Sir, – I find the articles about David Gerbi’s attempt to
reopen a shul in Libya absurd (“Following protests calling for deportation,
Libyan Jewish doctor to return to Rome,” October 10).
Would he – or
anyone for that matter – be able to open a shul in any of the countries in the
Middle East except Israel? So what’s so newsworthy about this? If he wants to
clean up a shul he should come here.
We’ll even give him an aliya and a
Jerusalem My Maimonides
Sir, – Regarding the
lament noted by Joshua Halberstam (“Who owns Maimonides,” Jewish Ideas Daily,
October 10) of the mystical turn “perhaps especially” in Orthodox Judaism: While
the line between “mystical” and “rational” is not at all an easy one to draw,
(are the Bible-rooted prophecies of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, et
al. lamentably “mystical”?) one can safely say that the more obvious –
not to say notorious – manifestations of the mystical turn are, if anything,
primarily the preserve of the non-Orthodox, even the non-Jewish.
centers, books, and courses have proliferated precisely because, stripped of the
rigors of Orthodox content, they falsely offer a version of Judaism which is
accessible to the less informed, the less – and even the
Without passing judgment on precisely what value such
mystical investigation has for its adherents, it can also safely be said that
the Maimonides of the Mishneh Torah still reigns supreme in the Orthodox
JerusalemNo sanction of arson
Sir, – I could not
agree more with Andrew M. Rosemarine (“Inextinguishable fires,” Comment &
Features, October 10) in condemning the horrific act of dangerous arsonists
attacking a mosque as well as all other display of religious
However, I would like to point out a tremendous difference
between these intolerable attacks and all the vicious events against Jewish holy
writings and other anti-Semitic acts described so vividly by Mr.
When gentiles burned the Talmud in Rome in 1553 or the Warsaw
Ghetto in 1943, they acted with the full approval or even under the directive of
In the events that are unfortunately taking place in
Israel, not a single rabbi or Jewish leader has indicated any type of
Not even silent understanding.
Only outrage and
It is indeed sad that anyone could be so simple-minded and cruel
as to burn a mosque, but as we sadly know, even crazy people have free will to
act according to their twisted convictions.
I have no doubt that the
police will do their very best to find the perpetrators and that the court will
punish them appropriately.MOSHE ROSENBAUM
Jerusalem Armchair critic
– Is Judy Bamberger really as naive as she appears when she presents her
arguments for the nonexistent state of Palestine’s admittance to UNESCO, or is
she playing devil’s advocate? (“Missed opportunity,” Letters, October
She must know that whenever there was Arab control of any historical
sites Jews were barred entry. When the Arabs controlled the Cave of the
Patriarchs, Jews were only allowed up to the seventh step of the entrance. The
“friendly” Arabs destroyed Joseph’s Tomb and each time we tried to renovate it
and visit, they attempt to attack the site again.
They are non-stop
trying to delegitimize the Jewish connection to any Jewish holy places, even the
Western Wall. The Arabs will never agree to joint ownership as they view Israel
as interlopers in the land.
The reason that the US and Israel are so
adamant in denying their attempts to join UNESCO and other peripheral UN
organizations is to try and get a foot in the door to receive UN Security
Council recognition of their state without negotiating with
Hopefully America will carry out their threat of withholding
financial aid whenever they try to bypass agreed upon treaties like the Oslo
Accords and go the unilateral way.
Has Judy Bamberger ever visited Israel
or is she just an armchair critic from the other side of the world? JUDY PRAGER
Sir, – Can it be that things really appear so upside-down to the
lady from down-under? If a Jewish visitor to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is
seen to be moving his lips in prayer he or she will be forcibly
Collaboration? Cooperation? Communication? And Peace? Indeed!
Sir, – The continual twisted logic of Judy Bamberger
far away in O’Connor, Australia, is a sad reminder of the inability to recognize
the real dangers that at any given moment can engulf our tiny state, mainly
because of missed opportunities by Israel to fight and defeat maniacal enemies
prepared to sacrifice their own flesh and blood if only they will murder Jews in
UNESCO is just one more ploy by the terrorist in a suit –
[PA President] Mahmoud Abbas – to gain recognition to further his aim of
recognition of the new state of Palestine which he has clearly said will be
Judenrein (free of Jews). From there it is only a matter of time before he will
envelop what is left of our already decimated land.
Does the Jerusalem
not think that we have enough of our own homegrown defeatists who would –
without blinking an eye – have us relinquish our home, without importing them
from where they are completely divorced from reality.EDITH OGNALL
Netanya Lacking leadership?
Sir, – In his new column, Hirsh Goodman wastes no
time in engaging in some “Bibi bashing” (“Not as Terrible as you think,”
PostScript, October 7).
He attacks the prime minister for his “poor
leadership” and joins in the pessimism of American Jews over Israel’s
He talks of his “deep respect” for Thomas Friedman, the New
reporter who openly blames Netanyahu for most of the ills in the
Middle East and who has become the mouthpiece of a hostile US administration,
which has had to tone down its anti-Israel rhetoric in an election
I have little sympathy or patience for the angst and hand-wringing
amongst American Jews, most of whom are ultra-liberal and have never even
visited Israel. If they are so unhappy with my government, they are more than
welcome to make aliya and make their voices and opinions heard.KENNY
Jerusalem Don’t discriminate
Sir, – The October 4 article written by
Jeremy Sharon entitled “Progressive groups petition High Court to force gov’t to
institute civil marriage” was an enlightening article that opened my eyes to the
current religious controversy regarding marriage in Israel.
understand why the Israeli government has passed a law preventing citizens
unaffiliated with a particular religion from marrying, considering their goal is
to establish religious ceremonies as the “norm.”
petitioning against this law have a fair argument in asking for the basic
freedom of choosing whether they would like a civil or religious
I completely agree with Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, in that a
compromise is needed to resolve the dilemma here. The Jewish marriage should be
the “mainstream” in Israel, but those who don’t wish to have a religious
ceremony should have the option of civil partnership. The State of Israel is
meant to encourage continuation of the Jewish people and religion, but that
doesn’t mean non-religious citizens should be discriminated against, so to
Los Angeles, California