I am writing concerning an article in which friends of Rabbi Avi Weiss related a very uncomfortable situation (“Even on Vacation Venom Spews Forth,” March 2, 2017). The couple overheard people in a restaurant, who appeared to be “frum,” besmirching Rabbi Avi Weiss and his views. Perhaps Rabbi Avi Weiss is not the favorite rabbi of those people; however, the way the article described the encounter was sickening. I think that this behavior is wrong on so many levels.
It is just plain wrong to speak such lashon hara about anyone, but to speak that way about Rabbi Weiss, because you disagree with his views, is abysmal. People quickly forget how much Rabbi Avi Weiss has done for klal Yisrael throughout his lifetime. He greatly helped free Russian Jewry, and especially Natan Sharansky. Behind the scenes he put his own life on the line many times, defending, comforting and rallying for Jews or Jewish causes in distress. Rabbi Avi Weiss is the true essence of a kohen in that he is someone who ohev shalom, v’rodef shalom, he loves peace and he pursues peace, and truly loves his fellow Jew regardless of his or her views.
In this day and age, with the rise of anti-Semitism, your paper should explore this most negative side of Jews. Hating one another is exactly what has always brought about our greatest tragedies.