Letters to the Editor: September 2

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Cherry-picking observances isn’t kosher
Declaring himself to be a “scholar”, albeit “not a Biblical or Talmudic scholar”, I am quite aghast at the glaring intellectual dishonesty in the recent article by Dr. Solomon Stevens (“Biblical Kosher vs Talmudic Kosher,” Aug. 19, 2022).

Is the author declaring himself to be a follower of the Karaites or the Saducees, who also denied the authority of the Oral Torah? Is he aware of the Rambam’s Introduction to the Mishna Torah, in which he gives a clear delineation of the mesora, the giving over of the Oral Torah, from generation to generation, going all the way back to Moses himself, who received it from God at the very same time as the Written Torah?

I assume he has a mezuzah on his door post. How does he know where to put it? The Karaites used to literally write the words on the door post! How does he know any of the blessings we say? How does he know what constitutes chametz, or what is to be done for a seder?

Does he know where any laws of blowing the shofar come from? What about tefillin? What about the true interpretation of “an eye for an eye”?

The Karaites and Saducees used to sit in the dark on Shabbos because they didn’t believe in the Oral Torah’s explanations of the rules for Sabbath observance.

And why does he believe that the Written Torah is Divine? I’m not aware of any proof that it is. It’s a matter of faith.

But even more to the point concerning his view on kashrus, he falsely ascribes the laws of kosher slaughter to the Written Torah. I say falsely because there are no rules about it in the Written Torah at all! Were it not for the Oral Torah, we would have no idea whatsoever about the laws of shechita. So it seems to me that, ultimately, Dr. Stevens has decided to cherry pick the laws he likes and discard those he does not. That is not intellectual honesty. It is shameful. If he truly wants Hashem to “guide us all,” I suggest he start learning the very thing he has so much trouble accepting.

Michael Caplan
Baltimore

Cox is very good people
It is a shame that fools would use this form of hatred to undermine an honorable man who has very good plans for Maryland (“Man arrested and charged in connection with antisemitic vandalism,” Aug. 19, 2022). I believe that this will only bring more support to Mr. Cox and his run for Governor.
Saul Wrightmen via Facebook
Baltimore

Letters should be related to articles that have run in the print or online editions of the JT, and may be edited for space and clarity prior to publication. Please include your first and last name, as well your town/neighborhood of residence. Send letters to editor@jewishtimes.com or Baltimore Jewish Times, 11459 Cronhill Drive, Suite A, Owings Mills, MD 21117, or submit them online at jewishtimes.com/letters-to-the-editor.

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