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Letters to the editor


In defence of the prenup

While I agree with much of what is written by Yael Machtinger (“What a halachic prenup is good for,” Oct. 26), she inaccurately and unfairly disparages the Halachic Prenup for Canada.
This document, available at www.adath.ca, is being used by and has the strong support of dozens of the most trusted and respected rabbis across Canada. It has the approval of the highest halachic authorities of the Rabbinical Council of America, who are recognized all over the world for their expertise in Jewish law. It also has the strong endorsement of experts in the field working on behalf of agunot.

The text of this document is based on the opinion of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, whose stature in Jewish law is unparalleled. There are no rabbinic opinions who view the Halachic Prenup for Canada as a coercive document that could invalidate a get.

It is true that this document has not yet been tested in a Canadian court. But it is the only document that has received the intense scrutiny of lawyers, law professors and retired judges in Quebec and Ontario – and their consensus is that this is the best document possible for Canada. And so far, after being in use for 15 years, there is not a single case of an agunah in Canada where this document was used.
There is no question that for a couple in Canada getting married (or already married and using the postnup version), there is no more effective way to avoid and eliminate the tragedy of agunah from modern Jewish life. All we have to do is use it.

Rabbi Michael Whitman, The Adath
Hampstead, Que.

This letter donated by …

Could anything be more telling than reading the two stories “Associated Hebrew Schools to consolidate into two campuses” and “UJA breaks ground on Prosserman JCC expansion in Toronto” in the Oct. 26 issue?
Much ink has been spilled on the tuition crisis, from creative financing for the “middle class” to the more macro, demographic challenges facing our schools. But how can parents take any of these initiatives seriously when the UJA Federation is seemingly more interested in pushing forward a $70-million monument for their benefactors than Jewish education?
Maybe we should advocate for Jewish children to graduate with a tattoo of a plaque on them stating “Graciously donated by…”

Adir Dishy

Don’t blame God

Letter writer Jonathan Usher states that God was ultimately incorrect in being kind to the people of Nineveh, as they eventually destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel (“The message of Jonah,” Oct. 19).
We, of all people, cannot broadly label Islamic refugees as evil people. We have had our share of so-called evil people, such as Meyer Lansky and Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel. Is it possible that the overt prejudice towards our people was due to our rotten apples?
We learned that the Temple was destroyed because we did not respect one another, and that the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed because of idolatry and the feud between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. God was incorrect? Please, don’t blame God. We brought it upon ourselves!

Martin Labow
Côte-St.-Luc, Que.

Students not fit to govern

A university exists to foster learning and understanding, not only in the various faculties and disciplines, but also in what it means to become responsible members of society. Running a student union, with involvement in the administration of the university, should be a prominent component in that learning process (“McGill to investigate student union vote,” Nov. 2).
The student union at McGill has repeatedly and overtly demonstrated what can only be described as anti-social behaviour, such as unbridled anti-Semitism, which is utterly unacceptable in Canadian society. This has been the situation at McGill for some time and the union’s governance privileges should have been revoked long ago. That should now be done without delay and only reinstated when the union body has demonstrated a genuine change in direction.

David Green
Thornhill, Ont.