Week of January 3: Brighter winter

"Aithan’s mural is a valuable piece of art that brightens up our sanctuary even on these cold, snowy days of winter."

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Brighter winter
As the recipients of the mural of trees mentioned in “What’s happening on the other side?” (Cover, December 20), it is with great pleasure and pride that the members of the Masorti congregation Kehillat Yaar Ramot read the article about the talented artist Aithan Shapira.
Aithan’s mural is a valuable piece of art that brightens up our sanctuary even on these cold, snowy days of winter.
As you note at the end, Aithan is “trying to make his mark on the world with various international gigs....” Our congregation is now planning a cultural and artistic evening featuring Aithan, who will discuss the mural, which is dedicated to his paternal grandparents.
The public will be invited.
ARNOLD BENDER Jerusalem The writer is rabbi of Kehillat Yaar Ramot.
Ask your predecessors
Sir, – Having grown up in Toronto, I read with interest Dan Illouz’s “Harper and Israel” (A Fresh Perspective, December 20).
I was reminded of two former Canadian prime ministers whose political fortunes, it seems, in retrospect, were affected by their attitude toward Israel.
In 1979, Conservative candidate Joe Clark promised that if elected he would move the Canadian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He was elected to a minority government.
In 1984, Conservative candidate Brian Mulroney commented during an election debate that Canada should be giving its allies the benefit of the doubt. In listing Canada’s allies he covered all the political and cultural bases. He mentioned England, France and the US. He inexplicably also mentioned Israel, which was still bearing international wrath for having invaded Lebanon two years previously. The Conservative Party won the election with what was, until then, the largest majority in Canadian history.
Stephen Harper’s first term was a minority government.
That did not prevent it from taking a clear and unequivocal pro-Israel position. His present government is Canada’s largest- ever majority.
While there are no guarantees in politics, it seems to me that anyone with visions of political success in Canada might consider the choices and priorities of those who came before.
BOB YERMUS Jerusalem
Here I am
Sir, – In “Is this a way to respond to God?” (December 20), Shubert Spero writes: “Instead of responding with an immediate positive Abrahamic ‘Hineni’ (Here I am), Moses consecutively offers four different reasons for not accepting the mission.”
I ask, then, how you explain that in Exodus 3:4, before any “discussion” takes place between Moses and God, it is written: “Moses, Moses! He said. Yes, (Hineni), replied (Moses)”? I think that only after Moses responded to God’s call in this way was any future “discussion” able to take place.
I believe that at different points in our history, it is because prophets like Abraham, Isaac and Moses responded with “Hineni” that our history was able to unfold as it did. Imagine if Adam had responded with “Hineni” in Genesis 3:8-10, instead of “hiding.” We could possibly still be in Eden.
Artificial dialogue
Sir, – If the statistics are as alarming as reader Martin Stern claims (“Yes to Limmud, Letters, December 20), surely it makes the argument for Orthodox attendance at Limmud even more compelling. After all, if so many Jews choose alternative forms of Jewish practice, it is only a reflection of the fact that traditional Orthodoxy has failed them.
If the ultra-Orthodox really care about their fellow Jew and are truly convinced that they are right, they should be more involved in events like Limmud as an opportunity to communicate with so many who are looking for answers.
Many people are too busy raising barricades ever higher around their way of life to keep their own weaknesses hidden.
They do not confront with honesty and confidence the people they believe are threatening the future of the Jewish people. It appears to me that they are very afraid of their opponents if they choose to hide behind the artificial “dialogue” of letter writing.
DAN WISEJerusalem