December 21: Uninformed brave

In 1948, the Jews accepted the UN partition plan. The Arabs did not and invaded our newborn country. They have been shooting at us ever since.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Uninformed brave
Sir, – Here is some information that poet Joy Harjo (“Crazy Brave,” Arts & Entertainment, December 19) should have about our history here.
It’s not only “some settlers” who believe that God gave us this land; I would say that more than half of us believe this, and we get our information from the Bible. Incidentally, many Muslims believe this also.
Nobody “walk[ed]” the Arabs out of “their” land.
In 1948, the Jews accepted the UN partition plan. The Arabs did not and invaded our newborn country. They have been shooting at us ever since.
Nobody has a monopoly on suffering or having to leave his home. The situation is much more complicated.
Sir, – American Indian poet Joy Harjo is quoted as saying, “I don’t agree to forced encampments for Palestinians, for checkpoints. I think that’s inhumane.”
As for checkpoints she is totally right. And so to really stand behind her words she should demand that as an example, America should first get rid of its own checkpoints.
Did Crazy Brave not notice that every time she tries to board an airplane she has to go through a checkpoint? My guess is that no one, not even Crazy Brave, in America or any other country, wants to get rid of those checkpoints, which were established to stop primarily militant (evil, but not at all crazy) Islamic terrorists, the very same persons our checkpoints attempt to stop.
Lusty argument
Sir, – With regard to “Jewish lust versus Christian love” (No Holds Barred, December 18), love and friendship are very important in a Jewish (actually any) marriage; if the spouses are not friends, the relationship is in trouble.
Love does not conquer all. Certainly lust does not, for it dissipates with time.
Obviously, a healthy attraction and desire for one’s spouse is essential to a good marriage,but a Jewish marriage is based on common values, a shared vision of family and a strong commitment to one person, and no other.
Lust is not a good foundation stone. God recognizes that lust can be a powerful force, and therefore has to warn: “Do not covet your neighbor’s wife” (even without acting on it, which of course would be adultery).
Jewish family purity laws provide some insight into the Jewish view of love in a marriage.
For about two weeks a month, a man must relate to his wife as an intelligent being, as someone with whom to discuss things, as something other than a sexual partner, while all the time counting the days until they can be “together” again. Likewise, a woman can enjoy companionship and intellectual stimulation without other pressures.
This period of abstinence also prevents things from becoming routine.
Then she goes to a mikve. They have a renewal of their physical marriage, a “honeymoon,” if you will, a rekindling of their passion.
The two facets of marriage come together. Both are vital for a successful marriage, as Shmuley Boteach finally concludes.
Sir, – Once again Shmuley Boteach fails to bring references from Jewish codifiers to support his argument.
Whereas he surprisingly appears to be well-versed in the New Testament (I never knew there was an “old” one; I naively thought OT stood for “Only Testament”), the Mishna Brura, Ba-eir Heiteiv, on the Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chayim, Vol. 3, Chapter 280, states that a man is obligated to show ahava (love) and hiba (fondness or endearment), and above all a sense of high regard and honor toward his wife.
Lust, sometimes interpreted as an inordinate desire for carnal pleasure, has no place in Jewish law or life. But then again, I don’t attempt to sell books.
I merely study them.
The writer is a rabbi.