(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Sir, – Regarding “Requiem for the Tal Law” (August 1), as a religious Jew I believe in the supernatural.
When the fighting broke out in 1947 the Jewish population of Safed was isolated and virtually defenseless. The Jews lived in the lower part of the town while the Arabs lived in the upper part, virtually on top of their heads.
One evening an Arab came to the Jewish part and told them that Fawzi al-Qawuqji and his irregulars of the Arab Liberation Army had arrived in town and were planning to conquer the Jewish quarter and slaughter the occupants.
In the early hours of the morning a unit of the Palmah, climbing up a dry river bed, reached Safed.
That morning they not only beat off the attacking force but counter-attacked.
Qawuqji’s army fled in disarray.
The rabbi of Safed said the town had been delivered by a combination of natural and super-natural elements. The natural element was that the Jews prayed to God and God answered their prayers. The super-natural element was the arrival of the Palmah.DAVID STEINHART
Petah Tikva On death and dying
Sir, – I enjoy the weekly commentary by Judy Montagu and “What, me worry?” (In My Own Write, August 1
) is no exception.
I realize that Montagu was discussing what motivates people in general, but she drifted into a discussion of death that I personally found to be unrealistic and almost irrelevant – Steve Jobs and his life notwithstanding.
Speaking for myself, a relatively young man suffering from Stage IV incurable malignant cancer, I do not fear death; I do, however, fear the process of dying, that is, the weakness, the pain and the inevitable physical debilitation that so often accompany death from cancer.
But mostly, at least for now, I am sickened by the fact that I am going to make my wife of 30 years a widow, and sadden and leave behind those I love and who love me.
Unlike the creative genius and results-oriented mastermind Steve Jobs and his profound pronouncements, at the end of my life I am more involved with the no-less profound but far-more important task of making plain my love for my family and my appreciation for my friends who have stood by me through some very rough times.
I do not fear death, but the process of dying is going to be rough.KENNETH BESIG
Kiryat Arba Moore rebuttal
Sir, – The letter from Greenpeace Mediterranean campaigner Dani Gigi (“Greenpeace speaks up,” July 26) has too many errors to ignore.
First, Gigi denies I am an environmental expert even though I have a PhD in ecology, an honorary doctorate of science, an Einstein Society Award for nuclear science and history, and more than 40 years of experience devoting my professional life to environmental issues.
I was a member of the Greenpeace leadership for 15 years, the last six of which were as a director of Greenpeace International, and have written two books and chapters in many other books, and authored hundreds of articles on sustainability.
Gigi states that I was “proven to be wrong” about radiation leakage by the “American Commission on Nuclear Energy Control,” an organization that does not exist.
This claim is simply a fabrication.
Finally, Gigi states that the prospecting of oil shale has never succeeded anywhere else in the world. In fact, oil shale is being developed in Brazil, China and Estonia, and soon will be in a number of other countries.
If properly done, there is nothing “dangerous” about extracting oil from the oil shale in Israel. In fact a domestic supply of oil makes Israel more secure, and that makes our world more secure.PATRICK MOORE