August 27: Blaming the rabbinate
The Torah cannot become a slave to secular nationalist aspirations.
Letters Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
Blaming the rabbinate
Sir – You report (“Tzohar campaign slams rabbinate,”
August 24) that Tzohar’s chairman, Rabbi David Stav, said in a statement: “As a
result of the policies of the Chief Rabbinate, restaurants across the country
are foregoing kosher supervision; obstacles are being placed in front of people
interested in halachic conversions and more and more Israelis are opting for a
non-Jewish marriage ceremony abroad.”
Is Stav suggesting that kashrut
licenses be given to people who themselves are not observant and cannot be
trusted when it come to bending the rules when it suits their business
interests? Is he suggesting that people who have no real intention of living a
Torah lifestyle be accepted as converts? Is he suggesting that non-Jewish
Israelis wishing to marry Jews should be accommodated under the Rabbinate’s
auspices? The answer to all of these should be a firm no – the Torah cannot
become a slave to secular nationalist aspirations.
The real reason for
the de facto detachment between the State of Israel and its Jewish identity is
not the activities of the Chief Rabbinate but the Zionist ideal of replacing the
old Diaspora Jew with a new, self-assured Israeli who is no longer chained to
the “outmoded ghetto mentality.”
MARTIN D. STERN
Sir – Martin Sherman (“What’s wrong with the Right – Part II,” Into
the Fray, August 24) is a prime exemplar of what any Brit of a certain age would
immediately recognize – the Enoch Powell syndrome. Powell, a member of
parliament from 1950 to 1974, was a classical scholar of some distinction who,
when he applied his brilliant mind to political problems, invariably produced an
impeccable analysis and a faultlessly logical solution – although it was often
In his latest piece, Sherman does not once refer
to the political fallout of the conclusion he is leading us to – the annexation
of Judea and Samaria and a huge program of financial incentives to induce its
Palestinian inhabitants to relocate.
The outcry from friends and foes
alike would be unsustainable.
World opinion, which overwhelmingly
endorses the two-state solution, would never endorse it, and Israel would expose
itself to universal condemnation.
This is not practical
May I nevertheless say how pleased I am that Sherman is to
continue to entertain us with his hugely readable and thoughtprovoking
Sir, – I was delighted to read that
the Post has reconsidered its decision and will continue to publish Into the
I would only suggest that Sherman’s current shorthand TSS
(two-state solution) come to stand for three-state solution, thus recognizing
the fact that there now exist two embryonic Arab states struggling to be born in
the land that rightly belongs to what is the Jewish state as per international
The alternative should be dubbed TTSS, or twenty-threestate
solution – namely the existing 22 Arab states and the single Jewish state. This
moniker might, of course, have to be updated soon, when Syria splits into two
parts and Iraq into three parts. But it will do for now.
STEPHEN S. COHEN
Sir, – Santayana famously opined that those who
don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Alan Dershowitz’s “J Street
makes an attack on Iran more likely” (Observations, August 24) brings this
vividly to mind.
Timely military action or even the credible threat in
1936 could probably have prevented World War II, and maybe the Holocaust. The
decision of the Western democracies to appease fascism and Nazism rather that
confront them brought immeasurable disaster on the world.
Now J Street
urges exactly this approach with regard to Iran. The lobbying group’s leader,
Jeremy Ben-Ami, and his friends are urged to read Churchill’s The Gathering
Storm before it is too late.
Sir, – I agree with everything Gabi Barbash writes in “Doctor, did you
wash your hands?” (3rd Opinion, August 24). But there are more questions he
should ask doctors.
First of all, why is it that so many hospital doctors
nowadays don’t wear white coats, instead exposing us to clothes that have been
in contact with who knows what? Nurses wear their uniforms; even volunteers wear
Second, so many doctors come to work all gussied up
in their smart shirts and ties.
How often do they launder or dry-clean
those ties? And third,what about those ubiquitous computer keyboards in every
doctor’s office? Does anyone ever bother to clean them? I am most impressed with
my family doctor, who is punctilious about washing her hands both before and
after examining me. I wish the same could be said of our hospital doctors! B.
YAGIL Beersheba No surprise there Sir, – Ban Ki-moon’s decision to go to Tehran
(“Deaf to US and Israeli appeals, Ban to attend Tehran NAM meeting,” August 23)
reminds us that the majority of member states of the United Nations are
dictatorships and only handful are genuine democracies.
Two of the
permanent members of the Security Council are dictatorships that oppress their
own citizens. One occupies another country (Tibet) in direct and
incontrovertible defiance of the Geneva accords.
The UN and its many
suborganizations are good at two things: taking every opportunity to bash
Israel, and reducing world jobless rates by employing thousands of well-paid
people in myriad departments, committees, sub-committees and other
The worst part is that the world body is largely funded by
those countries that the majority of its member states oppose.
No Christian outcry
Sir, – The Palestinian Authority
president’s persistent denial of Jewish ties to Jerusalem (“Id al- Fitr
diplomacy continues as Abbas again denies Jewish connection to Jerusalem,”
August 22) effectively undermines the very foundations of
According to Christian tradition, Jesus was King of the
Jews and drove the moneychangers from the Temple, which Abbas claims never
existed! Yet so far as I am aware, not one Church leader has uttered a word of
criticism for such ignorant assertions, which challenge the veracity of their
Bible and their very creed.
Sir, – For weeks before the Olympic games you published articles introducing the
men and women of the Israeli delegation.
Well done. However, you seem to
have forgotten that on August 29 the Paralympic Games will open.
are 25 Israeli men and women who have worked hard to achieve their ticket to the
games. In the past, Israeli paralympic athletes have brought home many gold,
silver and bronze medals.
The writer is a
physiotherapist for the Israeli delegation to the paralympic games
editor responds: The Paralympics definitely are an unbelievable exhibition of
athletic achievement that are more than deserving of full attention and
We in The Jerusalem Post sports department anxiously await the
games to begin. We will certainly be providing extensive reporting on both the
Israeli delegation and the rest of the amazing feats and heartwarming stories.