Letters to the editor, Oct. 19, 2011

Maintaining Jewish focus

We are subscribers and have been reading the Light eagerly for many years. Occasionally, however, we find something in the Light totally inappropriate, such as a veterinary column (“Ask Dr. Doug,” Oct. 5). We also subscribe to The Forward, so we know there are lots of stories around the world of interest to Jewish readers. Why waste space on such an un-Jewish subject?

We also found it inappropriate last spring to “review” Friday night Catholic fish fry churches.

ADVERTISEMENT
Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

You are a wonderful special interest newspaper. Please remember your audience and your mission.

Thelma Schrier, Ladue

Ignorance and anti-Semitism

The reasons for anti-Semitism are many and varied, and the depths of this insidious form of bigotry and discrimination have been discussed and debated ad infinitum. However, allow me to put forth another possible reason that might further explain the intolerance and hatred for Jews: fear of the unknown.

I suspect that there is a large segment of the population of this country who has never interacted with a person of the Jewish faith, and therefore, knows very little, if anything, about Jews and Judaism.

During the course of my lifetime some of the questions that non-Jews have asked me about my faith, seem almost surreal, unbelievable, and mind-blowing (including: Do Jews believe in God? Why don’t Jews attend church? Is it true that Jews have horns? Have Jews ever fought for this country? Are all Jews wealthy?)

I’ve been told by many non-Jews that they regard Judaism as a race, rather than a religion. Furthermore, many have told me that they feel that Jews profess a disdain and dislike for Christians.

Plain and simple, those who asked me these ludicrous and inane questions, and made these outlandish statements were, no doubt, ignorant, but not in the sense of being dumb or stupid but rather in the sense of veritably not knowing.

I suspect that the realm of the mysterious and the unknown has led many of the citizenry to form negative and disparaging opinions about Jews through hearsay and perception, which often times unfortunately, are construed as reality.

That said, perhaps many of the high schools across the country that are now incorporating the study of African-American history into their curriculum, might also want to consider adding another mandatory subject to their social studies program-Introduction to Judaism 101: The Truth Behind the Rumors, Myths, and Lies.

Gene Carton, Olivette