Letters

Thank You for Ruining My Wedding
I find it somewhat humorous when I hear or read about Loring Frank, as I did in Ray Martinez's article "Rabbi with a Cause" (April 17). My husband and I once availed ourselves of Loring Frank's services, and all we have left is bitter, sardonic laughter.

In 1989 we asked Mr. Frank to marry us because we believed he was a legitimate rabbi and because we had heard that he would marry us although we were not members of a temple.

Our wedding was ruined because he showed up for it two hours late. He never even apologized to me. He did perform a brief, nice ceremony before descending on what was left of our food (we may have had the world's only wedding at which the guests ate before the ceremony) while hitting on two of my girlfriends.

As a result of Mr. Frank's despicable behavior that night, and after learning that he had scheduled a wedding and a bat mitzvah in two different parts of the tri-county area for the same period as our wedding, and after learning that the Hebrew date on our ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) was incorrect, and after learning that apparently his only rabbinical credentials were those instantly bestowed upon him by his father (thank God his dad wasn't a heart surgeon, although Mr. Frank did do a good job of cutting my heart out), we briefly joined a lawsuit and appeared on A Current Affair so that perhaps others could be warned.

In today's world Loring Frank's actions do not rank him too highly on a list of the most evil charlatans, I guess, but they should be made known because they hurt innocent and trusting people, and they do so under the guise of a religious leader and teacher. In spite of Mr. Frank's efforts at our wedding, my husband and I have a wonderful marriage. We live with the knowledge that we are not officially married as Jews, which is very important to us, and that our carefully planned wedding was made a shambles of because of his apparent greed and lack of caring, and that this hedonistic psuedoreligious figure is free to continue.

I question Mr. Frank's "honorary" rabbinical degree. Was this degree bestowed because of his lifetime of rabbinical study, his "science" of twenty-minute marriages and instant conversions, or are the qualifications more like those advertised in a TV commercial, where you can get a degree by mail?

I do commend Mr. Frank for his efforts in bringing some $200,000 to his temple, but I wonder if the "expenses" the temple pays for include much other than the penthouse, the Mercedes, the Harley, the pinkie ring, the gold, the Guccis, and the pubescent girlfriends. I also find it bizarre to read reports of him all decked out in his ostentatious greed while talking about hypocrisy.

Mr. Frank, as a Jew you embarrass and shame me.
Barbara Weinman McElwee
Miami Beach

Calling All Naked Scientists
In reading "Rabbi with a Cause" I discovered that Loring Frank, like myself, hangs out at Haulover Beach, and before that we both used the Palms Hotel rooftop solarium. But to my knowledge I never met any naturalists there. Admittedly I did not survey all the naturists present as to their occupations, as perhaps was done by writer Ray Martinez.

As a naturist who is also quite interested in the natural sciences, I would be interested in meeting such like-minded naturalists. But I suspect that Martinez, like other writers, merely confused the two similar terms.

While the AP stylebook has been reluctant to include naturist in its list of acceptable terminology, the American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary (third edition, 1993) will give you the several definitions of naturalist and naturalism as well as the one definition of naturism: n. Nudism. -- naturist.

Rob Boyte
Miami Beach

Cuba's Problems, Out Problems
I read Elise Ackerman's article on documentary filmmakers Joe Cardona and Alex Anton and their film ?Adios, Patria? ("Images of Exile," April 10), and though I am not a Cuban American or a Cuban immigrant, I would like to express my sympathy for the plight of the Cuban people and those working to restore democracy in Cuba.

From the article alone I can believe them when they say they feel a great deal for their heritage and have taken it upon themselves to educate the public about the serious problems in Cuba. The purpose of my letter is not to point fingers or place blame, but even with the large number of Cuban and Cuban-American residents here in South Florida, only a small number demonstrate their concern about the problems that plague Cuba. But pointing out Cubans as the only ones who should bear responsibility defeats the purpose of my letter.

As Floridians we are more aware of what goes on in Cuba than residents of any other state, but none of us is informed enough. We know it's "not good" down there, but that is something we store in our subconscious, something that makes it to the forefront of our minds only when we watch the news or see something like Mr. Cardona and Mr. Anton's documentary.

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