Letters to the editor: Feb. 28, 2018

Editorial on African migrants unconvincing

Regarding the Light’s Feb. 14 editorial “Dishonoring the Stranger,” perhaps, since the Sudanese and Eritreans in Israel are laborers, the relevant passage is Genesis 21:10-13. Torah allows for limits to obligation. 

I am unconvinced of the relevance of Menachem Begin’s admission of the boat people 40 years ago under different circumstances.  I don’t see relevance to issues at the southern border of the United States, either, but I suspect I am being invited to — in a nuanced way, of course. 

Warren Handel, Edwardsville, Ill.

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Praise, critique for Light columnist

Kudos to the Jewish Light for continuing to feature the rational, informative, provocative op-eds of Professor Marty Rochester (“Why my dislike of the left trumps my dislike of the president,” Feb. 14 edition) despite the attacks from letters like those of Messrs. Blumenthal and Schvey in the Feb. 21 issue. Both suffer from various stages of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) and demonstrate the usual negative knee-jerk reaction to the President, who apparently has done absolutely nothing worthwhile in his first 13 months in office. The stagnant economy, kowtowing to Iran, Syrian disaster, negative relations with Israel… whoops, I forgot: that was our previous president. I hope that readers will revisit Rochester’s Feb. 14 op-ed. It’s really quite interesting.

I find the professor’s description of his relationship to President Trump quite accurate and humorous; it mirrors my own: “Hold-My-Nose-Trumpster,” measuring the President by his accomplishments, filtering out the other noise. I wish him success, and suggest that Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Schvey overcome their TDS malady by making reservations to attend the May 14 celebration of the 70th birthday of the State of Israel in Jerusalem, where they can also celebrate the dedication of the American Embassy there. Who knows? There’s speculation that Prime Minister Netanyahu will invite President Trump to participate, too. Irl Solomon St. Louis County

Irl Solomon, St. Louis County


In his Feb. 14 commentary in the Jewish Light, Professor Marty Rochester acknowledged the positive accomplishments of the Trump administration’s first year. Yet, he failed to say that Congress, as a whole, and the President have been unsuccessful on compromises concerning many important issues such as health care, Medicare/Medicaid, immigration policy, proper gun control, protection of our environment and public lands, as well as better federal leadership concerning education. While hoping “for less polarization and more sanity in our political system,” Rochester includes commentary on two “liberal professoriate” as though those two people define the “liberal view.”

He does state the obvious about Trump’s behavior, finding him “ ‘unpresidential’ with his reckless tweets, erratic behavior, narcissism and generally unorthodox governing style.” But, Rochester doesn’t say that those tweets often contain inaccurate information, a lack of knowledge and continue to be a way of laying blame on any agency, media or individuals who disagree with Trump’s perception of the truth.

It is difficult to accept Professor Rochester’s list of improvements for our country when lack of knowledge, logic and decency are informing our citizenry on a daily basis. Eric Mink stated our circumstances so well in his Feb. 7 Jewish Light commentary:

“Now it’s a president of the United States who is rejecting the personal responsibility of any president to say and act on the basis of accurate information and verified facts —  a president who thus far has escaped accountability and consequences for doing so.”

Paula Hertel, Ballwin


I read with disdain the two letters from Messrs. Blumenthal and Schvey critical of Marty Rochester’s position supporting some of the policies of President Trump, and I am compelled to respond.  I am a conservative Jew, and proudly so.  I am also a physician with nearly 60 years of being in practice, and I can assure these gentlemen that the tax cuts returning some of the hard earned money to many of my less fortunate and hard working patient’s is not crumbs to them at all.

 Most offensively is the contention that Mr. Rochester should not be allowed to serve as a university teacher of political science who may hold opinions contrary to the insufferably arrogant and biased leftist university professors across this country.  And G-d forbid that he may support President Trump’s tax cut for nearly everyone (not just the rich), his advocacy for the restoration of our severely depleted military to meet the challenges of our actual and potential adversaries, his help for the Ukrainians so they can defend themselves against the Russian military usurpation of their territory, his participation resulting in the near complete destruction of the evil ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria (while also supporting the Kurds), his imparted confidence to the men and women of this country that our economy and way of life will significantly improve (as also reflected in the astounding rise of the stock market), his attempt at dismantling of the “crazy” (per Bill Clinton) Obamacare plan that can hardly be used due to its astronomical deductibles and other mindless provisions, his planned move of our embassy to Jerusalem where it rightfully belongs, etc., etc.  Most of which, according to the leftists as well as these two individuals, is, “of course,” simply awful.

In an attempt at bipartisanship, I do agree that the personal behavior of President Trump has much too often been less than presidential, and I cannot support nor defend some of his utterances.  

Herbert N. Shapiro, M.D., FACS, Chesterfield