Sir, – Finance Minister Yair Lapid stated in a speech that
Israel’s being both a Jewish and a democratic state was contradictory (“Lapid: A
‘Jewish and democratic’ state is an unsolvable contradiction,” October
It appears that Lapid is confused about the words “Jew,” “Jewish”
and “Judaism.” The term “Jew” comes from “Judea,” a geographic unit that was
once a sovereign state.
When Judea was captured all the residents were
called “Judeans” or “Jews” for short. We see this in the Arch of Titus, erected
to commemorate Rome’s conquests. The memory of being a nation was kept alive in
words, as in prayers and some community events, and in learning the laws that
once applied, and, hopefully, would apply when political independence was
Today we use the term “Jew” interchangeably as a religious
designation and a national designation.
When writers, politicians and
others want to make a comparison between Jews and other groups, the word “Jew”
changes to meet the need. When “Jew and Arab” is used it refers to cultural or
ethnic groups, while “Jew and Muslim” or “Jew and Christian” refer to
Lapid also seems to forget, or didn’t learn, that Judaism does
support democracy. In the Bible the Jewish people are to have one law (one
Torah) for the Jew and the stranger. The Bible also says for the people to
choose their leaders, specifically judges, police and other representatives, for
Returning to the main point and supposed contradiction,
Israel is the state of the Jews and Jews are the “national entity” by
definition, and have a democracy.
With regard to “Lapid: A ‘Jewish and democratic’ state is an unsolvable
contradiction,” democratic? Hardly. We can’t marry when we wish or be married by
whom we wish, for starters. We have no personal representative in the Knesset
who looks out for our interests ahead of his or his party’s.
When we get
these things fixed we can call ourselves Jewish and democratic.
then, the oxymoron stands, for we can’t be Jewish and democratic at the same
time, as Jewish came first, and democracy much later.A. WEINBERG
Rehovot WoW’s magnanimity
Sir, – How magnanimous of the Women of the Wall to present a
list of conditions for a solution to their prayer rights (“WoW lists demands
needed to give up woman’s section,” October 29) – or, if you take the opposing
view, for their offensive religious exhibitionism.
As was said by Ronit
Peskin, director of Women for the Wall, the group set up to represent those
ladies who actually pray there on a regular basis, “The very idea that a group
that can hardly muster 100 women on a good month should dictate to the
government how to run the Kotel plaza is mind-boggling. The list of demands is
yet another example of WoW’s preoccupation with themselves at the expense of the
As Peskin’s colleague Leah Aharoni put it, “The WoW claim
to give women a voice at the Kotel, yet in reality they are there to squash the
voice of hundreds of thousands of women who oppose their antics and want to
preserve existing Jewish tradition.”
MARTIN D. STERN
Sir, – In “Fixed-line fees for connectivity to fall” (Business & Finance,
October 30) we read: “The current fee averages NIS 0.04 and will be cut to NIS
Will wonders never cease? ROSALIE BROSILOW Rehovot The business
editor responds: This misprint came from Globes. There was a missing zero. It
should have read: “The current fee averages NIS 0.04 and will be cut to NIS
0.0099.”APOLOGY The Jerusalem Post
apologizes to subscribers for having
included in its Friday, October 25, issue a flyer that was
In the future, the Post will ensure that such material is
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