Colors: Cyan Color

Last week on Yom HaAtzmaut, our good friend and former KGH resident Moshe Markovitz spoke at Congregation Etz Chaim. Moshe gave a personal account of his very young days growing up as a child in the newly declared State of Israel in 1948. Although just a few years old at the time, his recollections remain vivid of the very day David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, on Erev Shabbos as it were. The jubilation, the dancing in the streets, accompanied by the preparation for Shabbos, still swirl in the inner recesses of his mind.

This article is long overdue. The Orthodox community has been the focus of local and national news due to the high rate of measles unique to that community. See the front page of The Wall Street Journal (April 9 issue, this week) for a horrifying account of the extent of the disease and the deaths it can cause, G-d forbid. The reason for this elevation of the disease in Orthodox circles is simple. Many within the community refuse to vaccinate their kids against the disease, and some refuse to even vaccinate against dreaded diseases such as polio. Their stated reason is that it may cause autism or other life-altering illnesses. In addition, there are those who claim that our religion demands of us that we be extra cautious in preventing health-related calamities. Avoiding vaccines is one way of avoiding these calamities.

I love dogs. I always did. They are loyal, lovable, and make great companions. But what shall I tell you, I never owned one. The Torah tells us to reward dogs for their obedience during the Exodus from Egypt (Sh’mos 11:7 and 22:30). So I’m not sure why society has heaped scorn and derision on a dog. “He has a dog’s life; tired like a dog; looks like a dog, etc.” Yes, I know, there’s the “lucky dog,” but that’s because the dog is lucky.

The most oppressed people on earth today are the Yazidis. We, the Jewish people, who carried the same title for thousands of years, should be the first to acknowledge the plight of the Yazidis. While the UN, relief agencies, and liberal groups focus almost exclusively on the Arabs of Gaza, they completely have forgotten about the Yazidis. It makes no sense except for the fact that these groups want to constantly take swipes at Israel. They really don’t care about the real victims. They only care to beat up Israel at every turn. The Yazidis should be their priority.

A week ago, I had the sad opportunity to be driven to the burial of one of the most amazing people that I had known, Mrs. Isabelle Cohen-Adler. As I said at her l’vayah, there probably will be no ArtScroll book written about her life, but her life was one of inspiration that would take volumes to capture. The greatest rabbis and spiritual leaders could not be as inspiring as her life was. She taught us how to take the most difficult situations and move on in life, with a smile.

Rashida Tlaib, congresswoman from Michigan’s most Democratic district, has created a firestorm from the very first day in office when she disgustingly vowed to “impeach the [expletive],” referring to the president. She obviously has her sights set to take over the Democratic Party and one day sit in Nancy Pelosi’s chair. Her daily diatribes and remarks only get worse. No one in Congress has ever used such language publicly in an open forum against a sitting president. On the day she was elected to Congress she draped herself in a PLO flag and declared, “My passion for justice is rooted in beautiful Palestine.” No one to my knowledge has ever been elected to Congress and draped themselves in any flag other than an American flag. She later had the gall to accuse American Jews of dual loyalty. She has a map of the Middle East with a sticky covering Israel with the word Palestine written on it. When Marco Rubio and Jim Risch tried to sponsor a bill opposing BDS, she made her infamous dual loyalty claim, saying they “forgot what country they represent.” The ADL issued a statement, “Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism.” Rashida Tlaib has been linked to individuals who have supported PLO terrorists attacking Israelis and individuals who have openly called for Israel’s destruction with the not-so-veiled threat “From the River to the Sea, #Palestine will be free,” and individuals with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.