That mikve law
Referring to “Mikve law approved by Knesset” (July 26), why are the Orthodox so bent on excommunicating people who want to belong but find an alternative route? If a mikve is paid for out of public funds, then it is for the public. All Israelis are entitled to use it. In order to bar those who do “not belong,” it has to be paid for solely by those who set the rules.
The rise of Conservative and Reform Judaism was born from the idea of wanting to be Jewish, but in order to understand the religious books, they had to be in the home language of those individuals. This happened in Germany and the US, as well as elsewhere.
My father, a firm believer and participator, was driven away from religion by the actions of the rabbinate and committees. (Hence, my brother and I also strayed.) But he remained, in his own way, very Jewish and staunchly Israeli. My wife, who formerly observed Shabbat, strayed because of the actions of a religious court in the process of obtaining a get (Jewish religious divorce).
We are Israeli Jews, loving of and faithful to the country, but we insist on justice! There should be a division between religion and state, and it is long past time for the inclusive Sanhedrin to meet in order to establish order.
S. GELGOR Tel Aviv
How apt that, as we have just begun the three weeks between 17 Tamuz and Tisha Be’av, “Mikve law approved by Knesset” should appear on your front page.
As we believe that the Second Temple was destroyed due to sinat hinam (baseless hatred), what better time for the faux haredim of the United Torah Judaism and Shas parties to display their baseless hatred for fellow Jews of the Conservative and Reform persuasions.
I would suggest to my fellow Jews who pray daily for the arrival of the Messiah and the building of the Third Temple – save your breath! As long as we have the likes of UTJ and Shas, it ain’t happening.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH Kochav Yair
Hits the nail
With “Abusing the term ‘fascism’ in relation to Israel” (Candidly Speaking, July 26), Isi Leibler again hits the proverbial nail squarely. The realities we live under are unique and should not be generalized.
Yashir koach to Mr. Leibler and to The Jerusalem Post for giving his work proper placement.
SHLOMO FISHEROWITZ Jerusalem
‘Saving’ the kids I would like to correct your article “US rabbis raise $3.5m. in campaign to ‘save’ French olim from secular lifestyle” (July 22).
Your readers should know how fanatic the haredi rabbis were when they came to Toronto on a fund-raising trip. They denounced Israel’s “heretical” state religious schools, not its secular schools. They excoriated the “evil” Zionists who are trying to lead French Jewry to “apostasy.”
They went so far as to say it would be a mitzva to desecrate Shabbat (such as driving a car) in order to save the children from this! JACOB MENDLOVIC Toronto
Liat Collins’s recent reflections on France in “Single loyalty, multiple sympathies” (My Word, July 22) remind us of another legacy – the challenging conditions for the country’s Jewish population, French weapons embargoes on Israel, systemic difficulties in supporting Israel internationally, and – especially – French conduct during World War II.
Col. George P. Paston, chief American prosecutor at the Salzberg War Crimes Trials, reminded me that the majority of collaborators convicted at those trials were French.
All in all, the French experience for Jews and Israel has been, to be charitable, mixed, and is likely to remain so.
PETER I. BERMAN Norwalk, Connecticut
Recent Jerusalem Post editorials and op-eds support the settlements, call the Green Line obsolete and disassociate east Jerusalem from the West Bank.
The international community does not recognize east Jerusalem’s dissociation from the West Bank. Since Israel is unique in the international community’s salutary establishment of it, beginning with the Balfour Declaration, it would seem confusing to ignore this.
If the Green Line is obsolete, then why aren’t east Jerusalem’s Palestinians automatically made Israeli citizens who can vote for Knesset and relocate across the Green Line into Israel, wherever they want? Why can settlers live anywhere, but not these Palestinians? How can Palestinians who move into Israel undermine the state if the settlements don’t just as much undermine Palestine? The Green Line is not obsolete and is replete with double standards.
How do double standards advance peace? I love Israel, but the hard Right’s positions in the Post impel responses, just as I love America but still criticize Donald Trump.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Obsession with Trump
Please explain to me and the rest of your readers why, what with everything else going on in the world, your political cartoonist is obsessed with Donald Trump.
If the cartoonist has nothing better or more important to comment on, perhaps it is time for you to replace him.
JOEL BLOCK Haifa
I recently watched the evening news and was treated to reportage on Israeli youngsters vacationing in Cyprus.
I have had the privilege of working with Israeli and Diaspora youth over many years and was always so proud of our young people. But on this evening, I was in for a shock – Israeli youngsters are being flown into Cyprus by the planeload over the summer vacation, and they are wreaking havoc! These youths claim, raucously, that they are going to drink, drink, drink, from morning to night. They spend a lot of money. The hotel management is in total despair about the destruction, noise and bad behavior, especially toward the female staff. Fighting breaks out.
Nearly every night, the police are called and there are arrests.
Where do these young people get this kind of money? From their parents? Do the parents watch TV? Are they worried about what their children are doing and how they are behaving? What a portrayal of our youth! I am depressed, saddened and deeply ashamed!
MIRIAM (MICKEY) BLUMBERG Jerusalem
...and distracted I would like to ask all the shrieking college students to put down their BDS signs for a minute, change gears and consider the following: A civil war has raged in Syria for more than five years. For the children, this means not only five years of the horrors of war (which are poorly documented), but five years without decent nutrition, shelter, medical care, dental care, schooling, stable home environments and everything else that most, if not all, of these protesting students took for granted while growing up.
Have Syrian children not also been endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Are they not also to be allowed freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear? Or are these selective rights, only for the politically correct? Every young Syrian will eventually (if they live that long) become an eager recruit for any terrorist organization that crooks its finger.
So instead of worrying about whether Hamas has enough concrete to build attack tunnels against Israel, maybe it is time to go out into the streets and demonstrate for the future of Syria.
ELIZABETH YUVAL Kiryat Tivon