Colors: Cyan Color

We have just finished nine days of celebrating the beautiful holy days of Sukkos, Hoshana Rabbah, Sh’mini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah. In the inspiring and joyous words of Hallel, there is one line that should serve as a warning for our time. “It is better to trust in Hashem than to trust in princes.”

PBA” stands for the Police Benevolent Association and nearly every police officer in the United States is a member. Friends and family members of police officers are sometimes given a PBA Courtesy Card. A PBA card will usually have printed on it, “The bearer of this card is a supporter of the PBA and you should try to extend every courtesy possible.”

Various media outlets criticized President Trump over one of his defenses of his decision to remove American troops who were assisting Kurdish fighters in Syria. “They didn’t help us in the Second World War,” President Trump said regarding the Kurds. “They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example.” To rebut Trump’s argument, CNN quoted Michael Rubin, from the American Enterprise Institute: “World War II was a war among states and the Kurds weren’t a state.” It also quoted Henri Barkey, a Middle East expert from the Council of Foreign Relations, who said, “Just like many other people who did not have a state, (Kurds) could not have helped the United States.”

Yom Kippur is upon us once again, and it is time to atone for our sins. When the Jewish people enter shuls around the world this week, they will ask for forgiveness from sins against G-d, but not against their fellow Man. That forgiveness must be sought by asking the persons themselves; G-d has no power to forgive you for those transgressions. In this time of political strife and turmoil, when arguments are waged online and in person, relationships are made or destroyed based on the tweets of millionaires in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. We should all take a minute to examine the need for forgiveness.

Since the Democrats gained the majority in the House of Representatives in January, they have shown over and over again that they are not interested in governing. Governing, especially when there is a split government, requires a certain level of cooperation and compromise. The Democrats, however, have only done what President Trump asked them not to do in his State of the Union address in February – investigate him.

As I write this column, reports are that negotiations over a national unity government in Israel led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have broken down. Prime Minister Netanyahu may return the mandate to form a government to President Rivlin, who would then task Benny Gantz with forming a national unity government. By the time you read this column, the situation may have changed. One possible outcome is a Gantz-led government, which would include Blue and White, Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu. Such a government would be somewhat more amenable to concessions to the Palestinians and far less accommodating or even downright hostile to the needs of the Torah-observant community.