The Gantseh Megillah

Happy New Year!
August 1, 2001

In less than one month the current year will take its place in history as a new year beckons to us with all of its mystery and promise. It is customary for many of us to look back upon the past 12 months in order to appraise it and decide whether this was a good year or not. For the most part, the bottom line generally shows some kind of balance between the good and the not so good to one degree or another. Hopefully for most of us we will be able to notice a decided tipping of the scale towards the positive in the balance of this past years events.

As Jews, there has been much to be concerned about as the fighting and killing goes on unabated between Israel and her Palestinian neighbours. Outside the immediate area of conflict, a war of words has developed with accusations of media bias from either one side or the other. I am frequently requested to write letters to CNN and the BBC not to mention any number of newspapers and periodicals demanding they give a more positive assessment of Israel’s actions in this miserable situation and to question their allegedly supportive view of the Palestinian position.

While I too have noticed a shift in the balance of media coverage one way or the other over time, I personally am far more concerned with the endless killing of innocent civilians; men, women and children on either side. As Jews and as human beings the senseless spilling of blood must be our greatest concern.

I have pointed out over and over again in my columns that who started what, where and why means nothing to me. Whatever differences and even deep running distrust exists between the two sides will not be resolved with further bloodshed. There is nothing whatsoever to be gained by either Israel or the Palestinians in the further taking of human life. We must, en masse call for an immediate halt to this carnage and a resumption of “talks” between the opposing camps. We cannot be concerned with mere semantics as blood flows in the streets. Throwing stones at the media while stones AND bullets are flying in the Holy Land is totally useless. After all, the main concern of the media is to attract an audience and whatever works for them towards that end is what they will do. And while they certainly do exert some influence on the way the public views a situation, they do not have anywhere near the power of millions of people standing up as a group and shouting – “STOP!!! NO MORE BLOODSHED and KILLING!”

There can be no support of any group that continues to engage in the murder of innocent civilians. Whatever it takes, go back to the table and work this out now, or we shall continue to see more senseless and useless death in this coming New Year, and the year after that and the year after that and the…………..

Last month I published an article in the Megillah concerning the IQ scores of various presidents of the United States. I received several letters from readers complaining that the story was either untrue or inaccurate. To both complaints I say, true. The story is both untrue and inaccurate. I did not include this piece to be taken seriously; it was simply meant as a joke. If anyone was offended by it, please accept my apologies. Perhaps I should have stated at the beginning of the article that I meant it as a humour piece.

It is important to remember that the articles appearing in The Gantseh Megillah are not necessarily in agreement with my particular opinions. The only area of the newsletter where I state my personal views is in the Editor’s Comments column you are reading right now. Throughout the rest of the Megillah I do my best to present an eclectic selection of ideas, opinions and beliefs that are often quite divergent of my own. Whenever you have something you wish to say about a piece you read in these pages, please feel free to express your opinions in a letter to the editor by sending your comments to or in the comments link on the Letters to the Editor page.

Once again I wish to thank the members of my Megillah family who have sent in generous donations in order to assist me with the cost of creating and maintaining the glossary, Megillah and forum. My gratitude towards all of you is truly heart felt. It is with great joy that I notice so many contributions in amounts related to Chai. After all, these projects are all about the continuing life of Yiddishkeit. It is my hope that everyone in the Megillah family who is able will help ensure the continued “chai” of this work. Please click on the Tzedakeh box for further information. Always remember, there is NO charge for membership. All donations are purely voluntary. I cherish each and every member of my Megillah family no matter what the circumstance.

Allow me to close this month’s column with my wishes for a happy, joyous, prosperous and most of all HEALTHY New Year for you and yours. May it be inscribed…


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