Snail Mail and the Felafel Fund
The Felafel Fund allows large poor families to eat in a neighborhood felafel store two days before Pesach so mothers can prepare one fewer meal for their 10-15 children.
An eight-year-old with long peyos clutching loaves of unwrapped bread against his sweater the day before bedikas chametz made me realize that mothers of large, poor families are cooking till Erev Pesach. They can’t afford takeout food or restaurants like I can.
So, for $12 a person, the Felafel Fund sends entire families for a falafel, French fries, and a canned drink. One meal for an average family (12 children and 2 parents) costs $168 – an amount way beyond even the dreams of these families.
All the families are carefully chosen. Every penny goes directly to the falafel store owner, with a petek to the chosen families. We thus ensure that no money gets re-directed for anything else, like electric bills or shmura matza, by the financially-strained parents.
Many families were sent last year, and people are already hoping to get on the list this year!
Please join in this unusual mitzvah! Send checks made out to Klein to Arzei Habira 49, apt. 32, Jerusalem (with your e-mail address so I can thank you)!
(American banking laws require checks to Klein only. And a 4 percent cashing charge is deducted per dollar check. So please ask friends to join you in one big check. And do not make checks out to Felafel Fund as such checks can no longer be cashed [nor can money orders]!)
Dr. Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein
In politics right now, we have a rich tam, Mike Bloomberg, an older rasha, Bernie Sanders, and a modern-day Cyrus, Donald Trump.
Bloomberg reportedly “didn’t associate much with fellow Jewish students in high school and college” and over-simplifies Middle East complexities by stating, “I will not wait three years to release an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.”
The rasha of Passover excludes himself from his people. And that is what Sanders does, excluding himself from caring about Jewish values, the state of Israel, and the future of the Jewish people.
And then we have Donald Trump, who, like King Cyrus, has greatly benefited the Jewish people. He has moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel, appointed as his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who routinely lectured the UN on its anti-Israel bias, declared war on college campus anti-Semitism, stopped funding for the PA, and so much more.
It’s time to recognize Hashem’s blessings in giving us this great president and help him to get re-elected.
Peace Is Possible
I find myself consternated by your placement of an advertisement regarding Middle East peace-building efforts adjacent to an article that discounts any chance for peace.
You ran an ad titled “Building Religious Peace: A New Paradigm” – an initiative headed by Rabbi Michael Melchior and Sheikh Raed Bader that I think we should welcome. Yet, above this ad was an article titled, “Can Muslims Sign Peace Treaties With Jews?” Writer Harold Rhode insists that Muslims cannot, under Islamic law, enter a permanent accord with Israel.
By juxtaposing the two, you effectively mocked the laudable efforts of Rabbi Melchior and Sheikh Bader.
Furthermore, Rhode’s article is itself myopic in scope. He asserts that the Koran and Sharia law preclude the implementation of a permanent peace treaty with Israel, allowing at most for a truce.
But the truth is that Judaism also looks at such treaties as temporary. A believing Jew believes that ultimately we will have a Jewish state that stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates! Yet, we are quite willing to settle for much less in the meantime.
I believe that at least some Muslims can similarly nurse a dual approach. They can maintain that ultimately Muslims will control the land while simultaneously allowing for the conclusion of a lasting treaty.
Let us pray that peacemaking efforts will receive an honest and open chance to succeed.
Far Rockaway, NY
We Need Competing Voices
I have a friend who moved down south. She has a bumper sticker on the back of her car that reads, “Proud Democrat, Vote for Warren, Ban Fracking, Equality for all.”
She wrote to me that every time she drives out to a more rural area, someone – always in a huge pick-up truck – comes up behind her car and tries to push her off the road or terrorize her.
Such people have absolutely no idea what it means to be an American. A plurality of voices is what makes America great.
When the late Bob Grant was fired from WABC radio for making controversial remarks about the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, an unlikely person came to his defense: Governor Mario Cuomo. This despite the fact that Grant, in my view, had strongly demeaned Cuomo on the air and invited listeners to do so as well.
But to Governor Cuomo’s way of thinking, we needed Bob Grant on the air as America prospers when it hears a variety of perspectives.
Kudos to Trump
President Trump deserves a great deal of credit from the free world and freedom-loving people trapped in the grasp of tyranny.
He imposed sanctions on the Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, which is smuggling petroleum out of Venezuela. In doing so, he put another nail in the coffin of the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro and hastened the day of freedom for Venezuela.
While this move undoubtedly disturbed Vladimir Putin, it also taught him that supporting tyranny and a government overseeing extreme poverty, starvation, and death has its costs. Hopefully, the message will some way translate in Putin reducing military support for Bashar al Assad, the dictator of Syria.
Fort Lee, NJ