Dear Editor:

The Queens Shofar Blowing Initiative was a great idea. It serves a purpose whether there is a pandemic or not. Let’s publicize it a bit better and institute it every year! I blew in shul and five different times throughout the day. Baruch Hashem, this year will be a great year for klal Yisrael!

Michael Rollhaus

Dear Editor:

 I would like to suggest that your newspaper publish urgent public service announcements stating that there is an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in Kew Gardens Hills. Please urge your readers to maintain social distancing and wear masks in public.

I am witness to behavior in this community that is contrary to these recommendations, and people (some of them being innocent victims) will tragically die as a result.

 Jeff Bochner

Dear Editor:

 In Warren Hecht’s column, “Trump’s Deplorables” (9/17), he says that “Trump’s mantra is that the only thing to fear is the truth.” Actually, Warren Hecht’s mantra is, “The only thing to fear is the facts.” His column is vicious propaganda that crosses many red lines.

Lie #1: “Trump said, ‘Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.’ Trump referred to 1,800 Marines who lost their lives in World War II as suckers for being killed.”

Warren conveniently leaves out that this libelous statement was made by an anonymous source. This source kept quiet for two years and suddenly popped up with his false story right before an election. Warren also leaves out that over 26 people have debunked the story. They said that Trump was told that he could not visit the cemetery because of weather conditions. Even Bolton, who hates Trump almost as much as Warren, admitted that the story is false.

Lie #2: “The icing on the cake was Trump taking a page out of Hanoi Jane Fonda and other anti-war leftists’ playbook.”

It is true that Trump believes that the generals sometimes engage in unnecessary military conflicts. That does not mean he is like Jane Fonda, who supported North Vietnam and rejoiced when American soldiers were killed. In fact, Trump has ordered military action when necessary. He decimated ISIS. He also assassinated the leader of ISIS and Suleiman of Iran who was a leader of QUDS (a major terrorist organization).

All people who know Trump have stated that he supports American soldiers and admires them greatly.

Lie #3: “Trump sugarcoated the danger of the virus and misled people to think it was a minor condition that would go away.”

Trump said to Bob Woodward that some experts say that up to five percent of people infected with COVID-19 would die. He told the public that the fatality rate is probably one percent or maybe even less, because many people get the virus and recover without being reported.

Both statements are true. Some experts predicted a dire projection of a ten-percent mortality rate and others predicted a .5 percent mortality rate. The recorded mortality rate is about 2.9 percent. It is believed that the actual rate is far lower. Trump presented the public with a more optimistic prediction because he wanted to avoid panic. I see nothing wrong with that. If Trump had quoted the more dire prediction, he would have been criticized for causing a panic.

Warren neglects to mention that Trump stopped all flights from China in January, and was labeled a racist by Biden, Pelosi, and the Democratic Party for doing so.

Lie #4: Trump and Putin are snake oil salesmen trying to peddle a fake vaccine (from a past article by Warren).

Trump never tried to peddle any vaccine. He only said that he is optimistic that a vaccine will be ready sooner rather than later.

I wish everyone a good g’mar din. We should all strive to have hakaras ha’tov to President Trump for his leadership, instead of telling vicious lies about him.

 Martin Berkowitz

Dear Editor:

 I read with significant interest the great article by Rabbi Ephraim Glatt about the outdoor shofar during Elul in your last issue.

In the second section, he discussed the matter of blowing shofar in the evening, and how different rabbinic authorities related to it.

I would like to inform your readers that shofar is blown during Elul weeknights, after Maariv, according to minhag Ashkenaz, and not just in theory. For centuries, to the present day, this minhag has been actually practiced in k’hilos that follow Minhag Ashkenaz HaMuvhak (the old minhag Ashkenaz, as practiced in the historic territory of Ashkenaz, such as the Rhineland, i.e., places like Frankfurt a Main, the KAJ-Breuer Kehillah in New York, and other places where it migrated over time). Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz (, based in Eretz Yisrael, a leading force in the preservation of old Ashkenazic practice that provides guidance to followers around the world, lists it very clearly in its yearly luach as a current and ongoing practice. Eastern European authorities, however, where it was not practiced, were seemingly unfamiliar with it. I believe it was not practiced in their part of Europe under kabbalistic influence, which viewed shofar at night as problematic. In Ashkenaz (Germany), on the other hand, old minhagim were viewed as sacrosanct, not to be lightly discarded due to later kabbalistic concerns.