Important New Morality Column (I)
Kudos to Jewish Press Chief Editor Elliot Resnick for introducing the “Dispatch from the Culture War Front” column that has been appearing regularly in The Jewish Press.
By publishing this column on legislation related to the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, you are performing an indispensable service to the Torah-observant community. You are holding all elected officials of New York City and New York State accountable for their voting record on laws affecting morality, an extremely important task in an age when unbridled secular leftists are – with brazen audacity – undermining the foundations of moral and civic society.
It should be noted that New York’s gay marriage bill only passed in 2011 because Republican representatives of some very observant communities stepped back their opposition. It was said at the time that government programs and financial assistance were offered to their communities in exchange for their cooperation.
But the Torah is clear – as are our poskim: This issue is one of the three yahraog v’al yaavor cardinal transgressions that all of society is obligated not to transgress.
My fellow rabbis at the Rabbincal Alliance of America – Igud HaRabonim join me in commending The Jewish Press for its courage and leadership in publishing this new “Dispatch from the Culture War Front” column.
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
RAA Presidium Chairman
Important New Morality Column (II)
Mega Kudos to the Jewish Press for the new column “Dispatch from the Culture War Front.” I had no idea that so many of our religious Orthodox representatives are voting against our core Jewish values. Or, to put it more bluntly, are voting for total immorality.
How can Orthodox assemblymen Dov Hikind and Daniel Rosenthal vote for male prisoners who pretend to be female boarding with women? How can they vote against a bill that helps youth overcome unwanted desires? Would they please inform the Jewish Press readership which rabbis they consulted with before voting as they did?
I call upon all Jewish Press readers to please write to these representatives and express their outrage. “All it takes for evil to exist is for good men to stand by and do nothing,” said the 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke.
Now that we know about this travesty, we cannot sit idly by without raising our voices in protest. As we approach the holiday of Shavuot – when Hashem gave us His holy Torah – nothing would be more timely than to demand that our representatives adhere to its moral principles or resign!
Who Owes Whom A Thank You?
First, I want to complement the Jewish Press on the quality of its recent op-eds.
Second, in an op-ed in the April 27th issue, “Honoring Dr. King, 50 Years Later,” Avi Goldstein writes, “I believe we Jews owe Dr. King a massive thank you – for his struggle truly mirrors our own.”
I believe that Mr. Goldstein has it backwards. Actually, African-Americans owe Jews a massive thank you. Jews joined their struggle, marched with them, fought alongside them, and died with them. May the memories of Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman – who were killed in Mississippi fighting for civil rights in 1964 – be blessed.
Iran: A Stronger Foe Post-Deal
You argue in an editorial last week that Iran is now in the same position it was before Obama’s Iran deal. I disagree. The $150 billions Obama gave Iran strengthened its terrorist apparatus and accelerated its nuclear development. It will currently be much harder to defang Iran since it has hidden many of its nuclear sites.
Prior to Obama’s generosity, Iran was much weaker. Today its spreading hegemony is revealed in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza.
Iran is a serious foe that should never be dismissed. It is devious, clever, and determined to usher in its version of the messianic era by vanquishing and subjugating most of the Middle East. I always wondered why any American leader would want to assist such a dangerous country by giving it a boatful of money.
Another important question that should be posed is why the Europeans are so upset about America withdrawing from the perilous Iran agreement. Are the Europeans only worried about their profits or are there other nefarious reasons behind their enchantment with this deal?
Some experts believe this deal not only assured Europeans big profits but also an inevitable solution to the “Jewish problem” without their fingerprints on it.
Why Study English?
Chaim Desser – the author of a recent op-ed your paper carried, “End The Assault On Our Yeshivas” – misses the point of secular education. The students I teach are not concerned with wealth or finances; they merely want to learn to communicate, express, and articulately render their thoughts to other people.
In an elective I teach (or at least try to) – “Business Report Writing” – my students learn how to write a complaint letter, a letter of inquiry, and an application letter. It is unfathomable that Mr. Desser could believe that these lessons dilute, in any way, shape, or form, the pursuit of Talmud.
Several years ago, one of my students, of chassidshe upbringing, was averaging all A’s on his assignments. When I asked him what he does in his free time, he said, “I read, read, read!” He is still considered a ben Torah by his family friends and instructors. Fortunately, for him, his parents and yeshiva understood the importance of reading and writing, the inarguable prerequisites to all other subjects.
Ronald Neal Goldman
Professor of English
Touro College and University System
Do All Gentiles Hate Jews?
As a person of Irish descent and native New Yorker, I resent the implication that all gentiles hate or make negative generalizations about the Jewish people, as a recent writer in The Jewish Press implied. My own ancestors in Ireland had no record of being anti-Semitic and even elected a Jew Lord Mayor of its capital.
Not all gentiles hate Jews; in fact, most of the world never even met a Jewish person.