Erica Brown’s column, “Pour Out Your Love?” (March 27) was surprising.
“What will Jews do this year?” implies that those who don’t call for God’s wrath to be poured out on the nations are lesser Jews. We who never recited it do not appreciate being categorized as inferior for following Rabbi Joseph Karo, who ruled that immediately after the Grace After Meals we fill the fourth cup and begin the second part of Hallel, thus leaving no place for Shefoch (Pour Out Your Wrath).
Enjoining resumption of the Hallel immediately after the meal, the Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish Law] codifies immemorial usage — one still honored by Yemenite Jews.
Moreover, how can one place Shefoch’s recitation at the feet of “the sages of old” — a term used to denote the rabbis of the Talmud — when historians have shown that Shefoch’s intrusion into the seder bespeaks 12th-century Europe? Calling down vengeance on enemies past or present is no part of the seder envisaged by our ancient rabbis of blessed memory who gave us a Haggadah of thanksgiving and celebration.
It is also regrettable that Brown sees fit to put down those who question the value of revenge, making them out to be equally disdainful of justice. One wonders how many members of the judiciary would subscribe to that equation.