President Donald Trump and his administration have long been on a path to diminish Palestinian declarations of statehood. The Trump administration recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and in a historic move relocated the American embassy to Yerushalayim. David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel, is recognized for engaging the White House on such a transference, and must be commended for his painstaking efforts since assuming his position.

The recent comments by freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib during a podcast have been discussed thoroughly in the Jewish, and non-Jewish, community. Tlaib, who spun an ahistorical lie that the surviving Jews of the Holocaust were welcomed with open arms by her Palestinian ancestors, has her defenders in the Democratic Party. The nefarious aspect of the defense tactics is not claiming that she is right; rather, they attack the criticizers themselves. By doing this, their goal is to silence their opponents, and this silence has a history all its own.

Not only one has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation they rise against us to annihilate us.” These words, recited during the most emotional point of the Pesach Seder, still ring true, despite the incredible freedoms American Jews enjoy. Six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, last week another shooting occurred at the Chabad in Poway, California. A few days earlier, The New York Times published a cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu depicted as a big-nosed dog with a Jewish star necklace leading a yarmulke-wearing, blind President Trump. Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in many forms, and American Jews must be knowledgeable of who our enemies are and where they come from if we are to continue to survive.

  1. Self-control

Think about the built in self-control we have every Pesach. We can’t eat our usual foods; some don’t even go out to eat or eat in people’s houses, yet we don’t think twice. We don’t think of it as an option. We just keep doing what we need to do. It’s the same concept as when something isn’t kosher or we’re fleishigs and something is dairy. 

 Distance Learning. Synchronized and asynchronized classes. Zoom. Social distancing. Quarantine. Who knew that these words and concepts would become so important to our daily lives in the last few weeks? As schools have closed their buildings and moved to online classrooms, businesses have directed employees to work from home, rabbanim have stopped shul attendance, and everyone is being directed to stay home unless it’s critical, we are all living in a new reality of spending the bulk of our days in our homes with our families.