Shame on Rivlin
How disappointing that President Reuven Rivlin can’t change his spots. He clearly can’t stand having a religious ceremony at his residence conducted by a non-Orthodox rabbi (“Rivlin, Masorti Movement clash over cancellation of special needs bar mitzva,” June 9).
While still speaker of the Knesset, Rivlin offended non-Orthodox US Jews as idolators. When running for president, he appeared to make amends, and when elected promised to be president of all citizens of Israel.
Yet now, well ensconced in a residence owned by all taxpayers, he participates in and rewards the discrimination against children with special needs initiated by the mayor of Rehovot and perpetuated by the Orthodox rabbinate.
Shame, Rubi, shame.
URI THEMAL Kiryat Tivon The writer is a retired Reform rabbi.See the latest opinion pieces on our Opinion & Blogs Facebook page
King David’s tomb
While I am often a “grave skeptic,” I have to take issue with Max Blackston’s characterization of King David’s tomb as the “tomb of some long-forgotten knight (“Who’s buried in King David’s tomb?” Comment & Features, June 9). Although we do not have documentation about the tomb being a holy place until the Middle Ages, there is strong evidence that the site has authenticity.
It is clear in the Bible that while the kings of Judah, from David to Ahaz, were buried in the City of David, the later kings, from Menashe to Jehoiakim, were buried someplace else, in “Gan Uzza.” Since by that time (post-King Hezekiah) the city had expanded to the western hill, Mount Zion was a logical choice for burial – outside the city limits but close to the city.
Prof. Gabi Barkay, the preeminent authority on First Temple graves, cites the Italian explorer Pierotti, who writes that he found a large ancient cave under David’s Tomb. Excavating there today would be politically tricky, so we have no way to prove Barkay’s assertion that David’s Tomb is Gan Uzza.
However, don’t be so quick to answer the question “Who is buried in David’s Tomb?” with “Definitely not David”!
SHULIE MISHKIN Alon Shvut The writer is a licensed tour guide.
Christians believe that the Room of the Last Supper was somewhere in the city of Jerusalem near Mount Zion.
Syrian Orthodox Christians built a church in the 4th century in the Armenian quarter on the site they believed the Last Supper took place. It is still standing.
In the 11th century, 700 years later, the Crusaders decided that the current cenacle was the Room of the Last Supper and below it the tomb of King David.
Max Blackson’s piece points out that the Crusaders called the lower room King David’s tomb, but he neglects to point out that only since Crusader times was the upper room considered to be the Room of the Last Supper.
The haredim never objected to Christians visiting the tomb of King David as individuals, just as the Christians never objected to Jews visiting the Room of the Last Supper. But I believe that if Jews would en mass decide to conduct a prayer service in the Room of the Last Supper, it would receive world condemnation FRANK BERGER Ma’aleh Adumim The writer is a licensed tour guide.Cavalier attitude
I carefully read David Newman’s “Boycott hysteria” (Borderline Views, June 9) but couldn’t find any mention of Neve Gordon, the professor of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a Newman colleague who actively supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
To me, it seems that the proverb “Physician, heal thyself” could be applied to Newman’s cavalier attitude toward BDS.
DAVID MANDEL Savyon For ingénues only
As a welcome departure from invariably disagreeing with almost everything classical music critic Ury Eppstein has to say, I found myself nodding in agreement while I read “The opera festival: Tosca and Carmina Burana, Masada, June 4-5” (Arts & Entertainment, June 8).
As a lifelong choral singer and for 15 years an opera singer in London, I avoid extravaganzas of the Masada variety. Such performances provide entertainment only for opera ingénues who are blissfully unaware of the qualitative shortcomings of electronically amplified human voices and willing to compromise for the sake of distant artists who comprise parts of gigantic spectacles. Thus, the intimate scenes a deux in Tosca are viewed in glorious widescreen stereo from a great distance compared to a conventional opera house.
Also, the idea of staging a performance written by a third-rate musician who just happened to be Hitler’s court composer, Carl Orff, while simultaneously maintaining an impassioned nationwide ban on performing the works of the anti-Semitic genius Richard Wagner leaves me puzzled beyond all measure.
It should be noted that Chopin, Brahms, Bruckner and Sibelius were equally outspoken in their detestation of Jews, though there exists no boycott of their works here.
If we can joyfully stage Orff’s jolly, foot-tapping pap, why not Der Ring des Nibelungen?
STANLEY COHEN Jerusalem Back to Gaza
With regard to your June 7 article “Gaza rocket triggers sirens in Ashkelon area,” I can definitely support (to my surprise) Yesh Atid MK Haim Jelin when he says: “Netanyahu promised to be strong and determined, but proved again that he is weak and just wants to survive.”
I cannot support the idiotic statement by Zionist Union MK Eyal Ben-Reuven, who says that Israel’s response should be severe while letting Hamas be in control so that Israelis near the border can enjoy their summer.
And then there was Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon the week before, with his usual rhetoric, saying he considers Hamas responsible for everything that happens in the territory of Gaza.
How many times have we heard this rubbish from Ya’alon, and how many times has he failed to follow up so that these attacks are stopped for good? We need more than a quiet summer. We need control of our land, where we can stop the constant barrage of rockets and missiles fired whenever our enemies are so inclined, putting them always in control while we continue to vacillate and react.
Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu support leaving Hamas in control. This tells me they do not belong in positions where our lives are in their hands.
PHYLLIS STERN Netanya Bravo, rabbi!
Let me be the first to say bravo to Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo for his fascinating insights in “Make anti-Semitism a source of Jewish pride” (Comment & Features, June 7).
FEYGEH SARAH FRIEDMAN Betar Illit Preach to them
In “Anti-normalization hypocrites” (Encountering Peace, June 4), Gershon Baskin wrote a scathing attack against a group of Palestinian “anti- normalization” thugs who broke up a unity event he had organized.
He correctly pointed out that there was a lot more normalization taking place than those thugs cared to admit.
That being the case, one has to wonder why he isn’t publishing his column in the Palestinian media instead?
MATTIAS ROTENBERG Petah Tikva