Colors: Green Color

Many of us would not consider ourselves political individuals and do not put going to the polls on our list of priorities. Nonetheless, casting your ballot gives you a voice on issues ranging from housing and education to employment and healthcare. Being involved in the voting process allows you make a real difference in the makeup and decisions within your community. Casting a vote has dire consequences for the quality of life that both you and your family experience today and in the years ahead. From riding the bus or train to raising minimum wage to getting better textbooks in school, your vote decides how these issues will play out. Casting your ballot affords you the opportunity to delegate how your hard-earned tax dollars are divvied out for necessities like medical expenses and social services that many take for granted.

This past week, a skit on Saturday Night Live (SNL) caused a storm in the Jewish world. Michael Che Campbell, a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer on the show, said the following (as part of his skit): “Half the folks in Israel have already gotten the COVID vaccine. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” Many Jewish groups immediately screamed “anti-Semitism!” and have demanded an apology from the producers of SNL and the executives at NBC. In my humble opinion, no apology is necessary. On the contrary! Israel needs to send a “Thank You” card to SNL for publicizing that fact. Yes, Israel takes care of Jews first…and we are very proud of that!

I cannot be quiet any longer. While I will not mention any names of cult members in this article, I have decided that I must write against a few people in the Torah world – some of whom are my friends! – who write, text, Tweet, and post about what they call the “alleged COVID crisis.” To them, this is not a pandemic, but a PLANdemic, designed by wicked people such as Bill Gates, Binyamin Netanyahu, and those who support the New World Order. They refer to anyone who is involved as Amalek and have made videos and posts that anyone who davens with a mask (which they call a face diaper) as worshipping avodah zarah. I am not kidding nor exaggerating. This is exactly what they say, and their little group of cult followers are very vocal in the world of social media. I’m sure this article will be blasted by all these cult members who seem to have nothing better to do all day than spread their ideology of lies, deceit, and nonsense.

Over the years, many people have asked me, “Shmuel, I’d love to live in Israel, but what about my job? What about the kids in school? How do I know I’ll be happy with my new neighborhood? Will I adjust to the different medical system? How will I manage?” To all these questions, I have the same answer: “Hashem speaks Hebrew!” Huh? Let me explain what I mean.

In no way does this article mean to minimize the pain many people have suffered due to COVID-19. It has brought sickness and death to thousands of people. It has caused financial problems, marital problems, and psychological problems. The COVID-19 pandemic is not a laughing matter, and we must all observe the medical guidelines and safety procedures. Recently, a rav I am close with told me how things in his Monsey community have “returned to normal.” He boasted that they have kiddushim and Shalosh Seudos meals together and even “eat from each other’s plates.” Yesterday, he emailed me that he has COVID and asked that I daven for him.