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    Speak Your Vues


    Dear Editor:

    While I am all for the promotion of Ahavas Chinam I disagree with your methods. I thought I was alone in the distasteful feeling I had after reading your differences between sefardim and ashkenazim round up two weeks ago – I was very glad to read that Mrs. Strauss felt the same way. The responses to your question all seemed to emphasize a passion in the Sephardic heritage, food, culture, and suggested that the ashkenazic culture was less colorful, less exciting. There’s no reason for that. We have enough influences in the outside world telling us that our culture is old fashioned and unexciting; we don’t need our own trying to sell that message as well.

    Shifra M

    Editor’s Note: People need a sense of humor. No one is making fun of anybody. This paper is not written for Gedolai Hador, but for the layman. There are different minhagim out there and people should be proud of their family’s minhagim. There is no need to hide the different minhagim or make believe they do not exist.

    Dear Editor:

    I would just like to clarify my letter from last week. I wasn’t trying to say that there are problems with discussing the differences between the minhagim of Ashkenazim and Sefardim. If all that the article was was discussing differences between our minhagim, then it would be fine. I feel that it’s perfectly fine to discuss our differences, but it’s not fine to make a mockery of them. Saying something like “We are right and you are wrong” isn’t a discussion of differences, rather it can only promote Sinas Chinam. I don’t want to say anything against R’ Mansour Chas vshalom, I want you to understand not to publish things that may come across as hurtful. I’m sure he said it tongue in cheek, but that doesn’t come across in a written article. If we want to discuss our differences, then we should go about it in a proper manner; there’s no reason for each of us to make fun of the opposite type. We can only have Ahavas Chinam if we abstain from saying such things.

    Penina Strauss

    Editor’s Note: Read above answer.


    Dear Editor:

    To clarify further, what I used was not a metaphor, but a more delicate description. Responding to an insult with a facetious reference to violence is not actually harmful. Insulting someone out of nowhere, for example, by referring to them in a condescending way, can do far more harm. It’s sad that anyone would feel that they need to do that.


    Reb Yidel Schwartz

    Editor’s Note: It seems your clarification just made things more complicated. I am banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what you mean.


    Dear Editor:

    I was shocked at the City Council’s reaction to Ruben Diaz Sr. Why should a person who speaks his mind lose his job on a special committee? Is Chaim Deutsch the only normal one there as he is the only one who voted against Ruben Diaz losing his position. Shame on his son Ruben Diaz Jr. If a guy is saying that the city Council is run by Toeva’niks he is saying the truth. I am sure if someone would say that the Senate is run by straight white people he would not be censored.

    Yehoshua R

    Editor’s Note: The medrash that describes the reason why Soddom and Amorra were destroyed sounds eerily similar to what society is going through today. We need to daven that our malchus shel chessed doesn’t self destruct allowing the killing of babies and toeva’niks.


    Dear Editor:

    What is the origin of having depictions of animals eagles/lions on Aron Kodesh covering, Sefer Torah cover, or actually minted on top of the silver covers of the Etz Chaim covering/crown? How did this come about and how is it allowed? Also wasnt there a depiction of the Keruvim painted on the wall inside the Kodesh Kedashim? Aren’t these things a distraction since we are so strict about images and here we see it inside the Holiest place ever?

    Miriam H

    Editor’s Note: There are many teshuvos written about this shailoh. Some have the minhag to actually cut off the nose of these animals in question. For more clarification ask your local Orthodox rabbi.


    Dear Editor:

    Should parents intimidate their children? More specifically, is it okay to hit kids? How about screaming at them so that they will obey, if they otherwise wouldn’t? How far should you go in efforts to make kids listen?

    Moshe P

    Editor’s Note: We can only answer the way Shlomo Hamelech did, “Chanoch….al …darko.” Each child has different needs and should be raised accordingly.


    Dear Editor:

    I feel that you could do what you like this Purim. If you like wearing blackface because it makes you happy on a day that we have to be happy, do so. If you want to drink, drink. If you don’t like hearing music in the street or seeing people being happy, stay inside.

    Zorach P

    Editor’s Note: The only advice I can give you with your outlook is, “Don’t run for public office!”