February 12: Mazuz's wise decision

Any step that enables a child to have a better life should get our blessing.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Wise words Sir, - "Mazuz rules there's no legal reason to stop same-sex couples from adopting" (February 11) was a wise decision. We have always considered children our most valuable asset, and any step that enables a child to have a better life should get our blessing. Tens of thousands of single women are struggling to raise their children after being abandoned or divorced by their husbands, or widowed. Anything that provides a child with a better start should get our full support. In times when the state is unable to provide, two can provide more than one! DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono Unwise act Sir, - Why in heaven's name would Israel return to Hebron the bodies of the two suicide bombers who killed Lubov Razdolskaya and wounded 40 others in Dimona last week? ("32 Fatah gunmen complete arms-free trial period," February 11). Why would we encourage their "martyrdom" by allowing them a grave that can be visited and revered by their family members? RONIT PINCHUCK Hashmonaim Senior self-defense... Sir, - Kudos to The Jerusalem Post for covering an issue as important to the community as self-defense training for senior citizens ("'Use your cane to fend off attackers!'" February 8). In light of the recent spate of violent crimes against seniors, it would seem that workshops such as those offered by El HaLev would be an important part of a community-wide effort to address this issue. It is unfortunate, therefore, that the tone of the article was more likely to discourage, rather than encourage, participation in such forums. Even during times when such attacks are rare, when they are reported, vast numbers of elder citizens fall prey to feelings of fear and helplessness. As professionals in the self-defense field we know that the best protection against the loss of quality of life caused by this ripple effect is knowledge - not a list of dos and don'ts, but knowledge that addresses body, mind and spirit as the interactive unit they are. Like every living creature, our elder citizens are endowed with a number of natural tools of self-defense, mental and physical. The vast majority of attackers, faced with a determined "victim" who tells them to "Stop!" and is ready to add a couple of good kicks or canes to the groin for good measure, will quickly leave and search for easier prey. As for the comments of the young karate instructor, they only served to underline how much work remains to be done to uproot stereotypes and biases about aging - not just among our elder citizens, but among ourselves. JILL BAKER SHAMES Chairperson, El HaLev Jerusalem ...use those canes! Sir, - I would like to add an interesting item to your report. Several years ago while on an organized trip to Rome, I had to use a stick to help with my very painful osteoarthritic knees. I managed very well. While walking with my group of many people, I happened to look down and noticed a man on one side of me and a woman on the other trying to open the zipper on my waistband purse. My knee-jerk reaction was to pick up my stick and wham them both, whereupon they ran away. Everyone applauded. Two days later, while we were walking to view a castle, a woman approached me asking for a "cigaria" and moving in very close. I looked down and noticed that she, too, was opening my purse zipper to steal. I picked up my cane, yelled "Noch amool!" and slapped her very hard. She ran away. So, folks, don't be afraid to use your canes - not only to help you walk, but to stave off attackers. TZIVIA SHEVKAROV Jerusalem Gift of fighting Sir, - Self-styled relational therapist Shmuley Boteach gives us eight spotless rules for how to fight with our spouses ("Don't fight to win," February 11). However, the reasons he cites for why we quarrel so passionately with our most loved ones is not because friction is "bound to happen" or "to convey our viewpoint." If that were so, the advice would be "Try not to get upset, or at least as little as possible." We argue with enthusiasm with our nearest and dearest out of a need to connect deeply in the hope that the other will embrace not just our behavior, but also our deepest sentiments and beliefs. This doesn't work by just theorizing about them; we need "to show ourselves." That's why it's not a hutzpa to spell out in our prayers how upset we are with God. Our loved ones who open up hand us the highest gift when they get upset with us - an invitation to get to know each other deeply. Therefore the first rule is: Take turns to argue, and to pay attention; otherwise we compete to be heard, and no one listens. M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem Sir, - While Shmuley Boteach offers some sound advice about managing arguments with one's spouse, I feel he is being a little naive. To say "Never bring your spouse's family into the argument. 'You're just like your mother' is always a low blow" suggests the man has never had a Jewish mother-in-law. J. LALOR Dublin Two Rowans Sir, - I'm confused. There is an Englishman named Rowan Atkinson who is the archbishop of Canterbury, and another Englishman named Rowan Williams who is Mr. Bean (or is it the other way around?). One of them hardly talks; the other talks much too much. One is funny but sad; the other sad, and not funny at all. Hopefully, he will soon be Mr. Has-Been ("Archbishop of Canterbury denies proposing Shari'a legal system," February 10). JOSEF GILBOA Jaffa Isr-assertive Sir, - In response to Mel Gold saying (Letters, February 7) that pro-Israel college students should organize a "Palestinian Terrorism Week," you should be aware that students at York University in Toronto have launched "Islamic State Apartheid Week" (www.IslamicStateApartheid.com). Hopefully this will mark the beginning of more assertive pro-Israel movements on campus. MICHAEL GREENSPAN Thornhill, Ontario Tennis, anyone? Sir, - What disgusting behavior on the part of Dudi Sela when he lost his tennis match against Sweden's Thomas Johansson ("A smashingly bad example," February 11). And how embarrassing for his family, and for Israel. In any other country his performance would have cost him dear. Bad manners have no place in this supposedly gentleman's sport. Both spectators and players should watch Wimbledon to learn how to behave. JUDY GOLDIN Kiryat Ono Sir, - I would like to take issue with Ronald Bear's comment that we Israeli tennis spectators do acknowledge the capabilities of our opponents ("Racquets and rackets," February 10). I read his letter while watching the first reverse singles match in the current Davis Cup tie, and was struck by the fact that the Swedish player's unforced errors were followed by loud applause, while his ace services or excellent winning shots were greeted with amazing silence. MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond