Mikve and health
Sir, – I was very excited by the article on extending the role
of the mikve (“More than a mikve, Health, October 28).
It is a wonderful
way of providing much-needed services in an acceptable and convenient way (not
to mention cost-effective), and I’ve no doubt it comes close to the practical
(in addition to the spiritual) role that the mikve originally played in the life
of the Jewish woman.
Looking forward to seeing this proposal developed
for the good of us all.
Sir, – Kol Hakavod to
Judy Siegel for a brilliant idea that could save lots of
Prevention is the way to go to help women become more educated
about their bodies and family safety. Please let this idea bear fruit and be
Vengeance is hers
Sir, – With
regard to “For you, half price” (Out There, October 28) by Herb Keinon, my
husband and I made aliya over two years ago, selling our house to an Israeli who
left me with instructions on how to bargain when we arrived here.
grown up much in the same manner as Keinon, I totally ignored the man. One of my
first trips was to a greengrocer in the neighborhood, but upon arriving home the
carton of eggs I purchased had only 10 eggs. That was the first and the last
time I went into that store.
I might be chicken and not fight for my
rights, but I don’t have time for pettiness. I get even by not patronizing the
several stores that I feel took undue advantage of me just once.
Within, not despite
Sir, – Rabbi Shlomo Aviner is not quoted
out of context (“Women shouldn’t be MKs, says national-religious rabbi,” October
The problem is that traditional Jewish talk about women easily
sounds sexist while that of Aviner’s opponents, like Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, sounds
like the talk of secular humanists. The challenge is to counter the oppression
of women within the religious mindset, not despite it.
Judaism has always
been a movement aiming to protect those who are socially weak. We need to
respect, love and empower all women around us.
To empower means to
encourage them to speak their fine minds and live their highest dreams. There is
no real need to please or appease us or to seek our approval all the time. In
this way we disable the main curse that women face: “And your craving shall be
for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).
is honor there is no domination.
We men may also undo a major part of our
own paradisiacal curse, from Genesis 3:17: “Because you listened to the voice of
your wife.” Since the days of our patriarchs and matriarchs we are commanded to
reverse this (“listen to her,” Genesis 21:12). That is how the quality of the
voices of women might have improved in those generations since the Garden of
We are now millennia after Abraham and it is high time we follow
his example en masse.
“We will do and we will hear” (Exodus 24:7). This
means that only when we execute this we will begin to
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, – MK
Arieh Eldad writes about the fusion of his National Union and the Habayit
Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party (“Nuclear physics and Israeli politics: Fission or
fusion,” Comment & Features, October 24).
Eldad quotes his father,
Dr.Israel Eldad, in saying that “anytime someone raises the banner of
unity, you should look for the division behind it.” He writes about the numerous
splits in the kibbutz movement, as well as in Knesset parties.
National Union faction that served in the 18th Knesset was comprised of several
parties...,” Eldad says, explaining why he and fellow National Union MK Michael
Ben-Ari did not attend the ceremony marking the party’s merger with Habayit
Hayehudi. “Behind the declaration of unity was division.”
Eldad goes on
to inform readers that “[r]eligious Zionism preferred a narrow sectarian list to
a wide one that would include all those loyal to Eretz Yisrael” (the Land of
For years, I personally have believed that the National
Religious Party, which served in any government, was a party that “blew with the
wind.” While its ideology was religious Zionism its actions were otherwise,
depending on what kept it in the government. It was an example of someone who
wears a yarmulke and prays three times a day, and when hungry stops in at a
non-kosher place for a pork sandwich. The ideas were good but the actions were
Eldad said that he and Ben-Ari were not included in the merger
because they knew that Habayit Hayehudi would have to apportion them places on
the party’s list based on their political strength. I believe that Habayit
Hayehudi sees in both men the strength to carry-out their beliefs without
compromise, something that would be a thorn in the side of a party that makes
compromises, as it did in the past to stay in the government.
An MK’s job
is to implement his policies, not compromise on them.
Polls show that if
they run together, a party led by Eldad and Ben-Ari would win three seats. My
vote will go to them.
There should be no compromise on the greater Land
Yaakov Lappin’s report “Tank battalion practices racing to border in war drill”
(October 19) informs us of a new concern to the IDF.
The 9th Armored
Battalion’s commander states that his unit “will be among the first forces that
respond at a war front.”
We thus picture war breaking out and the
battalion, stationed in the Jordan Valley, receiving orders to proceed with all
speed to the southern border to assist in preventing an enemy
A benefit for an army in a diminutive country is short
internal lines of communication.
Heretofore, the IDF could move units
quickly from location to location, unhindered. In a future conflict, movement
will be impeded by incoming rocket and missile barrages. And the 9th Battalion
drill makes us aware of an additional danger: guerrillas engaging Israeli units
to slow their maneuvering and repositioning.
Lappin’s report does not
mention where these guerrillas might originate and how a large unit of them
could cross into Israel undetected. Of course, they might not have to travel so
far. If a state of Palestine exists, crossing the border from Jordan hours
before the outbreak of war would not be difficult.
As for a
“demilitarized” Palestine, only those who are uninformed about the history of
demilitarization and persons whose ideological beliefs prevent them from
understanding and accepting the failure of demilitarization still believe in its
efficacy. (See the results of the League of Nations’s efforts to demilitarize
Pacific island mandates, the Rhineland and, more recently, Sinai, for just a few
examples.) There should be no doubt that by assisting in the creation of a state
of Palestine, Israel could bring on its own defeat should an Arab coalition
decide that conditions are ripe to launch an attack. Even with demilitarization
written into a peace treaty, within a few years Palestine would possess light
infantry, commandos and some armored and artillery units.
is based on several facts, including Arab attitudes toward Israel’s existence
and the honor of an Arab country, which demands an army.