September 19, 2017: Bad memories

The very existence of marital blacklists is a reason to abolish the Chief Rabbinate, or at least end its monopoly over life-cycle events.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bad memories
With regard to “Rabbinical Courts rapidly adding names to marital blacklists” (September 17), the very existence of marital blacklists is a reason to abolish the Chief Rabbinate, or at least end its monopoly over life-cycle events.
Just seven decades ago, preventing Jews from marrying those not considered to be Jewish by those in power was a means toward the attempted destruction of the Jewish people.
Coffee, Australia
Actions, not words
US President Donald Trump professes his love for us (“Professing love for Israel, US president condemns those ‘promoting antisemitism,’” September 17).
One way to show his love is to do the right thing and send Jonathan Pollard home to Israel for the High Holy Days, and to do so on the flight with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Actions speak louder than words.
A curate’s egg
I read with interest Greer Fay Cashman’s “‘From Balfour to Brexit’ draws huge crowds” (September 17). She is right that the popularity of the conference was extraordinary, but it was somewhat like a curate’s egg, and very unbalanced.
The core hour-long and amusing lecture by historian Kobi Hubara, to which she refers, managed not to mention or explore the two key factors creating the Balfour Declaration – the Bible and Christian Zionism (seven out of 10 members of Britain’s war cabinet were Evangelical Christians) – nor the anti-Zionism of Edwin Montague, the only Jew in the cabinet and the person who watered down the declaration because of his fears of claims of dual loyalty.
Ms. Cashman plays down the disgraceful behavior of writer A.B. Yehoshua. He insulted everyone and everything, including the Balfour Declaration; the guest of honor, the current Earl of Balfour, who was sitting in front of him; and the Jews, not only for displacing the Palestinians, but for not coming in sufficient numbers. Yehoshua failed to mention that Palestine was malaria ridden (eradicated by the Jews) and poverty stricken. He also might have remembered that in the 1930s, the British placed the odd restriction or two on Jewish immigration.
Ms. Cashman says how supportive the current UK prime minister, Theresa May, is of Israel and the UK’s Jewish community. But she does not mention the chilling analysis of Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
Pollard clearly stated the high probability that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would be elected the next prime minster and be surrounded by antisemitic advisers and MPs. Pollard said Corbyn was moving to take complete control of the key levers of the party, which we can now write off for 10 years.
Not just lowlifes
At first, I was delighted to see your editorial “Gueta and the haredim” (September 15). Unfortunately, it used real news – a member of Knesset being bullied out of office by the anti-gay lobby – only as a stepping stone to philosophize about fractured haredi leadership in politics.
Where are the people demanding a law that awards jail time for anyone trying to intimidate a parliamentarian into resigning? Because that is what happened.
Even the opposition treated this outrage as a fait accompli, an act of God.
Yet don’t assume for a second that this bigotry is exclusively religious. The same day the commotion about MK Yigal Gueta’s radio interview broke, that bastion against haredi influence on Israeli society, the High Court of Justice, demanded that the words “to get married” be deleted from the phrase “The right to love, to get married, even if I am homosexual” from an Association for Civil Rights in Israel public- service announcement (“‘Ad can praise Arab, LGBT equality, not gay marriage,’” September 17).
These hateful actions do not come from lowlifes. These are some of Israel’s most prominent leaders.
The writer, co-author of Homosexuality and Halacha: It is Not that Simple – an Encyclopedic Look at How Jewish Law Deals with Love and Sexuality between Men, informed the Post that the name given is a pseudonym and requested that a place of residence be withheld.
Shocking vandalism
As a freshly minted oleh, a proud new citizen, I am appalled.
Daniel K. Eisenbud’s article “Tomb raiders vandalize mysterious ‘skull cave’ near Horkania fortress” (September 14) is shocking, indeed in light of the allegation that “the Civil Administration [of Judea and Samaria] does almost nothing to prevent this.”
I made aliya for many reasons, among them, high on the list, is a passionate love and respect for our Holy Land, its people, history, theology, culture and vibrant renewal. All are endangered by such wanton, greed-driven desecration and theft. Our political interests are also threatened. Zealous antisemites in the UN Security Council and elsewhere are eager to dismiss and/or erase any and all archeological evidence of our millennia-old roots in our ancestral soil and are probably delighted by these desecrations.
Doubtless, budgetary factors weigh in on this disgrace. Something effective, however, must be done. I, for one – and I am sure there are many others – am willing to volunteer to assist in a much-needed project of protection.
Beit Shemesh
The writer is a rabbi.
Jewish artifacts
Regarding Caroline B. Glick’s “The State Department’s strange obsession” (Our World, September 12) and the issue of the Jewish artifacts the US wants to return to Iraq, there is no Jewish community left in Iraq because it rejected and expelled its Jews.
The Jewish archives from Iraq belong to the Jewish people as surely as Jewish art seized by the Nazis is indisputably the property of its Jewish owners and their descendants.
Recall that when asked if President Donald Trump thought the Western Wall was part of Israel, H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser, replied: “That sounds like a policy decision.”
Perhaps it is the position of the State Department that there is no legitimate sovereign Jewish nation-state to which the Iraqi Jewish archives (or the Western Wall) rightfully and obviously belong. There is certainly no other way for it to rationalize sending Jewish historical treasures to a country that did not want its Jews.
Davis, California
Our masterpiece
In “Words matter” (Comment & Features, September 12), Noa Sattath writes: “For many in this country, Reform Jews are a terrible bogyman (or worse, woman) seeking to destroy Judaism.” She is referring to a statement made by Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and writes: “I am not condemning his religious practice as he does mine.”
Rabbi Amar’s is authentic whereas that practiced by Ms. Sattath, who does not believe in the Torah as having been written by God, is what she wants it to be.
When one has an original masterpiece, no people in their right mind would consider altering it.
It cannot be added to, nor can it have anything taken away – which is exactly what the non-Orthodox movements do to satisfy their congregants. It is not the fault of Orthodox Judaism that the adherents of these movements are unable or unwilling to comply with God’s laws and commandments – which are the reasons for our being returned to our historic homeland.
In the one Jewish state for the Jewish people, these movements cannot come here and demand that we change our masterpiece.