OUR TURN TO SAVE IS­RAEL

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LETTERS -

It is rare for me to be as up­set by an ar­ti­cle as I was by the lat­est “A Dose of Nu­ance” col­umn by Daniel Gordis (“Now it’s our turn to save Is­rael,” Ob­ser­va­tions, Au­gust 24). It brought to mind the 12 spies that Moses sent to spy out the land. On their re­turn, 10 of them re­ported only bad things, but Joshua and Caleb said, “The land that we saw is ex­ceed­ingly good!” As a re­sult, that whole gen­er­a­tion was cursed by hav­ing to spend the rest of their lives in the desert, ex­cept for Joshua and Caleb.

Which of these his­tor­i­cal fig­ures does Gordis fol­low when he writes about “the ug­li­ness that is slowly taking over Is­raeli life”?

Many Ortho­dox Jews here do not see eye to eye with the rab­binate on ev­ery is­sue, how­ever I nev­er­the­less be­lieve that their stance has not changed one iota in the past 70 years. It is just the per­cep­tion of those, such as the writer, that has be­come of late more bel­liger­ent and in­tol­er­ant. Does he not agree that, in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety, such as ours, I have the right to be anti-gay and anti-les­bian if that is my opinion? It is not the stance of the re­li­gious com­mu­nity that has changed but the in-your-face out­right provo­ca­tion by the gay com­mu­nity that has in­creased.

We live in peace with our neigh­bor­ing Arabs in Furei­dis. They are our phar­ma­cists, nurses, shop as­sis­tants, mu­nic­i­pal work­ers and gar­den­ers – we bear no ill feel­ings against them. I, nev­er­the­less, can­not and will not abide by those Arabs who are out to kill and maim my close rel­a­tives and friends in other parts of this coun­try or any­where in the en­tire world.

It is par­tic­u­larly strange how the press, in­clud­ing this paper and this ar­ti­cle, con­stantly vil­ify our prime min­is­ter even though the polls show that he would win hands down in any elec­tion. He has done more for the eco­nomic sta­tus and in­ter­na­tional stand­ing of this coun­try than any man alive and he gets my vote, and that of many of my Ortho­dox friends, ev­ery time. With all his “good” in­ten­tions, Gordis could not achieve any­thing like it in 10 life­times!

And, what “deadly con­flict” is he talk­ing about? My wife and I travel through­out Is­rael to see its beauty and meet all the won­der­ful peo­ple in all walks of life and of all per­sua­sions who live in it and, to para­phrase, “The land and the peo­ple that we see are ex­ceed­ingly good!” Our rabbi, Rav So­rani said in a speech in our sy­n­a­gogue this last In­de­pen­dence Day, “Keep in mind that the State of Is­rael is not the gov­ern­ment or the ju­di­ciary or even the rab­binate, it is us, the mil­lions of in­hab­i­tants that con­sider this land to be our home who com­prise the State of Is­rael.”

“Ugly” in no way de­scribes it, nor is it any way to de­scribe it! A dif­fer­ent ad­jec­tive maybe? DAVID KAHN Zichron Ya’acov

For years, we ad­mired the thought-pro­vok­ing writ­ings of Daniel Gordis. How­ever, we have been dis­mayed by the hy­per­bolic neg­a­tive tone that he has as­sumed vis-à-vis Is­rael in his last two ar­ti­cles. Most re­cently, we were greatly trou­bled by his per­ceived need to now “save” an Is­rael that has be­come “ugly.” Ques­tion­ing whether Is­rael is a wor­thy “de­fault” des­ti­na­tion for our re­turn­ing sol­diers from trips abroad is also not a con­struc­tive mes­sage for any cor­rec­tive en­deavor. Call­ing peo­ple to pos­i­tive ac­tion should be done in a more lov­ing, in­clu­sive and hope­ful man­ner, most es­pe­cially at this time of the year.

The Is­rael that we all cher­ish and love, even with its many ex­is­ten­tial chal­lenges, is very much here. To pre­serve her, we must tread rev­er­ently.

ESTI and SIMCHA FASS

Jerusalem

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