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I’m a bit confused as to the reason behind the cover story on Rabbi Henesch (“Choice Cut,” 7/30). Was your intent to bash him? You spent more time on testimonials from people not so keen on his demeanor and even more time trying to build him up as an egotistical bigot.
Many of your readers might not have known what a bris even was and the reasoning behind the Jewish ceremony. Had you spent more time explaining the intricacies and emotional aspects of it, people would understand why Rabbi Henesch might be matter-of-fact and bossy—and how easy it would be for a person to be a little touchy in such a situation and overreact.
I attended a bris this past February in which Rabbi Henesch conducted the ceremony. There were many people in attendance who were not Jewish, and Rabbi Henesch took the time to explain to all of us why we were there and how important the bris is to the Jewish faith. He was witty, he was funny, he showed amazing compassion, and he was kind enough to answer all of my questions regarding the bris. Emotions run high during a bris; there is a lot of tension in the air. There’s nothing worse than the mother hearing her son wail in pain.
Rabbi Henesch cut that tension with his jokes, consoled the mother who couldn’t bear to watch, and made us all feel, no matter what our religion, welcome. You did not do him justice in your article. Your article was nothing more than a report on a book that you hadn’t read in its entirety.