19 Nov Speak Your Vues
JUST ANOTHER TAX REVISITED
In last week’s paper, a reader wrote “Social Security is a tax on the poor. It takes from those who die young to give to the long-lived.” That is not true. Social security is deducted from each pay check as a percentage of that income; those who earn more pay more, and those who earn less pay less. When the earner reaches eligibility age, his Social Security benefit reflects the amount that he paid into the system all of the years that he earned.
SS tax is not a tax on the poor. Both poor and rich pay into the system, with the rich paying in more than the poor do. The writer seems to intimate that all who die young are poor, and all those who are “long-lived” are rich. That is totally absurd!
Most people do get to reap the rewards of their contributions to Social Security.
A poor senior reaping the rewards
Editor’s Note: Poor may not be referring to value in terms of dollars but rather poor is a person who does not reap any benefit from Social Security.
VITAL TRAINING AVAILABLE
I invite members of our community to join me this Monday for a vital training on the usage of Naloxone, a medicine that can be used to successfully reverse an overdose. There is no community that is immune from the opioid epidemic that have overcome our country, and tragically, hundreds of our children have been lost to drug overdoses in the last several years.
You can be a part of the solution by keeping Naloxone in your home, and educating yourself about the three “R”s – how to Recognize an overdose, how to Respond to an overdose, and how to Reverse an overdose. Join me this Monday, November 25th, at 6:30pm at the OHEL Jaffa Family Campus at 1268 East 14th Street (just off of Avenue M). Participants will receive a free training, and a free Naloxone kit.
The NYC Department of Health, Thrive NYC, and OHEL Children’s Family & Home Services are co-sponsoring this event with me. Encourage your friends and family to join – it could save the life of someone you love.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch
Editor’s Note: Thank you for sharing. As always, keep up your tireless work.
The first week of the impeachment hearings have passed. The American public have now seen with their eyes what a sham this entire thing is. Chairman Adam Schiff throughout the hearings shut down Republican members constantly. He even shut out a 30 year old Republican Congresswomen. Congresswomen Elise Stefanik this week demonstrated that Schiff is being partisan and unfair. Schiff shut down Stefanik when the Republican ranking member, Devin Nunes, gave Ms. Stefanik time to speak during the Republican-controlled time. Adam Schiff showed that he can’t take heat from a Republican woman like Rep. Stefanik. However, can you imagine if there was a Republican chairman or as the media describe them as, “Boring, old, white men”, attacked a sweetheart like, AOC or Elizabeth Warren. Oh wait, that’s right it did happen. In 2017, Senate Majority Leader McConnell shut down Senator Elizabeth Warren and the media idolized her at the time. McConnell even said that he didn’t regret what he did but that Warren ultimately persisted. Hence, her slogan that she has on her campaign shirts that “she persisted”. However, by Stefanik, no, she’s just a women that is doing a stunt. The Media and the Democrats love acting like feminists, but if you are a Republican women defending Trump, you are just a political stunt. The same thing happened simultaneously to former UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley. Nikki Haley who has been promoting her recently released book, has defended Trump from impeachment. Instead, political hacks like Bill Maher said that she ruined herself when she did that. He said that Nikki Haley went “on full Team Deplorable.” When President Trump and Melania Trump are booed at a baseball game, that is heroic, but when Michale Obama and Jill Biden are booed at a NASCAR event, it evokes memories from Jim Crow. When Nancy Pelosi famously in a picture, points her finger at Trump, she’s a hero because she stood up to all those “old, white men.” However, when Former Arizona Republican Governor, Jan Brewer does the same thing to Former President Obama, she’s a racist and disrespectful. The clear different standards for women on each side of the political aisle is shameful. If modern feminists were really feminists, they would defend everything wrong that has happened to any famous Republican woman. They would slam Wolf Blitzer for asking Kellyanne Conway a question by playing a clip from her husband, who famously is anti Trump. They of course don’t, because their is no modern feminism, there is only “take the Liberal way or the highway.” The Democrats will continue their double standards, but Republican Women will persist!!
Donny Simcha Guttman
Editor’s Note: It seems that politics will be politics.
MISSING RABBI KAHANE
I found your two-page article spread in the November 13-19 Jewish Vues issue about Rabbi Kahane intriguing as well as somewhat disturbing. The bottom of page 23 has a banner suggesting that Brooklyn needs a leader like Rabbi Kahane, now. While I agree with his overall philosophy of Jews defending themselves, his and the JDL’s implementation of this philosophy in Washington Heights was both myopic and dangerous. I feel that your readership needs to know and understand the other side of the story, especially since much of your readership had no personal experience with him and the JDL.
I lived in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan during the 60’s and 70’s. When I was in my early years in elementary school, the neighborhood was mainly Puerto-Rican. I was frequently beat up by someone on my way home from the school bus to my home. By about the time I was in 5th grade, the Blacks began infiltrating Washington Heights. Whereas the Puerto Ricans used their fists, the Blacks introduced knives and sometimes, guns. It’s interesting that just as in West Side Story, the Puerto Ricans and Blacks fought each other on the streets. But, when it came to beating and mugging a Jew, they were the best of friends, because they discovered a common hatred and an easier target.
At the time, we knew that the neighborhood was unsafe for Jews. But, we also knew how to deal with it. We knew which blocks to walk on and when to walk when we felt it was safer to do so. Rabbi Kahane spent a significant amount of time in Washington Heights much to the dismay of a number of shuls and rabbis including my own. He had the right idea regarding Jews defending themselves. However, the concept of “Every Jew a 22” was not just impractical and illegal, but it caused more problems in Washington Heights than before he came. A few of my friends who joined the JDL occasionally hunted down black and Puerto Rican thugs and beat them up. Some were ones who had harmed me, personally. Others, weren’t, but in the minds of Kahane and JDL, the entire group was viewed as a potential danger so anyone might have been viewed as eligible for “reprisals”.
In short, at least in Washington Heights, Rabbi Kahane was neither a great tzaddik nor a visionary. He and the JDL actually increased the danger that was already present. He disregarded shul rabbis’ wishes not to disturb that status quo of the neighborhood. Rabbi Kahane did not live in Washington Heights, so, it seems that he disregarded the understandings of those who did just to advance his cause. I therefore hold him and the JDL partly responsible for causing an unpleasant childhood experience for many of my friends, my family, and me.
As I did not live in Israel. I cannot comment, fairly, about how well his philosophy and actions worked in Israel. It was undoubtedly a different set up than in Washington Heights. But, as far as what occurred when I was a child, I would consider Rabbi Kahane and the JDL as a poor and dangerous solution to the problems that Jews in Washington Heights had at the time. He was no visionary of that neighborhood. If Brooklyn had a leader with the type of myopic vision that Rabbi Kahane had for Washington Heights, Jews there would see at least the same results as I did. Brooklyn needs a better and more practical visionary than he was.
Editor’s Note: Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN SHUL
I feel rushed in every minyan I go to. In middle of the minyan, the baal habbatim start texting in shul! It’s a zechus to daven to Hashem. Why would someone want to take it away?
Editor’s Note: How right you are! There is plenty of time to text. During davening is not that time.
This is about the politicians on both sides. Out of all of the millions of people in the country, why can’t the best of them be president instead of someone disgraceful and inappropriate like Trump or Clinton?
Editor’s Note: Who wants such a lousy job!
Over 150 rockets were fired at Israeli civilian targets by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza within hours after the November 12 targeted air strike assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata, a top commander of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ). Coming just over two weeks after the U.S. successfully targeted ISIS terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to be captured or killed there is a simple question to ask here: What would the U.S. do if after al-Baghdadi killed himself his terrorist soldiers fired 150 rockets as U.S. civilian targets? Would the U.S. then decide to negotiate with ISIS over how large their independent state would be, where its borders would be, and where its capital would be located?
These rockets offer over 150 vivid demonstrations of why a Palestinian state must not be created. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and ISIS are no different from each-other.
The international community for years badgered Israel to leave Gaza. Israelis were told that if only the occupation ended, the Gazans would embrace peace. That the presence of Israeli soldiers and the Jewish communities in Gaza were the obstacles to peace. That once Israel withdrew, the Gaza Palestinians would no longer have a reason to attack Israel. And that “if even a single missile were fired into Israel from Gaza,” the Israeli army would be justified in re-occupying the area.
At the time, many leading Israeli military experts warned that withdrawal was a very dangerous move for Israel’s physical safety.
That Gaza was a vital security belt for Israel’s south, and a buffer between Israel and an increasingly unstable Egypt. That Gaza under full Palestinian control would become a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists and one enormous storage depot for weapons to be used against Israel.
But eventually, the international pressure became unbearable. The constant browbeating by U.S. State Department officials, New York Times columnists, and E.U. envoys wore down Israel’s political leaders. It was decided to gamble. In 2005, with zero demands or preconditions, Israel withdrew all its soldiers from Gaza and forcibly evicted all of the area’s 10,000 Jewish residents from their longtime homes and neighborhoods.
For promoters of Israeli territorial concessions, Gaza was supposed to set the precedent they hoped would soon be repeated in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) areas.
Instead, Gaza has become the most graphic illustration of why relinquishing Judea and Samaria to the perennially hostile and extremely corrupt Palestinian Authority is a flat-out dangerous idea.
Imagine how the rocket attacks against Israel in the wake of the al-Ata killing would have looked if the terrorist armies had instead been West Bank Palestinians, acting from inside a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Despite the nice-sounding turn of phrase, there is simply no such thing as “a demilitarized Palestinian state.” An independent state controls its own borders. “Palestine” would be free to open its borders to truckload after truckload of Iranian weapons.
If Israel tried to intervene, it would be accused of violating Palestinian sovereignty, denounced at the U.N., and threatened with international sanctions from the E.U.
Now about those 700 rockets. A Palestinian state in Judea-Samaria would mean that the border with Palestine would reach the outskirts of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Those over 150 rockets might have been aimed at the Western Wall, at the Knesset, or at passenger airliners landing at Ben Gurion Airport.
The terrorists and their rockets would quickly vanish behind the civilian shields of Palestinian orchards, tunnels, and safe houses. The government of Palestine would declare that the attacks were “regrettable,” but that they “cannot control every extremist element.”
All the while, Palestine would continue to amass a huge arsenal of weapons — just as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have done in Gaza — and Israel would be completely helpless to stop it, without launching a preemptive war and inviting the wrath of the international community.
There are many other reasons to be opposed to the creation of a West Bank Palestinian state. There is the likelihood that a drastically shrunken Israel will be unable to prosper economically and have room for new immigrants, that its cities will become unbearably overcrowded and increasingly unlivable. There is also the tragedy for the whole Jewish people of being completely unable to visit Jewish biblical shrines such as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, and the Tomb of Rachel, in Bethlehem.
Just days before this latest mini-war jumped off an opinion poll conducted for Israel’s Channel 12’s “Meet the Press” program showed a minority of Israel’s support the creation of a Palestinian state. Let us hope that this mistaken minority in Israel continues to shrink in the aftermath of all of this. But for now, let us be reminded that the national security of all Israel is at stake. Those over 150 rockets gave us all that we really need to know.
Editor’s Note: I don’t think anyone would disagree with you.
SENDING CHILDREN TO ISRAEL REVISITED
I was very disappointed in your response about girls learning in Eretz Yisroel. It is so important for the girl to be away from home for a year to prepare her for marriage. What better place than Eretz Yisroel.
Editor’s Note: Again, with the hefkeirus that goes on in Eretz Yisroel, I am not so sure it is a good preparation. I have been on busses in Eretz Yisroel where seminary girls were talking real loudly in English thinking that no one understands them. Girls shrieking on a bus in public is not my idea of preparing for marriage. They would not do it in America. Enough said.
Millions of dollars have been spent on nonstop advertising over the last year for the Siyum Hashas yet as of last week only 68.5% of seats were sold (Siyum ad). Many Bnei Torah would love to bring their children with them to the Siyum but with seats priced over $100 each, it’s not feasible. In my opinion, Aguda made a colossal mistake by reserving so many seats at “premium pricing” many costing $600 & up. This was Aguda’s opportunity to be really relevant to the average ben Torah by offering affordably priced seats to low to middle class families who would have a good feeling for years to come from this event. Instead, this has turned into a massive fundraising campaign courting the super-rich with nonstop blitzing in all print, mail. & social media over the Siyum.
For the thousands who cannot afford the pricey seats while others are dining on steaks & wine, this won’t lead to much chizuk Hatorah at all.
Agudah is a critical Mossad for the Klal, I appreciate the tremendous good they do for all of us. I hope lessons are learned for the next Siyum. Keish Echod B’lev Echod.
Editor’s Note: Those who are eating steaks and the like are subsidizing the cheaper seats. The stadium is a very expensive rental.
Can anyone explain the objective of having speeches in Yiddish at the siyum hashas for Daf yomi in America? If it is meant to be a unifying event to inspire and celebrate, how can they purposefully exclude such a large portion of the invitees and attendees? Isn’t that giving them a message that those who do not understand Yiddish are not welcome and don’t count? I assume nearly all of the attendees who do speak Yiddish also understand English very well.
Editor’s Note: This is a Yiddishe event so Yiddish is spoken.
We had a great Kiddush Hashem that Orthodox Jews hosted our President and contributed to his campaign.
Editor’s Note: A nice way of showing Hakoras Hatov to a President who is so good to the Jews.