Sir, – If the government wants to raise prices and yet avoid the
automatic backlash of protest from the “social justice” crowd, (“Price of
subsidized bread rises by 6.53% today,” August 14) a solution would be to allow
the rise in prices whilst at the same time removing VAT from basic food items
such as bread, milk and eggs. This would enable the producers of these items to
receive a fair price for their goods, while at the same time allowing poorer
families to purchase basic nutritious foods at lower prices.
Jerusalem New skyline
Sir, – I was saddened to read that the Interior Ministry
has given approval for 12 skyscrapers to be built at the western entrance to the
city (“12 skyscrapers approved for entrance to Jerusalem,” August 14).
sincerely hope that this plan will not happen. Jerusalem has always been
different and unique from other cities. If this plan does materialize, it will
destroy the nature of Jerusalem. In the past, Jerusalem has maintained the style
of low buildings built in Jerusalem stone that blended in with the surrounding
These projected skyscrapers are supposed to include a mix of
government offices, private businesses, a 2,000 room hotel and residential
apartments. We’re sure these residential apartments will be very expensive. With
Jerusalem needing affordable housing for the younger and also older people, this
will not meet their needs.
Jerusalem was always the Holy City, and
visitors came here to admire its uniqueness. If this plan goes through,
Jerusalem will become just “another big city” like all other big cities around
the world. Please, don’t let this happen.
Let us remain unique!
Sir, – If the “Interior Ministry gave its initial stamp of
approval...” to the 12 new skyscrapers it needs to be renamed as the “Inferior
Jerusalem is not just any city. It is bad enough that the
Leonardo Plaza sticks out like a sore thumb, without compounding the
How dare greedy people try to ruin our beautiful city with huge
ugly blocks of concrete! Attractive buildings limited to a maximum of 12 stories
could be considered for approval.
Have we no pride or principles?
Jerusalem Sage studying
Sir, – There is debate in Israel trying to draft
students who are intensively engaged in Torah studies (“Council of Torah Sages
convenes to address issue of haredi draft to national service,” August
Some claim that not all the students are worth the time and the
money and should serve in the army instead. Following that criteria, only
scientists, professionals or athletes who show outstanding potential should be
The recent Olympic Games highlighted the tremendous effort,
emotional investment, psychological involvement and financial resources needed
to support athletes. For Michael Phelps to shine as a swimmer, it takes an
outstanding infrastructure of goods and human capital, yet imagine how many
swimmers did not even qualify to participate in the games.
In order to
create an effective vaccine, it often takes countless scientists and funds that
go to waste. Similarly, it takes the ambience of a yeshiva to create a gadol
hador, or leader of a generation.
The argument that only outstanding
scholars should be given the opportunity to study, diminishes the study of
Sir, – Following Avi Schwartz’s beautifully
written article, (“Studying Torah can be a national service,” Comment and
Features, August 14) I too fantasized.
I pictured on every army base
around the country a series of new hastily erected prefabricated caravans marked
Streams of khaki-clad haredim were eagerly clamoring
to be accepted as students. They committed themselves to learn the regulation
10-12 hour yeshiva day plus one hour of daily army training. Numbers? Say 10
bases with 50 young men each to begin with, swelling as demand increased to 100
or 200 per base.
Wow! With the combined dedication of regular soldiers
and the yeshiva boy soldiers the body and soul of our beloved Jewish land would
be in safe hands.
Let’s dream on!
SHIRLEY DOMB Jerusalem Trade off
The article “A return to the bad old days” by Rafael Medoff (Comment and
Features, August 14) was very encouraging.
I consider myself as neither a
Democrat nor a Republican as there is too much political philosophy on both
sides of the aisle that I both accept and reject.
Thus by default this
would probably make me an independent.
However I, in a non partisan
manner, am totally against voting for party labels – Republican or Democrat –
rather than deciding on the issues involved. This forthcoming election is a good
case in point, for the selection of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice
presidential nominee seemingly has all the potential of lifting this campaign
from the gutter to something more respectable where issues and not personalities
will be debated – at least this is my hope.
Nevertheless, even when
considering the issues, politics like most things in life is a trade off – few
if any get everything. But the focus has to be on the critical, existential
issues, knowing very well you may also have to buy into things you do not favor
but that are less critical. This is the dilemma of this election.
Medoff’s article raises the hope that the Republican Party will actively court
the Jewish vote to let them know they are wanted and important and that the
Jewish voting community will decide on the basis of the merits of each and every
issue and with perspicacity rather than as a pavlovian response.
Haifa Getting schooled
Sir, – David Newman omits some pertinent facts
from his defense of the educational status quo (“Government intervention in the
politics of education,” Borderline Views, Comment and Features, August
In regards to firing the head of the civic education program, the
official in question, Adar Cohen, chose educational materials that supported the
Palestinian narrative over the Zionist one. In regards to the recognition of
Ariel University Center as a university – the elevation of Ariel is being fought
almost exclusively on political and ideological grounds, not academic.
Additionally, the current universities have a built-in bias against new
In regards to philanthropists conditioning their gifts
against institutions supporting anti-Zionist professors, benefactors always want
to support organizations in line with their own beliefs. What is unfair or
unusual about that? Professor Newman also neglected to acknowledge the role of
Labor and Kadima in shaping Israel’s educational direction, such as by
appointing Adar Cohen, or the Likud party appointing Gideon Sa’ar as education
minister. Governing parties typically choose officials of their own political
Alfe Menashe Pain free
Sir, – Melissa Ruggieri,
in her article on Barry Manilow (“Barry Manilow is singing the old songs,
creating new ones,” Arts and Entertainment, August 14) describing the hip
surgery that he underwent as a “painful complicated procedure” and from which he
has recovered “about 90 percent,” does a distinct disservice to all those
considering or about to undergo hip replacement.
I cannot speak for
American techniques but I certainly can for those in Israel. Total hip
replacement is neither painful nor is too complicated. Postoperative pain is
minimal, less even than dental transplants, and good physiotherapy will have the
patient up and about in a very short space of time. Of all known operations this
is the one that carries the highest total success rate.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
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