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Confronting The Enemy
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As a Navy special forces veteran who
spent two tours in Vietnam, I was very
disappointed in reading "Taking
Responsibility" by Columnist Harry
Kirsbaum (May 14, page 75).
He was absolutely correct in stating
that he found it hard to understand the
daily pressures our troops face. One can-
not understand the pressures of war
unless they are in the battlefield and not
sitting behind a computer.
He states that he was angry at seeing
the American bodies strung up and
hanging from the bridge in Fallujah. He
could not have been angry enough and
taken the liberal bent he did in the rest
of his column.
He asks how we can win the hearts
and minds in Iraq. We can't win them in
Iraq any more than we could win them
in Vietnam, Kosovo, Korea and the
European and Pacific Theaters. We are
not there to placate the populace; we are
there to win a war.
Why do we have to have a higher
moral standard than the enemy? These
are the same people who killed Leon
Klinghoffer, countless Israelis and almost
3,000 people on 9-11 — and have
vowed to kill us all. They are cowards
who have no moral standard.
Of course, Sen. John Kerry D-Mass.,
blamed Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld. Kerry is running for president
against Rumsfeld's boss.
The paragraphs that really incensed
me were when Mr. Kirsbaum wrote that
the editorial in the Military Times blam-
ing Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen.
Richard Myers should send a message,
and then stated that we "can't question
the patriotism of the troops in the field.
When they don't have confidence in
their leaders, then the leaders must go."
Mr. Kirsbaum, the troops in the field
don't write editorials. The troops did not
say that they don't have confidence in
their leaders. The editorial staff Said so.
Editorials, whether in the Military Times
or the Detroit Jewish News are written by
individuals sitting behind a desk, not
behind a machine gun.
Douglas R. Drobnis
The Power Of Parents
I am really writing in response to the
Editor's Notebook regarding the educa-
tion of Jews in our diaspora ("The
Power Of Knowledge," May 14, page
5). Our Jewish community does far
more than it did when I was growing up
in Southfield in the 1960s and 1970s; I
couldn't complete a list of all we have
accomplished. My Jewishness is more
than I ever dreamed it would be. I thank
Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg of Congregation
Shir Tikvah for being so approachable as
a human being. Judaism, kept alive and
flourishing in our larger world, is an irre-
placeable part of the sustenance of the
state of Israel.
The ability of Jews to create learning
and living communities around the
globe is a gift. Strong.Hebrew and
Judaic studies programs are vital. But
Jewish parents are the primary educators
of their children. While synagogues and
Jewish education programs provide awe-
some assistance, we can't hold schools
accountable for giving children what.
they must receive from their parents.
The recent movement toward Family
Education is an extraordinary step in the
right direction; but at some point, par-
ents must carry the torch, and lovingly
pass it on.
While I often read criticism by less-
traditional Jews about the Orthodox
community, it's the Orthodox commu-
nity' that takes its Judaism seriously
enough to know that age 13 is an early
step on the Jewish ladder rather than the
top rung. It's the Orthodox community
that embraces Judaism to the end of sus-
taining real, Jewish living communities,
right here in America, in the 21st centu-
ry. And no one makes them do it.
I don't suggest that Orthodox Judaism
is the answer for all Jews; but rather that
we frequently discuss the role of Jewish
parents in the lives of their children —
helping them bring something so
extraordinary to their children's lives, the
children find enlightenment that can't be
reached in any other manner.
Karen W Mela s
Thank you for publishing the wonderful
photos from Hillel Day School's Yom
HaAtzmaut celebration in the April 30
edition ("To Israel, With Love," page
22). As a long-standing Hillel family,
we have been privileged and enriched
throughout the years as we continuously
witness Hillel's Jewish and Hebrew stud-
ies teachers foster within our students a
love of, and an unbreakable bond with,
our Jewish people and Eretz Israel.
This year's Yom HaAtzmaut celebra-
tion continued in this priceless tradition.
Following an immersion into the study
of various aspects of Israeli society, our
middle school students transformed
their classrooms into an "in-gathering of
Dressed in native costumes, serving
indigenous foods and demonstrating
native dances, our middle school stu-
dents represented various Jewish ethnic
groups that have immigrated to Israel
during the past 60 years. Researching life
in each group's native land —.their cus-
toms, crafts, foods, music and dance —
our students gained a greater apprecia-
tion for Israel's diverse population.
They also learned of the conditions
that brought each wave of immigrants to
Israel and studied the Law of Return
whereby, in the early 1950s, the State of
Israel proclaimed that any Jew who
wishes to live in Israel, regardless of his
land of birth, would be granted auto-
matic citizenship in Israel.
The students explored both the corn-
plex impact and the positive influences
that each of the immigrant groups —
Moroccan, Yemenite, Iraqi, Eastern
European, Soviet Union, and Ethiopian
— have had on Israeli society: politically,
economically, socially, religiously and
culturally. More recent aim were also
represented: from the United States,
Canada, England, South Africa and
Our students have grown keenly
aware that even though Israeli society is
comprised of different cultures, we are
Yasher koach to Mrs. Pnina Basse, Mrs.
Vicki Davidovich and Mrs. Rivka
Schuchman, who under the guidance
and direction of Mrs. Daphna Feldman,
made Yom HaAtzmaut a memorable
celebration of Jewish independence and
sovereignty in our national homeland.
Merchant's Thanks Special
On April 26, Bus 10 of Federation's
Michigan Miracle Mission 4 was in
Safed, Israel. My husband and I went
into a gallery to purchase a painting. We
found what we liked and asked to have
it sent to us. We received the painting
on May 2, in perfect shape. I thought
nothing of this except we had bought a
beautiful work of art.
On May 5, we received a call from the
gallery asking if the painting had arrived
in good shape. I told the owner it had
and we had already hung it. The next
thing he said was something for all of us
on the mission to be proud of "Thank
you for coming into our gallery" All I
could say was, "Thank you for having
us!" That was the crowning touch for a
people who need our help so much.
May there be many more missions to
help our people.
Gloria and Sandy Stacey