Sir, – Ankara allied itself with Israel not out of love for
Jewish democracy, but out of a need for American support. And now that it feels
it no longer needs the US, it no longer needs to put on airs.
past displeasure with Israel was not because of the latter’s military ties with
Turkey, but because those ties gave Turkey credibility. Ties with the only
democracy in the Middle East helped Ankara’s advocates propagate the idea that
Turkey was a secular democracy, flying in the face of the fact that a Christian
or a Jew cannot even become a police officer there.
rediscover its need of a patron and will try to improve ties with Israel
(“Turkey could face opposition from Congress on US arms sales,” August 17). When
that time comes it should be asked if a country has good intentions in its
relations with a Christian or a Jewish state when it abuses its own Christians
and Jews.GERASIMOS BOZIKIS
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Threads on ‘David’
Sir, – Are you so clueless that you don’t realize that frontal nudity, even if
it is Michelangelo’s statue of David (“Florence spars with Italian gov’t over
ownership of ‘David,’” August 17), is inappropriate for your front page and
offensive to many of your more traditional readers? Or are you simply so
insensitive that you don’t care? ASHER RESNICK
Ramat Beit Shemesh
Sir, – I’m not
an art expert, but while reading the Post, I noticed that the king wasn’t
wearing any clothes.
I’m not kidding. ‘David’ actually appeared on the
front page of the Post in the altogether, as naked as the day he was
I urge Italy to check all its statues for wardrobe malfunctions (I
pray no popes are inadvertently being displayed in a similar fashion) and to
arrange for suitable royal attire as soon as possible.YONATAN SILVER
Jerusalem Look to the Book
Sir, – In his op-ed piece (August 17), Prof. Hillel
Shuval argues, as the headline states, that “the tragic mistake was settling
Gaza in the first place.”
Perhaps the good professor should communicate
this sober thought to members of the ancient tribe of Judah, who did precisely
that, as related in the Book of Joshua (10:40-41): “Thus Joshua conquered the
whole country: the hill country, the Negev, the Shfela and the slopes, from
Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, all the land of Goshen and up to Gibeon.”
in Chapter 15, there is a detailed inventory of towns and regions, as these were
divided among the 12 tribes. In Judah’s list we find (Josh. 15:47) “Gaza, its
dependencies and its villages, all the way to the Wadi of Egypt and the edge of
the Great Sea.”
One has to wonder how all this squares with the writer’s
offhand observation that, “according to Halachic authorities, Gush Katif was
never considered part of historic Eretz Yisrael.”MOSHE AUMANN
Sir, – Hillel Shuval seems unaware of the irony of his article on Gush Katif or
Gush Katif was a microcosm of Israel’s place in a sea of
genocidal Islamic hatred. Would he therefore be among the many who claim the
founding of Israel was a tragic mistake? Arguably, Israel is the most dangerous
place for Jews. When Shuval speaks of the supremacy of security, does he intend
to suggest that all values be based on military/security considerations? The
facts are clear. The destruction of Gush Katif led to the bombardment of
southern Israel and Ashkelon, which led to the Gaza War, which led to the
Goldstone Report, which led to the virulent isolation of Israel.
end in sight.EMANUEL GREEN
Jerusalem Bones long dry
Sir, – Irrespective
of size and wealth, the day-to-day municipal administration of the shtetl was
democratic, in the spirit of emerging world democracy. But unlike in other
democracies, where decisions were made and people got on with their lives, after
a decision had been reached in a shtetl and everyone was abiding by the
decision, the different sides continued to argue their points of view.
this respect, the Comment & Features section of The Jerusalem Post
in line with that of a shtetl newspaper, with the Glicks and Baskins rehashing
and rebashing voided viewpoints.
This is all too evident in the August 17
issue: “The tragic mistake was settling Gaza in the first place, ” by Hillel
Shuval, versus “Why Gush Katif still matters,” by Moshe Dann.
argument was decided democratically five years ago. The bones of contention are
long dry. Let’s get on with our lives.DANIEL ABELMAN
Sir, – The very headline “A young rabbi wannabe struggles for
recognition” (August 12) explains so much to me about the problems of Israel’s
That this young boy knows the laws seems to be the only
qualification required for the role of rabbi. Wisdom, compassion and a desire
and ability to solve problems rather than pass judgement are never
No wonder so many of us suffer at the hands of our rabbinate –
agunot, aspiring converts, young people seeking to be married in the country of
their birth, to mention just a few.
As long as being a rabbi recognized
in Israel is based on “knowing the laws” alone, we will widen the gap that
already exists between the rabbinate and so may of our citizens.BAKOL
Sir, – The article about 14-yearold Moshe Sharify
happened to appear just one day after the English-language weekly Hamodia
profiled a boy named Menachem Mendel Pfeiffer, whose death in 1990 at age 13 was
a tragedy of huge proportions.
Pfeiffer was also a brilliant, incredibly
learned and devoted student who was an intellectual peer of many learned adults.
His character was sterling, his spiritual attributes were exemplary, and he had
a loving heart. In spite of his brilliance and accomplishments, nowhere is there
any indication that he strove to become a rabbi at a tender age, even though
there is no question he was capable of acing any exam. What the article depicted
was a budding gaon (genius), but with the traits of humility, modesty,
generosity, kindness, consideration of others and love of Hashem.
The Jerusalem Post described Sharify as a boy of surpassing intellect from
highly accomplished and high-achieving parents, his character is not depicted at
all. He is described as enjoying soccer and swimming.
That’s it! He is
not shown as a giving person, as someone who empathizes with others or
volunteers in any way.
In the annals of Jewish history, the biographies
of countless rabbis show the great modesty and reluctance of the most gifted and
brilliant scholars to push themselves forward. They did not feel worthy of the
great honor that others insisted on bestowing.
The article begs the
question: At 14, how much could Sharify offer as a rabbi, other than
regurgitating texts, since there is so much living he has yet to do? ROCHELLE
Sir, – More power to Moshe Sharify! In an age where Michael
Jackson, superheros, rap singers and Aviv Gefen are the heros of the day, isn’t
it refreshing to hear about a boy who loves to learn Torah and by all accounts
is a great kid? A kid with his head in his books, and not with a Playstation or
plugged into an mp3? What is all the fuss? Although I wish it were so, are 10
more kids going to ask for smicha (rabbinical ordination) because of him? Are
the rabbis worried that he’s going to want to lead a shul? Run for chief rabbi?
I wish Moshe and his entire family every success, and hope to hear great things
about him in the near future.YEHUDIT SPERO