Letters to the editor: Week of Nov. 11, 2015

A plea for Jewish observance

I would like to make a plea for  Jews all around the world to seek increased observance of Jewish laws and mitzvahs. I hope my request reaches those of you who have fallen out of regular practice of Jewish traditions and  to consider becoming more observant.   It is beyond sad to note the horrible terrorism, currently occurring daily with heinous results. It is beyond any individual’s comprehension to know why such unfounded hate and adversity — against Jews in Israel and around the world — seems to be on the increase.  Call me fanatic, from the old school or old-fashioned, but keep in mind the Laws of Torah, inscribed by Hashem Himself, in no way change. Whatever level of increased observance can emanate by each and every one of us might just help reduce the hatred and terrorism. We should all, especially those of you who do not observe, just try to be more observant — attend services on time, be active to inspire others, do mitzvahs for your fellow man — even on a limited basis. Whatever you do, please do not eliminate Judaism from your lives altogether.

Howard Sandler, University City 


Where is the outrage?

 On Oct. 20, in a speech before the World Zionist Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu claimed that a reluctant Adolf Hitler decided to initiate the Nazi campaign of extermination against European Jews in 1941 only after being cajoled by former Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini. This extraordinary statement has been cited as false, if not farcical, by reputable scholars of the Holocaust.  

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Curiously, I have yet to see a condemnation of Netanyahu coming from the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation or the St. Louis Jewish Light. In the midst of escalating Israeli state violence against Palestinians, knife attacks by Palestinians against Jews, and a wave of Jewish vigilantism resulting in injuries and death, Netanyahu decided to falsely state that a Palestinian convinced Hitler to initiate the Holocaust. Generally when a world leader engages in revisionist history of the Holocaust in order to incite racial hatred, the people and groups who claim to represent American Jewry publicly condemn the leader, as they should. Is there an Israeli exception to this rule? 

Michael Berg, St. Louis