Dear Mr. Weinstein

I am wondering whether during Holocust your relatives did not acknowledge and pray to GOD. Why taking such stupid stand about deleting the wow “GOD”. What possible benefit except harm can come out of this?

You may worship Money and fame , but wished you changed your name to avoid hatred toward fellow Jews and rising Anti Semettism ..
The only people in the world other than some Jews who are supporting the state of Israel are Christian Rght. May GOD bless them, but assuredly your ancestors will be ashamed of you who from Abraham time believed in GOD as our creator..

Your organization and its aim is shameful. .

One day when you and or family member are experiencing near death situation, I am wondering who if any you will look up to.?

Hopefully for the sake of the welfare of Jews you stop with your unnecessary rhetoric .

Frankly I trust a GOD fearing person rather than an atheist.


(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for taking the time to write the Foundation. My name is Akiva David Miller, I am the Director of Veterans Affairs for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and I am an Orthodox Jew – a Chassidic Jew, to be exact.

I believe the fact that you reference the Holocaust in your e-mail is telling because if we Jews learned anything from the Holocaust we learned that if the government can come for any of us they can just as easily come for all of us. Although more than 6 million Jews were rounded up and slaughtered by Hitler’s minions, it is also true that Romani peoples, gays, lesbians, the transgendered and others, including Christians who dared speak out against the atrocities of the Nazi regime and those who sought to shelter the hunted were also rounded up, sent to death camps and incinerated right alongside Jews. Remember, Hitler rounded up and slaughtered the physically and mentally disabled first, and when he saw the passivity and outright complicity of the masses he knew he had nothing to fear from moving on to others. What’s my point here? Let me explain.

As a Jewish veteran I have personally experienced rabid Anti-Semitism and predatory proselytizing at the hands of Fundamentalist/Dominionist Christians within the Department of Veterans Affairs who used their positions of power over me. This is the sort of thing that is happening every day on military installations and in forward deployments around the world. It is a scourge, and something that certainly warrants the attention and concern of every G-d fearing Jew, not to mention every freedom loving American. The Foundation has thousands of clients, and what may be a surprise to you is that well over 95% of our clients are themselves Christians who are not considered “not Christian enough” for their Fundamentalist/Dominionist co-religionists. Of course our clients also include many Jewish service members and veterans who face Anti-Semitism every day, are called “Christ-killers” and worse by the very Fundamentalist Christians you wrongly consider allies of the Jewish people (not to mention the countless service members we represent from other faiths and no faith at all).

Mr. Filsoof, you disparage Mr. Weinstein and you don’t even know him. I know him though. He literally saved my life. When I dared lodge a formal complaint about blatant Anti-Semitic treatment and predatory proselytizing at my local V.A. Medical Center I had my medical treatment cut off – this while I was suffering a bout of serious illness, including suffering from 7 kidney stones. I turned to Mikey and he more than got the situation resolved. This was a huge mitzvah he did for me. The Baal Shem Tov taught that there is no higher mitzvah than rescuing a captive Jew – what Mikey did for me was that mitzvah in spades! And the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, under the spectacular leadership of Mr. Weinstein, performs these sort of mitzvahs every day.

But let us now come back to the source of your complaint – you would have the military mandate that all of our service members repeat the phrase “under G-d” regardless of their religious affiliation, and regardless if they are atheists, agnostics or any other form of free thinker. Certainly I share your belief in G-d, Mr. Filsoof, but it is the beginning of the end for all of us to inflict and enforce our beliefs on everyone else. If Fundamentalist Christians are given free pass to foist their beliefs on free thinkers, trust me, we Jews are next. However, even if that weren’t so the famous Hillel made clear to us that the highest and most essential part of our service to G-d is service to our brothers and sisters, to our fellow men and women. And as a veteran I can tell you on a very personal level that if a fellow service member or veteran is not my brother or sister, nobody is.

In conclusion, believe it or not, I understand the righteousness of your aspiration in this matter, Mr. Filsoof; however, the Torah and our great Jewish masters through the generations have made it all too clear that your approach in this matter is sadly misguided. Every day countless American service members are prepared to give what Lincoln called their last full measure of devotion to our nation, certainly they deserve no less than our full devotion to their religious liberties, regardless of their religious persuasion. Tragically, far too many choose to hear only the soundbite, the dog whistle of the bigot; they prefer to remain ignorant and inactive – it is a safe position, after all, from which to play Sunday quarterback. This sad fact reminds me of the wise words of Michel de Montaigne; he said, “Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head.” Ignorance is indeed a soft pillow; however, the truly righteous have never sought out the soft pillow of ignorance and apathy. Those who truly fear heaven care enough to ask the hard questions and to pursue truth, regardless of its unpopularity or the difficulty of “selling” it to a sound bite nation addicted to hate radio and a bad soap opera of opinion TV passing itself off as News.

G-d be with you, Mr. Filsoof. I hope you will prayerfully consider what I have written.

Akiva David Miller
Director of Veterans Affairs
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Dear (name withheld),

Mr. Weinstein is busy protecting the rights of members of our military, so I hope you’ll accept a response from me.

Of course those who suffered the horror of the Holocaust (who were not only Jews but also homosexuals, communists, Gypsies and Germans who opposed the Nazis) may well have prayed to God. It was their right to follow their beliefs as they chose and we support that right for every individual.

The stand taken against the prayer to God on the part of a military institution arises from our support of the Constitution of the U.S. and our concern that the military cannot and should not violate the separation of church and state. Contrary to your assertion, there is nothing stupid about supporting the Constitution.

To claim, as you have here, that Mr. Weinstein worships money and fame is not only wrong, it comes close to asserting a stereotype I would hope you would have been more sensitive than to have applied. Further, to suggest he should change his name so as not to bring condemnation on “fellow Jews” is to subscribe to a cowardly defensiveness that should embarrass even you.

Your apparent embrace of the Christian Right argues that you either don’t actually understand their intentions or have lost all sense of pride in your own background.

The organization you condemn is one you clearly don’t understand. I urge you to look us up and read a bit about our mission so you’ll be less likely to send such ignorant, defensive and self-condemning screeds in the future.

Your assertion that Mr. Weinstein is an atheist is evidence of your utter ignorance of the issue in which you’ve chosen to assert yourself.

In defending the religious freedom of the men and women in our military, Mr. Weinstein stands like David before the Goliath of Christian fundamentalist arrogance and you debase yourself by choosing to stand with them against him.

Mike Farrell

Share this page:

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *