Start collecting

Sir, – With regard to “IDF hunts for terrorist who killed police officer on way to Seder” (April 16), a cynic might say there is no sense to find the killer of Baruch Mizrahi since our prison doors are revolving.

However, in the event that another Israeli Jew is kidnapped we might look awfully weak if we have no one with blood on his hands to exchange.

Better start collecting the next batch now so as to give motivation to the army and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service), lest they feel they are endangering themselves to no good end.

SIDNEY HANDEL
Tel Aviv

Out of touch

Sir, – You state in “Pessah and aliya” (Editorial, April 14) that for people who want to live in an outwardly Jewish manner, no place in the world can compete with Israel.

Your editorial writer is totally out of touch.

Many Orthodox Jews are returning to their countries of origin as they feel persecuted financially and in the media here. Furthermore, even the ultra-Orthodox are moving abroad, where family allowances and tax credits are more generous and they do not feel persecuted by the government and the press.

In some cases where they do not have rights, they have applied for refugee status from the religious persecution they suffer here in Israel.

SIMON SCHLEIDER

Jerusalem

Rights of others

Sir, – David Newman’s fulsome and magnanimous praise for Rabbis for Human Rights (“Rabbis for human rights celebrate Passover,” Borderline Views, April 14) notes that this group attends to the situation of human rights even of the enemies of the State of Israel, for which we should be thankful.

Would that these rabbis concerned themselves also with the human rights of almost 400,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, and the additional 210,000 Jews living in Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods as well. But they do not. In fact, on too many occasions they work against them, so these rabbis are active on behalf not of human rights, but of the political rights solely of Arabs in those areas.

They might, as Newman phrases it, be “lending dignity to the universal messages” of Judaism, but they are not at all concerned with the Jewish rights of Jews.

YISRAEL MEDAD
Shiloh

Worthy addition

Sir, – I began leading our family Seder about 20 years ago when my father-in-law lost his voice to laryngeal cancer.

Our family is quite diverse in terms of observance and, with four generations of attendees at our peak, we spanned almost 90 years of Jewish history.

Needless to say, it has been and continues to be a welcome challenge to perform the rituals 100 percent according to tradition while retaining 100% participation and interest by all attendees.

Over the years we have created games, songs, stories, speeches, Seder plate additions (the orange) and new cups (Miriam’s and Soviet Jewry’s), all in an effort to be relevant and interesting, and to inspire participation.

Somehow, only this year did I realize that I had been omitting perhaps the most important cup of the highest relevance to our freedom as a nation. So this year, just prior to reciting the “Shfoch Chamatcha” passage at our Seder, I proudly poured a canteen of water next to Elijah’s Cup and recited the Mi Sheberach prayer for our IDF soldiers.

The entire family stood in silence and reverence, and recited along with me this tribute to, and prayer for, our troops as a thank you and acknowledgment for assuring our continued freedom.

I think this ritual is worthy of addition to every family’s Seder and should in fact be added to any new Haggada that is published.

A happy holiday to all, and kol hakavod to the IDF.

ELI SCHMELL

Rehovot

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