December 7 UpFront: Conspiracy of science?

Our society is only beginning to understand that suicide is the product of an illness of an organ called the brain.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Conspiracy of science? Sir, - In the November 30 edition, there appeared a very interesting article about suicide in the IDF. Rather than a "Conspiracy of Silence," as the headline suggests, the article fails to address the primary cause of suicide in the IDF and in society in general. Our society is only beginning to understand that suicide is the product of an illness of an organ called the brain, much like diabetes is an illness of an organ called the pancreas, and pneumonia is an illness of an organ called the lung. Until this basic concept is accepted, we will continue to fail in our efforts to deal effectively with this most tragic condition and with the problems of mental illness more generally, of which suicide is a small subset. LEONARD LOREN, M.D. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Los Angeles, California CORRECTION: The correct name of the suicide prevention organization mentioned in the story is B'shvil Hahaim, (03) 924-8951, Catch-22 Sir, - I have nothing but admiration for the thesis expressed by Saul Singer in his article "Want peace? Stop Iran" (November 30). The Arab states are not alone in their ambivalence about nuclear Iran. This is a general human attitude, as is shown by two quotations. One is from Napoleon, and says: "God is on the side of the big battalions." I cannot attribute the other - "The Good Book says: 'The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong' but that's the way to bet." More seriously, the opinion that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will come as a result of the de-nuclearization of Iran, and not the other way around, deserves the widest possible publicity. It should be distributed to the policy-makers of all the countries of the civilized world, who are so eager to get movement on this dispute, generally at the expense of Israel. D. MEYER Haifa Credit due Sir, - Samuel G. Freedman's "Hechsher Tzedek" (November 30) highlights Rabbi Morris Allen's movement to create a new form of kosher certification, which will put the emphasis on a company's treatment of its workers as well as its compliance with the laws of kashrut. Rabbi Allen should be commended for his advocacy and efforts in this area. I think Mr. Freedman was remiss, though, in not mentioning the original crusader for workers' rights, the author Upton Sinclair, whose very popular novel of 1906, The Jungle, created such a tremendous public uproar which, in part, contributed to the passage in the same year of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. HYLA BERKOWITZ Jerusalem Small world Sir, - Imagine my surprise when I opened your weekend magazine and saw a painting, which now hangs on the wall of a family in a house in Ramat Eshkol, called the Bar Kochba Excavations, painted by my mother, a well-known international artist called Adele Grossman, now aged 96. Except it wasn't painted by my mother at all. As your article explained, it was painted by the writer's grandfather, Joseph Cornbleet! Both artists saw the same post card, and in very similar style, they both painted the same painting, in England, and both pictures have ended up, having traveled far and wide, here in Jerusalem. It certainly is a small world! SONJA ILLOUZ Moshav Shoresh