Empathy Needed, Not Fear
Shlomo Greenwald’s article “9 oz.” (Oct. 14) was deeply moving and inspiring. Drinking the halachically permitted 9 oz. when feeling miserable on Yom Kippur would’ve been a mundane decision for most of us. Instead, Mr. Greenwald found an opportunity for meaningful religious and emotional struggle and deep reflection – the very essence of what teshuva means on Yom Kippur. I’m truly grateful that he shared his personal journey with us. “9 oz.” is a wonderful demonstration of what journalism can be: thoughtful, empathetic, and providing inspiring chizuk for the reader. Kol hakavod!
The article particularly struck me because of its contrast with another article in the same issue of The Jewish Press. A recent study (in the peer-reviewed PLOS ONE scientific journal) points out that there has been a big increase in news headlines suggesting fear, anger, disgust and sadness since 2000, and especially since around 2010. The authors’ research showed that the media (both right and left) are pushing our buttons in negative ways.
Dennis Prager’s column on “Parental Authority is the Basis of Civilization” is a good example of that. Mr. Prager presents a laundry list of issues, reduced to simplistic and distorted hot buttons. All of these societal “ills” can be solved, according to Mr. Prager, with strong “parental authority.” A child struggling with gender confusion? Just tell them, “You were born a girl and you are a girl.” Simple! I have friends, a frum couple who are deeply involved in their shul, who have a transgender child. Their journey was marked by thoughtful discussion and emotional struggle. Caring, empathy, and love have sustained their family. Not authoritarianism.
I’d like to ask Mr. Prager: Didn’t you defy authority when you were involved in the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry – a movement that was considered radical and opposed by the mainstream Jewish organizations at the time? When you changed your own religious observance, was that not defying parental authority? You obviously chose your own path when you felt it was right. Like so much of the media analyzed by the study, Mr. Prager’s purpose is merely to excite outrage and anger.
Shlomo Greenwald eloquently shows us a better way. “What did Hashem want me to learn?” he writes. “Maybe I need to sympathize with those who often feel broken? … Maybe that’s an important lesson for me on Yom Kippur – how to feel the pain of those who are scared, worried, anxious.” As we enter this new year, this is a lesson that all of us can take to heart.
Fair Lawn, N.J.
The Jewish Vote Matters
The strong showing for gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at his various campaign rallies in Jewish neighborhoods, coupled with competitive polling numbers, indicates that Republicans have a chance in New York. For too long, members in our community voted lockstep with the Democrat party line, a political group whose policies and priorities do not align with our own. Therefore, come next Tuesday, I hope that your readers come out to the polls in force and vote. Previously, Republican candidates for governor barely made a blip on the radar. During attacks on Jews over Covid, Israel and education, one governor fanned the flames while the next governor did nothing. We now have a candidate who forced the issues from “Orange Man bad” and “abortion for all” to quality-of-life issues. Dear readers, whatever you position; come November 8, come to the polls. The Jewish vote still matters.
Howard Jay Meyer
ADL No Longer ‘Anti-Defamation’
Max Wisotsky’s letter (“Wrong Message,” Oct 7) was brilliant on every level. The Anti-Defamation League, as he described it so well, has morphed into an unsavory, leftist cabal that denigrates the right with gusto, while turning a blind eye to the shortcomings of the left. That isn’t anti-defamation, that’s selective politics.
I was a contributor years ago, but I discontinued my support when the former ADL head, Abe Foxman, started down the road toward the left. Jonathan Greenblatt has not only continued in that direction; he has accelerated the pace. I find it mind-boggling that Jews can continue supporting an organization that, as Mr. Wisotsky so accurately noted, has aligned itself with a woke, antisemitic, Israel-hating cast of characters.
I’m not a book-burner, but every Jew that buys Greenblatt’s book gives financial succor to our enemies as well as moral support. His twisted take on antisemitism, focusing strongly on those on the right, disqualifies him as a voice of reason and as an expert. He’s simply a bookseller.
Compare the Record
It’s ironic and sad how some of the dire predictions made about Trump before he became president are coming true with Biden: he’ll lead us to a nuclear confrontation and the stock market will crash. Trump brought us peace and prosperity. Biden has brought us to our knees. With Trump, we exported energy. With Biden, we beg for energy. With Trump, the world feared and respected us. With Biden, the world laughs in our faces.
Apparently, logic has little to do with the way many Americans vote. Did it ever occur to those who didn’t like the way Trump talked that it was his brazenness that helped him overcome many obstacles that often prevent some people from succeeding? There’s no question Biden talks nicer (at least, in public). But who pays attention to him?
Why I’m Voting For George Santos
The choice this election could not be easier. George Santos, as endorsed in your newspaper (Oct 21) presents a platform that cherishes true American beliefs. On the other hand, Robert Zimmerman subscribes to the far left woke agenda. Does the Third District want a representative who will march in lock step with the socialist agenda of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi! Does the Third District need a representative who will vote with the socialist, antisemitic and anti-American Squad?
Santos stands for putting criminals in jail and supporting the police, instead of Zimmerman who is in favor of giving criminals a perpetual get-out-of-jail card and defunding the police. Santo is in favor of law and order and supporting victims, not criminals. Santos stands for teaching American history and the importance of 1776, while Zimmerman believes in teaching Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project and cancel culture.
Santos believes in equal opportunity; Zimmerman believes in “equity” or equality of outcome, which includes discrimination of some segments of society and the redistribution of assets. Santos wants the BLM and Antifa perpetrators, of the 574 riots of 2020 held accountable for the billions of dollars of destruction and the hundreds of lives lost while Zimmerman wants to persecute anyone in the vicinity of the January 6 Capital riot and has never answered why so many Americans are being held incommunicado in solitary confinement without being charged with any crime and without access to any legal support or visitation of their families.
Their differences on national policy issues are quite large. Santos believes in secure borders while Zimmerman is in favor of open borders – with over 2,000,000 individuals crossing this year so far. Crime is out of control all across the country and drug overdose is at an all-time high, with over 100,000 deaths so far in 2022. Santos is for energy independence while Zimmerman is all in on the “green new deal,” believing that windmills and solar are the way to go even if the technology is not there yet. Instead of drilling in the United States let’s import oil from Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Gas prices at the pump today are over 70% higher than under President Trump. Home electric, gas and oil are also up dramatically.
Santos is for fiscal responsibility, while Zimmerman like President Biden wants to keep adding on more and more debt. The result is the highest inflation in over 40 years and a current recession. Bidenflation today is over eight percent, almost six times that under Trump. Interest rates have jumped; mortgage rates are double what they were under Trump.
If you want to stop the radical far left socialist agenda of the Biden-Harris administration and the corrupt team of Schumer-Pelosi now running Congress, then voting for Santos is a must.
Great Neck, N.Y.
Hochul Ducks Debate, Runs Against Trump
Listening to Governor Kathy Hochul at the debate, I would have thought that Donald Trump was the Republican Party candidate for governor. No wonder Hochul followed the Rose Garden campaign strategy. She preferred hiding behind tens of millions of dollars in television campaign commercials rather than face challenger GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin face to face in a series of debates.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will maintain Democratic majority control of the State Legislature. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James are safe for another term. One-party Democratic Party control of state government is an open invitation to waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in Albany. It is the best reason to elect Lee Zeldin as governor.
Great Neck, N.Y.