Letters to the editor: Props on a stage

They probably also want money from the state, no doubt.

April 25, 2015 21:37

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Props on a stage
With regard to “Defying ban, Women of the Wall read from full-sized Torah scroll at Kotel prayer service” (April 21), it’s too bad that the latest antics by these women didn’t make your front page, as this was certainly their aim.

It seems to me that these women don’t view the Western Wall as a holy place, the closest we Jews can get to the area where the Temples once stood, but as a stage and backdrop for their monthly Rosh Hodesh shows. To them, tefillin are props. And it is obvious by the way they (wo)manhandled the Torah that they have absolutely no concept of respect for it or the commandments. To them the Torah is but another prop.

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What are these women after? It seems to me that they want recognition from the State of Israel and the Chief Rabbinate for their form of Reform Judaism.

They probably also want money from the state, no doubt.

Maybe if the rest of us simply ignore them or somehow get the police to ban camera crews from the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh, they will close shop.


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A plate, a hope
David Newman’s “A picture frozen in time” (Borderline Views, April 21) on a plate commemorating May 14, 1948, the date of Israel’s independence, was informative and cogent. An identical plate is displayed in my home. The reverse side says “Dedicated to the pioneers of Palestine” and shows the manufacturer as “Newark Stores Inc.”

of New Jersey.

As to the quote on the plate from Theodor Herzl – “If you will it, it is no legend” – the full quote is “Im tirtzu, ein zo agada; ve’im lo tirtzu, agada hi ve’agada tisha’er” (if you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay”).

Herzl clearly would have agreed with John Lennon’s words, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

One can only hope.


Equally wrong
There have been questions raised concerning the fitness of Shas leader Arye Deri to serve as a senior cabinet minister after having been convicted of corruption while in government service. The law at present bans a person convicted of a crime considered to have involved moral turpitude from political activity for seven years, which is as it should be.

However, the case of Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog is equally troubling.

It is well known that those who refuse to testify in their own defense or cooperate with police almost certainly have something to hide. It also is not unreasonable for society to demand a higher moral standard of its leaders. Therefore, the law should be modified to impose a seven-year ban on political activity for any politician or activist who refuses to cooperate with an investigation or fails to testify in his own defense.

STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim

Must win the battle
The slaughter of Christian innocents does not make the slightest bit of difference in the way the world is prepared to handle Islamic State. No nation wants to do anything about what is going on.

The Jew in every country in Europe is a marked target. Now the Christian who wants to practice his belief is a marked target, too. What power does the church have? Answer: None! Instead of fighting Muslim hatred and extremism, and realizing that civilization is at stake, the world cares only about appeasement.

The moral authority in this world is now the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Barack Obama of the United States no longer represents the great concepts of liberty and freedom; he now represents the concept subservience.

What is it that the world must do now? It must realize that it has to win the battle with the Muslim radicals.


Vaccine policies
Since the 1990s, Israel and the industrialized world have experienced an unprecedented epidemic of childhood diseases.

There are epidemics of leaky gut syndrome, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, neurological functional disorders, Tourette syndrome, arthritis, palsey, eczema, special-needs disabilities, a huge variety of allergies that barely existed in the past (sometimes accompanied by dangerous seizures), ADHD, ADD, speech delay, what were formerly rare cancers, and much more. Why? What changed? The documentary film Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines says the percentage of American male infants and children with autism rose from one in every 10,000 in the 1980s, to one in every 31 in our time.

Autism has been estimated in South Korea at one in 38.

What is the percentage in Israel? Do not such statistics justify government intervention? The percentage of autism in Scandinavia is one-tenth that in the US. These statistics are parallel to a much lower amount of vaccines given to Scandinavian children.

Why does Israel not adopt the vaccine routines of the Scandinavian countries, rather than following the US? Are economic interests pushing aside the interests of public health?


Playing dodge ’em
First it was the trakteronim, or all-terrain vehicles. No registration required, no driver’s license required. Result: Dead and maimed children, whose parents thought it was a neat gift.

Then it was korkinetim, those electric scooters. No regulations, no license required.

Result: Injured children and pedestrians as a result of kids (as well as adults) zipping around uncontrolled on streets and sidewalks.

Now it’s electric bicycles. All those nice, new, very late regulations are like verbal agreements – not worth the paper they are written on. It’s heart-warming to know that regulations existed for a year once upon a time, but how many liters of blood have stained the pavement since they expired is not known. To be honest, I do not recall seeing electric bikes until the recent epidemic of such devices.

The bottom line is that the Transportation Ministry never should have allowed the import of these kamikaze gadgets until very explicit regulations were implemented. Now we are condemned to play dodge ’em with children and adults on powered vehicles who obey virtually no traffic rules whatsoever.

If it were up to me, every government hack who had a hand in this fiasco would be charged with reckless endangerment for every injury.


He found civility
Many negative words have been expressed about the lack of civility at various government ministry offices, but there are still those officials who extend help to clients.

One such event occurred last week, when my wife and I, both elderly and with walking aids, came early to the Interior Ministry office in Netanya. It was 20 minutes before the 2:30 p.m. opening time.

We were surprised by the large numbers of people in line, so my ever-resourceful wife spoke to the guard and explained her request, asking whether it could be filled.

The guard, Ivan by name, listened to her, and despite the early time, took us straight up in the elevator and spoke to the clerk about her problem. He stayed with us until she received the necessary information and then escorted us down, all before the official opening time.

Ivan is an example of what the true level of public service should be.

L. JACKSON Netanya

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