Potential Friends

I was very inspired by the article in the Features section (“Turning an Enemy Into a Friend,” July 26, page 12), which describes how a prestigious British medical journal devoted an entire issue to lambasting Israel for its supposed war crimes. Two doctors in Israel then invited the editor of the journal to tour their hospital and see the excellent, compassionate care Israel provides to Syrian and Palestinian as well as Israeli patients. After doing so, the British doctor realized his view of Israel was wrong, and he became a sincere friend of Israel, thereafter publishing many positive articles about Israel and Israel’s medical advances.

I wonder if the same approach could be used with regard to the eruv controversy that is heating up now in Mahwah, N.J. I saw a quote by an individual who was identified as being Jewish by the reporter interviewing him. In it, he expressed his concern that “the Orthodox will come in and ruin the school system the way they did in Rockland County and Lakewood.” Is it possible that some frum Jews in his town can reach out to him and invite him to experience a Shabbos, or otherwise initiate interaction with him in a kind way so that he will see who we truly are? Can we possibly turn him and others in his group into our friends?

Nechama Cohen, Flatbush