Letters to the editor, January 20

Who wanted it? Sir, - The headline of a news item in your January 19 paper claimed "Dayan rejects Lapid" and said Uzi Dayan was not willing to let me join his virtual party, Tafnit. I never asked to join Dayan's party, never intended to do so and, had he offered me the opportunity to join, I would have rejected it. You might as well have reported, "Dayan rejects the Dalai Lama." MK JOSEPH (TOMMY) LAPID Ramat Hasharon Boldly said... Sir, - Kudos to Harold Gittelmon on his "Lose the combover!" open letter to Ehud Olmert (January 17). I was tickled pink that a man had the guts to tell the world what women talk about and snicker over so often, but don't have the guts to say, about balding men who cultivate the combover. As far as I'm concerned, if Gittelmon wants to write Parts II and III - "Lose the toupee!" and "Stop dyeing your thinning hair and leaving blobs of dye on your exposed scalp" - I, and probably the majority of women, would consider him a real hero. ELISHEVA LAHAV Jerusalem ...balderdash Sir, - Harold Gittelmon's article advising our acting premier to desist from combing over a wisp of hair in a vain attempt to cover his bald pate moved me to paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never has so much newspaper space been given to enable someone to say so little worth reading. I would call it bald-faced nonsense. If, as I believe, Mr. Olmert has much to try to hide, his combover is hardly sufficient. He would rather need a pompadour, easily acquired at a sheitel shop when he visits the haredi neighborhoods to cut his next hairy, vote-seeking deal with the residents. MOSHE BERLIN Jerusalem Chabad: Dark and light Sir, - Re "To Chabad, every Jew counts" (January 15): David Eliezrie showed only one side of the coin. There is also a dark side to Chabad. In Safed we see Chabad demonstrations against Arab students who attend our local college. "Death to Arabs" and "Arabs out" are commonly heard and sprayed on walls and buildings throughout town. I have seen those taking part in these inciting demonstrations; they are Chabad yeshiva students. The yeshiva housing the students in what was formerly a major hotel here in Safed has been turned into a filthy slum. Neighbors report not being able to sleep at night because of the students' noise and rowdy behavior. The entire town and its surroundings are defaced by portraits of the Rebbe that declare him to be the Mashiach. On a Friday morning it is impossible to walk on Safed's main street without being accosted by hordes of Chabad yeshiva students attempting to get passersby to put on tefillin. Will they ever serve in the army or work? To me they are dead wood, a future burden on the taxpayer. You cannot sit in a cafe without a Chabad woman trying to push Shabbat candles into your hands. I am a member of the Conservative movement here, and therefore not anti-religious. But why do I have to listen to a car driving around over and over again on Friday afternoons, its loudspeaker blaring candle-lighting times and "Long live Melech Hamoshiach"? They couldn't get away with it among the goyim. Let's call a spade a spade. Chabad is engaged in nothing less than attempts at religious coercion. ELI MINOFF Safed Sir, - Marvin Schick's "Where is Chabad heading?" (January 10) showed us how divided we are. One of the strongest uniting forces we have today in the Jewish world is Chabad. Chabad people are good for finding kosher food and a minyan all over the globe? They are a lot more than that. They are saving many a Jewish young person from joining other religions and cults. Mr. Schick, don't criticize them. Do some of what they do, and do it in your own way, but do it! TANIA SZAPIRO Bogota
More about:Ehud Olmert, Safed