Your Say • Readers Write

Your Say • Readers Write

Dear Editor:

In his article, “Dual Loyalties,” Warren Hecht argues that as Jews we must be very concerned about being charged with dual loyalties if we judge politicians solely by their helpful attitude towards Israel. Of course, Mr. Hecht finally comes to his point toward the end of the article when he says that this includes the president. Once again, Mr. Hecht makes a case against showing support for President Trump, who has proven to be the greatest friend Israel has ever had in the White House.

The charge of “dual loyalties” is an old canard leveled by anti-Semites. It is a charge applied uniquely to Jews. The Irish and Mexicans that Mr. Hecht cites, nor any other ethnic groups, have ever been accused of dual loyalties. Of course John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt accused Jews of dual loyalties; they are anti-Semites! It’s really quite simple. Showing that we care about other social issues never did and never will make a difference to anti-Semites. Ask the likes of Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton how much they cared that Jews were in the forefront of the civil rights movement.

In fact, the problem we Jews are bringing about is not dual loyalties, but no loyalties. We do not reward those who have been good to us, and we reward those who have been our nemesis. Alfonse D’Amato was one of the most devoted senators that we as Jews have had. He fought valiantly for every issue that Israel faced. He helped survivors get millions of dollars from European countries that stole their possessions during the War years. How did we reward him? Thanks to one editorial in The Jewish Week, we tossed him in favor of Charles Schumer, whose devotion to Israel and Jewish causes pales in comparison to Al D’Amato. What an embarrassment!

By constantly trashing President Trump, the message goes out: Don’t support the Jews because they won’t support you; they have no loyalties. That should be your true concern.

Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld

Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills

Dear Editor:

I would like to congratulate you on publishing the wonderful column written by Sarah Shalek (previously Newcomb). Each week, I look forward eagerly to reading it, as it is always interesting and inspiring. She portrays her life and thoughts in a way that we don’t see anywhere else.

As a doctor in our Queens community, I come across many of the issues she mentions. Life can sometimes be difficult, and handling tough issues with children and teens strains families. We have a lot of social pressure on us to be perfect in all ways. To feel that your family is the only one struggling and having difficulties is isolating and depressing.

But, hey! Here is a woman who is open about her past struggles. She shows us that you can move forward, take chances, be afraid, but still try new ways and approaches, and succeed. Even in hard times, we can be grateful for all Hashem has granted us, and spread love and joy to everyone. Smile, be happy, welcome people, and be kind and accepting. Reach out your hand, don’t judge, encourage! This is her message to her readers.

Sarah provides an incredible role model to people of all ages. In her column, she models what courage looks like, as she “tells it like it is” with total honesty. She models what love, outreach, and respect for all people looks like.

She has an open house, where all are welcome and encouraged to be their best – especially young people, who blossom when received with warmth and openness.

It is extraordinary to have someone willing to tell the truth about what is really going on in our community and our lives. Sarah does it so that others will know that they are not alone in dealing with some issues that some in our community are afraid to talk about openly.

There are many people in Queens who admire the Queens Jewish Link for giving a voice and a forum for a writer this brave and inspiring. If there are naysayers who want to whitewash life’s realities and brush life’s challenges under the carpet, don’t let them stamp out her voice and that of others like her. Let truth reign.

Sarah’s column is a breath of fresh air, and so many appreciate you giving her the chance for her voice to be heard. Her emunah strengthens ours, her warmth and loving outreach inspire us, and her honesty and courage light the way for all.

Thank you for publishing this exceptional writer!

Ada Hass, MD

Dear Editor:

Previous generations of subway riders would have no problems with a handful of the 6,300 NYC Transit subway cars operating without functioning air conditioning, as recently reported. The same would be true, with similar numbers, of 4,500 NYC Transit and 1,300 MTA Bus (the seven old NYC DOT-franchised private bus operator routes) buses.

Air-conditioned buses and subway cars, which we all take for granted today, were virtually nonexistent during the time of the 1964-65 World’s Fair.

Air-conditioned buses were still a novelty. It was not until 1966 that NYC Transit first purchased over 600 buses with this new feature. Subsequently, all future new buses would include air conditioning. By the early 1990s, 100 percent of the bus fleet was air conditioned.

In 1967, NYC Transit introduced the first ten air-conditioned subway cars operating on the old IND line. It was not until 1975 that air-conditioned subway cars were introduced on the old IRT lines. It took until 1982 to retrofit all the original IRT “Redbird” series subway cars. By 1993, 99 percent of New York City’s 6,000 subway cars were air conditioned, with the exception of a handful running on the #7 Flushing line.

Larry Penner

Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate, and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.