Biden Is the Democrats’ Only Shot
Columnist Michael Reagan last week advised former Vice President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race – which is understandable. Biden is the Democrat most likely to defeat Trump. Reagan, therefore, would love nothing more than for Biden to drop out so that a far-left ideologue like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren can take on Trump and lose.
That’s why there are centrists in the party who refuse to give up on Biden.
Look Elsewhere, Dov
In a video transcribed on page 12 of last week’s Jewish Press, Dov Hikind appeals to Mayor Bill De Blasio to address the unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic attacks in New York.
But the mayor is not a magician who can change people’s psyches. Not can he eviscerate the immorality within New York streets, homes, and smartphones.
The Rambam gives us a formula for ensuring that divine morality reigns among the gentile nations (Hilchos Shoftim, chapters 9 and 10): Teach them the seven laws of B’nei Noach (which actually comprise a total of 66 mitzvos).
The Lubavitcher Rebbe said we should teach these laws to the gentiles with whom we associate. Mayer de Blasio is a small gear in the morality machine. We shouldn’t place our faith in him.
Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Tanny
The Ground Is Shifting Beneath Our Feet
Years ago, Jews would ask: “Is it good for the Jews?” Unfortunately, due to assimilation and the teachings of Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism, many Jews have moved far from that earthy question into the nebulous realm of “tikkun olam” and care more for the planet than their own kin.
As a result of letting our guard down, several deleterious developments have unfolded in Massachusetts:
- The Massachusetts state legislature has indefinitely postponed a bill that would have mandated Holocaust education in all public schools. Yet, there hasn’t been any pushback from Jewish organizations or media!
- The ACLU and cronies like the leftist and ardently anti-Zionist Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild have recently stepped into the debate on school curricula, fighting hard (in the name of free speech) for those who insist on retaining anti-Israel, pro-PLO texts.
- Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a front-runner in the Democratic presidential primaries. She says Israel has “a right to exist” (how generous!), but is also in favor of an essentially Judenrein Judea and Samaria and a divided Jerusalem. And she recently hired Max Berger, co-founder of the loathsome IfNotNow organization.
Yet, just a few months ago Warren was given a rapturous welcome at Temple Emmanuel (Conservative) in Newton, Mass.
Numerous Jews in power have betrayed – yes, betrayed – their own kith and kin by not asking that age-old question: Is it good for the Jews? Are we aware that the ground is shifting under our feet?
Pinchas Baram, Ph.D.
Former Executive Director,
New England Zionist Federation
The First Shul in the Catskills
In his fascinating article on Ze’ev Jabotinsky last month, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed wrote that Jabotinsky passed away while visiting a Betar camp in a suburb of New York. He actually passed away in the town of Hunter, home of the first shul in the Catskill Mountains, built by my great-grandfather, Harry Fischel, in 1906.
The original synagogue had to be dismantled because of eminent domain, but parts of it were incorporated into the current, also historic, synagogue in Hunter, which functions as it should during the summer but whose continued ability to function in the future is in jeopardy.
Anyone with ideas on how to keep it occupied during the rest of the 10 months of the year is urged to let me know at Reichelaa@aol.com. I will put you in touch with people who may be able to help.
Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq.
Reform Jews and Trump
Reform Judaism’s principal officers recently condemned President Trump for “hate speech.” For the media to take President Trump’s comments out of context is expected. For Reform Jewish Americans to do the same is regrettable.
It brings to mind the sad riddle: What’s the difference between President Trump and Reform Jews? Answer: Trump has Jewish grandchildren.
Silver Spring, MD
How Would Tlaib and Omar React?
I wonder how anti-Semites like Rep. Tlaib and Omar would react to your news report last week that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her family dedicated a new ambulance to United Hatzalah in Israel.
Why don’t they ever see the good that Israeli and Jewish organizations do to help those in need all over the world? Why do they seek every conceivable way to denigrate Israel and Jews? And why don’t Democratic Party leaders take note of their behavior rather than look the other way?
Los Angeles, CA
Register as Democrats?
As a long time subscriber of The Jewish Press, I was fascinated by Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s op-ed, “Frum Jews Must Register As Democrats.” He argues that the Democrat Party has become more anti-Semitic and we therefore must join it so that we can transform from within and change its attitude toward Jews.
But if the already huge number of Jewish Democrats could not stop the part’s anti-Jewish shift, what will adding a few more Democratic voters accomplish? The Democrat party is obviously not interested in the opinion of its Jewish members.
The councilman writes that New York is a liberal city and therefore only Democrats have influence. But I think he is missing a key Torah teaching. Had our patriarch Avraham wanted to, he could have joined the Idol Party and tried to change it from within. But he knew that wouldn’t work. Instead, he listened to Hashem and left the party to teach the world a better way of life.
Similarly, our great teacher Moshe did not stay in the Pharaoh Party and try to convince its leaders to be nice to the Israelites. Instead, he quit the party and followed Hashem’s instructions to form a new one.
The Idol and Pharaoh parties are gone, but the Jews (even if battered) are still here. It is time for not just frum, but all, Jews to demonstrate that they won’t tolerate the Democrat Party’s anti-Semitism by leaving the party and finding the right people to support.
New York Will Have to Fund Yeshivos
New York is currently considering authorizing state employees to determine if non-public schools are offering an education that is at least “substantially equivalent” to that of the state’s public schools.
If it gives them this authority, the state will effectively be in charge of the non-religious education of Catholic schools and yeshivos. And their decisions will also affect the finances of these schools.
For example, the state will be able to tell a private school to get rid of a poor teacher and hire a better one – even if the new teacher will cost the school more money. In other words, the state will be able to tell private schools how to spend money on secular education.
If so, however, the state can no longer claim – as it does today – that state funding of secular studies in yeshivos is a violation of the separation of church and state. It will have to start paying for that education just like it pays for secular education in public schools.
Fred Bassali, Ph.D.
A Happy Anniversary
August 31 marked the 50th anniversary of New York City Transit bus drivers not having to give riders change. Starting on August 31, 1969, bus riders had to either deposit a subway token or the exact fare directly into the fare box.
Starting on that day, drivers could concentrate of driving instead of multi-tasking. Nor did they have to worry about being robbed because of the cash they carried. Safety increased. There were fewer traffic accidents involving buses. Busses came on time more often.
It was a smart move on the part of New York.
Great Neck, NY