April 5: Just a Jew in Israel

Many of the so-called Orthodox rules are absurdities not rooted in halachic traditions. The wide-brimmed black hat is one that readily comes to mind.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Ongoing nightmare
Sir, – With regard to “NGOs call for probe into rabbinic ‘income’ after Metzger comments” (April 3), Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger’s statements on charges for wedding services are simply further proof of the levels of corruption, coercion and financial extortion that permeate the Chief Rabbinate.
Hiddush’s Uri Regev called it right. What the religious community in Israel is not cognizant of is the fact that momemtum is building with every passing day for the complete abolition of the Chief Rabbinate. It is an institution that has held the Israeli public in a straight jacket for decades regarding every milestone in human life by virtue of a draconian interpretation of Judaic law unimaginable to members of other streams of Judaism.
The new Knesset must act now and free the public from this ongoing nightmare, as only through legislation can change be realized.
MITCHELL C. RADOV Ashdot Ya’acov
Just a Jew in Israel
Sir, – Gil Troy has got it perfectly right with regard to Orthodoxy vs. secularism (“Why I am not ‘Orthodox’ – or ‘secular,’” Center Field, April 3).
Many of the so-called Orthodox rules are absurdities not rooted in halachic traditions. The widebrimmed black hat is one that readily comes to mind.
On the other hand, so called secularists are nothing more than non-observant Jews who are very much aware of the Jewish calendar and its ensuing holidays.
When asked if I’m Orthodox or secular, my answer is that I’m just a Jew living in Israel!
HAIM M. LERNER Ganei Tikva
Misleading term
Sir, – Hats off to Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel for their eye-opening “Stop using misleading term ‘two-state solution’” (Comment & Features, April 2).
There is another disgusting term: occupied territories.
It has been adopted by most nations, as well as our own.
Prior to 1967, where was Palestine? There were just Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
So wake up, folks! There were never Palestinian territories to be occupied. Why in the world are all our ministers and pundits so ignorant in bringing this fact to light?
N.E. SAMUEL Yavne Successful transaction
Sir, – The article “Israel’s Passover goy” (Passover Supplement, March 31), about the sale of the country’s hametz prior to the holiday, was very interesting.
As far as I am aware, however, there is no Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem. I hope the hametz was in fact sold!
The Passover Supplement editor responds: The hametz was sold. Jabar Hussein is employed by the Ramada Jerusalem Hotel, and not as stated.Beware charisma
Sir, – Sarah Honig’s “Bewitched, bothered and bewildered” (Another Tack, March 31) reminded me of how easy it can be for charismatic leaders to convince rational people.
In the Berlin Museum there is a diary entry by a Jewish teenager, who wrote in 1933 that she thought Hitler would be a good thing for the German people.
A decade ago there was a propagandist speech against Israel at the annual Limmud conference in the UK. I witnessed how many people were completely taken in by the rhetoric and, sadly, also influenced by it to take an active part in campaigns to harm the people of Israel.LYNETTE ORDMAN Netanya