Yaakov Katz is right on the mark in “The tikkun olam myth” (Editor’s Notes, April 14). Jews worldwide can reconnect by recognizing an even greater miracle than the exodus from Egypt.
Liberating one nation of thousands from enslavement in one country after hundreds of years of exile and its return to the Land of Israel pales in comparison with the Zionist miracle in our time. The return of millions of Jews, the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, from a hundred countries after thousands of years of exile to live in freedom in the reborn State of Israel is what is miraculous.
Three times a day, Jews cried out the words of the Prophet Isaiah during their 2,000 years of bitter exile: “Sound the great shofar for our freedom, create the miracle of gathering our exiles and bring us together from the four corners of the earth into our land.” What an amazing privilege for Jews to see their people’s prayers answered in their lifetime.
American youth can experience tikkun olam
(repairing the world) in action by getting on a plane and flying to Israel to see its Arab citizens living, working and studying alongside the country’s Jewish citizens in an island of peace surrounded by barbarian turmoil. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Arabs can live in freedom.
As American Jews living with our sabra children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Israel, my wife and I feel the greatest miracle in Jewish history in every aspect of our daily life.MEL ALEXENBERG
Ra’anana Spicer’s comments
I would like to thank Seth J. Frantzman for his concise analysis of the highly inappropriate comments made by the White House press secretary Sean Spicer in respect to comparing one evil dictator’s use of chemical weapons with that of another (“The problem with Spicer’s Holocaust comments are much larger,” Terra Incognita, April 14).
The phrasing Spicer used appear to portray Hitler as someone who would not stoop so low or to say that this is how in time it has come to be interpreted, with the Holocaust something to be debated by historians with varying points of view.
I am afraid that owing to outbursts of this kind, the Holocaust, as the years go by, will become thought of as just another historical event.
It is vital that the message goes out around the world that the Holocaust was a monumental event perpetrated against the Jewish people with a plan of mass extermination, and nothing less. It is our duty, as well as that of future generations, to correct any untruths and to keep alive the memory of those who were slaughtered for nothing more than the fact that they were Jewish.STEPHEN VISHNICK
Technically, Sean Spicer was correct to point out that the Nazis did not use chemical weapons on the battlefield in World War II. But the unstated horror of their use of poison gas against countless civilians made his statement seem grossly insensitive.
However, instead of rebuking and humiliating Spicer for his tactless exaggeration, he should be cut some slack because the Trump administration’s bombing of Syria after Bashar Assad’s gas attacks against helpless civilians should be applauded as a moral act of the highest order.
When President Donald Trump spoke from his heart and pointed out that no child of God should suffer such harm, we could see one major reason why he was elected president: After eight years of the often detached and professorial Barack Obama, the American public craved a man of passion, something we did not see since president Ronald Reagan got worked up about the “evil empire” that was the Soviet Union.
In contrast to Obama’s meaningless “red line” and worthless treaties, Trump’s actions show he sees diplomacy as being more than just an end in itself.
While Yad Vashem suggested that Spicer needed to learn more about the Holocaust, a greater priority for its courses should be reserved for the myriad dictators and religious fanatics throughout the region who regularly call for Israel to be wiped out and for Jews to be killed.DAVID KATCOFF
Charleston, South Carolina
There have been reports that some students at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, are protesting against the choice of Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of the state, as their commencement speaker for a graduation ceremony to be held May 21, claiming they will feel unsafe.
Are the students prepared and mature enough to be employed? How will they react if things don’t go their way 100% of the time once they’re out of college? ANTHONY P. LEVATINO
Rochester, New York Out of steam
With regard to the sub-headline you gave to the article “China warns against force to deter North Korea from launching missiles, conducting nuke test” (International News, April 14), how many decades must pass until a term other than “steam” is used to describe a warship heading toward something?
Does anyone even remember the last time steam was used to power an American warship, let alone a Nimitz-class nuclear- powered carrier? (Yes, the new Russian carriers still run on steam, but who wants rubles?)
Certainly, with all the wordsmiths at The Jerusalem Post
, the editors should be capable of coming up with a more up-todate term – unless they think it’s copacetic.
Modi’in Dumping ground
Regarding “Nahariya beach opens after 6-year asbestos cleanup” (April 13), reporter Sharon Udasin neglects to mention one very important fact: What happened to the contaminated earth? The answer is that the waste was dumped in the Negev.
Perhaps Ms. Udasin would care to complete her article by visiting the dump site and reporting on the contamination of the region.HENRY HASLETON
Paying to sit
I really cannot understand Israel Railways policies on the seat reservation system.
Currently, you can reserve a seat by paying an additional NIS 5. I have no problem with that. However, all the seats on certain coaches are designated “reserved” even if they have not been purchased by anyone. This results in other coaches having no available seats, forcing passengers to stand or sit on the floor or stairs while the next coach – the “reserved” coach – has empty seats.
If passengers try to use an empty seat in that coach, the conductor tells them it is not allowed, that the seat is reserved. In fact, it is not reserved – it is only designated as reserved. Passengers are thus forced to stand while looking at empty seats.
It seems to me that the fairest procedure would be to allow anyone to occupy a seat designated as reserved until a passenger shows up and has a ticket to prove that he or she paid the extra money to occupy that seat, in which case the paying passenger is entitled to ask the person sitting in that seat to move.
Israel Railways personnel do sometimes magnanimously permit someone sitting in a reserved seat without having prepaid the additional fee to pay the charge and remain seated. But this is still wrong – unless there is another passenger willing to pay the additional charge, the passenger occupying the seat should have the option of remaining seated without paying.STANLEY CANNING
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