Kapparot’ is abuse
Sir, – Activists and others are absolutely right to deplore
the use of live chickens for the pre- Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot (“Animal
rights activists condemn ‘kapparot’ ritual,” September 13).
condemned by both the Ramban (Nachmonides) and Joseph Karo (compiler of the
Shulhan Aruch), among others, as silly, pagan and superstitious.
kabbalists imbued it with a mystical interpretation and it was reluctantly
condoned (and somehow justified) by rabbis who found it impossible to
It is the most blatant example of transferral magic. Medieval
meshugas is how some deride it.GEOFFREY PREGER
Sir, – Not only
is it cruel to swing live chickens around during kapparot – the whole concept is
How is it fair to seek to transfer one’s sins to a
totally innocent animal? If a person has sinned, that person should be the one
to atone by making a personal sacrifice such as doing without something
enjoyable or doing something to help others. Pretending that the chicken is the
sinner and then brutally killing it is totally nonsensical and
Cruel and archaic traditions such as this have no place in the
JENNY MOXHAM Monbulk, Australia
Sir, – Buried
in the middle of an article about an Orthodox man who fled the country two days
after his wedding but refused to grant his wife a get, or religious divorce
(“Private rabbinical court annuls marriage after man moves to US,” September
13), is this startling paragraph: “The local rabbinical court in Netanya has
succeeded in securing a get from Yud, but only after paying him the NIS 40,000
from state funds.”
Poor families faced with a higher value added tax on
food can take comfort in the judicious way the country’s tax revenues are
Jerusalem Better spent here
Sir, – I am
writing to express my frustration with Jewish philanthropist Georgette Bennett
and her efforts to raise money to help refugees from Syria’s civil war (“Jewish
groups aid Syrian refugees – sort of,” September 13).
I do not deny that
there are victims in the Syrian conflict who are worthy of mercy and
However, our own Jewish nation and people should be the focus
of any financial assistance Mrs. Bennett is able to provide.
I happen to
work with at-risk youth for the Municipality of Netanya. All of our programs are
lacking funds and our staff is under-compensated, a situation similar to that in
many, if not all, Israeli municipalities. This leads to many programs being
cancelled, meaning many at-risk Israeli youth do not receive the attention they
The situation of Israeli youth is worsening. One in three is
The achievement gap is widening in our schools. Youth violence and
substance abuse are on the rise. I plead to Mrs. Bennett and all other Jewish
philanthropists: Instead of looking for other people to help with your
praiseworthy philanthropic efforts, please look to our own
Sir, – The answer
to the problem of religious holidays falling immediately after school children
come back from two months of summer vacation (“Piron pledges to adjust
Kippur-Succot vacation days,” September 12) is simple.
Just start summer
vacation later – the High Holy Days will then fall during this period.
suppose teachers and their unions might make a fuss, but it’s the obvious thing
to do. After all, why does our summer vacation have to coincide with that of
Europe? MICHAEL SCHNEIDER Ra’anana Diverse opinions Sir, – I commend The
Jerusalem Post for presenting a diversity of opinions, specifically in the
September 12 issue when you had pieces by Uzi Landau and Hilik Bar.
your readership reads both impartially it will find in Landau’s “Oslo and
Israel’s red lines” a cogent, well documented and convincing critique of
government policy on the Arab-Israel conflict. His recounting of the tragedies
that occurred after the Oslo Accords, their effect on subsequent negotiations
and the place of Israel in the world scene are convincing and
Bar’s “An obligation to try again for peace” is
unpersuasive and poorly supported. It is based more on hope and suppositions
than on facts. In addition, his attacks on respected public figures is a
familiar ploy used by those who rely on defamation rather than reason.
suggest reading both articles dispassionately and deriving conclusions based on
reason rather than slander.YOCHEVED MIRIAM ZEMEL
Sir, – Recently you ran a short item headlined “Panel ends work on kids
left in cars” (News in Brief, September 11). The last paragraph reads: “The
committee concluded that leaving a child alone in a car even for a short time
should be prohibited, and that upon locking car doors adults must make sure that
no human or animal is still inside.”
For this we needed a committee?
Bennett for peace
Sir, – It’s about time we had the
courage to open our mouths and tell the truth.
We are not giving up one
inch of our tiny country. No more talk of pre-1967 lines. There will be one
state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in which peoples of all
religions will live side-by-side with the people of Israel. (The Palestinians
say that if they have a state of their own not one Jew will be allowed to live
there.) We will not freeze any more settlement building, nor will we evacuate
our citizens as we did in Gush Katif. No to EU meddling in our sovereign state.
No more handing back of terrorists.
Jerusalem will will never be divided
and people of all religions will be welcome to worship at their holy
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Tzipi Livni, the cabinet
minister in charge of negotiations, must stop living in fantasy land.
far I have heard only one small voice crying in the wilderness, trying to tell
the truth, and that is Naftali Bennett. Let us join him. It might even bring
Kfar Shmaryahu Lousy ambassadors
Sir, – I would be
grateful if you would consider posting this letter in your newspaper.
Essentially, I hope to get young Israelis traveling overseas to reflect on
behavior that besmirches the image of Israel.
I have just returned from
trekking the Huayhuash Circuit in Peru, a popular destination of many young
Israelis. From my own experience and talking to local Peruvians, many young
people from your country show little respect for the local people.
are arrogant and mean spirited, and avoid paying for camping and services,
creating a terrible impression of Israel. In many cases they leave early in the
morning to avoid paying, often dismissing donkey drivers when half the supplies
are gone, saying they can carry the rest and thereby paying only half the agreed
amount. They are also well known for leaving rubbish behind.
Zealand young Israelis often bargain inappropriately for accommodation, and at
camping grounds they leave early in the morning to avoid paying. This is
unacceptable and an abuse of the privilege of visiting my country and other
So, young Israelis, before you head off on your next adventure
overseas, please consider your responsibilities to local people and try to be
better ambassadors for your nation.STANLEY MULVANY