Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Gun insanity

For the first time, children learned what the word “massacre” means. It will change their lives and the lives of their parents forever.

I was in the same situation 71 years ago at the beginning of World War II. At that time, death was coming from the sky, indiscriminately taking the lives of young and old.

I was only 5 years old, the same age as the children of Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. I still remember the malicious face of the fascist pilot who circled at low elevation above us, my mom and my siblings, as we ran on the railroad platform to find a place to hide as he shot at us with his machine gun. I saw a lot of dead children and their moms, who tried to shield them with their bodies.

The massacre in Newtown was due not to an invading enemy, but the insanity of our citizens’ fascination with guns. It is terrible and inadmissible in a society claiming to be modern and civilized.

We must stop selling guns to ordinary people. Only the police should have guns, to protect us. How many mass killings will it take to shake us out of our somnolence?

It is time for real change. Enough is enough!

Marty Kruglikov   |    Fremont


Circumcision alternatives

Jewish parents are looking at the risks and drawbacks of circumcision as well as the potential benefits that Dr. Edgar Schoen describes in his article (“Circumcision is not only Jewish, it’s good for you,” op-ed, Jan. 4). These parents may decide against circumcision, whether to avoid the infliction of pain and trauma, because of the current research about the physiological function and erogenous nature of foreskin tissue, or for a variety of other medical, spiritual or personal reasons.

Some of these parents are deciding to have brit shalom (covenant of peace) ceremonies, in which baby boys are welcomed into Jewish life without having been circumcised. And many rabbis are now willing to perform these ceremonies on request.

Progressive synagogues are expending tremendous effort to welcome Jews of color, the LGBT community and interfaith families. Rabbis are talking openly about the beauty — the spiritual vitality — that arises from diversity within the Jewish community.

Given the growing number of brit shalom families within the Jewish population, it seems to me we face an important question. Do we want to push these families away, or do we want to encourage them to affiliate with synagogues and participate in Jewish life?

Lisa Braver Moss   |   Piedmont


Biting hand that feeds Israel

I was saddened to read the political cartoon in the Jan. 4 edition demonizing Christian evangelicals. The undeniable fact is that Bibi Netanyahu was correct when he said that Israel “has no better friends” than them. I have met a number of such wonderful Christians — if only more U.S. Jews shared their love for Israel! Instead, we have too many among us who are ingrates.

Here is a suggestion for your political cartoonist (and all other Jews who think as he does): In 2013, try not to 1) bite the hands who feed Israel; 2) lick the boots of those who kick Israel; 3) bite the hands just to lick the boots.

Todd Zuckerman   |   Daly City