«Jewish Observer»
June 2002
5762 Sivan

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Dear editors!

I am deeply grateful to you for your prompt reaction to my request to have an opportunity to read your newspaper. The way your newspaper goes along, selection of materials and authors fully complies with my understanding of what a Jewish newspaper in Ukraine should be.

I was writing about myself. I am 80, an engineer-mechanic, candidate of technical sciences. For many years I took a rather significant post in industry. I still work as a senior lecturer at a higher institution delivering lectures on "Projecting enterprises". Besides, I translate technical literature from German, which I, to my shame, know better than Yiddish. I can write in German but I can't - in Yiddish, though I like it with all my heart, and I am much worried about such a huge layer of culture falling into an abyss of oblivion. Probably, this feeling is connected with the memory of faces, voices, music, songs, jokes, shtetle...

I attend a synagogue on Saturdays and Sundays. Do I believe in God? Rather, yes. Though, this can be a tribute to the abovesaid and a tribute to those who lie in the communal grave in Mirgorod since October 18, 1941 - my mother Shtera Israilevich, 40 years, and a 4-year old child - my step-sister Lubochka, grandfather Mendl Ulitsky, 74 years old and grandmother Sima, 70 years.

Who should a Jewish newspaper in Ukraine be meant for?

Who stays in Ukraine and why?

Who has left, where and why?

Judging by a 50-thousand strong meeting held in Tel-Aviv in mid-May demanding withdrawal of troops from "Palestinian" territories, there were but a few patriots among them. And what about reservists refusing to fight? Jewish entrepreneurs who have fired those left for the war?

Rabbi says they are righteous men: they have carried out alia. I disagree, in my soul, with his assessing the motivation of their choice. But I have no right to judge. This is contrary to the tradition.

Only one copy of the "Jewish Observer" arrives at a synagogue. I don't know, who reads it, but out of 50 regular parishioners I find nobody to talk about problems raised by the newspaper. Is it arrogance? Probably, yes. I cannot judge.

"VEK" by Vadim Rabinovich arrives in 50 copies, so everybody praying has an opportunity to admire his portrait in each issue on the front page.

I cannot agree to the headline of Sapozhnikov's article "Who knows how - does. Who does not know - admonishes". Burakovsky may not be a tsadik. This headline slightly smells militant ignorance not adding scores to him. Far from everything is smooth on the street Jews still live in.

Thank you once more for the newspapers I've received. I've already subscribed for another six months.


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© 2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org