11 Aug Speak Your Vues
SPEAK YOUR VUES WITH THE VUES MASTER
Please note that the author of Speak Your Vues is in no way affiliated with the publisher of this paper. The author of this column is an independent third party contributor. The views and opinions expressed by this author may not reflect the views and opinions of the publishers. If one has any issues with any of the views, please write a letter to the Vues Master.
CROHN’S AND COLITIS
Dear Vues Master: The NYS legislature unanimously passed 2 legislative measures sponsored by Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, improving implementation and enforcement of the landmark Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act. “Coping with an illness is hard enough, without adding indignity. This card is a common sense way to educate business employees of their responsibilities under the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act, and prevent the need to explain or argue over qualifying conditions,” explained Senator Felder. “People protected by the law will now be ensured that their complaints to state or local consumer protection bureaus will be addressed appropriately.” “The ID card is a small way that we can decrease the burden on people with Crohn’s and similar conditions and make it easier for them to exercise their legal right to use the restroom. If a business doesn’t comply, there is a clear avenue for filing complaints,” said Assemblywoman Paulin. “No one should be forced to endure a humiliating situation simply because they have a medical condition over which they have no control.” According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, as many as 1.6 million Americans suffer from the chronic, incurable gastrointestinal conditions that significantly affect health and quality of life. Conditions causing debilitating urgency to use a restroom limit the lives of otherwise capable, contributing members of society. When public restrooms are not available, providing access to employeeonly facilities is a small accommodation with an outsized impact. Originally enacted in 2017, the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act allows access to employeeonly restrooms by individuals with Crohn’s, Colitis, or other similar conditions, in any business open to the public during business hours, if there are at least two employees present at the time. In practice, however, these rights have proven hard to access. Businesses were unfamiliar with the new law and employees had no way of confirming an eligible medical condition. The State Legislature acted on two bills to improve this landmark law: • Senate Bill 6226 (A.8146), requires that the NYS Health Department offer an identification card to people with qualifying gastrointestinal diseases which verifies their condition and details their rights under the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act. • Senate Bill 7211 (A.8821) helps impacted individuals redress and resolve violations by giving state and local consumer protection departments the power and duty to address complaints from any individual about a violation of the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act. “I got involved in this cause back when nobody talked about Crohn’s and Colitis and people who were diagnosed suffered alone. Together with the full support of Assemblywoman Paulin and Senator Felder, we took the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act to the next level,” said Yoely Drummer, Founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group. “On behalf of the thousands of people in our support group, thank you, this law makes life easier.”
Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. It’s good to know that people are still sensitive to these kinds of issues.
Dear Vues Master: Insanity is the only way to describe the mayor’s plan to open schools in the fall.
Vues Master’s Note: Why is it insanity? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. Quarantine and shutting schools would fall under this category. At least there’s a plan to try to return to “normalcy.”
Dear Vues Master: With her recent resignation from The New York Times, Bari Weiss joined a small but distinguished group of American Jews who have resigned in protest from positions of stature, choosing to sacrifice their self-interest for the sake of principle. Weiss, a prominent commentator on Jewish affairs and antisemitism, was hired by the Times three years ago to provide a more centrist perspective within an editorial staff that mostly leans further to the left. In her letter of resignation, Weiss reported that she had been the target of “constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with [her] views.” Weiss’ harassers called her “a Nazi and a racist” and harangued her for “writing about the Jews again.” In the Times’ internal discussion forums, she was “openly demeaned” by co-workers who said she “needed to be rooted out.” Even staff members who were “perceived to be friendly” with Weiss found themselves “badgered” for associating with her. The Weiss resignation brings to mind a handful of others who have sacrificed their professional positions for matters of conscience. One was Mark Siegel, a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee, who served as President Jimmy Carter’s liaison to the American Jewish community. In 1978, Siegel was assigned the task of convincing Jews not to oppose Carter’s planned sale of sophisticated military aircraft to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. National Security Council briefers told Siegel that the aircraft were intended for civilian purposes, but when he shared that information with the audience at a United Jewish Appeal meeting, he was roundly booed. Surprised by that hostile reception, Siegel checked with the Defense Department and was informed that the aircraft in question were, in fact, “the bestfighter- bombers in the world.” A few days later, Siegel submitted his letter of resignation and shared it with the press. In an interview with The Washington Post, Siegel said that resigning in protest was the obvious step. “Whenever you’re in any kind of position in life and there are things you cannot do, you don’t do them,” he said. Walter Reich, executive director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, felt the same way. The “thing” he could not do was escort Yasser Arafat on a tour of the museum. State Department official Aaron Miller came up with the Arafat tour idea in 1998, as a way of trying to improve the terrorist leader’s image in the eyes of the Israeli public. “To many Israelis, among the worst of the Palestinian transgressions was Holocaust denial,” Miller later wrote. “What better way to counter Holocaust denial than by having the alleged denier in chief visit the museum?” The invitation was first cancelled after a backlash, but then extended again. Dr. Reich was ordered by the museum’s leadership to welcome Arafat and accompany him on the tour. “I refused,” Reich later recalled. “I told them the museum mustn’t be used as a political tool and I wouldn’t be part of that. I said it was a matter of conscience in a museum of conscience. I knew that such a refusal constituted an act of resignation. But I felt that the principle of protecting the museum — and, more importantly, the memory of the Holocaust dead — was more important than holding onto my job.” Reich lost his job. Ironically, Arafat backed out of the tour at the last minute, when the eruption of the Monica Lewinsky scandal diverted the Washington press corps on the morning of his planned visit to the museum — thus confirming that he was interested only in the photo-op, not actually learning about the Holocaust, exactly as Reich had warned. In an op-ed 12 years too late to save Reich’s job, Aaron Miller admitted that his Arafat plan was “one of the dumbest ideas in the annals of U.S. foreign policy,” but only because he failed to foresee that it would set off a storm of protest. Reich told me in an interview that Miller has never apologized to him. In his op-ed, Miller did not even acknowledge the price that Reich was forced to pay for Miller’s actions. Andrew Tarsy’s experience had a better ending. Tarsy, the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), put his job on the line in 2007 by publicly dissenting from the national ADL’s position regarding Turkey’s mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians. The official ADL line was to refrain from calling it genocide for fear of offending the Turkish government. Despite the risk to his job and possibly career, Tarsy publicly acknowledged that the slaughter of the Armenians was genocide. For the sin of telling the truth, Tarsy was fired the very next day. “I was not the least bit surprised,” Tarsy told me this week. “But I asked myself, how can we sustain a recognizable moral tradition and presume to lead on any subject of significance in Jewish life or American civic life while being complicit in the denial of a genocide? I knew I could not.” An outcry in the Jewish community resulted in Tarsy’s reinstatement, however; and the national ADL eventually changed its position and accepted the historical reality of the Armenian genocide. Bari Weiss’ high-profile clash with The New York Times will no doubt make her unwelcome in some segments of the media world, and complicate her professional prospects. But whatever Weiss’ future holds, one thing is certain. She has already ensured that she will have what Mark Siegel, Walter Reich, and Andrew Tarsy earned with their principled resignations: a clear conscience.
Vues Master’s Note: I guess I will need to resign to the fact that Jewish lives/Jewish jobs don’t matter!
Dear Vues Master: I am disappointed to see your comment “We are now finished with Corona” in the July 15th-July 21st edition. We have lost many people including Rabbonim to this tragic epidemic. People are still on ventilators in hospitals and need our tefilos. Corona is not over. Travelers from 36 states and territories have to quarantine for 14 days when entering New Jersey and New York and that list still is being updated on a constant basis. Please wear a mask because this is not over and have respect to others who still want to social distance.
A very worried Yid
Vues Master’s Note: I apologize for belittling the current situation. Somehow, there has not been a spike of cases in the Williamsburg, Boro Park, and Flatbush area, which one would expect in densely populated areas. Perhaps with the significant number of cases back in March-May in these areas, many people have developed antibodies. Time will tell how long these antibodies will last and what the long term effects will be on those who survived this disease. Wishing all a refuah sheleimah who are still plagued by this pandemic.
Dear Vues Master: Throughout America’s big cities in recent months, we have seen shootings go up astronomically. In NYC in a month, shootings have gone up 194.1%, in Chicago, they have gone up 75%. The troubling reality would usually call for action to stop the violence. However, Democrat mayors play politics with everything, even with lives. Liberal Democrat Mayors like Lori Lightfoot, DeBlasio, and Wheeler, all have one agenda, to oppose Donald Trump at all costs. Joe Biden who is no moderate, called President Trump’s deployment of troops in Portland as “egregious tactics.” The law giving Homeland Security the right to protect federal buildings and any related actions that threaten the buildings or safety of the workers is US Law 40 U.S.C. § 1315. This law which gave Homeland Security jurisdiction to protect federal institutions was a result of an internal government report which reported the weak security at federal institutions as a result of local contractors having jurisdiction over the buildings. This law which fixed that problem was signed by President Barack Obama. Biden has given in to the radical left. The other cities which all face anarchy and crime have a responsibility to ask Trump to send in federal agents. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas are both Democrats who have requested Trump’s help, why can’t the others follow?! They claim that Trump is being undemocratic, well was it undemocratic when the federal government got involved with the Mississippi Burning Murders of 1964? This incident was when racists killed 3 civil rights workers, and the state government refused to prosecute these criminals. After the lack of leadership, the FBI came in and took care of the situation. Mayor Lightfoot was it undemocratic in 1964 when the federal government came in to solve a murder after local leaders failed. It is about time that instead of playing politics, we play common sense!
Vues Master’s Note: It seems like you are shooting in the dark. Progressives have reprogrammed everyone to think illogically!
KEEP AMERICA GREAT
Dear Vues Master: Pardoned Rubashkin. Moved the embassy to Jerusalem. Lowered taxes. Appointed 2 conservatives to the highest court. Need I say more? Vote TRUMP 2020 and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Vues Master’s Note: That would be great. Now get everyone else on board.
Dear Vues Master: Stop bowing to the pressure and bring back the TV listings.
Vues Master’s Note: We would rather put in all the great content that we currently have than the TV listings that .00001% of the community looks at! We don’t feel pressured at all!
Dear Vues Master: As a proud Republican Jew, I will be voting for Trump for another 4 years this November. I plead with anyone who reads this esteemed paper and sees this letter to vote Trump and pass on the message. We owe it to him. As Jews we have the concept of hakaras hatov, and I can’t think of a better way to express it than by letting our friend in the White House know we stand with him.
Vues Master’s Note: I believe you are in good company, at least on my end!
Dear Vues Master: Bungalow colony kiddushes must go. V’hameivin yavin as they say.
Vues Master’s Note: If they go they will go to the city after the summer. Kiddush is a mitzvah to do every Shabbos! Vehameivin yovin.
Dear Vues Master: I don’t believe any of the presidential elections polls and I hope no-one else does either. How can people in their right mind vote for a senile old man like Biden. He’s anti-minorities, Jews, women etc, when he knows what he’s saying. Which brings me to my other point, how can one possibly vote for a man who doesn’t know what day of the week it is, let alone his own name. Vote Trump and let sleepy Joe sleep.
Vues Master’s Note: As they say, let sleeping dogs lie!
Dear Vues Master: At my great-niece’s wedding the other night, I could not get over the chicken coop of a chuppah that went on. Instead of sitting quietly and respectfully, people were just yapping away. C’mon, some decency, some respect for the grandparents, kallah and chosson.
Vues Master’s Note: You are right. The problem is that there is too much down time where people are sitting around with no action. They start talking and then can’t stop!
JEW IN THE CITY
Dear Vues Master: I was shocked and dismayed to discover that the July 28th edition of your publication printed an outright and seemingly malicious lie about our organization. Jew in the City is an outreach organization whose mission is to reverse negative associations about religious Jews by putting forth an approach based on kindness, tolerance, sincerity and critical thinking and make engaging and meaningful Orthodox Judaism known and accessible. We have inspired thousands of our viewers to adopt a more observant Jewish life. At the same time we ‘accidentally’ attracted some of the OTD crowd through our engaging and meaningful content; now our division, Project Makom, is helping hundreds of disenfranchised Jews find beauty and inspiration in Torah and mitzvos. We do not have, have never had, and would never have a campaign to convince Jewish families to have fewer children. What we do have is a video that answers common question non-frum Jews have about Orthodox families, including: “Why do they have so many children?” In that video we explain that while the Gemara says that pru u’vru can be fulfilled with a minimum of one boy and one girl, many religious families have more children. We then explain why having a large family is meaningful to many members of our community. In the future I hope you would engage in basic fact-checking before publishing damaging untruths about organizations that work hard to bring good things to klal Yisrael.
Vues Master’s Note: Thank you for the clarification and may you succeed in your endeavors!
Dear Vues Master: I agree with last week’s letter by IO stating people shouldn’t feel pressured to send their bochrim to Israel. Enough already! It’s not a necessity. No one can afford it anymore, especially now. Let them start shidduchim. or better yet find jobs. PS I’ve been reading the Country Vues for almost 25 years now and I have noticed in the last few years it’s been looking better and better each year. Especially this year! Also with the Vues in the city which I always read too. Your team of graphic designers did an excellent job redesigning the papers.
Thanks and keep up the great work,
Vues Master’s Note: To each their own. Some people gain so much in Israel that it probably is worth every penny to them. And thanks for the compliment. We’ve been working hard so we’re glad you noticed!
Dear Vues Master: Is it fair that the Internet filter companies can block a person’s website and stop their parnasah?
Vues Master’s Note: If the parnassah is something that has illicit photos or gambling or the like why should it not be blocked?
MOTZAI SHABBOS NACHAMU
Dear Vues Master: Over the past few years I learned a new halacha. That motzei Shabbos nachamu you have to throw a party. I know of a yeshiva that had a melava malka on M.S.N. and they stretched it through the night. They even broke the steps going up to the shul. What was that all about? And what time do they start the next day? Definitely later than usual. And do the boys learn properly, or are they all falling asleep? What is more important: a MSN party or Torah learning? If it were up to me I would put a stop to all this nonsense. Why is it needed? And on top of all that, when do you make all these parties? Right after Tisha b’Av.
Vues Master’s Note: Perhaps you would find answers to these questions if you directed them to these yeshivas. Although I believe the source of these parties would be “Nachamu Nachamu.” Breaking steps is another story, though.