Give her a platform
Sir, – MK Ruth Calderon (“Calderon’s Talmud lesson on
Knesset floor elicits scorn from haredi news site,” February 15) is apparently
damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. The haredi community cannot have
it both ways. The Talmud is not its property.
There were, in fact, at
least three Jewish enlightenments, and the haredim were no less a party to
First, there was the better known humanistic enlightenment, whose
adherents were called maskilim. For them, the Talmud was as much a historical
text as a legal text.
Then there was the Hassidic enlightenment. For
Hassidim the Talmud was also a mystical text.
A third haredi
enlightenment occurred in the Polish-Lithuanian community. They, too, were
impacted by the gentile Age of Enlightenment. Their response was the expansion
of the ethical dimension of the Talmud in what came to be known as
Just as governments should strive for political unity, Jews
should strive for religious unity.
Calderon should be given a platform by
the haredi community.
Until next time
Sir, – Alan
Dershowitz (“Did Brooklyn College violate the First Amendment?,” Observations,
February 15) quotes a college official as saying the investigation into the
eviction of Jewish students at a BDS event will be quick.
probably coming about three months from now (so much for “quick”), will include
an apology and an assurance that it won’t happen again – until next
Sir, – Uri Savir’s “Africa”
(Savir’s Corner, February 15) states that “Israelis – like most people, if not
more so – are very self-centered.”
He then devotes five long columns to
the woes of Africa, attacks rich (successful) people, criticizes the US for
saving US jobs and praises South Africa – which boycotts Israeli goods and
supports Gaza terrorists.
But hang on. No mention that Israelis have
built hospitals in Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.
What about Israeli
treatments for malaria and research for new cures for the disease? Israel is
also eliminating tropical diseases in Ethiopia and fighting hunger in Senegal.
It has rescued Ghanaians from a collapsed shopping mall, is producing cardboard
wheelchairs for Africa and providing humanitarian aid for Chad.
promoting entrepreneurship across Africa, training bankers in Kenya and
providing Internet to Mozambique. It is building roads in Nigeria, cleaning up
Lake Victoria and even purifying water in South African gold mines.
Uri, cease your self-loathing and research more about the real work that
Israelis are doing in Africa and all over the world.
Not what it seems
Sir, – It has been said that a picture is worth a
thousand words. Therefore, a lying picture is worth a thousand lies.
photo accompanying “Netanyahu’s Palestinian predicament” (Inside Out, February
14) has a caption saying, “The community of Ma’aleh Adumim in the West Bank.” It
shows a few houses on a hilltop with desert in the background.
in fact, a picture of but a tiny corner of a thriving city taken from such an
angle that anyone looking at it would think she was seeing an isolated outpost
in a remote area. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
is a rapidly growing city 20 minutes from Jerusalem, and is located in the
Judean Desert, not the so-called West Bank. The picture is therefore
We expect higher standards from the
Listen to Judy
Sir, – Kudos again to
Judy Montagu for her latest piece (“On fitness and fatness,” In My Own Write,
Judy’s columns push her readers to act upon her
A few years ago she wrote an article about single women who
unfortunately do not get invited to a Friday night table, and that this was
rather devastating for a person who values the Shabbat.
Not even knowing
who she was I invited her to spend Shabbat with us. It was a glorious weekend
because she was full of energy, wit and vitality. She was truly scintillating as
a person and so enhanced our table with aplomb.
Now she has advised New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie to shed some pounds. Let’s hope he will act upon
But that was not her only message. She wrote: “In a society
where ‘wrapping’ counts for almost everything and social judgment is harsh,
Christie has bucked the trend and won hearts and minds by simply being himself.
That’s the message, and its importance can hardly be overstated to the millions
of us whose appearance differs from what society has deemed its cherished
Let’s act upon her advocacy.
Sir, – Thank you for your mention of my picture book, The Purim
Superhero (“Kar-Ben releases first LGBT Jewish children’s book,” February
As a former librarian at a Jewish day school I’m especially honored
to be featured in such a mainstay of Jewish journalism as The Jerusalem Post. My
fond memories of your paper go back to childhood, when I browsed through copies
at my grandparents’ apartment to puzzle over the Dry Bones comic strip.
do have one slight correction.
Your article cites me as the author and
illustrator of the book, which is only half accurate.
While I wish I
could claim credit for the illustrations, they were created by the talented Mike
Burnaby, British Columbia
A better place
With regard to “Agassi reaffirms belief in Better Place” (Business in Brief,
February 11), the firm’s electric car has been available for almost a year. For
those forward-thinking people who purchased or leased the zero-emission car
there is no question: They fell in love with this automobile.
seems to be that the Israeli public has been disheartened by the negative vibes
and misunderstanding coming from the inner chambers of company management. It is
hard to impress a prospective purchaser when he or she reads of a firm’s chaos
There is nothing like driving an all-electric car. It is a
smooth, quiet, comfortable drive. The company’s customer care is beyond
reproach. The battery replacement stations are very well located and easy to
access. The air is cleaner. The oil-producing countries surrounding us can drink
Then what is wrong? We need a charismatic person to begin a
fresh approach. We need a spokesperson to positively spread the message to the
waiting public. We need Shai Agassi to reappear and be the torchbearer once
It has happened before in very successful companies, and it could
happen again with Better Place. Come back, Shai!
In “Loved ones remember Hartman for fearlessness and honesty”
(February 12), one of the speakers was incorrectly identified as Elliot Dorff.
The speaker’s name was Elliott Yagod.
The authors of “Using
documentary as manipulation: The dishonesty of ‘The Gatekeepers’” (Comment &
Features, February 14) wish to change “Hamas never appears or comes up in the
interviews” to “Hamas’s genocidal ideology never comes up in the interviews.”