Reviews | The attack on a synagogue in Texas

For the editor:

Regarding “Captives Made Daring Escape From Gunman” (front page, January 18):

Especially as a member of the Jewish community, I thank God that the hostages taken Saturday at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas have been released.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker is a hero. He skillfully used the skills he had learned in security training to choose the right moment to divert the attacker and escape, and he did so because he felt the attacker was becoming more and more turbulent and dangerous. The law enforcement officials who negotiated with the shooter and who were no doubt prepared to rush in to carry out a dangerous rescue mission if necessary deserve honorable mention.

Although the outcome was the best possible under the circumstances, I am saddened and outraged that the country has suffered yet another senseless assault on peaceful people at worship, which will surely haunt those involved and Jews across the country, and will bring heightened concern for safety for those of my faith who wish to be able to worship without fear.

We live in a country in the midst of a new era of hatred and intolerance, including a growing level of anti-Semitism and anti-Asian prejudice that manifests itself in harassment and assaults on innocent people who only do go about their daily business, posing no threat to anyone.

My Synagogue is now charging additional fees to our membership dues for safety, and government credits have been given to places of worship at risk in an effort to keep worshipers safe.

Opinion debate
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May people of good will somehow bring us back to America’s values ​​and ideals. May we all one day live in a country defined by tolerance, acceptance of others and peace.

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township, Pennsylvania.

For the editor:

Re “Woman killed after subway push” (front page, January 16):

On Saturday, a 40-year-old woman was pushed to death in front of a subway train by a random stranger. This man is homeless and known to have mental health issues. And the public outcry was predictable: we need more help for the mentally ill, for the homeless. We need to do better with violent crime in the subway, etc.

But honestly, there is a pretty simple solution to this that other cities like Paris and London have found. Many stations are lined with glass doors. When the train arrives and lines up with the doors, they open. There is simply no way to push a person onto a metro track in one of the busy stations in Paris.

I love New York, but we shouldn’t be a city where waiting for a train while going about our normal business becomes a matter of life and death. People slip and fall. People drop something on the tracks or they are pushed to death by a stranger just as the train arrives.

The issues of mental illness, homelessness and violence in the subway must be addressed, but they are deep-rooted and complex issues. Glass doors are a very simple solution to a terrible problem that will make us all feel much safer in our lives.

And given that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is about to get a $6 billion federal relief grant, I think some of that funding should go through glass doors. As we tackle our biggest problems as a city, let’s find a simple solution to this one.

Mary Morris
The writer is the travel novelist and memoirist.

For the editor:

Regarding “Stories of intertwined families in a close-knit community” (press article, January 17):

In a year when so little seems to have gone right in my life (or the world), I have been moved by your photos of those who died in the Bronx fire that claimed the life to 17 people. The sweet, wide-eyed face of 2-year-old Ousmane Konteh; eyes lowered, but a smile ready to burst, on the face of Omar Jambang, 6 years old; the wide, sparkling smiles of young women ready to conquer the world and embark on their future – all members of a tight-knit immigrant community with hopes and dreams of their own in their new home, America.

As crimped as my life has been by Covid, as saddened as I am by the losses of aging, how dare I complain.

For the editor:

Re “Trump is not the only one to blame”, by Osita Nwanevu (Opinion guest essay, January 5):

The essay avoids the elephant in the room when it attributes Republican success to “structural advantages,” such as Senate maldistribution that benefits rural red states. The real problem is why Democrats can’t compete in these red rural states, and why Democrats can’t win a majority of state legislatures so they don’t fall victim to gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. .

Complaining about the unfairness of the rules is an admission that Democrats have nothing to offer voters in red states and do not want to run for them. In the 2022 midterm elections, the real danger is not that Republicans cheat to win, but that they don’t have to.

Alan Draper
Saratoga, NY
The author is a professor of government at St. Lawrence University.

For the editor:

GOP circles, particularly Donald Trump, say the vice president has the power to reject any electoral vote deemed suspicious.

Perhaps they are forgetting that for the 2024 election, that vice president will be Kamala Harris.

Orin Hollander
Jamison, Pa.

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