|Letters to the Editor|
Faye Rivkin (right) with Abed Sayd.
A Wonderful Man
My husband and I were in Israel last May on our honeymoon. One of our goals was to find my great-grandfather’s grave. All we knew was that he, Rav Moshe Nussbaum, was buried on the Mount of Olives in 1976, at the foot of his parents.
Abed Sayd (“Letter from Mount of Olives,” August/September issue) was wonderful. Our friend and tour guide, Joel Haber, made the initial contact, and on a sunny Monday morning we met Abed at the cemetery. In about 15 minutes, we were standing in front of my great-grandfather’s grave and that of his parents. Abed (above, with Faye Rivkin atop the Mount of Olives) is a caring man with a loving smile who held tight to my hand for most of our time together. Except when he was jumping and hopping over graves, rocks and walls as if they didn’t exist!
After spending time at the graves—Abed left us alone so I could say Kaddish—we returned to his tiny office for tea and said our goodbyes with hugs and some tears on my part. And I came back with the fragrant rosemary, handed to me by Abed as we waited for our tea.
Faye Rivkin, Baltimore, MD
Kol Hakavod to Esther Hecht for a comprehensive description of the delights of Nahariya (“The Jewish Traveler”; December 2012/January 2013). However, I was surprised at the omission of industrialist Stef Wertheimer, one of our most successful native sons. I would also like to note that Nahariya has several kosher meat restaurants on the main street, Gaaton, and beyond.
The last few years has seen the arrival of a significant group of English-speaking olim and the establishment of a branch of ESRA (English Speakers Residents Association).
Nancy Milgram, Nahariya, Israel
The article “Beginnings: A Confluence of Forces” (August/September 2012) carried a myth that has led to a misunderstanding of Nathan Straus’s tzedaka. Straus was not in Europe with his brother Isidor in 1912; he was in Israel then, deepening his connection to health matters there as well as his Zionism. Nathan Straus never planned to go on the Titanic. In April 1912, he was in Rome for an international conference on tuberculosis.
Nathan was a committed Zionist and philanthropist before the Titanic disaster, and though devastated by the loss of his brother and sister-in-law, the desire to continue his work after their death was outside that maritime tragedy.
Mazel tov on 100 years of Hadassah! Henrietta Szold and Nathan Straus’s initial partnership lives on very strongly to this day.
Mark Strauss-Cohn, Winston-Salem, NC