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Different Opinion on Being a Jew

November 15, 1987

This is a response to the article in the Oct. 4, 1987, edition of the Westside Section titled, "Back To The Fold." One can only assume that the author of the article, Mathis Chazanov, did not write the sermon from a neutral standpoint. The title of the piece assumes that one is not a Jew unless one is "observant" whatever that means. Such terms as 'heeding the call' and 'returning to Judaism' remind me of cult terminology.

The Orthodox, as usual, take it for granted that if one does not practice their form of religion, then one cannot be a Jew. This, of course, is the epitome of arrogance.

At one point during the article a woman describing herself as a feminist rationalizes the separation of women and men in the synagogue. Under no circumstances can this be an acceptable practice for a true feminist. I have two daughters and would not think of going to temple without sitting next to them and my wife. Nowhere in the article is the anti-feminist practice of the "get" mentioned.

The new Orthodox seem to me to be the "me generation" of the 1970s looking for a new guru. They are merely joiners wanting badly to belong. Just another in thing to do until something more interesting or "intellectually stimulating" comes along.

The old Orthodox are as they always were, lemmings. If ever you want to substantiate that statement all one need do is attend any Chabad Lubavitch function.

I resent the fact that so much space is devoted to such a small minority of the Jewish community. When is the press going to realize that there is no such creature as a "spokesperson for the Jewish community" nor does a "leader of the Jewish community" exist?

EPHRAIM MOCHSON

Los Angeles

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