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Letter: Let us reflect upon our own family origins

As a consistent reader of Everybody’s Column and a sometime contributor, I check the names of the writers. Collectively they are a veritable sample of a world community. The names reflect every ethnic group in the world. The cultures involved bespeak rich traditions and customs which help to make the United States a magnificent hybrid.

In my mind’s eye, I see the writers’ forebearers as fleeing to escape hunger, poverty, violence, broken families, and bad governments.

They saw promise on these shores and were welcomed, not always with open arms. Their stories are legend. Every religious faith speaks of welcoming the “other”, to give them succor and a hand up. In days gone by, it was the right thing to do and it’s the right thing to do now.

I am puzzled. How, by all that is holy, can someone whose family came as immigrants, turn around and refuse to accept others in need? Give some thought to this: the fertility rate in white America is dropping; the population is aging fast. Who will do the work to keep the economy going and continue to fuel the social services to which we have become accustomed?

Set the practical aside for a moment and consider the humanitarian aspect of the situation. These people are our brothers and sisters.

Our country has reached out and provided help in disasters around the world. Money and supplies are wonderful but we are now faced with so many in direr circumstances. It is in the human spirit to help those who cry out in pain.

Please look into your heart and at your families’ history and reconsider your priorities. The product of a good deed is a good feeling. The Jewish people have a wonderful word in their faith which has come to express an individual act of human kindness – a “mitzvah” – which I guess makes you a “mensch,” a person of integrity and honor.

Joseph Spina

Amherst

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