Remembering Dr. Leah Biton-Jackson
I read the notice in last week’s Jewish Press (June 16) about the passing of Dr. Leah Biton-Jackson, of blessed memory.
When I attended Lehman College in the 1970s, I took a Hebrew class with Dr. Jackson. Since I never attended Hebrew school, I felt the two times I went to shul a year (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), I should know what I’m saying. After becoming a ba’alat teshuva after marriage, it has held me in good stead. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her.
Coral Springs, Fla.
The Trump vs. DeSantis Equation
The race for the Republican Presidential Nomination is turning into a two-horse race: President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While in the November 2024 election I would vote for either one, the reason is that today’s Democrats are so ultra-liberal that any of them would only continue the inflation, severe crime epidemics, weak and incorrectly focused military and horrible foreign policies.
Donald Trump accomplished a great economy, strong military and record employment for the poor, and would do it again if he were reelected; however, his chances of getting reelected are much less than those of Governor Ron DeSantis. His main problem is what comes out of his mouth. If ever there was a man who needed to learn the laws of lashon hara, it is the former president.
Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, has a great record in improving Florida’s economy and social tranquility, with almost universal satisfaction among the electorate. After winning his first race for governor with a small margin, his second election was won with the greatest margin in Florida history. For the first time, the number of registered Republicans is greater than the number of Democrats. The increase was registered among Independents, Hispanics and former Democrats.
A comparison of the attraction of the candidates can be seen in their respective records. In 2016, when Donald Trump won the election, the Republicans won the presidency as well as control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. When Trump lost the election in 2020, Republicans also lost control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. When DeSantis won his second election, the Republicans won every state-wide office plus both houses of the Florida legislature with overwhelming majorities. Clearly, he is a more successful leader.
Lastly, Florida has no state income tax, which is a great incentive to move to Florida and many in New York and New Jersey are doing just that. In fact, while Florida now has a greater population than New York State, the size of the Florida state government is half that of New York State and the cost of the Florida state government is one quarter that of New York State. In addition, school choice is significant in Florida, with a grant of $8,500.00 per year for each child attending a private or religious school.
A Needed Book – ‘Budgeting for Dummies’
There is no cause for celebration by President Biden and Congress, now that our national debt exceeds $32 trillion. This averages at $95,635 per citizen or $249,403 per taxpayer. (Source: June 20, 2023, National Debt Clock.)
Thousands of employees are familiar with the details of our federal budget. How difficult can it be to find billions in savings? This could assist in reducing our periodic raising of the debt ceiling.
Millions of Americans cut their household budgets to make ends meet. It is time for Washington to live within its available existing revenues without excessive borrowing, just like millions of ordinary citizens.
The President and Congress have forgotten the old saying – a penny saved is a penny earned. Americans should send both a penny to remind them that it is not a sin to save. Unless we change our ways, America is on the road to losing our status as the world’s No. 1 superpower to China. Just like mighty ancient Rome before the collapse, we are going down the path to become the world’s super debtor.
Great Neck, N.Y.
‘Not One Inch’
Editorials in The Jewish Press (June 9 and June 23) mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s quote before the last election that “the big prize is peace with Saudi Arabia, which I intend to achieve if I go back into office.” The editorial of June 23 goes on to warn that “perhaps at the insistence of the Biden team, a dynamic designed to pressure Israel into accepting a two-state solution along the 1967 lines has come into play.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu is indeed back in office, thanks to the coalition assembled between Likud and Israel’s religious parties. Israel’s government must understand that the price of so-called peace can never be at the expense of ceding Holy Land. The real big prize is “not one inch” – with or without peace with Saudi Arabia or any other country that doesn’t recognize Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael.
Member of Knesset and Jewish Press columnist Rabbi Meir Kahane quoted Scripture when he wrote and commented: “And thou shalt not give them permanent ownership.” To give away land to a non-Jew in Israel and thus remove Jewish possession and holiness from it is a violation of Jewish Law. How many times more so to give it away under pressure and gentile force!” Kahane references Maimonides concerning the prohibition of surrendering to a gentile decree that desecrates G-d’s name. Furthermore, Rabbi Kahane reminds us that “not one inch” is a religious slogan, not a political one.
Like everything in life, peace comes from G-d. Our role in bringing peace obligates us to fulfill the mitzvot as best we can in the land of Israel as soon as we can. We cannot do so by giving away the commandments, which of course includes the commandment to live in the land.
Great Neck, N.Y.
Torah, Politics, and the Deep Blue Sea
This week saw a triangulation of seemingly congruent events.
Parshat Korach related how insatiable hunger for power twists one’s soul and outlook on life.
The tragedy of the submersible Titan that saw all occupants of the ill-fated vessel killed.
The continued two-tiered justice system as it is applied to Democrats and their families versus how it is applied to Republicans, more specifically, Donald Trump.
Korach essentially attempted a coup of Moshe Rabbeinu’s authority and the priesthood. The result was Korach and his followers being swallowed up into the depths of the earth as punishment.
This was an illustration of a cataclysmic reaction to inappropriate attempts to usurp the will of Hashem and the people.
A similar fate befell the explorers and pilot in the Titan, in this case due to arrogance on the part of the CEO of OceanGate, the sub’s owner.
Ironically, Stockton Rush, the CEO, was on board at the time of the sub’s horrific destruction during its descent into the depths of the ocean.
Lastly, we have the Biden administration’s policies and weaponization of the so-called Justice Department against a likely political opponent.
This, coupled with a general proliferation of crime, inflation and inept foreign policy, as well as border and social chaos promulgated by this feckless and malevolent administration, is destroying our country.
Common to these three events and circumstances is the sinking to unfathomable depths of society and individuals due to arrogance and a malignant thirst for power.
The Biden administration’s policies have not yet fully brought our country to ruin, but we are rapidly careening toward that end.
Left unchecked, we will all sink to the deep depths of ruin and anarchy with our country catastrophically imploding, akin to the fate suffered by the Titan.
May Hashem protect us all from such a devastating fate.