Cuomo Has Been a Friend
Governor Andrew Cuomo has made numerous mistakes since the coronavirus pandemic began, but he’s been a great friend of Israel and the Jews. And to his credit, he opened shuls in time for Shavuot.
So before calling on Cuomo to resign, we should consider whether any other New York politician has a more favorable track record on Israel and Orthodox Jews.
Trump’s Peace Plan Is a Non-Starter
Kudos to settlement leader Daniella Weiss for saying President Trump’s peace plan is a time bomb (interview, May 29).
Annexing liberated territories is wonderful, but this annexation must be unilateral and not linked to any American proposal or international agreement. America’s current peace proposal doesn’t add 30 percent of Yesha to the Jewish state; it gives away 70 percent of Yesha to our enemies.
Even if the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority became pacifists overnight, it would still be against Jewish law for the Jewish state to give away even one inch of the Holy Land to another people. Can you imagine future Birthright groups of young Jewish adults asking the Palestinians for permission to visit the biblical heartland of their own birthright!
President Trump has perhaps been the best friend the Jewish people ever had in the White House. But even great presidents make mistakes. Another great president, Ronald Reagan, was the first American leader to recognize the PLO.
What Can’t Be Forgiven
As a couple who have been alienated from two of our adult children for several years, we would like to thank The Jewish Press for bringing the issue of parental alienation to the fore. The constant pain of alienated parents is deep and ever-present.
A great man I once knew had a business dispute with his partner. Even though his partner was wrong, the partner was very sketchy and managed to win. The man lost his business and dignity, and his life was left in shambles. The ripple effects damaged his wife and children too.
A few years later, his business partner deeply regretted what he had done and asked for forgiveness. The man immediately responded, “I forgive you” three times, but then added, “While I forgive you, I cannot forgive the harm you did to my children because a person cannot forgive on behalf of another person.”
Most loving parents would forgive their children for the pain they suffered during the years their children cut them off. But the years of pain cannot be erased. All the missed holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and milestones cannot be relived.
Anyone who played even a small role in severing the parent-child relationship will have to answer to Hakodosh Baruch Hu.
In the meantime, we have decided to forgive our children, who are not sorry, and accept their apology, even though it has not been given. May we all merit to see the words of the navi fulfilled: “v’heishiv lev avos al banim v’lev banim al avosom.”
Is Psychology the Problem?
In her letter to the editor last week, Ruchama Bistrizky-Clapman of MASK commiserates with the plight of parents alienated from their children, writing that the number of such parents “has increased dramatically” in recent years.
Nowhere in her letter, though, does she look inwards and explore to what extent the profession she is associated with – psychology – is responsible for this sharp increase.
Years ago, adult children would keep any grievances they had against their parents to themselves; the rare exceptions would speak to a rabbi, who would undoubtedly remind them that they had a sacred obligation to honor their parents.
Today, thanks to psychology, every child feels it is within his rights to go to a therapist and vent – or “express his feelings” – about his parents. The therapist won’t mention anything about moral duties since psychologists largely don’t believe in traditional morality and don’t believe it is their place to engage in “moral posturing.”
Instead, they will tell them it’s important for them to “be themselves” and “live their lives” without mental stress. If their parents are a source of such stress, they will “explore” options of helping them remove their parents from their lives. And of course, they constantly encourage the pernicious proposition that problems in life are often the fault of one’s parents and upbringing.
The Gemara lauds a rabbi who respectfully said nothing as his parent screamed and embarrassed him in public. A therapist would likely encourage this person to stand up for himself and refuse to be subject to such “abuse.”
Bistrizky-Clapman ends her letter by promising alienated parents “to help them get the proper referrals to professionals.” No, “professionals” are actually the problem. All professionals have done – besides take people’s money – is contribute to the very alienation of children from their parents that Bistrizky-Clapman decries.
One Word: Why?
Two articles in your paper last week caught my interest: “New York Times More Focused on Annexation Than NYC Riots” and “Terror On the Streets Of America.”
In each case, as I read the article, I asked myself, “Why?” Why is the NYPD standing down in the face of riots and looting? Elliot Resnick wrote in the introduction to his interview last week: “The police meanwhile do next to nothing.” Why would they do that?
I also asked “Why?” when reading about The New York Times’ opposition to Israel’s plan to annex part of the West Bank. Why would it oppose this move? Going one step further: Why is The New York Times is so anti-Israel?
Los Angeles, CA
“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Thus wrote Thomas Paine in pre-revolutionary America. Might we now be living in similar times? One localized appalling act of police misconduct, universally condemned, has metastasized into days of nationwide protests.
While most of the protestors are surely sincere, they are being manipulated and abused by some very dark forces with nefarious agendas. The violence, vandalism, arson, and looting was not spontaneous. It was carefully planned and perpetrated by radical elements, such as Antifa. Their unambiguous aim is the overthrow of the American government.
The mainstream media, however, deliberately downplays the carnage, which has inflicted so much havoc on innocent storeowners, patrons, and neighborhoods.
Governors and mayors, meanwhile, fail to protect law-abiding citizens, thus shirking their Constitutional duty to “insure domestic tranquility.” Instead they, and many members of the police force they control, abase themselves by kneeling before the mob. How perverse.
It’s time for all of us to wake up to what “wokeness” really portends.
Why I Will Vote for Trump
If ever there was a man who needed to study the laws of lashon hara, it’s President Trump.
Nonetheless, despite his habit of speaking seemingly without thinking, I intend to vote for him. Here’s why: The economy is rebounding, the military is strong, our enemies – Iran, China, and Russia – are behaving as best they can; environmental laws are now much more reasonable; the judges Trump appoints are faithful to the Constitution; taxes are low; and federal spending is reasonable considering the necessary compromises he’s had to make with the Democrats.
The most important reason to vote for Trump, though, is his strong support for Israel. His peace deal is the first serious proposal that protects Israel’s security and isn’t based on Arab promises, which are unreliable at best. His protection of Israel in the United Nations is unmatched. He also opposes BDS, which J Street – a fan of Joe Biden – supports.
Fort Lee, NJ
Let’s Care for Our Own
Why are we Jews always so quick to support blacks when blacks almost never support us when we are beaten up, harassed, or murdered?
It’s about time for we Jews to look out for ourselves and worry less about people who couldn’t care less about us!
Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
Is George Soros Behind the Civil Unrest? (I)
The scale, scope, and intensity of the recent riots indicate that they were not spontaneous.
They were pre-planned by the left to coincide with the coronavirus pandemic to produce maximum chaos in the streets. Wholesale rioting is a standard tool of radicals wanting to bring about regime change.
Leftists and the mainstream media have been desperately trying to drive Trump from office from the day he was elected. So far, they have been spectacularly unsuccessful, and with only five months left before the November elections they are getting frantic, sensing that this may be their last opportunity to damage the president before Election Day.
It’s disconcerting to realize that George Soros – a Jew – is widely seen as the monetary ringmaster behind these riots. Whether he ultimately is culpable or not is almost beside the point. Either way, Jews are going to pay a heavy price. At best, the age-old anti-Semitic stereotype of wealthy Jews trying to take over the world will be strengthened.
At worse – if the claim is true and Soros bankrolled these riots – a reign of terror against Jews may result that will rival those of Hitler and Stalin. The current wave of anarchy may just be the beginning.
Highland Park, NJ
Is George Soros Behind the Civil Unrest? (II)
There should be no question about New Yorkers voting out Cuomo and De Blasio. Both of them refused to fulfill their sworn duty to protect their citizens and their property.
President Trump offered his assistance many times, and both refused it. They have allowed the destruction and looting of so many amazing stores in Manhattan, and they have tied the hands of the NYPD.
The pandemonium and rampant wreckage were not spontaneous. I believe George Soros is ultimately responsible as he uses his enormous wealth to fund Black Lives Matter, the Arab American Institute, the New Israel Fund, Al-Haq, La Raza, and numerous other left-wing groups.
On September 9, 2016, Aaron Klein wrote about a leaked document from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation revealing Soros’s involvement in a movement to change police forces nationwide. The document advises groups to take advantage of a crisis like the police killing of a black suspect.
Soros’s Open Society actually held a strategy meeting titled “Police Reform: How to Take Advantage of the Crisis of the Moment and Drive Long-Term Institutional Change in Police-Community Practice.”
What we are all witnessing is the fulfillment of Soros’s dream of a weak police that will allow mayhem to reign so that democracy and capitalism can fail and be replaced by socialism or communism.
Trump’s to Blame?
General Mattis has charged that President Trump is not a “unifier.” Maybe so. But he has had good company in Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill de Blasio, and Joe Biden.
Ed Yitshaq Levenson
Moving to Israel (I)
Myles Kantor (“Memo to Aliyah Advocates: Stop Being So Smug,” op-ed, June 8), misunderstands olim.
They do not wish their fellow Jews in the Diaspora any harm, and I am sure they pray for our welfare. They are just sharing with us their vision of how we can bring the ge’ulah closer – by leaving America and coming home. Hashem is always giving us signs, and we need to attempt to understand them.
One of the greatest mitzvos is living in Eretz Yisrael and helping build the land. Berlin was not Jerusalem, and neither is Boro Park, Lakewood, or Teaneck.
As we approach Parshas Shalach and read the episode of the Spies, we should remind ourselves that the spies were severely punished for discouraging the Jews from immediately entering the Promised Land. One who speaks poorly about Israel and causes division in our people delays the ge’ulah.
Paul D. Bloom
Edison/Highland Park, NJ
Moving to Israel (II)
Myles Kantor is incredibly naive. Europe’s Jews are already in danger. The United States meanwhile is convulsing, as the left assaults our values and our Constitution.
The evil Democrats and their media cohorts have made clear what their goals are: removing a president based on lies, squashing our religious values, dividing us along racial and class lines, eliminating free speech, and now defunding the police.
The dark Democratic cloud is gaining traction and will not abate until Democrats gain control. If President Trump loses in November, America will turn into a fascist state starting within six months.
But you go right ahead and assure Jewry that it has nothing to worry about.
Long Island, NY
Moving to Israel (III)
Myles Kantor’s disgraceful op-ed reminds me of the pre-WWII attacks on aliyah advocates. They were shouted down from pulpits, demeaned in the press, and harassed to no end.
We have an obligation to make aliya for a number of reasons. For one, the U.S. is in turmoil. Anti-Semitism is on the rise and Jewish influence is eroding with every passing day. When Democrats booed G-d and Jerusalem at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the handwriting was on the wall, and things have spiraled downward ever since.
The Diaspora, no matter how comfortable it is, no matter where it exists, is doomed. Where are the Jews of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Rumania, Hungary, and Belarus? Where are their shuls, yeshivos, and institutions?
Hashem has myriads of messengers to deliver His messages. Covid-19 has wiped out jobs, businesses, and bank accounts – some forever. Just when you thought you were safe and comfortable, the Almighty showed you were in delusion.
You’ll come running to Israel in the end. I just hope you can salvage some of your savings before the rampaging socialists and woke mob grab it all.
Which King George?
In my June 5 Collecting Jewish History article, “The Jewish Patriots of Fort McHenry,” my poor proofreading failed to catch an important typographical error. I mistakenly wrote that Mendes Cohen attended “the funeral of King George I (August 1830)” when, of course, it was actually the funeral of King George IV.
I thank an astute reader, Sam J. Sperling, for pointing out my error.
Saul Jay Singer