Letters to the Editor: November 7, 2018

Letters+to+the+Editor%3A+November+7%2C+2018

A different take on vigil speakers

I attended the vigil at the Jewish Community Center last Sunday (Oct. 28) and had a very different reaction than the opinion of Dr. Myron Jacobs (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 31 edition). To me, the program was uplifting and apolitical. Even though we had representatives from a diverse group of lay leaders, interfaith and Jewish clergy and political figures, each spoke to our need for unity and mutual beliefs as we mourned and prayed for those killed and wounded in the Tree of Life synagogue massacre.

All of the speakers were inspirational in expressing the St. Louis Jewish community’s desire to gather to confront the religious intolerance and hatred that led to the anti-Semitic crime in Pittsburgh. Andrew Rehfeld, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, provided leadership in calling upon us to tone down the angry, divisive rhetoric that contributes to the toxic political climate in the United States. 

Examples of eloquent and direct remarks included Rabbi Noah Arnow of Kol Rinah and President of the St. Louis Rabbinical Council; Reverend Dr. David Greenhaw, President of Eden Theological Seminary and Vice Chair of the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis; Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Congregation Shaare Emeth; Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council; and State Sen. Jill Schupp. They complemented each other with powerful messages confronting religious intolerance, racism and the need for action in a civilized manner.

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Responsible citizens must speak out about injustices in our society. We can volunteer in peaceful ways to help repair the world. It is our obligation as U.S. citizens to speak out by voting our conscience. 

Gary Ratkin, St. Louis


Unnecessary and inappropriate 

At the risk of calling further attention to an unnecessary article with an inappropriate title (“Are Schmaltz brothers of NHL Jewish,” Oct. 31 edition), I question the judgment of including this JTA piece in the Light. First of all, as an avid hockey fan, I don’t care about the faith, nationality or ethnic background of any of the players. Sure, there may be a hint of pride if we share a common heritage, but what really counts is the players’ ability in the contest. Moreover, this is an invasion of the players’ privacy, whether they are Jewish or not. There is no suggestion that the players were interviewed for the article, which contains no useful sports or religious information. Would such an article appear about a player named Smith or Cooper? JTA and the Light should not fall for stereotypes and stick to legitimate reporting. 

Bob Tucker, Creve Coeur

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