Letter of the law
Advice to Britain
MK Bezalel Smotrich wants the Halacha to be the law of the land in Israel (“Smotrich: Halacha will be the law one day,” June 4). There are already growing mutterings of discontent and a desire to escape in secular communities due to the constant bickering and demands of the Orthodox. If and when Israel becomes a state of Halacha, few if any “seculars” will have remained. They will watch in dismay the demise of Israel from the sidelines in the USA, France, the UK, Australia and Canada. The extremist countries in the Muslim world will attack again and succeed this time since the Orthodox will be busy studying “Toyreh” in the yeshivot, having put their hope for survival elsewhere.
Accentuate the positive
“Tens of thousands march in holiday’s dance of flags” (June 3) is blatantly negative and belittling to Jerusalem residents. The March was the most positive and respectful parade of approximately 100,000 people. Most of the marchers were indeed students from yeshivas and seminaries who traveled far to celebrate our Jerusalem! These students from scores of schools were not alive to see the before and after of the miraculous Six Day War. They, however, recognize the beauty and divinity of Jerusalem being part of Israel. To mention one song the students sang in a negative way is insulting. I personally heard all the many beautiful songs of praise of God, Jerusalem and the Jewish people. Every person there sang every word of every song I heard!
To interview Palestinians in the Old City would naturally be negative and totally inappropriate to the celebration of the day. To be fair, interview them – but why were no Jews-in-the-street interviewed? I was there the whole time with thousands of Jerusalem citizens not connected to “nationalist” organizations. Why didn’t you interview any of us? Were we going to be too positive? Your article was belittling and insulting to an event that truly celebrated the Jewish people. Why must you bring out the bad and denigrate a beautiful experience?
Kushner has a point
Regarding “Kushner: Uncertain If Palestinians Can Govern Themselves” (June 3, 2019), the fact that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas has held elections in over a decade doesn’t bode well for Palestinian self-governance.
When will Israel be able to remove its military presence from areas under PA administration? When the PA acknowledges that Israel will not be destroyed or replaced by a Muslim state. At that time, the PA can stop inciting its people to violence and start negotiating with Israel about the creation of a first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine. A matter of primary importance – making sure Hamas or other extremist groups will not be able to take over the areas under PA control.
TOBY F. BLOCK
Regarding “Trump calls London mayor ‘stone cold loser’ as he lands in the UK” (Jpost.com June 3), as Britain agonizes over the way to Brexit the EU (they should install Waze, the Israeli directional technology), they are lining up to take cheap shots at the visiting American president.
Whatever happened to English politeness and manners? Apparently gone with the rest of what used to be best about Britain, a country now deep in cultural and political turmoil.
London’s mayor stupidly slapped US President Donald Trump with an ill-considered insult to which the non-conventional chief of state responded with an accurate and humorous put-down.
Trump 1, Kahn 0.
As the left-wing mobs take to the streets and Corbyn vows to avoid the US leader, not that he was invited to meet Trump, Britain should seriously consider this: once Britain has staggered out of the EU, they will desperately need to sign a new trade deal with the US for their economic survival, and there is no better leader to deal with than Trump.
My advice to Britain is stop your foolish sniping and recognize Trump as the potential senior partner capable of helping Britain to become a proud independent and prosperous nation.
Regarding “Party leaders take off gloves as do-over race begins” May 31), in my opinion the “spanner in the works” causing an unwanted election is Benny Gantz of Blue and White, not Avigdor Liberman.
There are a number of issues on which the Likud and Blue and White are in broad agreement and, given co-operation between the two parties, could have been put into effect to the benefit of the country.
However, Gantz has let his loathing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lead him into automatic opposition to anything the latter says or does.
Had Gantz adopted a more sophisticated stance, it could have been to the country’s advantage and he could have calculated that this might have done him no harm in any future general election. As it is, Gantz now gives me the impression of yet another self-seeking general suffering from salute deprivation.
JerusalemRegavim: Not extremist
In “A new mosque on the Temple Mount” (June 4), the label “far-Right” is attached to describe our organization and thereby possibly impugn our credibility and the accuracy of the information about the Wakf activity on the Temple Mount.
Regavim is dedicated to a Zionist policy for the use of Israel’s precious resources – land, water, air and historical treasures – through equal and universal enforcement of the law. This is hardly “far-Right” or extremist in any way.
NAOMI LINDER KAHN
Director, Regavim International Division
It’s a riot
Regarding “Riots on the Temple Mount after police let Jews visit” (June 3), just a week ago, a letter writer claimed that Islam is a “religion of peace, compassion, tolerance, moderation, religious freedom, mercy, openness and modernity.”
What a joke. Words are cheap, but actions speak louder. Here’s the reality: when police allowed an orderly group of Jews to enter the site, violent riots broke out. “Rioters threw stones and chairs…”
This is tolerance and religious freedom?
Jordan took the Orwellian doublespeak to the next level, condemning not the Arab violence, but “Israeli raids” on al-Aqsa Mosque.
Meanwhile, the Wakf is “causing irreparable damage” to the major archaeological site by building an illegal mosque.
What hope is there for a true peace when our adversaries act with such violence and dishonesty?
Regarding “Haredi questions” (Letters, May 29), I have one underlying concern for the letter writer: What is your agenda? In addition, I wish to give a few factual responses to his questions.
Haredi men and women will not be “educated to compromise” on halachic issues “in the secular workplace” but are being educated on how to deal with these matters within the parameters of Halacha. On some issues (e.g., Sabbath observance and fraternization), one cannot compromise, but that does not lead to reduced productivity or an inability to be courteous and respectful. Haredi workers are extremely productive and can work overtime/through the night to meet production goals.
As far as “working in close quarters,” my banker is a hassidic woman with a hat/ wig. She sits in her cubicle among other male and female bankers, efficiently servicing customers of both genders. I’ve been with that bank for over 10 years and have witnessed her positive interactions with customers and co-workers many times.
Why would there have to be two kitchens? One can eat their own prepared/bought kosher meal and double-wrap it to warm up in a communal microwave according to Halacha. Every employee can adhere to a personal standard of kashrut without impinging on anyone else.
Brief mincha/maariv break times can be taken from an hour’s lunch-break and overtime working. A quiet corner or available room can be designated for this purpose, so as not to distract employees who opt not to join.
Modest attire according to Halacha is subjective; nevertheless, a professional demeanor should be required in any workplace. No one need dictate to another person how to dress.
The only projected “bickering and demoralization affecting productivity” described in the letter comes from the writer.
TIRTZA JOTKOWITZ, ESQ.
JerusalemFighting for unity
The irony of the coincidence of last Shabbat’s Torah reading with the reluctance of the religious parties to give way on military recruitment cannot have been lost on readers.
Parashat Bamidbar sets out clearly and unambiguously the requirement that each of the Israelite tribes (except the Levites, who were assigned distinct services) was to count its males from 20 years old and upward as a potential fighting force. Fear and cowardice were not optional opt-outs. All were required to be recruited if needed for national defense, and therein lies the foundation of national identity, spirit and cohesion.
Israel needs that unity today, yet it is in danger of succumbing to fragmentation and disunity as a result of parochial obstinacy and infighting. Tradition has it that we suffered tragedies in the past because of sinat chinam (baseless hatred). Perhaps politicians of all persuasions need to ease off on attacking each other and, instead, develop their skills in constructive dialogue, compromise and unselfishness.
Unity is the keyword, and calling on every young man to be prepared for military service should be in the manifesto of every political party, especially those professing a commitment to Torah.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve read a number of articles in The Jerusalem Post about lone soldiers and the lack of support they received during their service in the army. I would like your readers to know that there are numerous homes for lone soldiers throughout the country run by dedicated volunteers.
I am involved in one such home in Beit Shemesh that caters to the physical and emotional needs of English speaking male lone soldiers. Not only do we provide each soldier with a shared room, furniture, linens, food, invitations for meals in the neighborhood,etc., but we also employ madrichim – a young couple who live adjacent to the home to ensure that every soldier is doing okay and to provide any support that each may need. Whether it’s accompanying them to a doctor’s visit or attending their swearing-in ceremony because their family is unable to come in from abroad, listening to them vent about their mefaked, or anything else… our madrichim are there for them.
While volunteering to be a lone soldier is a very noble act, it can also be a lonely existence without a warm, caring home to come home to. Together with volunteers from our supportive community, our Lone Soldiers’ Home in Beit Shemesh provides our brave soldiers with the warm embrace they deserve.
We would be happy to be in touch with any male lone soldier who is interested in living in a shomer Shabbat, shomer kashrut home in Beit Shemesh.
Beit Shemesh Lone Soldiers’ HomeResponsible adulthood
Regarding “Dreams go up in flames at magical moshav Mevo Modi’im” (May 31), I often thought about,“What if my house goes up in flames?” All my stuff, memories, clothes, gone. If I lost my house, where would I sleep? Who is going to replace it? So after many stupid years, I took life seriously and bought (just last year) house insurance.
I never thought that people who live on a beautiful moshav would not be responsible enough to have house insurance. So many things can happen! But for whatever reasons, they didn’t put out the money, even though as a group they could have gotten better deal than I did.
Now they now are expecting me (oh, sorry, the government, with my taxes) to rebuild their homes. It’s awful what happened to the moshav, but if my house burned down, the government would not rebuild it for me, nor would the moshav residents rebuild it for me.
Why should I pay for their housing because they did not foresee a disaster? Why should my friends and neighbors pay for their stupidity?
They have established a “committee to fight for their basic right to adequate housing.” Hello? You also have a basic right to be responsible adults and suffer the consequences if you don’t buy insurance.
And then they have the chutzpah to compare themselves to the 9,000 uprooted from Gush Katif in Gaza! Those people were forcibly evacuated from their homes by the government. No insurance in the world would cover this; the government owes them.
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