Pro-Asaifa, May 25 issue
I find the vitriol directed against the Citifield asifa not only to be unfounded but downright offensive. Yes, the internet is an inescapable part of our modern world, but to be inattentive to the enormous dangers that lurk in this medium is naive and foolhardy. To demand that we supervise our children and ourselves is no less than absolutely necessary, and is the “price” to be paid for our indulgence in this area of society. Call it Torah U’Mada or Torah im Derech Eretz, or what have you, neither the Rambam nor Rav Hirsch, not Rav Soloveitchik believed that our participation in society means embracing ALL aspects of society. What is crude, crass, coarse and demeaning; what is nothing more than the yetzer harah garbed in a screen and keyboard must be recognized for what it is, and studiously avoided! The Rambam in Hilchos Dayos writes of running away from an environment which is morally bankrupt and perverse,even at the cost of living like a hermit in a cave. We don’t have to go that far because nearly all of the most corrupt elements of popular culture are imported by US into OUR homes via electronics. In his infinite wisdom, the Ribono Shel Olam gave us the off button on the remote.
Rabbi David Friedman
I wish to congratulate you on publishing the article by Juda Engelmayer on the first page of your paper. Many publishers would shy away from any disagreement with those ultra-orthodox who are determined to create new biblical commandments to further impose themselves on our everyday lives. Actually, this propensity is itself a violation of a Torah commandment. Chapter 4, Verse 2 of D’varim (Deutoronomy) not to add to what the Lord commands, nor subtract therefrom. Yet, some rabbis are determined to add their own interpretations to further impose themselves on our daily lives.
Some years ago, a rabbi (I believe from Far Rockaway) determined to expand the concept of kashrut from dietary laws to hair announced that he was able to determine if a wig was kosher and directed all women wearing wigs without his hashgacha to burn their wigs. It was reported that when somebody with a miniscule of common sense inquired why these women were burning their wigs when there are many women, not of the Jewish faith, being treated for cancer, who had lost their hair and would be happy to have these unwanted wigs, he ruled that they must be burned as they were tref.
Silly interpretations, such as that of the wig rabbinical expert and those who (as Mr. Engelmayer noted) convened in two large sports arenas to discuss the internet, without allowing the presence of any women will ultimately destroy our continued existence.
Saul I. Weinstein
Parade, May 25 issue
Jeff Dunetz’s opinion piece in which he states that he is not going to the Israel Day Parade and urges others to do the same, does nothing more than allow these anti-Israel groups, who we would all like to see the end of, to claim hosts of invisible backers of their venom since based on what he would like to see, no one would be present to protest their presence as they march down the street.
A more productive way of showing solidarity to Israel and our vehement nausea and rejection of these groups would be for a large showing upfront at the parade to boo and hiss them as they march down the street and even hold placards against them to embarrass and humiliate them as much as possible.
Just staying home solves nothing other than to give them the opportunity to push their agendas with no one to dispute its acceptance and more recognition of a positive note because no one would be there to show the world our disgust of their existence.