Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Discretion required Sir, – I was very disturbed to find a tactless and insensitive four-page spread, as well as cover, of Gilad Schalit and his girlfriend (“Wine therapy: Opening the heart with Israeli wine,” Cover, February 14).
While we were all happy when Gilad was released, let us not forget that his negligence caused his kidnapping, and in order to free him we had to release 1,000 terrorists, including those with blood on their hands. Surely, the families of the victims murdered by these terrorists could not help but be shocked by this exaggerated interview.
Schalit (and you) should have acted with more discretion and sensitivity, and not as if nothing had happened.
ARIE RUTTENBERG Kiryat Tivon Jewish connection Sir, – “Shakespeare’s Jewish connection,” which accompanies “Shakespeare in the desert” (Feature, February 14), states that Montague is a Jewish name. But so is Capulet, often Capeluto, in Israel.
These “connections” are discussed in a series of articles by Niel Hirschson in Midstream, particularly in “Was Shakespeare a Marrano?” (January 1987).
JULIA KRUGER Tel Aviv PPD ‘gatekeepers’ Sir, – In reference to Barbara Sofer’s “Lifesaving at the mikve” (The Human Spirit, February 14), it was encouraging to read about the work of Eden, which seeks to improve Jewish women’s experiences at ritual baths. Among the points made was the mikve attendant’s potential role in identifying distress and being available to listen and possibly direct women to help.
Regarding the issue of postpartum depression (PPD), a ritual bath attendant can certainly serve as a “gatekeeper,” contributing to the early identification of symptoms. Women generally resume mikve practice about six weeks following childbirth, and research has shown this as likely timing for PPD’s onset.
Although the Health Ministry has mandated screening for PPD at all well-baby clinics, women who are reluctant to discuss it with a clinic nurse might be more forthcoming when responding to a sensitive attendant in the intimate setting of the mikve. It is therefore imperative that attendants be knowledgeable about the warning signs of PPD, skilled in broaching the topic when appropriate, and aware of resources for follow-up.
SARALEE GLASSER Ramat Gan The writer is a senior researcher and developmental psychologist at the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research.
Good old intransigence Sir, – “A fish story” (Grumpy Old Man, February 14) makes light of criticism of US Secretary of State John Kerry, but also criticizes many letter writers for confusing fact with “supposition.”
In this, Lawrence Rifkin is right (I’m sure I have been guilty of the same), but he misses the bigger picture.
The secretary of state’s goal is for the sides to reach an agreement, and for that agreement to benefit all of us – Israel, the Palestinians and the US. So why does he speak so much? He (and others) provide reasons for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to pause and reject any possible agreement. Abbas knows that through negotiations he can’t get what he really wants – the end of Israel – but he’s being told in no uncertain terms that Israel will soon meet its demise.
All he has to do is wait, and then reap the benefits of his intransigence.
BARRY LYNN Efrat Sir, – “A fish story” could have succinctly and richly described John Kerry as a sucker fish that has accepted the Arabs’ claims and propaganda hook, line and sinker. ’Nuff said! BARRY WEISS Jerusalem ‘Enlightened’ gender Sir, – It was perplexing to read James A. Diamond’s “Maimonides and the sacred quest for truth” (Books, February 14) as he referred to God as He/She or Him/Her throughout the article.
Until we begin our prayers with Ima shebashamayim (Mother in heaven), our divine Creator should retain His distinction as Avinu (Father) and not some “enlightened” possibility that is about as far from scriptural Judaism as one can get.
COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN Gizo Money on survival Sir, – With regard to “Starting a revolution” (Feature, February 7), I am glad that educators like those in the Lapid group are looking for solutions to the appalling loss of identity by so many young US Jews.
The idea of exposing them to Israel at an earlier age (high school) sounds wise. This, combined with the Birthright program at a later age, would be more effective. My opinion is, the earlier the better! In fact the whole process of Jewish education should ideally be started at a preschool age. The marvelous nursery schools and kindergartens in Israel, with their rich introduction to Judaism, attest to the fact that this is where to begin.
Since the level of Jewishness in the average Jewish American home is generally weak, this in itself cannot be a good enough basis to inspire children. For continuation, there should be an opportunity for them to go to a Jewish day school and summer camp.
Expensive? Yes. Should the Israeli government participate? Maybe. Our monetary problems might not allow for more than a token contribution, but it would show that we know our future is very much tied to that of American Jews.
It might even inspire philanthropists to put their money where it is most needed – the survival of the Jewish people.
IDA PLAUT Netanya ‘Kvelling’ up above Sir, – Your February 7 cover story, “Bringing an air of optimism and hope to the Knesset,” was highly commendable.
I knew the late judge Ronnie Lipman, MK Dov Lipman’s father.
He surely must be kvelling from above over his son’s accomplishments.
LEAH WASSERMAN Jerusalem Nag, nag, nag Sir, – Yishai Fleisher’s “The dingy Dung Gate” (Eye on Zion, February 7) hits the mark.
So who is responsible for this sad state, where such a majestically important city as Jerusalem is not seen in its best light? We can point the finger at local government, but if the municipality is not nagged by the community, little will happen.
I happen to live in north Tel Aviv. In the very center of the Ramat Aviv Gimmel shopping center there is a fountain.
When it was installed it was not to my taste, but at least it was attractive. Since then, it has become a decrepit display of rust.
Until I scream at the municipality, little will be done.
As for the thousands who live, work, shop and drink coffee next to the fountain, they don’t seem to care. Fleisher’s article illustrates this – that people don’t care, at least not enough to lift a finger.
A decent marketing expert could easily convince those responsible that golden arches (perhaps a little kitschy), Vatican- like guards, efficient security systems and a clean Dung Gate would make people smile more, make their memories of Jerusalem even happier, and bring more visitors to the city.
In the meantime, I’m going to try my best to get that fountain fixed.
STEPHEN POHLMANN Tel Aviv Others’ terror Sir, – Alexander Zvielli’s review of Heidemarie Wawrzyn’s new book Nazis in the Holy Land 1933-1948 (“Swastikas over Tel Aviv,” Books, January 31) mentions that “Jews objected to and criticized” the activities of the local Nazis in Mandate Palestine from among the Templer community. I think additional activities should be recalled that Zvielli did not include.
On March 22, 1946, the Palmah assassinated Gotthilf Wagner, former mayor of Sarona, on Tel Aviv’s Lewinsky Street. Another violent attack against the Templer village Waldheim, today Alonei Abba, was committed on September 17, 1946, also by the Palmah.
Given the Palmah’s opposition to the “terror” of the Irgun and the Stern Group, and the fact that the war in Europe had already been over for months, this episode is unique in the Yishuv’s armed struggle history.
It also reflects the way Germans were viewed at the time.