Letters to the editor: September 2

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Lighter loads
In the photo accompanying “A day ahead of new school year, ministry promises smaller classes and ‘more personal’ education” (August 31), it looks like Rayli Katz’s backpack is larger than she is. If the color were khaki, it would be appropriate for a soldier.
It’s time to reevaluate the physical loads we place on our youngsters. What happened to cubbies and lockers for keeping essentials at school? With promises of smaller classes, perhaps a reality of smaller and lighter backpacks is in order.
Geula’s 90th
I had the privilege of attending the incredible 90th-birthday celebration for former MK Geula Cohen at the Begin Heritage Center, and loved reading Greer Fay Cashman’s wonderful writeup (“Walking history,” Grapevine, August 31).
What I cannot understand is why the marvelous evening was not broadcast on Israeli television. I can only hope that it was video- taped and will be presented over and over again to teach Israelis about our history and the great people who were responsible for the creation of the State of Israel.
Thank you, Greer, for bringing this to the attention of English-language readers.
Halva backtrack
Kudos to Brussels Airlines (“Brussels Airlines backtracks on halva ban,” August 30). If every airline were to cave in every time a passenger complained about the food, there wouldn’t be a plane left in the sky.
Photo as weapon
Your choice of the photo accompanying “Playing with police dogs in downtown Jerusalem” (August 30) was injudicious, at best.
I have no doubt that an image of a young, kippa-clad Israeli boy aiming a “cutting edge” automatic rifle while attending a special police exhibition in Jerusalem will go viral on the Internet. It will be used by Israel’s adversaries as proof that Israelis, especially “settlers,” teach their children to use weapons and kill from a very young age.
Sadly, from other photographs you have published, we see that this is exactly what many young Palestinians are, in fact, being specifically trained to do. Why put another weapon into our enemies’ hands?
Cofix kashrut
Your article “Cofix opens strictly kosher branches for haredim” (August 30) notes that the branches will have a Badatz (haredi) certificate of kashrut. They, along with dozens of other food establishments, have such an endorsement, and not the endorsement of the Chief Rabbinate.
The Chief Rabbinate permits this to go on in spite of its rules that all “kosher” establishments need its certification.
Why is this okay when it comes down on establishments that use the private Hashgacha Pratit certification?
Ma’aleh Adumim
Honoring Shabbat
Your August 30 editorial “Honoring Shabbat” states that “it is impossible to run a Jewish state in accordance with religious strictures that developed in medieval times.”
A significant minority in Israel observes or respects Shabbat as given to the Jewish people by God over 3,500 years ago, and not as something that “developed.”
Further, stating that “Halacha must be revamped and updated” runs contrary to the beliefs of this same large group, whose members believe that Shabbat preserves the Jewish people, and not the reverse.
It would have been sufficient to state that balancing religious observance with the needs of the Jewish state is challenging, given the diversity of the population’s belief in Shabbat.
Stating these concepts as you do serves no purpose other than to transmit a destructive anti-religion message to your readership, and one you well know is not going to influence those who observe or respect Shabbat to change their views.