(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - The more I read of Herb Keinon's "The wife" (July 27), the more I liked it. I fully agree that "my wife" is disturbingly possessive. I would recommend "my ex-fiancÃ©e."
When people ask about "my kids," I always say: I'm the father, but they're not mine.
M.M. VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, - Herb Keinon may think the term "ball and chain" is "very British," but in the part of Britain where I grew up, the wife was more commonly known as "trouble and strife." In cockney rhyming slang, "my old man" is "old pot and pan."
Obama in Israel
Sir, - Your July 25 banner headline used three words to define Barack Obama's Middle East policy: "DIPLOMATIC over Iran's nukes, OPTIMISTIC on Syrian change, and CRITICAL about settlements."
I would support him if he were "CRITICAL over Iran's nukes, OPTIMISTIC on Syrian change, and DIPLOMATIC about settlements."
Sir, - Re "Obama's whirlwind visit" (Editorial, July 25): Barack Obama lost my vote when he framed the issue of whether Israelis can live over the old 1967 armistice line only in terms of a security buffer.
While it is true that the West Bank cities provide a security buffer, they are also home to half a million Israelis. We live here, and that is reason enough for us to stay.
Sir, - When Barack Obama asks if retaining our security buffer is worth Arab "antagonism," he clearly sees the antagonism as being due to our reluctance to cede that territorial "buffer" and return to the '49/'67 borders. By his tidy formula, our doing so would end Arab antagonism.
But Arab terrorism against the Jews of Palestine/Israel existed long before the creation of our state. Indefensible borders would heighten the aggression by bringing closer the goal of wiping Israel off the map.
Sir, - At a time when Israel is stressing the importance of returning its own people home, even at the expense of releasing terrorists who vow to kill more Israelis, it was distressing that the Post did not bring up the plight of Jonathan Pollard with Barack Obama. Certainly the Democratic candidate would have understood that this is an important issue we would like to see resolved right away, especially since there has never been any good reason given for why Pollard is still sitting in a US prison when others jailed for more serious offenses have been released.
Sir, - While I concur that Ma'ariv was wrong, I agree with the late Yeshayahu Leibowitz that the Kotel is "God's discotheque" ("'Ma'ariv' blasted for printing Obama's note in Western Wall," July 27).
Where in Halacha or any tradition is there a basis for writing messages to God? We know of the ancient sacrifices and the substitution of prayer for them, but... writing letters to God, and placing them in the cracks of the Kotel's stones?
And why is the Kotel - a retaining wall of the Temple - a synagogue in the first place, restricted to Orthodox practice?
The Western Wall is a national treasure, a memorial, to be used by all Jews - secular, religious, and non-Orthodox. It makes no sense when spurious customs become sanctified into religious rules.
Should we convert Masada into a shul?
JOACHIM MALCOM KING
Sir, - I would like to commend Mordechai Paldiel for "Why won't Yad Vashem honor Jewish rescuers?" (July 24). So many well-documented books describe Jewish men and women who were involved in rescue operations that one can only wonder why Yad Vashem decided to be silent on this matter.
As Mr. Paldiel noted, the Zionist underground in Hungary, called Hazalah, deserves special recognition. Its members were remarkably daring and well organized, saving thousand of Jews, many from the very hands of the Gestapo. My late father, Pinhas Rosenbaum, was one of its leading members. More than once complete strangers have approached me saying they owe their lives to my father.
In Jewish tradition humility is not only admirable, it is also a sign of strength. Will Yad Vashem show that strength and admit it was wrong to refuse recognition to our own heroes?
For my late father and most other Jewish rescuers who are no longer with us, such recognition would come a bit late. However, some might still be alive. Don't they deserve to live out their remaining years with pride knowing that their heroic deeds have finally been recognized by the national Jewish memorial of the Holocaust?
MOSHE E. ROSENBAUM
Sir, - Mordechai Paldiel claims Yad Vashem does not accord Jewish rescuers "a dignified place." Allow me to refresh his memory. The efforts of Jews to rescue and aid other Jews during the Holocaust has been a fundamental part of our activities for many years.
In 1974, Yad Vashem held an international conference focusing on rescue, particularly efforts of Jews to rescue their brethren. Other events have been held on the issue - most recently this month at a workshop of the International Institute for Holocaust Research.
Jewish rescue is an integral part of our educational activities: In 2004, we published a guidebook for educators, I Am My Brother's Rescuer, which is widely used in our seminars. We have published other books exploring Jewish rescue, and hundreds of books on the issue are available in our library.
Visitors can see our section dedicated to rescue of all kinds in Europe, including by Jewish individuals and groups, Jewish partisan groups and underground movements, as well as by the Righteous Among the Nations. A special on-line exhibit at www.yadvashem.org was visited by some 7 million people last year. And more than a dozen Holocaust survivors who engaged in rescue efforts have been torchlighters at Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony over the years.
Jewish rescue efforts are part and parcel of the Jewish experience during the Shoah. This is self-evident to all who work at and visit Yad Vashem.
Spokesperson Yad Vashem
Seeking Julia Monteiro
Sir, - We are engaged in an important genealogical search that will enable a young woman to regain her Jewish heritage. To do this we need to trace these persons:
Julia Monteiro, who we have reason to believe left India, possibly from Bombay, (Mumbai), after 1967 and settled in Israel for a time.
At this period, Julia was friendly with a Milli Ann Sequeira, born in India in 1949, and her brother Lawrence Sequeira, both descended from one of the leading Anglo-Indian Jewish families that traded from Madras but spent time in Bombay.
Any information appertaining to the above will be gratefully acknowledged. Kindly call or fax 972-(0)8-8573150; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Web site is www.casa-shalom.com
Casa Shalom Institute For Marrano-Anusim Studies
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