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.

You know in your head that the day will come when a cherished older loved one will no longer be with you. But your heart breaks nevertheless. Rabbi Schonfeld’s p’tirah was not a tragedy. He had arichas yamim v’shanim. He had an amazing family. He had the z’chus to give so much to so many. He made a great impact on the Jewish world. No, it isn’t a tragedy, but it is so, so sad.

 One day, a boy found a fuzzy caterpillar and put it in a cage as a new pet. Soon, he observed the fascinating metamorphosis as the caterpillar disappeared within a cocoon. He checked the crusty shell daily and eventually noticed a small opening. As he’d hoped, a butterfly was trying to emerge. The boy waited impatiently and feared it was stuck. He took a scissors and gently opened the hole so the creature could escape. Sure enough, the butterfly inched out with a large swollen body and small, misshapen wings. Sadly, those wings never grew properly and the malformed insect spent its last days haplessly crawling around the cage. The boy learned that wings only develop when butterflies mount a tenacious struggle to escape their cocoons. His misguided act of kindness led to the creature’s doom.