbis

I first want to say what a great job the Jewish Light did in covering the Nusach Hari groundbreaking (Page one, July 28 edition). Building a new shul is a monumental occasion. I also noticed many quotes by Rabbi Smason, who officiated at the event. However, I do feel that I need to take exception at how the rabbi is addressed in the article. He is first addressed as “Rabbi Ze’ev Smason,” then “Rabbi Smason,” and thereafter simply as “Smason.”

Calling any rabbi by just his last name is not only disrespectful, it’s also insulting, and I wince every time I see it. We did those things in the locker room in high school, or when we would address a hoodlum when we were younger. Even criminal suspects on the news are called “Mr.” so-and-so.

So let’s do away with this outmoded journalistic convention once and for all and address all individuals with the proper kavod, the proper honor, that they deserve, and that we would all like.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

Kenny Bressler, Ladue

Obama’s foreign policy

It saddens me to no end that President Obama has made our nation weaker by alienating our allies while acquiescing to the whims of our enemies.

As Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer so eloquently stated in a recent column: “It demonstates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administation in action, have decided that there’s no cost in lining up with America’s enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.”

American foreign policy under Obama is not only deeply flawed – the president is totally clueless. Obama’s intransigence and hubris has caused him to foolishly set a timetable for beginning the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Doesn’t he realize the Taliban will just wait us out – in a war which Obama has vowed to win?

Obama has inflamed Israel – our only true friend and ally in the Middle East – by his noxious persistence in pressuring concessions at the expense of Israel’s security.

He has “coddled” and “pacified” such Muslim countries as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya, which sponsor, aid and promote Islamic terrorism.

Also, Obama couldn’t be more out of touch with reality than to think that U.S. and U.N. sanctions against Iran will, in fact, work, and thwart that axis-of-evil nation’s nuclear ambitions.

Obama has done virtually nothing to encourage and support those dissident factions in such countries as Iran, Venezuela and China from the scourge of tyranny and oppression. Finally, he has failed on a colossal scale to secure and protect our southern border against illegal Mexican immigrants.

In short, Obama’s foreign policy has not only been incoherent, ineffective and impotent, but even worse, it’s been shameful and cowardly.

Krauthammer summed it up best: “There’s nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America’s rising adversaries.”


Gene Carton, Olivette

Column crosses the line

I just finished reading the article by Ellen Futterman about Chelsea Clinton (News & Schmooze, Aug. 4).

Not only is it childishly written, but I find it very offensive. I thought it was going to be some advice on being married to a Jewish man; instead, it was insulting.

It was a put-down to a very lovely lady, whom we should embrace for marrying one of ours.

Syl Brandt, Creve Coeur