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Some "letters to the editor"  (This is not at all complete - I need to collect more)

Some letters by Eunice:

(1) "Enemies can become friends". Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Jan 3, 2008
This was during the Israeli shelling of Gaza, prior to the land invasion

(2) Letter to Condoleezza Rice, on the election in which Hamas won many seats (not on line yet)

(3) From the Christian Science Monitor, October 30, 2006

Do fences make good neighbors or just put off problem solving?

Your Oct. 19 editorial about fences was outstanding - well thought out and well written. It ends by saying that, "[F]ences stand as sentinels to unsolved problems...." and that these issues "will need facing up to."

When Korea was divided into North and South, the two nations talked less with each other and, consequently, understand each other less today. This has led to increased trouble between them.

Currently, Syria wants to talk with Israel, but Israel has dismissed Syria's offer. Many Israelis feel that war with Syria is inevitable. Would war be preferable to talking?

Governments could save a lot of time, money, and lives by dealing with their problems promptly and solving them realistically.

Unsolved issues need facing up to in our personal lives as well as in international relations. In 1943, as a sophomore in college, I was afraid of everything and everybody. Then I asked myself, "What would happen if your worst fears were to come true? Which is worse, your fear or having your fears realized?"

"Oh," I said, "the fear is worse." Then the solution was evident: Go out and meet the fears and deal with them as soon as possible.

Fear of terrorists was the reason the US was willing to engage in a preemptive war. Fear is the reason we tolerate the loss of habeas corpus, the inhumane treatment of prisoners, the death of our sons. We have been led to think that it is unpatriotic to ask how we can better understand why some Muslims and Arabs hate us enough to be suicide bombers. We need to stop being afraid and go on to solve the world's problems instead of making them worse.
Eunice B. Ordman
Memphis, Tenn.

(4) Memphis Commercial Appeal, Sept 10, 2010
Letter: Missing the message in the Quran

The Florida preacher Terry Jones, who proposed to burn Qurans on 9/11, seems not to realize that the Quran honors Jesus. For example, it says, "The Messiah Jesus son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and his messengers."

Was the preacher trying to reduce the number of people who believe in Jesus' message?

Eunice Ordman

Some letters by Edward:  (most recent, Sept 21, 2009, is at the bottom)

The Christian Century, April 8, 2008

I follow "Science and Religion" discussions, and occasionally hold forth on the subject. This letter appeared in the Christian Century,  in the April 8, 2008 issue.)   It is one of  those strange coincidences that I wrote a letter commenting on my belief in miracles just a few weeks before a daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and it appeared after the diagnosis.  While medical care is proceeding, I note here that I have no objection at all to miraculous cures or sponteaneous remissions, should they occur.

Re: Polkinghorne and miracles...

       I’m a mathematician and a Jew, and my notion of miracle may be a  bit different from that of the physicist and priest John Polkinghorne (Gregory Jones, "Physicist and Priest", Jan 29).  I have a view closer  to that of Gregory Jones ("Spiritual soccer", Jan. 29) who sees something miraculous in South Africa changing regimes without the bloody civil war so many expected.  It may be presumptuous to judge what may be seen as a miracle by our descendants - the fact that Judaism survived the 1940's comes to mind - but I suggest that we can choose to see God’s hand at work, and appreciate miracles, without  demanding certifiable abrogation of the laws of physics.

    Polkinghorne says, “If life wasn’t raised from the dead, Jesus’ life ends in extreme failure.”  I don’t need to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead to be in awe that Jesus’ ideas survived, and about how Jesus’ message spread the word of the God we share to many places and peoples where the Jews did not deliver that message themselves.  And I can have the same wonder that the message of Muhammad spread so widely.
    Just as many of us see valuable truths in both science and religion, and see ways they cast light on each other, it is important now that we see the values shared and the insights provided by other faiths.  The best Advent sermon I heard in the season just past, I heard not in a church but in my neighborhood Mosque in Memphis, Tennessee.

Edward Ordman
Memphis, TN

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency,  April 13, 2008

        The local Jewish  weekly paper in Memphis, The Hebrew Watchman,  recently printed a strongly anti-Obama article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), a Jewish news agency.  That article appears at
but the Watchman often prints JTA articles a week or two late.   So I found a current JTA article,
and commented on it, on the JTA website which has a more widespread readership than our local Jewish paper..  Note that I was not here entering into a Clinton-Obama debate  (I'd be much happier with either than with a continuing fight between them) and was writing for a Jewish audience.

To the Editor:

       The radical right (which unfortunately includes some Jews) is gearing up to resist Obama any way they can. If they can't find something wrong in Obama's statements, they focus on Wright's.  Rev. Wright has done a great deal of good in the Black community around Chicago; it is perfectly appropriate for a pastor to call on "us" (his parishioners, and all Americans) to examine ourselves. I've heard Rabbis do the same, in other contexts. Taking a very few out of context quotes  (Wright was quoting a TV commentator about "chickens coming home to roost", not making the statement himself), and talking about Wright rather than Obama, are simply ways of avoiding the issues in the upcoming election.

      Obama appears to have a reasonably balanced view of Wright, and Wright is not the candidate. Obama is, and we need to examine what he can do for the United States and for Israel.

      Many Jews strongly believe that one way towards peace and security for Israel is for the United States to have leadership that can converse with and be listened to by all parties to the several conflicts in the Middle East.  Obama's sense of justice, and his willingness to listen to and talk with people with whom he disagrees, could lead to far more progress for Israel than the "we don't talk with our enemies" view of our present administration.

04/13/08 @15:16 | Edward Ordman
(end quote) 

From the Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Sept 21, 2009   (title added by the editor)

Scriptures guide policy on aliens

It has recently come to my attention that in the story of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, the Good Samaritan inexplicably cared for the injured man without first carefully checking the man's citizenship papers. In Matthew 8:5-7, Jesus appears to heal the servant of a Roman centurion, clearly a foreigner and an enemy.

Perhaps our legislators who are working so hard to guarantee that our hospitals will not be paid for treating aliens should arrange to have these passages expunged from our Bibles, so that no one will mistakenly form the impression that those following the values of Jesus believe in caring for our neighbors, or in healing the sick of all nations.

Edward Ordman


Edward Ordman

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