Song and firing squads
Sir, – Regarding “Chief rabbi of Samaria region: Better
that soldiers face firing squad than listen to women sing” (November 20), I
wonder why Moses didn’t tell all the Israelite men to jump back into the sea
when Miriam and the women started singing, dancing and playing their
instruments, presumably in front of everyone.
Perhaps he felt that when
you’re surrounded by enemies and you see the Hand of God helping you, singing
praise – even by women – if not laudatory is certainly far, far better than
running like lemmings into the sea.
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon must surely know that the halachic obligation to give up
one’s life involves only transgressions regarding the three cardinal sins of
murder, immorality and heresy. The prohibition concerning a woman’s voice is not
It behooves a rabbi with so much influence to weigh his
words more carefully, just as The Jerusalem Post
should not print such nonsense,
especially under blaring headlines.
FRED GOTTLIEB Jerusalem
Sir, – My
wife and I have been present at many military ceremonies, and though we and our
sons are religious we have never had the problem of listening to women soldiers
sing. However, as a fan of the Beatles, Gilbert and Sullivan, Pavarotti and
cantorial music, I do have a problem with the ultra-modern music that the young
In order not to offend any person who objects to listening
to the women sing, and not wishing to offend any of the performers by staging a
walk-out for religious reasons, perhaps the army should simply offer classical
music played by women soldiers.
That way we can all go home, with nobody
having been forced to succumb to religious or irreligious
VELVEL ZEV WEISZ
Sir, – Reading of such extreme
views, one realizes that the time has come for us to completely separate state
from religion. It is ever so sad to recall that it was always extreme religious
views by a minority that led to infighting and the eventual destruction of
previous Jewish commonwealths.
I have always tried to imagine that we,
the Jewish people, had surpassed our Muslim cousins whose destiny is,
unfortunately, entirely in the hands of mullahs.
Kiryat Ono Tel Aviv syndrome
Sir, – Your November 18 article “By next decade, over half of
citizens won’t do IDF service – top officer” is less prediction than fact,
certainly as it relates to the haredi sector, where the statistic is virtually
100 percent, and the ultra-liberal secular sector that is Tel Aviv, where draft
dodging stands at nearly 60% among male youth.
The solution to the
figures among the haredim is simple: a refusal by any major party to enter into
coalition agreements with their parties. The moment our political leaders eschew
the dirty dancing with sectarians whose sole purpose is to milk the taxpayer, a
sea change will occur in that sector.
The problem in Tel Aviv is far more
ominous, reflective of a hedonist, materialist and nihilist culture that
celebrates its ignorance and alienation from any vestigial Jewish and Zionist
connectivity. It is no wonder that a majority of its male youths see no need to
contribute to Israel’s security, while less than a third of those who are
actually drafted opt for combat service.
The “Tel Aviv syndrome” is
Israel’s biggest and most intractable internal problem.
And it is this
culture that spawns the NGOs, academics and other activists who militate against
Israeli security and undermine the country’s image throughout the
It’s time we woke up and tried to do something.
Jerusalem Religion’s the root
Sir, – I beg to differ with Musa Abu Hashhash (“No
religious conflict in Hebron,” Comment & Features, November 17). The only
remaining chance for the conflict to be resolved stems from religion, not
Insofar as Judaism and Islam venerate Abraham, both share equal
allegiance to the same Almighty who created him.
Whether the Almighty is
propitiated by the name Elohim or Allah is a considerable irrelevance.
is the same and one God. And as this God loved Abraham, he loved Abraham’s seed,
Ishmael and Isaac, too.
We learn in the Torah portion “The Life of Sarah”
that the two boys were equally dutiful toward their father: “And Abraham
expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was
gathered to his people.
And Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the
cave of Machpelah...” (Genesis 25: 8-9).
If Abraham and his two sons were
alive today, they would soon put a stop to the nonsense and squabble that have
divided their seed for the last century or so.
Sir, – Musa Abu Hashhash’s thesis is that religious motivation
is the cause of the conflict between Jews and the Arabs.
Peace would be
possible only if the two adversaries considered just the political aspects
(whatever that means).
He says that listing the Tomb of the Patriarchs as
Judaism’s second most holy shrine is considered a provocation. Encouraging Jews
to visit Hebron on the Sabbath when the weekly portion records Abraham’s
purchase of Hebron and its cave as an ancestral burial ground is, he writes,
“from a Palestinian perspective... not only a provocation, it is playing with
He also claims that the 1929 massacre of Jews in Hebron was due to
Considering that the writer is a fieldworker for
B’Tselem, which claims to be objective, the prognosis for peace with the Arabs
is dire indeed.
TUVIA MUSKIN Rehovot About-face
Sir, – I agree with
President Shimon Peres, that history cannot be rewritten and the bust of former
president Moshe Katsav should not be removed from the presidential garden
(“Kadima MK calls for Peres to remove Katsav sculpture,” November
However, may I suggest that while it remains in place, the bust
simply be turned around to face the other way. Thus, history is preserved but
the disgrace Katsav brought on the high office he occupied will be made clear to
Caesarea Donor relations
Sir, – I was
pleased to see Judy Siegel’s “Big jump in organ donor registrants” (News in
Brief, November 14), which motivated me to do something I was already inclined
to do. I was a registered organ donor before making aliya, and had heard about
it in Israel but never knew where to go.
I was able to get the contact
information for the organization in charge here, a department of the Ministry of
Health, and went online to register. I was pleasantly surprised to see tabs
translating the home page into English, Arabic and Russian.
was frustrating that when signing up – the most important part – the page
reverted to Hebrew.
My Hebrew is good but not fluent, and I hesitated. I
found the tab for contacting someone and suggested that an immediate effort be
made to assist Anglos, who come from societies where, culturally, organ donation
is common and accepted.
Over a week has passed and the website has not
been changed. Nobody has replied to my suggestion. And I have yet to register to
donate my organs.
I’d hope that civil servants would be more responsive
and efficient in doing their job to enable the public to help save lives in