Editor’s Wrapup: Opposites Instruct
Slavery and freedom, the twin themes of Passover, teach us the value that comes from looking at opposites. The promise of freedom gives hope to the slave; the memory of slavery offers the free an appreciation of life and compassion for those still oppressed.
This issue of Hadassah Magazine offers several studies in contrast. One example: Is Israel better off when it is the source of more news or less? For years, Jerusalem has had one of the largest foreign press contingents in the world; some Israelis believe scrutiny from so many reporters magnifies the country’s problems and that journalists (or their editors) ignore anything positive. But recently some news companies have cut back, and the number of foreign press bureaus in Israel has shrunk. The result, says Gershom Gorenberg in “Less News Is Not Good News” (page 12), is less diversity, less competition and less depth in portraying Israel.
In “Letter from Ketura” (page 16), Wendy Elliman looks at what happens when Arab women from conservative communities study at an environmental institute in Israel and then take home what they have learned—in class, about open societies and about themselves.
Leora Eren Frucht profiles the artist Fanya Pines (page 42). The contrast in Pines’s story is the Jerusalem view from her window and the Chinese landscapes she paints, inspired by her childhood in China.
In “Some Like Haroset Hot” (page 52), Judith Fein visits a community of new Jews in Guatemala just as they are holding their first haroset contest, with the prize going to the recipe most typical of the local environment.
Rahel Musleah reports on Holocaust survivors who decide, late in life, to share their wartime experiences. In “Living to Teach” (page 24), she notes that their central message is typically not of persecution but of hope. As we celebrate Passover, we are obliged to start with the dark side of the contrast, but finish—amid family and friends—on the side of lif