Context counts | AspenTimes.com

Context counts

Dear Editor: From Sue Gray’s own summation of the remarks to which Judith King took exception (Letters, June 22) at a Roaring Fork Peace Coalition meeting, I can see why Ms. King construes Ms. Gray’s representation of the Jewish religious tradition to be anti-Semitic. Historically, a denigration of the Jewish Bible has been a tool used by anti-Semites to stir up hatred of the Jewish people. I doubt that Ms. Gray has read the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament comprising the heart of the Jewish religion, because to have done so would have been to comprehend that those books chronicle the evolving dialogue between God and the people whose embrace of monotheism formed the crux of the three great Mesopotamian religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Torah delineates a comprehensive spectrum of ethical issues and insists that those who follow it practice both justice and compassion. If Ms. Gray’s assumptions about Judaism were not based on a reading of the Torah, then where did they originate? Surely Ms. Gray is not unaware of the incendiary nature of her remarks at a time in which all the old prejudices about the Jewish people are making a calculated reappearance orchestrated by Islamic fundamentalists. Ms. Gray purports to be driven by a compassion that was belied by her interpretation of the roots of the Jewish religion. I suggest she take a long look at her influences and motivations and try to better understand the context in which her words were heard.Rabbi Mendel MintzJewish Community Center – ChabadAspen