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I would like to give thanks to Bar­bara Sofer for list­ing the rea­sons she loves Is­rael (“70 plus one: Rea­sons I love Is­rael,” The Hu­man Spirit, April 13).

I would like to add one more: This great coun­try will stand as a last­ing sym­bol for those who, un­for­tu­nately, did not sur­vive the Holo­caust. It will for­ever re­main a high mark of what a re­mark­able peo­ple has been able to achieve through the great­est of ad­ver­sity.


Tel Aviv


While I greatly ad­mire the work that Serge Klars­feld has un­der­taken in hunt­ing down Nazis (“A life hunt­ing Nazis – to­gether,” Books, April 13), it is very up­set­ting to note that he played into the hands of Hitler by mar­ry­ing out of the faith, thus end­ing the Jew­ish line in his fam­ily. FRANCES TAY­LOR

Beit Shemesh


Re­gard­ing “Per­pen­dic­u­lar aliya” (Arrivals, April 13), what a lovely trib­ute to a won­der­ful teacher, rabbi and all-round hu­man be­ing.

Rabbi Avra­ham Moshe Kowal­sky is a unique per­son with an un­usual, pro­gres­sive out­look. Wish­ing him and his wife, Sharon, many years of stay­ing per­pen­dic­u­lar in our home­land. DIANA SCHIOWITZ



Read­ing “Stand­ing in judg­ment” (Grumpy Old Man, April 5), I be­came en­light­ened – and then dis­traught at the com­par­i­son of the ac­tions of the par­ents of Gi­lad Schalit and Hadar Goldin re­gard­ing the man­ner in which their sol­dier chil­dren were treated.

One set of par­ents with a back­ground of academia and Halacha lost a heroic son. The Goldins por­tray a strong char­ac­ter of com­mit­ment to our peo­ple and the coun­try. The other set ap­peared to not give a damn about the mag­ni­tude of their son’s per­for­mance.

The fa­ther, Noam Schalit, had the au­dac­ity for mob ma­nip­u­la­tion and a van­guard of bleed­ing hearts and hu­man-rights ac­tivists who sat in a protest tent ad­ja­cent to the Prime Min­is­ter’s Res­i­dence for months, with con­tin­u­ous clamor to let his shame­less son’s cow­ardly con­duct be el­e­vated to idol sta­tus. Gi­lad Schalit was re­garded as the na­tion’s sweet­heart to be set free, ir­re­spec­tive of the con­se­quences of re­leas­ing over 1,000 blood­thirsty sav­ages into our midst, cre­at­ing more mur­der and may­hem to our cit­i­zens.

In a mil­i­tary in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Schalit’s con­duct, he ad­mit­ted he had failed and ac­knowl­edged that he had not done his duty. In my opin­ion, on his re­lease, he should have been an­swered with charges of de­ser­tion and dere­lic­tion of duty to­gether with a dis­hon­or­able dis­charge.

Over the past years, our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have made se­ri­ous er­rors of judg­ment. These er­rors in­clude the Yom Kip­pur War, the Oslo Ac­cords, the Gaza and Le­banon wars, and the Schalit saga, all of which re­sulted in a loss of valu­able Is­raeli lives and de­struc­tion.

Let us fol­low the ex­am­ple of Hadar Goldin, and his par­ents’ ex­am­ple of sac­ri­fice, courage and brav­ery to the Jew­ish peo­ple. JACK DAVIS



I read Alan Rosen­baum’s “The last com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor in Jew­ish so­ci­ety” (Jew­ish Life, March 9) with a mix­ture of dis­may and re­newed hope.

The dis­may stems from the fact that the study of Tanach lost much of the re­spect and im­por­tance it had in my time (I grew up in the 1950s). The re­newed hope stems from the won­der­ful project “929 Tanach B’ya­had,” headed by Rabbi Benny Lau, and that it will make a much-needed change in this sad sit­u­a­tion.

Go­ing through the Is­raeli ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem of the late 1940s and 1950s, we were sup­posed to learn by heart the most beau­ti­ful pas­sages, such as Shi­rat Hayam, Shi­rat Ha’az­inu and Shi­rat Devora – words I re­mem­ber to this very day – as well as beau­ti­ful lit­er­ary pas­sages found in the Prophets.

I hope and pray that 929: Tanach B’ya­had will rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion and re­turn the Tanach to its pre­vi­ous prominence and re­spect in Is­rael, thus jus­ti­fy­ing our peo­ple’s des­ig­na­tion as Am Hase­fer, Peo­ple of the Book.

RACHEL KAPEN West Bloom­field, Michi­gan

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