July 13, 2017; Gabbay’s win

One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry at the election of Avi Gabby as head of the Labor Party.

Letters 150 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 150
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Gabbay’s win
One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry at the election of Avi Gabby as head of the Labor Party.
Gabbay promised his voters that he would put an end to the use of public funds by Education Minister Naftali Bennett to bring religious and secular Jews closer to Judaism. Perhaps he would rather have Bennett use public funds to provide additional “labor pains” over the increasing assimilation of Jewish youths whose knowledge of Judaism is at best limited, and at worst nonexistent.
Complex situation
Commenting on the mixing of religion and politics and the fact that both suffer, you really seem to be saying that we should throw out the baby together with the bathwater (“Rabbis, blacklists and politicians,” Editorial, July 11). That’s quite a simplification of a complex situation.
Today, we have a former prime minister now released from prison, and a former chief rabbi entering prison. The world of journalists is not so innocent either. The police are now investigating a connection between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yediot Aharonot, in which a quid pro quo deal to shape reporting in favor of the prime minister is heard being discussed in a recorded conversation.
Throughout the ages, rabbis have discussed the positions of Halacha with regard to social change. The decisions reached are part of the Responsa Literature.
How dare you describe rabbinic deliberations as “squabbles,” which one dictionary describes as “a petty, noisy quarrel”? Would you say that about secular legal scholars? If you want to discuss religion and politics, start with religion and quote from the Book of Exodus (18-21), which describes the role model for community leaders as follows: “You shall seek out from among all the people capable men who fear God, trustworthy men who spurn ill-gotten gain.”
Badge of honor
Kudos to Rabbi Seth Farber and the people at ITIM for calling out the gangsters running the Chief Rabbinate for having blackballed some of the most capable and dynamic rabbinic leaders in the Diaspora (“Rabbinate blacklists 160 rabbis in Diaspora,” July 10).
What chutzpah and arrogance! The group of 160 should wear their decertification as a badge of honor. What a lesson the Chief Rabbinate provides just at the beginning of the three-week period of reflection leading up to Tisha Be’Av.
The state of science
Fake news in science is old news, say experts” (July 11), which describes experts at the Technion discussing the public’s engagement with science, says that “access to science is becoming increasingly challenging given the shrinking number of scientific publications....”
The National Science Board in the US estimates the average annual growth of the indexes within the Web of Science to be 2.5%. Research at the University of Ottawa estimates that approximately 2.5 million new papers are published each year worldwide. Other estimates indicate even higher growth rates.
Your report also mentions that one expert described peer review as “one of the most important tools of the scientific community to prevent the rooting of mistakes.” Peer review is certainly an important tool, but in my experience as a consultant editor for two prestigious journals, it is effective in weeding out only the really poor articles – the mediocre ones usually survive, if not in one journal, then in the next.
The most effective way to avoid the “rooting” of poor science occurs when the science cannot be reproduced by others.
Most poor science avoids “rooting” because of disinterest.
It would be enlightening to know the statistics of rejected articles alongside the increase in published articles. Unfortunately, this information is unavailable.
Poignant sun
Having worked closely with illustrator Juha Karhula, I felt it fitting to add two more points to Elliot Jager’s fine obituary (“Remembering Juha Karhula: Artist, projectionist, gentle soul,” July 11).
Juha actually started out at the Post in a lowly job in the printing department, but was soon “discovered” by the late Mike Ronnen, then the Post’s art director. I rarely heard Mike compliment other artists, but he praised Juha’s “strong line.”
Also – and poignantly, given the sad circumstances of Juha’s death – his illustrations for the newspaper more often than not included a cheerful sun shining in the top corner, which he once explained was “a kind of signature.”
The writer is a former columnist and letters editor at The Jerusalem Post.
Now is the time...
Bravo to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for pressing ahead with a visitors’ center between the Western Wall and the City of David (“Prime minister calls for completion of east Jerusalem visitors’ center in wake of UNESCO vote,” July 10).
The center will be filled with artifacts from the Temple. It will be an eye-opener for a world that is indifferent to the blatant lies of the Arabs, who dare to pervert history. Leaders of tours from all over the world will be happy with such a center. It will have a profound effect on the thinking of all the people who come.
The year 2017 is a perfect year to begin work, as it marks the 100th year of the Balfour Declaration.
Let us remember this and let us make our own history.
Looking at an artist’s rendition of the proposed visitors’ center outside the Dung Gate, as shown in the illustration accompanying your article, my first thought was why get a foreign architect to design such an important Israeli statement? It obviously was designed by someone not used to the Israeli sun: From the direction and lengths of the shadows, it must be about 6 in the morning! What will the place be like at midday? Many modern architects seem to live in a world of their own, where it never rains, it’s never windy and the sun is a gentle fluorescent light in their studio.
But that doesn’t mean we have to blindly accept their offerings and ignore the harsh reality that within a few months there will be ugly canvas awnings installed to deal with the sun.
Why not design something that fits in with the history of Jerusalem and blends in with the surroundings, something that takes advantage of thousands of years of design experience in providing protection against the local elements, instead of designing a sprawling concrete activity center and claiming that because it’s clad in Jerusalem stone, it’s suitable for a sensitive Jerusalem location?
...thanks to UNESCO
With the recent UNESCO votes on Jerusalem and Hebron, we again see Palestinian success.
The reason is clear: Israel is not sufficiently proactive on all topics of our historic heritage in the Holy Land.
A simple look at day-to day events shows that collectively, we do not really care. This includes the Jews in the Diaspora.
But this is not new.
Israel exists pretty much in spite of it all. Perhaps the age of miracles is not over?
Kibbutz Yavne