In response to Samuel Roskin?s letter (?One day too many,? Dec. 23), while it?s true that there is repeated reference to the six days of creation in the Torah text, Rashi in his commentary on Kohelet (Chapter 1, Verse 2) quotes a Midrash Rabba that understands that verse as referring to the ?seven days of creation? as being hevel ? vanity of vanities… so, maybe that?s what the author of the JTNews article on Hanukkah was referring to.
Incidently, some understand that what was created on the seventh day was rest ? an interesting notion that rest is not simply the absence of work, but rather something conscious and intentional that is to be created.
Same old, same old
The cartoon on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran graphically shows his dark and evil side. (Viewpoints, Dec. 23). Ahmadinejad?s outrageous anti-Israel remarks are odious and disgusting. First he says Israel should be ?wiped off the map.? Then he denies the Holocaust ever occurred and makes other outlandish statements.
Ahmadinejad promises a second Holocaust even as he denies the first one, and because his manner is so bellicose and crude, his inflammatory words make news. But there is nothing new about them. Iran?s theocratic thugs have been threatening the Jewish state with genocide ever since Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Tehran 26 years ago. Their chants of ?Death to America? and ?Death to Israel? should not be ignored but taken seriously.
People like Ahmadinejad should concern all civilized people, as we could all be endangered by their barbaric rhetoric. In view of this, Iran must be prevented from having the nuclear capability to attack its neighbors.
Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shtika) is a group of hundreds of Israeli soldiers and ex-soldiers who believe that ?service in the occupied territories and the incidents we faced have distorted and harmed the moral values on which we grew up.?
Writer Neil Goldberg (Letters, Dec. 23, 2005) claims that Breaking the Silence members Avichay Sharon and Noam Chayut, who visited Seattle in late October, are promoting a ?minor issue,? and ?provide ammunition and encouragement for our enemies.?
Brit Tzedek v?Shalom, which sponsored three Puget Sound area events with Sharon and Chayut, respectfully but firmly disagrees. These two young men stated their love of Israel and willingness to defend their country in every single venue at which they spoke. They believe that when ?Israeli society keeps sending its best people to military combat service in the occupied territories, it is extremely important that all of us, Israeli citizens, know the price which the generation who is fighting in the territories is paying: the impossible situations it is facing, the insanity it is confronting everyday, and the heavy burden it bears after being discharged from the IDF ? a heavy burden that hasn?t left us.?
Sharon and Chayut served the Israeli Defense Forces in elite positions during some of the most dangerous engagements of the last five years. They are thoughtful, patriotic citizens of the state of Israel who want to raise grandchildren in the land they love. In these violent and distrustful times, they are ambassadors representing the best of Israeli and Jewish values to any audience, including Palestinians. The JTNews did well to report on Breaking the Silence?s eloquent contribution to the debate on the best means for guaranteeing Israel?s survival.
Brit Tzedek regrets that we did not invite Mr. Goldberg, who does important work on behalf of IDF troops, to meet with Avichay and Noam. They would have added another dimension to his support for Israel and its soldiers.
Rainer Waldman Adkins
Chair, Brit Tzedek v?Shalom,
Greater Seattle Chapter