Religion in politics
With regard to “Emunah petitions High Court against transfer of rabbinical courts” (July 3), I was rather disappointed to read that Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party was outmaneuvered in the haredi grab for power on the issue of appointments of rabbinical judges. The people who voted for Bayit Yehudi expect integrity rather than political expediency from Bennett.
HAROLD LEVINE, Jerusalem
In reference to “Coalition crisis cooking over who says what’s kosher” (June 29), the nexus of politics and religion is always poisonous.Over and over, we are treated to a horrid display of behavior by the offices of the Chief Rabbinate that can only be described as sinful. Control of the rabbinate has been in haredi hands for some time now. I find it most amazing that the people who are so punctilious about the mitzvot between God and mankind are so disdainful of the mitzvot between mankind and mankind. How can you have the first without the second? Apparently, our rabbinate has no notion of just which sins can be forgiven on Yom Kippur by God. This latest kerfuffle over who gets to certify places as kosher once again shows that the rabbinate wears the “emperor’s clothes.” What is worse, its employees prove themselves time and again to be corrupt, power-hungry apparatchiks who do not care if the rest of us see them for what they are.
The chief rabbis produce a piteous cry against certifications that avoid their offices but ignore the fact that the haredi supervisors are guilty of the same thing. Could it be that the haredi rabbinate is also viewed as worthless by the greater haredi community? A former Sephardi chief rabbi put himself in exile. A former Ashkenazi chief rabbi may well go to jail for theft. Our current chief rabbis seem to care only about power and how much of it they can grab.
It is time to rid ourselves of the creaking, obsolescent, ineffective and corrupt Chief Rabbinate. Count me among those who will eat in places certified outside the rabbinate.
JEFFREY RAPPOPORT, Jerusalem
Hebrew in Wales
Having lived in North Wales and having several Welsh family members, discovering through “Land of our fathers” (Unexpected Israel, July 3) that a leading Welsh male voice choir had visited and performed in Israel was a delightful surprise. May I point out, however, that there are absolutely no linguistic connections between Welsh and Hebrew, and the reason that centers for language teaching in Wales are called wlpans (the letter w in Welsh equals the letter u in English) is directly attributable to my father, Prof. Eric Mendoza.
On his return from a sabbatical at the Technion to his post as professor of physics at Bangor University in 1970 – when the struggle to establish Welsh as the formal language of Wales was at its most vigorous – my father described to fellow academics the design and methods of the Israeli technique of teaching a language to people who had little knowledge of Hebrew and scant language proficiency.
Thus, the Hebrew word ulpan assimilated into the lexicon of the Welsh language!
REBECCA MENDOZA, Givatayim Just whose ‘pride’?
Let me get straight to the point and take issue with “Spreading pride” (Editorial, July 2) Yes, the decision of the US Supreme Court was indeed a “watershed moment” – not “in the struggle of the gay rights movement,” but rather in the development of the social structure of America and the western world. We are seeing the beginning of the end of the genetic framework of society, the framework that has existed since humanity began and which exists in every sector of the human race, whether in “enlightened” America or in the tribal-based African jungle, whether in the unique social structure of China or in the igloo-based life of the Eskimo.
The rot started to appear when young people began to turn away from the institution of marriage, forming, dismantling and then re-forming “relationships” outside the family structure. Having undermined the traditional family unit of father, mother and children, it was a matter of natural progression to then attack the even more basic man/woman relationship and attempt to supplant it with this grotesque alternative.
In this sick new environment where nothing is sacred, where there is no accountability and no shouldering of responsibility – it is here that the ego rules, where self-indulgence and disregard for one’s fellow man is the new order.
Shame on you, America! I only pray that our lovely country will not be infected by this spreading social cancer.
LAURENCE BECKER, Jerusalem
God has told us that same-sex relationships are sinful and unnatural, and even subject to severe punishment.
It seems that the US Supreme Court and the White House, as well as much of the US public, do not really trust in God’s words as found in the Bible, which is the foundation of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. I hope we continue to trust in God and His holy words.
SHIMON GALI, Jerusalem
If you are so enthusiastic about the US Supreme Court’s decision and “pride,” you should go live there. There are 50 states to choose from, so why contaminate Israel with your views, which constitute a capital offense in the Torah? Who are you to assert that civil law has a higher priority than the traditions of over 3,000 years that define a people? DAVID OWEN Beersheba Proud find Regarding “2,000-year-old mikve found under J’lem family’s salon” (July 2), what a discovery! A Jewish ritual bath in Ein Kerem dating to the Second Temple period! Israelis can be so proud that ritual law and family purity were practiced all over the Land of Israel.
Considering the period, Ein Kerem was far from the center of Jerusalem, where the Temple stood. Jews lived there and observed their religion. They observed the sanctity of family life – that is what made them so different from the pagans and the Roman Empire. We know now much about the Roman occupation of Israel, but in spite of Rome’s heavy hand, Jews continued to be Jews and loved their country and religion.
TOBY WILLIG, Jerusalem‘Collaborateur’
The French foreign minister had the gall to fly to Israel to impose a Franco/UN solution on the Palestinian- Israeli conflict (“Fabius offers new approach to Israeli-Palestinian talks,” June 22).
Has Laurent Fabius forgotten the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of July 16/17, 1942, when 12,531 Jews were sent from this Paris stadium to a transit camp, starved and humiliated beyond imagination, and subsequently forced to board cattle cars, with the final destination Auschwitz? The only euphemism I can now conjure is the French designation collaborateur.
Monsieur Fabius would do better to muster forces to contain the radical Muslims now running amok through the streets of France, destroying the legacies of Voltaire, Musset and Hugo.
JULES EHRMAN, Jerusalem/Antwerp CLARIFICATION
The photo of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin that appeared at the top of the front page of the July 3 Jerusalem Post was taken by Chaim Snow.
One of the photographs accompanying “Surfing in more ways than one” (Arts & Entertainment, July 5) was incorrectly captioned as showing “iconic fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld.” The photo was of actress Cote De Pablo, who played a former Mossad agent on the American TV series ‘NCIS.’ The photo also should have been credited to ‘collider.’