September 12: Heping a child

Ruth Eglash's "A million plus need food aid for holidays" (September 4) only showed the terrible state to which our country has come

September 11, 2007 21:26
2 minute read.
letters March 2008

letters good 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Helping a child Sir, - Ruth Eglash's "A million plus need food aid for holidays" (September 4) only showed the terrible state to which our country has come. And it is sobering that if we give donations, we are not always sure their ultimate destinations are reached; and even if they are, how much is "kept" for "administration & general" purposes. My partner and I have found a solution to this problem. We have chosen a child from a needy family in Jerusalem and given his parents, anonymously, a monthly sum for "extras" such as extracurricular courses which the family would otherwise not be able to afford. We were referred to this family by a person known to us. The family in question has no idea where the money comes from, but we know it is well spent, and we can be sure it serves its purpose. The problems of the needy do not appear only at holiday time, but are a plague all year round. ARJE COHEN Haifa Yeshiva heads:Think creatively Sir, - Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has approached hesder yeshivot heads to increase their students' military service from 16 months to two years. "These are high-quality and highly-motivated soldiers who can significantly contribute during their military service," said one officer at the meeting. Rather than rejecting the IDF's request out of hand, the yeshiva heads could perform a real service to Israel by asking for a quid pro quo. Two possible requests: • Ashkenazi should work with the Knesset on a law prohibiting the use of the IDF against Israeli citizens, Jews or Arabs. Our army should be used for protecting us against external threats, and not for political purposes or police actions. Such a law would relieve IDF Human Resources head Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern's concerns about the possibility of military insubordination among religious youth when the IDF is used as a police force that evacuates Jewish settlers. • Ashkenazi should support the Knesset's reaching out to haredi rabbis and the heads of Israel Arab communities to work out arrangements for their followers to serve in the IDF, or in alternative service such as traffic police. Surely the haredi rabbis would support saving lives on the roads. If no such arrangements can be made, those who refuse to support the state should at least lose the right to vote. Yeshiva heads: Please think creatively. You have been offered a wonderful opportunity for doing so ("Hesder yeshiva heads say 'no way' to IDF request for longer service," September 6). COLEMAN BROSILOW Rehovot Definitive voices Sir, - Frank Sinatra was known as "The Voice" of all crooners of pop music. Luciano Pavarotti will be known as "The Voice" of all tenors in the genre of opera. Both were the creme de la creme in their respective fields of musical endeavor. Both are gone, and sorely missed. HERB STARK Massapequa, New York

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