Colors: Green Color

I will admit I was disappointed. I was at the levayah for Eugen Gluck and many of the speakers representing the family spoke about how he would greet everyone with a huge embrace and made them feel that for the moment they were the most important person in the world. Whether this was an old friend or someone he was meeting for the first time, that welcome was his trademark… and genuinely offered. And here I was thinking that only I got such special treatment.

One of the worst things you can be accused of today is hate. There is a whole host of races, genders, and religious and ethnic groups, that if you express any kind of distaste for them you are considered a racist or phobic person. Careers have been destroyed at the mere suggestion of a hateful remark or what may now be considered an offensive picture, even if the photo was taken decades ago when such a pose was not considered hateful at that time.

This Shabbos, I was 0-for-2 in private discussions I had in shul following davening. Before I addressed a bar mitzvah boy, I opened with the following question to the audience: Imagine if David Duke, of KKK fame, succeeded in becoming a Republican congressman, G-d forbid. He then decides to visit South Africa. The South African government rejects his entry on the basis that he is a notorious hate-filled racist. Would anybody in the world have a problem with the decision of that country to keep that harmful person out? Would Republican colleagues have rallied behind him? Would there have been a threat to our bipartisan relationship with South Africa? The answers are obvious, as is the point. I did not need to spell out what I was driving at.

I am very gratified that I receive much positive feedback for the articles I write in this paper. It makes it worth some of the challenges that come with writing in the public, including occasional biting criticism.

My article last week recalling Eugen Gluck a”h generated a host of compliments, written and oral. Why not? The subject matter was an easy one.

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