Letters to the editor, Feb. 12, 2014

Response to editorial 

Once again, the Jewish Light knows best when it comes to Israel, this time with a skewed interpretation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s inflammatory comments and not so veiled threats of international sanctions and a new Intifada if Israel does not agree to his framework for peace with the Palestinians (Editorial, “Kerry On”, Feb. 5). In fact, John Kerry has been wrong many times on affairs in the Middle East; he previously wined and dined with the Assads, praised the dictator’s regime, criticized President Bush over his attempt to isolate Syria and, according to WikiLeaks, stated on more than one occasion that Israel should return the Golan and East Jerusalem, even as Arab Spring protests in Syria were underway.

Any surprise then that according to a new Israel Hayom-New Wave research poll, the majority of Israelis (61 percent) thinks Kerry’s recent comments were indeed a threat?

I would rather listen to Israeli public opinion than accept the spin emanating from the Jewish Light opinion page.

Paul Hauptman, St. Louis

Intermarriage debate

I wanted to respond to the Feb. 5 JTA article, “After lull, debate over intermarriage is reignited.” I’ve read about the intermarriage debate for years now, but it occurred to me that the one thing usually missing is love. You can’t help who you love. Two people who love each other will find a way to be together — just ask Tevye! We live in an open society and no matter how compelling the debate about intermarriage is, it will all fly out the window when two people in love make their choices.

Now, a disclaimer: I’m a Jew by choice who was born Catholic. I married the love of my life, Steve (who happens to be Jewish), 12 years ago. About four years ago, I had a firm conviction that I needed to live the rest of my life, and die, a Jew. I began living a Jewish life, attending Judaism classes, going to temple, celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays with my husband. 

Living out in Franklin County proved to be a problem because we could not easily participate in the Jewish community. After nine months of traveling into St. Louis each weekend to be involved, it became a part-time job we could not sustain with our full-time jobs and part-time freelance careers. 

The Jewish community here in St. Louis is wonderfully vibrant and active. I want to attend lectures, study groups and Shabbat services, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Although Steve and I continue to live a Jewish life, I have postponed my conversion until we are able to live within the Jewish community.  That makes me sad.  When I’m with other Jews, I don’t feel fully Jewish, yet. I definitely don’t feel Christian anymore. But I’m doing the best I can for now, and that’s all I can do.

Linda Wein, Pacific