Letters to the editor: Oct. 31, 2014

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bless the Kurds
Sir, – I’m happy that your article “469 Israelis petition Spain to recognize a Palestine State” (October 29) is accompanied by a photo of Jose Maria Aznar, a former Spanish prime minister.
Maria Aznar is a friend of Israel. Your article quotes his published views that “recognizing Palestine as a state in the face of Hamas’s attacks on Israel is detrimental to peace.”
Can we organize an Israeli petition calling on the Spanish government to recognize a Kurdish state now? The Kurdish people are fearless and have a strong sense of national consciousness that will, God willing, overcome tribal loyalties and divisiveness in their midst. They are under siege and must fight for their existence and basic rights.
I bless the Kurdish people with God’s blessing to Abram, to be read in this week’s Torah potion: “The Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse him that curses you, and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you” (Genesis 12:1-3).
My blessing is that God will bless those who bless the Kurdish people much as He blesses whoever blesses the Jewish people, and curse those who curse the Kurdish people, much as he curses whoever curses the Jewish people.
Bnei Brak
Who needs them?
Sir, – In your October 29 issue the headline “Chief rabbis: We won’t recognize new conversions” refers to a bill to allow municipal rabbis to perform conversions.
Directly below is another headline, “Bill to permit firing of city rabbis advances,” which refers to another piece of legislation to permit the firing of municipal rabbis who do not properly perform their job, something that is said to be commonplace.
I have the feeling that many of your readers are asking themselves who needs any of them, top to bottom, on the public payroll? FRED CASDEN
Ma’aleh Adumim
Shabbat of unity
Sir, – Why did you not have coverage of the participation of several Israeli localities in the worldwide Shabbat Project? Here in Israel, last weekend was hopping in a number of cities, including Beit Shemesh, where from Thursday night until late Saturday night special programs were attended by thousands of people.
Shabbat Project Beit Shemesh kicked off Thursday night when approximately 800 women together made dough for challah and then collectively made the blessing on the dough.
The tone was set for a Shabbat full of prayer, activities and meals that brought together communities throughout the city.
On Friday night hundreds gathered for a rousing Kabbalat Shabbat service in an outside plaza. Later there were kumzitz-style ongei Shabbat all over the city, with refreshments and lively music spilling out onto the streets. Events took place throughout Shabbat day; several streets enjoyed outside lunches that brought out all the neighbors, and several seudah shlishit meals were enjoyed by neighborhoods joining together.
The very special weekend drew to a close with several exciting activities, including Rabbi Michael Lasri presenting a hilarious stand-up routine on achdut or achidut (unity or uniformity), and outdoor concerts.
Shabbat Project Beit Shemesh purposely did not involve the city government or political entities. It was a totally grassroots effort, with the few large expenses covered by the generosity of private donors.
The unity we experienced will strengthen and inspire us for even greater success in similar projects in the future.
Beit Shemesh