01 Sep 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.
A DEMOCRAT PRAISES A REPUBLICAN
Dear Vues Master: A Democratic New York City Councilman, penning an opinion column praising President Donald Trump? Yes – you read that right. While you recover from the shock, let me explain. I’m the son of Holocaust survivors. My parents were merely children when they had their whole world ripped apart. My father survived three concentration camps and two death marches; my mother’s family hid underground, in a tunnel they dug by hand. Having your neighbors and your countrymen turn on you is no small thing, it creates a seed of distrust and fear that takes root in your soul. It makes you unable to ever feel security in the place where you live. Israel is the answer to that fear, the answer to the Holocaust. A generation of Jews built a homeland, so that no Jew would ever be forced to endure another Holocaust. Over the years since 1948, Jews who faced persecution in various countries around the world fled to Israel. Many European Jews are making that move now. Some of my Brooklyn neighbors are exploring the idea, as antisemitism in New York City grows. For most Jews who live outside of Israel, support for the State lies in our collective memory of the Holocaust. We want to ensure a safe Israel because we know that if all of our neighbors betray us again, we will have a place to call home – and that’s why Donald Trump has the support of a vast majority of Orthodox Jews. Indeed, that has proven to be a prescient position. In the three and a half years that he’s been in office, President Trump has arguably advanced Israel’s position in the world further than the last two presidents combined. When Trump moved the United States’ embassy to Jerusalem, he wasn’t just keeping his own campaign promise, he was keeping the promises of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. He alone had the gumption to actually do it. He was roundly criticized at the time by the world media, but their promises of death and destruction proved unfounded. President Trump also withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the Iran deal. An existential threat to the future of Israel, the Iran deal empowered regional enemies that have affirmed their desire to “wipe Israel off the map”. Trump’s bold action on this danger surely made Israel a safer place. Trump’s rhetoric during the last several years, as well as his national security and diplomatic appointments, have been emphatically strong on support for Israel’s security. Former Ambassador Nikki Haley has become a folk hero of sorts within pro-Israel circles, for her consistent defense of Israel in the United Nations. All of this brings us to last Thursday, when the Trump Administration announced a groundbreaking peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. After years of telling us that Trump was doing more harm than good with his strong pro-Israel stance, I would imagine that many foreign policy ‘experts’ were eating their hats when the news broke. The UAE deserves praise for taking a step forward where other nations were afraid, and their courage will surely open the door for future peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries. But let us not lose sight of the groundbreaking achievement by the Trump administration. It is clear that they are approaching peace in the Middle East with a distinctive outlook. Instead of demanding concessions and coming to the negotiating table hat in hand, Trump brokered a deal that will apply pressure to the Palestinians from their own Arab neighbors. As a life-long Democrat, even I can acknowledge that President Trump has brought a unique set of skills to the job. In many ways, his lack of political experience has been an obstacle. But the lesson of the week is this – that inexperience can also be a virtue.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch
VUES MASTER’S NOTE: You are correct, Councilman! A good politician can put his official party-line position aside and act with integrity in the best interest of the people.
Dear Vues Master: Recently, we have been hearing about the USPS and mail-in- voting. Democrats continue to argue that Trump is removing mailboxes on streets to slow down deliveries for the upcoming election. However, during the Obama administration, over 12000 mailboxes were removed because of budget cuts. Every day the USPS delivers 181.9 million pieces of mail. To those that will be voting by mail, there shouldn’t be any problems. The problem with mail-in-voting isn’t about the USPS; rather it’s to do with local election officers who don’t have the equipment to handle hundreds of millions of ballots. Just 2 years ago, over 50 percent of states had only 10% of voters vote by mail. In 2016 alone, Intercept and Type Investigations reported that over 950,000 mail-in ballots were rejected. A recent study reported by the Washington Post showed that many times the rejections are for illegitimate reasons that affect minorities and younger people to a disadvantage. The Election Integrity Project of California, a non- profit and non- partisan organization, recently found out that in California alone, if the election will fully be mail-in, there will be 458,000 ballots that will be sent to people that are dead or that have moved away. A bipartisan report in 2005 which was headed by Former President Carter quoted testimony from James Dickson that absentee voting could increase the chances of potential voting fraud. Recently, there were voter fraud cases in West Virginia and New Jersey and in the case of New Jersey, a judge has ordered a new election. Similarly in the 1997 Miami Mayor race, 21 were charged with voter fraud in regards to absentee ballots. Result delays are also a major problem. We saw in the race in NY-12 that it took months for a result to come out. In New Jersey, it took 4 weeks for the winner of the Republican Senate nominee to be announced. The Democrats continue to push this concerning voting method to the entire nation even though their hero Dr. Fauci said that there’s “no reason why people can’t vote in person” this November. America must defend the integrity of our elections!!
Sincerely, D S G
Vues Master’s Note: The Democrats want the Republicans to mail in the Election and give up!
DON”T JUDGE A GROUP BY ITS INDIVIDUALS
Dear Vues Master: I would like to offer this quote from Conservative-Republican Dave Rubin’s book, “Don’t Burn This Book”, particularly to the man-haters and male-bashers in our society: “I never thought I’d be writing this. but fifty years on from Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, it’s now fashionable to judge people based on skin color and gender—if they’re straight white men. People argue this is reverse racism, but I disagree. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just good old-fashioned racism. The same goes for sexism. Thinking men are evil, simply because they are men, is just as bad as saying women belong pregnant and in the kitchen.” Speaking as a “liberal/progressive” Democrat, who does not always “follow the Party-line,” I believe that while Rubin is vastly over-stating his point, he DOES have a point in that my mother always brought me up by saying “Judge each person you meet as a unique individual, not as a part of a group.”
Sincerely, S B E
Vues Master’s Note: Your mother was a wise woman and offered sage advice!
Dear Vues Master: Thank you for always finding my letters fit to print. I would consider it a great kibud to have this tribute in your paper. Thank you once again. When I think of writing a tribute to my late father Rav Yehudah Ben Rav Yakov Haleivi Sochet, I ask what a tribute entails. Will anyone reading this tribute get even a glimpse of who and what my father was, and the silent lesson he taught? First I need to say I feel both humble and proud to be the daughter of RavYehudah ben Rav Yakov Haleivi Sochet, my special father. When the family got together to discuss the wording for the tombstone, I insisted on two words be added to the “nussach” Eved Neeman”- a faithful servant of Hashem, for that would describe him perfectly, the family immediately agreed. Our family grew up constantly hearing the words, “Have emunah and bitachon in all our endeavors.” It was not just lip service; it emanated from a true heart with total sincerity. My father could be found learning torah in a small shul located in a basement occupying the back seat, at any hour of the day or night. How happy he was, to spend his retirement years here in shul. This was not a brand name shul but rather a simple one located on a lonely corner in Boro Park. Yet here he found simchas hachaim to the utmost degree. When others received kibudim at simchas and the family thought it should have been given to him, he would say “Oy please- what do you get from all this? It will only lead to machlokes. Just see to it that you make sure you have a front row seat in Hashem’s eyes.” My parents had 64 years of marriage filled with respect, peace, and harmony. No Shabbos seudah passed without stories of Gedolim and Tzaddikim He loved it when the grandchildren called upon him for homework help in limudei kodesh. If he didn’t hear from them he would make sure to check in with them. From this he derived much nachas .True to what he lived for, to be recognized in Hashem’s eyes, I’m certain that up in shamayim in the big bais medrash shelmayla, he is occupying a front row seat.
Vues Master’s Note: Let him be a meilitz yosher for the whole family.
Dear Vues Master: Mazel Tov to you. You aced the response to “DG” who complained about his son’s Rosh Yeshiva. DG has been singing this song for years – off key. Your answer was beautiful and non-confrontational. Super. Well done.
Vues Master’s Note: One thing is for sure. We must listen and be machshiv every person even if we don’t agree with him.
Dear Vues Master: As a “liberal-Democrat,” I have tried to gain as much knowledge as possible about the “Conservative” political point of view since 1980. I have come to some very disappointing conclusions which I want to share with you. First, the conservatives of 2020 (especially the ones who are members of the US Congress) are, overall, significantly “MORE” conservative than the ones I knew when I was growing up in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. When compared with today’s conservatives, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, for example, seem to be almost “crazy socialists” and of the “Radical-Left”. Eisenhower wrote a letter to his brother saying that any Republican who wants to abolish Social Security is “stupid.” Ike signed “Social Security Disability” (“SSD”) into existence. Nixon signed “Supplemental Security Income” (“SSI”) into existence. He also advocated in favor of a minimum “Guaranteed Annual Income” federal government social program for every American. But what I find to be the most disappointing is what 12-time awardwinning and prize-winning journalist JANE MAYER points out in her award-winning book “DARK MONEY: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right”. She finds that many of today’s conservatives believe that their “ends” (including winning national elections) justify their use of any and all immoral and unethical “means”. To my knowledge, nothing in her book has ever been successfully refuted by anyone. This is why I have yet to see anyone challenge anything in her book. I have mentioned her book in many of my letters, and no one has ever criticized it. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman makes the same overall point that she does by saying that many conservatives operate out of “bad faith.”
Sincerely, S B E
Vues Master’s Note: The left has gone more to the left, just as the right has gone more to the right. I wonder if there will ever again be a road in between the two.
BAKING CHALLAH IN MEAT OVEN REVISITED
Dear Vues Master: Thanks for your response, I appreciate it. However, is it possible that there are some halakhic inaccuracies in it? Me and the rabbi are talking about a case in which there is no Mamshut, since we both said to clean it well. Only then, you put the bread. The Rabbi also wants to put the oven on max. Obviously it is possible that your idea is correct if it’s hard to fully clean the oven, and by putting it to the max it burns everything and the oven is clean. Regarding a big or small oven, there is no Nafka Minah if there is Nat Bar Nat.
Thanks again and all the best Rabbi B. M.
P.S. I gave it a second thought and I liked your idea that you put the oven on the max to burn any mamshut that you can not clean. But ask the rabbi anyway. I think that if this is the reason then the rabbi should have given the people the option and say to put it on the max only if it is not clean. It might be a headache to the people to force them to put it on the max.
Vues Master’s Note: We have published your letter. We will see if there will be a response.
VOTING IN PERSON
Dear Vues Master: I am SO tired of hearing the DemocRATS complain and rant about being afraid to vote in person! President Trump is 100% CORRECT!! I am a poll worker and I can tell you it is totally SAFE to vote IN PERSON!! If just about everyone is going shopping to Costco, BJ’s, Walmart etc. or any supermarket for MONTHS, shopping for about 1 HOUR—- THEY can certainly VOTE IN PERSON!! I’m not even mentioning all those that went out to crowded protests etc. without masks, or social distancing. Where was the media complaining about that? We had our Primary in June and it was SO safe to come in. Besides the fact you are given NINE days to vote, you can choose to come in early or late. We have social distancing perfected, so it’s never crowded inside! When a voter enters to vote, they are masked, given an anti-bacterial wipe for their hands, or if they want, gloves, and a pen to use and KEEP! They go to our plexiglass barrier table to sign in on an iPad with THEIR pen and put their personally printed ballot into the scanner THEMSELVES!! ALL done in less than 10 MINUTES!!!! IT IS SECURE AND SAFE AND HONEST!!! IF a voter would still prefer an absentee ballot, you can request one and it will be mailed to you now. DON’T WAIT! Then YOU fill it and and mail it back–YOU requested it and YOU fill it out. I have seen many people come to vote and tell me their relative has either moved or passed away and did not correct the list. They didn’t want to bother notifying the Dept. of Elections and so those invalid names are all still there, and growing! THESE are the ones that will be mailed out in the states planning to mail out to everyone on their lists and ANYONE can fill them out illegally and mail them in. Also, please explain to me how Rep. Maxine Waters opposes voter ID laws? She thinks that they are racist. You need to have a photo ID to attend her town hall meetings. THAT is totally hypocritical! WE want to have an honest election! Please call your congressman/woman and Senators!
Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for letting us know as an insider what it means to vote in person. I think both options of in-person and mail-in ballots allow us to exercise our right to vote safely!
Dear Vues Master: The USDA has extended its summer meal program waivers through December 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension of the Summer Food Service Program and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option will allow schools to waive meal pattern requirements and to serve meals to all students at no charge. Meals will also be able to be served outside of required group settings and mealtimes. In addition, parents or guardians can pick up meals for their children. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue made the announcement on Monday morning but warned that the waivers could be pulled back earlier if they don’t receive enough funding from Congress. “The money is tight, and as the meal count for those summer months comes in, we may need to make revising decisions based on that data. Hopefully not, but we have to be conservative in matching the money with the meals,” he said. “If we don’t get additional funds from Congress and they’re in discussion about that now, we may need to pull those waivers back; but at this time, we are confident we can afford to provide waiver flexibility until Dec. 31.”
Vues Master’s Note: Great! I appreciate the free milk even though my freezer is plotzing!
Dear Vues Master: The vast majority of people leave their internet filter on its default settings, which means that the filter company is essentially making all the decisions. Also, it is not comparable to real life shopping. Nobody hires someone to block them from going into certain stores, however, people are pressured to buy particular internet filters which may not be vigilant about allowing appropriate sites.
Vues Master’s Note: It is up to the retailer or store owner to educate his people to white list it or to call up the filtering company himself. They are trying to do their job filtering out the shmutz of the web.
Dear Vues Master: Mayor de Blasio announces that New York City’s public schools will not reopen until Sept. 21 to give teachers and principals more time to ready classrooms for coronavirus restrictions under a deal Mayor Bill de Blasio struck with the Department of Education’s most powerful unions.
Vues Master’s Note: It sounds like a lot of politics to me! They need to do what’s best for the safety of people who live and work in this city without shutting down the economy again. It’s time for everyone to leave the politics out of this!
DO YOU VALUE LIFE?
Dear Vues Master: My wife recently tested positive for COVID-19 after spending all summer in the mountains. After testing positive for the virus, we let everyone know in our bungalow colony so that they can get tested and quarantine if necessary. Surprisingly, nobody got tested, and everyone is just going on with business as usual. When I asked people if they are not concerned, they said that they actually are pretty certain that they have COVID-19 because they have all the symptoms, they just don’t want to get tested because then they will have to quarantine. How selfish can people be, knowingly infecting other people just so that they aren’t inconvenienced? Is their memory so short? Don’t they remember all those almanos and yesomim of a few months ago?! How will they ask on Rosh Hashanah for life, when someone else’s life has no value?!
Sincerely, S F
VUES MASTER’S NOTE: You are correct and it is time to do teshuva! Corona is NOT over and it is long overdue for us to stop being selfish. You did the right thing and now it is time for Hashem to judge.
TRAVELERS TO UMAN
Dear Vues Master: Our Breslaver brethren are desperately trying to travel to Uman for Rosh Hashana. They are being held back by the Zionist. Unfortunately the Zionist don’t understand the importance of being in Uman on Rosh Hashana. They also don’t understand that it makes no sense to stop them from travelling to Uman for the following reasons. a) The Pandemic is nothing more than a Zionist hoax against Frum Yidden. The Zionist are just trying to stop them from practicing Yiddishkeit. b) Doctors & Government officials have no clue what they are doing. They are power hungry to control the masses. c) The 20-30 thousand desperate Chasidim are all very responsible people. If allowed to travel they will all follow the medical guidelines by social distancing and wearing masks etc. d) The זכויות of R. Nachman will protect not only all those attending his ציון but also the entire country who will come in contact with them. e) Not attending the ציון on Rosh Hashana is like one of the עבירות ג’ where ייהרג ואל יעבור applies and פיקוח נפש is not a concern.
Vues Master’s Note: I am not sure if this letter is real or satirical. Sounds like a joke to me.