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May 18, 1986

It's great to laugh through Calendar about bad, campy films, antics of narcissistic movie stars, ridiculous full-page ads. . . .

But one thing I take seriously: religion, mine and other peoples'.

If an Austrian owner of an Italian restaurant wants to make a mockery of the Jewish seder by baking matzo in a pizza oven and yukking up Jewish liturgy in a medley with "New York, New York," it's his privilege ("A Passover With Paisano Overtones," by Ruth Reichl, May 11).

But for your normally respectful paper and writer Ruth Reichl to report on it--and then to suggest that it's somehow traditional is going too far. Latkes with foie gras?

Let's face it: Reichl's article has no redeeming qualities. It's certainly not helpful to the reader, like a restaurant review--nobody can zip over to Spago or Prego tonight to verify Reichl's verdict on the limp vegetables or mediocre matzoh ball soup.

Instead, it's an embarrassing report of frivolous people looking foolish. Publishing it denigrates what for religious Jews is a solemn time of gratitude, learning and re-evaluation of daily behavior.

How about more on bad movies?


Santa Monica

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