Former Harvard professor and independent presidential candidate Cornel R. West was recently asked by CNN’s Abby Phillip about the Hamas attacks. He response was, “But you don’t start with those voices without coming to terms with the vicious killings and occupations that’s been going on for 75 years, and then you get a counter-terrorist response to that.” Phillip asked him to clarify if he referred to the October attack on southern Israel as a counter-terrorist response.

“Oh absolutely, if you’ve been terrorized for 75 years, and you responded the same way,” West replied. His vice-presidential candidate, Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdullah, was no better. Phillip asked her: “Do you condemn what Hamas did on Oct. 7?” Abdullah said, “I find it really troubling that we are constantly asked to condemn Hamas…I’m not a member of Hamas. I find it even more troubling that an entire state has been built on the genocide of a people, and I think that we have to start with that first.”

I expect that he will get support from Muslims and others who feel that President Biden has been too supportive of Israel. It could have an impact in a state like Michigan. It is shocking that this ticket, who are united in wanting to wipe Israel off the map, have legitimacy in some quarters. Who would have expected this a year ago?

Who would have expected that the IDF, which prides itself in being one of the finest in the world, was totally unprepared for the October 7 attack and fighting a tunnel war against Hamas? Who would have expected the astronomical increase in anti-Semitism, especially on college campuses, even right after the brutal Hamas attack?

It has been a tough year since last Pesach, and it may be hard for some people to feel the joy of the holiday. It is important to remember as mentioned in the Pesach Haggadah, there is always hope. Imagine how the Jewish people felt during the 210 years they were slaves in Egypt. Egypt was a great power. Logically, there was no reason to believe that it would get better. Yet, as we see in the Haggadah, not only were the Jewish people redeemed by Hashem from slavery, but they became a nation.

Another incident that happened around Pesach time was the Purim story. Haman’s request to be able to destroy the Jewish people happened in Nissan, right before Pesach, which led to Queen Esther asking the people to fast on the first two days of Passover. At first, the situation looked dire, with King Achashverosh and the prime minster wanting to destroy the Jewish people. Here also, the end was joyful for the Jewish people. They were able to overcome their enemies.

There was some glimmer of hope from a situation with Iran. Iran sent more than 300 types of offensive weapons such as cruise missiles and drones to attack Israel. Israel with its allies were able to down 99 % of them, with only one casualty. The IDF estimated that the weapons contained sixty tons of explosives. That by itself is a miracle. It was also amazing that allies included Jordan, besides the United States, France, and Great Britain. The G7 pledged support for Israel. Iran’s attack on Israel helps disprove the false narrative of David (Palestinians in Gaza) and Goliath (Israel). The Israeli military gains back some of the luster lost.

This year, the QJCC Passover food packing spanned over two separate days. On Wednesday, April 10, students from the Hebrew school of Temple Beth Shalom in Flushing enthusiastically volunteered and finished packing ahead of schedule. This past Sunday’s packing and distribution brought a record number of volunteers. There were plenty of things that these people could have been doing, such as prepare for Passover or enjoy the nice weather. Yet they spent hours helping people who they do not know. At the same time, Tomchei Shabbos was making their deliveries. This showing of chesed (kindness) and achdus (unity) should be a merit for Klal Yisroel in these times.

It is important not to look at the situation minute by minute. There will be times when the situation may appear to be bleak. However, we can learn from the story of Purim, which happened around Pesach, and from the story of Passover. Although there were times when it appeared that there was little hope, if we have faith in Hashem and do as much as we can, there is a greater chance of experiencing a successful conclusion.

Have a Chag Kasher v’Sameyach.

Warren S. Hecht is a local attorney. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.