Bernie Sanders at a 4th of July parade in Pella, Iowa, July 4, 2019. (Photo/JTA-Joshua Lott-Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders at a 4th of July parade in Pella, Iowa, July 4, 2019. (Photo/JTA-Joshua Lott-Getty Images)

Bernie is not good; Roy Cohn is not bad; and pack the court!

Bernie Sanders is no role model

If Bernie Sanders “epitomizes what it means to be an American Jew in 2019,” as Aaron Freeman proclaims (“Bernie Sanders is 78, but he is the future of American Jewry”), then God help the Jewish people.

Freeman states that social justice movements have replaced the synagogue as the new religion of his generation. The pursuit of social justice is a wonderful thing, but it is no substitute for following an inner path that seeks to bring consciousness of the sacred into everyday life. Identifying with Jewish culture and ethnicity is wonderful as well, but it is no substitute for feeling a connection to — or at least appreciating — the religion and the ancient land that are the sources from which everything we call Jewish springs.

While it is certainly true that many Jews, young and old, are secular and feel no connection to the Jewish religion or to the land of Israel, they are being carried, nonetheless, in the arms of those who do. Eating bagels and doing good deeds are just not enough to sustain a people for thousands of years.

Beyond all this, Bernie Sanders may be representative of many assimilated American Jews, but he is hardly a role model to be emulated. Sanders hid his Jewishness during his first run for the Democratic presidential nomination, defends every other minority group but not his own, and openly courts the support of anti-Semitic public figures who are only to happy to use him as cover for their animosity.

Malka Weitman

Need younger, healthier prez

As an observant, Conservative Jew who is 79 years old and leans left on many issues, I believe that Democrats need a younger, healthier, less polarizing candidate than Bernie.

We need a candidate who could appeal to the actual “Silent Majority” and to the left… Someone with moderate views who could help bring Americans together and not help give us another Trump presidency.

Celia Menczel
Walnut Creek

More for ‘Book of Bad Jews’

In “New documentary takes a hard look at the brilliant, widely despised Roy Cohn“, reviewer Michael Fox declares him a “bad Jew.” How would Mr. Fox describe the Rosenbergs, traitors who sold vital secrets to a hostile foreign power? How about Morton Sobell or David Greenglass, who did the same? Are they to be entered into “The Book of Bad Jews”? Is working for Joseph McCarthy a more egregious sin than betraying one’s country?

Bob Kantor
Palo Alto

Pack courthouse to fight hate

Hatred of Jews is still the world’s oldest, continuous hate. The resurgence of the current Jew-hate epidemic, often inseparable from anti-Israel and anti-Zionism, is widespread. And in some right and left circles, it’s even fashionable to make disparaging remarks about Jews.

Our Jewish community, powerful when united, stood up and successfully challenged the biased ethnic studies curriculum for California high schools. Now the East Bay Jewish community is similarly gearing up to protest a self-described Nazi who lives in our midst, in Concord, just “around the corner.”

On June 10, Ross Farca, 23, was arrested for threatening on the internet to murder Jews. He intended to wear a Nazi uniform and use an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to shoot Jews in a synagogue while livestreaming the carnage. Farca’s internet name is “Adolf Hitler (((6 million)).”

Farca is charged with threats to kill Jews and possession of illegal weapons. He is free on bail, without a monitor, but ordered not to possess any weapons.

Local Jews are on edge, fearful that if the Farca case is not taken seriously, it will encourage other white nationalists to attack Jews in our local synagogues — like the killed and injured Jews in Pittsburgh and in Poway, California.

A preliminary hearing is at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 at the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 1020 Ward St., Dept. 35, Martinez. The district attorney will present evidence that will determine whether Farca will go to trial. Jews are encouraged to come and pack the courtroom, representing our community’s determination to end anti-Semitism. Our very presence loudly proclaims “NEVER AGAIN!”

Gerald A. Gerash
Walnut Creek

Socialism and Jews don’t mix

The opinion essay “Bernie Sanders is 78, but he is the future of American Jewry” (Oct. 15) accurately states that Sanders “is deeply representative of … (those) for whom social justice movements take the place of synagogue and Israel.” Social justice theory thus must subvert and “trump” theology!

Starting with the political ideals of German, Jewishly assimilated political theorist Karl Marx (1818-1883), many Jews abandoned 4,000 years of Jewish religious teachings, practices and ethics for utopian political ideologies and “political acceptance by assimilation.” Assimilationist Jews were among the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. And the USSR became an openly Jew-hating nation.

According to Marxist ideology, Jews adhering to religious dogma would be supported only if their sociopolitical ideology were in accord with the new socialist-communist, sociopolitical morality, which was to supersede all religious dogma. Today, if that requires the genocidal destruction of the (reborn) Jewish State of Israel or those who follow Jewish religious practices, so be it.

Marx coined the poorly understood but oft-quoted phrase that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” This asserts that religion is as controlling and evil as opioid addiction. Yet the very essence of Judaism, expressed in the Ten Commandments, has been the basis for morality in many cultures and across millennia.

The position that Judaism as a religion has no value and is to be usurped by purely sociopolitical ideology requires consummate ignorance of what Judaism is. The proffered self-destruction of our religion, and its contributions to mankind, are a “shanda” — Yiddish for a horrible shame.

Fred Korr

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