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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


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