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TEFFILIN ON CHOL HAMOED 

Dear Editor: I have a problem. My Father in Law keeps on calling me a goybecause I wear tefillin on Chol Hamoed. I saw in an article that the mesorah is not to wear tefillin on Chol Hamoed. I looked in the Rashi in Sukka it seems that he wore tefillin on Chol Hamoed. The Rema wore tefillin on Chol Hamed. I am not sure if they had a mesorah? Or are they doing a goyishe Mesora? 

Preplexed in Flatbush 

Editor’s Note: I would like to know which Goy puts on tefillin period? 

 

ON THE DOLE? 

Dear Editor: With the rise of the Far-Right and the Radical-Right, we have not only been experiencing the growth of “Survival-of-the-Fittest” Social Darwinist ideology in today’s Republican Party (especially in the US Congress) featuring their desire not only to cut and reduce spending on all of the federal government social programs that help the middle and lower classes (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, College Student Loans), but we also get their growing cold-hearted desire to abolish all of them which they try to keep a secret from the American people as authors Jane Mayer and Nancy MacLean have well-documented by pointing out that they frequently use “stealth tactics” which are part of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman characterizes as their “Bad Faith.” They are joined in these practices by the national conservative news media and conservative “think-tanks” which are basically right-wing propoganda mills/factories. After we successfully pull through this pandemic crisis, we can expect all of the above to set their sights in 2021 on going after the major federal government social programs especially Social Security (which they have always disliked the most) in their desire to make major cuts to them. 

Stewart B. E 

Editor’s Note: You are not serious? They would never do that. They are spending on a stimulus bill so much money why would they cut these programs. 

 

TUITION? 

Dear Editor: I don’t think it’s fair that parents and students should have to pay the same tuition as always for their distance education. Had they chosen distance education from the start, they would be paying a lot less. It is a fact that they chose the more expensive in person schooling because it had more value to them, and it is not fair to provide the lesser value at the same price. It isn’t the schools’ fault that they are unable to operate, but at the same time, that doesn’t give them the right to charge for a service that they are not providing. 

R B 

Editor’s Note: The teachers are ready to come to school the Government is not letting therefore this is called a makkas medina and you are still responsible. 

 

CONSERVATIVE OXYMORON 

Dear Editor: I believe that ALL conservatives and Republicans in the USA should return their relief checks to the federal government so that they do not become”unproductive”and shiftless “welfare” recipients and blood-suckers who are accepting “government handouts” and “something for nothing” and are “parasites” who are “overly-dependent” on being “subsidized” by the federal government which they hate. We would not want them to become “libtards” as they refer to some of us who are”leftof-center”, would we? To quote Al Pacino from “And Justice For All”, “I have now completed my opening statement.” 

Stewart B. E 

Editor’s Note: I think this sounds like a closing statement. Em on second thought maybe a close minded statement. Do you realize what is happening out there. Get out of your political cocoon. 

 

ANTI SEMITISM 

Dear Editor: As this year’s Pesach observance approached local supermarkets-big and smallused their weekly circulars to extend warm wishes to their Jewish patrons and to list all of the Kosher for Passover provisions that were available. One supermarket ignored its Jewish clientele: ALDI. Aldi has never acknowledged any Jewish observance in their weekly circulars nor have they ever stocked relevant provisions. The most flagrant omission is that matzo is not stocked for Pesach observance. I have called “customer service” several times about their apparent disregard for their Jewish patrons. I have never received the courtesy of a reply from the executive office. 

MB 

Editor’s Note: Put your money where your mouth is and don’t patronize them. 

 

LIBERAL HEART IN WRONG PLACE 

Dear Editor: You-schumer pelosi and cuomo are sacrificing our country and wasting our money. Resign. Pay for your own political war against our duly elected unifying hardworking president who cares and loves our country even donates his salary. What are you doing except wasting money and effort?. We need government not politicians collecting millions and buying mansions. My children’s beloved rabbi just died. Did your respirator games kill him. Was he taken off a repirator too soon? Why are you not accepting respirators. Sounds like murder by failure to represent us. Impeachment lost. Impeach your disgusting selfish selves. My childrens beloved teacher died. Because of a respirator????? You are not working for our country. His loving students will never forget. Thats the history they are learning. Whose paying you for treason? As you act against our president who is rallying day and night at this time of crises. You haters are part of the plague. Dont you hear the tears? You arent the leader you once were decades ago. You are against our country. We need unity NOT your hate. United we stand. Dividing is treason and murder. EH Editor’s Note: No way I think Pelosi is still telling people to patronize China Town restaurants. She does not care about anything other than planned Parenthood. ZIONIST VIEW Dear Editor: A leading American Zionist organization has developed an inspirational new anthology for Passover reading that is offered for free upon request. The collection includes classic, hard-to-find essays by founding fathers of Zionism Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Dr. Israel Eldad. The 20 page PDF booklet also contains recent articles that are included with the intention of increasing understanding of the Seder and the overall holiday. “This Passover booklet is titled “M’Avdut L’Herut, From Slavery to Freedom” and we created it at this time because Jabotinsky’s brand of Zionist optimism is needed precisely in these dark days of pandemic,” said Karma Feinstein Cohen, the Executive Director of Herut North America. “Our fervent hope is that through this unique compilation readers will be provided a respite from worries about coronavirus by the Passover thoughts we have included from the world of Revisionist Zionism, old and new.” This collection of essays and thoughts about Passover can be used to compliment the use of a Haggadah during the Seder meal or read at other times during the holiday. “Zionist education is Herut’s main mission, and has been since our inception, and that was one reason for the publishing of this Passover anthology,” said Herut North America’s National Director Moshe Phillips. “But, we also thought that many people this year are facing spending their Seder without their family and friends as they look forward to every year and these articles will provide a fresh perspective on this amazing holiday and allow readers to draw encouragement at this challenging time.” To download your free copy of “M’Avdut L’Herut; From Slavery to Freedom” as a printable PDF please visit https://chaghaherut.lpages. co/2020/ 

MP 

Editor’s Note: Thanks for sharing.

 

CHINESE AMERICAN COVER UP 

Dear Editor: Did you know the usa has a consulate in Wuhan, China? The consul general’s name is Jamie Fauss. In every us consulate there is a cia agent. So my question dear readers, why didn’t the consul general or cia agent warn us the pandemic was out of control in China and headed here?….OR DID THEY WARN THE GOVT. AND THE GOVT. IGNORED THEM?! 

HARRY TABOR SOMEWHERE SELF QUARANTINING IN THE CATSKILLS 

Editor’s Note: I smell cover-up. 

 

SYRIAN ISSUES 

Dear Editor: At a time when a deadly virus is ravaging the globe, the atrocities committed in recent years by the Syrian government might seem to pale in comparison. But they do, in fact, deserve our continuing attention. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons last week announced that after an exhaustive study, it has concluded that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in its attacks on a rebel town in 2017. The original reports at the time about the use of deadly sarin and chlorine in the attacks were what prompted the United States to launch missile strikes against the Syrian factories where the chemical weapons were produced. There was bipartisan public support for that U.S. action, although isolationists and pacifists were united in outrage. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) doubted that the Assad regime was responsible. Pat Buchanan, on the far right, said the US had “no vital national interest” in taking action in Syria, and MoveOn.org, on the far left, called the missile strike “illegal.” The American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) declared, “It is not possible to end violence with more violence,” while Rebecca Erbelding, a historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, tweeted: “There are viable ways that the US can aid those being persecuted under an evil regime. Bombing isn’t one of them.” Pacifist dreams don’t always hold up well in the real world. Again and again, violence in defense of freedom has ended the violence perpetrated by evil regimes. Violence, not negotiations, put an end to Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito. Bombing certainly did aid those who were being persecuting—by eliminating their persecutors. In more recent times, President Bill Clinton used air strikes to put an end to atrocities in the Balkans. President Barack Obama used military force to preempt the plan by Libyan dictator Muammar Qadaffi to carry out what the president called “a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.” And Obama took military action to end the ISIS siege of thousands of Yazidi civilians in Iraq. What the years-long investigation of Syria demonstrates is that Assad can be dealt with only through force, not negotiations. Four years before the aforementioned chemical attacks, Assad negotiated an agreement with the Obama administration and the Russian government, requiring him to surrender or destroy all his chemical weapons. Now we have evidence that he was lying. The immediate, overwhelming problem of the coronavirus has, understandably, distracted the international community from almost all other concerns. The findings of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons regarding Syria have not attracted the attention or response that they would have under ordinary circumstances. Those who were concerned about the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany likewise had difficulty persuading the American public to take a sympathetic interest in the issue. In the 1930s, the severe impact of the Great Depression blunted the public’s humanitarian instincts. A Gallup poll in the wake of the horrific Kristallnacht pogrom, in Germany in November 1938, found 94% of Americans disapproved of the violence, but 72% were against admitting more refugees. A poll in early 1939 found 67% opposed admitting even 10,000 children from Germany. During the first years of World War II, public opposition to the admission of refugees remained strong, because of fears that Nazi spies might sneak in, disguised as refugees. Eventually, however, public opinion began to change. The shift to a wartime economy completed America’s emergence from the Great Depression. And as the tide of the war turned in 1943— with the liberation of North Africa; the defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad; and the withdrawal of Italy from the war—the public’s fear of Nazi spies hiding among the refugees diminished, and its willingness to make humanitarian gestures increased. The result: a Gallup poll in April 1944 found that 70% of the public supported giving “temporary protection and refuge” in the U.S. to “those people in Europe who have been persecuted by the Nazis.” Sadly, President Roosevelt did not take advantage of that shift in public opinion; he granted temporary haven to just one token group of 982 refugees. Sooner or later, the Coronavirus will subside, or an effective vaccine will be developed. As the crisis fades, other issues will begin to occupy our attention. The problem of evil regimes committing atrocities will return to the agenda of decent people everywhere. Understanding the true nature of the Assad government will be crucial in shaping a realistic and effective U.S. policy toward Syria. 

RM 

Editor’s Note: Let’s finish with Corona first. 

 

CHOL HAMOED ROLLING CONCERTS 

Dear Editor: I have lived here in Flatbush my whole life, and until this Chol Hamoed I was never really ashamed about that. But this Sunday’s drive-thru concert made me feel very ashamed. I didn’t get the concert memo, but when I heard the music from my house I feared something was amiss. There can’t be a concert now, in Flatbush during Corona virus, right? Wrong. I saw people going out of their houses towards the music on Ave N near Bedford. Women pushing strollers, men holding their child’s hand all walking towards the music. I got in my car to drive to the music and perhaps convince them to stop playing, so that so many people wouldn’t congregate together as was happening. I thought I wouldn’t be alone in my anger at what was happening, but far from anyone being upset, people were actually cheering the music truck on, many from their cars and more from the sidewalk. People gathering together, walking past one another. Within a few blocks hundreds of people. Kids running towards the music, families congregating near the street. There turned out to be more than just one truck blasting music, at least three that I counted, perhaps there were more. All the trucks were escorted by Shomrim cars with lights and sirens. Each on a different route to spread joy on Chol Hamoed. After a not so slight altercation with Shomrim and some others, I was informed that they had a permit for this event (still not sure who was dumb enough to grant them that). Seeing that there wasn’t much I could do to stop it, I went home. I’d like to highlight three major issues with running an event like this, and truthfully if I thought harder about it I could probably get that to a dozen. 1) Safety first. The people who arranged this event probably thought to themselves that they’ll have a drive by concert, everyone will just stand on their porches or front lawns and no mingling would take place. How short sighted do you have to be to think that if you have a concert with a music truck driving down the streets that adults and especially kids who have been cooped up at home for a month wouldn’t flock to it? And of course that is exactly what happened. People coming together in droves as if we weren’t in the middle of a killer pandemic. Just look at your phone videos to double check. This wasn’t Purim, before we knew how dangerous the virus is, this was Pesach, after hundreds in our own communities have died. Some our own neighbors, friends, and perhaps relatives. It is inexcusable. 2) The chillul Hashem. The jewish community has received a lot of, frankly, well deserved vitriol from the secular world living around us because of our reaction (or lack thereof) to the seriousness of Corona virus. It is indeed shameful how our community responded – shuls left open (now converted to outdoor minyanim, because it’s not important what Hashem wants from us at this moment, only that we can continue religious ritual as before), weddings with hundreds of people (only 50, now 10, at a time, of course). Even levayos for some of those people who have died from the disease have been well attended, some by hundreds of people (you can’t make up such sad irony). So perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked by such lack of awareness necessary to execute a musical Chol Hamoed event that could be heard for blocks in every direction. I haven’t checked into the reaction to this event yet, but you don’t have to be a Navi to guess what it’s going to be. Traffic was backed up for blocks, hundreds of people out of their houses for a non-essential concert. Please don’t complain about anti-semitism if you don’t care to combat it. 3) The insensitivity. The brazenness. The lack of compassion. It was all of these things and more. One father told me that the show needed to go on, that his kids were looking forward to this, waiting outside for hours. Surely that was the intention of this whole concert, to bring happiness to our communities while we go through very painful times. After all shouldn’t we be happy on Yom Tov? Don’t we want our kids to have a little reprieve from all the sadness? Spare me. This was like bringing a clown into a shiva house to cheer up the avel. There is a time and place for concerts, this was absolutely not the time for one. In fact there couldn’t have been a worse time. Our attention span for sympathy needs to be more than sighing when receiving a text to say Tehillim for so and so. We are rachmonim bnei rachmonim. Our kids can handle it, we need them to if they are to continue that legacy. They should see how sad we are when Klal Yisroel goes through something as painful as this pandemic. It will teach them more than they will ever learn when the Yeshivos do reopen. I remember when, years back, there was a discussion in the FJJ letter section about the Shabbos siren and how some people may become afraid when hearing it, especially those of a certain age who would associate it with “The War”. How would families grieving lost loved ones feel about music blasting in the streets? Or how about those with sick family members at home or in the hospital? The short answer (apparently) – who cares. But we need to care, deeply. I can relate very well to the desire to make this concert happen, and so I try not to judge those involved. That being said, this concert was an utter disgrace, with willful blindness at every turn and melody, and I am ashamed and very sad that it took place in Flatbush. We are better than this 

NS 

Editor’s Note: This is a very touchy subject. But Hashem wanted us to celebrate Yom Tov despite being in a pandemic. Children need to be taught that life moves on despite these terrible hardships. I am sure these rolling concerts were trying to bring some joy to couped up children on Yom Tov. I believe with a positive attitude we will overcome this virus and hopefully come out stronger then ever. This is not to minimize the great amount of casualties and sick people still in the Hospital. Let us be mispallel for them and bring simcha back and We should not have to discuss such touchy topics again. 

 

CAMPS OPENING 

Dear Editor: I don’t understand how Camps are thinking about opening up. It seems they are looking for money and when push comnes to shove they will not return all the monies they have gotten. It is extremely irresponsible for them to be taking money in this climate. 

DG 

Editor’s Note: I believe we should try to be positive and hope for the best. Let us not have such a negative approach.