Ketuba as proof
According to Zichron Ya’acov Chief Rabbi Mordechai Abramovski, if your ketuba has been destroyed, it’s as if your marriage does not exist (“If your ketuba was destroyed by fire – can you still cohabitate?” November 29).
Apparently, this would be an easy way to get a get (Jewish ritual divorce). So why shouldn’t people seeking such a divorce just destroy their ketuba?
M. SCHAEFFER Jerusalem
Crowing over Trump
Many of our right-wing ministers and MKs could not conceal their unbridled joy at the results of the US presidential election.
These politicians released arrogant and oh-so-premature statements about a Trump presidency ushering in a new era for US-Israel relations in terms of an end to the two-state solution and a total free pass to build wherever and whenever we want in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even had to order them to turn down the rhetoric, but of course, our illustrious leaders found various ways to circumvent even that directive.
I only hope that these same individuals read “Jewish Democrats cry hypocrisy over US general’s Israel remarks” (November 29), about the likely appointment of Marine Gen. James Mattis as President-elect Donald Trump’s defense secretary. Mattis’s statements about the “settlements” possibly leading to “apartheid,” and the Israeli-Palestinian status- quo being “unsustainable,” should certainly throw cold water on their assumptions about the Trump victory ushering in a virtual messianic era for construction in all the disputed territories.
Notwithstanding the very reasonable expectation that Trump will be much more friendly to Israel than his predecessor, none of us really has a clue how things will develop until he actually takes office, and no doubt there will be many surprises, good and bad.
The gushing praise for Trump and his various potential appointments is not only embarrassing and counterproductive, it gives the impression that American policy and politics are more important than our own sovereignty and independence in deciding our destiny and future.
GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit
With regard to “When Obama became Peres” (Comment & Features, November 29), who does Ilan Manor know that his graduate school meanderings regularly get a prominent placement in the opinion pages of The Jerusalem Post? Why should I care what a graduate student thinks? Manor’s latest epiphany, about Shimon Peres – a man I hardly admired for his second-act conversion to unrepentant peacenik – is totally without foundation.
Peres traded philosophic purity for public affection? Where is the evidence? This is just another example of interpretive, speculative journalism that has brought the profession to unprecedented low esteem, and yet another poor example of judicious editing.
This piece did not deserve the light of day.
YISRAEL GUTTMAN Jerusalem
Only in Israel
Reader Sandrine Newman’s letter about people who look like tourists falling prey to unscrupulous Israelis (“Targets for cheats,” November 29) reminded me of the opposite – of a recent taxi journey from Ben-Gurion Airport to my home.
Before we started, I was asked if I wanted a fixed price of NIS 150, or to be “on the meter.” I chose the meter. The driver then asked if he could use Waze, as there was heavy traffic.
There was indeed heavy traffic, and Waze took us on a long and circuitous route. When the meter showed NIS 150 and we were still some way from Rehovot, the driver turner the meter off, saying “You will have to pay too much.”
I told him to turn the meter back on, as I had agreed to both the meter and Waze. We then had a loud argument: I wanted to pay more, he wanted to charge less.
Only in Israel!
ROGER KAYE Rehovot
I fear that reader Daniel Farb (“Raging fires,” Letters, November 28) is making a fundamental mistake when he claims: “The real problem behind the fires plaguing Israel is negligent forestry management.” This might have been correct regarding the 2010 Carmel forest fires, but it seems that many of those in recent days were the result of arson.
His suggested remedies, including “the separation of areas by blank land to contain fires; watchtowers; and, above all, the clearing of brush,” might have lessened the effect. Unfortunately, though, they were more likely to have prompted the determined arsonists to counter them by starting more, albeit smaller, fires so that the total devastation would not have been greatly reduced.
Only when the Palestinians decide that the destruction of Israel is less important than building up their own society will such nihilistic behavior stop.
But that will probably happen only with the coming of Messiah.
MARTIN D. STERN Salford, UK
Kudos to Lior Yisraelov’s parents for accepting him as he is (“Israel’s favorite drag queen is this former yeshiva boy,” Comment & Features, November 27).
As difficult as it must have been for them as an Orthodox family, the Yisraelovs eventually had to realize that Lior was their child, no matter what he was going through. Such unconditional love is what keeps families together and allows children, teens and even adults in crisis to get through their toughest times.
CHAYA HEUMAN Ginot Shomron
Since Judaism purportedly advocates tolerance, compassion, mercy and humanity, it is monstrously cruel and unjust to urge the murder of homosexuals. This passage should be expurgated from the Torah, which was written and edited by fallible human beings rather than by God.
Members of the gay community should be viewed as victims of an incurable illness rather than as sinners. Unlike their persecutors, they pose no threat to society or to Jewish values. Because Judaism is family-based and family- centered, our bigoted religious establishment regards them as a threat to its vested interests.
Inciting people to murder gays is reminiscent of the Nazis’ wholesale murder of homosexuals along with the disabled, a policy that has been thoroughly condemned by all civilized societies.
We must strive our utmost to make Judaism more humane, to the point of accepting gays as merely different rather than damnable.
ROY RUNDS Tel Aviv
Incident on a bus
On a recent morning, I was on a bus to central Jerusalem and got to talking with the lady sitting opposite, who was from Abu Ghosh.
The ticket inspector came. She looked everywhere and couldn’t find hers, so he took her details and said she would be fined NIS 100. I offered to buy her a ticket, but she insisted that she would pay.
Then another woman from Abu Ghosh couldn’t find her ticket. She refused to pay the fine and broke down. The inspector told me to not interfere. The woman tearfully appealed to the driver to confirm that she had indeed paid, but he refused to say anything.
At this stage, the inspector told the driver to stop and called the police. I had to leave, but in any case had been told by the stonefaced inspector to stay out of it. I don’t know how the story ended, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth.
There must be better ways of dealing with such cases. I urge Egged to learn a lesson from this in order not to rend still further the already fragile fabric of Jewish- Arab coexistence.
DAVID HERMAN Jerusalem