Diet advice might not be about weight
As someone who has overweight relatives, I believe that we’re “am echad” or “one people” blessed with unique characteristics. I also condemn weight stigma and negative comments directed toward overweight people. While I agree with most of Rabbi Minna Bromberg’s article, “Take it from a fat rabbi: Nobody needs your dieting advice” (May 14), I disagree with some of her statements.
Bromberg writes, “When you suggest a diet to us, you reinforce the message that this space is one in which we cannot or ought not belong in the fullness of who we are” and “Stop telling fat people about your diet.”
Please be aware that an increasing number of people embrace a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or any other diet after learning about their benefits or experiencing improved health and well-being. For example, numerous studies have demonstrated that a vegan diet can help lower heart disease risk, lose weight and improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. We live in an era in which people (thin or fat) tend to seek out knowledge that supports their interest in a holistic way of living. Therefore, sharing my vegan recipes, which often receive positive feedback, with those who search for healthy additions to their existing menu options or who search for information about this diet fulfills their needs without being regarded as unsolicited advice.
In addition, Bromberg indicates that, “Often this urge to share your diet comes from a place of being ‘concerned about health.’” This is not entirely the case with vegans, as we refrain from consuming animals and animal-derived products for health, ethical and/or environmental reasons.
Everyone should feel accepted, but we need to work on not assuming that every dieter’s intention is to discriminate against overweight individuals.
Stand up more for Israel
I was disappointed in the size of the rally that was pictured on the cover of your May 21 issue (“Baltimore Jews express support for Israel as conflict continues”). I was there, and I must emphasize that I was not disappointed by the demeanor or enthusiasm of the crowd, just its size. It is very sad that a Jewish community of our size would have such a small turnout. It is time for the Jewish community of Baltimore and the U.S. to stand up. We saw Black Lives Matter protesters, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes and her followers very firmly stand up for the Palestinians and against Israel.
In your same May 21st issue you have an article that says that Palestinians and Palestinian advocates say that it’s unfair that the Israelis have an Iron Dome Defense System and the Palestinians do not (“All about the Iron Dome”). What writer Ben Sales fails to mention is that the Israelis do not lob rockets into Palestinian territories without provocation. If Hamas did not constantly attack Israel, the Palestinians would have no need of any defensive systems.
The left wing’s antisemitism is a threat to our survival. History always repeats itself. The sign in our front yards should say “Never Again.”
There is no equivalence
Only the Baltimore Jewish Times can, in the same magazine, place on its cover a picture of a local rally for Israel, but on its editorial page find a way to criticize Israeli Jews and seemingly try to equate the thousands of rockets fired into sovereign Israel — not only recently, but through the years — with small, if nuanced, and not described, incidents of, as the JT describes it, extremist right-wing Jews attacking Israeli Arabs (“The fires within,” May 21). There is no equivalence. This trend in the American Jewish media of equation should be worrisome and troubling to the Jewish people.
Yitzchak Ira Friedman