December 14: Reason to cheer

A Jewish wedding is planned to be held at the 400-year-old synagogue near Kochi, after a gap of 21 years.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Reason to cheer Sir, - After the gruesome violence inflicted by Pakistani terrorists at Chabad House in Mumbai, the small community of Jews in Kerala has something to cheer about: A Jewish wedding is planned to be held at the 400-year-old synagogue near Kochi, after a gap of 21 years. The groom Shelomo, 28, an MBA graduate from Kochi, is working in Chennai, while the bride, Susan, hails from Mumbai. Shelomo's family belongs to the Thekkumbhagam congregation of the Cochin Jewish community and Susan is from the Bene Israel community in Mumbai. Their wedding will be solemnized by Elias Josephai, a member of the Jewish community in Kochi. VIPUL THAKORE London Frankly frightening Sir, - I am not a Likud member and definitely no fan of Moshe Feiglin. Nevertheless, Binyamin Netanyahu's attempt to change a reality he dislikes goes against the basic principles of democracy. It will also prove counterproductive to his party's success in the upcoming election ("'Post' readers fault Bibi's post-primary antics," Letters, December 11). What does this say about his functioning as prime minister, should he win the vote in February? One of his failings in his 1990s tenure as prime minister was his flip-flopping on issues when new realities presented themselves. He clearly hasn't reformed. Frankly, it frightens me to imagine a prime minister attempting to shape future, unknown realities - of any sort - to his political or personal needs. NACHAMA KANNER Rehovot Ain't so Sir, - "Man bites dog!" is headline news. "Feiglin, allies win big" (Online Edition, December 10), is hyperbole. To suggest that Moshe Feiglin's endorsement carried the day for the top of the Likud list may sell newspapers; however, it is far removed from fact. Gideon Sa'ar, Gilad Erdan, Ruby Rivlin and Bennie Begin were chosen by the members of Likud because of their hard work, integrity and devotion to principle. Whether Feiglin gave his support to them or not is of no consequence. In fact, to my knowledge, Begin rejected Feiglin's endorsement. With that said, I congratulate Mr. Feiglin on a well-articulated statement of his position and the organizational skills needed to win the votes of a considerable number of party members. It would be a shame if Bibi Netanyahu attempted to pull a "Sharon" in this situation and ignore the will of his party, as that leader did on the referendum regarding Gush Katif. DAVID STAR Ma'aleh Adumim What Bibi needs Sir, - Re "Polls: Hawkish list doesn't hurt Likud" (December 10): Bibi needs to take pride in the Likud list and honor his pledge to put the best people in responsible positions. He must verbally derail the attempts of Kadima and Labor to dismiss the Likud as the extreme Right. Israelis have repeatedly bought into Labor's and Kadima's promises of peace and feel let down. They want to try a proactive approach based on a real assessment of our peace partners, our security risks, our economic solvency and our natural resources. If Bibi focuses on the Likud's commitment to stand up for Israel's interests, he will continue to see favorable polls. ALICE EIGNER Ma'aleh Adumim Off-center Sir, - Regarding Gil Hoffman's analysis of the Likud primary results: His contention that the party can no longer bill itself as "centrist" begs the question - which party can? Can Kadima, after giving up Gaza and making plans to do the same for Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, claim to be the party of the center? ("Netanyahu moves to change Likud list after hawks' victory," December 10.) MICHAEL BERKOWITZ Alon Shvut 'Z' parade Sir, - The Likud should organize its own version of a "gay parade," in which Israelis could come out of the closet and proudly proclaim they are Zionists. Secular Israelis and religious Israelis could march together proudly, arm-in-arm. CHARLES OREN Givatayim Maimonides' truths Sir, - Reuven Hammer reiterated the common misconception of Maimonides' "13 principles" in his "A Jewish creed" (UpFront, December 5). First, Maimonides never formulated a system of beliefs, but of fundamentals. The notion of beliefs requires blind emotional acceptance of ideas on faith. Maimonides knew that a person cannot be forced to believe anything; on the contrary, people should study, gain true knowledge, and use it to improve themselves and others. Second, the version of Maimonides' fundamentals, as can be seen in his own writing, is radically different from the popular paraphrase in Ani Ma'amin, which speaks of beliefs, and Yigdal. Third, Maimonides was not convinced that a religious Jew needed some beliefs, "some adherence to dogmas." Like his father Maimon, he saw that the persecuted Jews of his time needed some relatively easy and comforting ideas to hold onto that would make them feel good about being Jewish. Plato called ideas specially created for the masses "noble lies" or "necessary truths." But scholars generally recognize that Maimonides never wanted knowledgeable Jews to accept these "necessary truths." Even well-respected traditional scholars such as Don Isaac Abarbanel wrote that Maimonides himself only considered the first few of his principles real truths. ISRAEL DRAZIN Boca Raton, Florida The writer is author of Maimonides: The Exceptional Mind