The Gantseh Megillah

Israel is 53!
April 1, 2001

This issue was really touch and go all the way. I was determined to make sure there was a new edition of the Megillah published online before the month of April ended. Could I have cut it any closer? I just came in under the wire on April 30th!

Lots was happening all month, not the least of which was a short but exciting trip to my home town, New York City. We arrived on Monday the 9th of April and departed for home on Thursday the 12th. As you can see, we did not have a lot of time at our disposal, but we were determined to make the most of it. During the course of those three days we spent several hours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, had luncheon at Tavern on the Green, saw the brand new Mel Brooks Broadway musical “The Producers” (a must see. Do not miss it), dined at Sardi’s, had dinner with a college friend of mine, enjoyed lunch with my nephew AND brunched with my dear cousin Barbara who is the sister of Linda, my wonderful cousin who we visited in Mexico in February. Does that sound like we made the most of our three short days in New York or what?

“The Producers” has been one of my favorite movies for years. When I learned Mel Brooks was staging a Broadway musical based on the film I knew I had to find some way of making time to see this show. As the opening night reviews will attest to, it was a wise decision on my part. The reason I am emphasizing this particular theatrical production is not simply because I happen to like it. My reasoning has to do with the subject matter in particular.

No one I know of finds anything remotely humorous about Adolph Hitler; and yet Mel Brooks, genius that he is, skillfully succeeds in presenting Hitler and his Third Reich in such a manner as to have the audience literally rolling in the aisles. This was true of the movie and it is also the case with the new musical version. Many of you are more than likely familiar with the plot behind the story and I do not want to ruin it for anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of experiencing it. Please allow me to recommend to anyone who has not seen the film yet, to go out to your local video store and either buy or rent this masterpiece of comedy. It is especially thrilling for us as Jews to be able to see how another Jew, Mr. Brooks, can so decimate this horrible creature, Adolph Hitler into a totally ridiculous laughing stock. I sat in the theatre during the entire performance thinking to myself of Mr. Brooks, “Thank God he’s a Jew!”

Israel is now 53!! This makes me and Israel exactly the same age. Well, not exactly. I won’t become 53 until July; but it is close enough. For the entire 53 years since the formation of the State of Israel, it has been the desire of its surrounding neighbours to annihilate it At this very moment the entire region is fraught with continuous acts of terrorist violence against Israel and her people. Her enemies seem to never learn of Israel’s iron-clad determination to survive and prosper. There are several theses as to the various claims the Palestinians have against Israel. In this edition of The Gantseh Megillah I will be presenting a series of articles expressing differing points of view on this topic. I would be most interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the subject after you have read these pieces so please send your comments to . I will publish as many comments as possible in the Letters to the Editor page in the next edition of the newsletter. Please remember when writing to me, that the ideas expressed in these articles, or anywhere else in the Megillah are not necessarily those of the editor (ME). I only work here. My personal opinions appear in only one place, and that is in this column, each and every month. I feel it is my responsibility to present varying arguments and points of view whenever possible in order to keep the Megillah vital and thought provoking. There are often articles in this newsletter that have me wanting to write to the editor as well, but what would that accomplish in my case?

I would like to take a moment to thank the many people who took the time to write concerning the recent debacle centering on the discussion forum. It did my heart good to learn how important having that venue for the exchange of ideas and information has become to many of you. But most of all I want to acknowledge the letters of personal support I received from the members of The Gantseh Megillah family. I was deeply touched by the kind words and expressions of appreciation for the work I do with the newsletter and the glossary. I am very proud to know how much you enjoy receiving the Megillah every month and I shall continue to endeavor to make each issue better than the one before. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your thoughtfulness and the sincerity of your good wishes.

On this 53rd birthday of the State of Israel I have but one wish. May Israel’s 54th birthday be spent in peaceful coexistence with its neighbours and may our enemies become our friends.

Enjoy the Megillah.
My love to all of you,

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