letters to the editor 88.
(photo credit: )
A true ingathering
Sir, - Your May 2 headline "Israel overtakes US as world's largest Jewish community" was fitting. Of the many aspects of independence we celebrated this week, one is independence from the status of junior nephew vis-a-vis large Uncle Samuel. More Jews living in Israel than in America gives credibility to Israel as the Jewish state.
Yet one more step is necessary: that more Jews live in Israel than in the rest of the world. When Israel is bigger than the Diaspora, we shall truly be able to speak of an ingathering.
We yearn for Israel not to need the Diaspora's financial assistance - although it would never be rejected - and for Israel's resources not to have to be spent on saving and stimulating Diaspora Jewish communities.
Whatever political help comes from American Jews would come from good relations with the US government. Whatever such help is lost would be more than compensated for by the confidence of Jews and Gentiles that Jews take the idea of their Jewish state seriously - not as a haven for refugees, not as a consolation prize for the Holocaust, not as a place to send young Jews to gain Jewish identity, but as the natural, national place for Jews to live.
Our kids' futures
Sir, - As an oleh of two years from the UK, I feel deeply connected to this country and all that it stands for. In Kikar Rabin on the eve of Remembrance Day one could not fail to understand the deep scars that have characterized the country through the loss of life over the last 58 years.
It struck me, therefore, as all the more galling that only a few short weeks ago less than 65% of voters turned out to vote in elections that will shape the country's future. Australia has compulsory voting, and the UK is currently debating introducing it.
Perhaps the time has come for Israel to consider the practice to counter the increasing detachment of our youth from the political establishment.
After all, we are voting for our children's futures.
Sir, - I have one word about "To MJ Rosenberg" (April 25) by Lenny Ben-David, written in response to Rosenberg's "Peace is better than the West Bank" (April 18): Wow! All I wanted to say and more was said from the standpoint of an Israeli formerly from the US, as I am.
What hypocrisy on the part of MJ Rosenberg to criticize Daniel Pipes, when he himself lives 6,000 miles away. Right on, Lenny!
Sir, - Living in Israel since 1969 I have made it a practice on Remembrance Day to ask myself: What can I possibly do this year to show my appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice so many of our young men and women have made so I would have the privilege of being able to continue to live and raise my children in Israel?
Unfortunately we have a tendency to take things for granted, and sometimes our memories are very short. There are in fact many things we can do to show our appreciation: being a bit more tolerant of others and aware of their needs, doing volunteer work, and so on.
Our ultimate goal is a strong, safe Jewish country, one where the rights of all citizens are respected. If every citizen were to choose just one project, large or small, to help strengthen Israel, we would be well on our way to achieving this goal.
Saving a life, saving a world
Sir, - I want to thank you for publishing Judith Nussbaum's extremely informative "Save a Life, save a world" (May 1). I think more people would be organ donors if they had the information provided in this op-ed. I know I will be.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Sir, - The story of how a complete stranger, a non-Israeli and non-Jew, contacted Judith Nussbaum after her plea for a liver donor via the Internet was most moving. Martin Filla contacted her and eventually came here to donate his kidney to her.
What better example can there be of altruism? This act is surely a genuine example of hesed shel emet - a pure act of true compassion.
Just as Yad Vashem has a section for Gentiles who saved Jews from the Shoah, so there should be a place somewhere in Jerusalem to enshrine and honor the names of people such as Filla. His example should be given maximum publicity in the hope that it will inspire others, especially Jews and Israelis, to donate their organs to those whose survival depends on them. Most rabbis today not only sanction such donations, but consider them a big mitzva.
JOSHUA J. ADLER
Sir, - Judith Nussbaum's moving report on her determined search for a kidney transplant, and the remarkable generosity of her donor, Martin Filla, a Christian from Australia, should serve as a wake-up call to all those who are concerned about their fellow man.
To those of us who are blessed with good health, the awareness of the need for organ donations may be remote. However, after reading about Ms. Nussbaum's experience, and her advice to sign up for organ donations, I believe that a vast untapped source may have been uncovered. The Jerusalem Post is to be commended for printing the op-ed and alerting the public to this great need.
Peretz's pride is a fitting payback
Sir, - This time I must disagree most strongly with my favorite political commentator, Anshel Pfeffer ("Peretz would do well to learn some humility," May 1). Pride not only looks good on Amir Peretz - it's a fitting payback for the decades of humiliation and disdain Mizrahim in Israel were received with.
When Peretz's attitude provokes discomfort in us Ashkenazim it shows that this historic injustice still lingers, and it can also be understood from the constant criticism and disproportionate opposition he gets in his own party.
While mere actors have been deemed fit for the highest office in the mightiest country, anything Peretz does is analyzed and deemed a failure, a mistake or simply disappointing, while the truth is he's been an accomplished leader and negotiator for years.
That he makes mistakes is only natural in his new role - and making mistakes is neither against the law of the land nor a sin. It may be a sign not of incompetence, but of courage.
A proud Peretz is a proper role model for other Mizrahim.
It's only right
Sir, - Shmuley, do the right thing - buy your wife a fur coat. Preferably mink. Full length. Why should she look raggedy next to those fine furs in Englewood? They are on sale now at Bloomingdales.
And give the kid a decent bar mitzva party. And take videos of it. He'll only be bar mitzva once. Let him enjoy it and remember it.
You are the Jewish flavor of the month. The money's on you. Spend it while you're making it ("The fur coats of Englewood," Shmuley Boteach, April 20).
Sir, - All those in favor of banning fireworks say aye! This year's sounded like a shooting spree, shocking humans and terrifying animals.
Do we really need these noisy things?