Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

In praise of a local hero
Oct. 7 will forever be etched in the minds of the Jewish people for eternity. Heroes courageously fought and died on that day and continue to serve in Israel.

And a new brand of hero has emerged in the aftermath of Oct. 7. One of them happens to live among us in Pittsburgh. His name is David Dvir.
I was first introduced to David on Oct. 8 at a rally for Israel at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. After that, every time I attended a pro-Israel event, he was there. He helped organize the Shabbat dinner in honor of the hostages in early November. One week later, when my wife and I went to Schenley Plaza for a candle vigil for all the lives lost, who was there helping to organize the event? David Dvir.

Sunday, Nov. 19 was the first of weekly community vigils in support of the hostages that David organized with the help of others, including his family and Julie Paris. Since then, these vigils have continued each Sunday at noon on the corner of Darlington Road and Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill (“Bring them home,” ongoing).

Every week, David organizes a different theme with speakers from all walks of life — clergy, physicians, attorneys, politicians, community members — who come together to speak on behalf of the hostages. David, his family and his minyan of helpers arrive early every Sunday and set up the vigils. If it is cold outside, David supplies heaters; when it rains, he arranges for some type of coverage. Throughout the winter and now into spring, this man has had the strength and resolve to continue this process.

David supplies the posters, banners and other supplies needed for each vigil. Every week, he assembles a panel of speakers. There is always a moment of silence for the recently fallen soldiers, and we are also given information about individual hostages and their families.

What is so special about these vigils is the community feeling. Jews from all walks of life are present. Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, all gathered for one purpose.

In my opinion, David is a hero, and I am so happy to call him a friend. I just hope the hostages are released and these vigils become part of Pittsburgh Jewish history.

Dr. Allan Tissenbaum
Mt. Lebanon

A call for a ‘cease-fire now’
I have mixed feelings about the cease-fire resolutions that are being considered by local city and county councils (“Chronicle poll results: Cease-fire resolutions,” March 8, 2024). The feelings I have about Oct. 7, however, are very clear: The events of that day were heinous, and retaliation was both an understandable and expected reaction.

Retaliation, however, has not led to the desired outcomes. Hamas still exists, a large number of the hostages have not been freed or have died in captivity, and Israel is not secure. In fact, it can be argued that Israel is now less secure than before since so much of the world has been horrified at its continued bombardment of Gaza and the extreme death and injury toll that innocent civilians have suffered. Pictures of sad, anxious, injured and hungry Palestinian children are now entering our waking and sleeping consciousness. Pregnant women and people with serious health problems in Gaza cannot be cared for and living conditions are unthinkable.

I do not have the answer as to how to help the people of Israel and Gaza live side by side in the future. The trauma that they have been through and continue to go through is beyond what most of us can imagine, and this will undoubtedly affect the path going forward.The only way to start on this pathway is to declare a cease-fire. I realize that complicated preconditions have been part of the negotiations for a cease-fire. As we wait for these conditions to be agreed upon, however, the number of people killed or injured or dying from lack of food and medical care continues to grow.

All I know is that this situation is unbearable. When I found the energy to write this letter, it was a relief to be able to express myself and to add to the growing number of voices who are calling for a “cease-fire now.”

Janice H. Gordon

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