May 13: Better late...than misidentified

I knew with the utmost certainty that though my future would include many joyous milestones, I would never share fully in this irretrievable moment.

May 12, 2011 23:49
3 minute read.

letters 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Better late...

Sir, – David Geffen’s superb recall of yesteryear continues to amaze me (“Remembering the birth of the state,” Independence Day supplement, May 9).

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My own memory of that day is, as a pre-teen, standing on my Brooklyn sidewalk, looking up at our apartment windows from where the blasting radio proclaimed the news, and feeling very much the lonely bystander, not the jubilant participant.

I knew with the utmost certainty that though my future would include many joyous milestones, I would never share fully in this irretrievable moment.

I was not there.

At least I am here now.



...than misidentified

Sir, – In my article, Dr. David Petegorsky is cited.

He is not my uncle but the uncle of my cousins, Dr. David Geffen and Reuven Geffen, residents of the Negev for several decades.


Remember the poor

Sir, – Your editorial of May 9 (“Booming at 63”) points to many of Israel’s achievements in the last 63 years, of which we can indeed be proud. However, no mention is made of the one-third of the population, including children, who unfortunately do not share in the benefits, and who live below poverty line.

The numbers of patents produced, quantity of published scientific papers and startups mean nothing to our deprived. It is likely that they would not even know of their existence.

Is it not time that our poor be given a share of our booming economy?


Understanding needed

Sir, – When the Brooklyn- based Der Zeitung eliminated US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counter-terrorism director Audrey Tomason from the situation room photo of President Obama and his national security team (“New York hassidic paper ‘deletes’ Clinton from iconic White House photo, May 8), the media and our culture were quick to ridicule the hassidic way of life.

Of course, it was wrong to alter this historic photo.

It was wrong because publishing this manipulated image was a blatant violation of copyright law and an attempt to rewrite history. Altering the image even arguably violated Jewish law against deceiving the public (i.e., geneivat da’at; see Choshen Mishpat 228: 6).

To the newspaper’s credit it was quick to issue an apology. But the real issue here is the lack of cultural sensitivity displayed by the mainstream media and our society. We should be valuing and cherishing this community’s right to freedom of the press, which includes the right to include or exclude images.

The First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion and the press was designed to protect nonmainstream views. Dare we tread on this sect’s right to practice their faith? Even if we disagree with their lifestyle we should respect it.

New York

Sir, – Your article and two photos on the New York Yiddish weekly Der Zeitung – published by rabidly anti-Zionist Satmar hassidim – reminds me of when I exposed a bizarre act by another Satmar Yiddish weekly, Der Blatt.

It did not mention at all the name Christchurch in its articles about the earthquake that shook the New Zealand city because ultra-Orthodox Jews never utter the name Jesus or anything associated with him. Der Blatt only mentioned New Zealand and “the second largest city” when it referred to Christchurch.

For haredim, Jesus is the ultimate satanic person, and there is a large amount of literature about this.


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