Shuls Piece Missed the Mark
I’m writing in response to Ms. Mandel’s article’s premise that, “it is clear that granting bureaucrats the power to shut down constitutionally protected areas of our lives will go down as one of the biggest mistakes of our nation’s handling of the pandemic” (“Why Can’t We Pray in Our Shuls,” June 12). Her line of reasoning appears to be that while the protesting over George Floyd’s unjust killing is righteous, allowing the protests in the streets requires opening the doors to all indoor religious gatherings.
While I agree with her assertion that no one should have to earn the right to join together in prayer, I fail to see the logical connection between allowing outdoor protests with requiring indoor religious practices, particularly in light of the number of incidents of large indoor religious services leading to significant spread of the virus. It seems her issue is that if these massive gatherings to mourn George Floyd’s death are permitted, all people should be allowed to attend funerals.
The protests are a landmark rise in social activism to eradicate institutional racism. The bans on social gatherings have been put in place to control a deadly virus. While I understand and agree with her that gatherings do put lives at risk when social distancing and mask wearing aren’t employed, it hardly seems prudent to suggest that the police, against whom many are protesting, should be handing out tickets for these offenses. Rather, from a public health perspective, leaders should be reinforcing the need for responsible protests such as that which occurred in Columbia.
Ms. Mandel’s reasoning that the protests necessitate all religious gatherings being open, in my opinion, is foolish and irresponsible. Many mistakes were indeed made in our nation’s response to the pandemic, but holding “virtual” or outdoor religious services hardly seems like an outrageous requirement to protecting our fellow citizens and upholding the Jewish value of social responsibility.
~ Shara Alpert, Ellicott City
An Offensive Comparison
It is incredibly offensive for the Jewish Times (“The Minister of Hate,” June 26) to compare the vile remarks of Louis Farrakhan to the intended calming remark, “There are good people on both sides,” made a few years ago, actually referencing those that wanted to remove statutes, and often blatantly misapplied by the liberal media. The subtle and unnecessary (not to mention false) political slur ruined an otherwise excellent article denouncing both past and present statements of Farrakhan, as well as exposing the hypocrisy of the Hollywood elite who support him. JT, I know you can do better!
~ Sonny Taragin, Baltimore