I’m sorry, but while I appreciate your apologies (To the family of Myron Cohon and our community), you have still missed the mark. In fact, you and Professor Jaffee are still on the same page, though you profess not to be.
You both apologize, as you should, for both factual inaccuracy, and offensive timing. But though Professor Jaffee claims to, neither of you truly disavows your judgment of those Jews who are not “Jewish enough” for you. That is wrong.
What if my father was a “secular Jew” who valued Jewish and non-Jewish intellectual and artistic achievements equally? What if he did marry a person he loved and who was not a practicing Jew? What if he did raise a child who chose not to practice Judaism, and two who married gentiles? What if he did love and accept his children’s spouses and his grandchildren equally, regardless of their religious heritage or practices? What if “the life of Torah” was not “an existential concern” to Myron or some members of his family? What if you were factually correct about his life, and if the timing of your criticism had not been so inappropriate? I’ll tell you: It was still wrong. It was religious and ethnic intolerance.
It was not only Myron’s recognition of his Jewish identity, and the fact that some of his progeny remain active in the Jewish community, that makes the article wrong. It is wrong because you criticize those aspects of his life, and those members of his family, that are not Jewish enough for you. It is wrong because you deny the validity of each individual’s choice as to how they carry forward their religious and ethnic heritage. In failing to recognize that error, you still have much to learn from Myron, and much to apologize for to his family.