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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Blessing of sight often overlooked
It’s very easy to take our senses for granted. As Joni Mitchell says, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”
The blessing of sight is often overlooked. However, in an instant, it can vanish. David Rullo’s interview with Sandy Greenberg in “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend” (July 31), recounting the friendship between Greenberg and Art Garfunkel, is a cautionary piece, and one that personally struck close to home: Sandy Greenberg was a childhood friend to many in my family and, after all, Buffalo is a big small town.

Three years ago during an annual ophthalmological exam, I was diagnosed with narrow angles, a condition that can lead to glaucoma and sudden blindness. We are incredibly fortunate that treatments and surgery are now available to correct this otherwise disastrous and life-changing condition. Yet, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, of the large number of adults who report having eye problems (64%), only 13% of them have seen a doctor for an eye exam. The 2020 End Blindness prize that will award $3 million to the deserving team needs to focus on public awareness of necessary ophthalmological yearly exams, especially for those 40 years and older, to correct what is now a preventable blindness condition.

Dori Oshlag
Squirrel Hill

Notable events ignored in Chronicle feature
I have been mystified for some time by the events that the Center for Israel Education provides the Chronicle (“This Week in Israeli history,” ongoing). I wondered why the dates were not notable in Jewish history, rather than being limited to Israeli history. How, in fact, can the two be separated?

They can’t — as a regular reading of the feature clearly demonstrates. The CIE notes, for example, the Aug. 4 publication of an article by Mordecai Kaplan “laying the groundwork for Reconstructionist Judaism.” How, one might ask, is that related to Israel history? Ah, the item cleverly closes with what no doubt is a barely noticed phrase — Kaplan’s article “includes Zionism as a key component.”

In addition to learning about Kaplan’s article, your readers might — if they found it of the slightest interest — have learned the birthdate of an obscure Israeli politician, and the date of death of an equally obscure composer. What they would not have read was one word about one of the great tragedies of Jewish history: the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Apparently that lacked a sufficient connection to Israel to be worthy of the CIE’s attention.

But that shouldn’t have missed the Chronicle’s attention too. Surely your readers are worthy of a more a comprehensive look at Jewish history than what the CIE can conceive of.

The Bialystok Ghetto uprising began on Aug. 20, 1943, and Leopold Zunz was born on Aug. 10, 1794. Since neither is amenable to an easy connection to Israeli history, I assume the CIE will overlook them both. Will the Chronicle do the same?

The CIE may be a useful resource for the Chronicle, but it certainly isn’t a sufficient one. Finding notable dates in Jewish history is not a formidable task. I hope the Chronicle will broaden its search so that it will more effectively achieve what I assume is its intent — to offer its readers glimpses into their rich history.

Ann Sheckter Powell
Pittsburgh

Still waving to cyclists, but gave up the Harley
In regard to “Life is a chai-way for these Jewish bikers” (Aug. 7), I drove a Harley until I was 80 (I am now 95). I stopped because I couldn’t lift it anymore. Also the helmet became too heavy. I wished there was a Jewish group then.
I still have my jacket and trousers, if anyone wants them. They are fairly short.

Marion Damick
Squirrel Hill

A small Jewish world
Pittsburgh was my home for many years, but I now live in San Diego. Because of COVID-19, I haven’t met many people in my new retirement community. Our menu often has lox and bagels and pastrami sandwiches. Occasionally, even matzah ball soup. There are Shabbat services but they’ve been cancelled because of quarantine rules. But I have been waiting to make my first Jewish friend. Guess who introduced us?

My daughter was visiting me outside and reading the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle to me. A gentleman strolled by on his walker and said, “Oh, a Yiddishe maideleh is reading to her mameleh!”

So the Chronicle introduced me to my first M.O.T. here in Paradise Village. Thought you’d like to know.

Beverly King Pollock
aka “Quoth the Maven” (Chronicle columnist 1967-’78)
San Diego, California

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