The Gantseh Megillah

Summer is at Hand
May 1, 2001

Hooray! Summer is close at hand, and many of us are planning our annual vacation treks here and there. This is a season when we try spending additional time out of doors enjoying the extra hours of warmth and sunlight. The folks in my city of Montreal are ready to greet the annual International Jazz Festival followed by the International Comedy Festival. We Canadians do not have very long summers, but we do our utmost to make the most of them.

The sad news is that far away from all of us here in this part of the world there is another place where this season is bringing anything but relaxation and festivals. Instead of the warm sunlight, they are living in the heat of battle and hostility. The crowds assemble not for festivals but for the funerals of loved ones who pay the price for being in the right place at the wrong time. And who any longer can actually determine when the “right time” is to be anywhere at all in that region?

Over the past several weeks the situation in Israel and the West bank has deteriorated to a degree that is breathtaking in scope. There are ongoing accusations by Jews in America, Canada and around the globe concerning open bias in the media’s reporting of the events taking place in the Middle East. CNN in particular has come under heavy fire for its coverage of the ongoing developments in the region and has been inundated by messages demanding a more balanced perspective in their reporting.

In this issue of The Gantseh Megillah you will see reports from several viewpoints. Please remember when reading these articles that they do not necessarily represent my personal views. The only place in the Megillah where my opinions are expressed is within the confines of this column every month. I have made it quite clear that in my view, the ONLY thing I care about is that the fighting and killing come to a complete stop. The whys and wherefores can be discussed around the negotiating table AFTER the killing ends.

Nothing, absolutely NOTHING is more important than preventing even one more death of a child, mother, father and other innocent victim of a state of hostility and war that can only intensify if it does not stop. It completely escapes me how anyone can imagine peace discussions taking place as the rocks, grenades, bullets and other instruments of destruction and death are being used so freely on both sides. Every body believes they are in the right, and everyone blames others for starting and perpetuating the fighting and killing. Until each side puts down their weapons and brings their accusations, anger, and ultimately positive ideas for achieving a permanent peace in the region to the negotiating table, the very least both sides can do, is stop killing each other. PERIOD!

So there is my “official” stance on the matter for better or worse. Everything else published in the Megillah is my attempt at presenting different ideas about all kinds of topics. Some I agree with some I do not agree with. Some you will agree with and some you will not agree with. But above all, it will allow all of us to think about the different viewpoints of similar issues which can only help to broaden our understanding of the nature of the beast.

Do not fear all is not gloom and doom in this month’s Megillah. There is also a good deal of lighthearted fare and fun for your enjoyment. We all need the opportunity to relax and look at the lighter side of life in order to allow ourselves to keep perspective. I hope The Gantseh Megillah helps you to do just that.

Don’t forget to send me your ideas, thoughts, or comments to I will publish as many as possible in the letters to the editor department each month.

My love to all of you,

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