Letters | Jan. 25, 2019


‘Mrs. Maisel’ Rings True

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” according to most critics and viewers, including this one, is a very funny and creative show. Therefore, I found the column “The Meh Mrs. Maisel” (Jan. 18) to be nitpicking at best, and an affront to the creative process at worst. First, the show is fiction, not a documentary. In developing fiction, writers are generally allowed some poetic license relative to factual elements.

Second, the primary theme of this show is not Jewish life in the 1950s, it is the uncharacteristic rebellion of a woman and her willingness to transcend the roles prescribed for her in the 1950s, namely wife, housekeeper and primary child-rearer. That rebellion, however unadmirable we may believe it is, explains Midge’s willingness to abandon the man she loves, and even to interact less with her children than one would expect of a mother. But this latter point has nothing really to do with Jewishness, despite the legendary protectiveness of Jewish mothers.

I was an only child who grew up in NYC in the 1950s. Despite the points made in the article, the show “rings true” for me, and even evokes a good deal of poignant nostalgia. And I didn’t live even close to the lifestyle depicted. None of the “errors” were malicious or deleterious to Jews. Perhaps very serious and observant Jews, and “literalists” might take offense. But almost all of my Jewish friends are regular viewers. So, with due respect to the authors, lighten up folks!

Sidney Chernick

Need to Hold Women’s March Supporters Accountable

Echoing concerns raised in last week’s story (“Jews Torn Over Women’s March,” Jan. 18), in a column by Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times regarding efforts by the Women’s March Inc. to counter adverse publicity about associations by top staff with Louis Farakhan and his anti-Semitic rants, the reader is told, “Leaders of the Women’s March Inc. added three Jewish women to a steering committee. Two of the four national chairwomen, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, met with a group of 13 rabbis after which nine of them encouraged Jews to join this year’s demonstration.”

I believe that, in the public interest and especially that of the Jewish community, the names of these individuals should be made public. There is a crying out for accountability of Jewish religious and secular leaders. It seems to me that this would be a good place to start.

There should be an open discussion about associations with known anti-Semites and the appropriate response to it.

Lyle Ryter

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