Puah and women
Sir, – Menachem Burstein (“Puah conference pushes medical,
halachic advancement,” Comment & Features, January 11) completely misses the
First, the number of women practicing medicine has exploded in
recent years. Second, the issue of women in the public forum is now front and
center. One has to wonder where Burstein is living.
I’ve never seen a
member of the haredi community reject medical care or treatment because the
attending physician is a member of the opposite sex. It’s time for Puah to find
a way to include women speakers at its conference.
Sir, – The director of Puah belies a misunderstanding – or perhaps a
deliberate distortion – of Judaism when he argues that “inviting women to
address the rabbis would cause many rabbis to avoid the sessions, thus negating
the purpose of the conference.”
It is a guiding principal in Jewish law
that preserving life and health takes precedence over most other considerations,
and certainly over the dubious proposition that Jewish law forbids men to listen
to women lecture about medical issues.
The notion that you can promote
“unity of the Jewish people” by excluding half of them from participation in
Israeli public life is absurd.
DAVID ROSENN New York The writer is a
rabbi and the chief operating officer of the New Israel Fund
Sir, – Regarding
“IMA bars physicians from attending Puah conference” (January 10), before they
begin to practice, doctors take an oath not to withhold medical aid to anyone.
It is thus incomprehensible that they would violate their oaths due to political
or social pressure and cancel their appearance at the Puah conference.
having done so, they withheld a contribution to solve serious fertility
TUVIA MUSKIN Rehovot Yet more non-Jews
Sir, – The Alawites are
a minority in Syria, but a full-scale presence in the Golan Heights would
threaten the bare Jewish majority there (“Gantz: Israel ready to absorb Syrian
refugees after Assad’s fall,” January 11). A larger non-Jewish population could
re-ignite attempts to pressure Israel to give up this strategic
Why, with all our problems – including thousands of illegals
crossing into our country – would we consider absorbing Alawites? They are not
our friends. and we already have more than enough enemies roaming our
Netanya Useful at last
Sir, – Regarding
“Anti-infiltration law passes in late-night vote” (January 11), this is a tiny
country, and no country would allow itself to be inundated with unwelcome
But there is an organization that has over 60 years of
experience with so-called refugees. It’s called UNWRA, and it’s been in the
region for so long that it has made itself a fixture. We should direct our
unwelcome visitors to UNRWA – it would be only too happy to deal with the
problem and make itself useful.
We all scream
Sir, – I want to report a robbery in progress! Despite bearing the OU seal of
approval from the Orthodox Union and others in the US, the UK and elsewhere,
theocratic thugs here in Israel are now attempting to take away my favorite ice
cream (“Surprise! ‘Häagen- Dazs not kosher,’” January 11).
such sweetness as dulce de leche and amaretto almond crunch, and the joy of
pistacchio, mint chip and mango, my quality of life will be irreparably
Is there no way to freeze the removal of Häagen- Dazs from the
shelves, or will we melt in the face of the Chief Rabbinate and its cold