Sir, – With regard to “‘War of the rabbis’ over Temple Mount strife goes from Halacha to politics” (November 10), the beauty of Judaism is that, unlike other religions, there is no intermediary between us and God. However, once one imposes himself as an intercessor, the direct link is fragmented.
During the Six Day War, when Col. Motta Gur declared “har habayit beyadenu” (the Temple Mount is in our hands), we should not have listened to the rabbis who declared otherwise.
Gur was right. The Temple Mount was in our hands and the rabbis, in their infinite wisdom, helped give it away.
This is why we have the situation that is in place now.YA’ACOV ROSENRAUCH
Sir, – The compliance by Israel to the demand by the Wakf Muslim religious trust to prohibit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is now to be viewed as questionable.
In 1967, defense minister Moshe Dayan decided on such a policy for fear of inciting the entire Muslim world. As a result, within the State of Israel the holiest site in Jewish history is judenrein to Jewish prayer.
The argument made by those who counsel continued acquiescence to the status quo is that Israel provokes violence by any change. Even Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, for various halachic reasons, agrees (“Jews on Temple Mount causing bloodshed – Yosef,” November 9). The sanctity of life must take precedence.
Related questions are raised, however. Does showing fear to an enemy and giving in to his demands stop or increase those threats? Did Israel see an end to hostage-taking when it agreed to terrorist releases? Israel claims to be a democracy that protects the human, civil and political rights of all minorities, and freedom of religion for all. Why should the Temple Mount be the exception? Is it so unreasonable for Israel to ask for tolerance and respect for its most holy place, the site of the two temples? By continuing to be intimidated, Israel only whets the appetite of further Muslim diktats and totalitarian behavior. A strong showing of principle and fairness, as well as genuine tolerance, would go a long way for both sides.YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
Modi’in Teach your parents
Sir, – With regard to “PM turns Right at Likud central committee meeting” (November 10), you quote Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying: “For thousands of years... we could only pray to God. Now we are a strong nation.... There is only one power that can protect us and that is ourselves, united and strong.”
Wrong! For all those thousands of years, mighty civilizations that tried to annihilate us are themselves history. Only we, the children of Israel, weak and small, still survive and thrive. Does Netanyahu imagine that the IDF saved us? There is a basic Torah concept of hishtadlut and bitahon – making our own efforts, but relying also on help from the Almighty. We must never lose sight of His influence in our lives. It’s a partnership. When we do our part, He does His.
In the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, Verse 17 tells us that when one is rich and successful he believes that “My strength and the might of my hand made me all this wealth.”
We are warned though, to remember that the very God who destroyed those ancient civilizations is the One who grants us our blessings.
It is surprising how much we can learn from our children.
Mr. Netanyahu is wise enough to give his son a Torah education.
Perhaps he can learn from him.DEENA SPIGELMAN
Jerusalem Missing some points
Sir, – Seth J. Frantzman’s columns are always a treat to read, whether I agree with him or not. This time, I think he misses a few important points (“Israel needs its Bobby Kennedy moment,” Terra Incognita, November 10).
The first point is calling Sirhan Sirhan “deranged.” By calling the assassin “deranged,” one belittles the murder of Kennedy. Sirhan assassinated Kennedy on June 5, the anniversary of the start of the Six Day War. The Arabs resented their defeat at the time, but the fact is they simply did not and do not want us here, not in any configuration or at any time. Redeployment (Frantzman’s word for appeasement) is worthless.
Our parents lived through the Arab riots in the 1930s. This morning, the Arabs are still rioting.
Mr. Frantzman quotes an Arab girl shouting at the Border Police in the Old City of Jerusalem: “All the world hates you, they are with us, get off my land.” This means to him that time is not on Israel’s side. But he ignores the last part of the taunt: “Get off my land.”
The Arabs have been fighting us for a long time, whether in the 1860s, the 1930s or today.
They refuse to accept us or the one policy we must articulate over and over: The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.
If they ever accept this fact it will be time to talk.THELMA JACOBSON
Petah TikvaMogherini’s words
Sir, – If new European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini really means what she says (“We can’t afford a fourth war in Gaza, says EU’s Mogherini,” November 9), her path is obvious: She has to make sure Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the other terror groups in Gaza are disarmed and their terror infrastructure permanently destroyed.
Doing so will prevent another Gaza war. Not doing so will guarantee another Gaza war.ALAN STEIN
Sir, – With regard to “‘I’d like to see a Palestinian state’” (November 5), the EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has her hands full with problems plaguing the European community that are too numerous to mention here. I say she should show us how good she is at solving them before the continent becomes known as Eurostan! Maybe when her five-year term ends (if these European countries are around that long ) she can come back with advice from a seasoned expert, not a dreamer. While she’s visiting, I’ll be happy to have her come visit my neighborhood to get a taste of the ongoing violence, an example of the future “Palestinian state.”ELISHEVA WEBERMAN
Jerusalem Mind reader
Sir, – As I always set aside The Jerusalem Post until I can read it from cover to cover, I just read David Brinn’s “Path of enlightenment” (Parting Shot, October 17). There he expresses his frustration, not that others have opinions different from his own – labeled for some reason “conspiracy theories” – but that these individuals “espoused them as common knowledge that everyone in earshot agrees with.”
It is enlightening to learn that the Post’s managing editor can read the minds of everyone around him, for he hasn’t quoted “these individuals” as specifically “espousing” such a thing. He has lots of good advice for these espousers, all of which comes under the heading Keep Your Opinions to Yourself and Don’t Force Me to Suffer Them.
I do agree that, to quote Mr. Brinn, it is “disconcerting enough when someone is so sure of himself that he thinks his very narrow and oftenskewed viewpoint is the only path toward truth. It’s even more disturbing when he thinks you’re walking right next to him.” Or editing your newspaper.SHIRA TWERSKY-CASSEL