• BUSINESS IS UP - UNFORTUNATELY: Reporter Ben Lynfield's story on the weakening Israeli economy (this page) took him to Hazon Yeshaya, a religious institute in Jerusalem. About 1,000 people a day get their lunch at the four soup kitchens the institute runs, Rabbi Abraham Israel told Ben. That's a 40 percent increase from two years ago, and it looks like the clientele will continue to grow. The rabbi hopes to expand the operation to other cities in Israel to accommodate the need.
To Rabbi Israel, feeding the hungry is something of a favor returned. "The rabbi was born in Egypt, but had to flee with his family in 1956, during the Israeli-Egyptian war," says Ben. The destitute family ended up in Paris - where Israel frequented soup kitchens for a couple of years. "Eventually, he moved to the US, was successful in business, then moved to Israel," Ben says. When he saw the growing problem with hunger, the rabbi knew what to do.
• OUR TAKE ON TITLES : We have received scores of letters complaining that we used the honorific "Mr." for Osama bin Laden. Readers felt that "Mr. bin Laden" is too polite a reference to one who has sponsored so much death and destruction. Our style, however, is consistent for everyone. We use full names on first reference, Mr. or Ms. on second reference, and last names alone thereafter. The exceptions are people who have other titles, such as "Senator," "General," or "Reverend." If we were to begin making moral distinctions about who is and is not worthy of an honorific, then every (second) mention of anyone would carry a stamp of approval or disapproval. That is not our role.
• THE WRONG PHOTO :The photo that ran with yesterday's story, "Colombia's new battle: its image," was incorrect. To view the correct photo, go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1120/p06s01-woam.html