In last week’s QJL, Goldy Krantz’s article was entitled “The Truth Will Set You Free.” Perhaps unbeknownst to her, that phrase is verbatim a passage from the Christian Bible (John 8:32), specifically a quote from Yeishu. While a verse from the Christian Bible alone would be bad enough as a QJL article title, the verse itself implies a message completely anathema to everything we believe as Jews - namely, that knowledge of and faith in Yeishu as messiah and son of god (kivyachol, Rachmana L’tzlan) creates a firm basis for one’s life. Her apparent innocuous intentions notwithstanding, Ms. Krantz should be much more careful with which phrases and expressions she chooses to employ for her articles.
Rabbi Schonfeld’s recent column titled “Turn the Tables” resembles an amalgamation of headlines from select media outlets, varying in subject matter but consistent in detachment from reality.
Rabbi Schonfeld cites several unsubstantiated claims about the AIDS epidemic that spanned the 1970s-1980s. The first questionable claim is the “many innocent people…infected by others, unbeknownst to them” listed as part of the epidemic’s population. Ambiguous pronoun references aside, what were the identifying characteristics of this group? What was the size of the group relative to the impacted population?
The subsequent dubious claim is that “the Catholic Church took a strong position at that time.” The Church’s initial response was more accurately characterized by silence and fear, eventually shifting somewhat towards compassion.
More troubling than the column’s inaccuracies is the phrase “sexually misbehaving community” to refer to the gay community. This phrase reveals myopia so extreme as to make an impossible task of crossing the street. Perhaps this near-sightedness explains the reprehensible victim-blaming in the subsequent paragraphs. The slow and inadequate response to the AIDS epidemic delayed the development of life-saving treatments and impeded access to care; in this instance, institutional silence was a death sentence.
The mitzvah of bikur cholim and the concept of tzelem elokim are both core to Judaism. Conversely, the Torah repeatedly warns against dishonesty and lashon hara. This recent column and prior statements by the Coalition for Jewish Values indicate that extensive chazarah is in order.
Forest Hills Gardens
Moshe Hill compares the two top candidates for the Republican nomination in ‘24, DeSantis and Trump, on a number of criteria in last week’s article “The Race is On.” However, a very important criterion which he neglected to mention is lawlessness.
Trump has been found guilty of sexual abuse in his recent civil suit. Even before the jury’s decision in this case, he essentially admitted as much in the Access Hollywood tape. Trump had attempted to interfere in votes casted in Georgia (and possibly other states). He asked Brad Raffensburger, Georgia’s Secretary of State, to “find him 11,780 votes” (which is precisely the number of votes he needed to surpass Biden’s votes in the state) during his telephone call with Raffensburger (Trump’s 18th attempt to reach him). Trump will soon be accused of roughly 12 charges of attempting to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. He is also likely to be charged on the federal level with instigating an insurrection in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election (and thereby dismiss democracy). Further, he is likely to be charged over mishandling classified government documents along with interfering with the federal investigation into this alleged crime, as well as making false statements to investigators, meaning obstruction justice is likely an additional charge forthcoming here. Trump actually acknowledged holding onto a top-secret document relating to a potential attack on Iran. Serious stuff. Last month, Tim Parlatore, one of Trump’s attorneys, resigned from the case.
As far as I’m aware, Ron DeSantis is not suspected of ever having committed a crime.
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Coordinator, Community Outreach, QBSP-Shmira
President Biden fancies himself as the protector of our country’s democracy. While campaigning (I’m using the term “campaigning” very loosely) for President in 2020, Biden promised to “end Trump’s assault on the rule of law.” Assuming you were gullible enough to accept this corrupt, congenital liar’s word at face value, you’d probably find it ironic then that Biden:
1) Has willfully ignored Article IV Section 4 of our Constitution, which guarantees US citizens protection against the type of invasion that is currently occurring at our Southern border
2) Attempted to have the CDC declare a rent moratorium
3) Attempted to mandate a medical procedure for all working Americans under the now widely-debunked claim that it would protect the public against Covid
4) Attempted to institute a wealth tax on high-net-worth individuals
5) Attempted to forgive student loan debt
6) Attempted to cut off school lunch funding if school districts did not adopt a gender dysphoria indoctrination curriculum
None of these fascistic and tyrannical actions are consistent with our Constitution. Instead of Biden protecting our democracy, what we really need is our democracy to be protected from Biden.
It seems to me that an appraisal of the Republican presidential race that fails to mention January 6 or any of Trump’s outstanding legal challenges, as is the case with Moshe Hill’s comparison of former President Trump and Governor DeSantis, isn’t meant to be taken too seriously outside of the MAGA bubble. And I know, everything accusation against Trump is a hoax and he’s never done anything wrong in his life. Apparently, even Trump’s legislative failures, such as not repealing Obamacare, was just due to personal animus, and not him failing to deliver on his long-standing promise to put forth a better alternative to replace it with. Mr. Hill does take Trump to task for the recent Republican election losses, but doesn’t acknowledge that those defeats were at least partially due to Republican candidates playing strictly to the base, whitewashing Trump, and focusing on many of the types of issues that Mr. Hill obviously feels are important.
And Mr. Hill’s analysis of DeSantis is similarly for those in a far-right echo chamber. He lists DeSantis’ time in the House as a plus, but his record there was extreme, even for many Republican voters. He also praises DeSantis for being able to destroy the media’s arguments, while he has consistently refused to be interviewed by any non-friendly media. And will DeSantis’ use of the government’s power to punish the largest employer in his state in retaliation for their constitutionally protected speech be a positive for any voter that approaches the center?
I also continue to be amazed by Mr. Hill’s attempt to pass Trump off as some kind of foreign policy savant. It’s not surprising that he gives Trump full credit for defeating ISIS when much of that work was done during the Obama administration. And he continues to ignore the fact that Trump signed the agreement with the Taliban to release Taliban prisoners and withdraw from Afghanistan, something he savages Biden for. But now he’s also crediting Trump with taming North Korea. It’s true that they stopped missile testing for a bit, but they picked it up again later in Trump’s term with Trump just dismissing it and continuing to talk about the nice letters he was getting from Kim Jong Un. And North Korea never slowed down in producing nuclear materials and enhancing its military capabilities. Basically, Kim Jong Un seemed to figure Trump out. Just flatter him and don’t do anything too loudly, and you can get away with anything you want because you know he won’t be sweating the details. That seemed to work for many of the strongmen with the type of unilateral power that Trump openly pines for. Sell out the U.S.’ longtime allies the Kurds to Turkey’s Erdogan? Sure! Chip away at the NATO alliance, one of Putin’s longtime goals? No problem! It sure seemed like they were playing him like a fiddle, but sure, maybe Mr. Hill is right and they were just cowering in fear.
Returning $31 billion of unused CARE COVID-19 Emergency Relief funds as part of the agreement to raise our federal debt ceiling is a drop in the bucket. President Biden and Congress should have agreed to look at all federal government agencies unspent carryover funding from previous fiscal years. There should be a forensic audit for all agency grant programs. Any funds from inactive grants, projects and programs not being used should also be reprogrammed to reduce our $31.4 trillion and growing national debt. Many more billions could be found and returned to the Treasury Department All future federal grant programs should include a requirement for recipients to submit a cash draw down plan and sunset date for completion. Any unused funds after a reasonable amount of time should automatically be returned to the Treasury Department.
Government, the private sector, and citizens must make difficult financial decisions on how to use existing resources. Americans prioritize their own family budgets. They make the hard choices in how existing household financial resources will be spent. The President and Congress should do likewise.
June means graduations, weddings, regents, and camp. One can avoid regents by moving to Teaneck, but one would think there’s nothing better than camp. Well, I’m here to burst that bubble.
First, there’s the matter of labeling all your kids’ clothes. In my time, my mother had to either iron or sew the labels on the clothes. That was a Herculean job. Then, I had to pack everything into an old metal trunk that dated back to the time of Rose and Jack in The Titanic. However, even with all that space and a duffle bag, I never had enough room to pack all my clothes and tennis racket (even though I never played tennis). I also forgot that I had to schlep the trunk up a hill and the steps of the cabin.
I went to the “Cadillac” of camps: Morasha. Now you need to take out a second mortgage to afford two months there. What I hated the most about camp were the army-like conditions: Get up at this time, do your chores, go to the activities, and go to sleep at a set time. I did all these things the other 10 months a year. I felt like a robot, and besides, who cares if my hospital corners weren’t perfect?
I hated swimming the most. I would come up with a million excuses not to go into the lake. It’s too cold; it’s too hot; I have ____disease fFill in the blank.); it’s the 3 weeks; it’s the 9 days; it’s almost Chodesh Elul. Nevertheless, I was forced into the water, where I was given a test and always placed into the beginners’ group since I hadn’t swum during the previous 10 months.
However, what I enjoyed the most was the most dangerous thing a kid could do. No, it wasn’t camping, since I came up with the remaining diseases to exclude me from that. Instead, it was lying on the grass (Lyme disease?) with a silver foil 3-panel folded item around my face and neck that was used to catch and intensify the sun rays. Obviously, skin cancer was something that none of us campers worried about back then.
Despite it all, my advice to you kids is to pass your regents and enjoy your summer in camp - you and your parents deserve it!
This country is being brought closer and closer to the brink. Yes, Congress passed and the President signed a debt ceiling bill. But look at the voting. More Democrats voted for it than Republicans. Unlike the original debt ceiling bill passed in the House, this one was less fiscally responsible. It raised the ceiling $4 trillion. To put it in perspective, $1 trillion would be nearly from the Earth to the sun. All our local representatives just gave a blank check for four trips to the sun!!
The activists and the special interest groups own our government. The spending is absolutely crazy. Ever read a spending bill? We waste too much money on narishkeit, other countries, and illegal aliens. We have homeless in every major city, yet we do nothing to help them. Our veterans need our help, but we do very little to help those who put their lives on the line for our country. Meanwhile, Ukraine is in a war with Russia, and we keep sending money over there. Illegals pouring over our southern border and every Democrat-run city throughout the US welcomes them with open arms. While it is the law that every emergency room must treat whomever comes in regardless of their ability to pay for treatment, that is not the case with shelter. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear the burden of those costs.
In more exciting news this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray was threatened with being held in contempt of Congress for not following a subpoena, which requested an FBI memo detailing bribery committed by Joe Biden. He finally caved and will allow lawmakers on Capitol Hill to view the document. However, it must stay in a SCIF, or sensitive compartmented information facility, where no electronic devices are allowed. Like I said last week, he is in on the cover-up. Director Wray does not want this document out in the public because it’s damning. Can you imagine if this was a Democrat-run House with a Republican President? It would be leaked to every major media company in the country. Oh yeah, that happened already. Just ask President Trump.
If the criminal behavior is not enough to convince you, then how about the frailty and age of the President? The fall at the Air Force graduation looked very bad. And it will only happen again and again. He will be 82 when his term ends. What happens if he gets a concussion or breaks something and becomes incapacitated from a fall? We need a leader who can lead. Joe Biden just can’t.
I want to share my story. I was a single girl and was dating for a while and wasn’t finding my bashert. I heard about Kollel Zichron Naftali Sponsor-A-Daf program. It gives you the opportunity to donate something small on a daily basis, and still be part of something that gives you a big z’chus. I heard about this on Wednesday night and I know that Torah is the best segulah, so I signed up right away to give $1 a day for a year. They partnered me with someone from the kollel, and each day before he learned, he would say out my name and have me in mind to find my bashert. BH, that same week, a shidduch was suggested, and now I am engaged two months later!
I want to spread my story so other people can gain from it as well. I recommend doing this daily giving to all my friends. The website is sponsoradaf.square.site and phone number call/text 718-338-0655.
With Hashem’s help, we should all see simchos in our lives.