Letters to our EditorConfounded by ColumnistI am writing about the column by Haven Herrin about Gay Orthodox Jews [“Confounded by Jewish Orthodoxy, Lavender, February 29]. From reading it, I got the impression she doesn’t know very much about Jews, Orthodox Jewry, or gay Jews. I am not trying to be hostile or critical, just pointing out the misinformation in this column.For example, the reason Jews are prohibited from eating shellfish has nothing to do with the “look” of the shellfish. Jews are prohibited from eating creatures that eat garbage. Pigs eat garbage, and shellfish are bottom (garbage) feeders. We Jews are prohibited from eating them for this reason.The rules of keeping Kosher are a little more complicated, and they were originally written in protest against many ancient barbaric practices, such as cooking the calf in the milk of its mother.For real information about gay Orthodox Jews, I would suggest the writings of Jay Michaelson, of Zeek Magazine—visit Zeek.net. He also has his own Web site at www.metatronics.net for further study.Many people overestimate the number of Jews in the world. We are an extremely small people, really just a surviving remnant of less than 15 million. In America, Jews are less than 2 percent of the population, just over six million. Also in America, Orthodox Jews represent less than 10 percent of all Jews.I am not an expert on Israel, but the silly ravings of one Orthodox rabbi do not represent Israeli, American, or world Jewry.Also, just to remind you, Jews in America embrace and accept gays and lesbians, including in our clergy. Israel is the only place in the entire Middle East where gays and lesbians can live openly without fear of being murdered or hanged.Janet D. CohenLetters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail [email protected].

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