Letters to the editor: May 3, 2017

Milestone for Kol Rinah 

It is with a voice of great joy that Kol Rinah announces that, as of this past week, we are the proud owners of 7701 Maryland Ave. Our new home will be a vital force for Jewish life in the center of St. Louis and the first synagogue in Clayton in nearly 60 years. 

The sale of our Hanley building and the purchase of the Maryland Avenue property is an historic step in the merger of our two legacy congregations. Over the next year and a half, as we transition to the Maryland Avenue property, we will continue most of our activities in the current Hanley location.

Join us as we work towards establishing our new space and securing our future for many generations.  As always, reach out to us if you have any questions.

Randi Mozenter, Kol Rinah President 

Sherri Sadon, Kol Rinah Board Chair

Rabbi Noah Arnow 

Cartoon presents false equivalency

Just when we thought it was safe to peek at the Light’s editorial cartoons, you spring that ridiculous R.J. Matson cartoon (April 26 edition) showing Kim Jong-un facing off against President Trump with their fingers poised over their respective nuclear triggers. Really? Equivalent leaders, both equally ready to start a nuclear war? Well, you got it half-right. Just ask the South Koreans and the Japanese whether they can tell the difference, and whether or not they fully appreciate President Trump’s efforts to protect them.

But, at least there’s a silver lining. Marty Rochester’s op-eds are a breath of fresh air in the usual sea of one-sided editorial and other op-ed commentaries. Please continue to send us his columns.

Irl Solomon, St. Louis County

Don’t politicize tikkun olam

I was saddened by the article by staff writer Eric Berger in the April 19 Light (“Gov. Greitens and tikkun olam”). Mr. Berger states that “tikkun olam” is often used in conjunction with “liberal political positions.” That comment goes to the misunderstanding and ignorance of tikkun olam which is a basic tenet of Judaism for ALL Jews. 

He goes on to say that “tikkun olam has become a buzz phrase for American liberalism.”As the Jewish people we are instructed to conduct ourselves properly, to observe mitzvos, (which are not good deeds but commandments) and in that way to contribute to society and civilization both by example through practice and action. To intimate that tikkun olam is more important to liberal Jews is wrong and divisive. 

Tikkun olam was around long before liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans or before the United States for that matter. It has been around and recognized for over 1,800 years. 

It was also disturbing that Mr. Berger and other Democratic politicians quoted in the article seemed pleasantly surprised that Gov. Eric Greitens used the term so often because he is a conservative. Seriously, does Mr. Berger buy into the false narrative of conservatives wanting to “starve babies and kill the elderly?” 

The Light has a liberal bias, understood, so does the St. Louis Jewish community, but the article was so blatantly one-sided. This misinformation tears the foundation of Judaism apart and builds a divide in the community. 

Howard Loiterstein, Chesterfield