June 17: Meaningless kippa

Begin, who didn't wear a kippa, was a better Jew and a better person than Burg, whose kippa seems glued to his head by a hypocritical, meaningless adhesion.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Meaningless kippa Sir, - I do not take issue with Stewart Weiss re "For a Torah-observant prime minister" (June 14). But I question the validity of his phrase "kippa-wearing." If Avrum Burg can betray his father, his faith and his country while wearing a kippa on his Jewishly embarrassed head, how much value should we place upon the kippa? It can cover a multitude of sins. How sad that the kippa is the primary distinguishing symbol in matters of religious Judaism. I think Menachem Begin, who did not wear a kippa in the Knesset, was a better Jew and a better person than Burg, whose kippa seems glued to his head by a hypocritical, meaningless adhesion. J.M. KING Jerusalem Sir, - As a God-fearing, Zionist Israeli secular Jew I agree with Stewart Weiss - but point out that our devout politicians have just as bad a record of proven greed and misdemeanors as any others. They should know better. PHIL FRYDMAN Netanya Sir, - One of the first Hebrew songs we were taught in the Jewish day school in Brooklyn was: "The Land of Israel without the Torah is like a body without a soul!" May we be blessed with a leader such as in the days of old, one who carried the Torah with him wherever he went, including the battlefield. It is God's wisdom, and our people's only real protection. SHERRIE MILLER Jerusalem A truly Jewish president Sir, - Shimon Peres sees himself as "a great unifier of Israel's fractured society." He owes a great debt of gratitude to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who made sure Shas voted for him en bloc ("Peres elected ninth president," June 14). In fulfilling that debt, will the synagogue in Beit Hanassi continue to function under President Peres? Will he join in the morning prayers? In speaking about values, our Jewish ones should be in the forefront. We hope Shimon Peres will be president of all who cherish the land of Israel, because the Zionist dream is based on this land having been chosen by God for the Jewish people. TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem ACRI's anti-Israel stand Sir, - Re ACRI's response to my articles, the most recent being "Prof. Amnon Rubinstein - you're wrong about ACRI" (June 14): ACRI indeed has done many good deeds in the past, especially under the leadership of Haim Cohen, Ruth Gavison and Na'ama Karmi, but in recent years it has tilted toward a unilateral anti-Israel stand. ACRI does not respond to the facts mentioned in my articles - that unlike other human rights NGOs, it failed to condemn the abduction of Israeli soldiers by Hamas and, in a specially revealing step, failed to demand their release. ACRI's reply does not even touch upon this failure. Similarly, ACRI's response fails to explain its objection to defining Israel as a Jewish (and democratic) state in its future, tentative constitution. As to ACRI's report to the UN, I neither denigrated not attacked this document except, again, to claim that in part it is one-sided. The sentence I objected to runs as follows: "The jingoistic discourse and behavior of the disengagement opponents stood testament to the significant and worrying upsurge in racism within Israeli society." This statement, unsupported by any evidence, is manifestly one-sided: Not a word is to be found in ACRI's document about the shelling of civilians - in Sderot and in the Western Negev - that went on during the presentation of ACRI's document. I hope and pray that ACRI will continue to work for human rights in Israel and for full equality for its Arab citizens - there is plenty of work to be done there - without adopting an arbitrary, propagandist and bash-Israel attitude. AMNON RUBINSTEIN Herzliya Terse vs verbose Sir, - While reading Emanuel Feldman's "Cut, cut, cut" (June 13), in which he chafes at the need for brevity, I was reminded of a saying I heard from a Wall Street security analyst: "An analyst will write a 60-page report when he does not have the time to write a two-pager." Terseness is a gift. JANE S. HIRSCH Kochav Ya'ir Ben-Gurion would Sir, - Close down a radio station for lack of funds - what is your country coming to? Why not ask your leaders to contribute some of their salaries? After all, they do not seem to be earning their salt. Ah, if only Ben-Gurion were alive today! ("IBA management, workers to open negotiations Thursday," June 14.) DAVID EPSTEIN Albuquerque, New Mexico Jewel in the crown Sir, - Re "Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra may be playing its last notes" (June 13): Shutting down the JSO would be disastrous. It is a jewel in the crown of our city, and adds to the quality of life of thousands. It behooves our mayor to launch a lobbying campaign in the Knesset, while encouraging Maestro Leon Botstein to continue in his crusade to save our orchestra. FRED GOTTLIEB Jerusalem