Photo Credit: Jewish Press

A Perfect Storm

Dennis Prager’s piece on the cruelty of parental alienation (“A Pandemic of Cruelty,” July 14) was heartbreaking to digest.


This phenomenon is symptomatic, however, of a far greater issue, the degradation of society and civility. A multitude of factors have coalesced to produce this and other harmful and hateful blows to decency over recent years.

The proliferation of mobile devices and social media has been poison to the psyche of our youth and young adults for quite some time now. How easy it is to become detached when the people we interact with are nothing more than blips on an iPhone.

Ghosting has become a common method used to hurt others. It’s so easy when you don’t have to speak to or face others to be cruel to them. Personalities are damaged and skewed when individuals no longer speak to each other on the phone or face to face but merely message each other. Proper and meaningful relationships cannot be forged and cultivated when personal interaction is largely missing from the family/friend equation.

Add to this the lunacy being promulgated in schools regarding race and gender, as well as the harmful ideology promoted by the far-left narrative, and the result is a perfect storm.

Another factor mixed into the cake is a rejection of religion and its attendant values and societal ethos it imbues into culture and society at large.

A perfect storm of hatred and lack of civility and respect toward each other results due to all of the above, and has caused untold harm to interpersonal relationships. So, unfortunately it does not surprise me that the “should” generations have been supplanted by what I term the “apparition” generation. So very sad.

The good news is that it was foretold that before the arrival of Moshiach we will be afflicted with a generation devoid of respect, love and caring, and full of angst.

May we therefore see the coming of Moshiach as evidenced by these signs, speedily in our time and in the least painful manner.

George Weiss
Brooklyn, N.Y.


Affirmative Action Replaced Anti-Jewish Quotas

Regarding the op-ed by Alan Dershowitz (“The Supreme Court Moves Us One Step Closer to a Colorblind Society,” July 14), one of the curses, I believe, for a Jew who has reached retirement age and developed his career in past decades here in the U.S. has been the challenge of “affirmative action.” There had been quota systems against Jews at a substantial number of universities as well as in the business sector for years. Then along came “affirmative action.” At that time, I had recently earned my teaching credential and was calling local schools for an interview with the principals for a teaching job. Once, when the principal’s secretary asked me my name, and I told her my last name “Malevitz,” she responded: “We’re sorry, we’re looking for a minority.” When I answered her that I was a minority, she replied, “Your name doesn’t sound like you are…”

Since the land of Israel is at the western tip of the Asian continent, I began listing my ethnicity as “Asian.” I was immediately hired. It was politically incorrect to question someone’s choice of ethnicity. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that the government had “updated” their ethnicity list from “Asian” to “East Asian,” which would have eliminated me.

One of my father’s landsmen from Poland had tried to come to the U.S. at the same time as my father. My father was able to receive his U.S. visa, but his friend’s request was denied because of the quota. Cuba accepted him and his pregnant wife. They arrived in Cuba, their daughter was born, and several weeks after their arrival in Cuba they successfully came to the U.S. My father’s friend’s daughter, who doesn’t speak a word of Spanish, is Cuban-born and therefore “Hispanic” on all affirmative action documents, receiving preference over other applicants.

I have always been one to speak out against injustices at the time they occur. I remember how proud I was when Alan Bakke sued the university that would not accept him although he had the required qualifications for admission and instead accepted a minority candidate who had fewer qualifications. Bakke won the case, yet “affirmative action” somehow continued. Now affirmative action is finally being discarded, and there are still people who would like it to continue.

My advice is for anyone who sees something unjust occurring is to speak out at the time.

Pesach-Yonah Malevitz
Miami Beach, Fla.


Kaddish Question

I am following with great interest Rabbi Yaakov Klass’s excellent series on Kaddish. While no one should need it, it is important to understand the halachos of the prayer one recites for the dead. Of particular note is the “yekishe” custom to have only one person recite Kaddish. Also, Kaddish is in Aramaic (as opposed to Hebrew).

In last week’s issue, the various customs for bowing were reviewed. As Rabbi Klass writes in response to the question where one saw Kaddish being recited without a minyan, it was likely at the recital of Kel Maleh or a “non-Orthodox” minyan (that included women).

But it was a total lapse of judgment on the part of The Jewish Press (not Rabbi Klass) to choose as the subject photo a picture of a woman praying in a cemetery. Rabbi Klass’s premise is that women don’t say Kaddish and aren’t included in a minyan for Kaddish. Rabbi Klass is a well-respected Orthodox rabbi who writes a thoughtful column every week. Out of all the pictures to include with the article, why would you choose a woman praying rather than a man or a congregation? Please review and edit in the future.

Chaim Yehuda Meyer
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Editor’s Note:

The picture chosen to accompany Rabbi Klass’s Q&A column was simply meant to be generally illustrative and emotionally evocative; it was not meant as commentary.


Tough Descisions for Jewish Lawyers

The article in your July 14 edition (“Is It Proper?”) that questioned the propriety of a Jewish lawyer representing someone he knows is guilty was intriguing. I want to address the subject as a layman. I think that we have to distinguish between criminal and monetary cases.

In the former, we see from the affair of Rubashkin that justice in the American court system isn’t necessarily just, so it would seem that one should get the best possible attorneys and, of course, said lawyers should use any and all means to achieve the best possible outcome.

It’s quite different concerning money matters. Let’s imagine that two observant Jews are squaring off in court. A lawyer is enlisted by one of the parties and he knows that his potential client is in the wrong. If he takes the case and uses typical lawyer chicanery, he enables outright geneivah (theft). I don’t see how this can be justified. This said, most if not all, the lawyers, frum or otherwise, would likely sign on because money talks. To rationalize, they’ll tell themselves that they’re following the dictates of the profession. To this, I say that the Nazis were just following orders. Make no mistake, Hashem will not accept any such excuses on the great Judgment Day.

Dr. Yaakov Stern
Brooklyn, N.Y.


Yeshiva Education and Values

To comment further on Marc Gronich’s article (“Yeshiva Battle for Sovereignty Continues,” July 14), while advanced science and advanced math and all the other required courses demanded by the state are undoubtedly valuable, I wonder if there are statistics on social education standards. Public schools may offer calculus, but if a kid spends his evening mugging people on the train, cursing his parents, and is a discipline problem for society, then how much benefit does their education serve?

Putting things in perspective: How many yeshiva boys are homeless and on the streets? How many yeshiva boys are in gangs? How many yeshiva boys are caught stealing and pilfering from shops? How many yeshiva boys have been brought up on charges of rape? How many yeshiva boys are caught vandalizing property?

How many yeshiva boys are caught cutting school? How many yeshiva boys mug elderly people in lobbies? How many yeshiva boys carry a gun? How many yeshiva boys have shot and killed someone? How many yeshiva boys are high on drugs? And, how many yeshiva boys commit crimes to support their habit?

Wait. Yeshivas as producing honest, law-abiding, kind citizens who mostly go on to be employed in local or family businesses? And the problem with that is what, exactly?

The reputation of yeshiva boys precedes them. If a group of seven yeshiva boys with their kipot and tzitzit are gathered on a corner, no one feels the least bit threatened by them. Yeshiva boys are products of a “specialized education.” Maybe the state should take some hints from yeshiva philosophies and focus on the values a yeshiva education provides. For example, the value of giving tzedaka. These yeshiva boys would put money into a cup of a needy person – not steal the money.

We need more upstanding, law-abiding, honest. kind, thoughtful citizens.

Yeshivas have much to be proud of and not caving in to outside pressure should be heralded as a positive.

Laurie Kurs
Via Email


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