Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, as all Chabad emissaries, should presumably be commended for his work to perpetuate Judaism, but his “silver lining” (“A Rabbi Sees Silver Lining In Study’s Findings,” Opinion, Nov. 1), which may seem to somehow find “wonderful” the identification of so many people who oppose organized religion and religious organizations, bends way out of line, and linings, silver or sugar-coated.
The concept of a kehilla, or a Jewish community centered around a synagogue, is not new or negative. The fact that some synagogues and other charitable organizations honor people for their financial contributions regardless of their personal religious commitments should not give people an excuse to decry, or imply to decry, all Jewish charitable organizations.
A viable Jewish community requires structure and commitment. A failure to accept responsibility for supporting Jewish religious, educational, and/or social institutions and/or a failure to accept responsibility for supporting the Jewish country of Israel should not be rationalized by counting on individuals to do the right thing consistently on their own, or even to do mitzvot, by themselves, in a vacuum.
Ironically, Chabad may have the most effective structure in the world for international outreach to wandering Jewish souls. May all who do such good work succeed and prosper.
Kew Gardens, Queens
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