I read “Feeling the Pain” by Yitty Berkovic (Musings, Issue 46) as I broke my fast on the 17th of Tammuz. I was intrigued by her poignant thoughts about how to internalize the pain and suffering of others to the same degree that we feel when we ourselves are hurting. She refers to this as an appropriate lesson during the period of the Three Weeks, and I agree. Another thought occurred to me as I pondered her article. Would it possibly also be appropriate during this time for us to think about and internalize how much Hashem is hurting as He is “compelled” to keep His nation in exile and delay the rebuilding of His Temple?
Please refer to last month’s World News (issue 46, volume 2, page 20). Libya is Not Lebanon and Lebanon is Not Libya.
First time reader…..enjoyable.
Editor’s Note: Thank you for catching that oversight. We apologize for the error.
While I enjoyed the article “Video Game Idolatry” by Rabbi Gil Student, I took issue with the closing statement of the article. In his closing statement, Rabbi Student dismisses the threat of actual idolatry present in the video game “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” However, he is concerned with the game’s desensitization of idolatry.
The reason why I believe that even desensitization is of no concern is because desensitization is only problematic if there is likelihood that the participant will perform the forbidden act. For example, scenes of murder are problematic because the desensitization may (albeit highly unlikely) cause one to murder someone to gain an inheritance or as revenge. However, when it comes to idol worship, Chazal have already removed the desire from our midst. No amount of exposure will kindle a desire for us to perform such a sin.
Rabbi Student responds: I appreciate Chaim ‘s thoughtful letter but I cannot agree with his argument. We live in a time when thousands of Israelis travel to the Far East and visit Buddhist and Hindu temples, which provides many with the opportunity to pray to idols. Additionally, Jews have played an oversized role in the many strange religious cults that have emerged in America since the 1960’s. Hopefully, children from our community stay far away from those objectionable religious practices. However, that remote possibility might be sufficient to recommend instilling an instinctive revulsion from idolatry.
Why am I writing you a letter practically one hour before Shabbos starts? Because you are a local publication and this is a local issue that has irked me for some time now. I just spend almost 30 minutes looking for a parking spot on my block thus making me miss the early Shabbos minyan. Now, you would think that this wouldn’t be an issue since many are away or upstate; it is an issue all year round, and apparently, now it has even crept into the summer months when it is usually more desolate here. I don’t understand why those that are fortunate enough to have a driveway choose instead to take up precious street parking spots. This is especially frustrating for those like me that do not have a driveway. What makes the situation even worse is when people have multiple cars and then take up three parking spots while having a vacant driveway. This drives me crazy! No pun intended. I implore Marine Park homeowners, and all homeowners for that matter, if you have a driveway, carport or garage, please use it!! If you don’t feel like pulling in, at least block your driveway so you can give others the courtesy of street parking.