(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not the issue
Sir, – Regarding Shmuley Boteach’s rightful excoriation of Susannah Heschel’s disgraceful memo exonerating under “classical Jewish law” former US president Bill Clinton from the sin of adultery (“Lessening the sin of Adultery,” No Holds Barred, October 14), we should recall that it was not for marital unfaithfulness that Clinton was criticized, impeached and tried. It was for lying about it under oath, a violation of US (and Jewish) law.
Jerusalem Me, me and me
Sir, – The op-ed piece by self-described rabbinical student Meira Welt- Maarek (“Life as a female smicha student,” Comment & Features, October 13) is remarkable not merely for her statements, but also for her choice of words. Dramatically, from the first sentence she emphasizes herself, choosing to use the first-person singular “I”, “me” or “my” no fewer than 34 times in the 12 paragraphs, and “we” or “us” just eight times.
What this reveals is a large ego, an ego thrusting itself into the portrait of what should be the humble absorption of wisdom.
Welt-Maarek mentions the rabbinate’s concern about the “14-year-old prodigy” getting smicha without more life experience.
This reader is at least as worried that any person who so focused on him or herself in a presumably carefully worded public essay would make decisions coming from ego rather than scholarship and humility, let alone additional life experience.
The experience of living here in Jerusalem among so many immensely learned women teachers (as well as men) convinces me that the rabbinate would be mistaken to ignore their real and potential contributions.
But this does not mean that every woman who desires such a role is of the temperament and character to be such a contributor.
The greatest of our scholars and leaders have been humble rather than letting their egos intrude so much into any discourse.
Cause and effect
Sir, – Regarding “Get the shot or spray to avoid the flu this winter” (October 3), I recently went to the local clinic of the Maccabi health fund to get my annual flu shot, happy in the knowledge that I would once again be insuring myself against the winter perils of the varied influenza strains.
However, my festive air, in keeping with the onset of Succot, was replaced with dark forebodings as my simple shot very soon developed into one of the longest and severest cases of sore throat I can remember.
There was no temperature or sweating, just a sore throat that made swallowing and eating extremely painful, accompanied by huge amounts of salivation. This went on for about a week, and at length I determined to visit my doctor and put an end to suffering that was threatening to put an end to me altogether, or so it seemed.
My doctor pooh-poohed the idea that my throat problem could in any way be connected to the flu shot and prescribed antibiotics that hopefully would restore me to my pre-flu-shot jaunty self. Nevertheless, while waiting for the antibiotics to do their job I was still unable to sally forth and enjoy the Succot days and festivities with the rest of the people of Israel.
Am I a single flu shot victim or are there others like myself who saw their Succot daydreams go up in smoke?