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    Speak Your Vues


    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.



    Dear Vues Master: 

    “Every family has their own mesora” As heard from Rav Tuvia Lieff in the name of one of the Briskers. I enjoy reading Rabbi Jack Abramowitz’s article about Thanksgiving and I want to correct something he said which can cause family discord instead of family get-togethers. He concluded, “As always, however, one should be sure to consult with his or her own rabbi regarding matters of religious observance.” I think one should do and/or consult with their father/family for matters of religious observance. I would like to quote another writer, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, who wrote in that week’s edition on a different topic the following, “ Rav Soloveitchik sees this theme appearing later in the parsha when Yitzchak re-dug the wells of his father and gave them the exact same names in the effort to keep the legacy of his father alive and to declare that rather than abandoning his father’s ways, he was embracing them fully and wholeheartedly.” Rav Soloveitchik himself gives proof from the Torah about the prerogative of keeping the mesora of your father. 

    D G 

    Vues Master’s Note: I would tend to say one should ask both and try to find out the makor of the family minhag if it is real or just based on fallacy. 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    You commented to MB (November 18-24 issue) “that a lot of those boys [who don’t start Shidduchim until age 23 and later] are immature. Getting married early will help the Shidduch crisis, but will expand our divorce crisis.” One can understand that boys want-to/should wait till they are older and have a job; able to support a family. But if they are being supported by parents why wait? If maturity is important should people wait until age 40 when they are mature enough to attain Binah, or 50 when they also have Aytzah? Teenagers get along with friends, why not with their spouses? Even if it is as you say that “our divorce crisis will expand” isn’t it better to marry early and take that chance? If it ends up in divorce we have ourselves to blame for the negativity we have placed on a divorcee. As if a divorcee had some disease eligible date only a select few. Sure, it is to our credit that divorce isn’t that common in our community, but sadly that makes the divorcee all the more of an outlier. The problem is when the marriage does go bad and the recalcitrant husband refuses to give a Get. But once the Prenuptial Agreement- endorsed by many prominent Rabbonim who wouldn’t be Mesader Kiddushim unless the couple first sign the agreement- becomes widely accepted the recalcitrant husband will hopefully be a thing of the past. Many eighteen year olds would love to get married but are not ready to have children. As birth control is unacceptable, they and their future spouse remain single and wait around alone and lonely year after year after year until they finally give up and marry. Hopefully by then they are mature enough that if they have children they’ll make the marriage work and not divorce. 

    D L 

    Vues Master’s Note: I believe there might be a happy medium between 40 and 18 somewhere along the lines of 22 and 25 is mature to get married. It has worked for many generations. Of course there are always exceptions but overall you will find that boys are immature till about 22 and girls mature earlier and at 19 can get married. I know there is a shidduch crisis but I find that reinventing the wheel at the risk of having more divorces may not be the way to go. 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    Franklin D. Roosevelt is widely remembered as a strong leader who boldly led America out of the Great Depression and to the brink of victory in World War II. Yet when it comes to the Holocaust, some defenders of FDR’s record want us to believe he was not responsible for keeping Jewish refugees out of America—as if that was all the handiwork of the State Department, which supposedly ran U.S. immigration policy and foreign policy independently of the president’s wishes. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. Prof. Daniel Greene, speaking recently at the University of Oklahoma, continued to perpetuate the implausible notion that President Roosevelt was too hapless to make his own foreign policy. Remarkably, Greene spoke for nearly an hour about America’s response to Nazism and the Holocaust, yet barely mentioned the president. This tendentious approach is consistent with the theme of the controversial exhibit on “Americans and the Holocaust” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for which Greene was senior curator. The exhibit has been criticized by many scholars for downplaying President Roosevelt’s abandonment of European Jewry. Greene told his Oklahoma audience that the reason so few German Jews were admitted to the U.S. in the 1930s was because of “bureaucratic walls put in place by the State Department” —as if the White House had no occupant. What actually happened is that the State Department implemented Roosevelt’s policy of restricting immigration far below what the existing law allowed. The annual quota of German immigrants—about 26,000—was filled only once in FDR’s twelve years in office; in most of those years, it was less than 25% filled. There are letters from the president himself at the time in which he acknowledged and defended the fact that visas were, as he put it, “considerably under-issued.” There are documents showing that State Department officials briefed the president on their efforts to keep refugees out. Equally troubling was Greene’s deeply flawed description of the American response to the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938. Greene simply omitted any mention of the offer by the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to open his territory to Jewish refugees, and FDR’s rejection of the offer. The exhibit at the museum likewise fails to mention the Virgin Islands as a possible haven for refugees. The sad truth about President Roosevelt and Nazi Germany in the 1930s— never acknowledged by Greene or the U.S. Holocaust Museum—is that FDR consistently sought to maintain good relations with the Hitler regime prior to the war. Under President Roosevelt, the U.S. government warmly welcomed the swastika-bedecked German warships Karlsruhe and Emden, which Hitler sent to American ports in 1934-1936 to promote good will between the Third Reich and the United States. The warships visited American Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coast ports at a critical time, when Nazi Germany was emerging as a major military power. High-level U.S. military officials openly fraternized with the Nazi warships’ officers, helping to legitimize Hitler’s rearmament program, which put all of European Jewry in extreme danger. With the assistance of Roosevelt’s State Department, the U.S. Navy even helped the Nazi warships improve their combat readiness. In numerous speeches to American business and civic groups, the German warships’ officers aggressively promoted Nazism and Hitler’s expansionist policies. The Roosevelt administration ignored fierce protests by American Jews and trade unionists against the Nazi warships’ visits. The administration’s policy helped enable Nazi Germany to present itself as a respectable member of the community of nations, with many legitimate grievances. Greene mentioned none of this, nor can it be found in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit. The hosting of the Nazi warships was consistent with President Roosevelt’s policy of maintaining cordial, sometimes even friendly, relations with the Nazi regime. From 1933 until the end of 1938, FDR never publicly criticized Hitler’s persecution of German Jews. He never suspended diplomatic or trade relations with Nazi Germany before World War II. And even as many Americans were boycotting German goods in the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration was helping the Hitler regime evade the boycott by allowing it to use deceptive labeling on their goods so that American consumers would not recognize their country of origin. Toward the end of his talk in Oklahoma, Greene described how the Holocaust Museum’s exhibit was intended especially for younger audiences, so he and his colleagues polled high school students in advance. He said he was surprised when “high school students didn’t do well on the question of who was president in World War 2.” Sadly, neither the exhibit nor its roving spokesman is doing much to improve the situation. So long as they depict Roosevelt as the amazing vanishing president—who suddenly goes missing when the embarrassing abandonment of the Jews is discussed— how could high schoolers be expected to know any better? 

    RM and SHN 

    Vues Master’s Note: We were taught that FDR was the Rasha fun de velt! He has a lot of Jewish blood on his hands!! 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    I was shocked and outraged when I learned of the tragic death of a local community woman crossing Avenue M last week, reportedly hit by a driver who went through a red light and made an illegal u-turn at a dangerous spot. Such a thing is shocking and screams out for decisive action. Action must be taken against drivers making illegal, dangerous moves, and streets should be redesigned to be more safe for pedestrians and other legal users. Where are the local politicians and city officials? They need to be on top of this issue and make sure it is properly addressed, lest they bear blame for such tragedies, Rachmana litzlan. May Hashem grant nechama to the aveilim of the victim, and help us avoid such tragedies in the future. 

    Sincerely, Concerned Local 

    Vues Master’s Note: Yes! A tragedy that could have been avoided!! 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    Last week, you featured a letter about one of the lesser known effects of the coronavirus. On that topic, there is something that needs to be said. It’s not something that people like hearing, but it’s the truth: Half sour pickles are not worth producing. They exist in a strange limbo between fresh cucumber and sour pickle, and they are inferior to both. They are still manufactured, but only out of misplaced nostalgia, not because they are actually good. The same goes for runny, half cooked eggs and ultra rare steak. Wait for the process to work before eating the food! 


    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks! I feel that half sour pickles have the perfect taste. We need to understand that too sour is no good as it makes you in a sour mood and plain pickles are not tasty enough. As the Rambam says one must choose the middle road therefore I feel that one should get in the habit of eating half sour pickles. Regarding eggs and steak that is a different story although you will admit sushi is fine when eaten raw. I wonder if our readers will agree with your assessment or mine. But as we say al taam vareiach ein ma letvakeach.



    Dear Vues Master: 

    It is understandable to be upset about people being allowed to buy alcohol bot not being allowed to go to shul. However, this actually reflects an accurate expectation of the behavior of shul-goers vs. alcoholics. Back when the lockdown was actually necessary, the vast majority of frum Yidden believed that Hashem wanted us to do what we needed to stay safe. So we davened at home, some of us with backyard minyanim, others without. Alcoholics, when deprived of alcohol, do not have this. We believe in Hashem whether we are in shul or not, but an alcoholic goes into withdrawal when he stops drinking. He might experience symptoms that make him feel like he is dying. Then he would call an ambulance, which, during a global pandemic (especially the beginning stages), uses up medical resources that are needed elsewhere. Or the alcoholics might riot and rob the liquor store! 


    Vues Master’s Note: I see so punish the ones that do things right and reward the drunks. Why not supply drugs for all those who might get withdrawal symptoms. While you are at it please have all shooters gather to practice archery so they won’t have the need to kill people but definitely keep the Shuls closed as they won’t have withdrawal symptoms. Wow! I guess we are in Sedom! 



    Dear Vues Master: It is a misconception that “the doctors” are saying that COVID-19 is different from other viruses. They are actually saying that it is different from other coronaviruses, which would be considered the most similar. That doesn’t mean that they don’t follow the rules for viruses in general. For example, COVID-19 is more contagious than the MERS virus, but like most viruses, it can be killed by UV light or alcohol. 


    Vues Master’s Note: Basically you are saying it is the same as all viruses except that it is not. I see this is what science and data comes down to. Just manipulate numbers and data and say science dictates the following and just come out with laws that would never pass any branch of Government. BTW Corona only infects after ten and only in small stores but in Target one can not get Corona. It is science and data!



    Dear Vues Master: 

    I do not know yet whether or not I will be taking the coronavirus vaccine. One thing I do know, that will be my decision and my decision only. If the tyrannical administration of Harris and/or sleepy Joe tries to stick a needle in my arm without my consent, my second amendment right will protect my other rights. After the rise in hate and antisemitic crimes, I went out and got “licenced” and so should all of you. Don’t go like sheep to slaughter. It’s time to wake up and fight for your rights. 


    Vues Master’s Note: Are you changing one shot for another? I would much rather go for a shot of scotch! 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    The bumbling stumbling political party, aka the CDC, has now decided to cut the recommended quarantine period for people exposed to Covid-19 to 7 to 10 days, down from 14 days. Hmmm, smells like partisan politics to me. It’s very similar to Dr. (Short for dictator not doctor) Grouchy Fauchi waking up exactly two days after the election to tell us that we’ve turned the corner on the virus. Give me a break. Wake up people. This is all utter nonsense and hogwash. 


    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks! So much for turning the corner. Look at the numbers we are at a all time high. With and without the lockdowns. 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    We cannot allow our governor to take us hostage anymore! The vaccine is here but Cuomo won’t accept it. There should be an uprising! The man has blood on his hands and they’re just getting redder and redder 


    Vues Master’s Note: Nothing to worry Biden is coming to office and we will all be mandated to be masked for one hundred days even after being vaccinated! 



    Dear Vues Master:

    Harav Hagaon R. Shlomo Miller shlita said, “Instead of arranging the timing of הדלקת נרות so it won’t interfere with your travels, you should rather arrange the timing of your travels so it won’t interfere with the נרות הדלקת . Lighting Ner Chanukah is the only Mitzvah that the Rambam writes (Hl. Chanukah 4:12) מצוה חביבה היא עד מאד (most beloved Mitzvah) The Rambam also writes נרות והדלקת – כקריאת מגילה Perhaps the Rambam meant that the same way מגילה קריאת is דוחה all Mitzvos דאורייתא even (except Meis Mitzvah) so too הדלקת נרות is דוחה all Mitzvos. Being it is such a great Mitzvah one should try to avoid traveling if it will interfere with this beloved and important Mitzvah.” 


    Vues Master’s Note: You are saying we eat to live and not live to eat. 



    Dear Vues Master: 

    חביב אחרון אחרון Is last best or least? It is customary when calling up the last speaker at a function to add at the introduction “אחרון .“אחרון חביב It’s done so, as to suggest that חשובע כיבוד a is כיבוד this It is also customary to honor special people with אחריתא ברכה. Is last, more of a כיבוד than the ones before? The Gemoro Gittin 60a & Shulchan Aruch O.Ch. 136 lists whom to call up to the Torah after Kohen & Levi. You start with the most חשובע person the Talmid Chacham & Parnes until you get to the last עליות **שישי* & שביעי two where everyone even the simple Yidden can be עולה. According to the Gemoro and Shulchan Aruch,**& *שישי שביעי the last two עליות are the .חשוב least *The Zohar argues on the Bavli and considers Shishi as a Chashuva Aliya. **The Mishna Verurah (136 sk5) writes “Today the Minhag Is for the Godol Hatzibur (The Rov etc.) to be mesayem the sidrah” (takes שביעי) 


    Vues Master’s Note: I hope this letter leaves us with a lasting impression. Since First impressions last or don’t last? 


    Dear Vues Master: 

    A Reform Jew was at the racetrack and noticed a רב with a beard and payos mouthing what appeared to be a ברכה on one of the horses. He put $100 on the horse and it came in first. Thereafter, he kept an eye on the רב and bet on the horses which he blessed, winning each time. He had won thousands of dollars. In the last race, however, the blessed horse came in last. Terribly disappointed, he approached the רב and asked what happened. “That’s the trouble with you Reform Jews,” the רב said. “You don’t know the difference between a ברכה and קדיש“. 


    Vues Master’s Note: This letter seems a little unorthodox. 



    Dear Vues Master:

    When a certain רב was lying in his sickbed, his wife would not let any visitors see him. When חריף אייזל רבי came to visit, she told him that the doctors said her husband needed to rest, so she could not let him in. אייזל רבי wrote a note and asked the woman to give it to her husband. She did as he asked. The רב read the note, which said: “I now understand the words in מסכת ״שהביא הקדוש ברוך הוא that ברכות יסורים על חזקיהו, כדי שיצטרך ישעיהו לבקרו לבוא הנביא “.The רב immediately instructed his wife to let the writer of the note come into his room. When he saw that it was אייזל רבי ,he apologized and asked him to explain the note. רבי אייזל explained: “I always found it difficult to understand why השם decreed that חזקיהו should become sick so that ישעיהו should come visit him. He could have done the opposite: have ישעיהו become sick so that חזקיהו would visit him. Now I understand that if חזקיהו would have come to visit ישעיהו ,his wife wouldn’t have let him in. But since חזקיהו wasn’t married, there was no concern about ישעיהו being able to visit.” 


    Vues Master’s Note: I believe the wife does what is best. As we find Hashem said “Whatever Sarah tells you listen to her.”