Letters to the Editor: Remembering RGB


To the Editor:

In Response to “Jewish world mourns RBG” (Daily Update, Sept. 21):

Cynthia Ozick tells the story of a Jew who asked his rabbi why the shofar is blown through the narrow end and not the wide end.  The rabbi answered, “If you blow into the wide end, no sound will be heard.  But if you blow through the narrow end, its sound will reach to the outer limits.”

To behold Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — slight of frame and soft-spoken — one might have imagined the shofar’s narrow end.  She was anything but.

A tireless champion for equality before the law, during her twenty-seven years on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg often found herself in the minority, and so authored many powerful dissenting opinions.  She viewed these as critical, as echoing beyond the moment:  “Dissents speak to a future age,” she explained.  “The greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view.  So that’s the dissenter’s hope:  that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” 

Asked how she would like to be remembered, Justice Ginsburg once responded:  As “someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something…outside myself.”

That Justice Ginsburg surely accomplished.  And her shofar voice echoes today, as it will tomorrow, to the outer limits.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
New York, NY

The author is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.

To the Editor:

As I was celebrating Rosh Hashana with my family on Friday evening, I learned of the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death hit me like a punch in the stomach, leaving me breathless and scared because the true impact of her death may not be truly felt or appreciated for years to come.

An American trailblazer and icon like Justice Ginsburg comes along very rarely in our history, and her legacy in championing equality and civil liberties for all Americans is carved into American jurisprudence for generations to come. However, with a President who has no regard or appreciation for our democracy and its pillars that keep its foundation strong and what I had believed to be indestructible, I am fearful that her legacy could very well be weakened, rendered de minimis, or even erased. By adding another narrow-minded and biased judge to the Court, he could thereby facilitate the reversal and nullification of the progress this country has seen over the past 50 years in civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights and marriage equality, privacy rights and abortion rights.

Justice Ginsburg’s death has brought our country to a tipping point. We must fight to preserve and protect the fundamental rights bestowed on us all as a result of her life’s contributions as a selfless, dedicated, relentless trailblazer. I firmly believe she would be disappointed in all of us if we didn’t seize this opportunity to carry the torch that she lit and carried for 87 years.

May she rest in peace and may her memory be a blessing for each and every one of us.

Arnold W. Drucker
Plainview, NY

The writer was first elected to the Nassau County Legislature in 2016. He represents the 16th Legislative District in the Nassau County Legislature.

To the Editor:

Re: “Most Young New Yorkers Can’t Name a Single Nazi Camp or Ghetto: Survey,” Sept. 16.

It should come as no surprise that in a country that allowed the losers of its deadliest war to erect over one thousand monuments and proudly display its emblem, that its citizens are ignorant of the Holocaust, its victims, and the world’s deadliest conflict.

Paul L. Newman
Merion Station, PA


is editor at large of the New York Jewish Week and managing editor for Ideas for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.