More Than One Way To Be Jewish


Oy, gevalt! Once again, in Letters (July 28), several of our religiously observant brethren demonstrated their narrow-minded impracticality vis a vis American and world Jewry.

Avrum Hyman asserts that publication of news and opinions of Jewish nonbelievers has “no place in a newspaper intended to advance Jewish causes, Jewish progress and Jewish values.” Mr. Hyman finds atheism unacceptable. Well, Mr. Hyman, approximately half of Americans who consider themselves to be Jews are not synagogue-affiliated. More than half of Israeli Jews are not synagogue-affiliated.

Humanistic Jews and secular cultural Yiddishists, of which I am one, are often atheists. Theodor Herzl and his fellows and sisters were never members of any synagogue. Jews are part of both a religion and a nation, so, happily, a Jew can choose either or both. While I would very much hope that many American Jews would be more constructive and participatory in Jewish life than is currently the case, I recognize that there are multiple positive ways for such development.

Marc Roth holds out little hope that “descendants of Humanistic Jews will remain Jewish.” How does he know?

Yonason Wolff would deny non-Orthodox Jews access to the Kotel. Feh! Jewish history, values and emotions require no belief in a superior being to be a lover of our people or its history.

The Jewish Week is to be lauded for being what its name states — The Jewish Week, not the religious or Orthodox Week.

We are a small people, especially since we lost one-third of our number in the Holocaust. Orthodox Jews don’t help when they wantonly toss out or cut off more Jews from our chevra. Spread your beliefs, as long as you do so democratically. But I suggest you refrain from cutting off Jews who espouse any positive approach to Yiddishkeit.

Hicksville, L.I.