DANA GOLDTorontoSir, – It’s always polite to thank a host/hostess after a party, so I just wanted to thank Tel Aviv for the amazing Independence Day celebration last night. In one evening I was privileged to celebrate in the best of all ways spiritual and secular. First, beautiful ma’ariv prayers at the Shivat Tzion Synagogue led by cantor Yaakov Motzen, and the Jerusalem Cantors Choir led by Binyamin Glickman. Former chief Rabbi Lau was in attendance and spoke of the religious significance of the occasion. Then it was off to Kikar Rabin for the mother of all parties. Along with thousands of other people, we sang along with Yehoram Gaon (whose voice, even at age 70, is showing no signs of slowing down!) and Ilanit. There were costumed dancers, video montages of our beautiful land, and fireworks. Fabulous felafel from Hippo capped off an evening I will never forget.I can’t imagine how you’re going to top this next year, Tel Aviv, but I’ll be back!
MARSHA GREENBERG MOTZENEnglewood, New Jersey/Petah TikvaPresidential messages...Sir, – In view of the Obama administration’s barely disguised antipathy toward the Israelis and their democratically elected government in the last 16 months, Mr. Obama’s Independence Day declaration that Israel and the US “share a strong, unbreakable bond” (“Obama: We share unbreakable bond,” Online Edition, April 20) carries the same credibility as Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”ALAN B. KATZMelville, New York...and messages to the presidentSir, – Regarding your editorial “62, under a cloud” (April 19), the only way to heal the relationship with the United States is for Israel to stand up to President Barack Obama and advocate its case in the court of American public opinion.Obama’s anti-Israel hostility is now clear. Nothing will be gained and everything will be lost by appeasing him. That will only be a sign of weakness and encourage further abuse. Israel is right in this conflict. Obama fails to deny Israel’s historic rights, because its historic rights are undeniable. His failure to acknowledge Israel’s prior sacrifices for peace and its recent substantial concessions are further proof of his lack of fairness, if further proof were even required.
DANIEL R. SCHAEFERHartford, ConnecticutHoly eyesoresSir, – Well before the unholy Holyland scandal came to light, I shuddered each time I saw this eyesore on Jerusalem’s skyline (“Prosecutor: Hundreds of witnesses in Holyland case still to be questioned,” April 19).Whatever comes to light as this shameful story unfolds, and whichever incumbents are held responsible, one thing is clear: There must be stricter guidelines for an untainted planning authority to oversee and decide on all future construction in Jerusalem to ensure that our beautiful city will not be despoiled again.
MITZI KLEIN JerusalemA honey of an obsessionSir, – Having just changed the new toilet roll (which my husband replaced) to the correct position – paper hanging down the back, of course – I was highly amused to read Judy Montagu’s article devoted to such strange obsessions (“Honey trap” April 21).This letter gives me the chance to express my great pleasure that we are once more being given the opportunity to enjoy Judy’s witty and literate articles and my regret that we no longer have the benefit of her tasty, practical and no-nonsense recipes.LOLA S. COHEN JerusalemSir, – Judy Montagu really hit the nail on the head in her column on OCD. My own problem, though, is mainly with signs of OCD that I discern in others. We’ll let one example suffice: Unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Sudoku addict, you’re probably unaware of the strange fact that in every single Sudoku puzzle categorized as “very easy” the number 7 will appear in one of the first three squares in the top left-hand corner!I have done these puzzles for years, and I know this to be a fact. I also know there is no justification for it (except OCD); I checked this with my brother, the game theory expert. And it is precisely this kind of thing that drives me around the bend.MOSHE AUMANNJerusalemSir, – Judy Montagu’s articles are delightful. By the way, I would love to know the drizzle-proof method of spooning out honey.TAMAR H. KAGANJerusalemThe letters editor writes:Having asked, we have obtained the following advice: Press the edge ofthe spoon against the inside of the jar as you take it out, so it cutsoff the honey flow (angle it toward the jar so it doesn’t just drip offthe other side of the spoon). Then move it quickly to its destinationbefore it begins to drizzle. It takes practice, but once perfected, itworks.CORRECTIONThe photo caption on Page 10 of the Independence Day Supplement shouldread “Ariel Sharon congratulates Moshe Ya’alon at a ceremony at thePrime Minister’s Office in which he formally took over from ShaulMofaz,” and not as printed.