Sir, – Apropos Rabbi Benny Lau’s take (“Storms disturb Succot in
‘sign of divine anger,’” October 2), here is a thought: God gave us the
incredible gift of a day of fasting on Yom Kippur as a vehicle for prayer and
repentance, and our minister of interior summarily shortened it an hour by
ending Daylight Saving Time just days earlier.
Maybe, just maybe,
responding to the spurning of his gift, God said, “You know what? I don’t need
you sitting in My succa either.”
Just a thought.
Sir, – After Israel moved the clocks back to winter time early, we
experienced early winter rains. Coincidence? I suggest that in the future we
declare the beginning of winter time on the Saturday night following the prayers
for rain, which are said from Simchat Torah at the end of Succot.
Christians and Israel
Sir, – I read both “Christian support for
Israel – a just cause” and “Christian Zionists back Israel’s risky policy
decisions” (Comment & Features, October 2) with curiosity.
Parsons, author of the first, I know about, but the article by Tristan Sturm
puzzled me. Who is this guy and what is he talking about? Halfway through I went
to the note at the end of his article and had an “oh yes” moment. Reader, know
York University? Site of some of the most vicious boycott,
divestment and sanctions activity of the past few years. But why is Sturm
attacking Christian Zionists? I guess because so many of his cynical colleagues
are attacking Israel that he decided to take on the Christians for a change of
I am thoroughly sick of arrogant left-wing academics leading the
shrill condemnations of Israel – especially when they don’t live here and
perhaps have never even been here.
And also for accusing Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu of “itching” to bomb Iran.
What gall! Would Sturm
trade places with our prime minister in making the terrible decisions he must
make? Not on his life. He is the kind who would run away from here as fast as he
could, all the while waving the flag of academic freedom.
college granddaughter is taking a course on the Christian bible this semester to
better understand the New Testament. Thank goodness it isn’t taught by the likes
Sir, – David Parsons of the International
Christian Embassy Jerusalem does an excellent job of explaining the heartfelt
Christian support for Israel. This is especially important as other Christians,
stuck in replacement theology, are lending their weight to the delegitimization
of the Jewish state, whether knowingly or not, and thus to their own
Parsons, however, falls short when he lays out only one
theological perspective on the millennial sufferings of God’s people Israel by
referring to “the redemptive purpose behind that affliction... largely inflicted
by God for the sake of all other peoples.” His argument in this one regard
weakens when we consider that the Nazi and Bolshevik instruments of such
suffering started with their natural enemy, the Jews, but did not end before
tens of millions of professing Christians also died in the poisoned wake of
anti- Semitic totalitarianism. Was such murder also “redemptive?” Indeed, maybe.
But then a different theological analogy begs to be posited, one that has our
Teacher up in Heaven continuing to test his students on Earth, generation after
generation, ever since Adam. He finally gave Jew, Christian and humanist alike
an exam that placed the evil of “master race” in all our faces to see if we
would recognize it, not make excuses for it or compromise with it. We failed
that test and bore the “logical consequences” that followed.
Teacher is so supremely good, He gives us all a “remake” – master jihad, an
aberration of Islam – to see if we learned anything in class.
being tested again to see if we can finally graduate from religious wars to a
unifying struggle for our common religious principles – the sanctity of human
life and the universality of morality.
The International Christian
Embassy Jerusalem has a unique role to play in this struggle.
Sir, – The thesis of William Broad (“How
to help Iran build a bomb,” Comment & Features, October 2) seems to be that
threats of force or, even worse, a military strike will encourage Iran to build
a nuclear bomb.
Broad ignores the fact that for the past 10 years, before
any threats or talk of military strikes, Iran has been building a bomb. Yes, I
know that it was pretending to develop a nuclear program for “peaceful”
purposes, but this subterfuge is so flimsy that even a New York Times reporter
should be able to see through it.
When a primitive country chooses to
establish a nuclear program to develop electricity instead of spending a
fraction of that to use the natural gas it has in super abundance, one has to be
willfully blind to fail to see what’s going on.
At this point, with their
economy in tatters and the rial virtually worthless, the maniacal mullahs are
more determined than ever to create the weapon to destroy Israel. It is clear
that only a credible threat of force, or an actual preemptive strike, will stop
STEPHEN S. COHEN
Not so cynical
Sir, – Post
columnist Caroline Glick, very rightly, in my opinion, has termed the world in
which we live “cynical.” Yet here is an article about Israeli aid to more than
100 other countries (“It’s the what that matters, not the why,” Succot
supplement, September 30).
Cited as one of the aid organizations is Tevel
B’Tzedek, founded by Rabbi Micha Odenheimer, who, when queried about his reasons
for establishing such an organization, stated that what it means to be “an
Israeli and a Jew in the contemporary world” is “engaging, with all the wisdom
and empathy we can muster, in creating a more just and beautiful
Now I must admit that I, too, am a cynic, but I have not yet sunk
to the depths of cynicism such that I can’t appreciate the thoughts, words and
deeds of Odenheimer and any of my coreligionists engaged in similar activities.
Helping others, fellow Jews or not, is what we Jews are taught, what our
more-than 3,000-year history describes, and in part what Judaism is all
All I can say is thank you to Rabbi Odenheimer and to all who are
like him in not only providing succor to others but simultaneously strengthening
the Jewish soul and providing the most cogent response possible against all
those who are intent on delegitimizing the Jewish state, the Jewish people and
the Jewish religion.
Sir, – The
arguments presented by Yonah Jeremy Bob against appealing Ehud Olmert’s
corruption verdict (“A parade of errors?,” Rule of Law, September 28) initially
appear to be quite compelling.
Bob cites the waste of resources and
additional embarrassment of the state prosecution as the underpinnings of his
thesis. The cogency of his arguments, based on additional considerations of
legal technicalities, seems to be almost convincing.
However, he goes on
to wonder about the wisdom of “toppling a prime minister for ‘breach of public
trust’ – the criminal equivalent of jay-walking....”
It must be pointed
out that the misdemeanor of the jaywalker affects only the jaywalker, but breach
of public trust by an elected official does violence to his office and is a
gross betrayal of all those who have elected him.