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Synagogue's saga

September 03, 2007

Re "Zoning religion," editorial, Aug. 29

I am amazed that The Times, a paragon of political correctness, would so glibly drop the sacred, Hebrew covenantal name of God in an editorial about a synagogue and its struggles with the surrounding neighborhood.

Don't you realize that pious Jewish believers do not even utter that name in prayer and Scripture readings, let alone in casual conversation?

Your obvious glee over this neighborhood stalemate seems to have clouded your better judgment.

Rev. William M. Cwirla

Hacienda Heights

As a resident of Hancock Park who lives a few blocks from 3rd and Highland, I was quite shocked to see The Times be so dismissive of the homeowners who thought they were living and buying homes in an R-1 zoned neighborhood. I wouldn't want to live next to a synagogue or mosque, or pizza parlor, gas station, yoga studio or any other misuse of a single-family home.

No one, including the congregants of Etz Chaim, could build a synagogue in an R-1 zoned neighborhood with a permit. A backdoor deal allowed Etz Chaim to build a real synagogue that it now calls a single-family home.

I only hope The Times will give equal empathy to the woman who lives next to Etz Chaim (and has lived there for more than 40 years) when she has to sell her house.

Jolene Snett

Hancock Park

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