September 25: Yom Kippur photos in ‘Post’

Why not put a picture of the thousands of people all over the country praying for the atonement of people like you?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With regard to the front page photo headlined “Atonement statistics” (September 24), were these Jewish or Arab children on their bicycles? Yom Kippur is not relevant for Arabs, so why not ride your bike! Same goes for the sensational picture and comment in “Different Yom Kippur customs” on Page 2. It is clearly only symbolic! Why does The Jerusalem Post go to great lengths to be anti-Jewish? Why not put a picture of the thousands of people all over the country praying for the atonement of people like you?
Again this year, you place a photo on your front page of children riding their bicycles on Yom Kippur. Is that what the holiday means to your editors? I would instead like to see a picture of people going to their synagogues in their white Yom Kippur clothes. That would be much more appropriate.
On Page 2 of your September 24 issue, you printed a photo in which it is stated that “Jerusalemites take advantage of Yom Kippur yesterday to enjoy a stroll down the middle of a street absent of traffic.” I beg to differ.
Yes, the picture shows a street devoid of traffic. It also shows parked cars lining both sides of the street, a woman dressed nicely, a man all in white wearing a white kippa, following many others, all walking down the street in the same direction.
I propose that they are walking to synagogue for Yom Kippur services.
The difference in interpretations is huge.
The caption referring to the bottom photo in “Different Yom Kippur customs” describes the “Malkot” as a “bizarre flagellation ritual.”
Aside from the fact that Malkot is a symbolic atonement and is not meant to cause pain, I wonder whether you would call the idea of a fat old man in a red suit coming down the chimney “bizarre.” If you did, what would be the reaction? Would you call taking communion “bizarre”? Prostrating oneself five times a day toward Mecca?
I must protest the bottom photo chosen to represent Yom Kippur, that of members of some extreme group doing the “Malkot” ritual.
This is representative of our traditions? Certainly not. I don’t know what sect this is, but this is by no means mainstream Jewish behavior on this holiest of days. It’s insulting to even suggest that this is within the norm.
Thank God it wasn’t on Page 1.
Your photo shows something that is anything but “bizarre.”
The custom is brought down in the Shulhan Aruch, authored by Rabbi Yosef Karo in 1563. It is only symbolic and induces a person to repent from his sins, knowing what could have been his fate. In fact, the custom was to recite a Yom Kippur confession.
Frankly, the only thing “bizarre” is that the caption portraying a hassid in a bad light came the very day after Yom Kippur.
ZEV T. GERSHON, Beit Shemesh
Why is this bizarre? Why is this more bizarre than, say, the Tashlich ritual (throwing sins into water) or carrying a lulav and etrog on Succot? Just because an act is not “mainstream” does not make it bizarre.
Please, save the editorial comments for the editorial page.
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV, Ma’aleh Adumim