In his head
Sir, – Someone needs to check whether Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas is smoking plain tobacco or wacky weed in his Ramallah
nargileh. Judging from the crazy and groundless things he says (“Abbas
determined to lead ‘battle for recognition’ at UN,” September 19), it’s more
likely that he is smoking wacky weed.
The premise on which the PA is
pursuing recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations has no basis in
reality. The UN General Assembly does not have the power or authority to grant
any political entity state sovereignty.
The only state the Palestinians
can achieve along these lines is a state of mind.YONATAN SILVERMAN
Sir, – Haim Hefer, the prolific Israeli songwriter, is gone
(“National culture icon Haim Hefer, creator of the ‘soundtrack of the state,’
dies at 86,” September 19). What his songs did over the years was to inspire and
raise the spirits of the Israeli population.
It’s interesting that Hefer
died on the second day of Rosh Hashana. He was not a religious man. He might
have been anti-religious.
Yet it’s not so important what a man thinks of
the Almighty. It’s much more important what the Almighty thinks of him! For
raising the morale of his people over and over again, God took him (possibly, to
Hefer’s eternal astonishment) on the day when the gates of heaven stand open to
receive particularly deserving souls.
The whole country in all its varied
segments owes a thank you to Haim Hefer for years of beautiful and meaningful
Petah TikvaViews of a holiday
Sir, – Two
radically different approaches to Judaism and understanding of our fellow Jews
made their way into the September 19 Jerusalem Post.
One was “Sawaddee
Pee Mai (‘Happy New Year’ in Thai),” your wonderful article on how Israelis,
thirsting for some Jewish content on Rosh Hashana as they spend their vacation
in Thailand, find it at Chabad Houses.
There is something special about
Chabad, and reporter Sharon Udasin did a fantastic job of describing it. It is
easy to be cynical and dismiss many Israeli kids and adults as they explore the
world, but Chabad is the expert in allowing them to feel comfortable with their
Four pages later you report on one of our chief rabbis and his
absurd recommendation that, rather than attend services at a Reform synagogue,
one is better advised to remain in his hotel over the holidays (“Non-Orthodox
movements slam Amar comments”).
There is nothing more discouraging, less
Jewish and uninspiring than a holiday like that. Instead of making practical
suggestions, the chief rabbi comes up with a cheap shot against the Reform
It is impossible to understand how a caring, loving and devoted
Jew like the chief rabbi can simply castigate other Jews in their religious
practices without understanding that the downside of his recommendation is so
Again he makes the rabbinate in Israel look as if it is
totally out of touch with Jews who live in our country and outside of
Once a month or so, comments such as this appear. Many of us are torn
between laughter and tears.
If there is one message that everyone should
learn it is that we are all brothers and sisters.
It is a shame that
spitting on fellow Jews, which drives them away, always seems to be the approach
of a small but dominant group of Jews. These Jews do more to discourage Jewish
observance by people seeking a Jewish life than any other
Providing fodder for secular comedians must be the
assignment of some factotum in the chief rabbi’s office.STEPHEN KOHN