Concern For The Disabled
In her June 30 Straight from the Heart column, Michal Popper encourages us to have greater concern for those among us who suffer from disabilities. Example: don’t use a handicapped parking spot if you don’t need it; leave it for someone who has trouble walking.
Many years ago I began experiencing frequent pain in one knee. I was referred to a specialist who diagnosed me with early stages of arthritis. He looked at me and asked: “Would you like for me to prescribe a handicapped placard for your car?”
I thought a moment, and asked: “Would that be for a six-month period?” His reply surprised me: “No, for the rest of your life. The pain will get worse with time.”
Because I have empathy for people with disabilities, for many years I kept that placard in my car but never used it. And it bothered me when I saw a robust young man park in a handicapped space, hang a parking placard on his rear view mirror, and then jauntily hurry away from his car.
But time passes. As I aged I soon found that walking a distance had become very difficult. My arthritis had worsened; both knees were affected. That doctor knew what he was talking about. The parking placard had become invaluable to me.
I readily understand what Michal Popper’s commentary is all about. Listen to her. Someday you may be in the same position and wish that others were more considerate.
George Epstein Los Angeles, CA
Transgenderism And Politics
In their previous two columns in the Family Issues section, the Feuermans addressed “Transgender Concerns and Orthodox Judaism,” writing that “transgender concerns are becoming a major issue with young people today.”
As a clinical psychologist who treats many homosexuals, I shall dispense with the usual apologist proclamations of sympathy. Somehow I fail to see how this is a “family issue.” In fact, I fail to see how this is an issue at all.
How many people reading this newspaper have ever interacted with a transgender person? How many have ever met one?
Raise your hands. I thought so.
In fact, estimates of the prevalence of transgenderism in the general population range from .04 percent to .5 percent. That’s right, from 1 per 2,500 to 1 out of 200. The prevalence of homosexuality is generally estimated at 3.5 percent.
So why is everyone – particularly the media – concerned about transgender people and the bathrooms they use? The answer is simple: sexual liberty. Sexual liberty is the single most potent driving force in contemporary American society. It is endorsed by people on both the left and the right. It will not be denied or compromised. It is a juggernaut making its way across a motley landscape of initials. The gay-lesbian lobby has become LGBTQ+.
I must respectfully disagree with my colleagues the Feuermans: The “trans community” has not aligned itself with the “gay community” because they are the only people who understand and accept them; they are subsumed in the LGBTQ+ lobby because they have been co-opted for political purposes.
The very term community is a public relations gimmick to achieve some legitimacy for those who prefer to flaunt social norms of decency rather than conform to them. Public discussions of this obscure concern only serve artificially to raise it to the level of an “issue” to be used by the Left.
We have not “failed,” as my respected colleagues have written, if we do not relate to a fraction of a percent of the population in the way they have posited. We have simply put our energies in a more relevant place.
Nosson Solomon, Ph.D.(Via E-Mail)
Editor’s Note: The series dealing with the subject referred to by Dr. Solomon concludes with this issue.There’s No Reforming The Torah
Reader Gerald Deutsch (Letters, July 21) seemed to be perturbed by statements in recent letters to the editor asserting that Reform Judaism is not authentic Judaism and that Reform Jews shouldn’t be allowed to establish religious policy in Israel.
Frankly, I don’t see the argument for why Reform Judaism is Judaism. Judaism is defined by the observance of Torah law. If Reform Jews don’t follow even the most basic tenet of the Torah, Sabbath observance, then whatever it is they practice is not Judaism.
Furthermore, the term “Reform Judaism” is actually a misnomer. You can’t “reform” Judaism. Judaism as is described by the Torah is its only form. Any variation or omission of the Torah’s basic tenets is no longer Judaism.
As far as Reform Jews not being allowed to establish religious policy in Israel is concerned: When we allow non-observant Jews to establish policy in Israel, we wind up with things like gay parades. In a Jewish state, that’s about as despicable as it gets.
Josh GreenbergerBrooklyn, NY
In my opinion, the public good is being ill served by the actions of many of our elected representatives. This holds true as well for many reporters and pundits.
The president of the United States is not merely criticized regarding his policies and agenda but in large part is being attacked (together with his associates and family) in the most personal of terms.
For his part, the president reacts to negative criticism (legitimate or not) like a schoolyard bully. Both sides in this destructive (and childish) struggle are sinking to disgusting levels that undermine the interests and well being of our beloved country.
If this situation persists, I fear for our future.
Jerrold Terdiman, MDWoodcliff Lake, NJ