(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, – Here is some information that poet Joy Harjo (“Crazy
Brave,” Arts & Entertainment, December 19) should have about our history
It’s not only “some settlers” who believe that God gave us this
land; I would say that more than half of us believe this, and we get our
information from the Bible. Incidentally, many Muslims believe this
Nobody “walk[ed]” the Arabs out of “their” land.
the Jews accepted the UN partition plan. The Arabs did not and invaded our
newborn country. They have been shooting at us ever since.
Nobody has a
monopoly on suffering or having to leave his home. The situation is much more
Sir, – American Indian poet Joy
Harjo is quoted as saying, “I don’t agree to forced encampments for
Palestinians, for checkpoints. I think that’s inhumane.”
checkpoints she is totally right. And so to really stand behind her words she
should demand that as an example, America should first get rid of its own
Did Crazy Brave not notice that every time she tries to
board an airplane she has to go through a checkpoint? My guess is that no one,
not even Crazy Brave, in America or any other country, wants to get rid of those
checkpoints, which were established to stop primarily militant (evil, but not at
all crazy) Islamic terrorists, the very same persons our checkpoints attempt to
Sir, – With regard to
“Jewish lust versus Christian love” (No Holds Barred, December 18), love and
friendship are very important in a Jewish (actually any) marriage; if the
spouses are not friends, the relationship is in trouble.
Love does not
conquer all. Certainly lust does not, for it dissipates with
Obviously, a healthy attraction and desire for one’s spouse is
essential to a good marriage,but a Jewish marriage is based on common values, a
shared vision of family and a strong commitment to one person, and no
Lust is not a good foundation stone. God recognizes that lust can
be a powerful force, and therefore has to warn: “Do not covet your neighbor’s
wife” (even without acting on it, which of course would be
Jewish family purity laws provide some insight into the Jewish
view of love in a marriage.
For about two weeks a month, a man must
relate to his wife as an intelligent being, as someone with whom to discuss
things, as something other than a sexual partner, while all the time counting
the days until they can be “together” again. Likewise, a woman can enjoy
companionship and intellectual stimulation without other pressures.
period of abstinence also prevents things from becoming routine.
goes to a mikve. They have a renewal of their physical marriage, a “honeymoon,”
if you will, a rekindling of their passion.
The two facets of marriage
come together. Both are vital for a successful marriage, as Shmuley Boteach
finally concludes.BATYA BERLINGER
Sir, – Once again Shmuley
Boteach fails to bring references from Jewish codifiers to support his
Whereas he surprisingly appears to be well-versed in the New
Testament (I never knew there was an “old” one; I naively thought OT stood for
“Only Testament”), the Mishna Brura, Ba-eir Heiteiv, on the Code of Jewish Law,
Orach Chayim, Vol. 3, Chapter 280, states that a man is obligated to show ahava
(love) and hiba
(fondness or endearment), and above all a sense of high regard
and honor toward his wife.
Lust, sometimes interpreted as an inordinate
desire for carnal pleasure, has no place in Jewish law or life. But then again,
I don’t attempt to sell books.
I merely study them.LEONARD E.
AshkelonThe writer is a rabbi.