Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Michael Fridman’s proposed register of Diaspora Jews (“Rectifying a strained relationship,” September 29) is precisely the sort of database that right-wing or other extremist governments would welcome in organizing antisemitic actions of various types.
Beit Shemesh
Your article about Spanish Jewry and the right to receive Spanish citizenship (“A Spanish odyssey,” Jewish World, September 29) is quite interesting and raises some questions.
The descendants of the Jews murdered, expelled and forced to convert have to go through a lot of bureaucracy and research to prove their Spanish roots in order to obtain citizenship. I think that after all this is done and people are accepted, they should sue the authorities for compensation, as it was the government of Spain, the royal family and the Catholic Church that took away their ancestors’ citizenship, rights and heritage. It is up to these authorities to restore stolen property and rights.
Another approach could be to demand that these authorities search their archives (and they have them) for the names of those affected, and that they actively seek out heirs and dependents, and restore the stolen property and rights. After all, they have admitted their guilt.
Hatzor Haglilit
Regarding “Travel and win” (Tour Israel, September 29), I would like to add interesting data regarding the Muristan Complex in Jerusalem, which I am certain your readers would appreciate visiting.
In September 2016, world-renowned British sculptor Mark Coreth built a unique bronze sculpture depicting swifts taking flight from an olive tree in the Muristan Garden of Hope, located in the St.
John’s Eye Hospital compound (see photo below).
The history of this building reaches back to 1070. It borders the Lutheran Church to the right as you enter Muristan Road.
In April 2016, 15 swift nesting chambers were suspended on one wall of the Muristan Garden as part of a swift conservation project. They are now an endangered species.
I think Dr. Aharon E. Wexler’s attitude and view of the haredi community (“On haredi myth,” Just a Thought, September 29) is rather pessimistic and negative.
He focuses on the half-empty glass: “Haredim believe that the only defense against secularism is to rebuild the walls of the ghetto even higher than they were previously. They created a line of scrimmage past which no more encroachment on their way of life would be allowed.”
He is oblivious to the small changes that have taken place in the past few years, as more haredim learn secular studies, attend vocational courses, join the workforce and serve in the army. In the area of mental health care, the overwhelming majority of haredi rabbis in the past were vehemently opposed to psychology, psychologists and psychological treatment.
Many haredi men and women are learning to be social workers and clinical psychologists in educational facilities under haredi auspices. Currently, there exists in Bnei Brak a seven-floor psychiatric facility under haredi auspices in which I am employed.
It includes an in-patient hospital, outpatient clinic and day-hospital program staffed by Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who weekly treat hundreds of haredi patients.
I believe that these small, slow but significant changes are occurring because of economic pressures, but also because educational facilities, workplaces and the army are more aware, sensitive, respectful and responsive to the values and needs of the haredi community.
The writer is a supervising psychologist.