Define ‘Israeliness’

Sir, – While I appreciate Ilan Manor’s clarifying for us his justification for the Foreign Ministry workers’ strike (“Being the son of an Israeli diplomat,” Comment & Features, March 31), he obviously pushed the Send button in haste without proofreading for misinformation.

He describes the disadvantages of being in an Israeli diplomatic family abroad, saying diplomats’ children “hardly feel Israeli, and the experiences that define Israeliness, such as belonging to a scouts tribe or cheating on a matriculation exam, are lost to them.”

As a high school teacher in the Israeli education system for the past 35 years, I protest his choice of “missed Israeli experiences,” in addition to his erroneous and blanket assertion regarding cheating on matriculation exams.

Admittedly, some students do try to cheat.

However, there is a highly organized system of proctors and inspectors to punish those who do.

Moreover, if a pupil is suspected of cheating, his paper is disqualified and he is forbidden from retaking that exam in the following years.

I think the writer has been out of Israel for too long to really understand that cheating on exams does not constitute an Israeli experience. I wish he had chosen from the many positive and unique experiences of living in Israel and participating in its development.

DONNA TZINAMON Aseret

Sir, – While I agree with the content of Ilan Manor’s article, I am appalled by his grammar.

He claims that his school provided him with the highest level of education possible yet he begins that claim with “Me and my older brother….”

In the next paragraph he refers to his aunt and uncle as “which.”

The Jerusalem Post has long given up the difference between “who” and “whom,” but I did expect some copy editing of this article.

IDA SELAVAN SCHWARCZ Ganei Omer Unkosher bust

Sir, – Shmuley Boteach’s “Kosher lust” (No Holds Barred, March 25) is characterized by a thorough male chauvinism. It is all about male lust and ignores the subject of female lust.

As an Orthodox woman, I am irritated that Rabbi Boteach writes about a wife being sexually unavailable to her husband for 12 days out of every month because of the laws of niddah.

What about the wife whose husband is not sexually available to her? Beside this point, he does not take into account the sex life of a couple in which the woman is beyond the age of menstruation or lacks ovaries.

And what about this “waiting” nonsense implying that it increases “sexual hunger” when a woman is pregnant? There’s no waiting then, so less hunger? And when women have many pregnancies, as happens in Orthodox families, what does it cause according to his way of reasoning – a huge lack of any so-called sexual hunger on the male’s side, obviously? I am not only irritated by Rabbi Boteach’s line of reasoning, I am insulted by it.

How dare he compare women with food being served in a restaurant, whether fast food or a chic establishment. And how can he make a remark like “Same amount of flesh exposed”? Women flesh, of course. Maybe he should reflect on his male chauvinism in his function as a consultant to people who contact him for relational advice and in his capacity as an Orthodox rabbi who likes to present himself as modern and contemporary.

Women are not objects.

We are human beings created in the image of God.

And it is utter nonsense what he writes about lust contrasted with love. Love is not a Christian idea. Love is an authentic Jewish idea.

Love your neighbor like yourself. That is what makes us Jewish.

MINNY MOCK-DEGEN Rehovot

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