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Yes, some people do follow the Bible to the letter

In his recent column ("The conservative case for same-sex marriage," March 29), Eddie Zipperer gives three reasons why conservatives should favor same sex marriage. I find his second, poking fun at the Bible, to be both offensive and ignorant.

As an Orthodox Jew I do indeed try to follow the laws in this book. Let Mr. Zipperer visit my community and he will see many people with a "foot and a half of hair" hanging from their temples. These side curls are called "payos" and they are worn to follow the Biblical command not to cut the corners of one's beard. I also follow the command not to wear a garment with mixed wool and linen (not any mixed fibers as Mr. Zipperer mistakenly claims), and I make use of a local testing service to verify that my clothing is "kosher." Finally, couples in my community do separate during menstruation and are joyously reunited after a spiritual purification procedure afterward. One woman said she feels like a new bride every month!

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I certainly do not expect Mr. Zipperer to live as we do; he is entitled to his own beliefs as we are to ours. But I do expect him to educate himself about matters he wishes to ridicule, and I request — no, I demand — that he respect others' religious views.

Andrew Goldfinger, Baltimore

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