Let me start by saying how I always look forward to
the Thursday Weekend magazine, chock full of great ideas! My favorite section
provides new food recipes which I like try out.
However, this past issue
(“In a pretty pickle,” June 27) concerned me when there were recipes with raw
meat and uncooked eggs. I think that such articles would be enhanced if it would
include information on the importance of proper preparation when handling and
eating such food items, otherwise there could be serious side effects,
especially on these hot summer days.
Sir, – I live 25 meters away from Beit Safafa and am shocked by
the one-sidedness of your article “Court: Gov’t must resolve Beit Safafa highway
dispute” (June 27).
All you write about is from the neighborhood’s
residents, their lawyer, spokespeople and political backers, and not a word from
the authority’s side. It also misses any historical background and knowledge of
the present situation, when it laments how this motorway would split the “Arab-
I don’t blame the residents for exaggerating in
order to get an even better deal, but fair reporting needs to show us context
and both sides of the argument.
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, – The rabbis tell us that we must not look for reasons in the laws
of Torah, but accept them (“Supreme Court: Tel Aviv must enforce Shabbat
supermarket closings,” June 26).
Nevertheless, thinking people through
the ages have found good sound reasons for a great many of the laws, for example
health reasons for the dietary restrictions and rules for
However, perhaps the most advanced law dealing with both
physical and mental health is the law of Shabbat.
My father kept a
grocery store in the UK. We weren’t religious and Saturday was a normal and busy
day. However, he lobbied vigorously for the Sunday trading law, on the grounds
that everyone deserves one fixed and full day a week to rest and be with
Even the most secular Jews do not deny that the Ten Commandments
are a wonderful code for life. So why should only nine of them be considered
relevant, whilst the eighth commandment discarded? Whether one goes to synagogue
to pray on Shabbat, or spends time with the family, not only for God’s sake but
for ours, let us keep Shabbat from becoming just another day of work and
drudgery for far too many people.YEHUDIT COLLINS
Sir, – I take issue with the Gil Troy’s description of price-tag offenders
as “terrorists” (“Netanyahu as liberal reformer?” Center Field, Comment and
Features, June 26).
The price-tag offenses, reprehensible as they are,
consist in the main of daubing and graffiti, and to equate such offenses with
the savage and murderous acts of terror carried out by Arab terrorists is
nonsensical. Indeed, the security cabinet rejected the idea of calling price-tag
offenses terror, saying that this would blur the distinction between price-tag
attacks committed by Jewish hotheads and acts of terror by serious organized
terror groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah.
I also object to Troy’s remarks
about the offenders being “nationalists” who wear “big kippot,” meaning, of
In most cases, it has not been established that the
settlers were the perpetrators of the price-tag offenses, and it is certainly
not beyond the realms of possibility, and has sometimes been found out, that the
Arabs themselves, or Jewish leftists, carried out the attacks – in order to
blacken the name of the settlers.
Though a tiny minority of settlers may
have occasionally been involved, this should not serve as an excuse to denigrate
the entire settler population.
Givatayim Fitting memorial
Sir, – Two articles, which Sam Sokol wrote about the Kiev board meeting of the
Jewish Agency held last week, have deep personal meaning for me and my wife
(“Uri Ariel at Babi Yar: Israel will always defend Jews worldwide” and
“Sharansky: World Jewry to upgrade gov’t ties,” both June 25).
1988 my wife, Rita, and I – after nine months of secret training – went to the
former Soviet Union to visit refuseniks under the guise of Americans studying in
London. In Kiev, which was one of our stops aside from Kishniev, Bendery and St.
Petersburg, our contact – Alex Gogerman – took us around noon one day to Babi
Yar. The monument was there but the whole area was filled with trash and feces.
I took out my little siddur and made an el maleh rahamim.
kaddish with me.
Rita and I left our trademark of the trip – a unique
shana tova card made for us by Dry Bones.
We duplicated the original one
many times, leaving it at many of the stops we made in homes, synagogues and in
Now, as the Jewish Agency board visited the Babi Yar site early
this week, the announcement was made that a fitting memorial will be built
Natan Sharansky spoke and indicated that the Jewish Agency would
work hard to bring “young professional Jews” on aliya.
Alex Gogerman was
a specialist at that. After Babi Yar in the middle of the day – Rita and I
joined Alex at his parents’ home where 25 or more Jewish couples had gathered –
they were the “young professionals” of that era.
We sang Hebrew songs
with gusto as we all sat on the floor; everytime the phone rang Alex raised his
hand – we were silent.
Maybe it was the KGB checking.
about Israel in Hebrew; Alex spoke in Russian; I added a few English words.
These “young professionals” were serious about their intentions; practically all
of them are living in Israel today with their children.DAVID GEFFEN
Sir, – In his June 25 report on the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors
recent meeting in Kiev, Sam Sokol neglected to mention that this was the first
such meeting to take place in Ukraine and that Jewish Agency head – and former
Soviet political prisoner – Natan Sharansky underscored the importance of this
“This is a symbol of the importance of the Jews of Ukraine and
other post-Soviet countries for the worldwide Jewry and the importance of the
development of relations with Ukraine,” Sharansky said.
No mention was
made also of another, no less important, event in Kiev – the presentation of the
Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky Medal to James Temerty, a wellknown Canadian
businessman, founder and chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian-
Sharansky, who confessed that he had never heard in the
Soviet era that the Ukrainian Catholic metropolitan saved and called for saving
Jews, commented: “Whoever saved one soul will save the entire world. Sheptytsky
saved the idea of friendship and mutual understanding between the Ukrainian and
WALTER ROMAN IWASKIW
Sir, – Mordechai Nisan writes that the haredim consider us all here in
Israel in galut, exile (“The haredi ‘state within a state,’” Comment and
Features, June 24).
One thing is for sure: It is the vast majority of the
haredim who are in a bitter galut. They are estranged from every life-giving
thing in the country. Zionists bring live Jews to Israel, not only in coffins,
to be buried here.
They provide every conceivable service enabling Jews
to live and prosper here.
Many haredim indeed formally lack hakarat
hatov, thankfulness, for the good they get. The secular Zionist concept of The
New Jew maddens many of them.
May I inquire what is new about Jews
providing for their families and defending their country and very lives
actively? My wish is for haredim to join the country and for the secular Jews to
learn and revere Torah and Jewish tradition.MARK J. FEFFER