28 Apr Speak Your Vues
Dear Editor: A leading American Zionist organization has developed an inspirational new anthology and guidebook for observing Yom HaShoah that is now being offered for free. The collection includes classic, hard-to-find essays and historical texts by Zionist leaders and thinkers including Menachem Begin, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Ben Hecht, Emil Fackenheim, and Moshe Arens. The 40 page PDF booklet also contains more recent articles and an exclusive excerpt from the recent book “Jews Make the Best Demons: “Palestine” and the Jewish Question“ by Eric Rozenman. Herut North America’s free eBook “Yom HaShoah: Marking the Enormity of the Holocaust in 2020” is now available at https://herut.net/yom-hashoah/ “With there being no live, inperson events to mark Yom HaShoah this year Herut decided to produce this 40 page free eBook to help people observe this important day,” said Karma Feinstein Cohen, the Executive Director of World Herut. “Our fervent hope is that through this unique compilation readers will be moved to care more about Jewish Unity.” “Zionist education is Herut’s main mission, and has been since our inception, and one reason for the publishing of this Holocaust anthology was to allow readers to learn about how Ze’ev Jabotinsky ideas inspired his Zionist movement to battle the Nazis on many fronts,” said Moshe Phillips, the National Director of Herut North America. “But, we also have included translations of Kaddish, Kel Maleh Rachamim, and emotion-laden stories from direct eyewitnesses to the enormity of the Shoah, so that people in their own homes can get what they may need from the eBook this year.”
Editor’s Note: Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron should be celebrated every day
Dear Editor: President Trump’s decision to send millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority is a grave mistake. Although motivated by humanitarian sentiment, the aid package will serve a very different purpose—it will free up funds for the PA to continue paying salaries to terrorists. The reason that the United States cut off economic aid to the PA in the first place was precisely because providing that aid allowed the PA to maintain its policy of paying more than $134-million to imprisoned terrorists and to the families of dead and released terrorists. The legislation mandating the cut-off, called the Taylor Force Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in early 2018. The law did not cut off only aid that was used directly to pay terrorists. The law cut off all U.S. economic aid— because aid is fungible, so even aid which goes to, say, hospitals, frees the PA from having to help those hospitals, so it can use the money instead for terrorists. And that’s exactly what’s about to happen. The Trump Administration announced on April 16 that it will—through some legal loophole—send $5-million in American taxpayer money to PA hospitals to help cope with the Coronavirus crisis. Sounds like a kind humanitarian gesture. But it’s badly misguided. That $5-million is money which the PA would have otherwise had to pay, since obviously, it’s not going to let its hospitals collapse, especially in the midst of the crisis. So the PA will be able to turn around and apportion another $5-million to its “Pay for Slay” program. The PA considers the suicide bombers and other mass-murderers to be “heroes.” That includes, by the way, the terrorists who have murdered more than 150 American citizens in recent decades. Thus the PA refused to budge on paying them, even when the U.S. threatened to cut off aid. Palestinian Media Watch revealed recently that even as the PA was making various budget cuts last year, including reducing the salaries of teachers and social welfare workers, it did not reduce the salaries it pays to terrorists. That tells you all you need to know about the PA’s real priorities. The $14-million that the PA will pay to terrorists this month alone, could instead be used to purchase over 385,000 Coronavirus test kits, or 465 ventilators for sick patients who need them. But thanks to the Trump Administration, American taxpayers will be paying $5-million towards the test kits and ventilators, giving the PA $5-million extra to spend on bombers, shooters, and stabbers. The news reports about President Trump’s decision stated that he hopes “that this could improve relations between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority, which have been essentially frozen over the last two and a half years.” They haven’t been frozen because the U.S. government hasn’t been giving them money. The freeze came before the aid cut-off. It happened because the PA wanted the U.S. to force Israel to surrender to all of the PA’s territorial demands, and when the U.S. didn’t do it, the PA cut off all relations. Not only did the PA suspend relations, but it regularly incites hatred against America. Just earlier this month, Palestinian Media Watch reported on a recent broadcast on official Palestinian Authority Television, which featured an Arab girl reciting a poem which called America’s president “the brother of a whore” and a “son of a dog” and threatened, “We will declare war, we will ignite it in the East and the West, we will trample your honor, wretched one!” Certain American Jewish organizations used to be very vocal in opposing U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs. So far, they have been silent about the Trump Administration’s $5-million gift to the PA. That’s a shame. Surely they would speak out if the U.S. proposed to give $5-million to Hamas. So why are they silent as the U.S. gives aid to the PA, which likewise is at its core a terrorist regime?
Editor’s Note: Trump is trying to get reelected. He needs everyone’s vote. Let’s be appreciative that he has been the best President as far as Eretz Yisroel goes!
Dear Editor: Remozim of Corona (Covid) Virus: As the Corona/Covid virus continues to spread across the world, we try to find remozim and segulus in our tefilloth and Torah to give us something to focus on. This is a sample of phrases which could help us. In Shmona Esrei, we say in the brocha Es Tzemach Dovid, “Va’Cornei Turim Be’shuosacha”. Hashem should help lift us out of the Corona Virus. During the Maariv tefilla, we say “va’yuram coroneinu al kal soineinu” which can mean that the Corona should be transferred onto our enemies. There are also references to the financial ramifications of the virus. When we pray for parnossah, we ask that we should be given parnassah “mi’coronie re’eimim ad beitzei kinim” to all those affected by the corona – from the most powerful corporations to smallest creations. In benching, it say “Ha’rachomun Hu Ya’farneseinu be’Covid” – we should be give parnossah during the time of covid. There are also practical hints on how we are dealing with the virus. In Shachris, we say “… hoishiya, ha’Melech ya’aneinu be’yom Cornoneinu” . Hashem should help us in the time of the virus. It is then followed by “Ashrei Yoishvei Beisachu”. To be helped, we should stay in our houses. In Parshas Shemini, it mentions blood testing – ‘va’itboil etzbuoi ba’dum va’yitein al cornoies..” In the next posik, it states “ha‘yoiseres min ha’covid”. In the Haggada, it also mentions the plague. “Be’yud chazuka. Zu Ha’dever… dever Covid me’oid.” In fact, the Seder mentioned in the Haggada took place in a cave hidden from the Romans. The Romans forbade any kind of religious gathering. That is why they needed the students to tell them that morning had arrived. They were in a quarantine environment. Similar to the present where we transmit our teaching via Zoom, they worked out a method of transmitting their teachings. The first one who used this was Ben-Zooma. One should be vigilant in obeying the rules of anti-social distancing but we must not become paranoid. Our sages tell us “ha’boireiach min Ha’Covid, ha’Covid boireiach acharuv”. We must walk away from it within the rules, not flee in panic. So sometimes it says Corona and sometimes it’s Covid. Why do we call it Corona and Covid? Is the relationship random? In Tehilim, Capittal 112, it says, “Coronoi turim be’Covid”. So we see that the names go together. What does this mean? We live in the time of Ikvesu de Meshicha. The pain and suffering from the virus are part of the Chevlei Moshiach. But we have the hope of better times ahead. The virus is only inimical to flesh and blood people. Its name shows who is responsible for it. Corona comes from the word coronation; the virus has a crown-like image. And Covid, as well, as it says in Tehillim “me who zeh Melech Ha’Covid”. In Avinu Malkeinu, “hureim Coron Yisroel Amecha” is following by “hureim Coron Meshichachu”. So we ask that “hureim Corona” raise it away from us and bring it to “ha’keser v’ha’Covid Le’chai Oilumim”, to the time when Hashem will be crowned king over the entire world.
Editor’s Note: My head is spinning from all these remazim. Let’s get rid of this virus straight up with no remazim!
GRIN AND BEAR
Dear Editor: Should we take every precaution to prolong our worthless lives at the cost of being unable to do anything to make them slightly less Unbearable?
Editor’s Note: That would depend on who you ask and for How long it is for?
SAUDIS AND JEWS
Dear Editor: Seventy-five years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial embrace of the king of Saudi Arabia, FDR’s grandson has become part of a Saudi-financed public relations campaign to celebrate his late grandfather’s pro-Saudi policies. Hall Delano Roosevelt has been working with the LS2 Group, an Iowa-based public relations firm, to draw attention to the recent 75th anniversary of FDR’s meeting with King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, according to documents released by the ArabAmerican news site Al-Monitor. In the LST Group’s Foreign Agents Registration filings last year, it stated that it is paid $126,500 monthly by the Saudi Embassy in Washington to provide “public relations and media management services.” The FDR-Ibn Saud meeting took place on February 14, 1945, on the deck of the USS Quincy. The king came aboard “with his whole court, slaves (black), taster, astrologer, & 8 live sheep,” President Roosevelt wrote to his cousin, Margaret Suckley. “Whole party was a scream!” The president does not seem to have expressed concern about the slaves. The U.S. ambassador to Riyadh, William Eddy, was the official note-taker. He wrote down the two leaders’ remarks in the form of a “Memorandum of Conversation,” which both the president and the king signed. One of the topics they discussed was whether or not the Arab world could accept the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Roosevelt asked Ibn Saud for his view of “the problem of Jewish refugees driven from their homes in Europe.” Ibn Saud responded that he opposed “continued Jewish immigration and the purchase of land [in Palestine] by the Jews.” The king insisted that “the Arabs and the Jews could never cooperate, neither in Palestine, nor in any other country.” President Roosevelt “replied that he wished to assure his Majesty that he would do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people.” The king asserted that the Jews should be “given living space in the Axis countries which oppressed them,” rather than Palestine. In response, “The President remarked that Poland might be considered a case in point. The Germans appear to have killed three million Polish Jews, by which count there should be space in Poland for the resettlement of many homeless Jews.” On March 10, several weeks after the meeting, Ibn Saud wrote to Roosevelt, asking him to oppose the continued development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In his April 4 reply, FDR recalled “the memorable conversation which we had not so long ago” and reaffirmed that “no decision [will] be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews.” He also reiterated that he “would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people.” Speaking to a joint session of Congress on March 1, 1945, FDR departed from his prepared text to offer an ad-libbed comment about Palestine: “I learned more about the whole problem, the Moslem problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters.” Roosevelt’s remark ignited a firestorm of criticism in the American Jewish community. “One wonders why Arab [leaders] were consulted about the fate of the Jewish National Home,” the American Zionist leader Dr. Abba Hillel Silver complained. “Were the Jewish people consulted about the fate of Iraq, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia?” “Did [the president] learn nothing from years of association with Zionist leaders?,” the editors of The Reconstructionist asked. “Does the fact that all these Arab states waited until they got a personal invitation to declare war upon Germany teach him nothing? Does the all-out war effort by the Jewish yishuv [of Palestine] convey nothing to our President? Was his personal pledge last fall to the Zionist convention based upon little or know knowledge?” There was criticism on Capitol Hill, too—including from members of FDR’s own party.“The choice of the desert king as expert on the Jewish question is nothing short of amazing,” Sen. Edwin Johnson (Democrat of Colorado) declared. “I imagine that even Fala [the president’s dog] would be more of an expert.” Nothing about that controversy was mentioned at the U.S. Navy’s recent commemoration of the 1945 meeting between FDR and Ibn Saud. Speakers lavished praise on the US-Saudi alliance, sailors hoisted the two countries’ flags, and a reenactment of the famous photo of the original meeting was staged—this time featuring the president’s grandson, a descendant of the Saudi king, and the head of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. No black slaves were visible in the reenacted scene. As president of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council and co-founder of the Friends of Saudi Arabia, Hall Delano Roosevelt is devoted to expanding relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly, FDR’s grandson has been emphasizing what he sees as the positives of the 1945 meeting. It was “historic” and demonstrated that the Saudis wanted to be “a productive part of the world,” he said in recent interviews. But the unsavory side of that 1945 meeting—from the king’s black slaves to the disturbing comments by President Roosevelt and Ibn Saud regarding the Jews—should not be papered over. The public has a right to know the full story.
Editor’s Note: We need to be educated. Please send us places where we can read up on it.
Dear Editor: How many tries will it take before President Trump’s speechwriters finally get it right on the Holocaust? Three years ago, they issued a Holocaust commemoration statement that didn’t mention Jews. This week, they flubbed again, but in a different way. The president’s 2020 Holocaust Remembrance declaration described the Holocaust as “the horrific atrocities committed by the Nazi regime against minority groups and other ‘undesirables’,” and characterized the victims of the Holocaust as “those of Jewish, Polish, and Slavic ancestry, Roma and Sinti [Gypsies], individuals with mental and physical disabilities, gays, political dissidents, and dozens of other groups.” Wrong, and wrong again. If the Holocaust had been just a general assault by the Nazis upon “dozens” of “minority groups,” we wouldn’t need the word “Holocaust” at all. It would have been just another historical example of an evil regime persecuting various people in more or less the usual ways, for more or less the usual reasons. The word “Holocaust” was coined because the mass murder of the Jews was unique in crucially important ways. The Jews, unlike other mistreated groups, were at the center of Nazi racial ideology. They were blamed for all problems in German society and their complete annihilation was the only “solution” to their existence. The Roma and Sinti were not blamed for inflation. Gays were not blamed for Germany’s defeat in World War One. The Jews were the only ethnic group whom the Germans pursued from country to country, determined to hunt down every last one. The SS didn’t go hunting for ethnic Slavs in France or ethnic Poles in Bulgaria. The Jews also were the only targeted group whose persecution was deemed so important that the Germans consistently overrode their own wartime needs in order to focus on killing Jews. Train cars that could have been used to transport troops or weapons were instead used to deport Jews to death camps. Soldiers who were needed on the battlefield were instead assigned to assist in the mass murder of the Jews. Of course, all the groups mentioned in the Trump statement were brutally persecuted by the Nazis. And in the case of the Roma and Sinti victims, the persecution reached the level of genocide. But that’s not the Holocaust. There is a separate International Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day, on August 2, because those victims had their own particular experience which deserves special recognition and understanding. Perhaps there should be separate additional days to commemorate the suffering of some or all of the other groups mentioned in this week’s Trump statement. But in the meantime, the Holocaust should be not be treated as a one-size-fits-all blanket to drape over everybody who was persecuted by the Nazis. They were persecuted in different ways, for different reasons. Sadly, the controversy over whether Jews should be recognized as such, or should be lumped together with all other wartime sufferers, has been going since the years of the Holocaust itself. In early 1944, officials of a small U.S. government agency, the War Refugee Board, urged President Franklin D. Roosevelt to publicly warn civilians in Axisoccupied countries not to take part in atrocities against the Jews. The board’s leaders presented the White House with an eight-paragraph draft that began: “One of the blackest crimes in history, the systematic murder of the Jews of Europe, continues unabated….More than two million men, women and children already have been put to death solely because they were Jews.” FDR objected to the wording on the grounds that it was “too much for the Jews.” He and his aides removed three of the draft’s references to Jews. They also deleted the aforementioned paragraph about the Jews being slaughtered “solely because they were Jews.” The president and his advisers then added three paragraphs at the beginning of the statement, about Japanese war crimes and the mistreatment by the Axis of “Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, French, Greeks, Russians, Chinese Filipinos–and many others,” but not Jews. The first mention of the plight of the Jews was pushed all the way down to the fourth paragraph. This was not a one-time aberration. During the 1940s, FDR or his representatives repeatedly issued statements about Nazi atrocities against civilians, which conspicuously omitted the Nazis’ primary target, the Jews. Even when he issued a statement commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Jewish revolt against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto, President Roosevelt left out the Jews. The important difference between Roosevelt’s attempt to universalize the Nazi genocide and more recent presidential statements, is that FDR had a specific political purpose. He and his aides were worried that if there was too much focus on the slaughter of the Jews, then —as senior State Department official R. Borden Reams put it in 1943— “the way will then be open for further pressure from interested groups for action.” That is, “action” such as opening America’s doors to more Jewish refugee—something which President Roosevelt strongly opposed. There is no reason to suspect that the 2017 Trump Holocaust statement omitting the Jews, or this year’s statement lumping them together with various other groups, had any political motive. Nor, for that matter, is there any reason to believe that President Barack Obama had some sinister purpose when he omitted the Jews from his 2015 recounting of the story of Hanukkah. Nobody expects the president of of the United States to be a scholar of Jewish history. But we do have a right to expect that his speechwriters will do their homework before drafting pronouncements, in the president’s name, on subjects about which they apparently possess only the most superficial knowledge.
Editor’s Note: It is sad that the Jews get to suffer through the Holocaust but don’t even get remembered properly!
Dear Editor: After the Mayor quietly cancelled the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP, or Youth Corps), Senator Felder joined Senator Persaud in condemning the decision to scrap the popular summer employment program effecting 75,000 New York City teens from low income families. “We all understand the health and safety concerns,” explained Senator Felder. “We are, however, deeply concerned by the complete lack of alternate planning or modified programming being presented for thousands of NYC teens.” Despite facing budgetary deficits, New York State maintained level funding in the 2020 budget for SYEP, including $45 million for the program statewide. In a strong response from the state, 43 state lawmakers signed on to express their shock and disappointment, and call on the administration to find a way to use those millions in allocated state funds to help low income teens who have come to rely on the program. “We are all dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now, but we all agree that what we need right now is resourcefulness, optimism and the best use of limited funds. For me, that always means investing in our children. Why would the city choose this time to force non-profits to lay-off staff adding to the unemployment rolls rather than allowing them to do what they do best and move forward with planning alternative ways to help people through this unprecedented challenge? This decision was short sighted and I hope that the administration will correct it immediately,” Senator Felder said. Should we take every precaution to prolong our worthless lives at the cost of being unable to do anything to make then slightly less Unbearable?
Editor’s Note: What else would you expect from a liberal Mayor. As long as he gets his jog in Central Park the city can go to pot.
A NEW REALITY
Dear Editor: Much has been written about how our lives have been altered by Covid-19. Who can fathom the pain that so many families are enduring with the sudden loss of their loved ones r”l to this dreaded virus. May the Ribono shel olom comfort all of them . Our Tfilos for Cholei Yisroel must not stop for a moment until all those stricken by this bug are healed completely Beezras Hashem. On a different note however I believe it is important for us to reflect for a while and take an honest look at the lockdown situation we currently find ourselves in . We are now in a way privileged to be able to test in a real life setting some ideas that until now could only be imagined and hypothesized. If we will be truthful in reading and applying the results of this “laboratory experiment” that are families are all in now, we may ultimately gain immensely . I am referring to the issue of our fine Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs. Of course regular schooling has great benefits, but it does not come without a steep price. Pulling the children out of bed early in the morning and rushing them out to the school buses while trying to feed them some breakfast and getting their school bags in order extracts a heavy price on the well being of so many families and sets a difficult tone for much of the day. Then the children are forced to sit through hours and hours of classroom teaching that more often than not fosters negativity towards learning. The excessive testing , shame for the under achievers, social pressures , bullying etc. create anxieties that unfortunately have lasting effects . In the evening the children (and their adults ! )are burdened with lenthy needless homework assignments. The inability of the children and their parents to focus at that hour on redundant school work creates an impossible situation with endless screaming and crying right up until bed time. Whether we like it or not these strains have an effect on our lives and the lives of our children. For the past five weeks now, our children have been home from school. All of the above experiences have been absent from our lives and were not missed. The relaxed atmosphere of the mornings and evenings in our homes is a very welcome change. We are participating now in true healthy family behavior without externally created problems and we are according to most accounts thriving ! Our children are learning to entertain themselves and interact positively with their siblings. They are calmer and less irate. Above all we parents are discovering that we CAN be with our children for an extended period of time without having to ship them off to school, daycare and day camp. Some of us have even had the opportunity to teach our children what they needed to know about the Yom Tov Pesach ! The phone conferences or Zoom learning that are being utilized, while not perfect have proven to be quite a fine medium for transmitting the lessons of the Rebbes and Morahs and the level of student interaction has been surprisingly high. In all, the myth of our total dependency on the current school system has now been SHATTERED. Yes . Schools are irreplaceable and the Rebbes and Moras do a phenomenal job. Hopefully our Yeshivos will reopen soon, but the life lessons we are learning these weeks MUST be internalized . It is now incumbent upon us to reassess our current school system and make the necessary changes. Do we really need to begin school so early ? (is the money we are saving to get free busing at 7:45 a.m. on the account of wrecking the atmosphere of our homes really justifiable ? ) Do we truly need that many hours of classroom learning ? Are the many hours that our children must spend amongst their classmates resulting in social pressures, bullying and needless competition really so necessary ? Are all those tests and homeworks really so important ? Wouldn’t we be saving a fortune if we cut out the daycare and day camps and instead occupy our children similarly to the way we occupy them today ? I do realize that there may be technical or other difficulties that would hinder the implementation of the above suggestions . But if we parents are truly determined and understand how important these changes are for the well-being of our children and ourselves, we CAN and WILL find solutions to those obstacles. Remember ; our children’s Chinuch and well-being is first and foremost OUR obligation and responsibility . We must discuss these new ideas with our schools administrations and work to bring these ideas to fruition. Let us not squander the lessons we were B”H fortunate to learn during these trying times. Thank You
Editor’s Note: This is well written and we hope we can learn from this letter. Thanks for sharing.