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Readers, the following thoughts were sent to me by Annette Amelia Mandis and, as we are getting ready to celebrate Pesach, when we remember a galus filled with anti-Semitism and hatred against Jews, I thought it would be appropriate to share them with you.

Jewish Lives Matter



In numerous civilizations, anti-Semitic hatred was spread by those with one agenda – Jewish annihilation.

That agenda exists today as well, and the Internet gives its perpetrators a greater following. This promotes terrorism under the guise of freedom of speech, especially on college campuses.

How do we combat this mentality? First, by turning to Hashem in prayer. Second, we must learn from Queen Esther who understood that she could only prevent the destruction of her people by changing King Achashverosh’s way of thinking.

The Israeli government must not only continue to make public our historical and biblical connection to the Land, it must also demonstrate the numerous Israeli accomplishments in agriculture, the stock market, Internet inventions, and the medical field.

On a more local level, there is much creative talent in our community and it can be used to produce videos, songs and artwork to show off Israel’s humanitarian accomplishments and the growth of its industry.

We need to decide if it’s enough to merely chant “Never Again” or if we need do our best to let the world know that we all share the same goal: to live at peace with our neighbors and to overcome Islamic terrorism all over the world.

With the effort of us all, perhaps my dream of saving the Jewish people, Israel, and many humans of all religions globally can become reality.


Dear Annette:

Thank you for your important letter. My heart is with your wish to change our difficult situation. As frum Jews we are always thinking of how to improve our character, to help and be kind to others and to increase the amount of chessed in the world. Our values include not speaking loshen hara and treating people with respect even when it can be challenging for us.

Geert Wilders, a right-wing Dutch politician, once said: “Let’s be honest; Israel is a beacon of light in a sea of Islamic darkness… It is the only democracy in the Middle East and it’s the only country in the region that shares our values. Let us never forget it. The conflict with Islam it is not about land. You will not solve it by changing land. It is a conflict about ideology. It’s a conflict between freedom and tyranny… if Islam conquers Israel, we will be next… there is no clash of civilizations. There is a clash between our civilization and barbarism. That is the reality.”

I welcome responses from readers and hope this letter will generate positive action to help mitigate our challenging situation. Thank you, Annette. May Hashem give you gefengezunt, parnassah and nachat.



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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at