November 11: A new door opens...

It is our mission to address illness and offer the tools for those experiencing disease to use this opportunity to reexamine their lives and grow through the process.

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November 10, 2007 18:40
4 minute read.
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A new door opens... Sir, - Judy Siegel's "Study: Partners caring for spouses with cancer more likely to suffer depression" (November 8) draws vital attention to those silently suffering alongside their loved ones as the disease process ravages their lives and challenges marital function. Life's Door-Tishkofet, the non-profit organization we founded six years ago, has placed an emphasis on caring for family members, in particular spouses, as an essential component of addressing life-threatening illness. Our support programs and interactive retreats enable couples to move from what is often a place of loneliness, isolation and fear to one of growth, sharing and increased intimacy. It is our mission to address illness and offer the tools for those experiencing disease to use this opportunity to reexamine their lives and grow through the process. No one would choose to be diagnosed with cancer or any other disease. However, it is not uncommon for participants in our programs to remark that having cancer "was the best thing that happened" to their relationship. Often, the simple human act of caring, and a changed "perspective" (the meaning of the Hebrew word tishkofet), can alter the experience from what has now been documented to increase the risk of depression and other negative sequellae to one of greater fulfillment in life. (Information on Life's Door-Tishkofet services and upcoming couple's retreats can be found @ www.tishkofet.co.il or call 02-631-0803). PROF. BEN CORN, MD Oncologist DVORA CORN, MSC Therapist Jerusalem ...a new life begins Sir, - Kol hakavod to Sandy Shoshani, director of Be'ad Chaim/Lilach ("Pregnant with possibilities," Ruthie Blum, November 8). Throughout the years, Shalva has worked in its Me & My Mommy program with several mothers whose husbands or boyfriends left them after the woman opted to keep her special-needs baby. While all our participating parents are heroes in our eyes, these moms elicit near-veneration. Despite an awareness that the road ahead is certain to be long, winding and strewn with stones, with our help they learn to advocate on behalf of their challenged child and build admirable relationships with the child, extended family and the surrounding community. I have yet to meet a disabled child whose life is without meaning or who should "not have been born." Do some of Shoshani's answers seem too simple? To some, maybe. But the subject is only complicated for those who wish to obscure the black-and-white reality of abortion. ANDREA SIMANTOV Communications Director, SHALVA Jerusalem Clear & to the point Sir, - Facts are facts, and Jeff Halper has his wrong in "Whose road map?" (November 7). Says Halper: "President Bush (in his letter to Ariel Sharon) fatally but knowingly undermined UN Resolution 242, the very basis of the two-state solution since 1967... by nullifying the requirement that Israel return to the Green Line... so that a viable Palestinian state might emerge." To begin with, Resolution 242 does not require Israel to return to the Green Line (essentially the 1949 armistice line). The resolution, with which its drafters struggled long and hard, calls for Israel to withdraw from "territories occupied in the recent conflict." It deliberately avoids reference to "the territories" or "all territories" because it was not the intention of the drafters that this would be required. For the other sense of the resolution is that every state in the area has the "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries," and it was broadly recognized that the Green Line would not provide Israel with secure borders. But it is with regard to what 242 does not say that Halper - by speaking of the requirement that Israel withdraw "so that a viable Palestinian state might emerge" - most seriously errs. Resolution 242 addresses only the relationship between Israel and surrounding Arab states. There is no reference to either a "Palestinian people" or a "Palestinian state" - nor to direct negotiations. Such negotiations were anathema to the Arab states, which had declared three "Noes" - no recognition of Israel, no peace, no negotiations. If there is no reference to the Palestinian people, to a Palestinian state, or to negotiations, clearly it cannot be said that this document envisioned a "two-state solution." ARLENE KUSHNER Jerusalem Fact, but not a hint Sir, - In "The results of brilliant theories" (November 2) Caroline Glick continues to blame US foreign policy failures on Condoleezza's Rice's State Department, but overlooks the simple fact that it is Bush's State Department, not Rice's. The current secretary of state, a close confidante of the president, is merely carrying out the policies of her boss, recalling that Bush, on meeting Putin in 2001, looked into his eyes and liked what he saw. As for Glick's charge that Zbigniew Brzezinski was surprised by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, so was everyone else. I was in Moscow for official talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a week before the invasion, and there was not the slightest hint that such a major move was about to take place. YALE RICHMOND Foreign Service Officer (ret.) Washington We must, must we? Sir, - Most every morning the newspaper has an article saying "We must." Radio and TV tell us that we must do this, we must do that. Sure, all the things we hear must be considered, but the one priority is our children. We must take them off the streets. Teachers should be respected, and pupils should be happy to go back to school. A tree starts from a seedling. A good politician was once a respectable child. We must take care of the seedlings if we want strong, proud trees - and, for that matter, to be a light unto the nations ("Strike sides trade proposals without agreement," November 8). OLGA P. WIND Holon

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