For close to 20 years, the Just One Life family was zocheh to have HaRav Dovid Feinstein zt”l as our rabbinic advisor, where the Rav enjoyed learning about the birth and progress of JOL children. A few weeks ago, Jack Forgash, JOL chairman and founder, and Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim board member, delivered a final update to Rav Dovid. “We are so proud of the over 18,500 bubbly Israeli babies that we helped bring into this world,” pronounced Forgash, a prodigy of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. The Rosh HaYeshiva, with his astounding humility, questioned how JOL cares for each mother. Forgash then shared several stories with the Torah sage, including one about the progress of a set of triplets and another about the JOL 21-year-old quadruplets. The conversation culminated in a special bond of friendship that Forgash shared with the Rosh HaYeshiva, spanning over six decades.
For over 30 years, I have served as the executive vice president for the Just One Life organization, holding true to the mission of empowering Israeli women who find themselves in a crisis during pregnancy. Too often, it is the stress, anxiety, and pressure of life circumstances that force critical health decisions for many women, rather than knowledge and strength. Our team of professional social workers, combined with financial assistance from our dedicated supporters, provide the opportunity for our clients to be permitted to make critical future-focused decisions for themselves and their families, with support, clarity, and confidence.
May the z’chuyos of Rav Dovid Feinstein continually guide us in our holy mission.
Y’hi zichro baruch.
Rabbi Menachem (Marty) Katz
EVP, Just One Life
I was very disappointed when I read Rabbi Schonfeld’s article in last week’s paper. In the past, the Queens Jewish Link published letters from readers who felt that the rabbinic consultant for this newspaper should write about Torah more than politics, while others have written their appreciation for Rabbi Schonfeld sharing his political views in the paper. I am not getting into that.
However, my opinion is that if there was ever a time to put politics aside, it was this past week, with the passing of several important individuals in the Jewish community.
Rabbi Schonfeld began his article by listing the passing of the Rosh Yeshiva of RJJ – the Poseik HaDor of America – and the Chief Rabbi of the UK. He then noted that it seemed “almost sacrilegious” to be discussing politics at a time like this (“like mentioning a baseball score in the middle of a funeral,” he wrote), but then proceeded to do so anyway, noting that the result of the 2020 presidential election, and its potential ramifications for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, was too critical an event to pass up without coverage.
The fact that Rabbi Schonfeld was the first to acknowledge the impropriety of his topic choice does not mitigate the offense. Instead of presenting reflections on the passing of great Jewish leaders during their shiv’ah, he instead chose to criticize (unnamed) local rabbanim on the other side of the political aisle, and to warn of the dangers he believes are to come.
Rabbi Schonfeld has shared his opinion on this matter many times before, and there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss these matters going forward. What would have been lost had he waited one week to bemoan the new president-elect who is not taking office for more than two months?
What, instead, was lost was the opportunity to pay immediate tribute to those talmidei chachamim that klal Yisrael buried this week. What was lost was the opportunity to show that when there is a conflict between two big headlines, the focus on Torah and bringing people together should take priority over politics and divide.
I know the QJL did publish a tribute to both Rav Dovid Feinstein zt”l and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l, so I am not complaining about the lack of attention given to their p’tiros. Instead, I am expressing my disappointment that the rabbinic consultant of the paper, who I believe was a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, did not take the opportunity to display what I am sure are his true Torah priorities.
Rabbi Schonfeld responds:
It is fortuitous that you write this letter this week. It so happens my article this week – “Should Rabbis Be Political?” – addresses some of the issues you raise.
I davka chose not to eulogize the three talmidei chachamim who passed as I was not adequate to the task. Although I knew these scholars and even corresponded with Rav Dovid Feinstein on a certain halachic matter (his letter to me I shall always cherish), I was not personally familiar with them enough to write a meaningful obituary. Indeed, the paper paid proper respect to Rav Feinstein and Rav Sacks with the beautiful portrayal by Nachum Segal and Sergey Kadinsky.
I am flattered that you believe that I am a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. However, the fact is that my s’michah is from Rav Shneur Kotler zt”l of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, where I spent my years in kollel.
I didn’t understand the reason why Warren Hecht wrote a Purim shpiel for last week’s edition of the Queens Jewish Link, because even a column about Trump’s Russian collusion would have been more interesting.
Choni Herschel Kantor
Once again, Mr. Hecht demonstrates to us how ignorant he is when it comes to the Constitution. Funny, as he is an attorney, as his bio says every week.
Article II lays out how a President is elected. State legislatures choose electors who will then vote on December 14 for President of the United States. Not the AP or Fox News. So, while Hecht spikes the football in glee, he hasn’t reached the end-zone yet and it could be a fumble. I do believe Joe Biden will be the next President, but Donald Trump still has pending litigation and plenty of evidence of fraud that could put this election into an unknown until after December 14. Should neither candidate get to 270 electoral votes, then the next House of Representatives, sworn in January 3, 2021, will decide the outcome. And, it’s not a majority rule vote; it’s based on state legislatures, which currently the Republicans have more of and just got two more. So, should the Presidency end up in the House, President Trump will be re-elected. So, calling Biden the “President-elect” is inaccurate as the Electoral College has not voted yet, as Mr. Hill rightly points out.
But what’s more bothersome is that he thinks Biden is some moderate. Biden has just selected Richard Stengel to his transition team. Mr. Stengel has written in a Washington Post op-ed that “all speech is not equal” – in other words, freedom of speech must be restricted. In addition to the Communist manifesto Biden put out with Bernie Sanders, Biden has just appointed two radical lefties to his COVID-19 task force. One, Dr. Michael Osterhom, who happens to be an epidemiologist, wants to lock down the entire country for over a month with the federal government covering the lost wages. We saw what happens when you listen to an epidemiologist instead of an economist when it comes to lockdowns – see Dr. Anthony Fauci. The other, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, famous for giving us Obamacare, is on record in his piece in The Atlantic for stating that those over 75 no longer need to live. Biden, at 77, Nancy Pelosi at 80, and others such as Bernie Sanders, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, and Patrick Leahy do not need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after its release according to Emanuel’s logic, because they have no need to live anymore. This is ludicrous, because they are precisely the demographic that should receive the vaccine first, since they are most vulnerable at that age. I have several family members who are at that 75-year-old age or will be there in the next few years. I love them all and hope to have them around for as long as I can. These draconian measures are not “moderate,” as Mr. Hecht likes to dream.
It’s a sad state of affairs that the fight for freedom and liberty is down to two Senate seats in Georgia. I do not trust Justice John Roberts, but here’s hoping should, G-d forbid, the Republicans lose those two seats, that the other five Republican appointed justices keep the other two branches honest and protect our rights.
Woodmere, New York
This Week’s Headlines
“Biden taps Elmo to head Department of Education”
CNN: “Trump becomes one-term president, just like Hitler”
Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets “It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood” with message “This claim about the neighborhood is disputed”
“Breaking: Biden wins China, NBC News projects”
“NYT Op-ed: If you ignore the arson, assaults, and general violence, BLM is a ‘mostly peaceful’ organization”
“To ensure he remains president forever, Trump locks himself inside Oval Office, throws out key”
“Biden camp clarifies ‘unity,’ applies to everyone except Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, constitutionalists, moderates, centrists, and pro-lifers”
“Party that rejects the science of biology, abortion, and economics celebrate the return of science to the White House”
“Report: All Americans suddenly become pollsters after realizing you can be wrong 100 percent of the time and still get a nice paycheck”
“Biden thanks Revolutionary War veterans for voting for him”
“Biden: ‘Of course I don’t have dementia – now let’s repeal the 28th Amendment’”
“Senate Republicans conduct investigation to see if Bidens have any connections to the US”
“CNN’s Brian Stelter becomes CEO of satirical website the Babylon Bee due to his experience with fake news”
I write in response to Warren Hecht ending his column by writing, “The president-elect called for reconciliation and unity... I call on the Trumpians (sic) to give him a chance.”
Moving past the boorish and boring insult of referring to Trump supporters as “Trumpians,” is Mr. Hecht unaware of Biden comparing Trump to Goebbels? Let alone four years of Russia Russia Russia, impeachment, Ukraine phone calls, and endlessly calling him Hitler. And Mr. Hecht wants us to give Biden a chance?
I would like to respond to Warren Hecht’s column from last week. He expressed his unbridled joy for the “fall” of Trump with a ridiculous poem. He has zero hakaras ha’tov for all that Trump has done for Israel, the Jews, and this country.
One of the foundations of the Torah is hakaras ha’tov. Every good thing we do can be traced back to some form of hakaras ha’tov, and every bad thing we do can be traced back to a lack of being makir tov. In last week’s parshah, Eliezer thanks Hashem profusely, even though he did not get all that he wanted (he secretly wished for Yitzchak to marry his daughter).
Warren hates Trump and supports the Deep State. Since Trump took office, the media, FBI, CIA, and the rest of the Deep State have tried to undermine Trump and force him out of office. First the phony Russian collusion hoax, then the phony impeachment. Then the FDA and their accomplices delayed announcement in order to make Trump look bad. Suddenly, a week after the election, the vaccine was announced. What a coincidence! Now the fraudulent election: Trump is about to win and then suddenly the counting is stopped in many key battleground states that happened to have Democratic governors. Then for some strange reason, a large number of mail-in ballots popped up in the middle of the night. All of them voted only for Biden, and most did not have any voting the other names on the ballot. In addition, a Court order was ignored and the Trump team was not allowed access to the fraudulent counting. What did they have to hide? Someone from the Post Office signed an affidavit stating that he was told to change the stamp on the mail-in ballots to allow more votes for Biden. In addition, the software used to count the votes was designed to be able to commit fraud and has been used in Venezuela for that purpose.
There are many other cases of fraud that will be exposed in the near future. The Democratic Party and their lackeys are corrupt and evil. They are bad for this country and bad for the Jews and Israel. May Hashem have rachamim on us and foil their plans. We must daven harder than ever.
Thanks, Warren [Hecht], for your opinion regarding winners and losers in the presidential election. However, as usual, you need some help in writing your column.
Let’s start with your last paragraph first: “The President-elect called for reconciliation and unity. It is not going to be easy in this fractured country. However, I call on the Trumpians to give him a chance.”
Mr. Hecht, do you remember the moment that Donald Trump won the election, that he was bombarded with the Steele dossier? Russian collusion? The phony impeachment?
Sure we should have unity, but don’t preach to the Republicans after the nonstop deranged treatment of the Democrats these past four years.
Secondly, Biden has vowed to not raise taxes but wants to rescind Trump’s tax cuts? Isn’t that raising everyone’s taxes? So all of America loses!
Thirdly, we have been safer globally with no new wars! Trump conceived and implemented an entirely new foreign policy doctrine that has met more success than any adopted since the end of the Cold War!
Fourthly, and most importantly, Donald Trump did more to fight anti-Semitism on college campuses. He was a friend of Israel as he moved the embassy to Jerusalem, recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and facilitated peace treaties with Arab countries. Let’s not forget his dismantling of the Iran nuclear deal, which was an existential threat to Israel! Biden and Harris want to undo all of his accomplishments and bring back Obama’s treacherous policies. So Israel and Jewry are the big losers!
Last week, I responded to Mr. Hecht’s November 5 column by calling him out for his hypocrisy in exhorting his fellow columnists to talk about COVID instead of the election/politics, when he himself dedicated a significant portion of that column to politics and didn’t really discuss COVID. In that column (and you can read it yourself on the Link’s website and make your own judgments), he tells his fellow columnists not to use their columns for “rehashing the election.”
Mr. Hecht, in your November 12 column, you have utterly surpassed my expectations for hypocrisy. Congratulations! Mr. Hecht, in your November 12 column, what did you do? You rehashed the election! You did exactly what you yourself said not to do! Have you ever heard the phrase “rules for thee and not for me”? Typical leftist propaganda!
Mr. Hecht, why didn’t you talk about COVID? Mr. Hecht, what about all those people you worried about who might get hurt if every columnist in the Link didn’t talk about COVID, COVID, and only COVID, all day, every day? Mr. Hecht seems to have forgotten all about COVID because he was too busy making adorably cringe-worthy poetry bashing “Trumpty-Dumpty.” Just like all of the pro-Biden celebrations in New York City at which “social distancing was suspended” to quote the now apparently increasingly left-leaning Fox News. Apparently, COVID disappears whenever it is convenient for leftists, and reappears whenever they want to control their opposition.
One positive thing I will say is that the actual content (if he would stop the petty Trump/Trumpian-bashing) of his November 12 article is slightly superior to his November 5 article, although that’s a very low bar to surpass.