(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Playing with fire
Sir, I was surprised by Avi Weiss’s hostility to the Chief
Rabbinate in Israel, and to the Rabbinical Council of America in the US (“End
the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly,” Comment & Features, November
Perhaps Rabbi Weiss is overlooking the fact that the Orthodox
rabbinate does its utmost to reduce the possibility of bastards among Jews. A
true convert must accept the Torah and keep Shabbat and such.
conversions, like true weddings and divorces, have their strict
Non-Orthodox rabbis don’t realize they play with fire with
their easy conversions, weddings and divorces.GERALD ARANOFF
Sir, – Unfortunately, Avi Weiss’s call for recognizing civil marriage and
allowing non-Orthodox marriages in Israel justifies the stand of the Chief
Rabbi Weiss claims that religious growth takes place in a
spirit of openness. Really? I am sure he has read the Pew report and knows that
this openness has led to an intermarriage rate of 70 percent among the
non-Orthodox in America.
If he would practice his beliefs and live with
us in Israel, he would realize how wrong he is.
The rabbinate need not
accept Weiss’s dictates, just as his American rabbinical colleagues have
Dimona The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona Listen
Sir, – After years of trying unsuccessfully to get my songs played on the
radio, I have come to the sad conclusion that there is a conspiracy against
singers and songwriters like myself from English-speaking lands.
leading radio channels (Reshet Bet, Reshet Gimel, 88FM, etc.) prefer is mediocre
songs on mediocre subjects sung by mediocre voices, but with
heavily-orchestrated arrangements. Thus, meaningful and unique songs by the many
Anglos writing and performing in Israel in English and Hebrew – which can have a
big impact on Diaspora Jews and introduce the Israeli public to songs inspired
by the great Anglo-American song tradition – are never played.
It is high
time for the IBA to rethink its musical attitude toward Anglo singers and
songwriters, and their songs.BEN REUVEN
Jerusalem Unfair seating
A couple of years ago Yaakov Shwecky was coming to give a concert at the Nokia
Arena in Tel Aviv.
I was so excited.
My husband phoned to get
tickets and was told that I, as a wheelchair user, would get a seat in the
“wheelchair” section, and that he would be two rows behind and slightly to the
side. He told the person that he wanted to sit next to me, but was told it
wasn’t possible, as wheelchairs are in the wheelchair section and able-bodied
people sit elsewhere.
He asked what would happen if the disabled person
needed the toilet and help, and was met with a shrug-of-the-shoulder
Needless to say, we missed out on something we really wanted to
go to (made more infuriating when friends said afterward that it had been a mega
This year Yanni was coming to Nokia. We thought maybe the
seating rules might have changed, so we phoned. Same rules. The best they could
offer us was a seat behind me. Very romantic! The next day my husband called
again. We were now on Plan B. Yes, he confirmed to the voice on the phone, we
would like tickets for two wheelchair users.
The concert was
We sat together as a couple – me on my electric scooter, my
husband in my wheelchair. We felt sorry for the man with one leg next to us, who
was so excited with his new zoom camera as it meant he could take photos of his
wife 20 rows back.
Are we not entitled to enjoy the event the same as