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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

A boon for Lawrenceville
The William Penn Tavern’s relocation is Shadyside’s loss, and it is a serious loss for sure; but it is Lawrenceville’s gain. Richard Rattner, the founder and owner of the William Penn Tavern, has fashioned in his business what so many would like a Shadyside establishment to be — a home away from home, a place where you can pop in, meet friends, catch good chow and quench your thirst. In England, they call it a pub. The William Penn Tavern is a people’s bar, a haven to many. Richard, his staff, his “helpers” (Heather, Nate, Jonah and Rose) will be dearly missed … in Shadyside.

Carol Hoffman
Tel Aviv

Jewish calendar should stay intact
In response to “A Diaspora calendar to revive Jewish life” (Dec. 17):
Since Hillel codified the Jewish calendar thousands of years ago, it remains perhaps the only Jewish practice or institution about which all Jews agree — on all of its details. Whether in Pittsburgh or in Petah Tivah or in Rome, Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th of Tishrei, regardless of the secular date. Whether observing two days of yom tov, or one day of yom tov (as in Israel), Passover begins, with certainty, on the 15th of Nisan. We experience Jewish leap years because that’s the way Hillel planned it, for us as a people.

Given the multitude of disagreements among the Jewish people (unfortunately), why pile onto that stack of issues by fabricating another in the name of supposed convenience? Microwaves are built for convenience. The Jewish calendar is our certified guide to Jewish life, as it was, as it is, and as it will be, G-d willing. This is one of the worst, out-of-the-box ideas to reinvigorate modern Jewish life that’s come down the turnpike in a very, very long time.

Shlomo Perelman
Silver Spring, Maryland

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