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State should support spiritual counselors

In response to “Looking Death in the Eye,” November 15,

Israel is a country under siege on many different fronts: defense, education, housing, health -- the list is endless. Israel faces, in addition to the traumatic events common to other countries, unique traumatic events such as terror attacks and war injuries. Each department demands its share of the pie. Legitimate distribution of resources is essential but where do additional services relating to the social state factor into the equation?

Spiritual counselors would be a valuable addition to the social services toolbox. They would add depth and a different element to the social services, providing much needed comfort and guidance to people who are struggling with crucial life issues. In addition, it would take some of the load off social workers with insufficient means from the social welfare departments, ensuring that society receives as much assistance as possible.

However, for this to be a feasible reality, spiritual counseling needs an injection of state funding to finance training as well as recognition from the Social Welfare Department. A clarion call should be sounded – bring on the funding and recognize spiritual counselors as valuable professional deserving of state support.

Danya Lipshitz
Kfar Saba
Social Work student Tel Aviv University

Israel’s unrealistic stance on Iran

The most grave conclusion that one can reach after the agreement with Iran is that Israel’s government does not want to negotiate with any adversary or enemy. Why were sanctions imposed on Iran? To force it to change its policies.

When this happens, analysts and spokespeople here bewail the turn of events. Israel wanted a total Iranian surrender, an unrealistic goal in the real world.

The same approach can be seen in the negotiations with the Palestinians. Reaching a compromise? Heaven forbid. This doesn’t bode well for our future in the Middle East.

Allen Minitzer
Ra’anana

For some reason, the possibility that Iran may already possess a nuclear weapon was not discussed or raised as a possibility or a reason for Iran’s change of heart. Could the nuclear explosion in North Korea have been an Iranian test? At the time there was no reasonable explanation for that detonation, since the North Koreans had already tested their own bomb several times in the past.

Moshe Layish
Haifa

Our uncreative country

Our country takes pride in the young people who came here to make the desert bloom, turning it into an oasis. Many forget that many of those pioneers, to whom we owe our lives, are still among us.

Last week, elections were held for the leadership of the Labor Party. Only 52 percent of party members voted. One elderly person, 92-year-old Yitzhak Navon, a former Israeli president, dressed up in his best attire and went out to vote.

When he reached the polling booth he discovered that he could not vote because he had not paid his dues for 2013. This is one of the most important people in the country’s history, a cornerstone of the Zionist enterprise, and no creative solution could be found to enable him to vote.

This creativity is also lacking when it comes to the welfare of our senior citizens. People who have done more than we ever will for this country are living in degrading conditions. If one of our major parties could not find a solution to a trivial problem such as member dues, what will become of bigger problems such as food, medicine and heating for the winter?

Michal Meged
Rishon Letzion