25 Feb Speak Your Vues
DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL REVISITED
I challenge you to find one single source that says it is assur to get drunk on grape juice. Otherwise, don’t go acting like you’re the champion of halacha.
Editor’s Note: Sounds like you had one too many. L’Chaim to you too!
DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL REVISITED
Wine is fermented grape juice. Fermented grape juice is grape juice that is fermented. Therefore, wine is grape juice. I rest my case.
Editor’s Note: Did I miss my day in court? Or are you the court Jester?
STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
There has been increasing tension between the black community and the Jewish community, and we must do everything we can to fight it.
We should all stand up for human rights and against the few who perpetuate racism and anti-Semitism. Although our struggles differ, we all ultimately just want human rights to be respected.
Editor’s Note: So what do you propose to do?
There is a dangerous new trend of bathing without an installed bathtub by placing large Rubbermaid container into a shower stall, using the showerhead as a faucet, and then pouring the water down the shower drain. If this goes right, it doesn’t lead to any problems, but if the container falls over, it can cause injury and severe water damage to the house.
Editor’s Note: Happy Purim. After this letter the alarm clock rings!
Is it real emunah if a person believes without even knowing what he believes in?
Editor’s Note: This is the most unbelievable letter I ever read.
PLASTIC BAN RULE
This plastic bag rule is horrible. It’s just another way to tax people. I don’t want to pay for plastic bags. I don’t want to pay for boxes. Where are our politicians when we need them? Why are they making us pay for everything these days??? What were they thinking when making this new law?
Esti G. from Flatbush
Editor’s Note: Wait, AOC is not done! Yes, things will get even worse. Liberals just want your money. Guess what? Plastic will still be used, but DeBlasio and Coupon Cuomo want to nickel and dime us to death.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
Do you have any idea how the state plans on fining consumers & storeowners for not listening to the new plastic bag rule? I own a store on Ave M and I don’t plan on listening to the plastic bag rule.
Mutty from Ave M
Editor’s Note: Don’t worry with all the extra funds they will get, they will hire some more peoples to fine us left and right.
MORE AND MORE TAXES
Last week they raised the alternate side of the street parking fine $20. They keep on raising tolls on bridges & tunnels. Now they are asking us to buy plastic bags. What’s next? Are they going to charge us to beathe?
Shmuel Singer from Boro Park
Editor’s Note: Hey, if your breathing causes climate change …
WHAT WE CAN AFFORD REVISITED
Is it possible to make a rule that people should not spend more than $10 on a Shaloch Manos? There is no reason why I have to keep up with the Schwartzs every year and make baskets that cost me more than $50? I know I don’t have to make expensive baskets, but if everyone else is doing it, I feel like I have to do it also.
Shayndy from Kensington
Editor’s Note: Don’t worry if you will use plastic bags, it will cost you even more to send Mishloach Manos.
ALL OR NOTHING
Let me begin by saying that I am not at all anti-vaxx. I believe that vaccines work, and Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk are my heroes. I think anti-vaxxers should be ashamed of how they’ve brought measles back.
But I am upset at how the opposition toward anti-vaxxers has gone beyond the vaccine issue. Recently, I pointed out a conflict of interest in a non-vaccine related area on an internet forum. I was compared to the anti-vaxxers, simply because they also claim a conflict of interest! What’s next? Will people start saying that anyone who is against tzar baalei chaim is a PETAnik? That anyone who covers her hair is a Muslim? That anyone who breathes oxygen is bad because the Nazis also breathed oxygen? Being a skeptic does not make someone an anti-vaxxer! And not every belief or recommendation belonging to a large corporation or the government is necessarily correct. Vaccines are safe and effective, but allowing people to patent GMOs and then sue people for having their plants pollinated by them is disturbing.
Editor’s Note: Why don’t we send all anti vaxxers to China to prove to us that Coronavirus is not contagious.
STOP SCARING SENIORS REVISTED
There is absolutely no good reason for politicians (mostly conservative-Republicans) to scare our senior citizens by threatening to cut Social Security Retirement benefits. There is no so-called “crisis.”Â
Virtually every serious, non-biased study has concluded that the Social Security Trust Fund is fully solvent through 2034. After that, it will be able to provide 76%-79% of benefits for the next 60 years beyond 2034.
Does it need to be fixed? Of course it does. But it does not have to be done today, and there is no need to cut anyone’s benefits.
One of the many relatively simple and easy “reforms” that can be made was proposed by Republican Presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2015. In addition, I literally sat in the same car as Democratic Presidential candidate and Arizonas Governor Bruce Babbitt in 1987 when he told me that what we should do is to “Means-Test” Social Security benefits. For example, we can make Social Security fully solvent well beyond 2034 by reducing the benefits of those who have a yearly income of, say, $80,000/year and higher by a certain percentage. I can still recall Governor Babbitt saying “Stew, do multi-millionaires really need the same Social Security benefits as senior citizens who are living in poverty?”
I am calling on all US Senators and Congresspeople to stop scaring our senior citizens.
Something that might happen in 14 years that is easily preventable and solved is NOT a so-called “crisis”, and they all know it. It is so unnecessary and cruel for our senior citizens to be scared like this.
Stewart B. E
Editor’s Note: Where have I heard this before? Oh, from you last week and two weeks ago.
VOTE FOR TORAH/JEWISH VALUES IN ISRAEL
The WZO elections are held once every five years and the deadline to vote is March 11. We, American Jews have an opportunity to positively influence where $5 Billion dollars will be spend in Israel over the next few years. By voting for delegates on a slate that represents Torah values, we can and will influence the future of Eretz Yisroel.
It is not the time to sit back and be passive while the Reform movement, J Street and anti-Israel/BDS groups are aggressively gathering votes to nominate delegates to further their hateful, anti-Torah agenda.
Time is running out and a solution is at hand, DO NOT let it slip through your fingers. Stand up and be counted! Go to zionistelection.org site to register and VOTE…
Caren V. M
Editor’s Note: If they would be serious, they would not charge to vote. This sounds like a scam money maker.
COLLECT PROPERLY ON PURIM
To quote an article on the subject, “One is not overly strict with the poor on Purim to determine whether they are really poor or not. Whoever puts his hand out – we give him. According to leading poskim, this does not apply to organizations, however.”
This is extremely important. The Chazal about kol haposhet yad is only a reference to the fact that we are not to evaluate, but to believe at face value. Yet, the many organizations like mosdos and yeshivos capitalize on this, and claim that you must give when they ask. It is similarly shocking that there is a message that Purim is a time to donate for hachzakos haTorah. That is, in fact, not true at all. The mitzvah involved in being machzik Torah is no different any day of the year, whether Purim, Chanukah, or Tisha b’Av. What has become a severe problem is the extent to which yeshivos employ their talmidim to canvas the neighborhood and bring in minimums of money to their coffers. They claim their budgets rely in this. And many of us have witnessed how the boys have been driven to be desperate and collect even during Shmone Esrei and Krias Megillah. There are shuls that prohibit this collecting in the beis hamedrash, only in the corridor, to protect the level of disturbance that is a bizayon to the tefilos.
This is not an attack on hachzakas haTorah. Just a plea that it be done in a way that is not pressured or disruptive. Basing it on the untruth about this being special for Purim is also unfair.
Editor’s Note: I could not agree with you more, even if you pressured me during Megillah or Shmone Esrei.
The book titled The Western Wall Wars (Whirlwind Press) appeared in late 2019 and details the stories about the young men who, from 1930 to 1947, violated British regulations which banned the sounding the shofar at the Western Wall at the conclusion of Yom Kippur services each year.
Moshe Zvi Segal was the first of these young men and he was arrested for sounding the shofar. He blazed a path forward for young Zionist revolutionaries to follow in what was the longest running Zionist underground operation in its history.
Rabbi Moshe Segal (1904-1985) was the quintessential Zionist rebel and was a key figure in the histories of Betar, Brit HaBiryonim, Irgun, LEHI (Stern Group), and Haganah and he was the founder of the Brit HaShmonaim religious youth movement. All of these organizations were part of the movement initiated by Zev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) who was the greatest pre-World War Two Zionist leader after Theodor Herzl. Segal himself was a close comrade of Yitzhak Shamir when the later prime minister was a 1940s commander of LEHI.
Author Zev Golan knew Rabbi Segal personally and interviewed him many times in addition to attending his lectures and translating his writings. Golan is one of only a handful of Americans who made it their business to seek out the aging heroes of the Irgun and LEHI and to get to know them, their stories, and the ideas that animated their deeds while they were still alive.
The Western Wall Wars is subtitled How the Wailing Wall Became the Heroic Wall and is a direct result of Golan’s relationship with Segal. In 1930, Segal was the first individual to violate the British regulations against the sounding of the shofar at the Western Wall at the conclusion of the Yom Kippur service. Until 1947, a volunteer from the Irgun, Betar, or the Brit HaShmoniam sounded the shofar every year – often after receiving personal training from Segal in both the mitzvah of shofar as well as how to elude the British police. The British authorities went to great lengths to stop the shofar from being sounded. British efforts to stop Jews from performing a mitzvah probably will seem impossible to fathom to today’s readers and that is just one of the reasons this book is so important.
The book explains how Segal and the others who followed in his footsteps transformed the Western Wall from a site of wailing to one of national pride. The book reveals the details of the actual operations at the Western Wall and the full stories of the volunteers who were arrested, escaped from prison, and/or deported to prisons in Africa. Some were involved in the 1946 Irgun attack on the King David Hotel and other Irgun or LEHI operations. Many later fought in Israel’s wars. The Western Wall Wars also covers Arab attempts during the 1920s to drive the Jews from the Western Wall and the Jewish response to the Arab effort. Segal was a leader of the opposition in this area as well.
The emerging Jewish Underground in the pre-1940 period was a time when the Jabotinsky movement suffered the slings and arrows of the leftist establishment and bravely soldiered on. The light of history has shown that the stances of the Jabotinsky Zionists were correct. If Jabotinsky had been more successful, perhaps the tragedies of the Holocaust and the loss of life in the 1948 war could have been lessened. Progressive historians have always downplayed — and often completely removed – the role of Jabotinsky’s movement from their histories of Zionism. This book helps to preserve authentic history and that is a highly praiseworthy thing.
The story of the Zionist underground in the pre-state period told here also helps the reader to understand the ideology that guided these warriors as they fought for Jewish rights and rebelled against the British Empire.
And this is no small thing. The ideology of Jabotinsky, Rabbi Segal and their comrades is just as instructive and relevant now as it was many decades ago–probably more so.
Now that the Jewish People possess a sovereign Jewish State, the concept of just what a Jewish State should rightly be is of vital importance. Avrum Burg, a former Speaker of the Knesset who was also a former chairman of both the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency, said “To define the state of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end,” in a June 2007 interview with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. Now, we live in a time when many radical Jewish organizations in the U.S. struggle to redefine Israel as something other than a Jewish State.
For today’s Zionists to be truly successful in a way that transcends politics and elections – in a nation transforming way – we must reevaluate the philosophy of the heroes who fought for Israel’s freedom and Jewish rights in Jerusalem. These heroes were not only the ideological heirs of Jabotinsky but the champions who brought Jabotinsky’s deepest hopes into reality.
Editor’s Note: Thanks for your crash course in Zionist History.