February 29: Each man, himself

I happen to think that many men also dress provocatively in tight jeans and open shirts.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Each man, himself Sir, - With all due respect to Varda Epstein and her scientific evidence that women should not be seen in advertising, books and other public venues (UpFront Letters, February 22), missing from her review of the "evidence" was the concept of personal responsibility. I happen to think that many men also dress provocatively in tight jeans and open shirts. While I might find them attractive and even sexually stimulating, I certainly don't let their appearance in public influence my judgment in not giving in to those urges. I know plenty of secular men who see women as human beings, made by the same God, and not simply as sexual creatures to be used and hidden away when not wanted or needed. It's time haredi men took upon themselves the mantle of personal responsibility. Contrary to the misteachings of some "sages," men are not victims of some fanciful idea that women are out to ruin their relationship with God. The only one who can do that is each man, by himself. SUZANNE POMERANZ Jerusalem Meir Kahane... Sir, - Many thanks for your review of Rabbi Meir Kahane ("My militant husband," UpFront Books, February 22). As a former Soviet Jew, I say: Thank you, Elliot Jager, for the words "I don't know if Meir Kahane saved Soviet Jewry... but he undoubtedly saved thousands of American Jewish youth like me... I, for one, am in his debt." I can attest that Kahane did save Soviet Jewry. And thank you, Isi Leibler, for "It was not until after the wild Kahanists made headlines by committing violent acts against the Soviet diplomats that intensified pressure from the 'Jewish street' forced the leadership to become engaged" ("The Jews of struggle," December 12, 2007). Rabbi Meir Kahane covers Kahane's life up to 1975. I first heard him speak in Jerusalem in 1976. His message is still valid today, even though the Kach and Kahane Chai parties were branded "terrorist" by the Israeli government almost 13 years ago, and have also been listed as such in both the US and EU ever since. When it comes to Jews, and especially Israelis, there is hardly any better proof of their lack of gratitude than their attitude to Kahane, his followers and his legacy. But former Soviet Jews remember what Rabbi Kahane did for them. E. MAIDANIK Jerusalem ...and his legacy Sir, - My parents sent me to JDL camp in Woodbourne, New York, in 1970 to learn self-defense as Brooklyn was a tough place for a "skinny melink" like me. I threw Molotov cocktails, fired guns, studied karate with Alex Sternberg and Izzy Danziger, met survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, marched on Washington for Soviet Jewry, cheered when Israel shot down five Russian fighter planes, and learned priceless identity with Israel. I did not get this elsewhere. I remember Binyamin Kahane as a child in his father's arms. Today I contribute to AIPAC and Friends of the IDF, and have written many letters to the press supporting Israel. I did not care for the firebombing of Aeroflot, nor for Kahane's goal of evicting Arabs from Israel, but his "Never Again" mantra must never be forgotten by all Jews if we are not to eventually relearn the bitter historical lesson that we are never truly safe, anywhere, at any given time. I mourned Kahane's death by the same people who later bombed the World Trade Center, in 1993, and I thank Elliot Jager for filling in some of the background of this most determined and influential man. BRUCE BOYMAN Vancouver Wrongly nailed Sir, - When Naomi Chazan began to describe the reduced prestige of the Supreme Court in "For want of a nail" (UpFront, February 22), I naturally I assumed she would correctly identify the culprit, specifically former chief justice Aharon Barak. During his tenure, Barak did more to politicize and polarize the decisions, domain and makeup of the court than any other bureaucrat, politician, or justice in Israeli history. To see the minister of justice blamed for trying to fix and reform the court system that Barak overtly warped and stretched was quite surprising. STEPHEN LEAVITT Efrat Listening skills Sir, - I enjoyed Batya Ludman's informative "Do you hear what I hear?" (February 15). As an experienced communication therapist working in the field of auditory training through sound stimulation, I would like to add some important information. Many people with presenting issues similar to those described in the article have normal hearing but poor listening skills. A listening problem affects communication, learning and emotional well-being. The good news is that appropriate treatment can produce significantly positive results both for the individual himself and for those around him. The first step, as Dr. Ludman suggests, is to have a hearing test. If hearing is found to be within normal limits, I recommend checking out the existence of a listening problem. ANGELA NEY- GOLDENBERG Co-Director, Tomatis Listening Center Kfar Saba Gloves, with love Sir, - During our very first visit to Israel, my husband and I ventured out to post some cards and photograph the Western Wall on the first day of snow in Jerusalem. I had lost my gloves and was really feeling the cold in my hands, when a lovely young woman passing us and noticing my friend (with whom we were traveling) trying to rub them, immediately pulled off her own gloves and insisted that I take them. I was quite overcome by her kindness, and wish she could know that her action will long be remembered. It made our first impressions of Israel even more wonderful. BEVERLY BULL Vancouver