Here is the explanation for Larry Gordon’s puzzlement in “Bar Mitzvah Trifecta” (“Heard in the Bagel Store,” August 17), as to why the owners (“brothers”) of the Empire Hotel—where he celebrated his bar mitzvah — had two different names and pronunciations: Newman and Neiman. My family celebrated many Pesachs at the Empire Hotel, more than 50 years ago, and over the years we became familiar with the owners. They were actually cousins, not brothers, whose families came to these shores at separate times — hence, the different spelling and pronunciation! Ironically, I had the occasion to meet Mr. Neiman’s son recently, and he verified this.
Dr. Paul Brody
The Other Shoe Dropped
Dear Rabbi Hoffman,
Many years ago I was a member of a “round robin” playgroup, where we had five kids or so and each mother watched the kids one day a week, with no money changing hands.
The children were playing on the balcony of my house and one child suddenly didn’t have one of his shoes. The ground below, which was a little over one flight down, was full of weeds. Though I looked for the shoe, as did one of his older siblings, none of us could find it. The children were under age three, but I don’t remember if they were 1½ or 2 years old.
Years later I did find it, and I returned it to his mother — but it obviously didn’t fit that child anymore.
Our sages tell us that motzi shem ra can lead to deaths. It’s horrid to see Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic candidates use slanderous lies about Michael Brown’s death, claiming he was “murdered by a white officer.” Does she not realize this incitement can lead to truly innocent deaths? When Obama supported Black Lives Matter and similar organizations, the result was the Dallas shooting and deaths of innocent police officers who are there to protect people from criminals. Now the same incitement is being used by Democratic candidates, and one can only guess what this can lead to. (At the same time, the leftist media constantly misquotes Trump in ways that in itself is so divisive that it can only lead to more shootings, blaming Trump for what he never said but rather for what they quoted him to say.) I dread what will happen if someone like Warren becomes our president, chas v’shalom.