I would like to express my disgust for some of the anti-Trump statements made in last week’s issue of the Queens Jewish Link. What bothers me more than anything else is the statement made by Rabbi Schonfeld that “the Never-Trumpers were vindicated.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Warren Hecht usually colors the truth and leaves out key facts in his anti-Trump diatribes. This time, he printed open falsehoods. He compares Trump to Haman and Melania to Zeresh.
The argument goes like this: Haman attempted to destroy the Jewish people. Trump also tried to hurt the Jews by stopping funding to the wonderful terrorists and suicide bombers. Many people in Israel are crying over this. Trump also got out of the Iran nuclear deal. This deal was fantastic. It gave Iran the funds it needed to supply Hezbollah sophisticated missile systems. This is great for Israel. Trump ruined it! Also, Trump put the brakes on violence against Jews in college campuses. This is further proof of anti-Semitism. Trump commuted the sentence of Rubashkin. Rubashkin was very upset. He said that he loved being locked up in jail and that Trump had him evicted. The comparison between Trump and Haman makes lots of sense if you have Trump derangement syndrome. A normal person would never utter such nonsense.
Trump held a peaceful rally at the Capitol. Trump called for peaceful protests. He never incited riots. All of Trump’s rallies have been peaceful. The violence is always caused by BLM and Antifa. Unfortunately, BLM, Antifa, and others hijacked the rally and caused chaos. The timeline shows that these thugs started the riot while Trump was speaking. It was pre-planned. They were not Trump supporters. Now the Dems and anti-Trumpers impeached Trump again. No evidence was presented. They just said that Trump incited violence. Snap impeachment. Since Trump is leaving office anyway, it makes no point.
It is actually the Dems who are inciting violence. Chuck Schumer came to the steps of SCOTUS with a group of thugs and said, “Listen, Cavanaugh; listen, Gorsuch. You have reaped the whirlwind! You will pay a price for your decisions. If you persist making these types of decisions, you will not know what hit you.
Kamala Harris supported the rioters in the summer and said the riots will continue and they should. Pelosi refused to condemn Antifa and BLM. Biden said that Antifa is not a problem. Biden also stoked racial tensions when he said that if the rioters were Black, the police would have killed them. Maxine Waters encouraged her followers to attack Trump supporters. On the other hand, Trump denounced the riot immediately. He said that the rioters were not Trump supporters and not part of his movement. The Democratic hypocrites supported the mob riots in the summer, which were far more violent. How can these hypocrites who support violence against Trump supporters accuse Trump of incitement?
The left has used this to go after Trump and all his supporters. They are running a frivolous impeachment to remove Trump a week before the inauguration of Joe Biden. Senators Cruz and Hawley called for an audit of the mail-in ballots so that the country will regain confidence in our election process again. Biden responded by comparing Cruz and Hawley of being like Goebbels. The left is calling for all Trump supporters to be arrested for treason. The Big Tech have banned the accounts of all Trump supporters and they colluded to destroy Parler. They used their hatred of Trump as an excuse to get rid of their competition. From now on, the left will not allow any free speech or free religion. May Hashem have rachamim and save us!
Warren and his left-wing friends claim that the Courts all ruled that the election results were correct. No such thing happened. In Wisconsin, by a four to three decision, the Courts ruled that enough illegal votes were counted to flip the results to Trump. But they dismissed the case anyway because of laches (filed too late). When the Trump legal team filed lawsuits before the election, it was too early; and when they filed after the election, it was too late. In Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, the Trump team demanded an audit of the mail-in ballots. The Courts ruled that the audit could not take place till after February when it would be too late. SCOTUS justices were obviously intimated by Schumer and they decided to punt.
May Hashem have rachamim and save us!
I was interested to know how the Queens Jewish Link would cover the events at the Capitol. Unsurprisingly, Moshe Hill blames the Democrats for basically forcing them to an insurrection. Rabbi Schonfeld agrees that he was wrong about the extremes the Trump supporters were willing to go, but still contends that Trump was the best president for Israel.
I respectfully disagree with Rabbi Schonfeld. Trump should get credit for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and for pushing through the Abraham Accords (none of the countries who signed the Accords were at war with Israel or sponsored terrorism in Israel, although the economic benefits are certainly valuable). Unfortunately, there is no easy way to end Palestinian terror against Israel as long as the PA benefits from being in a state of war against “the Zionist occupiers.” I do, however, take issue with anyone who believes that Trump was a great president, or even good.
When the US realized that the SARS-COV-2 virus had already been spreading domestically, that was the time to utilize all legal measures, such as the Defense Production Act, to start rapidly building up supplies of N95 respirator masks, paper surgical masks, PPE and fabric masks, and testing kits. FEMA already had an extensive supply chain designed to be activated rapidly in an emergency with little red tape.
The president, as the chief executive, could have pushed Congress for emergency funds to quickly build out testing kits and guidelines (by the end of March there were at least half a dozen different coronavirus test prototypes that were waiting for FDA approval). Public health advisories were left in the hands of Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, who were constantly undercut by President Trump’s need to have the spotlight on himself.
There were no serious federal guidelines for shut-downs and re-openings, mask wearing, etc., leaving the states to figure it out on their own (and scramble for the funding to make it work).
Operation Warp Speed, pushed hard by President Trump, cut all the red tape and provided a guaranteed “buy” for five different vaccine candidates – thereby eliminating all the financial risks to the manufacturers, and allowing them to produce hundreds of millions of doses while running large scale clinical trials. Operation Warp Speed failed to plan and fund for the “last mile” distribution of vaccines – getting them to clinics and into people’s arms.
Once again, states are scrambling to meet the demand for the vaccine with practically zero help from the federal government. With great fanfare, it was predicted in November that “20 million people would be vaccinated by December 31.” As of New Year’s Day, total vaccination hovered around five million.
In short, perhaps the praise given to President Trump was earned. The adulation was certainly not. And for those who believe that he was good for Israel, I love both of my countries, but I don’t believe the cost of 400,000 Americans dead of COVID-19 is worth a few more settlements in the West Bank.
While trying to dismiss the charges of hypocrisy lodged at Democrats, Mr. Hecht compares the difference between the riots of this past summer and the storming of the US Capitol, to the difference between a take-over of a White Castle burger joint versus an attack on the actual White House. This analogy is insulting and dishonest.
We all witnessed in horror the destruction, violence, and looting that went on for weeks this summer. Thousands of businesses destroyed. Communities burned to the ground. Statues of American heroes toppled. The response of Democrats: “People need to air their grievances,” “Mostly peaceful protests,” “Summer of Love.” We may disagree whether burning down police stations, surrounding and fire-bombing a Federal courthouse, and establishing an armed zone outside US jurisdiction (an act of war?) are acts equal to, or not as terrible, as storming the US capitol.
But we must all certainly agree that excusing, condoning, and even egging-on the former, while condemning the latter, is the very definition of hypocrisy.
Prior to this submission, I’ve sent three previous letters to you, all of which were critical of Mr. Warren Hecht. In this instance, however, I write to praise him. This past week’s paper allowed me to compare Mr. Hecht’s article, “Crash and Burn,” with Steve Lipman’s “Where Did We Go Wrong?” While I’ve by no means read all of Mr. Hecht’s articles, nor do I remember all those I have read, I don’t recall his displaying the apparent disdain for his own community, which Lipman seems to demonstrate.
Let’s set some facts straight here. The Orthodox Jewish community overwhelmingly voted in support of Trump, with some polls placing the figure above 80%. People voted for Trump for all sorts of reasons. Some are single issue voters and chose him for his pro-Israel stance. Many thought his foreign and domestic policies to be appealing. Still others were enraptured in his “stick it to the media, drain the swamp” rhetoric. If this paper is any indication of the thoughts and feelings of the Queens Jewish community, the vast majority, both of voters and lay and religious leaders seemed to favor reelecting the president.
All of this being said, it is extremely foolish not to take criticism seriously, and this points to why it is necessary and valuable to analyze the views and opinions of those we disagree with and why Mr. Hecht’s is an important column in this newspaper.
But just as it is important for Trump voters to consider what Mr. Hecht has to say, it is equally important for people like Lipman to take his community seriously. Perhaps if he was willing to get down from his high part-horse, part-swamp-thing, he could learn a thing or two about the views of his peers. He might learn that people have all sorts of reasons for their votes and that many of them had to hold their noses, just as Lipman claims he did. Maybe he wouldn’t be as grateful to have so few Trumpian friends.
Sadly, however, I don’t think Lipman gets it. He doesn’t seem to comprehend that his moralizing and preaching is just the thing that so many saw in Trump’s war on our society’s corrupt establishments. His is yet another attempt to blame all Trump voters for the actions of all Trump voters and to suggest that those who supported him as president support the plethora of his moral choices.
I can only hope that I’m wrong and that Lipman takes seriously his own exhortation for self-reflection. Maybe he’ll take a leaf from Warren Hecht’s book and share his views without casting excessive aspersions. Maybe he’ll hesitate next time before telling most of the neighborhood to go to the musar shelf.
Constitution Dead at 232 (Satire)
UNITED STATES—Media reports confirm that shortly after Joe Biden was sworn in as president, the Constitution of the United States was found dead at the National Archives. It was 232 years old.
DC police discovered the document at the National Archives after receiving a 911 call from someone who formerly resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 2017-2020. Police say the crime scene was gruesome, as the document was severely beaten, riddled with bullet holes, and awash in a pool of blood that was inches deep.
“We’ve determined, based on the physical evidence, that the Constitution has been the object of endless beatings and assaults for over two centuries,” DC Police Chief Robert Contee said. “And over the course of that time, it has filed hundreds of restraining orders against the Democratic Party but to no avail. We have very strong evidence that the Democratic Party has violated the Constitution in every conceivable way over that same period of time. We vow to find the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bring them to justice.”
The news elicited mixed reactions from across the country.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her joy at the news. “This is like a big relief for me. The Constitution used all these complicated words I don’t know and never really served any purpose other than to establish a racist, white supremacist, cultural appropriationist and patriarchal society. With that silly document gone, we’re going to create the democratic socialist state we’ve all longed for.”
Others were saddened by the news. “This is a very sad day for America,” radio host Ben Shapiro said on his show. “The Constitution has served our nation faithfully for over two centuries, only to be fatally wounded and shot by a bunch of socialist thugs from the Democratic Party. I can now state with absolute certainty that we’re headed to full-blown communism. Sorry folks.”
Police confirmed later in a statement that the Constitution’s 27 Amendments were also fatally wounded, leaving no survivors.
On behalf of the Genesius Times, we’d like to express our condolences to the nation for its terrible loss. May G-d watch over us during this difficult time. Amen/Awoman.
Masks Reveal More Than They Conceal
As frum Jews, we search for meaning in the messages from HaKadosh Baruch Hu on a daily basis, let alone during a global crisis. During the past ten months, we have had ample opportunity to consider all the ways our lives have been disrupted and what lessons we could draw for the klal and for each one of us personally. There has been no shortage of messages.
I am certain we all have a greater appreciation for our families who have been in isolation since Purim. How we long for even a simple embrace with a parent, sibling, or child. Our Shabbos tables seem lacking without invited guests. Keeping six feet apart is a reminder that we should focus on our own daled amos, mind our own business, and be less judgmental regarding others. Social distancing is now a norm, but sadly we may have been practicing it for years.
In March and April, davening in my home, there was an intensity in my t’filos that I have seldom felt before. My struggle now is to have that same passion and proximity to Hashem in shul with a minyan. (I think there is an underlying message regarding the true meaning of b’rov am hadras melech, but that is for another time.) We even have a greater appreciation for what celebrating a simchah should be and, perhaps more importantly, what it should not be. Any parents who have had to monitor their children’s remote learning have developed a much keener understanding of the value of our yeshivos (as the Executive Director of Bnos Malka, I may not be so objective). The pandemic without exaggeration has impacted everyone. Some in the extreme, some mildly, but no one, absolutely no one, has been left untouched. In my lifetime, I cannot remember any other time where everyone I meet was afflicted by the same thing at the same time. It is certainly easier for me to give people the benefit of the doubt and realize they may be under a great deal of stress. The shame is that, that has always been true and that it took COVID-19 to remind me.
There are so many more examples. I must stress that while I may suggest the purpose behind much of what has occurred, I do not have the audacity to ascribe any reasons to those who have suffered or perished. I only look to what I am to learn and glean from my experiences during this crisis.
For months now, we have grown accustomed, albeit not so comfortably, to wearing masks. In whatever form they take, they accomplish the same thing. They muzzle and muffle our speech. One need not be a big baal musar to see the connection to curtailing lashon ha’ra. The surgical mask is a constant reminder that what spews from our mouths can be toxic. Halting this global malady may not be the ultimate message from Hashem, but realizing that much of what we say often would be best left, trapped inside a mask.
To the degree it prevents negative speech, though, it is also true that it impedes all speech, even purposeful and positive speech. I wondered if there was a heavenly message there, as well. When talking with people now, I find myself standing face to face with them, trying to discern the muffled conversation. Initially, I found that to be difficult and bothersome.
Until I realized that while I have lost sight of their lips, I have a brilliant view of their eyes. Standing in front of someone, I am now concentrating on their expression. While the sound may be garbled, their eyes reveal precisely how they feel. Now I can see how my words are being received. Did my concern or humor brighten their day (the eyes “smile” more brilliantly than the mouth), or have my remarks caused stress and pain? Yes, the eyes are the windows to the soul.
I reflect now about my prior conversations with others, how often, even when asking about their welfare, were they devoid of the depth of their feelings? I may have heard their words but I missed their answer. Mask-wearing is forcing me to engage with people on a deeper level. When you focus on their eyes, their response is loud and audible.
Indeed, the mask is a reminder to stop lashon ha’ra, but to me it is also a reminder that I should and can connect with people with a heightened sensitivity.
COVID-19 could’ve been our makah number one, because it certainly seems as though the Democrats are now poised to be makah number two.
But Queens Jewish Link readers will have Warren Hecht to tell us how most Jews love having more government, as if we were to need even more of an incentive to cry out for Mashiach.