Be lenient in judgment of others
In the article about Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel’s work at the Aleph Institute with Jewish prisoners (“A person cannot be ‘canceled’: Aleph Institute’s Rabbi Vogel on forgiveness,” Sept. 25), Rabbi Vogel counsels us: “We‘re fallible, we make mistakes. … Anyone can do teshuva …. We take an accounting … did we do right, and if not … where can we improve.” This was such an appropriate message to read in the Chronicle a few days before Yom Kippur. Our sages have taught that on Yom Kippur G-d judges us according to how we judge others. If we are lenient with our judgment of others, G-d is lenient with his judgment of us.
Theme of teshuva in ‘Field of Dreams’
I enjoyed David Rullo’s article “Your COVID-19 High Holiday season movie guide” (Sept. 18), but I believe he missed mentioning a beautiful and excellent movie. This movie is not Jewish in an obvious manner (think Hashem being hidden in Megillah Esther). This movie, however, is totally appropriate for the High Holidays because its underlying theme is essentially about teshuva.
That movie is “Field of Dreams” (1989). Those familiar with this movie understand that once the baseball themes are stripped away, it is really about the main protagonist performing an incredible act of teshuva for the pain he caused his father. (Is it Hashem who is prompting him along the path back?) If you have not thought about the aspect of teshuva in this movie, please do so. It is beautiful movie about a beautiful trail back to his father.
Trump’s actions for Israel do not outweigh harm to US
As a Jewish American who identifies as a Democrat, I feel compelled to explain to letter writer Barbara Berns why for me an end to the Trump administration is critical.
I care a great deal about Israel, but this is my country. Even accepting the premise that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and the agreements (not peace treaties, because there never was a war) with the UAE and Bahrain were beneficial to Israel, how can these moves outweigh the harm Donald Trump has done to the United States?
Where to begin? Mishandling and making light of the COVID-19 pandemic? Withdrawal from the WHO at this moment when worldwide cooperation is so important? Denial of the need to address climate change and withdrawal from the Paris accords? Regarding immigrants and asylum seekers as sub-human? Caging their children? Working to end the Affordable Care Act? Praising and admiring dictators? Planting doubt about the validity of the upcoming election?
There is no need to debate whether President Trump made the alleged disparaging remarks about our military heroes. He has made enough disgusting remarks which are recorded. The events at Charlottesville when marchers chanted “Jews will not replace us,” and our president said there were good people on both sides, should tell Jewish Americans what Donald Trump thinks of us.
Barbara M. Grossman
Ready for Harris
Yes, Barbara B. Berns, I am ready to have Kamala Harris be our president. If Joe Biden is elected (please God) and something happens to him (God forbid), I would be more than happy to have Kamala Harris as our president. Trump is a liar, cheat and racist who cheated on all of his wives. He makes fun of people with disabilities and sides with the white supremacists. He is dividing our nation more than any other president in the history of the U.S. He is now saying if he does not win he will not leave the office because of mail-in ballots. My question to you as a Jew: Do you not care about justice? Do you not care that Trump has divided our nation more than any other president in the history of the U.S.?
Harris or Pence?
The last line of Barbara Burns’ letter in the Sept. 25 Chronicle asks: “Are you prepared to have Kamala Harris as your president?” I ask her: “Are you prepared to have the Christian conservative Mike Pence as your president?”
Dismay at Jews supporting Trump
As I struggle to find the sweetness in 5781, I’m grateful my beloved parents, of blessed memory, are not alive to witness some of their fellow Jews supporting Trump. My father, who was so proud of Jewish intellect and accomplishment. My mother, who lost her whole family because people voted for Hitler in 1933. When another white supremacist megalomaniac extols the genetic makeup of a mob of mostly Scandinavian descent, when he turns the U.S. Attorney General into his own personal attorney, when he drains our collective coffers to make the über-rich wealthier, when he invites and covers up foreign interference in our elections, when he hands the U.S. Postal Service over to a Republican fundraiser bent on dismantling it, when he deliberately corrupts even the institutions tasked with saving us from a virus he’s repeatedly lied about and catastrophically mishandles… But there’s no point in going on. Some of my fellow Jews don’t care. You wear Trump 2020 on your yarmulkes, apparently believing that supporting a serial adulterer, liar, grifter, and cheat who believes he’s part of a master race can be reconciled with obedience to the Master of the Universe.
I don’t know how I can forgive you.