Letters 385057

Judaism allows for vegetarian diets. This means Jews have a choice as to whether to be vegetarian or not. Since we have a choice, shouldn’t it be based on the highest Jewish values?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – I had a bit of a problem with Lawrence Rifkin’s “The Grumpy test” (Grumpy Old Man, December 5).
Rifkin believes he has boiled things down and gotten at their essence, but in fact is missing shades of gray that surely fit many others – and not just me.
Perhaps the problem is in the run-up to the test, where he writes: “What many forget or don’t know is that the majority of Israelis who moved to the West Bank did so purely or at least mostly for the suburban lifestyle made quite affordable thanks to generous government incentives.”
I have lived in Gush Etzion for 30 years. I am not a homeowner, and have received no such incentives. I live in the Gush purely out of love for the Gush.
I love the terrain. I love every hill and tree. I can supply the Latin names of every wildflower that grows in my area. I believe that Judea is a special and magical place. The hills overlook Jerusalem. As such, those of us who live here feel the incredible honor of serving as a bulwark for the Holy City.
As opposed to the coast, we have no humidity and except during the hottest sharav we have cool evening breezes. I like the people of the Gush, who are intelligent, talented and kind. I live in Judea purely for love.
Frankly, I don’t see how we can begin a discussion about Arab nationalism without first addressing (and understanding) the basic premise of Jewish nationalism. God gave the land to us way before the British Mandate or the League of Nations, and before someone took a magic marker to a map.
I live over the Green Line because this territory is part of the Land of Israel, and it’s a mitzva to settle here.
I don’t mind that Mr. Rifkin doesn’t share my beliefs, though archeological finds and history books support them. But I mind very much his cynical attempt to ascribe financial motives to my choice to live here.
If I had wanted an affordable abode I would have stayed in Pittsburgh, voted the most livable city in the continental US.
Sir, – Admittedly and unashamedly, I am predisposed to peruse the musings and political analyses contributed to The Jerusalem Post by Seth J. Frantzman, whose mind-set correlates favorably with mine, particularly in “Behind the Zion curtain” (Books, December 5), his critique of Intimate Enemies by Khaled Diab.
Frantzman’s review reveals the well-trodden trail reflecting the usual left-wing polemic (mostly gleaned from media publications) by leftist luminaries, including the myopic Gideon Levy – my own particular nemesis. The obvious lack of research is highlighted by the omission of Russian, Ethiopian and other minorities, whose narrative was not explored by the author. Why so? Was this intentional? Perhaps at some stage, Diab will enlighten us further with his “intellectual” insight. But don’t hold your breath!
Sir, – As president emeritus of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I was happy to see Rabbi Shlomo Brody’s thoughtful, balanced “Does Jewish law promote vegetarianism?” (Ask the Rabbi, December 5).
As he states, Judaism allows for vegetarian diets. This means Jews have a choice as to whether to be vegetarian or not. Since we have a choice, shouldn’t it be based on the highest of Jewish values? And, in that regard, shouldn’t we consider how animal-based diets and agriculture violate basic Jewish teachings on preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and helping hungry people? Shouldn’t we also take into account that the consumption of meat and other animal products contributes significantly to heart disease, several types of cancer and other killer diseases, and that animal-based agriculture contributes substantially to climate change, desertification, soil erosion, rapid species loss and other environmental threats, and also uses far more land, water, energy and other resources per person than are used for vegetarian diets?
New York
Sir, –”Going Dutch, by bike” (Innovation, December 5) by Barry Davis is well-written and informative. But for me, this is nothing new. I grew up in Switzerland, where riding a bicycle to school or to work was the normal thing to do.
A few years ago Israelis discovered that riding bicycles is cheap, fun and quickly gets you to where you want to go.
But oy vey , while in Europe the traffic laws are the same for bicycles as for any other vehicle, there seem to be no laws for riders in Israel. They ride on sidewalks, zebra crossings, in the wrong direction on one-way streets, etc. Also, many bicycles are not equipped with lights or reflectors and are absolutely invisible at night.
With the popularity of electric bikes, the situation has become even more dangerous. It is time to wake up!
Sir, – With regard to “Pollard’s parole plastering” (Cover, November 21), the conclusion reached by Jonathan Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, is that the only option left is “clemency from the US president.”
Mr. Lauer and Mr. Semmelman, working at their own expense, are very successful and competent attorneys, but very naive in thinking that President Barack Obama will grant clemency. In the remaining two years of his term, Obama will continue to be the same cruel, arrogant and anti-Semitic person (former CIA director James Woolsey’s assessment, not mine) he has been in the past.
I believe the only option for Mr. Pollard is through the courts. I hope that Lauer will follow my suggestion, as I have recently and previously written to him, and file in the US Supreme Court a Writ of Coram Nobis based on newly discovered evidence. This writ is not an appeal, but involves post-trial matters; the newly discovered evidence is a declassified CIA document revealing that Pollard did not disclose sensitive classified military information to Israel.
Obama’s popularity is at its lowest, and even loyal Democrats have distanced themselves. Most judges would not admit it, but they could conceivably find it politically and personally expedient to diminish any loyalty they might have for the lame-duck president. I do not believe that the US judicial system, given the chance, could be as callous as the president.
Zichron Ya’acov
The writer is a retired attorney who practiced in the US.
Sir, – Further to the internal Jewish conflict regarding the Temple Mount referred to in “O, Jerusalem” (In Plain Language, November 14), some people hold to a jaundiced, conspiratorial interpretation of history. According to this, from the days of the first attempt at a new world order at the Tower of Babel through the time that the fractious mixed multitude followed the genuine Israelites out of Egypt, to the time that King Solomon hired Hiram’s masons to work on the Temple, there has been an antinomian subcurrent referred to in the Kabbala as the “Tarmodean Conspiracy.”
This manifests itself in groups such as the Hellenists, Sadducees, Essenes, early Christians, Boethusians, Karaites, Sabbate ns, Frankists, Masons, Maskilim, Illuminati, Yevsektziya, Assimilationists, modern Canaanists, Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, Bohemian Grove, CFR, etc. Today, there are numerous nominally Jewish and part-Jewish politicians, leaders, financiers, media moguls and even seemingly Orthodox rabbis whose goal is the covert subversion of genuine Judaism, Zionism, morals and morale.
“Those who destroy you and who lay you waste will emerge from your own ranks” (Isaiah 49).