Remembering Rabbi Sholom Klass
The article Naomi Klass Mauer wrote about her father’s yahrzeit (Jan. 7) was very moving. It’s hard to believe it is already 22 years. I remember when Rabbi Sholom Klass passed away. What he and his wife, Mrs. Irene Klass, did for English language Jewish journalism in America is their legacy forever.
May you, Naomi, and your family, keep on perpetuating their accomplishments every single week. Your parents are so proud of you. You were so blessed to have such an amazing baal chesed and talmud chacham for your father. I am so blessed to have you, the daughter of such a holy man, as a friend and mentor.
May your father’s neshama have an aliyah.
The Real Lessons From the Wilder Case
Years ago I watched a show about how an 11-year-old boy saved his mother’s life. He was in the front seat of the car, and his mother was driving. The mother, a diabetic, didn’t monitor her blood sugar levels before driving and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. After she passed out on the highway, the son managed to stop the car and get help.
The mother later said, “People should learn from my situation that they should always wear their seatbelt. I was lucky, you may not be.”
The lesson here was that diabetics need to be monitoring their situation, that not doing so can cause harm not only to oneself but to others as well. By focusing on a secondary problem, the mother implies that monitoring is a non-issue.
Many people are discussing the lessons one should learn from the Chaim Walder saga, but some of their lessons miss the main point.
For example, although lashon hara is a serious offense, to discuss it in this context is implicitly telling victims of abuse (and people who are aware of ongoing abuse) that they cannot speak up due to lashon hara. Feel free to improve in this area on your own, but do not teach that one should do so because of the Walder case.
“Suicide contagion” is another issue. It is a fancy way of saying that suicide is contageous, which it is. But to turn this into a discussion about suicide contagion is saying that Shifra Yocheved Horovitz, may her memory be blessed, ended her life for that reason. She ended her life because we failed her as a society, because the pain was too much for her. Not because Walder’s suicide encouraged her to do the same.
That therapists must be licensed is a given, but this didn’t happen because of going to an unlicensed therapist; it happened because the person was a sexual predator.
So too with regard to yichud, the prohibition of two people of opposite gender being alone, lest their urges take over. But this was not about urges taking control but about a serial predator who was found to have 22 credible independent complaints against him. This was about grooming, manipulation, control, and power.
People have come up with a variety of things to blame. One is a lack of tznius. This is the go-to issue when any calamity befalls Am Yisroel. A serial abuser doesn’t abuse people because their victim has a lack of tznius. One should never ever use a case of abuse, neither this specific case or any other case, to highlight the need for tznius. That’s classic blaming the victim.
Some the lessons that accurately connect with this case are: Believe victims. Don’t place the well-being and livelihood of the abuser before the victim. Don’t protect the abuser because of “all the good they’re doing.” Know that speaking about and attempting to stop abuse isn’t lashon hara or public shaming.
Yisroel Picker, MSW
Response to ‘Single Man’
I’m writing in response to the single man (“Im Yirtzeh Hashem By You,” Jan. 7) who is neither overweight nor with some other major problem (cheers, though, for saying that being overweight is a major problem – I’m starting to figure out what kind of girl you’re looking for).
It’s pretty terrible that you were lied to. Nobody wants to be promised something and then not have it done.
I think you need to tailor your thinking – everyone is picky about something. Being picky isn’t just reserved for girls and it’s not just for guys. Everything has things that they will and will not compromise on.
Something I learned in my deep dive into matchmaking 101 is that when people don’t get married in their 20s (or late teens), they establish their careers and their homes and seem more set in their ways, so it’s not a matter of being picky; rather it’s that you don’t fit exactly into what their lifestyle now requires.
I’m not sure how you went through three matchmaking opportunities without a single one getting back to you when you’re not even a bit bitter or with some other problem, but I’d like a chance, please.
The editor has my contact information if you’re interested. I’m no professional shadchan, but I’ll get back to you.
Fair Lawn, NJ
An Error in the Date
My letter is in reference to Mr. Israel Mizrahi’s article (“Rare, Bizarre, Unusual: List Of Selichot For 1935-1938 Found In German Volume,” Dec. 24). Mr. Mizrahi should be more careful about the dates he uses in his articles. He states that the list of selichot are from 1935 to 1938 and correspond to the Jewish years 5736 to 5739. My father was born in the year 1939, which corresponds to the Jewish calendar year of 5700. I was surprised by Mr. Mizrahi’s mistakes. Usually he is more accurate. The editors at The Jewish Press should have caught these errors before going to print.
Harold S. Rose
Israel Mizrahi Responds
Thank you Mr. Rose for your comment and interest. Rosh Hashana for Hebrew Year 5696 began on Friday, 27 September 1935; it should indeed have read 5796-5799.
Jewish Enablers Of Antisemitism
Two young Jews were accosted on a street in Bay Ridge on Dec. 26 by Arab thugs. One was wearing an IDF sweatshirt was physically assaulted and the was other warned not to interfere. Their assailants deemed such “storming into our large and vibrant Palestinian and Muslim community, wearing IDF hoodies, [to be] an act of provocation or even terrorism.” In response to that outrage, there was a January 2 protest rally, as shown on your cover last week, which was moved to Bensonhurst to avoid further inflammation. Nonetheless, a large, loud group of counter-protestors showed up.
Shamefully prominent among them was a noisy Neturei Karta contingent. They were flying Palestinian flags and even shouting the genocidal Palestinian chant: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” In pursuit of their twisted theological anti-
Zionist politics, they openly consort with the Jewish people’s most bitter enemies. Not only not combatting antisemitism, they actively enable it. Even as their brethren Israeli Jews must live under constant threat of violence, Neutrei Karta embraces the sonei Yisroel, haters of Israel, oblivious to, or unconcerned at, their genocidal intent. How utterly contemptible!
Richard D. Wilkins
Where Were the Masks?
When I looked at the picture on the front page of The Jewish Press (Jan. 7) I was surprised to note that the protesters who were in close contact in “The March Against Antisemitism” weren’t wearing masks. I commend them for acting out against anti-Semitism, but in New York City where the incidence of Covid-19 is high, I believe that they should have set an example and followed CDC rules.
Delray Beach, FL
Fiscal Advice From Donald Trump
I have a suggestion for the national Democrats in terms of how they can be fiscally responsible and pay for the “Build Back Better” proposal without adding one cent to the national debt and the federal budget deficit: Have the Congress pass Donald Trump’s 1999 proposal to institute a new “National Wealth Tax” of 14.25 percent on all individuals with a net wealth and net worth of $10 million and higher. That would generate more than enough new revenue to pay for it. Yes, he really did make that proposal.
Just look it up. The opinion editor of USA Today loved it. So do I. I think it is the best idea that he ever had.
Stewart B. Epstein