Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The Boys and the Girls

An open letter to Naama Klein (“Why I Love Guys,” Family Issues, June 30) who bemoans the fact that she is sadly female.

Advertisement




What exactly was the point of the article? To get women riled up? Or worse, to make us pity your “sorry lot?” It’s very confusing. Then again, maybe I’m confused because I’m female. Shoot. OK, enough with the sarcasm. Let’s get down to business.

I believe our society has bred girls to walk on eggshells constantly so that they can put on a good face to eventually be a good shidduch prospect. Girls have more anxiety and can naturally not be a laid-back guest. The girls don’t eat? Shocking. Fad diets? Of course! Otherwise, how can they stay at a size 00 so that when the laid-back boy’s mommy calls for a shidduch, they’re ready to go! (If you want girls to eat at your house, consider serving healthier food.)

Girls do not have a chiyuv, obligation, to go to shul, and many see their mothers not going, so they naturally learn from them. Boys do have a chiyuv to daven three times a day, so your paragraph on the topic was simply stating what they are commanded to do (or not do).

As you said, the girls cannot contribute to the zemiros part of the meal, but did you ever give over a dvar Torah when you were a guest at a meal? Do we teach the girls that they should be doing that? Do we properly teach girls how to learn Torah so that it can be given over at a moment’s notice? Sometimes. Maybe. All my life I grew up with boys giving the divrei Torah. Boys learn Torah, girls should stand aside. The back page of one popular children’s parsha book infamously states, “…Little girls, too, can have their equal share. When fathers and brothers learn, try not to interfere! Keep the house quiet, don’t disturb their concentration – and then you’ll really earn Hashem’s admiration!” This is what runs through many girls’ heads. Keep quiet, go through the motions.

I’m sorry that your husband didn’t see the pain you went through during that Succos meal when you were nine months pregnant with child number seven. Why didn’t he get up to help you? That would have been a great lesson for those selfish girls.

I’m going to say something here that many people might disagree with, but I have to say it. While I know that a frum boy does not have it easy – getting up to go to minyan, davening three times a day, the expectation to learn or the expectation to earn – women and girls are held to a very high standard and are not given a “free pass” like guys are often given. A lot of girls are very guarded for fear of how they will be viewed. We breed this behavior. It’s our fault.

I think it is unfair to pit girls and boys against each other like this. Yours is obviously an extreme example, so my letter is extreme in kind. The self-deprecating behavior is unacceptable as well. Not all girls are kvetchy, self-defeating, and incomprehensible. Be kinder not only to yourself but to all women.

Ahuva Lamm
Fair Lawn, N.J.

 

Why Makes/Made America Great?

Why is America so great? Or, you might ask, “Why was America so great? This is a very important question that is often overlooked. As we approach the Fourth of July it is very worthwhile to ask this question now.

Some might say America was blessed with an abundance of natural resources, such as fertile soil, lumber, coal, iron ore, petroleum, gold, navigable rivers, etc. But this does not answer the question of why, before the arrival of the Europeans, most of the indigenous population was frequently on the verge of starvation and had little material wealth and human capital, meaning knowledge to improve their lives.

In short, the answer is the culture of original people and their lack of human capital. The first Europeans, however, were deeply religious, had strong family values, and were hard working. Two examples were the Pilgrims and Puritans. The strength of their religious values can be seen by their willingness to leave their homes and extended families, cross an entire ocean on ships that were unsafe by modern standards, and move to a place they knew very little about.

Their faith in G-d carried them through tough times. Their knowledge of the Bible was significant, especially what they called the Old Testament. They saw themselves as similar to the 12 tribes of Israel crossing the Red Sea to the Promised Land. Many people are not aware that Harvard, Yale and other colleges taught Hebrew, Latin and Greek. As an example, the first graduate student (post-college education) in America was James Madison, the future president. He studied Hebrew at the College of New Jersey, now called Princeton University.

Another example, Benjamin Franklin, wanted the symbol of America to be the twelve tribes of Israel crossing the Red Sea. He donated generously to the first synagogue in Philadelphia, Mikveh Israel. I learned on a visit to the house of Betsy Ross in Philadelphia that George Washington specified that he wanted six pointed stars on the American flag. As we know, she put five-pointed stars on the flag because it was much easier to make such stars. People familiar with origami will understand.

Lastly, Rabbi Daniel Lapin points out in his book, America’s Real War, that at one point in the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress took a vote on whether English or Hebrew would be the language of the United States. Obviously, English won.

The decline in religious observance has been accelerating recently and it shows in our culture and society. For example, the first divorced person to become president was Ronald Reagan in 1980. The severe misdeeds of Bill Clinton are often disregarded, and what is likely to be the greatest political scandal by far in American history is being covered up by most of the news media.

The great tragedy in America today is that approximately one-fourth of all children are being raised in a household without a father. This correlates highest with future criminal behavior. The key question to ask is whether the decline in America is going to get worse.

Human capital includes whether there is honesty and integrity in the population, technical knowledge, law and order, physical safety, and social animosity. An example of where there was large human capital can be found in post-war Germany and Japan where large-scale devastation was soon repaired. Haiti and Syria are examples of less human capital.

Charles Winfield
Princeton, N.J.

 

What To Celebrate on the Fourth

July 4th weekend: Americans are celebrating their freedom, which is eroding at a steady pace. Some of us don’t care about that because it’s complicated and requires an understanding of what the United States was, and what it is turning into.

Thinking about freedom takes one away from mindless activities that beckon you from the always-present cellphone. Escaping reality is the new national pastime. Thank you, Apple.

So, let’s begin. You are not a free individual if someone is controlling you. Could be a terrible boss, an insecure spouse, the monthly bill come due. Or it could be the government.

The Supreme Court last week dealt the progressive movement and its frontman Joe Biden two harsh blows.

First, skin color cannot be used to provide or deny opportunity in this country. And second, the reckless-spending Biden does not have a constitutional right to forgive personal debt, student loans or otherwise.

Both rulings are correct if the Constitution is to be followed. But the three progressive justices, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Brown, dissented because the Constitution is anything they want it to be, not the actual words James Madison wrote down, and what was affirmed by the original 13 states.

Remember, most far-left people believe evil white men basically entrapped the citizens of a new nation into a life celebrating white, male privilege. And today it is the mission of the progressive left to destroy that.

Therefore, the left posits, traditional tenets of equal opportunity for all are obsolete because minorities continue to be persecuted by whites and need giant payback in the form of preference or even cash payments. That’s called “equity,” a core policy of President Biden.

The man does not care if taxpayers foot the bill for other people’s loan forgiveness, or if a qualified Caucasian or Asian is denied college admission based on skin color. To Biden and his followers that’s “justice.”

This is really all about socialism, which requires a powerful central government that makes all decisions on who gets what. Competition is evil because the free marketplace is not free at all since it is stacked against minorities. The leftist media repeats that over and over.

Therefore, according to this philosophy, a select few on the far left should be empowered to make all societal and economic decisions in the name of diversity, inclusion and, of course, justice.

Thank G-d the majority on the Supreme Court understands and rejects this craven assault on true freedom.

And that is something worth celebrating this Fourth of July.

Brian Goldenfeld
Oak Park, Calif.

 

About Those Barbecues. . .

Enjoyed you article discussing the halacha about celebrating July Fourth (“Are July 4th Barbecue Get-Togethers Proper,” June 30).

It may be interesting to note that in 1776, July 4 fell on Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, which makes the 17 Tammuz America’s Hebrew birthday. This was brought to our attention by the Velzer Rebbe, who traditionally celebrates America’s birthday with a break-the-fast BBQ at the end of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz.

Larry Frischerman
Via Email

 

Happy 76th Anniversary Larry Doby

July 5th marked the 76th Anniversary of Larry Doby playing his first Major League baseball game for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. It was a milestone for integrating the American League along with Jackie Robinson playing his first Major League baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers integrating the National League.

It was a time when most baseball fans could afford a bleacher, general admission, reserve or box seat. Hot dogs, beer, other refreshments, and souvenirs were reasonably priced.

Just as Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby both fought racism in the 1950s, Detroit Tigers Hank Greenberg had to do the same about antisemitism in his time. Doby, Robinson and Greenberg all document the long-lasting relationship between African-Americans and Jewish sports fans standing together for decades in support of each other.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.

Advertisement

SHARE
Previous articleHow Good Is Your Sanctuary
Next articleGantz Bill Allows Voters to Shuffle Candidates’ Names at the Ballot Box