The 45 senators (including four Democrats) who voted against requiring background checks for gun purchases are cowards and disgraceful. They showed no compassion for the parents of the slain children in Newtown who appeared before them.
These senators kowtow to the gun lobby instead of protecting our children and families.
We need to send a message to let the 45 senators know what we think of them. Ninety percent of Americans supported the bill, and yet the senators could not vote to support a basic common-sense safety measure. They are supposed to work for the American people not the special interests. They should be voted out of office.
Have they no decency?
Naomi Steinberger’s April 19 letter that “questions global warming” ignores the fact that about 97 percent of climate experts and all science academies worldwide believe that climate change is happening, is largely caused by human activities, and poses a severe threat to humanity. Virtually all published articles that consider the issue in respected refereed scientific journals agree with this conclusion.
Ms. Steinberg’s statement that temperatures recently have been flat ignores that 2012 was the warmest year in the continental U.S. and that the 11 warmest years worldwide since temperature records have been kept in 1880 have occurred since 1998.
At a time when polar ice caps and glaciers all over the world are rapidly melting, when there has been an increase in the number and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods, and when climate scientists are warning that we may reach a tipping point when climate changes spin out of control, Ms. Steinberg’s letter has the potential of continuing the apathy, denial, and misinformation that can prevent the necessary actions that can help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path.
Your recent article on the Friends of the IDF kiddush/fundraiser, jointly undertaken by Congregation Bnai Yeshurun’s men’s club and Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck (“Building bridges by breaking bread,” April 12) , was inspiring and perfectly conveyed the fraternal spirit that the organizers intended for the event. I participated, as a Bnai Yeshurun member, in the preparation for the kiddush and the serving of loads of food and was overwhelmed by the gratitude and appreciation that the Beth Sholom members showered on us and by the overall warmth, camaraderie, and niceness that permeated the occasion. There were no politics, no us vs. them, no right or wrong; just a good old-time type gathering of like-minded souls interested in supporting the Israel Defense Forces and drinking and eating to excess.
I congratulate the leadership of the organizations for making this happy connection happen and all the participants for the outstanding success that the event turned out to be.
Looking forward to the next one!!
Your April 5 op-ed “Work to reduce fossil fuels” takes issue with the Council for a Secure America, which seeks to promote domestic oil and gas production and decrease reliance on Middle East oil. The authors wish instead to move away from fossil fuels to combat climate change, but there are two problems with this stance.
First, the idea that human activities create climate change is by no means a certainty. For example, most recently the Economist magazine noted (“Climate Science, a Sensitive Matter,” March 30th) that “over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar.” This has led them to conclude that “the climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought.”
Secondly, the op-ed would like us to choose green energy over fossil fuels. However this is not simply a matter of choice. The basic chemistry of energy production shows why wind and solar can only provide a small fraction of the energy humans depend upon. As Robert Bryce (“Power Hungry”) and others have explained, the truth is in the numbers.
Thanks for two articles in the March 22 issue: the one by Shammai Engelmayer on kitniyot “High price for a ‘foolish custom,’ and the one on the wicked son by Zvi Szubin (“Haggadah’s ‘Wicked Son’ in a new light”). They appeal to people with good Judaic backgrounds as well as to neophytes. I hope you will continue to solicit and print serious, scholarly articles, which can educate all of us and stimulate discussion. The Standard’s region certainly has many scholars capable of writing such articles.
From the Lifecycle obituary (March 29), it is with sadness that I noted the passing of Rabbi Herschel Schachter (z’l). He was the first U.S. Army chaplain to enter Buchenwald — it was on April 11, 1945, just hours after Gen. George Patton’s Third Army liberated the camp. Among the 1,000 Jewish orphans that Rabbi Schachter placed on a kindertransport to France was Elie Wiesel. He spent months in the camp, ministering to the survivors who remained.
Along with this sadness, I was gratified to see a picture of a special Yom Hashoah yellow candle presented along with the obituary. This candle is produced and distributed by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, the men’s branch of the Conservative movement.
This year, as I light my yellow candle on Sunday evening, April 7, I will dedicate it to the memory of Rabbi Schachter. May his memory be for a blessing.
Bernard Falkenberg is a distant relative of mine (“Finding a righteous gentile,” February 15). I am glad to see this article and I am proud to be German-American. Germany’s history and people share a heritage extending hundreds of years prior to the tyranny of Hitler and continues today both in America and in Germany. My great uncle, Roy T. Falkenberg, fought for the U.S. at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. During the 9/11 attacks, there was one entire family lost; they were aboard Flight 77. It was a family named Falkenberg, and their oldest daughter was named Zoe Falkenberg. At the time, my wife was pregnant with our firstborn child. Many friends called to inquire about the Falkenbergs who perished in the attack. We chose to name our newborn daughter Zoe Falkenberg. We now have four children.
I understand the affinity with world tragedy that many Jews feel. Thank you for this article and for the opportunity to share my sentiments.
The paper looks great. This is another home run for the Jewish Standard. We are fortunate to have you and your fine staff working on our behalf and keeping us up to date on all matters of importance to our community.
As a lifelong reader of the Jewish Standard, I also enjoyed seeing some of the older front pages, which I remember so well. Thanks again to all of you for a job continually well done.