Love one another
Sir, – It’s interesting that the Talmud describes Tu Be’av as a
time for young men in the process of selecting a bride to watch young, dancing
women (“Tu Be’av – A different kind of love,” July 26).
standards of modesty were different back then – I don’t think that today, the
haredi-dominated Chief Rabbinate would permit such a public display of sexual
While Yonatan Sredni points out that the holiday could evolve
as one that commemorates a love for the Land of Israel, it could also
commemorate a love of one Jew for another, thus ensuring the continued survival
of the Jewish nation.HAIM M. LERNER
Ganei Tikva Help me, too
Sir, – The
article “For Palestinians, surf’s finally up” (July 26) demonstrates the human
resolve of humanitarians like Tzvia Shapira who raise money to take young
Palestinian children “who can see the sea” from their West Bank homes but “can’t
get there because of Israeli restrictions triggered by terrorism.”
would like Ms. Shapira to assist me, too. As a resident of Ginot Shomron, I see
places like Joseph’s grave in Nablus, Sebastia and the Temple Mount, but because
of the physical and political minefields involved in visiting these Jewish
religious and historical places, they are out of reach.
I wish to be in
these places, just like the young Palestinians playing in the sand of Bat Yam.
Only in this way will the “surf’s up” become “peace’s up.”DR. PINCHAS
Ginot Shomron Revolting inference
Sir, – I am shocked by the AP writer of
“Gaza flotilla has roots in pro-Palestinian group” (July 25), who implicitly
appears to claim that women are responsible for sexual harassment that befalls
them. To paraphrase the writer’s words, modern clothing and friendliness lead to
“tensions, including sexual harassment,” and a woman’s permissiveness leads to
rape. The guilt and morals of the perpetrators disappear, like
Please let AP know that this is not just antiquated, it is
revolting.MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Jerusalem Behind Mizrachi
Sir, – As
you suggested in your July 25 editorial (“Outlaws over lawmen”), we hope that
President Shimon Peres will step in and cancel completely the sentence of Shahar
Mizrachi, a cop who was doing his job! KENNETH and JESSICA FISCHER
fan speaks up
Sir, – Since Liat Collins mentioned in her latest column
(“Consuming interests in Gaza,” My word, July 25) that she gets many negative
e-mails, I thought she might appreciate a thank you.The Jerusalem Post
would not be the same without these columns.
They are invariably very
well thought out and spot-on, as her former countrymen would say.
the good work, Liat! FRANK LIPPMAN
Seattle, Washington Ben-Gurion was wrong
– Regarding “Unconverted” by David Horovitz (July 23), it is true that the
traditional Orthodox have long had a monopoly on religious authority in Israel.
But this monopoly came about through Ben-Gurion’s historic mistake in believing
that Judaism as a religion was on the way out and would be extinct in the State
of Israel within a decade or two. This was because of Ben-Gurion’s serious error
in not understanding the societal function of religion in general.
function is as follows: Every society is built upon unprovable assumptions about
what is right and wrong, good and bad.
For example, we cannot logically
prove that the Golden Rule is true; we rely mainly on natural
But we also rely on the ongoing affirmation of such rules by
society’s institutions, particularly religion.
Ben-Gurion and his cohorts
believed that secular nationalism would be an adequate substitute for
traditional religion. But nationalism does not tell us why spouses should be
loyal to each other, or why children should be loyal to parents, and vice versa.
So, despite modernist secularism’s expectation that religion was dying, history
(and modern sociology) have shown that religion is essential to social
So the monster that Israel’s founders created by granting a
monopoly on the Jewish religion to an obsolete clique of Medieval pietists has
now become a major barrier to social solidarity within the nation, and to
international support from co-religionists outside the country. Many secular
Israelis live in a social category within Israel that protects them from
Orthodox coercion, and probably do not sense the ongoing diminution of Jewish
unity and of support for Israel that this coercion has been causing for decades,
and is currently worsening, both in Israel and abroad.
It may be in one
sense true that those who object to Israel’s laws should become Israeli before
objecting to them. But many, and perhaps most, Diaspora Jews will just abandon
Judaism and Israel rather than uproot themselves to make aliya. Further,
Israelis who advocate the negation of the Diaspora should be careful – they may
get their wish and then see the State of Israel go under for lack of
international support.JUDAH ANSCHAUER
Sir, – Conversions,
conversions and more conversions. Don’t the Reform and Conservative streams know
you cannot wave a magic wand over a human being and turn him into a Jew? There
have to be guidelines.
For 2,000 years, the Jewish people have lived by
the book, namely the Talmud and Mishna. These books give strict guidelines on
If people don’t wish to accept religious Judaism, let them
choose their own way of life, but don’t try to make someone who is not a Jew
into a Jew.
The Jewish people suffer from enough assimilation
Please don’t bring us any more.JOYCE KAHN
They didn’t fight for it
– On Tisha Be’av I visited the Western Wall
(“Tisha Be’av tension,” July 20).
I had gone there with my wife,
and our two young sons a few days after it was liberated in June 1967.
caressed the stones and cried, remembering the many soldiers who had
their lives to enable us to reach the site.
and women stood together in their grief and joy.
come from all but one strata of society: the haredim. Our elder son,
later fell in defense of Israel.
Now the haredim have taken over
Kotel. A partition separates men and women. Conservative and Reform
not permitted to pray in their own way. A woman cannot even hold a
alone read from it. It is misogyny running wild! Who gave the haredim
over the Wall? And by what right? ELIEZER WHARTMAN
Jerusalem Kotel and frivolity
Regarding the arrest of Anat Hoffman for carrying a Torah at the Kotel
(“Women of Wall head arrested for Torah reading at holy site,” July 13),
reminded of the joke about the son who left the shtetl for the big city
wanted his father to send money. He threatened that if he did not get
he would do what no Jew ever did. The father became frightened and
his son to give him money. When he asked what it was that no Jew ever
son told him he would have donned tefillin on Shabbat.
into this category.
What is not sanctioned as a mitzva by
years tradition and practice is totally meaningless in a religious
sense, and a
frivolous act of political feminism.NAFTALI WAGSCHAL