Brevity Key to Best Services

“I wish that service had been a little longer,” said no one ever.

Most modern-day Jews attend synagogue twice a year, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Unfortunately, these are by far the longest services of the year.

Many worshippers enjoy and embrace the traditions of Judaism but attend services on the High Holidays only because of a sense of obligation. Making these worship sessions so lengthy no doubt discourages some from attending other services throughout the year.

In today’s fast-paced world, where the one-line text message reigns supreme, it is disingenuous to think that young Jews will embrace the idea of a two-hour worship session. I would think it obvious to the rabbi on the pulpit that after 45 minutes much of the congregation is paying little attention, if not nodding off.

Perhaps there was a time when these marathon services were well received, but that time has clearly passed.

Religion should not be a test of endurance, but rather an experience that one can enjoy and appreciate. If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.

For me to ramble on would be hypocritical, so I will end here with one final thought: Make sure you have stopped speaking before your audience has stopped listening.

Robbie Levin, Atlanta

Good Message, Bad Delivery

Thank you for filling your L’Shana Tova 5777 issue of the Atlanta Jewish Times (Sept. 30) with amazing insight and optimism. I especially loved the article by Shifra Sharfsein, “This Year, Don’t Pray.” Her comforting words on self-prayer were empowering.

I believe that guest columnist Michelle Krebs Levy also intended to provide inspiration when she penned “Who’s a Bad Jew?” but she missed the mark.

I fully agree with her message that people should not be labeled. Yet Levy boasts, “I’ve never killed anyone. I don’t worship idols, and I don’t have any tattoos. Also, I don’t have sex with animals.”

How can a seemingly open-minded person pile tattoo wearers into a group with murderers and people practicing bestiality? Frankly, if you are going to nibble on crab cakes and shrimp, why not innocently worship idols?

In theory, Levy shared a welcome message. Her method of delivery was off.

Beth Berger, Sandy Springs

Hoping for the Best

As always, I looked forward to the New Year’s issue of the AJT arriving at our home. The issue was very informative and enjoyable.

I most liked the column by Michael Jacobs (“Roll Out the Red Carpet for 5777”) — thought-provoking — and the opinion article by Janice Rothschild Blumberg (“Observing Hillary’s Softer, Warmer Side”) — outstanding!

Mr. Jacobs’ column was very interesting and well-written, hitting upon this “unprecedented election” for sure and his personal viewpoint of what the new year means to him. I could relate to what he said. I hope the coming year is a challenging and good one for you, Mr. Jacobs, personally and for the AJT.

I think the paper continues to get better and better.

As for Mrs. Blumberg’s opinion, I enjoyed hearing her comments regarding Hillary Clinton’s “softer, warmer side.” I believe that is the issue, perhaps.

Most people do not directly realize what type of a person Hillary really is; they only hear all the rhetoric from certain sources.

It was touching what she stated regarding Sen. Clinton, especially about her eulogy at the funeral. I hope more people before Election Day will think long and hard about what the results could mean to our country.

As Mr. Jacobs brought out in his column, the next election is only four years away, but if the candidate who becomes president does not work for the good of our nation, four years is going to be a very long time. Hopefully, much harm will not occur during that time as a result of the new president’s actions.

May the new year be only healthy, happy and peaceful for our country and the world.

Judy Bernhardt Glatzer, Bethlehem, Ga.

Lesser of 2 Evils?

Hillary Clinton can stack up her ill-chosen and regretful misuse of email devices and her imperfections as an individual any day against Donald Trump’s high-handed business conduct; his incessant whining about the unfairness of the media; his meanness toward women, minorities, the disabled, POWs and those fleeing terror for their very lives; his admiration for domestic and foreign bullies; his unbridled egoism; his branding all his opponents as liars, which reflects either a mental imbalance or a dangerous familiarity with lying; his shameless inexperience with the art of governing and of ensuring our fundamental security; his taking struggling taxpayers for fools; and his inability to admit mistakes.

Moreover, his offensive stereotyping of my fellow Jews and his chumminess with those who don’t think well of us is, yes, “deplorable.”

— Rabbi Scott Saulson, Chamblee

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