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The Orthodox Way

March 23, 1997

Andrea Heiman's article on the rise of Orthodox Judaism ("Back to Basics," Feb. 2) raises the possibility that women are constrained by orthodoxy to their roles as women and mothers.

Since, by the article's description, I personify this movement, it might be appropriate to mention that my wife, Emuna, holds a law degree and, in addition to being a mother, is a practicing clinical psychologist.

Rabbi Nachum Braverman

West Los Angeles

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Rabbi Noach Weinberg should be ashamed of himself for asking, "Why not rechannel [the Jewish activists'] energy to the 'Jewish cause?' " We will progress toward a peaceful and just world only when all human beings work toward the betterment of their fellow human beings. By segregating ourselves, we learn to fear new ideas--a fear that will spawn only contempt and hatred of others who are not exactly like us.

Carol May

Los Angeles

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As a person who was born Jewish and raised socialist, I can attest to the void of spirituality in my home. The Jewish Learning Exchange has taught me that true religion is a relationship between the individual and the holy, or the Almighty, not a "fight for poor people," as Rabbi Daniel Landes believes. Landes is blurring the line between politics and spirituality and needs to ask himself whether he is practicing socialism or Judaism.

Many baby boomers raised on Liberal Reform Judaism have used the synagogues as pulpits for politics and to this day see Judaism as another word for welfare, labor rights and various leftist causes. That is precisely the reason that many synagogues are 75% empty on any given Friday night.

I found it very interesting that I could not find one Reform synagogue offering free classes to adults who wanted to develop their Jewish souls. I found no such problem finding Orthodox classes that asked for no money.

Douglas Coronel

Studio City

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