The remarkable Rabbi Plaut
Thank you for the wonderful tributes to the remarkable Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut in recent editions of The CJN.
One of my most precious possessions is a very meaningful book written by Rabbi Plaut, The Price and Privilege of Growing Old. This book was given 10 years ago to those who, like myself, moved into the new seniors building in Toronto constructed by Baycrest Residential Properties, the Reuben Cipin Healthy Living Community. I will be forever thankful and treasure the unique occasion of meeting Rabbi Plaut for the first time and introducing him as the first guest speaker of our ongoing monthly meetings.
The Price and Privilege of Growing Old invites its readers to draw conclusions about their own futures and find answers for all of us who face the question, “Where am I now in life and what lies ahead for me?” For all senior citizens, or for those planning to become one, this book is a must-read!
* * *
Human rights museum a blessing
The Canadian Human Rights Museum now being built in Winnipeg is a blessing for all Manitoba citizens. Its structure is architecturally stunning and in my humble opinion could sit with pride anywhere in the world today. It radiates intelligence, physical magnificence, kindness and, most importantly, it is generating focus on the true meaning of human rights, and sending this message to the world.
A project of this magnitude will not escape criticism. Debating the issues surrounding this world wonder is healthy and necessary. The structure is spiritually uplifting, and it alone will draw many people with its solid educational, and enlightening, mandate.
The dream of the late Izzy Asper has, in part, become a reality as the result of the never-ending energy put forth by his daughter, Gail, who has travelled the world inspiring others to contribute. I thank all the private financial contributors worldwide as well as the federal government for having the foresight to see the museum’s true potential.
Chaim (Hart) Peikoff
* * *
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
Any way you slice it, the morning prayer’s blessing for not having made me a woman is a sexist statement (“What men are saying,” letters, Feb 16). Given other anti-women idioms by our sages, such as “Better to burn the words of the Torah than to teach them to a woman,” “Women are too lazy and can’t be trusted with some mitzvot,” “Speaking to women will get you to hell,” and the all-time low, “Man should not walk between two dogs, two pigs or two women,” perhaps the letter writer – and other apologists – should consider that our sages were simply being honest about their “knowledge” and not so concerned about 21st-century political correctness. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and chauvinists are just chauvinists.
* * *
Hana’s Suitcase on Stage
I was interested to read the front-page story on Hana’s Suitcase, by Paul Lungen, where he notes that in addition to Karen Levine’s book, there was also a TV documentary by Joe Schlesinger on Hana’s story, a film, a website, and a Japanese touring group of student actors called Small Wings who told Hana’s story (“Poignant story touches the world: began 20 years ago with CJN interviews,” Feb. 23).
I wanted to bring to your attention that Toronto author Emil Sher wrote a very moving play called Hana’s Suitcase on Stage (published in February 2006), based on Karen Levine’s original story. It has been performed all over North America. Hana’s brother, George Brady, and his daughter, Lara, were present for the Montreal production, as was the playwright.
Act To End Violence Against Women
(formerly Jewish Women International of Canada)