Heft and fragrance
Sir, – As a writer and editor, I agree with Tami
Lehman-Wilzig that it’s important to know new technology (“Writing with
passion,” Veterans, October 28).
But as a biographer, my client’s voices
come alive in the printed text, and after one client died his family told me
that at the shiva, it was comforting to hold his life story in their
I also like the way my kids wander through our library and pick
books above their reading level. If they read electronically and plug in their
age, they might not receive material that is a bit difficult and will thus lose
a chance to improve their skills.
I’m certainly not ancient, but I love
the smell of a new book!
LAUREN ADILEV COHEN
Efrat It’s just vandalism
Sir, – In
an otherwise fine article, Daniel Gordis implores our prime minister to rid us
of the evil of the “hilltop youth” (“A rediscovered abundance of goodness,”
Guest Columnist, October 28) – and frankly I’m shocked.
While these acts
of vandalism are wrong and should be punished, they are not evil. True evil is
murdering a family of five or shooting a mother with four children in their car.
These acts and others have been perpetrated over the past 100-plus years against
the Jewish people and they are all evil, as is the Palestinian culture that
If the prime minister wants to do a good deed, he should call
evil what it is – and make sure that those evil men and women he recently
released don’t have the opportunity to act in their evil ways
Sir, – Mostly, I tend to agree with Daniel
Gordis. But in his latest column he angered me.
He wants to eradicate
evil, and the only evil he can think of is some hooligans who did not harm a
single person. Evil? Vicious? Not a word about terrorists who slaughter innocent
men, women and children simply because they are Jewish.
Well, I guess
that’s the norm, so it’s not worth mentioning.
Maybe we ought to think of
how we can eradicate that evil.
Gordis should put on his thinking
TAMAR H. KAGAN
Sir, – Many thanks for the
words of wisdom so well expressed in “The scorpion and the frog” (Eisenbud’s
Odyssey, October 28). Let’s hope our leaders see it and learn from
Sir, – The column dealing with the frog and
the scorpion is absolutely on the mark.
The fact that it is in the Arab
psyche to act this way is difficult to accept in the Western mind, but it is
true. They have been acting in a way that harms their own interest for so many
years that it has become part of their rationale.
The West cannot buy
into Arab fantasies any longer. Israel must not do so either. Every time we give
in to inappropriate demands we become more vulnerable.
The time has come
to say no and mean it. Maybe some Arabs will awaken from their stupor and create
a new idea of reality.
Jerusalem So hard to grasp
Sir, – In
“The interminable train ride,” a review of Aharon Appelfeld’s Until the Dawn’s
(Books, October 21), Elaine Margolin writes: “The author has never
professed to understand the gruesome indignities inflicted upon the Jews – lives
destroyed in an instant by barbarism, torture and an insanity that was
unforeseen by the prewar Jews of Europe.”
The aforesaid provoked my
memory to recall the understanding of Vienna-born Dr.
Stein, confidential advisor to Sir Winston Churchill regarding Adolf Hitler’s
mind and motivation, which, according to Margolin, eludes Appelfeld: the failure
of the Nuremberg Trials to identify the evil at work behind the outer facade of
National Socialism and the extent to which Allied prosecutors at these trials
lacked the moral imagination to perceive the apocalyptic, magical weltanschauung
that had arisen in Germany.
It was apparent to Stein “that a decision had
been made at the highest political level to explain the most atrocious crimes in
the history of mankind as the result of mental aberration and the systematic
perversion of instincts. It was thought expedient to speak in dry
psycho-analytical terms when considering the motives for incarcerating millions
of human beings in gas ovens rather than to reveal that such practices were an
integral part of a dedicated service to evil powers.”