Mort Laitner

Worlds Apart

On the evening of Shabbat, I watched TV in the den of my sister-in-law’s home.

The day before, we sat shiva for her late husband.

Now, she turned on her television, to watch services performed in a Conservative temple in San Diego.

I studied the bema, the Torah and the stained glass depictions of the Ten Commandments and I wondered, “How many miles is it from San Diego to Jerusalem?”

So I asked Google.

“I’m not sure how many miles it is to drive from California to Israel, but it’s 7,629 miles as the crow flies,” she replied.

“Wow! We’re worlds apart. I’m literally on the other side of the globe.”

As I listened to the cantor and rabbi sing and play guitar, I wondered, “What would the rabbi say in his sermon about the Gaza War?”

And toward the end of the service, the rabbi mentioned, “If you want to donate money to help Israel through this terrible war, please donate to…”

That was it!

No mention of the names of Israeli soldiers who had died in battle that week.

No mention of the hostages still held captive by Hamas.

No words about how the war was going.

No mention of what’s happening in the UN.

So I asked my sister-in-law, “Is this the way American temples are treating Israel during its time in crisis?”

And I thought, “Wow, we really are, worlds apart.”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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