Let there be light
Sir, – While being in broad agreement with your editorial
“The CFL choice” (January 15), it appears to have overlooked several key
Israel, in phasing out incandescent light bulbs with a rating
greater than 60W, is actually following the pattern instituted by Europe over
two years ago. As such, production of these inefficient bulbs is being phased
out as more countries effectively institute legislation banning their
Attempts to flood the markets with cheap bulbs from unreliable
sources have met with resistance because these products do not conform to
But there is an alternative to the unsightly CFL
(compact fluorescent light) that is far more energy-efficient: the light
emitting diode (LED). Improvements in LED output for the same electrical
consumption have increased substantially, together with a decrease in prices.
LEDs operate on a far lower voltage and consume substantially less power, so
that if they replace incandescent lights the generating companies would not find
themselves unable to meet the electricity demand, but actually have a
Currently, the cost of LED lights is high because the major
production facilities are located in the Far East and unscrupulous importers
slam a high profit-margin on their sales compared to those of Western
Once again it appears that our hi-tech industries have missed the
boat. We could have set up development and production facilities here and become
not only far more energy efficient, but a major world exporter.
Jerusalem God in public
Sir, – I certainly agree with Michael Freund
(“Who’s afraid of Tim Tebow?,” Fundamentally Freund, January 12) that we all
should have the right of practicing our religion in public – except, of course,
when it interferes with public safety (the banning of the burka in France, as an
example) or causes severe inconvenience to many people (e.g., a minyan on a
But what may be a right might not be advisable. It
seems, in fact, to be contrary to the spirit of the prophet Micah (6:8): “He has
told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: only to do
justice and love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God.”
Hebrew word v’hatzneah
, which is translated as “modestly,” suggests behaving in
a way that does not attract attention to oneself.
The prophet is
suggesting that when it comes to our relationship with God, He requires that we
act unobtrusively, that it is “good” not to make a public display of our
I do not deny the eight NY Giants players or Tim Tebow their
right to pray to God in public. But it makes me and many others feel
uncomfortable. Who are these players trying to convince of their faith – the
fans in the stands or God? Could they not have offered a silent prayer in the
locker room? Is it a greater measure of devotion to God to do so in public?
Personally, I do not think so.
EPHRAIM I. ZIMAND
Sir, – It is
becoming increasingly clear that several recent events that grabbed headlines
had very little to do with “liberating” or preventing discrimination against
women, but rather with the vilification of haredi practices and institutions.
Could the problem be, in Michael Freund’s words, that many Jews are “just not
comfortable with public displays of their religion”? Item: The issue of seating
on buses has been blown up by those who have their own agenda. The only buses in
question travel mainly through neighborhoods serving haredi areas. If the
passengers choose to sit separately, why should they not be allowed to do so? If
others get on, why not just be respectful for a couple of stops? The purpose of
the ride is to get to one’s destination, not to demand a certain
Item: The recent Puah conference had nothing at all to do with
discrimination against women, and everything to do with getting upto- date and
halachic information to a sector of people who are very reluctant to discuss
personal issues in public. So what if the speakers were only men? Women
physicians are highly valued; there are long waiting times, sometimes six months
or more, to get an appointment with one. That the Israel Medical Association
barred physicians from attending is not only disgraceful but
Instead of being true to its mission of providing medical
care to all, its action prevented access to medical options for an entire
Sir, – I would like to congratulate Judy
Siegel for her reporting on the recent Puah conference. She again showed herself
to be the consummate professional she is, putting aside public “noise” for
Not so MK Rachel Adatto, a former practicing
obstetrician and gynecologist, and the IMA. They have shown themselves to put
the first axiom of medicine (“First, do no harm”) on the back burner by denying
the conference’s 1,000 participants the benefit of the combined knowledge and
support of female and male medical professionals.
Sadly, for heuristic
and politically charged reasons, the “enlightened” IMA ordered its members to
ignore haredi obstetric and gynecology patients – who, I might add, are 100
percent women. I guess it now will adapt and change its practices and make sure
its roster of OB/GYN patients includes 50% men.
The writer is director of the Neuropsychology Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical
Kudos to Kaplan
Sir, – Our family made aliya over 20 years ago and we
have seen and heard almost every complaint about nearly every possible
circumstance here in Israel. For many reasons I never thought I would be sharing
this story with anyone, but life takes you by surprise.
On the last day
of Hanukka, my almost-two-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer. My
daughter had brought her to the health fund clinic for what seemed to be a
simple cough, and the pediatrician insisted she bring the baby to the emergency
room at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. My daughter was reluctant to believe that
anything was wrong, as the baby was cheerful and appeared healthy and happy, but
she complied and a tumor was found.
The care my daughter and
granddaughter received was immediate and compassionate.
The surgeon and
oncologist were attentive and took the time and trouble to explain what had
happened and what would happen.
They were reassuring without being
condescending. I should add that the surgery took place less than 48 hours after
the diagnosis; this is in stark contrast to my father, who was treated at one of
the best hospitals in New York and waited almost three weeks for his tumor
In the 10 days that followed, my granddaughter began
The staff at Kaplan continued its excellent care and
Just as an example, when it was time to wheel the baby
into the surgical suite, the staff suggested that my son-in-law retrieve her
stroller from the car and use it to wheel her to surgery, as a gurney might have
added to her trauma. My daughter was permitted to stay with the baby until she
was given anesthesia.
Both my daughter and son-in-law were allowed to
remain in the room with their child and to be with her through every medical
procedure. I was there every day and witnessed the care and compassion my
granddaughter received, and the intelligent and humane approach that exemplified
the staff at Kaplan.
We – myself included – are always quick to criticize
I thought I would take this opportunity to compliment and