Cuomo: Look in the Mirror
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said, “America was never that great.” I wonder how he explains the millions of immigrants that have come here since our founding in 1776 – including his very own ancestors who have come here for a better life and to live the American dream.
With ever-increasing taxes and long-term debt, loss of jobs, a failed public education system, and declining public transportation, it is the Empire State under Cuomo that has never been that great.
Why Do So Many Frum Jews Lie?
I was intrigued by the story in Rabbi Goldwasser’s column last week on the rabbi who “preferred to die rather than lie.”
The Torah tells us to stay far away from falsehood, yet, numerous frum Jews who would never dream of turning on a light on Shabbos or missing a minyan for Maariv don’t think twice when it comes to “fudging” the truth. Why is that? Why do so many treat a severe prohibition so lightly?
R’ Raphael of Bershad, the subject of the story Rabbi Goldwasser relates, apparently was such a stickler for truth that if someone asked him if it was raining when he walked into a house, he would reply, “It wasn’t when I was outside.” In other words, it may have started to rain in the 10 seconds since he had come indoors, so he couldn’t guarantee that it wasn’t raining.
Perhaps R’ Raphael of Bershad was an “extremist,” but I think it behooves us to learn from his example to cherish the truth. For those curious about R’ Raphael, a descendant of his started a website devoted to him and his teacher, R’ Pinchas of Koritz. You can find it at twotzaddiks.org.
Journalism Is Dead
I believe the mainstream media no longer understands the meaning of honest journalism.
An honest journalist will set aside bias and report the news accurately. Opinion on policy should be limited to the editorial section. Personal attacks against the president, his family, and associates should be avoided. The office of the presidency should be respected.
This is not a matter of free speech or the First Amendment. If journalism ignores its traditional values, it is no longer journalism and our country loses a great source of (accurate) information.
Jerrold Terdiman, MD
Woodcliff Lake, NJ
The Left Has Gone Loco
I enjoyed your excellent editorials last week on the mainstream media, the white supremacy myth and Sarah Jeong.
I think the American Left has truly gone off a political cliff. “Trump Derangement Syndrome” has become so prevalent among leftists that they’ve become obstructionists, fighting everything Trump says and does, including his very obvious accomplishments.
Liberal Jews, meanwhile, deliberately ignore and pooh-pooh Trump’s wonderful stance on our beloved Israel, which both amazes and angers me. I believe, though, that Hashem will intervene on the side of the righteous.
You Can’t Kasher A Pig
In a recent letter, Marc Kirshner claimed that I improperly critiqued fellow Jews who practice energy healing. I did no such thing. I criticized an author for his erroneous positions.
This author, for example, wrote that Ki – whose alleged existence is based on heretical notions – is a “natural” force (i.e., “bio-electric energy”) when anyone with even a simple knowledge of science knows that this description is demonstrably deceptive.
He also wrote that energy healing “works.” But to attribute the effectiveness – real, exaggerated, or imagined – of any technique to Ki is to attribute power to a kefira concept. Any such technique is therefore prohibited unless it can be explained based on the laws of nature or, possibly, if it’s a known segulah (see Yoreh De’ah 155:1).
Mr. Kirschner himself tries to “kasher” the kefirah concept of Ki by attributing the practice of acupuncture to it. But that’s utterly illogical. Whatever position one takes on acupuncture – when performed totally isolated from any avoda zarah or kefirah elements – there’s no basis to accept the existence of Ki, nor any reason to believe that acupuncture uses any sort of “universal force” altogether.
Rabbi Noson Shmuel Leiter