Sir, – With regard to “Comptroller, Knesset to investigate failings of
snow response” (December 16), it is wrong to blame local authorities for not
being adequately prepared for an event that occurs once in a lifetime, such as
the typhoon in the Philippines, Hurricane Sandy in the US, or the recent heavy
In New York, for example, a large portion of the city was
without electricity for four or five days during Sandy. My hospital had to be
evacuated and was closed for two months.
Perhaps we should remember that
“man proposes and God disposes.”LEONARD WOLF
Sir, – Let’s face
it, if the government had a snow budget because of a snowstorm every few years,
people would protest.
We even have to cut our security budget, and that
is for a daily need.
What can be done, however, is to designate certain
community centers or schools in every neighborhood to be emergency shelters.
They then should have a generator so that if local residents are without
electricity and water they have a warm place to go. Emergency vehicles can bring
those who cannot walk.MEIRA SCHWARTZ
Sir, – In your coverage
of the heavy snow storm, most articles seem say it was the worst in a hundred
People have very short memories.
During the winter of 1992,
the crippling snow storms in Jerusalem brought the capital to a complete
standstill, with power lines down for days.
Older people were advised to
stay in bed to keep warm. The snow was well over a meter deep in
I remember at that time a front page of The Jerusalem Post with a
picture of the capital’s Ben-Yehuda Street. It was captioned: “Jerusalem or
Moscow?” JOYCE KAHN
Sir, – I am tired of reading complaints that the
government was not prepared for the storm.
How much advance notice did
the average Israeli need, yet many of us were not prepared! Stores ran out of
food or did not have adequate supplies on Friday.
If people knew the
storm was coming, why didn’t they go out and buy supplies on Tuesday? We should
stop looking for blame outside the house and look inside, and be better prepared
Sir, – In the tractate Yoma, it is
related that Hillel the elder had a burning desire to study Torah.
time, Torah study was tightly controlled and limited to those of the highest
caliber – and to those who could pay for it. Hillel did not have enough money,
so on a freezing, snowy day he climbed onto the roof of the study hall in order
to listen to the lecture, until he froze.
When the scholars observed his
form above, they retrieved him and changed the policy such that anyone who
wished to study Torah could come in and do so.
The incident happened in
Jerusalem in the month of Tevet around two millenia ago. It means there was at
least one Jerusalemite back then who was not excited about snow falling in the
Sir, – In the past several days I have read
much criticism and complaining about the winter storm and the lack of
preparedness of government agencies.
While I do not wish to belittle the
difficult experiences of many thousands of Israelis, I have learned in my almost
15 years of living here that with all the surrounding dangers that threaten us,
if our biggest complaint is about the weather we are doing
Jerusalem Blood simple
Sir, – Fortunately, The
Jerusalem Post seldom prints poor-quality editorials. Yet “Blood scandal”
(December 13) was ill-informed, unbalanced and superficial – which is
inexcusable where so important a subject with so many ramifications is
It seems that the refusal of Magen David Adom to accept the
blood of Ethiopian immigrants is totally arbitrary and unjustified. Could it be
that a decision that once was justified is now outdated? Similarly, we are not
told why the blood of those who resided in Britain for at least six months
between 1980 and 1996 is unacceptable for donation. (Presumably, it is connected
with “mad cow” disease.) Perhaps you could have referred to Dr. Martin Ellis,
whose letter “Banking on blood” appeared the same day, or sought the opinion of
any other senior hematologist.
It must be realized that a mistake by a
blood bank might be catastrophic not only for the individual, but also legally,
professionally and financially for the blood bank itself.GEOFFREY HARRIS
The writer is a retired physician Deluding himself
Sir, – Alexander
Yakobson (“How to deflate the settlements as an issue,” iEngage, December 13) is
apparently another person who cites facts that are contrary to his position and
then proceeds to say that they aren’t relevant.
This is worse than
saying, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.” He is saying, “I
know the facts and choose to interpret them in a way that makes them
Let’s put aside the fact that he believes that settlements
across the “Green Line” are the major impediment to peace between Israel and the
Palestinians (which doesn’t explain the situation between 1948 and 1967, when
there weren’t any settlements).
His proposal that “settlers” should
remain where they are – and if they are in Palestine, no problem – is refuted
later in piece.
Yakobson writes: “It is true that precedents for Jews
living under Arab sovereignty, in the decades since Israel’s independence, are
not encouraging. No Jewish community has been able to survive anywhere in the
After the proclamation by Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud that no Jew will be allowed in Palestine, and according to the facts
that he himself cites, how can Yakobson delude himself that this case is
different? How can he use the phrase “not encouraging” in this regard? His
delusional condition is apparent elsewhere in the piece when he attempts to
parallel the experience of Arabs in Israel to that of Jews in Arab
Jews aren’t there any more.
Arabs are here and have been
here since the establishment of the state, with citizenship and all it includes
(the right to vote, among others).
How Yakobson became a professor is
beyond me.HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
Petah Tikva Mouths of the famous
“Out of the mouths of babes” (Health, December 1) mentioned some famous people
in history who stuttered, such as Moses, Aristotle, Demosthenes, and Sir Winston
I would like to point out to your readers that the website of
the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation features the long and intriguing list
“Famous People Who Stutter.” It includes distinguished names from the fields of
entertainment, business, sports, literature, science and government service.
They include Bruce Willis, Marilyn Monroe, James Earl Jones, Nicole Kidman and
There is also a “Celebrity Corner” section with in-depth
articles on some of these people and how they coped with their stuttering, such
as Lewis Carroll, Rowan Atkinson and Emily Blunt.
Another famous person
who stuttered was Rabbi Meir Kahane, who interrupted his rabbinical studies to
go to a speech clinic in Rhode Island. Last year I published an article titled
“Rabbi Meir Kahane Is a Role Model to People Who Stutter,” which appeared in
several weekly Jewish newspapers in the US.ADAM R. LICHTER