Two weeks ago, Rabbi Schonfeld wrote, again, about Modern Orthodox and some issues.
Yes, it is true, people have become more relaxed about Shabbos dress codes. But that is nothing new. The Young Couples Minyan at his shul has been dressing down for years. That, however, did not take away from the beauty and kavanah of their t’filos. In fact, maybe it increased it. They were comfortable and able to concentrate on the t’filos and k’riah, not their tight neck or sweating from a jacket.
As for Religious Zionism, he is 100 percent wrong. The modern dating Leumi comprise the majority or largest segment of aliyah. The Modern Orthodox schools teach Zionism as an expression of their love of Torah and love of our land and home because of that love of Torah. The Agudah schools – Mir, Chaim Berlin, Torah Vodaath, Mkor Hachaim, BMG, etc. – do not teach Religious Zionism. They despise all Zionism. They mock it. They not only don’t teach it or observe Yom HaAtzmaut or the Salute to Israel Parade, they oppose it, and speak against the state and all manifestations of Zionism. If a teacher tries to celebrate Israel, he or she is ostracized and chastised. When Israel announced independence, “She’hecheyanu” was said in Torah Vodaath. Today, you are lucky they don’t say double Tachanun on 5 Iyar.
Much of the problem with Modern Orthodoxy is the same young adults had with the Ashkenazi yeshivish minyanim in the 1930s. The shuls have become unwelcoming to children, unfriendly to those who question, and more an extension of chareidi thought than actual Modern Orthodoxy. The mara d’asra is more likely from Mir than YU. More likely black hat then kipah s’rugah. Only shuls where the rabbanim actually try to be meikil within halachah and espouse Yiddishkeit of the heart, not the person’s dress, are growing. The members love the shul, the t’filah, the friendships, and both respect and feel friendship with the rav of the shul. This is true in YIWH, Anshei, Kingsway Jewish Center, Young Israel of Woodmere, etc. Rabbi Schonfeld had that, as well. Since leaving the pulpit, he seems to be thrashing the Orthodoxy for which he worked and stood, except ahavas Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael.
I will unfortunately have to agree that the Jewish organizations, both Modern and not so Modern, have been infected by the rebirth of the shtetl mentality of being afraid to stand up for Israel, Jews in general, and even for our own safety here or in Israel. This must stop. We must adopt a more proactive and, perhaps, if necessary, a more physical response to the acts of anti-Semitism prevalent in the world today. We must train our children in self-defense and situational awareness. If we fail to act, the anti-Semitism we face now will be insignificant compared to the future anti-Semitic acts.
May we all work together towards a better understanding and practice of our Torah, a better understanding and respect for each other, and a safer Jewish community.
Chag Kasher V’Samei’ach,
As the world’s problems increase and hits us daily through the prism of social media, an aura of calm, confidence, and positivity is needed.
The weekly “Hooked on Healing” column by Caroline Schumsky provides me with all that and more. Ms. Schumsky’s gentle and humorous words uplift my day and offers practical advice and skills to practice. I’m hooked, as my other readers are, too.
Mrs. Caren May
An avid Brooklyn reader of the Queens Jewish Link
Here I am, almost finished cleaning with a Q-tip between the letters MNO and PQRS on my home phone. You’d be shocked to know how much chametz falls between phone buttons when you’re eating cookies and discussing taxes with your accountant. Next, of course, comes the keyboard, which is a smorgasbord of snacks you’ve “pigged out” on while working on figuring out how to print a PDF (whatever that means). However, I would like to address certain major issues related to Pesach.
First of all, why are there only four questions in the Haggadah? I have about 400 questions. The first question is: Why are blechs so expensive? We’re talking about a 22x29 metal sheet which at most should cost $1, not almost $50! What does the word “blech” mean anyway? Why do hotels advertise brand new lobbies? Do you have a sauna in the lobby? At most, you walk through it or sometimes eat candy while sitting in it. Why do people insist on going to Arab countries, whose names they can’t even spell, to celebrate a holiday that commemorates the exodus from an Arab country? If France is raising the retirement age to 64, shouldn’t there be a retirement age for women making Pesach at home? Have rabbis finally stopped insisting that Pesach at home is more beautiful than Pesach in Florida? When will you learn if you have to ask a friend how much Pesach for a family of five in Orlando costs, you can’t afford it? Should I feel sorry for the people who must leave the hotels on Thursday night, go home and make Shabbos? Do I have to buy stock in Alcoa to aluminum-foil my entire kitchen?
The most important question remains: Why didn’t I make aliyah 40 years ago and laugh at my American friends and relatives?
Have a Chag Kasher (Why don’t you say this for any other yom tov?) V’Samei’ach.
News broke last week of an impending House Oversight Committee investigation of Chinese payments of millions of dollars to multiple members of what at this point should be called the “Biden crime syndicate.” It’s amazing that with all the foreign money flowing into the Bidens, coupled with evidence of numerous felonies on Hunter Biden’s laptop, the only government employees interested in this are Republicans in Congress. Not a word about a federal prosecution, no FBI investigations, nothing. Hard to blame law enforcement as they are likely stretched thin in their never-ending search to locate seven-year-old bookkeeping errors to prosecute former President Trump on.
It’s also worth noting that while the fake news baselessly accused Trump of being a Russian plant for four years, they have nothing to say about the current President whose silence throughout his entire Presidency towards Chinese aggression and egregious human rights violations is obviously bought and paid for. We used to be a country of laws that were applied to all. That has become a relic of the past. Too bad. While this country has not gone full tyrannical, one thing’s abundantly clear: This ain’t your daddy’s democracy.
I am writing to show my dismay for the Queens Jewish Link taking an anti-vaccine ad in this past issue, which states the blatant lie that the COVID vaccine causes infertility. That lie has been proven false on many occasions. While I understand that the paper needs to make money, ads should be vetted, and ads that state blatant misinformation like this one does should not be accepted. I am sure that the paper would not take an ad supporting BDS. There is no reason for the paper to accept ads with blatant science misinformation.
It appears that Ms. Arlene Ross is drinking the same Kool-Aid as Mr. Pecoraro. The entire point of Tucker’s airing of the footage was to prove that January 6 wasn’t the “armed insurrection” that the Democrats claimed it was. He proved, successfully, that the January 6 Committee was a sham. He also proved that those arrested and locked up in a Washington, DC, prison should not be held in solitary confinement for what amounts to trespassing on Federal property.
Liz Cheney is not a conservative, I’m sorry to tell you. She is no Jim Jordan or Byron Donalds. It has nothing to do with backing Trump. Look at her record. When did she come out and vote for less government spending? School choice? Please.
If the Speaker of the House of Representatives isn’t in charge of the security of the Capitol, then who is? President Trump offered Federal law enforcement to assist with protecting the Capitol for January 6 and Nancy Pelosi turned it down. She, and she alone, is 100 percent responsible for whatever occurred on that day. Since no one has been charged with insurrection, one can clearly deduce that our democracy was not in any peril. The counting of electors was postponed for a few hours.
While our feckless leader thinks that “climate change” is the number one threat to our nation, a new Axis of Evil has emerged. Russia and China are now aligned against the West. With them is Iran and North Korea. Iran is mere weeks from a nuclear weapon. No, the JCPOA was not going to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Don’t be naïve. The sanctions that President Trump put on that country were crippling it economically. Now, the Middle East is a disaster. Saudi Arabia is now aligning with Iran and Russia, because they see how weak the US is. Joe Biden’s foreign policy is a joke. He is a globalist and an appeaser. And all his people in this administration are the same way. This Axis saw how we withdrew from Afghanistan and are jumping for joy. We are on the verge of World War III. China is on the move. They will go for Taiwan. Biden was too late in Ukraine. Is he going to be too late to help Taiwan? We have real enemies, and this administration has its head in the sand.
We are being destroyed from within and without. These two-front wars are crippling this country. The Marxists, led by the Frankfurt School have penetrated our school system. CRT and LGBTQ+ are embedded in the curriculum. Our kids are being brainwashed. Our military is going woke with the same garbage. Now we have real enemies that want America destroyed. Instead of preparing for war, our leaders are figuring out ways to end fossil fuels, banning gas stoves and gas-powered cars. We must do what we can for our individual liberties. We cannot let the government take over our lives like this.
I feel compelled to address the responses to my letter commenting on “You Can Make a Difference,” an article that appeared in your March 9 issue.
Let me start by saying, I regret referring to Sam Verstandig as an intern. He is now indeed a full-fledged staff member of Assemblyman Weprin’s office.
In no way did I state or imply that Sam’s responses to the interviewer’s queries were dictated by Assemblyman Weprin or his office. However, when the question was posed specifically on what the assemblyman’s views on bail reform were, instead of answering honestly that Weprin supports bail reform (as proven by his voting record), Sam ducked the question and obfuscated Weprin’s views on the matter, by stating meaningless phrases as his only response. However, many of the readers of the QJL are Weprin’s constituents who deserve to be aware of their representative’s views on this important matter.
It would be fine if this was merely a “feel-good story” about a young man’s first job in politics. However, it was an interview, and such a piece shouldn’t allow non-responses to questions posed by the interviewer to be ignored.
Passage of the New York Local Journalism Sustainability Act by the State Legislature is important to assure survival of local journalism. Most communities are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery, and distribution, along with reduced advertising revenues and competition from the Internet and other news information sources.
Daily newspapers concentrate on international, Washington, Albany, business, and sports stories. They have few reporters covering local neighborhood news.
Weekly newspapers fill the void for coverage of local community news.
I’m grateful that you have afforded me the opportunity to express my views via letters to the editor along with others who may have different opinions on the issues of the day.
Albany needs to join us in supporting weekly community newspapers. Readers patronize advertisers; they provide the revenues to help keep them in business. Let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Queens Jewish Link.
Faithful Reader for Decades
I am amazed how Ms. Schumsky keeps coming up with not only new topics but new humor. You need some sugar to help wash down the medicine.