October 28: Defining depression

I was sorry to see the headline “Dealing with post-natal depression,” while the article proceeded to postpartum psychosis.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Defining depression Sir, – Paul Brown’s article on postpartum mental illness was very informative, however I was sorry to see that it was headlined “Dealing with post-natal depression,” while the article proceeded to describe the most extreme cases of postpartum psychosis (Comment and Features, October 25).
I believe that the editors who determined the headline did a disservice to your readers. In the article, the author even stated that “These are not cases of post-natal depression in the sense in which the term is generally used... The diagnosis is most likely postpartum psychosis.”
While there is increasing awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders among a generally healthy group in the population, and indeed the Health Ministry has mandated screening for depressive symptoms in well-baby clinics (tipot chalav) as of January 1, headlines such as this can lead women to identify the term “postpartum depression” with the most serious and horrifying consequences of the psychosis, and hesitate to face and deal with the more common (about 10%) phenomenon known as postpartum depression.
SARALEE GLASSER Elkana The writer is a research psychologist at the Women and Children’s Health Research Unit at the Gertner Institute
Legalize Levy Sir, – The right time to act on the Levy Report is now, prior to the elections (“Settlers: Make Levy Report passage part of a coalition deal,” October 23).
It should be a matter of priority because a legally appointed committee of the government issued a report which unequivocally advocated the legalization of settlements. At this particular time, it would make a mockery of a government-appointed committee to be dealt with as if it never existed.
The Levy Committee consisted of eminent jurists. This committee took all the many legal issues into account and therefore its recommendations for having the government formally legalize settlements is all the more valuable.
The time is now because the international situation regarding many other issues in the Middle East is extremely murky.
The status of our own citizens deserves to be clarified. Citizens living in settlements are very much a part of the IDF, pay taxes and vote. The government is responsible for their security. We cannot have a nation divided in two.
We owe the settler movement a vote of thanks for making this nation realize that we Jews are one people living in the historic borders of Israel. The parties in their election platforms and the prime minister himself must agree that the nation of Israel is one and indivisible.
Masterful mayors Sir, – With the upcoming elections, Israel’s critical need for a more representative government is once again under scrutiny. A significant boost toward this goal may be potentially realized with the joining of the Yesh Atid’s candidates list by the mayors of Herzliya and Dimona (“Lapid welcomes Herzliya, Dimona mayors to party,” October 23).
Our mayors are the only politicians directly elected by a given constituency to whom they are ultimately accountable. Mayors understand the importance of satisfying the needs of their community as opposed to catering – as presently – primarily to their party hierarchy.
We trust that the new candidates will continue to value the necessity of a people constituency.
It is hoped that the example of these mayors will be emulated by more mayors of various parties.
Ideally they will ultimately influence the Knesset to adopt electoral regional representation as the true voice of the people.
ELAINE LEVITT Migdal Tefen The writer is chairwoman of CEPAC, the Citizens Empowerment Public Action Campaign
Communal rebirth Sir, – It was with great pleasure and satisfaction that I read the amazing story of the rebirth of the Jewish community in “Dnepo” as it is often referred to, in brief (“The Menorah Center – the largest Jewish complex in the world,” Comment and Features, October 23).
This miracle started in the early ’90s, when this very unusual rabbi was sent by the “rebbe” to do what had to be done. It should be noted that Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky arrived to a barren wasteland of Jewish life, with the only remaining synagogue dimly lit, and leaking during the winter season. With great difficulty, they were able to form a minyan, the 10 men needed for communal prayer.
It was my fortune at that time to be a staff member of the Pincus Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting and expanding Jewish education worldwide.
When I arrived, after only four years of the rabbi’s efforts there, the synagogue was refurbished, the lighting and fixtures all replaced, daily prayers well attended, five kindergartens were bubbling with the voices of “the new generation,” the day school was thriving and the Teachers Seminary was established with 120 students in attendance.
During my visit, The Jewish “community,” four years old, was already invited to participate in the citywide memorial commemorating VE Day, with thousands in attendance, where the “Kel Maleh” prayer was recited for those killed in World War II.
The Pincus Fund had indeed been instrumental in the creation and reestablishment of Jewish life there, with the excellent leadership and direction of this very special “shaliach” of the rebbe.
Several years ago, the rabbi was honored by the Pincus Fund, awarding him the annual Fisher Prize for Excellence in Jewish Education. This very special rabbi was always dreaming of doing “big things.” The Menorah Center is another one of the realities of his dreams.
YAAKOV ZEV Jerusalem
Brave individuals Sir, – In “Is Jordan the Hashemite-occupied Palestine?” Mudar Zahran examines the Jordanian regime through a liberaldemocratic lens (Comment and Features, October 23).
His accurate observation that Jordan is ruled by a clique that denies majority rights and whips up support using anti-Israel distractions does not mean that democratic change will improve anything.
According to a Pew Research poll in December 2010, about two-thirds of Jordanians want Shari’a law, with 86 percent supporting the death penalty for apostates. These are roughly the same percentages that have brought Islamists to power in Egypt.
What’s more, Ahlan Tamimi, the woman who abetted the Sbarro terrorist bomber and is proud of it, has her own TV show.
Certainly, every effort should be made to help the Mudar Zahrans of this world, but until there is a significant change of popular values, the countries these brave individuals are trying to reform will not help them.
Public loss Sir, – I have been an avid and loyal reader of The Jerusalem Post throughout my career over the past 35 years. I have come to know the managements, staff reporters and editors over the years and commend you for those journalists serving with the Post – online and print.
But I am writing to express my sorrow that your staff reporter, Ruth Eglash, is leaving.
What a loss that is, not just for The Jerusalem Post and its readers, but for Israel as a whole.
I have followed her career and worked with her on a number of projects. What I found was not only an incredibly intelligent and talented woman and great journalist, but a Jew who cares deeply about her people and who has strengthened the fabric of Israeli society during her tenure with the Post.
Yasher koach to you, Ruth.
Thank you for all you have done for Israel and the Jewish people and may God bless you in whatever you do.
YECHIEL ECKSTEIN Jerusalem The writer is founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews