UNESCO...

By
July 25, 2016 21:53

What does the representative of Indonesia to UNESCO know of the Jewish daily prayer book?




Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

UNESCO...

With regard to “De-Judaization and Palestine at UNESCO” (Comment & Features, July 24) and certain news reports on the issue, what do the people of Zimbabwe know of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, and specifically to the Temple Mount? Probably nothing.

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What does the representative of Indonesia to UNESCO know of the Jewish daily prayer book, whose order of services is based on the services that were conducted each day in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem before its destruction by Europeans? Probably nothing.

Yet these people, who have no connection to, or knowledge of, Jews are now voting with UNESCO to deny the centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.

And what of today’s Europeans themselves? They, too, are voting with UNESCO to deny or dilute the centrality of Jerusalem to Jews.

Did they not ever read the Jewish scriptures before they burned them over the centuries, right up to the 20th century? Have they never read their own translations of the Jewish scriptures? Have they ever counted the 900 and more references to Jewish Jerusalem in the volumes to be found in every church in Europe? And what of the Psalms, written by a Jewish king in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem, sung in the Jewish Temple and since translated into every language on earth? Have you nations forgotten the origin of your liturgy? Have the Europeans and Zimbabweans and Indonesians and other members of the UNESCO committee deliberating the Jewish connection to Jerusalem ever noted that Jewish prayers conducted daily in public and private by Jews since beginning of our exile from our holy places 2,000 years ago clearly indicate our claim and our intention of returning to our holy places – uniquely central to the Jewish religion long before the birth of Christianity and Islam? No, they probably have no idea what they are voting about.

It is the clear responsibility of the Israeli government to go to every length to make sure that each and every delegate to this UNESCO committee has a detailed understanding of the centrality of the Temple Mount to the Jewish people.

We have not forgotten Jerusalem, nor has our right hand forgotten its cunning.

RAFI BEZALEL

Jerusalem

...and our holiest site The caption under the picture accompanying “De-Judaization and Palestine at UNESCO” would have served the same editorial purpose but also have the advantage of being accurate if you had substituted “Temple Mount” for “Western Wall.” The Temple Mount is “the most holy site in Judaism.”

HAROLD NEUSTADTER
Jerusalem

Heartwarming

Regarding “12-year-old Steinmetz walks to games on Shabbat, while teammates take care of his gear and food” (Sports, July 24), it was such a wonderful change to read this upbeat and happy article in The Jerusalem Post among all the murder and mayhem.

Very heartwarming! Let’s have more articles like this, please! Good things actually do happen in the world; we just have to look for them.

FREDI KADDAR

Bitan Aharon

Down on Trump?


If I didn’t know any better (and maybe I don’t), after reading “Trump’s Jew problem” (Editorial) and “Not taking the bait” (Frontlines) in your July 22 issue, I would have to say that The Jerusalem Post has joined The New York Times and all the other so-called progressive newspapers in their biases against Donald Trump and his Republican following.

In particular, Michael Wilner’s opening lines in “Not taking the bait” – “The slogans of a fringe, haphazard, made-for-television presidential campaign...” – give him away.

Why does he use the word “fringe” to depict the people who voted for Trump in the primaries? The whole piece comes right out of the journalism playbook of the Democratic Party.

There isn’t one line about what might be right about Trump, as if Wilner has tapped into some sort of white, prejudiced Christian isolationist yearning for the good old days of church suppers, Sunday family gatherings and lifelong jobs with the corporation.

Wilner is right about American Jewish voting patterns, though.

They haven’t changed. What he should have pointed out is why this is so troubling to Israelis, especially those born in the United States, and why the gulf between us is growing.

I can’t wait to see what you and Wilner will do with the Democrats this week.

JAN GAINES
Netanya

In reading Michael Wilner’s tribute to the apparent reluctance of American Jews to get hooked on what he calls the populist bait being tossed by Donald Trump, one is reminded of the old quip: “Jews live like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans.”

In its day – before many Puerto Ricans had risen on the socioeconomic ladder in America – the simple meaning of the quip was ethically flattering. Even though Jews had risen socioeconomically, they still identified with the lower- class immigrants. An ironic interpretation of the quip, however, criticized Jews for naively denying that their political interests might have changed as they integrated into the mainstream.

It’s certainly true that tikkun olam (repairing the world) is a cherished value in Jewish tradition.

But does this mean identifying Jewish interests automatically with Muslim interests in America, when well-meaning non-Jewish Americans are more and more suspicious – justifiably – of Muslim interests all over the world, including, of course, in Europe and America? An elementary truth about sociopolitical realities is that interests change. The explosive emergence of Islamic terrorism on a global scale just might mean that these days, Jewish interests in America lie sooner with Evangelical Christians than with Shari’a-driven Muslims, and that wherever the State of Israel lies on the scale of American Jewish priorities, the majority of Israeli Jews – for what our opinions are worth – look upon the likes of J Street as insidiously anti-Zionist, and upon dreams of a two-state solution as increasingly delusional.

Does this mean that more American Jews should vote Republican? Or is voting Democrat a commandment from Sinai?

AVRAHAM FEDER

Jerusalem Good timing It is amazing how sometimes the weekly portion of the Torah can have great relevance to current events.

In this week’s portion, “Matot,” we find the only instance in the entire Torah where Moses speaks directly to the “leaders of the tribes.” The lesson he conveys to the politicians of biblical times pertains to the laws of vows and promises, emphasizing the need to keep them.

This timely suggestion coincides appropriately with the Republican and Democratic conventions in the US.

SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Jerusalem

Who’s alienating?

With regard to “Stop alienating” (Editor’s Notes, July 22), look who’s alienating! Should rabbis not present the views of the Torah – in case they offend any of their congregants who deviate from any of the Torah’s laws? Is providing a 2,000-strong police guard not an adequate show of tolerance and support for a city demonstration? I wish the editor in chief of our major English-language newspaper had a respectful, possibly unifying, voice. With cheap language, he uses his platform to add fuel to the fire against the government and against Orthodox Judaism.

JANINE BLOCH
Ra’anana

It’s obvious how The Jerusalem Post views Rabbi Yigal Levenstein’s statements concerning homosexuality.

I’d be curious to know where it stands on the Bible’s views on homosexuality.

ISAAC SIEGMAN
Beit Shemesh


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