I am not a native Toledoan; I am an adoptee.
Almost five decades ago we moved here from the East. My children, my wife, and I grew into and became a full and operative part of this community.
The wonder of being a welcome non-native was given special meaning these past days. At the meeting of the Jewish community at my congregation mourning the horrific and tragic killings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh there were hundreds of people who attended who were not Jewish.
They were Christians and Muslims; they were people of faith; they were people of compassion, they were people of principle.
When I walked into my office area at the University of Toledo, where I taught, I was greeted with warm hugs and thoughtful words of consolation, “Rabbi, we are so sorry for you and your people.”
I am not a native Toledoan; I am a grateful and fulfilled adoptee.
RABBI ALAN M. SOKOBIN
The writer is assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toledo and rabbi emeritus, Congregation Shomer Emunim.
Humanism well explained
I think Keith C. Burris’s column about humanism (”Walking with humanists,” Nov. 4) showed remarkable insight and understanding of an oft-criticized and misunderstood system of beliefs.
The term humanism has been a foul word among Christians and other religious adherents for centuries because it is centered on the welfare of human beings and not God. While true, that doesn’t mean humanist beliefs should be rejected out of hand.
My son, an ordained minister of a Disciples of Christ Church in the Seattle area, has taught me several discerning observations about the issue.
Emphasizing, for instance, love, human rights, dignity, and values, is not opposed to the teachings of Jesus. In fact, Jesus’ instructions show his love and bottomless caring about the welfare of human beings.
Mr. Burris said it perfectly when he described humanism as, among others, reason, intellectual curiosity, civility, and love of the arts.
We Christians — and the followers of other religions — should study humanist beliefs as a complement to ours. I believe they will see the parallels and understand that we don’t have to reject the belief in God to be a humanist.
DONALD D. CARR
Tom Noe’s sentence not right
It has been reported in the past that, while Tom Noe did do some things illegally, his Bureau of Workers Compensation investments actually made money for the state (”Noe is again denied parole in BWC thefts,” Nov. 3). He is certainly not a threat do do something violent. People who kill other people do not do nearly as much time as he has. Why is he still locked up?
DAVID J. DILLON
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