The Way It Iz

The OU Biennial Convention

On Sunday, The Orthodox Union held their biennial convention at the Young Israel of Woodmere. It...

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Throughout Meseches Avodah Zarah, we are told of three times when Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi (or simply, “Rebbe”) cried. Each story has a similar outcome that caused Rebbe to come to tears. The first appears on daf 10b, where the gemara recounts the story of Ketia bar Shalom, a Roman advisor to an unnamed Caesar. The Caesar explained his intentions to kill all of the Jews. Ketia explained exactly why the Caesar should not go through with his plan. While the Caesar agreed with him, he had Ketia killed. On the way to his execution, Ketia circumcised himself and repented for his sins.

Presidential legacies are fickle things. Legacies are how we rank the importance of each president’s contributions to American life. The longer a policy or change made by a president is in place, the greater the impact on future generations. For instance, Franklin D. Roosevelt has an incredibly long-lasting legacy, as much of the New Deal is still relevant today. Abraham Lincoln has the legacy of freeing the slaves. Lyndon Johnson is tied to Medicare and Medicaid.

There’s a weird phenomenon I noticed when growing up. My friends were categorized into first-name names and last-name names. Some boys in my class were called by their first names by the rest of the class and others were known by their last names. As I was never a girl, I don’t know if this phenomenon exists with them, but from what I understand, calling someone by their last name is more often a male thing. But what causes the use of first names or last names? How do children decide collectively which name to use?

In September of 2018, global sportswear company Nike unveiled their ad campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The ad’s wording was simple: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The message played off of Kaepernick’s willingness to sacrifice his NFL career to stand up for a cause in which he believed, namely racial justice for black Americans. It took about one NFL season for Kaepernick to be out of a job as an NFL quarterback, and his backers say that his refusal to stand for the National Anthem prior to games is the reason for it. 

If you’re up on the culture wars, you’ll have noticed the rise of a particular term used by many in the mainstream media. “Dog whistle” is now a rampant way for the media to describe a Conservative talking point. Whenever you hear about Conservatives getting riled up about a particular issue, you can be sure that whenever a politician uses that issue to gin up support for their campaign, they will inevitably be accused of dog whistling to the Republican base.

It’s not often that a subject of my article contacts me after publication. After all, not many of them know I exist, and even fewer of them care that I do. That is generally the territory I occupy. I tend to write pieces that yell at the clouds without having a tremendous impact. That changed last week. My piece on a long-time staple of the West Hempstead community became a talking point in that neighborhood, but it also took off in certain kosher food online groups, sparking debate about the move. It was then that I was contacted by Eric Fiedler, the owner and operator of Hunki’s. He wanted his chance to tell the community just what happened – and why. I agreed to meet him at his new shop in Woodmere, where I sat down with him and his wife Chaya to learn the story behind the exodus of Hunki’s from West Hempstead.