Photo Credit: Jewish Press

A Jewish Case for Biden? (I)

I was quite surprised to read Dr. Luchins article last week in support of Joe Biden. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Luchins on political campaigns when we both lived in Washington Heights. Dr. Luchins was on the staff of Senator Humphrey and Senator Moynihan, both of whom were very active in supporting the state of Israel.

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Senator Biden, in contrast, was never active in helping or supporting Israel. When Biden was vice president, President Obama constantly attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the UN constantly condemned Israel. Joe Biden never complained. When President Obama gave billions to the terrorists in Iran, Biden again did not complain.

When Trump came into office, the anti-Israel resolutions immediately ceased. Trump has also repeatedly praised Netanyahu, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and moved our embassy to Jerusalem, which he recognized as Israel’s capital.

Joe Biden has never been a friend of Israel, while President Trump is the most pro-Israel president in American history.

Ezra Fleischmann
Brooklyn, NY

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (II)

Dr. Luchins’ article is totally in sync with the following premise: While Jews are, generally speaking, some of the smartest people on the planet, when it comes to politics, many of our brethren unfortunately rank among the stupidest!

Like many American Jews who support the Democrats, Dr. Luchins is stuck in an illogical “time warp” when he alludes to the good old days of Senators Moynihan and Humphrey. We must vote based on present facts, not on the memory of a party of yesteryear whose only commonality with the 2020 Democratic Party is its name.

It’s fascinating. Democrat Jewish voters seem to support candidates based on the distant past (the Democratic Party of old) and projections of the distant future (an earth ruined by climate change) while ignoring what will happen to their country tomorrow morning (cities on fire, illegal immigrants pouring through open borders, police departments defunded, American jobs shipped overseas, the military weakened, energy independence relinquished, anti-Semitic voices strengthened etc.).

Nachum Woolf
Toronto, Canada

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (III)

In his article championing the candidacy of Joe Biden, Dr. David Luchins notes that American politics has become less civil over the past few decades.

Indeed, it has. And for that, we have the Democrats to thank who have, among other things, made a religion out of promoting homosexuality while also assisting in the murder of millions of unborn babies.

Choni Herschel Kantor
Kew Gardens, NY

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (IV)

Every argument Dr. David Luchins made in his article last week in support of Joe Biden is wrong and based on faulty assumptions. In evaluating Joe Biden as a candidate for office, one cannot look at what Biden was. One must look at what he is.

It’s true that in the distant past Biden espoused many good causes. However, his actions in the more recent past raise serious questions.

Obama once publicly stated that choosing Biden as his running mate was the best decision he ever made. How so? Because while Biden may be gaffe-prone, he was the perfect person to advance some of the more extreme items on Obama’s agenda.

In 2012, for example, gay marriage was still highly controversial, and Obama feared public backlash if he endorsed it. So he had Biden endorse the idea first and waited to see the reaction. When no harsh reaction was forthcoming, Obama felt safe and publicly embraced gay marriage two days later.

As for Biden’s position on Israel: While his record in the Senate can be viewed positively, when he became vice president, he endorsed Obama’s plan to build bridges to the Islamic world at the expense of Israel. This included the infamous, unprecedented decision to censure Israel in the UN.

The Joe Biden of today can be expected to go further. After all, he is beholden to a party that Democratic politicians of yesteryear wouldn’t recognize. And he has a running mate whose positions are in sync with those of Bernie Sanders.

At 77, Biden doesn’t have the stamina to take the policy-decisions reins, but even if he did, one cannot rely on him as a true friend.

Mordechai Schlanger
Brooklyn, NY

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (V)

Imagine making a case for the election of Adolph Hitler to lead a country and conveniently leaving out his role in perpetrating the Holocaust. That is essentially what Dr. David Luchins did last week when he conveniently omitted from his tenuous Jewish case for Joe Biden the most important social issue of our time: the holocaust of the unborn.

Over 62 million babies in the womb have been exterminated since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, and Biden has long been a champion of giving people the right to end the lives of the unborn.

The Democratic Party supports abortion on demand up to the moment of birth – meaning, unborn children can literally be torn apart in an effort to kill them. Some Democrats even support infanticide for babies who survive failed abortions.

Biden-Harris is the most pro-abortion ticket in American history. In 2018, Harris was a strident opponent of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which calls for abolishing almost all restrictions on abortions, including late-term abortions and sex-selection abortions.

Biden, for his part, once had the gall to liken abortion (i.e., the killing of an unborn child) to an “operation.” Moreover, Biden wants taxpayers to pay for abortions without restrictions up to the moment of birth and to roll back the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which has saved two million unborn babies from the butcher’s knife.

Is ending innocent human life the Jewish way? Dr. Luchins seems to think so and, unfortunately, so does Sen. Charles Schumer and many other Jews.

Vanessa Pallotto

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (VI)

In his article last week, Dr. David Luchins attempt to whitewash Joe Biden’s record on Israel. This is the same Joe Biden who brags about his White House partnership with Obama – arguably, the most anti-Israel American president in modern history.

Biden has called himself an “Obama-Biden Democrat” and said he would continue the work of the Obama administration as president. That means a return to the Obama-Biden policy of creating “daylight” between America and Israel and isolating Israel at the United Nations and other world forums.

Biden has made it clear that, if elected, he will rejoin the ruinous 2015 nuclear deal with Iran under which the restrictions on Iran’s centrifuges go away in 2025 and the limitations on uranium enrichment disappear in 2030. Iran will then be in position to quickly manufacture nuclear weapons, apparently with Biden’s blessing.

Like Obama, Biden refuses to recognize that coddling Israel’s most implacable foe places American and Israeli lives in danger.

Biden will tilt America’s Middle East policy away from the moderate Arab nations now seeking peace agreements with Israel and again support the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood who sought to abrogate Egypt’s peace agreement with Israel.

Even more perniciously, Biden will resume the Obama-Biden policy of pressuring Israel to accept a two-state solution with the likes of Hamas sitting at its doorstep. If you thought Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were bad choices for Secretary of State, just wait until Biden names Bernie Sanders as their successor.

A Biden presidency would be bad for America and a disaster for Israel. In contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu has called President Trump the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House.

The choice this November for Americans in general and Jewish voters in particular could not be more clear.

Gerald Jacobs

 

A Jewish Case for Biden? (VII)

Dr. David Luchins’ “A Jewish Case for Joe Biden” utterly fails to make such a case. Luchins claims Biden “knows how to get things accomplished” yet doesn’t list a single accomplishment of Biden that benefited the Jewish community during his 36-year tenure as senator and eight years as vice president. That’s because there is none.

Biden has a long history of openly praising the secular American Jewish establishment for “changing American attitudes” towards to’eivah, illegal immigration, social justice, and “bold progressive reform.” And it is precisely dangerous progressive rhetoric that incited the terrible anti-Semitic attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway.

Biden has been even worse for Israel, going back to his early days as a fledgling Delaware senator. When Menachem Begin visited Washington in 1982, Biden screamed at him for establishing Jewish communities over the Green Line and violently banged on the table, threatening to cut off American aid.

Some of us still recall the tempest Biden caused during his 2010 visit to Israel when the building of new Jewish houses in Jerusalem was “inexcusably” announced. Biden apparently maintains that all of east Jerusalem – including the Old City – is occupied territory.

Luchins lamely tries building Biden a castle out of crumbs: “Biden has consistently condemned BDS, strongly refused to link aid to Israel’s policies, and pledged to support Israel at the United Nations.”

In other words, Biden agrees Israel has a right to exist. Yay. We have much higher expectations now that President Trump has raised the bar so much.

Given Biden’s noticeable cognitive decline, a potential Biden administration (G-d forbid) would be puppeteered by the radical Left. Biden’s own running mate Kamala Harris defends Jew-haters like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Linda Sarsour, while the head of his foreign policy team, Avril Haines, is outspokenly anti-Israel.

Biden’s sorry record is enough to makes the Jewish case for Donald Trump. A vote for Biden is a vote for the Left. A vote for Trump is a vote for Israel.

Raphael T.
Brooklyn, NY

 

Smoking in Yeshiva?

I just found out that boys smoke and drink in my son’s beis medrash. My son’s rebbe claims most yeshivos nowadays have boys who smoke.

If true, something very wrong is going on. Smoking is clearly dangerous to the smoker and innocent bystanders. And killing oneself – to say nothing of killing another – is surely a major aveirah!

Yeshiva administrations must clearly forbid smoking and vaping. The danger must be met head on. Our lives and those of our loved ones depend on it.

Ben Solomon

 

Break The Liberal’s Stranglehold On Education

A politically conservative businessman pointed out to me that with each Republican president, the national agenda may move one step to the right, but once a Democrat ascends to power, it quickly moves nine steps to the left.

The explanation for this phenomenon, unfortunately, is simple: The progressives control not only the media, but academia too. They control the minds of our youth and thus our national future.

Hashem gave the Torah to the Jewish nation only when we offered our children as guarantors. Children represent the future; children are the ones who will perpetuate our values if we properly educate them. With that in mind, if Republicans regain control of both houses in November and Trump wins reelection, they must focus first and foremost on “draining the swamp” of academia.

The president already advocates withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities and colleges that allow anti-Semitic intimidation on campus. Now he must address diversity of thought. Unless a school’s teaching staff comprises both conservative and liberal voices, it shouldn’t receive any federal funding.

David Ferster

 

Kamala Harris’s Race-Baiting

Kamala Harris’s claim that there are “two systems of justice” – one for white Americans and another for black Americans – is a form of race baiting reminiscent of the tactics of Alabama Governor George Wallace.

The facts don’t justify her belief. If it were true, how does she explain her election as California’s attorney general? How does she explain the elections of Curits Hill (Indiana), Letitia James (New York), Kwane Raoul (Illinois), Aaron Ford (Nevada), Keith Ellison (Minnesota), and Daniel Cameron (Kentucky)?

Every glass ceiling for the office of governor, senator, congress member, attorney general, police chief, or judge was broken decades ago. The election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 was the last milestone to be reached.

Harris’s claim is an insult to several hundred thousand minority law enforcement officials who work everyday providing color blind justice for all. And her divisive rhetoric makes her unqualified to be a heart beat away from the presidency.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, NY

 

Rudy, Come Back

My mother often repeated an old Yiddish expression: “A fool can throw a diamond to the bottom of the lake but 10 wise man cannot bring it out.”

This expression clearly defines Mayor de Blasio. However, in this case, Rudy Giuliani can correct the situation. I wish Rudy would run again.

Arthur Horn
Fort Lee, NJ

 

We’re Courting Disaster

2020 has been full of disasters, but the worst one may be ahead of us. I’m talking about the upcoming elections.

Government legitimacy depends entirely on the public’s faith that the reported results on election night are accurate. Yet, both major parties – anticipating a possible loss – are now dangerously suggesting that they might not be.

These suggestions are dangerous. Thus, President Trump shouldn’t – even jokingly – tell his supporters to vote twice, once via mail and again at the polling booth, so as to highlight the unreliable nature of mail-in ballots.

Legislators tinker with election laws at our peril. With tens of millions of mail-in ballots expected to be sent out this year, Election “Day” can span weeks – even months. In-person voting and absentee ballots have many built-in safeguards. Some states claim to have successfully carried out mail-in elections in the past, but those doing so now for the first time are courting catastrophic chaos.

Voting registration lists (based on which ballots are mailed out) are inaccurate. They often don’t reflect recent deaths or relocations. Many states also automatically place new driver license holders on their voting lists – without inquiring whether the person is a citizen or in this country legally. Few controls are currently in place to prevent theft, “ballot harvesting,” and other shenanigans.

Party leaders urgently need to jointly declare a ceasefire in the election delegitimization war.

Richard D. Wilkins
Syracuse, NY

 

The Rabbis Were Not Wrong

In his op-ed last week, Rabbi Chananya Weissman lists several predictions regarding Covid-19 that, in his words, “turned out to be incorrect.” Rabbi Weissman criticizes the people who made these predictions – including those who encouraged people to study Torah and give tzedakah to certain organizations as a way of protecting themselves against the virus – for not later admitting that “they were wrong.”

Holding up such predictions to a crystal-ball standard of correct or incorrect seems inappropriate. Even today, the scientific community can predict very little about this scourge. I believe that we should view the predictions Rabbi Weissman mentions as rhetoric designed to calm people and raise hope. And in that light, were people wrong to encourage studying Torah or giving tzedakah?

A few hundred years ago, the Chozeh of Lublin, I believe, noted that many Rishonim and Achronim predicted when Mashiach would arrive. As we know, their predictions unfortunately turned out to be “wrong.” But how could that be?

The Chozeh answered this question by citing the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 240:11), which rules that a person may not tell his father that he sinned if he sees him acting improperly. Rather, he must say in a questioning tone “Does it not say such-and-such in the Torah?” and the father will understand himself what he did wrong.

When Rishonim and Achronim predicted when Mashiach would arrive in a certain year, they weren’t making categorical predictions. Rather, they were essentially saying to Hashem, “Does it not say such-and-such in this pasuk, which would indicate that Mashiach will arrive by year X?”

In other words, they were not wrong. Rather, Hashem apparently decided to postpone Mashiach’s arrival. Similarly, no one who recommends studying Torah or giving tzedakah (or davening or doing teshuvah) as a means of protection is wrong.

Rabbi Leibie Sternberg

 

Discussing Death with Children

I found the advice given by John Rosemond in his August 21 column, “Our Son is Obsessed With Dying,” truly shocking. As a mother and grandmother and former kindergarten teacher, I feel an alternate view needs to be shared.

When a five-year-old boy is still anxious, six months later, over the death of a neighborhood child he knew, the solution is not to stop talking to him about it – which is what Mr. Rosemond proposes.

The child is only five. His world has been turned upside down as he realizes for the first time that he will eventually also die. Small children usually have no concept of death as it pertains to them. If they consider it at all, they view it as only happening to others (usually old people). The fact that a child he knew died and the fact that he too can die must be terrifying to him.

So to the parents of the child obsessed with dying: Your son is so very young. He is barely out of toddlerhood. He probably still believes the “real” Mickey Mouse lives at Disney World and superheroes are real. Instead, of ignoring him, interact with him. Distract him and give him some joyful experiences.

Do an art project, plant a garden, put together a big puzzle, bake and decorate cupcakes. If at all possible, purchase a puppy he can play with, love, and take to bed with him.

Good luck and may G-d help your little boy to find peace.

Anonymous

 

Preparing for Losing

I really, really want Trump to win the election and hope the polls will be wrong again, but I think even George Washington would have trouble winning re-election in a year like this.

So I think it’s vital that we begin to mentally prepare ourselves for a Biden victory. We should not scare people, especially children, by saying that life will be miserable and scary under a Biden presidency. It will not be as good as under Trump, true, but we will be fine, b’ezras Hashem.

And if we daven well enough and Hashem sees fit to make Trump win, then all the better.

Bernie Goldman

 

Post-WWII Changes

I found Edward Shapiro’s article two weeks ago, “World War II: A Turning Point for American Jewry” interesting.

I was 10 when the war started. I grew up in a heavily-populated Jewish neighborhood in Chicago and attended public schools where I was often told to go back to Palestine.

There was very little intermingling between Jews and non-Jews then. Intermarriage was rare, even amongst the irreligious. I do recall one neighbor’s son marrying a gentile girl. This non-observant family tore keria and sat shiva.

I believe the army was the greatest destructor of the barrier between Jews and non-Jews. When I was drafted toward the end of the Korean War, I found living in barracks with non-Jews difficult. But we were forced to adjust to each other.

They, for instance, learned that they couldn’t continually verbally and physically abuse us. During basic training, one of them often loudly expressed vicious anti-Semitic threats. He complained the German rasha didn’t finish the job. Several of our chevra were European-born who saw the churban firsthand and couldn’t calmly accept his threats. So one Friday night, this gentile “fell” down the stairs. He was quiet after that.

After leaving the army, most of my work and business was conducted with gentiles. We mostly respected one another. I think the forced intermingling and the awareness that we were no longer sitting ducks for their abuse – we had a home that could forcefully defend itself – led to an acceptance between Jews and gentiles.

But, alas, acceptance has come with a price: commingling, which has led to intermarriage. The only solution seems to be giving our children a true Torah education.

Shabsi Turner
Brooklyn, NY

 

Trump and the Nobel Peace Prize

President Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament, who cited the recent peace deal he brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Tybring-Gjedde also noted the president’s “key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and…creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan, and the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea.”

Tybring-Gjedde, who says he is “not a big Trump supporter,” also praised Trump for withdrawing a large number of troops from the Middle East. He wrote: “Indeed, Trump has broken a 39-year-old streak of American Presidents either starting a war or bringing the United States into an international armed conflict. The last president to avoid doing so was Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter.”

The Nobel Committee should look at the facts and judge Trump based on them – not on the way he sometimes behaves. The recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in recent years did much less than Donald Trump.

Of course, though, mainstream media outlets are attempting to minimize President Trump’s successes. These are the same outlets that praised the Obama Nobel Peace Prize nomination, even though Obama had done absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Brian J. Goldenfeld
Oak Park, CA

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