How About Reading the Bill?
Today’s congressional generation can learn much from the late Idaho Republican Senator James A. McClure. For 18 years, he read every word of every bill before voting on it.
Even an Evelyn Wood speed-reading class wouldn’t have provided sufficient time for any Congress member to absorb the 5,593 pages of the $2 trillion bill just passed by Congress. Only lobbyists and key Congressional staff members who actually wrote the fine print know what’s actually in the bill.
Great Neck, NY
I write to commend you for running Saul Jay Singer’s fascinating articles week after week, year after year, which relate to such interesting historical personalities and their environments.
Each one deals with a subject that isn’t so well-known to the public. Despite that – or perhaps because of that – each deserves Singer’s precise and beautifully-composed narratives.
Learning Shas? (I)
Last week, Jewish Press Chief Editor Elliot Resnick suggests that the average Jew study something other than Daf Yomi on a daily basis.
Such an alternative curriculum could cover the classic sefarim of Jewish thought as well as more modern works by the Chofetz Chaim, the Baal Shem Tov, Rav Kook, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Meir Kahane, and Rabbi Moshe Levinger.
Knowledge of mussar is indispensable to fulfilling our mission of becoming a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Imagine if tens of thousands of Jews spent an hour a day studying how to practice being nice to family, friends, and strangers. Imagine how many tens of thousands of gentiles would look at our behavior, emulate it, and recognize that the G-d of Israel is the one and only G-d!
Isn’t that what Aleinu is all about?
Learning Shas? (II)
Mr. Resnick’s column last week was perfect. Perhaps there was once a good reason to favor Gemara over the exegesis of the Torah by such great rabbis as Rashi, Rambam, and Rav Hirsch, but I don’t think it applies anymore.
Learning Shas? (III)
I should precede my critique of “Should Everyone Learn Shas?” by Elliot Resnick by stating unabashedly that he is overwhelmingly my favorite Jewish journalist in the world.
That said, I think Resnick creates a false dichotomy between Gemara on the one hand and Mussar, Chassidus, etc. on the other. A Daf Yomi devotee can easily cover all the other genres in his spare time, while intensive Gemara study trains the Jewish mind in extraordinary powers of inference and superior grasp of nuance, resulting in the veritable “yiddishe kop.”
Ed Yitshaq Levenson
Delray Beach, FL
Learning Shas? (IV)
In Elliot Resnick’s article last week, he intimates that it’s more important to know man’s purpose in life than to know intricate debates in halacha.
Yet, seeing the yad Hashem in Torah can most easily be done by studying Gemara as Gemara connects and intertwines pesukim from all of Tanach. We take the time to digest all kinds of secular knowledge, so why not Shas?
Learn it lishmah – because Hashem wants us to.
David Levenson, DDS
Not a Fan of the Vaccine
So little is known about this new Covid-19 vaccine, which is made differently than all vaccines. Here is what we do know:
1) There is a 99.74 percent survival rate for people with Covid-19.
2) Most of the .26 percent people who die from Covid-19 were in a compromised state beforehand.
3) According to Dr. Zev Zelenko, most people who die from the virus would not die if they were treated correctly.
4) The vaccine was not tested on people in high-risk groups. Only healthy people were in the trials.
5) We have no idea what the long-term effects of the vaccine may be.
6) The vaccine seems to help people suffer less severe or no symptoms should they get the virus. But it has not been proven to prevent people from getting the virus altogether and giving it to others.
If someone chooses to get the shot, fine. But let’s stop being so pushy about it or supporting the liars manufacturing a vaccine that was approved for emergency use.
Whitewashing Moroccan History
Tzvi Fishman’s interview with Yehuda Azrat last week on Moroccan Jewish history and culture ignores the record of Morocco’s poor treatment of Jews prior to 1957. While Azrat perhaps rightly criticizes the treatment of early Moroccan immigrants to Israel, their riches-to-rags story likely began in Morocco itself.
When Adoniyahu Tried Stealing the Throne
On November 3, a presidential election was held in which no winner was immediately announced. The media, though, soon took it upon itself to declare Biden president-elect despite President Trump’s claim that mass fraud took place.
On that Shabbos, November 7, Vayeira was read in shul and the sedra‘s haftorah describes the failure of Adoniyahu to appoint himself king of Israel and take the kingship away from Shlomo.
It’s interesting to note that in gematria, both “Adoniyahu” and “Biden” equal 76. Coincidence? There are no coincidences in Torah!
When the Blind Won’t See (I)
Some people seem to believe there’s no evidence of election fraud because no judge has thus far taken on the case. This is a myopic view of what’s happening.
Immediately before the election, store owners boarded up their stores in anticipation of riots if Trump won. A couple of the lawyers investigating election fraud were threatened. The notion that some judges believe they or their families would be in danger if they overturned the election results is not a conspiracy theory. It’s based on the well-known and unfortunate fact that Trump haters and leftists are prone to harassment and violence.
But do you expect a judge to say, “I’m afraid to try this case?” Of course not. That’s not exactly a legal argument. So they’re avoiding the case with flimsy legal-sounding excuses.
Rudy Giuliani has a long and extensive background in the legal system and has successfully prosecuted powerful mob bosses. Doesn’t it seem strange that someone of his caliber has what he believes to be solid evidence of election fraud, yet not one judge thus far has been willing to even grant him a hearing?
It certainly doesn’t sound like lack of evidence is the problem. It could very well be just the opposite. It could be that Giuliani’s evidence is so compelling that if a judge were to hear the case, he or she would have no choice but to overturn the election results. In today’s climate, that’s a frightening thought for any judge.
When the Blind Won’t See (II)
I’ve read the many letters published in this paper the last couple of weeks on election fraud and felt compelled to add my two cents.
I find it astounding that so many people cannot or will not see any irregularities in the November 3 election despite growing mountains of evidence. Over 1,000 people have filed sworn affidavits of malfeasance. The punishment for false testimony is incarceration. Do you really think they’d risk this punishment by testifying falsely?
One thing is certain. When:
* poll watchers are denied access simply because they belong to the “wrong” party;
* when boxes of ballots mysteriously appear in the middle of the night after GOP poll watchers have left;
* when boxes of previously unseen ballots are taken from underneath covered tables;
* when vote tallying machines are found to have been compromised;
* when thousands of votes are dumped in the early hours of the morning in multiple states;
* when more votes were cast in some locations than number of registered voters;
there is no conclusion one can reasonably reach other than fraud has been committed and the vote count needs to be considered invalid.
If we don’t take the time to get to the bottom of this fraud, there will likely never again be a reliable and verifiable election in the United States. And if, G-d forbid, this dark scenario comes to pass, I will be unrepentant in saying, “I told you so.” And I will likely be doing it from Israel.
West Palm Beach, FL
When the Blind Won’t See (III)
President Trump won the election by a landslide! But when the Democrats saw how much he was winning by on the night of November 3, they stopped counting ballots and resorted to cheating.
They pulled out hidden suitcases from under a table, truckloads of mysterious ballots were wheeled into counting centers in the wee hours of Nov. 4, ballots were put through “counting” machines several times, and ballots were backdated to Nov. 3 – all of which is documented in affidavits given by brave patriots under penalty of perjury.
According to attorney Robert Barnes, judges are afraid to go against the establishment and refuse to conduct a hearing on any of this evidence. So at this point, it’s up to Congress to decide.
I, for one, will defend the honor of our president who has sacrificed so much for all the American people.
Democrats and Division
If you just arrived on this planet, you’d swear the Democratic Party was trying to start a civil war. It wouldn’t be possible to divide people in more ways than Democrats do, all for their own benefit.
The people without jobs are taught to resent those lucky enough to have them. People who don’t have savings are trained to be angry at those who do.
Furthermore, Democrats indoctrinate people of different races to distrust each other. In the name of “tolerance,” Democrats have brought about segregated graduation, segregated school dances, and segregated college housing. Since the Democrats were the party of slavery and Jim Crow, we probably shouldn’t be surprised.
Nor perhaps should we be surprised at how poorly major urban centers with large black populations have been run by Democrats – exclusively – for decades now. If you wanted to condemn a race of people to a life of poverty and crime, you’d be hard-pressed to do it more effectively than Democrats have.
Brian J. Goldenfeld
Oak Park, CA
Appalled by Abortion
I would like to commend Myles Kantor for his excellent article last week, “Is Abortion In Israel Holding Back Moshiach?”
There are no words to describe my despair with Israel and Jews worldwide for their support of abortion. Israel is the land of Hashem and Torah, and yet, with its ultra-liberal laws, it is one of the most pro-abortion countries on earth.
How could a country founded in the wake of the Holocaust be a sponsor of a barbaric act that ends the lives of babies in the womb?
There are many Christian organizations that vigorously fight to make abortion illegal in America. I find myself constantly embarrassed as a Jew that most of my co-religionists ardently champion the invented right to cruelly terminate babies in the womb.
An Open Letter to My Chassidish Friends
Is it not our responsibility to help ease the Covid-19 infection rate, the suicide rate, the burnout rate? Our relatives and friends are dying. Our first responders are stretched beyond their limits.
Even if you have no fear or regard for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community, what about the welfare of strangers or business partners and customers who give you an opportunity to earn a parnassah?
Every time you call Hatzolah, you increase the risk of infection among first responders. How would you feel if you called Hatzolah and no one responded because they were too sick to respond?
As a retired Hatzolah member and a direct descendent of the Vilna Gaon, I wonder why we don’t take the basic precautionary steps of wearing a mask and standing apart from others. I question the irresponsible actions practiced by too many of us.
The Mishnah (Berachot 1:3) says that lying down on the road at night to say Shema is irresponsible and foolish for we may be taken as vagrants and robbed. Why, then, are so many of us acting so irresponsibly? And how dare you put Hatzolah members at more risk than necessary?
Please, I beg of you, think about what you’re doing and change your ways.