Pack their bags

Sir, – I was not surprised to read about the latest aberration emanating from the Church of Scotland (“Church of Scotland chutzpah debases interfaith trust,” Comment and Features, July 2).

As one who, although a “Sassenach,” has close family connections and is very familiar with Scotland and is an admirer of Scottish culture and history, I am nevertheless disturbed. It has to be said that there are within the COS some decidedly anti-Semitic/anti-Zionist elements who are aligned with the Scottish National Party – a party known for its authoritarian and fascistic leanings. Unfortunately, it is currently the ruling party in Scotland. If the Scots are foolish enough to vote for independence in the referendum next year (happily unlikely according to the present opinion polls), independent Scotland will be ruled by that party, which numbers many virulent anti-Semites.

In that event, the remaining members of the diminishing Jewish community should start packing their bags.

LARRY REEFE  Netanya

Secret arrangement

Sir, – “Was there a Jewish temple in ancient Egypt?” (Comment and Features, July 2). The continued existence of a Jewish colony at Elephantine in the 5th century BCE, i.e., after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, is a tenuous link to the credibility of the Ethiopian claim that they possess the Ark of the Covenant.

Although there’s no historical record of such an event, it is not incredible that with the Babylonian threat it might have been moved to this other temple for safekeeping and then taken to Ethiopia by some secret arrangement. Indiana Jones stuff?

BARNEY WAINER Tel Aviv

Really that bad

Sir, – It seems to me that the recent Likud elections point to a sad conclusion – that the Likud will return to its extreme backwardness as far as our nation’s business is concerned (“Katz, Danon, Elkin win Likud races,” July 1).

I cannot imagine three worse candidates for leadership in what was once a proud, forward-looking party than these three. If they are able to influence our prime minister to go their way, then, indeed, the nation is in for a really bad time. At this point, if things go the way they seem to be going, I cannot imagine a worse scenario than these three utterly brainless people leading what could be the leading party. May the Lord have mercy on us, for now we have nowhere to turn for help. Yes, things are really that bad! No question about it!

LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya

A ‘new way’

Sir, – Two articles in The Jerusalem Post on July 1 are thought-provoking. As a ba’al tshuva who became national-religious, I felt very ambivalent about the quite shallow and hokey piece by the dean of New York’s “Yeshiva Maharat” about the granting of Orthodox smicha to its first graduates who happen to be women (“Ordaining women in the Jewish community,” Comment and Features). Something about ordaining women as rabbis didn’t sit right; however, her sincere joy and optimism were uplifting. I expect that this “new way” will attract and inspire Jews who may be jaded by “same old-same old” leadership.

On the other hand is an article about the ongoing saga of unseemly conduct by the top people of the Claims Conference, that pricked an even more uncomfortable inner wrestling (“Kramer to insist on advance copy of Claims Conference probe results”).

I realize that the organization’s chairman, as a heavy-hitting New York lawyer, is only doing what he was trained to do by defending the indefensible.

It is indisputable that he is rendering outstanding service to the “same old same-old.”

However, as a rabbi ordained in the good oldfashioned way by an eminently respectable Orthodox theological seminary, how does he square that with his obligations not only to God and to survivors of the Shoah, but to those who have a right to expect the highest probity in stewardship of the Conference, and indeed to his own soul?

DAVID SCHOLEM Jerusalem

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