Letters to the editor
Why does Tree of Life Congregation continue to destroy history?
According to a March 21 article in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Tree of Life Congregation has removed individual metal yahrzeit plaques from the large yahrzeit boards that once hung in the synagogue building. They have afforded families an opportunity to pick up the removed yahrzeit plaques of their loved ones.
Why is Tree of Life apparently intent on forgetting the past in the course of its rebuild? First, it involves the upcoming destruction of an important piece of Pittsburgh Jewish history — the Pervin Chapel (where some congregants were murdered on Oct. 27, 2018), which I strongly oppose on a historical basis. Now, it is dismantling yahrzeit boards, and who knows what else? Are these deceased loved ones, many of whom were past members of the congregation, no longer important and worth remembering? When someone purchases a yahrzeit plaque, it is with an expectation that the plaque will remain on the wall for as long as the building exists. Many congregations that have gone out of existence have realized the great historical value and significance of maintaining these yahrzeit boards and have found new homes for them in other synagogues. Tree of Life Congregation apparently is not interested in finding wall space for rehanging these historical yahrzeit plaques within the confines of its new building. It seems that in its “Remember. Renew. Rebuild.” campaign, it has elected to abandon an important aspect of “remembrance.” If this is how Tree of Life chooses to “remember” the dearly departed, then when it sends out annual yahrzeit notices to those now “plaqueless families,” I wonder if these donation solicitations will be ignored in the same manner their loved ones are ignored in the course of removing the family plaques from the walls.
‘Radical’ Democrats’ silence on Palestinian terror condemned
Rep. Summer Lee and other radical Democratic lawmakers are indignant about U.S. aid to Israel, citing concerns for protecting “democracy, human rights, and self-determination for all Palestinians and Israelis” (“Rep. Summer Lee signs letter urging shift in U.S. policy toward Israel,” April 7, 2023). However, the above values appear unimportant, as the same lawmakers are silent about genocidal calls of the Palestinian Authority leadership and Hamas (a U.S.- designated terrorist group) to kill every Jew. Similarly, these congresspeople don’t appear perturbed about supporting the PA’s de facto dictator, Mahmoud Abbas, who last held elections in the West Bank in 2005. Finally, despite progressive Democrats’ purported human rights interests, we don’t hear any reproach of PA leadership for promoting modern-day child sacrifice with its indoctrination of Palestinian youth from cradle to grave to become killers of Jews, rewarding such acts with large monetary stipends, the PA’s “pay to slay” policy.
Palestinian Arab terrorists currently conduct car rammings, shootings and knifings of innocent Israelis waiting at bus stops, stuck in traffic or going about their daily lives, but these lives don’t count, according to the above Democrats. Not surprisingly, operations by the Israeli Defense Forces aimed at protecting Israeli society and stopping these terror attacks are condemned.
As to Rep. Lee’s query about what Israel was defending in May 2021 “when no one has done anything needing defense” — the IDF measures were in response to hundreds of missiles fired indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centers by jihadist Hamas fighters in Gaza.
What would Americans do if faced with similar situations from terrorists such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda, who hold comparable fanatic views to Hamas? Let’s hope Rep. Lee and company would not be in positions of power if such unthinkable circumstances were to occur; it would not bode well for the lives of innocent American civilians.