Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The JC Letters Page September 1 2017

Lewis Herlitz,,Michael Brill, Stuart Soloway, Ruth Hart, Martin Kersh, Martin Sugarman, Gillian Dawson and Raymond Cannon share their views with JC readers

    Illustration: Getty Images

    The best way to deal with divorce

    I feel ashamed that it appears no rabbi or dayan is prepared to stand up and say that the situation of chained women, and of only men having the power to grant a get is morally wrong and must be changed.

    Are we really prepared to accept that if something is wrong with an aspect of halachah, then our job is to work out how to get round it rather than simply say it is wrong and must be changed?

    Lewis Herlitz, 
    Leigh on Sea, Essex 

    Jennifer Lipman’s article (JC, August 25) once again stresses the pain women sometimes undergo in acquiring a get from their husbands.

    While on holiday in Israel during the first week of July, I was amazed to watch a programme on Israeli TV called “Ensnared” (my translation of the Hebrew). It described the agonies of Jewish husbands living in Israel whose wives refuse to accept the get.

    These men are in limbo and cannot legally marry in Israel since the rabbis refuse to carry out the marriage ceremony until they are divorced.

    I wonder whether there are Jewish men in the diaspora in a similar predicament, suffering in embarrassing silence, or could it be that Jewish women outside Israel are more compassionate than their Israeli sisters.

    Michael Brill, 
    Wembley, Middx.

    Cerebral palsy help

    As the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, now aged 38, married with three children and working as a walking tour guide on the Freedom Trail in Boston USA, and a trustee of the Bobath Centre for the treatment of Children and Adults with Cerebral Palsy, I can easily identify with Emma’s story (JC, Aug 25).

    There is a huge gulf between the treatment available for children and adults with CP.  

    However, I am sure she is aware that on her doorstep in East Finchley the Bobath Centre for the Treatment of Adults has been operating for over 60 years. The Bobath team of specialist Physios is led by Christine Barber, a globally acknowledged expert in the field of Cerebral Palsy Treatment .

    Emma, please get in contact with Christine and pop in for a chat at the Bobath Centre on East End Road. She is looking forward to hearing from you

    Stuart Soloway
    Trustee of the Bobath Centre for the treatment of Children and Adults with Cerebral Palsy,

    Nobody’s idiot

    I note with interest the assumptions of M Schachter about Progressive Jews. While it would take a better number-cruncher than myself to come up with a coherent picture of how religious affiliation relates to political party,  most of us have friends to the left of us politically but to the right theologically or halachically or vice versa.

    More importantly, most of us have the wit and intelligence to know when we are being used as somebody’s useful idiot by either left or right-wing extremists and to refuse to play along, while, we hope, refraining from using epithets as a substitute for debate, either of the political or theological kind.  

    Perhaps, with the Yom Ha Din approaching, Mr or Ms Schachter should apologise to everybody whom s/he called Pavlov’s dogs.

    Ruth Hart, 
    Edgware, Middlesex

    Waste not, want not

    Having been taught at a very early age by both my grandmother and mother that it’s a sin to waste food, I was shocked to read Levi Shapiro, a Jewish Community Council Founder, claiming that a bin meant to collect a week’s worth of food waste, “wouldn’t last a day in a Charedi household”. (Council urge Charedim to recycle food waste, JC Aug 11). While appreciating Charedi families cook a very large amount of meals from scratch, that doesn’t forgive wasting food, as was suggested by Hackney’s recycling officer. 

    The majority of food waste is avoidable by better planning, storage, packaging and, dare I say, creative use of leftovers. 

    Rather than answer the problem by increasing the size of the bins why not eliminate the problem in the first place? Hackney Council should focus on encouraging a reduction in food waste. 

    The Charedi community must, as indeed we should all, play a part in helping the UK reach its challenging recycling targets of which the separation of food from the rest of waste is essential. I therefore urge Mr Shapiro to take the lead and make food waste reduction a priority in his community.  As the Hackney recycling officer states, it is a halachic duty to recycle but it is an even greater one not to waste food in the first place.

    Martin Kersh, 
    Bletchingdon, Oxon

    Seeking soldiers

    We are seeking surviving family of Pte Abraham Bernstein of Liverpool (son of Barney and Gertrude) who was killed in WW1.

    The CWGC have a cross on his grave and are arguing that records show it was not objected to by the family. So they will not change it. If we find family who want this change, it MAY work but I need to find and talk to them. 

    We are also searching for the family of WW1 soldier H (maybe Hyman) Arlick. A distant relative who knew his parents contacted me and says he was killed but we can only find a brief record of him in the British Jewry Book of Honour (BJBH) in the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry with his brother Reuben. It is possible he is thus unrecognised and we need family to discover more.

    Please click on my name below to send me an email

    Martin Sugarman, AJEX Archives

    An investment

    With reference to your article “Shul seeks investors for refugee housing plan” (JC August 25), if anyone is interested in further details in how to become an investing partner, they can contact me. I will be pleased to send an emailed information pack and draft partnership agreement.

    Gillian Dawson, 
    Wimborne, Dorset

    Balfour memories

    I am due to give a talk to the Jerusalem Branch of the Jewish Historical Society on the reaction of London Jewry to the Balfour Declaration following its publication in November 1917. 

    I would welcome any information from your readers who may have relevant knowledge about the response — official and personal  —expressed to the Declaration in the form of anecdotes, correspondence, documents, newspaper cuttings, sermons, public speeches etc. In particular, anything pertaining to the rally described as The Great Thanksgiving Meeting on 2 December 1917 in the London Opera House and Kingsway Theatre would also be very useful.

    Please click on my name below to send me an email

    Raymond Cannon
    Netanya, Israel

World

Top French personalities sign petition condemning 'new antisemitism'

JC Reporter

13:14

Top French personalities sign petition condemning 'new antisemitism'
Education news

New counsellor marks first for Sinai

JC Reporter

Fri, 16:02

New counsellor marks first for Sinai
Football

Five-star Lions Vets destroy Rayners Lane

JC Reporter

Thu, 15:46

Five-star Lions Vets destroy Rayners Lane
The Diary

Tina Fey praises Gilda Radner

JC Reporter

Fri, 16:32

Tina Fey praises Gilda Radner
Letters

Letters, 20th April

JC Reporter

Fri, 15:25

Letters, 20th April
Israel

Tributes paid to Israel on its 70th birthday

JC Reporter

Thu, 13:01

Tributes paid to Israel on its 70th birthday
Education news

British schools moved by film of army life in Israel

JC Reporter

Fri, 16:09

British schools moved by film of army life in Israel
The Diary

Bette Midler is Hello, Dolly!

JC Reporter

Fri, 09:36

Bette Midler is Hello, Dolly!
World

Israeli man attacked in Berlin for wearing a kippah

JC Reporter

Wed, 15:45

Israeli man attacked in Berlin for wearing a kippah