Shabsie Saphirstein should be praised for the warm, informative article that he wrote about Kamy and Karine Beroukhim. The Beroukhim’s infant son was niftar at the precious age of two days.
On November 10, 1983, I delivered a stillborn baby. The shock and grief were strongly felt by my husband Zvi and me. In this situation, family and friends are at a loss of words. We felt so alone. Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld met with us and was a tremendous help. On that Shabbos afternoon, a group of women from our KGH community came to our house. Each had experienced a pregnancy loss and, as a group, came to give me support.
Zvi and I soon realized that pregnancy loss was seen by most as the mother’s loss. Fathers also feel the loss. Friends of ours who also experienced a pregnancy loss joined us in reaching out to both the mothers and fathers. When we heard of a couple who had experienced a loss, we visited them.
We hope that others in the community will reach out to help couples who have such a loss.
May the Beroukhims’ home soon be filled with the joy of children.
I have a confession to make. I can’t let go of Purim yet. I still have my decorations on the door. What is that all about? Is it about the chocolate frenzy of eating all my mishloach manos before Pesach? Is it about wearing a costume so I can play pretend? I think it’s that and more.
On Purim, the child in us comes out, if we do it right. We can make noise in shul and not be shushed. We can delight in the joy of the holiday and share goodies with our friends. Beyond that, it is a celebration of Hashem’s daily involvement in our lives! Hashgachah pratis to the max! How comforting is that, to know that your Heavenly Father is constantly watching over you and helping you in your daily struggles?
When we look back at the past, sometimes we can see it more clearly than in the present. Last week, I shared my delightful Purim miracle of getting a call about a vaccine. I want to go back to last year, when my 96-year-old father, bli ayin ha’ra, stayed with me from February to May because his elevator was being changed. My sister who lives with him got the virus in March. I shudder to think what might have happened if he had been living there when she became ill!
At the time, I did not appreciate this miracle as I do now. This is the gift of Purim. It is a reminder of how Hashem is there, working behind the scenes in our daily lives. We may not see it in the present, but when we reflect on past events, it becomes evident. Hashem tells Moshe that he cannot see His Face, but can see His Back.
This is the message of Purim that we can take with us throughout the year. That is why this holiday will remain with us even at the time of Mashiach.
I look forward each week to reading the column of Warren Hecht. He is the voice of reason and compassion amidst the lies, distortions, and ongoing conspiracy theories still rampant these days.
I also found this week’s so-called “satire” of Dr. Anthony Fauci extremely offensive and mean-spirited, especially considering that more than half a million Americans have already died from COVID-19, including friends of mine. If all Americans had heeded the directives of Dr. Fauci and the CDC, we would not have suffered this pandemic on such a tragically massive scale.
Thank you to Mr. Yaakov Serle and staff for printing Rabbi Schonfeld’s column, because each week when I get my Queens Jewish Link, the first thing I do is look for Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld’s column.
I very much appreciate Rabbi Schonfeld’s wisdom, and it is always very good to know that we can count on Rabbi Schonfeld to explain current events much more clearly than any other weekly columnist I’m aware of.
Choni Herschel Kantor
Governor Cuomo doesn’t always practice what he preaches, now that he asked New Yorkers not to pass judgment until State Attorney General Letitia James completes her investigation concerning charges against him of sexual harassment. Remember past Senate confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh? Cuomo was not so charitable in both cases.
As for sexual harassment training, employees receive a certificate upon completion. May we see a copy of his certificate? It would include who provided the training and the date he completed the session. Cuomo needs a refresher course from South Park’s Sexual Harassment Panda.
I see Mr. Zwiren’s point. I believe the Cuomo nursing home scandal is more egregious than whatever inappropriate behavior he may or may not have had towards women. It’s a shame that in our society we put so little care into human life. When I say that, I mean American, not Jewish. It’s a political football to be toyed with. After all, Biden kept campaigning – and plenty of Democrats repeated – that it was President Trump who was directly responsible for all the COVID deaths in America. However, we know that is ridiculous on its face. After all, Trump moved heaven and earth to get vaccines out to the public in record speed. He had companies produce PPP and sanitizers to assist with shortages in the early stages of 2020, when the pandemic was overwhelming us. There is also the 10th Amendment, which lays out that the governors run their states, not the President. That is why Pritzker in Illinois, Whitmer in Michigan, Newsom in California, and Cuomo in New York are responsible for the COVID nursing home deaths in their states. It was their executive orders that laid the groundwork for their horrible and unfortunate demise.
Mr. Hecht had a nice list of “victims” in his piece. He got the LGBTQ community, President Trump, and the Jews. The way he sympathizes with the LGBTQ community, you’d think his Yom Kippur afternoon nap goes a little too long and he walks into shul in the middle of the Book of Jonah. Why would he dedicate the bulk of his column to an anti-Torah, anti-founding values movement? (Our founders believed deeply in Judeo-Christian values.) But how could he leave out the top two “victim” categories: illegal immigrants and Black Americans? After all, illegals are flooding our southern border. They are being kept in trailers. Who cares that some are COVID positive? They should be free to roam within our borders. After all, they had a long trek to get here. They deserve free healthcare, driver licenses, the right to vote, and food stamps. And thanks to Congress, they will now get a piece of the $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” spending bill.
Black Americans are “victims” because they make up a larger percentage of our prison population. There is also a bill in the House of Representatives sponsored by Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas that Blacks should receive reparations. The New York Times published the 1619 Project, that America’s history begins with slavery and not 1776, our independence. Public schools are now teaching Critical Race Theory, that our laws and legal institutions are inherently racist. Certainly, that must have been an oversight by Mr. Hecht.
Cancel culture has ramped up to a point where American culture and values are being actively erased. Recently, it came to light that the Dr. Seuss Company would be canceling six of their own books in an attempt to self-censor alleged racist imagery. The six books are relatively obscure, so some in the media have tried to tell everyone that they were wrong to call this “cancel culture.” “It’s only six books!” the agenda-pushing journalists say, as they try to shift goalposts and redefine phrases to suit themselves. Would these “journalists” say the same thing if it was 12 books? “It isn’t cancel culture; it’s just 12 books!” No, you propagandists, you’re wrong, it’s not just six books. It’s a cultural movement to redefine everything as racist and offensive. Anything disagreeable is defined as racist. Enforcing fares on the subway, the meritocracy, policing, even mathematics.
If canceling six books that were mildly racist at worst is not concerning enough, given the extremely low bar for offensiveness set and the inevitable more censorship going forward, then how about this aspect of the story that many people don’t know? Big Tech got involved and made this concerning story a lot more sinister. eBay outright banned sales of the canceled books, actively taking down listings. Again, this is for books that are mildly racist at worst. There are far more racist books readily available on eBay. What a Dr. Seuss cynic calls “racist” I like to call “showcasing how different cultures can be interesting.” Your mileage may vary. Or it would, if companies would respect their own customers’ decisions and let them buy the books. What eBay did cost them money, possibly lots of money. Nobody asked them to do it, they decided on their own to act against their best monetary interests in favor of being “woke.”
The issue is not the six Dr. Seuss books. The issue is what all of these events say about an America that no longer values freedom of speech and expression, about an America that places social justice over actual blind justice. What will they cancel next? People are talking about possibly canceling Little House on the Prairie, which would be a far greater cultural loss. The Twitter mobs are waiting in the ranks, baying for the blood of their next target. Ordinary people need to stand against this hypersensitivity culture, and they need to do it now.