October 7: Courts and education

To paraphrase Justice Elyakim Rubinstein: Do we have the right to force someone to learn to read even though he doesn’t want to? I think we do!

Sir, – Regarding “Top court opposed to imposing curriculum on haredim” (October 5), the law stipulates that every child has to get an education.
But what is an education? It should be clearly defined regarding the core subjects (e.g., reading, writing and basic maths in the lowest grades, Jewish and general history and more at the next level, and so on.
To paraphrase Justice Elyakim Rubinstein: Do we have the right to force someone to learn to read even though he doesn’t want to? I think we do!
Sir, - The mind boggles at nine Supreme Court justices demonstrating political correctness while committing Israeli society to a downward spiral, perpetuating the plunge of ever-increasing ranks of haredim into a life of poverty, state handouts and educational ignorance.
Without a knowledge of core subjects, haredim cannot earn a living or contribute to the economy.
They will receive social benefits financed solely by those with an education that enables them to work.
Since the average family size among haredim greatly exceeds that of non-haredim, this court decision condemns us to eventual national bankruptcy.
Elyakim Rubinstein’s remark underlines the fact that the constitutional panel charged with making decisions on fundamental changes in the law is concerned only with abstruse niceties, and is blind to the good of the country.
Beit Zayit
Sir, – Haredi schools that do not wish to teach secular subjects should be required to teach Torah – for example, the assertion in the Talmud that a father has a duty to teach his son a trade.
Sir, – Several days ago, less than a week before Yom Kippur, I was walking home along Netanya’s main street when I saw two men walking toward me. I heard them conversing clearly in Hebrew.
One asked the other, “When will it be Yom Kippur, next Sunday?” He was corrected by his companion.
How can it be that there are adult Israelis who are so ignorant of their heritage! I walked home with my head down. Oh, for some real Jewish education.
Partnership, not lectures
Sir, – In “Easing concerns and looking for assurances” (Analysis, October 3), Yaakov Katz suggests that we need to look at US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit through the prism of current Israeli- American relations.
I could not agree more, but with a caveat: Our strategic planning should go far beyond the next presidential election. It is in Israel’s best interest, as it faces a new and very complex Middle East in relative diplomatic isolation, to strengthen its partnership with its closest and most powerful ally.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – Secretary Panetta, the last time we looked to the US to rescue us was in 1967, when president Lyndon Johnson said he would send an international armada of ships through the Straits of Tiran to break the siege of Eilat imposed by Egypt’s Nasser. But it never happened – he could only send an aircraft carrier, and it never arrived.
So don’t lecture us about depending on the might of the US (“Panetta: Israel and international community need to cooperate on Iran,” October 4). If we depended on anybody else for our own defense we'd be in deep trouble.
But if it comes to attacking a country intent on destroying us, we would be happy for the help. You are right that we should not do it unilaterally – we should expect to depend on the leader of the free world, if the US is still that, to support us.
So please let us know when the threat from Iran becomes imminent. We can respond together, as allies should.