We Can Still Be United and Have Differences of Opinion
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Opinion, “Amir Ohana’s Homophobic Detractors Are the Abomination,” Feb. 10) presented differing opinions of various Israel Knesset members and various rabbis on the appointment of Amir Ohana, the new speaker of the Knesset and the first openly gay man to serve in that role. The title of the piece, as well as some of the comments in it, reminds us that Israel is a country of diverse opinions. My rabbi, quoting the famous Jewish commentator Rashi, in Parshat Yitro, noted that when the Jews camped at Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, the Children of Israel were “as one person with one heart.” In other words, the people were united.
The giving of the Torah was based on the acceptance of all 613 commandments as the people responded, “All that G-d spoke, we will do.” That acceptance applies today, too. Boteach’s comment that “You have 611 commandments remaining” is questionable. Yes, there are some commandments that apply to women, men or the priesthood — or when there is a standing Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, for example — but the obligation to observe even the other two commandments is not easily dismissed.
Indeed, every person is created in G-d’s image and we must love every person, but we also have the right to express an opinion when the behavior or act, not the individual, is being addressed. At a time when terrorist attacks and hatred of Jews continue in Israel and around the world, our primary concern must be our love for the state of Israel and our fellow Jews. We can still be united and have differences of opinion.
Let’s at least remind ourselves of the “Pledge of Allegiance” words that we are “one nation under G-d,” both here and in Israel.
That’s a House-Elf, Not a Goblin
The fuss over alleged antisemitism in the “Hogwarts Legacy” video game’s portrayal of goblins strikes me (the father of two Harry Potter devotees) as yet another example of a point an old friend made once: Not only can you never be too politically correct, you can never be politically correct enough (Weekly Kibbitz, “Are the Goblins in ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Antisemitic? Harry Potter Video Game Renews Criticism,” Feb. 17).
But my jaw dropped when the Jewish Times illustrated the article with a large picture of Dobby — who isn’t a goblin at all, but a house-elf!
Jeffrey M. Landaw
The Feb. 24 article, “Jason Schwartzberg on Jewish Federation Real Estate and Energy,” contained an error. Schwartzberg founded MD Energy Advisors and PointClickSwitch with two colleagues, Paul Clary and Phil Croskey, not one.
The Baltimore Jewish Times regrets this error.
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