Sir, – Regarding your Jerusalem Day coverage, last year several
bills were sent to Knesset committees to make the day a national holiday, as is
Independence Day. Nothing was achieved even though this year was the 45th
anniversary of the city’s reunification.
Israel has a Knesset that
functions only part-time. Perhaps if we begin during the next winter session we
will be able to pass such a law in time for the 50th anniversary.
Sir, – On Jerusalem Day “three right-wing activists were
arrested on the Temple Mount [for] ...praying out loud” (“15 arrested on
Jerusalem Day,” May 21).
What a crime! Asserting “freedom of religion” in
democratic Israel! This reminds me of an old joke: Back in the US a Jew tried to
enter a wealthy synagogue but was stopped by an usher who asked if he had a
“No,” he replied. “I just want to speak with a friend.” The usher
turned him down. “But it’ll take only a minute.” The usher relented, but added,
“Don’t let me catch you praying!”
MILTON J. KRAMER
Sir, – Sixty five
years ago we were a nation without a country.
Forty-five years ago we
were a country without a capital. Today we are complete! Would that most of us
Israelis remember and appreciate that.
HAIM M. LERNER
Ganei Tikva Phil’s
Sir, – I was amazed that a three-column article on the 1,000th edition of
Torah Tidbits (“OU’s ‘Torah Tidbits’ turns 20,” May 21) missed the major
The creator, the innovator, the mind and body behind each and
every Torah Tidbits has been Phil Chernofsky. His contribution goes without
saying – but it shouldn’t have been reported without saying so!
Sir, – Congratulations to the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center on
publishing the 1,000th issue of Torah Tidbits.
I still remember when
making aliya in the early 1980s there were numerous publications available in
Israeli synagogues on Friday night summarizing the week’s Torah portion.
Unfortunately, all were in Hebrew, which was not my mother tongue.
refreshing it was when the first issue of Torah Tidbits was published. Now this
information was available to English speakers as well.
In the ensuing
years it has grown from just a two-sided leaflet to a thick publication of 60
pages and more.
As you wrote, “Torah Tidbits brings a sense of community
to English-speaking immigrants wherever they are in the country.”
personally have been a local distributor in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood for
most of those 20 years. It was a privilege for me to announce the engagements of
my children and the births of my grandchildren in its pages. To quote you again,
“It basically brings people together.”
We gladly say to Phil Chernofsky,
“Kol hakavod to you for a job well done.”
Without Rabbi Phil Chernofsky there would not be a Torah Tidbits. There was
never a week it did not appear, even when he sat shiva for a parent.
hakavod to him, his unbelievable creativity and his vast knowledge in so many
diversified areas. May he be blessed with good health for many years to continue
his masterful work.
Sir, – Omitting Phil
Chernofsky’s role in the success of the weekly Torah booklet was tantamount to
leaving Willie Mays out of a history of the New York and later San Francisco
Ramat Gan Catastrophe for us
Sir, – I wish to thank
Martin Sherman for his piece “Nakba nonsense” (Into the Fray, May 18) in which
he debunks Nakba (Catastrophe) Day as a disaster for the Arabs.
go one step farther and identify Nakba Day as a day of disaster for Israelis.
All the efforts Israel has expended to reach out to the Arabs, for example by
opening universities, improving their standard of living, creating opportunities
in business and employment, and making advanced health care and welfare benefits
accessible, are accepted by people who at the same time decry our
This ingratitude is the true nakba.
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“Let’s embrace our friends,”
Column One, May 18) calls for a one-state solution – for Israeli annexation of
the territories, uniform Israeli law everywhere, and Palestinians becoming
Israelis with full citizenship and voting rights.
She says that “there is
no reason for them [the Palestinians] to receive anything but full voting
rights.” And on and on.
Surely, she realizes the resulting demographic
tilt would yield Meretz-type Knesset majorities.
There would be no more
security problems since there would be no more refugee camps or borders over
which to lob rockets.
And no unsatisfied aspirations for either
Palestinian refugees or settler pioneers.
Glick may be right. Maybe these
moves could bring peace and security and contentment to all. The only remaining
question would be whether her views are Zionist. But even more interesting, in
the very largest humane sense of things, how would that even matter anymore?
Cambridge, Massachusetts Unfair critique
Sir, – Like reviewer Uri
Eppstein (Opera Review, May 16), I generally do not like modernized versions of
operas that violate the spirit of the work. However, the version of Orfeo ed
Euridice that I attended at the Israeli Opera showed that, with understanding
and appreciation, an old musical work can be infused with new
Transposed to modern times, this version of Gluck’s 18th-century
opera infused new life into a work that is often presented as a fluffy abstract
tale of the artist and his muse. The role of Orfeo was sung well by Yaniv d’Or,
who imparted the passion and pain of a husband who has lost his beloved wife.
Claire Meghnagi, who played the role of Euridice the evening I was present, was
And best of all, the sets, lighting and story
framework brought new meaning to Gluck’s music.
Because the modernization
was so carefully designed, the libretto, written 250 years ago, fit into the
The Israeli Opera deserves credit for presenting this daring
reinterpretation of an old work that, for many, is a worn-out chestnut. Your
reviewer was unfairly critical of this production.
Rehovot Looking back
Sir, – Thanks to Alexander Zvielli for his daily selection
“From Our Archives.”
The extracts from The Palestine Post
of 65 years ago
enable us to relive the thrilling days before the UN’s crucial 1947 vote on the
partition of Palestine. They make us feel what people felt when boatloads of
Jewish refugees were forcibly kept out of British Mandate Palestine and sent to
Cyprus detention camps under the White Paper while tens of thousands of Jewish
displaced persons languished in DP camps in Europe.
Jerusalem The writer is a former history teacher
Adrienne Dodi was incorrectly
identified as being retired in David Geffen’s “‘This is where I belong’”
(Comment & Features, May 20). She has been director of resources at Shekel –
Community Service for People with Special Needs since 2001.