Sir, - As Jews, we seem to have forgotten that we are permitted even to break Shabbat in order to save a single Jewish life. Reallocating funds in the budget to enable us to relieve pain and suffering and save citizens' lives should not, therefore, be a subject for negotiation ("'Basket' case," Editorial, April 10). We should take a bold step for this sacred cause: rechannel funds set aside for the approaching Independence Day celebrations.
The vast majority of our people would surely agree to waive their own pleasure for the sake of relieving others' pain.
Sir, - The Palestinians/Hamas have finally come to the conclusion that there is no money ("Israel to isolate PA, use funds withheld to pay utilities," April 10). Their best bet would be to search for all the millions - or is it billions? - of dollars that their hero Yasser Arafat, surely one of history's greatest thieves, stole from them.
Once they recover all that loot the PA coffers will be bursting at the seams.
...to feed the poor
Sir, - After the revelations of the exploitation of norms at the Bank of Israel, a public institution, and the scenes of hungry people of all ages collecting food parcels for Pessah, I have a solution. Instead of threatening recipients of money not due to them with jail, they should be forced to start immediately returning their ill-gotten gains, which would be placed in a special fund to facilitate the feeding of the poor. This would alleviate the over-stretched voluntary organizations dependant on public good will ("Businesses get charitable for Pessah," April 6).
Sir, - A news item on Channel 1 TV news last week showed that the 10 highest-salaried persons in Israel earn from NIS 900,000 to NIS 3.8 million a month. In the same broadcast we learned that approximately 1 million Israelis cannot afford to celebrate
If these 10 high-earners donated just one month's salary - which I think they could survive without - to those poor, it would help them considerably.
Sauce for the goose?
Sir, - Two comments for the Brits, who want us to extradite an IDF officer who shot filmmaker James Miller, who was running around during a nighttime fire-fight in Gaza waving a little white flag and shouting, "We're British we're British":
â€¢ Shoe-bomber Richard Reid, the two terrorists who attacked Mike's Place in Tel Aviv, and all the 7/7 bombers in London were British. There are so many British jihadi terrorists these days that shouting "We're British" in the middle of an anti-terrorist battle might just be reason enough to open fire.
â€¢ Would Britain agree to extradite a British policeman to Brazil to stand trial for the killing of an innocent Brazilian electrician in broad daylight in the London Underground? ("Extradite IDF officer, Miller's family urges," April 9.)
Sir, - There are those who would say that people like James Miller should not go into a danger zone in the first place. However, when I read about "access" to interview soldiers and witnesses being denied to the British Metropolitan Police, I expect to learn that this comes from authorities in Libya, Angola, or the like.
Ok, we do not know the full details, but mustn't we allow a fellow democratic nation the cooperation we would surely receive
if the roles were reversed?
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.
One woman is quite enough...
Sir, - Re "Several wives, openly, honestly" (Letters, April 5): Polygamy, like all deviations from normal sexual conduct, is an anomaly contradicting the basic conditions for behavior formulated in the Torah. Woman was made for man not to be alone. God did not create many women for one man. He considered one sufficient.
A vital purpose of marriage is procreation. Unfortunately, many people devote their sexual relationships to vain pleasures. Jewish population growth is minimal, threatening eventual extinction. Isn't it time we awoke to reality and changed our ways? If not, we may find it is too late.("Why not Mr. and Mrs. - & Mrsâ€¦ & Mrsâ€¦? April 4.)
...to lavish affection upon
Sir, - One wife is sufficient for any good husband - and he should devote his energies and lavish his love upon the one he has been fortunate to find. If, as one reader mused, the author was writing "tongue in cheek," her accompanying portrait should have been modified to show this.
Sir, - I was recently subjected to an advertisement for "Keds kids - American dreams," which featured four girls aged 11 or so posing, I can only describe, as prostitutes.
What are we in this country fighting for? We focus on existential threats, and that's necessary, but we appear to be ignoring the internal corrosion of our society and its values. We fight for our children's future, while allowing them to be poisoned by this pollution of culture, gifted to us by our friend the United States.
We Jews are supposed to be "a light unto the nations." Perhaps it's time to change the bulb.
Sir, - The breakdown of Israeli society could mean a second Diaspora in the making. We should never abandon Zionism. Without it there is no biblical claim to the holy land.
ABRAHAM BEN TIBBON
Sir, - I found this caption under the photo of Ehud Olmert presenting a gift to a young girl quite amusing:
"Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presents a gift to one of a group of youngsters celebrating their bar or bat mitzvas who visited him in his office in Jerusalem yesterday in the framework of a Chabad immigrant absorption program"("A gift of her heritage," April 6).
Chabad engaged in immigrant absorption? In the many years Chabad has been in Safed I have never once seen an Israeli flag flying from one of its institutions here in the city. Wherever one looks all one sees are dozens of yellow "Moshiach" flags flying from rooftops.
Where is Chabad when Memorial Day services are held in our military cemeteries, or on Independence Day? For Chabad, each seems to be "just another day."
It was always my belief that immigrant absorption efforts were supposed to instill the love of Israel, and of our flag. Apparently Chabad believes that immigrant absorption efforts center upon love of "Moshiach."
Searching for Ellen
Sir, - The 1966 Utica Free Academy class reunion committee is searching for Ellen Senor. Her father, James Senor, was director of the Jewish Community Center in Utica, NY, before moving to Israel to work for the Jewish Agency. If anyone has any information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Utica, New York
A real draw
Sir, - I wanted to say that I love the cartoons of Ronny Gordon. They are funny, well-executed, and to the point.
Sir, - Further to Greer Fay Cashman's "All this, for one week in the year!" (April 10): Apparently it is so difficult for some of us to be tidy and organized that it took splitting the sea and all kinds of miracles for the Almighty to convince us to clean our houses thoroughly at least once a year!
RENNIE AND AARON SWIRSKI
Sir, - Since articles on classical music sadly make only spotty appearances in The Jerusalem Post, it was good to see the brief Associated Press article by William J. Kole about the Viennese exhibition on Mozart's "later years" ("If he was a rich man" April 9). However, two errors in this article call for correction. Mozart lived in Vienna during 1781-91, and not 1784-87. He was also not buried in a pauper's grave but given the standard third-class funeral of the time in Austria. He was buried in a coffin and not a sack, as was erroneously shown in the film Amadeus.
PROF. BATHIA CHURGIN