Regarding “Kiddush is not ‘cute’” (Melissa Schreiber, Observations, August 31), in a word: outstanding! Your personal reasons for where you are religiously are exactly that... your personal reasons. But the way you made it crystal clear that we, as Jews, cannot compromise on certain things, no matter what others think, that is a golden message. The next time a student at a school Shabbat meal or another situation makes kiddush on Friday night, or does any other act they may otherwise have been embarrassed to do and they were inspired by your approach – well, that’s in your merit.
I applaud you and wish you a shana tova. May it be the best year ever!
ZEV M. SHANDALOV Ma’aleh Adumim
Kol hakavod to Melissa Schreiber – it was both refreshing and revealing to read her column. The tensions between Shabbat observers and secularists were never better articulated so honestly by her simple Friday-night dinner at the Dead Sea.
Decades of intolerance by both sides continue to manifest themselves without letup. What seems so basic – respect for our heritage and our special gift of the Sabbath – has been twisted into bitterness and ugly ignorance. Melissa’s story of how she attempted to express her Jewish connection and acknowledging that the Shabbat has holy and historical meaning to Jews, especially in our own homeland, is to be noted for its importance. Conversely, the absence of that connection by its rejection and neglect, is to be highly regretted.
As written by Ahad Ha’am, not known for his religious piety, “More than the Jews keeping the Shabbat, it was the Shabbat which kept the Jews.”
Keep reciting the kiddush, Melissa. It is not an embarrassment. You honor Israel. YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL