North Korea ‘Experts’ Are Clueless
Some of the criticisms leveled at President Trump for meeting Kim Jong Un this week have been shortsighted and mindless.
When Trump threatened to destroy North Korea if it sent nuclear missiles our way, some people complained that Trump was getting us into a nuclear war. Now that he’s trying a more cordial approach, they complain Trump is giving prominence to a tyrant.
How do they expect Trump to negotiate with this fiend? Send him a note, “We have your mother, so stop building nuclear missiles or else”? A guy like Jong Un is likely to respond, “Keep my mother. I already rented out her apartment.”
Then there’s the complaint that Trump has already met with Jong Un three times with no results to show for it. Yet, successful negotiations sometime require baby steps. As an article on Harvard Business Review’s website advises: “Build trust first. Make incremental commitments to encourage trust and cooperation.” That’s precisely what Trump is doing.
It’s a little strange that some of the same people who had no idea how to even get Jong Un to a meeting suddenly are “experts” on what Trump is doing wrong. For them to advise Trump is almost like an Air Force pilot getting advice on maneuvering high-speed jets from someone who’s only flying experience consists of having once rolled down a set of stairs.
You Owe Ocasio-Cortez an Apology
The Jewish Press, normally a scrupulously fair newspaper, unfairly criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) in its front-page editorial last week, which was titled, “AOC Targets Jews… Where’s Nadler and Schumer?” Ocasio-Cortez, however, never targeted Jews.
In this day and age of increased anti-Semitism, it is crucial that we not cheapen the word “anti-Semitism” by calling something anti-Semitic that isn’t. The editorial says Rep. Ocasio-Cortez equated American immigrant detention centers with Nazi concentration camps. That assertion is debatable. But even if we accept it as accurate, where is the target on Jews.
The Jewish Press clearly disagrees with the worldview of the left. That’s fine. But name-calling and anti-Semitic-bating is beneath the dignity of this great newspaper.
Rabbi Shalom Klass, of blessed memory, one of my Jewish heroes, started The Jewish Press to be a yeshiva for those who didn’t get a chance to attend yeshiva. I consider myself to be one of the rav’s students, having read the paper every week for many years. Indeed, I was fortunate to host a radio program on Talkline Communications for 10 years, “From Golus to Guela – the Miracle of Torah.”
I thus have at least some credentials in defending the Jewish people and I respectfully suggest that The Jewish Press – from which I have learned so much – issue an apology to the lawmaker.
Yehoshua (Alan) S. Frankel
Stop Buying Ices
With summer here, I recommend that people make natural healthy ices by pouring juices like mango juice, apple juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, and orange juice into Ziploc bags and freezing them.
Doing so is a lot cheaper and healthier than buying ices from the store and can make you and your family enjoy summer a lot more.
Hooting, Howling, and Yelping
If you recently attended a child’s or grandchild’s school performance, you’ve heard the audience make “new age” sounds as it shows its appreciation for the students on stage.
But is hooting, howling, and yelping proper? We all wish to show our children love and support, but we should do so in mature, appropriate, and dignified ways. We needn’t make noisy, crude, or coarse outbursts to punctuate our children’s performances.
Indeed, we ought to distance ourselves from the new trend of loud, boorish, attention-seeking expressions of approval that have a way of disturbing the rhythm of our children’s performances.
For a very long time in our refined, modest society, a strong heartfelt applause was how one conveyed appreciation for a performance and those in it. Let’s stick to that.
Honoring an Officer 78 Years Later
On Monday, July 15, at 5 p.m., I will be hosting a street co-naming ceremony in honor of fallen Jewish police officer Leon Fox. In 1941, Officer Fox was a patrolman assigned to NYPD’s 60th Precinct. While escorting a theater manager to deposit his day’s earnings, Officer Fox was shot and killed.
More than 78 years later, another Jewish police officer assigned to the 60th Precinct, Albert Mammon, told me Officer Fox’s story and urged me to preserve his memory and his sacrifice.
It is important that we, as a community, stand in support of our finest, especially now during a wave of NYPD suicides. I encourage readers to join me, along with Police Commissioner O’Neill and the 85-year-old son of Officer Fox, at the Monday ceremony honoring him at the intersection of Surf Avenue and West 12th St. – the location where Officer Fox was gunned down in February 1941.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch
Is It the Shamir?
In a news story last week, “Shamir-like Worm Found in Philippines,” Rabbi Yechiel Malik is quoted as questioning whether the recently-discovered Lithoredo Abatanica worm – which eats rock – can be the shamir that cut stones in the Beis Hamikdash.
But the rediscovery of the shamir so close to the era of Mashiach would make perfect sense. Just as the desolate arid lands of Israel blossomed just in time for kibbutz galuyot – “and there is no clearer sign of the end times than that” (Sanhedrin 98a) – so, too, perhaps we have now found the shamir worm because the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash is nigh.
We should be strengthened by this discovery, and may we soon merit to see the fulfillment of the final verses of Yechezkel 39: “when I have brought them back from amongst the people and gathered them out of the lands of their enemies…I will never again hide My face from them.”
Your Weekly Zera Shimshon Dvar Torah
Recently, there has been much interest in the divrei Torah of the Zera Shimshon. The author, a gadol from Italy (1706-1779), passed away childless and implored people to repeat teachings from his sefer, writing that he would advocate in heaven on their behalf for children, health, and livelihood if they did so.
Many people have merited seeing salvation in the merit of learning this sefer while performing a true chesed for a gadol from hundreds of years ago. I’d like to publicize that a one-page, English translation of divrei Torah from this sefer on the parshah is available by e-mailing email@example.com.
A Woman Trying To Help
The Democratic Party Isn’t Our Enemy
Last week, reader Myron Hecker disagreed with my letter maintaining that it would be unwise for Jews to leave the Democratic Party. He argues that the Democrats have been negligent in condemning anti-Semitism and cites the “watered-down” House resolution against anti-Semitism as proof of a growing problem in the party.
But this resolution was only “watered down” – by including other forms of hatred in it – to demonstrate that everyone has a stake in fighting bigotry. The bulk of the resolution still focused on anti-Semitism, which it strongly condemned.
Additionally, Ilhan Omar, whose remarks sparked the resolution, received a sharp condemnation from Nancy Pelosi and others, and top Democrats at AIPAC took obvious swings at her. Such actions hardly amount to a normalization of anti-Semitism, which Mr. Hecker claims has been occurring in the Democratic Party.
Mr. Hecker also suggests that the Democratic Party “ignores our grave concerns.” But, among other things, the party is almost unanimously opposed to the BDS movement and an anti-Israel UN.
Furthermore, it is the Democratic Party that seeks to enhance American and Israeli security by monitoring and restricting Iran through a flawed, but well-intentioned, nuclear deal. It was also a Democratic president that significantly helped fund the Iron Dome.
Bipartisan support for Israel continues, and is crucial to the pro-Israel cause. It is unnecessary and, in the long term, divisive and harmful to inflate the significance of a couple of congresswomen with the whole Democratic Party. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi said about the party’s radical wing, “That’s like five people.”
Vote Democrat, Or Else
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comment – comparing illegal immigrants to concentration camp victims – had nothing to do with illegal immigrants or concentration camps. It was a well-crafted verbal arrow aimed at the Jewish voter.
Her words conveyed a message: Even though you may hear some anti-Semitism from a “few” Democrats, don’t even think of leaving the Democratic Party. You must continue to vote and support us. The words “concentration camp” and “never again” were used as a veiled threat: If you don’t vote Democratic, you (the Jew) will land up in a concentration camp in this country.
Considering her age and background, I don’t think Ocasio-Cortez knows anything about World War II, in general, or what happened to the Jews, in particular. The term “never again” has not been used by anyone for a long time. Her statement was probably given to her by the Democratic Party and designed to get the most coverage and attention.
Words have power, and the Democratic Party, supported by the mainstream media, cleverly uses words to mislead people. So expensive healthcare becomes the “Affordable” Health Care Act; illegals in the country become “undocumented” dreamers; and the destruction of human life becomes “reproductive” rights.
The Democratic Party usually “circles the wagons” to protect its members. But there are so many candidates running for president this time around that, with G-d’s help, they will destroy each other – and the party.