Letters to the Editor: May 1, 2019

Chabad director thanks community for support

My colleagues, the leaders of the four Chabad centers in the Greater St. Louis region, and I were profoundly  touched by the outpouring of support and solidarity whih we received from all segments of the community, ever since since the horrific attack which occurred at Chabad of Poway on the final day of Passover. We wish to express our appreciation to the Jewish Federation and to the Jewish Community Relations Council for convening the very meaningful community gathering last Sunday at the Federation building. A special thanks goes to Karen Sher and to Cheryl Adelstein of the Jewish Federation and JCRC for their efforts, and to all who shared words of support from the podium. In these challenging times, our community will no doubt draw much strength, hope and increased divine protection through our coming together in unity. May we in the future come together for only joyful and celebratory occasions. Amen. 

Rabbi Yosef Landa, Regional Director, Chabad of Greater St. Louis

Vaccination saves lives

I have a personal interest in your article about the measles epidemic. My sister was left severely brain-damaged from measles encephalitis and died 20 years later. My brother and I contracted the disease as well, but recovered uneventfully. There is no way to know what effect the measles will have on you unless you contract the disease.

It is painful for me to see the measles recur since we now have a safe and effective vaccine that led to the near eradication of this terrible disease. When my siblings and I grew up, we did not have this option available. An estimated 1-2 per 1,000 cases will die from this “childhood” disease.

The common fear about the vaccine is that it may cause autism. The Centers for Disease Control has conducted three studies without any link demonstrated between the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine and autism.

The end of the article makes the important point that this is an issue not just for Orthodox Jews but for everyone. The anti-vaxxers that I have met are usually well educated and believe in the scientific method, except when it comes to vaccinations. 

Please protect yourself, your family, and your community. Vaccination saves lives.

Dr. Laura Hulbert Goldmeier, Creve Coeur

Netanyahu should annex West Bank and more

By now, there should be no doubt, whatsoever, that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians regarding a two-state solution are dead in the water and will never be revived.

Long before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel’s intention to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinians have had countless chances to make peace with Israel, and to have achieved their goal of independent statehood.

However, every opportunity has been met with Palestinian intransigence, resistance, and hate for the Jewish state. It should be evident by now that the Palestinians’ sole intention not unlike Iran, is to wipe Israel off the face of the map. 

From the time the U. N. General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two states in 1947, to the early 1970s when the former late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir offered to negotiate peace and Palestinian statehood with no pre-conditions, to the year 2000, when former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians all of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and to other numerous times in-between, the Palestinians have flatly rejected peace offers.

Enough is enough.  I propose that not only should Israel annex the entire West Bank, but should reclaim Gaza, from which it voluntarily withdrew in 2005. (Note: To this day, rocket attacks against southern Israel from Gaza continue unabated.)

What a sad commentary that the Palestinians would rather engage in a perpetual state of war with Israel, than to live in peace and harmony in the comfort of their own homeland.

Gene Carton, Olivette