mobile newsbanner

ESRA Magazine
ESRAmagazine categories

Readers' Letters 214

Please send your letters to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Congratulations to you and the whole team, Merle, on the last magazine #213. The cover is splendid. And the contents ... hours of delightful reading. Bravo again, what an issue!

Albert Russo

Tel Aviv 

A letter in Issue 213, July 2022l, gave the Magazine an E for effort.

I understand, but disagree with, the writer of that letter. Merle points out in her front page editorial that 430 volunteers together create each ESRA Magazine. I assume most of them are untrained in their particular task for the magazines and learn on the job.

Certainly mistakes occur. I was irritated by a number of spelling errors in the July issue. I was annoyed by the use of 'poetess' and 'Jewess', when the words should have been 'poet' and 'Jew'.

Unfortunately, I am a pedant. Fortunately, I am not a perfectionist. Not every article interested me. But there was the article on Soviet Jewry, the article on Proust, and a number of others I enjoyed.

I give the ESRA Magazine an A for Achievement and an E for Excelment. Oops! What kind of word is that?

Phella Hirschson

Tel Aviv

One-upmanship is incessant

Why are we so competitive? In sports, perhaps this is essential; well, in competitive sports anyway (the giveaway is in the title). In business, perhaps very important. But in our private lives? If you've never seen Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen Sketch, do so; they nailed it.

I was recently at a social evening and most personal anecdotes were annoyingly followed by one-upmanship comments from others present, usually by men (can I use that term?).

One-upmanship appears in two forms. Either the person themselves has done better, or there is one-upmanship by association, where they know someone (intimately, of course) who has surpassed you. We can never be ill alone. No matter to whom we speak about our ailment they always know someone worse off, or they themselves had the same but infinitely more severe. You've caught a chill, they've had pneumonia. That's supposed to comfort us or make us feel better? We know someone with one leg half a centimeter longer than the other, they know someone with one leg three-quarters of a centimeter shorter that the other. We achieve something, they've done it already but better. You get to meet someone important, they've had lunch with them or even slept at their house. You get upgraded to business class, they've been upgraded to first class. The one-upmanship is incessant. You've just bought a house with a quarter acre garden, they know someone with a half-acre garden. You bought the latest Tesla, they know someone who bought the exclusive version with a solar panel roof for permanent re-charging. You received a free night at a hotel as compensation for a fault, they received two nights. It just doesn't stop.

Am I as guilty? Unfortunately, yes. Talking to a friend in Europe during the recent heatwave, he complained how unbearably hot it was. Well, I couldn't let that pass. "I understand" I said, "we have the same temperatures here, but at least you don't have 80% humidity to go with it, that's much worse". Why could I not let him have his moment? I'm not a psychologist so I don't have the answer.

So, I've decided to try and minimize taking part in small talk and to ignore the vacuous one-upmanship, and just reply "wow" or "great", thereby cementing my reputation as a boring grumpy old man. But I'm sure you know someone even grumpier.

Grumpy Old Man

Refreshing to get a true insight into the lives of people

Both my wife and I are always excited to receive our ESRA Magazine but somehow even more so this time when viewing the front cover of the July edition, with its exuberant and colorful depiction of Rothschild Blvd.

We are always wonderfully surprised at the sheer professionalism of the magazine and it also comes as no surprise to learn that some 430 volunteers offer their services to produce such a magnificent publication.

With a world seemingly addicted to the sound bites of never ending social media platforms it is so refreshing to turn page after page to get a true insight into the lives of people, who through their sheer altruism have and continue to give so much to society.

They plus your aforementioned special journal give much needed enjoyment in the helter skelter of life today.

Stephen and Batia Vishnick
Tel Aviv

My feedback on ESRA Magazine, July 2022

I am jealous! Suzie Katz and her friend had such a remarkable and pleasurable inaugural ride on the Rachbalit. Also, Marian Lebor's article on Ageism was good and inspiring to read.

Ivan Bonner
Moshav Manof

The article published in Israel Hayom, English Opinions, on July 11, 2022, that the Israeli court recognizes online civil marriages as valid overlooks two important points in this ongoing saga:

1. The State of Israel recognizes religious marriages performed in Israel by the three monotheistic religions only, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All other religions as well as non-religious are ignored.

2. In the late 1960s and early 1970s the State of Israel could grant civil divorces in cases of 'mixed' Jewish/non-Jewish couples. I know this for a fact because my late father Franklin Kay Jones and my stepmother Daphna (a sabra), who married in a civil ceremony in Cyprus in the summer of 1966, were granted a divorce under it in 1971/2. I do not have documentation but the case file may be available through the High Court of Justice [Baga"tz]; for various reasons a hearing was held before them where Frank Jones represented himself, having a degree in law from UCLA.

Siri Jones-Rosen

OAPs don't need appointments at IPO

The comments of Debrah Marcus published in ESRA Magazine July 2022 about our post office service are not exactly correct. True, that one is supposed to make an appointment to visit them, and this is supported by a nasty little Hebrew notice stuck on the front doors, but in practice things are somewhat different. Unlike what her comment claims, Post Office appointments do not necessarily have to be pre-booked.

This is how our central Petah Tikva Post Office operates: Without an appointment, one can easily walk inside and by the entrance there is a short queue for getting to an electronic link with the computer that organizes us informal as well as formal clients. As an OAP (over 80 years), I have only to type in my Identity Number (ID), hit the OAP symbol and the red button for not having a cell-phone and then receive my "magic" call number on a slip of paper. This is for the clerical deal, which subsequently is at one of the many numbered receiving windows.

Usually, because of my status, it does not take long before my number comes up, both visually on the big screens and on the loudspeaker, and I can get attention. Very recently the queue was longer than before, and it seemed that many more people were using the shorter OAP route, when they were clearly underage (perhaps with their parent's identity number). But that is so typical of how our population adapts to these new changes, which probably will again get modified in a few weeks.

David Harold Chester
Petah Tikva 

A letter of thanks to ESRA for financial assistance

We, the "Optimum Absorption" program, are run by the Ministry for Immigration and Absorption. The operation was started in July, 2018 by the Pa'amonim nonprofit organization, to assist families in Israel with a financially economic balanced lifestyle. The program offers assistance, support and partnership to new immigrants and returning residents, both families and singles, when they arrive in or return to Israel and after their aliyah. Its purpose is to strengthen and improve processes of adaptation and integration.

We have turned to ESRA many times and received considerable amounts of financial assistance for those in our program. These have greatly helped those taking part to go through this significant change in their lives with our program.

We would like to offer sincere thanks. Your assistance is most appreciated. We hope we can continue the cooperation in the future.

May you be both strengthened and embraced!

Hagit Cohen, Manager of Optimum Absorption Program
Ministry for Immigration and Absorption 



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 21 June 2024

Captcha Image