Loving our uncircumcised sons

I agree with Jonathan Harris’ advice to Beth about her sister and husband who are leaning toward not circumcising their son (“The Advice Mensch,” May 23). For more than 13 years I have administered Celebrants of Brit Shalom, a Web page listing 180 rabbis, cantors and lay leaders worldwide who will officiate at non-cutting naming ceremonies for Jewish families.

The number of families making this decision continues to grow. Many of these boys are being given a Jewish education, are having bar mitzvahs and will ultimately take their place in the Jewish community.

From my years of experience with countless families, I have found that grandparents who may be initially disappointed at the absence of a traditional bris will uniformly come to love their uncircumcised grandsons as fervently as their circumcised ones.

Mark D. Reiss, M.D.   |   San Francisco


Short answer: No

Regarding the op-eds “Can meat eating and Jewish values coexist?” (May 23), there is no way that meat eating and Jewish values can coexist because there is nothing compassionate, just or ethical about the slaughter of an animal for human consumption.

Celia Menczel   |   Walnut Creek


For anti-Zionists, little has changed

Kudos to Sue Fishkoff for her excellent column on a shameful period in the history of the San Francisco Jewish community (“Mystery of the missing war years,” May 23). I am struck by the similarities between San Francisco’s Jewish anti-Zionism of the 1940s and today’s resurgent Jewish anti-Zionism — led by J Street.

For example, rabbis played a key leadership role in the American Council for Judaism (none, by the way, more prominent than the notorious Rabbi Irving Reichert of Temple Emanuel-El, who before he committed suicide actually likened young Israelis to the Hitler Youth); and there are J Street rabbis who still support the infamous Goldstone report even though Goldstone himself has long repudiated it, and insist that Israel is to blame for not making peace with those openly committed to its liquidation.

Man, we need another Rabbi Saul White!

Tod Zuckerman   |   Daly City

J. Editor Sue Fishkoff responds: Thank you for your praise of my column, but I would never equate J Street with the anti-Zionism of Rabbi Reichert.


Rabbi White memories

I appreciate how Sue Fishkoff called to memory my father’s role as conscience of the community from before I was born.

Since she is plumbing historical records, I would amend a couple of facts shared by historian Fred Rosenbaum: Dad actually served Beth Sholom as its first rabbi from 1935 until his death in 1983, albeit limited in activity by 1981 or 1982, due to the cancer that took his life. He also had a column in the 1950s and early ’60s called “Portion of the Week” as he linked the Torah to his viewpoint of events of the day, and following that through the rest of the ’60s and, I believe, early ’70s continued quoting sources from around the world (injecting his opinion through the words of others) with his last long-standing column called “World Opinion.”

Thanks for these memories!

Rabbi David White   |   Mill Valley Congregation B’nai Israel, Vallejo


Stabbing the heart of Israel

So now that the Hamas regime and the PLO of Arafat-Abbas have merged together, we hear that the Obama administration will recognize and work with that entity in some fashion (“White House: We will work with Palestinian unity government,” May 23), even though our own State Department lists Hamas as a terrorist organization. Not to mention the fact that the covenant of Hamas calls not only for the violent destruction of the State of Israel but for the murder of Jews everywhere.

So not only is Mr. Obama prepared to give an American seal of approval to this heinous union; he will not even stop American taxpayer funding to this now-merged terror conglomerate, as resolutions in Congress have called for.  There is only one thing sadder, in my mind: In spite of stabbing the heart of Israel, were an election held tomorrow, 70 percent of American Jews would still vote for Barack Obama!

Scott Abramson   |   San Mateo