November 25: It ain’t broken

Leave me alone with expensive pencil-pushers who work in air-conditioned offices at high salaries, flooding the Internet with articles on Judaism that have been reprinted from previous writings.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
November 24, 2011 23:23
3 minute read.

It ain’t broken

Sir, – It is hard to disagree with such an articulate writer as Shmuley Boteach, but I feel compelled to do so.

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In “Chabad 2.0” (Comment & features, November 23), Boteach extols the accomplishments of Chabad by saying, “There is no question that Chabad has brought millions closer to Jewish tradition and established a global footprint.” Nevertheless, he seeks to transform its focus from a grassroots organization to an organization that is “a global center of Jewish spirituality, culture and education....”

Leave me alone with expensive pencil-pushers who work in air-conditioned offices at high salaries, flooding the Internet with articles on Judaism that have been reprinted from previous writings. Unlike Chabad emissaries, these people do not freeze in colder climates or broil in the warmer countries. They do not sacrifice their personal lives and comforts or risk dangers to help provide weary travelers and residents of isolated communities with facilities to eat, rest and hear the word of God.

Building a spiritual center for 5,000 people in Crown Heights, as Boteach suggests, is the most inane idea I’ve heard in years.

Without the Rebbe present, such a center would be lucky to draw a minyan – and certainly not “world leaders, leading thinkers and academics [and] Pulitzer prize-winning writers.”

Leave Chabad as it is.

When the time comes, the keys to Chabad centers will be the keys that get the Chabad emissaries into heaven.

STANLEY WEXLER
Jerusalem
The writer is a rabbi

One less vote

Sir, – Regarding “White House flooded with calls on Pollard arrest anniversary” (November 22), I would never vote for a president, whatever his race, religion or party, who would deny a prisoner, whatever his crime, from seeing his dying father or attending his funeral.

ELIEZER WHARTMAN
Jerusalem

Ridiculous remarks

Sir, – David Newman’s remarks equating the Arab Spring with democratic Israel and asserting that the Arabs are advancing toward democracy while Israel is regressing (“Speaking out against the threat,” Comment & Features, November 22) are ridiculous and totally unfounded.

Egypt is certainly not faring that well in its quest for democracy. The recent upsurge in violence alarmingly demonstrates the instability in that country and will delay its “upward march,” maybe for decades.

URI MILUNSKY
Netanya

Sir, – David Newman says that Israel’s democracy is under threat because of the right-wing attack on the judicial system, the media, NGOs and universities. So how is it that the judicial system, the media, NGOs and universities are overwhelmingly dominated by the Left? Could it be that the greater threat to democracy is, by far, coming from that side?

IRA NOSENCHUK
Jerusalem

Ask them

Sir, – Perhaps Gil Troy (“What Israelis can learn about Thanksgiving,” Center Field, November 23) should write about what Native Americans have learned from the holiday.

MOSHE BERLIN
Jerusalem

Simple solution

Sir, – I am surprised that none of your esteemed correspondents has so far suggested the simplest solution to the problem of forcing religious soldiers to listen to a woman sing.

To the best of my knowledge, all soldiers are issued with earplugs for use on the firing range and in other situations where excessive noise could damage their hearing.

Surely the earplugs could also be put to use to prevent damage to their moral fibre.

SHARON LEVY
Jerusalem


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