January 16, 2015: Not just a trip

Readers respond to the latest 'Jerusalem Post' articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not just a trip
Sir, – The recent decision to cancel school trips (“High school pupils declare 3-day strike,” News in Brief, January 14) proves that intelligent institutions can often disregard important values in times of conflict.
School trips are more than just a day off from routine lectures. They reinforce and clarify the information taught in class.
Trips aid the students to connect to what they have learned. They are a time to learn while being relaxed, leaving the pressure of tests behind.
The students who strike against canceling trips understand this. When will the Ministry of Education understand?
Which is it?
Sir, – Manfred Gerstenfeld’s obvious concern about widespread use of the word “unsustainability” (“The sustainability of the conflict,” Comment & Features, January 14) implies he considers the status quo sustainable – a perfectly respectable point of view.
But it is a policy that no Israeli government of any political complexion has ever formally articulated, let alone adopted.
So what’s the conclusion or object of his half-page piece – that he doesn’t agree with those who say the current situation cannot be maintained or just that he doesn’t think it’s a fair criticism? RAYMOND CANNON Netanya Nutty demands Sir, – All this breast beating and self-flagellation over the so-called Hannibal Protocol (“IDF to ignore ‘noise’ in deciding on Hannibal Protocol in war crimes allegations,” January 13) is starting to wear on the nerves.
That there should be any debate whatsoever on the rescue or recovery of a soldier unconscionable. It has always been engraved in stone that you do not abandon your comrades on the field of battle. members of the armed forces of every civilized nation have sacrificed themselves to do so, of collateral damage.
There is a limit to the nutty demands some people try to hang on the IDF – the most considerate of all armed forces vis-a-vis civilians, and it has now been reached.
Indeed blessed
Sir, – I applaud Beit Hillel for its recent statement that it is permitted for women to give instruction on Halacha and issue halachic decisions (“Beit Hillel rabbis say women can give rulings in Jewish law,” January 7).
For the past eight years, Ohr Torah Stone’s Midreshet Lindenbaum college for women has been training a cadre of qualified female scholars to render halachic decisions at the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership. This unique five-year program features in-depth study of halacha on a broad scope and at the highest of levels, including (but not limited to) the expansive curricula in Talmud and Halacha identical to that studied by men training for rabbinical ordination.
Graduates pass exams equivalent to those taken by men studying for the rabbinate and are then ordained by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Shuki Reich to render halachic rulings for the entire Jewish people – women and men.
Two women have already received such ordination.
Two additional women from the current cohort of 13 are slated to be ordained this summer.
We are indeed blessed to live in a generation in which women have the opportunity to gain expertise in Talmud, the code of Jewish law, the commentaries, responsa literature and factors related to decision- making. We are also proud to be the first modern Orthodox Israeli enterprise systematically training these most talented women for entry into the great halachic conversation from which they have been largely excluded for the past 2,500 years.
The writer is a rabbi and director of the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership.
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely is both deputy minister of transportation and deputy minister of science and technology.