Last year, I was mentioned in 49 letters to the editor in this paper. The topic that received the greatest discussion was my article in the July 22 edition, titled “Struck Out.” I thought we could move on. However, Rabbi Schonfeld, in last week’s Queens Jewish Link, wrote on the issue of an orthodox ice skater, Hailey Kops, who is representing Israel at the Winter Olympics. I do not want to repeat my arguments stated back in July. You can look at them online.  However, I need to address a few comments made by Rabbi Schonfeld.

A friend of mine said, tongue in cheek, that one good thing about my having surgery is that I will have something to write about. This may have been a subtle hint that I should not write about politics since he and I have very different views. He will be disappointed, since I must mention about the death of former U.S. Senator and majority leader Robert Dole on December 5, which also happens to be the same English date as my father’s death. His death is a reminder of how far this country has fallen.

A few weeks ago, Sergey Kadinsky authored an article about “Swastikas and Stars among Anti-Vaxxers at Bronx Protest.” Then came Michael Flynn’s comment in a church about the United States having one religion under G-d. I called out Jews on the political right to speak out. The response was disappointing - but not shocking. The latest comment was from Lara Logan, host of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” on Fox, who compared Dr. Fauci to Josef Mengele. “He (Dr. Fauci) represents Josef Mengele, Doctor Josef, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps and I am talking about people all across the world are saying this.” This statement was made on Chanukah. Logan was condemned by Jewish organizations such as ADL, AJC, and the Auschwitz Museum, yet were met with silence from the Jewish right.  It is unfortunate since they will have no credibility when they then attack those progressives whose comments warrant a response. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be willing to condemn conduct no matter who does it. Anything less makes you nothing more than a partisan organization.

It is hard in this highly-polarized country for both sides to come to an agreement. Former President Trump’s Chief of Staff and former member of the House of Representatives Mark Meadows hit the daily double by getting both sides mad at him. It took a lot of talent for Meadows to get himself in this predicament. Meadows was asked to provide documents and testimony to the January 6 House Select Committee. His initial approach, which I believe was the correct approach, was to cooperate.

By the time this column is published, it will be Chanukah. Most people look forward to Chanukah. It is a time of celebration, the Festival of Lights. However, some of us have a different view. It is a reminder of losing a loved one. I can imagine that individuals who’ve lost a parent on any other festival such as Pesach, Shavous, and Sukkos feels the same way.