Want to tattoo yourself with a survivor’s name, number?

I would like to re-submit an idea I sent to j.’s predecessor (the Jewish Bulletin) over 20 years ago. This idea was apparently deemed too radical for publication back in the ’80s, but today it might seem less crazy.

The idea: As a means of testifying to one’s personal knowledge of the Holocaust, you could tattoo the name and number of some Holocaust survivor you personally know onto your own arm, so that when asked, you can say that you knew someone who was numbered by the Nazis.

Two of my friends’ parents have numbers. They are very special people, and I will never forget them, but my children may never know them. 

This would be a means of carrying on my personal knowledge, and for my children to carry on the knowledge that they knew someone (me) who knew a Holocaust survivor, etc.

I still haven’t done this — I was raised with the standard Jewish revulsion of tattoos — but your Jan. 16 cover story has made me reconsider this idea. And it seemed appropriate to offer the idea to the larger Jewish community at this time, while there the Holocaust generation is still part of our community.

Peter B. Newman | San Rafael

‘A real tragedy’

There are tragedies and then there are inconveniences. Four thousand Palestinian laborers prevented from going to jobs in Israel is an inconvenience at best. The killing of four Israeli soldiers in last week’s bombing is the real tragedy.

The Palestinian strategy of suicide terror seems to be to goad Israel into a reaction, any reaction, which could be spun into a massive overreaction by partisans looking to vilify Israel at every turn.

Particularly instructive was the utter failure of Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia to condemn a recent bombing.

The Palestinians will only see fruits of the peace process when they get serious about peace as envisioned by the “road map,” to take real steps to destroy Hamas’ terror infrastructure and come to the bargaining table as Israel’s partners for peace.

Until then, we can expect vile rejectionists and terrorists like Hamas’ Ahmed Yassin to rule the day. That would be a real tragedy.

Steve Lipman | Foster City

‘Isn’t that crazy?’

In a new terrorist attack against Israel, four people were killed and several injured. I can imagine who is against Israel — that is very easy: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aksa, al-Qaida and etc.

Guess what Hamas does? Besides men, they send women as suicide bombers on Israeli territory, and they bomb themselves in a restaurant, cafe or some other public place and kill everybody where the Jews go. Isn’t that crazy?

People that belong to Hamas and other terrorist groups are seeking to kill Jews. It is not their land. Eretz Israel belongs to us since 1948.

All responsibility to stop terror against Israeli citizens belongs to Yasser Arafat. This terrorist is responsible for all damage that he and his people have done since 1948. When will it stop?

Now we have captured Saddam, thanks to G.W. Bush. Our next step should be to catch all of the terrorist groups I mentioned.

Paul Shkuratov | San Francisco

On behalf of all Jews?

I’m writing to thank you for Alexandra Wall’s beautifully written Jan. 16 article on our Queer Torah study group at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. She captured the essence of what we’re doing when we gather to study the Torah portion of the week.

We see Judaism as an evolving tradition, and see our work as a part of tikkun olam, finding ourselves in our most sacred text.

We meet on behalf of other Jews who are queer (a word that not all of us embrace), for the entire Jewish community and for people of spirit who believe that God created all of us in Its image.

Thank you for including articles on queer/LGBT issues in j. I hope that your coverage of them will continue and expand.

Andrew Ramer | San Francisco

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