29 Dec 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.
Dear Vues Master:
It is clear that President Trump does not want to attend President Elect Biden’s inauguration. As a huge fan of Presidential pomp and circumstance I think it would be a disaster if he wasn’t there. Traditionally the outgoing President attends the inauguration of the incoming President. The attendance of the outgoing President at his successors’ inaugurations demonstrates America’s longstanding proud tradition of a smooth transition of power. The problem to solve is how to ensure President Trump’s absence from President Elect Biden’s inauguration doesn’t send the wrong message. President Elect Biden’s inaugural address, one of the most important speeches of a President’s term in office, will undoubtedly talk about a new and more aggressive approach to fighting COVID-19. That message would be contradicted by a large inauguration the Capitol steps with hundreds of members of Congress and millions of people on the Mall. President-Elect Biden’s inauguration needs to happen in the White House in front of an intimate crowd of government leaders and close family members. President Trump can allow the Bidens more space for more guests by moving out of the White House early in the morning or the day before. This is a practical solution to a problem, it is not ideal. But do we really want two 70 year old men up on a freezing cold Capital platform for over an hour anyway?** * Three Presidents, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Johnson and John Adams, did not attend their successors’ inaugurations. ** Traditional lore has it that President William Henry Harrison caught cold at his inauguration and died 32 days into his term as President.
Vues Master’s Note: Does anyone care if the President will be there? Biden will probably do it from his basement in Delaware.
THE BUSINESS VIRUS
Dear Vues Master:
Ever since the beginning of Covid-19, many aspects of our daily routine have been affected negatively and positively. Many people had the opportunity to spend more time with their family, while others tragically lost family members. Our lives have all changed in personal, private, and even religious matters. One of the victims of this pandemic is small businesses. According to Yelp, at least 800 businesses close every day of the pandemic. Other estimates show that it could be 1600 businesses! These are not people’s hobbies or extra activities; these are people’s livelihoods. Democrats and even some Republican governors have to stop playing around with people’s livelihoods! We can be safe at the same time people work. The approach that should be adopted is an approach of personal responsibility. Business owners should be able to assess their situations with the data available. If we restrict people to choose for themselves, businesses will only keep shutting down. Currently, the bottom 5 in terms of unemployment numbers are all run by Democrat governors including, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Nevada, and Louisiana, who chose the opposite approach. Of the 50 cities where small businesses are closed the most, only 10 are run by a Republican, while the other 40 are run by Democrats or non-partisans, according to visualcapitalist.com. That does not mean that being a Democrat or a Republican made them choose one approach or the other, but it is a strong indicator of the differences that each Party believes in; government is the rulers of our society vs. liberty of the people. Covid is a dangerous virus, but to counteract Covid with dangerous policies is pointless and unhelpful.
Sincerely, D S G
Vues Master’s Note: We got to hope that when the next election comes these moronic Governors get voted out of office.
Dear Vues Master:
The message of COVID-19 is as clear as it can be. We must all heed the advice of our Gedolim and stop wearing shaitels. Chacham Ovadiaya Yosef Zatza”l wrote very harsh words about the great consequences of wearing “pe’ah nachrit”. It is so clear that now at a time when we have lost so many of our members we must do something as a zechut to stop this deadly virus. There are Boruch hashem so many most beautiful colored scarves and other options of wonderful head coverings that we do not have to put ourselves into this Big big sakanah. Hashem should bless us all with briyut and refuah.
Vues Master’s Note: It is interesting but the Covid message is to cover your face with a mask. Is that also part of tznius??
Dear Vues Master: Over the lockdown I learned how to play piano and it is such a great way to connect to hashem. Maybe when moshiach comes I will find out that I’m a Levi
Vues Master’s Note: Or you might be a Yisroel and not play in the Bais Hamikdash. Keep on playing the music!
Dear Vues Master:
In these trying times when one cannot see if someone is smiling at you behind the masks, I would like to suggest that everyone try to do one extra good deed and think of another person and redt a shidduch. You don’t know how much it means to me as an older single when someone just picks up the phone and redt me to a boy. I don’t care if I’ve been redt to him 10 times before, I’ve dated him or it’s clearly not a shidduch. It’s truly the thought that counts.
Vues Master’s Note: You should know as I am reading your letter I am thinking about you and that is what counts!
DEMOCRATS AND VACCINES
Dear Vues Master:
The democrats should be ashamed of themselves! After months of casting doubts in the safety of the new vaccine, they now decry the fact that public confidence is not that high in it. President-elect Joe Biden and incoming First Lady Jill Biden will receive their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in public on Monday, the transition confirmed. The televised vaccination will happen in Delaware at a location yet to be announced. I hope people find out where it is and protest outside. Just wait and see, once their guy is in office there will be mass forced vaccinations reminiscent of other less democratic (read: rogue) regimes. Only these dumbbells are allowed to doubt the safety of the vaccines when it’s not politically beneficial for them but when a politically insignificant little I don’t want his DNA code rewritten via a vaccine with proven bad effects that’s not allowed.
Vues Master’s Note: I guess they only think about themselves! They will help others only if it does not affect them.
Dear Vues Master:
I sincerely believe that humans are causing the world to be destroyed. It’s not only a belief but a scientific fact. The ozone layer is rapidly disintegrating. We must act now before it is too late. There are government rebates for solar panels, led lighting, electric cars and everything else green. Go green today and make the difference for tomorrow.
Vues Master’s Note: It is interesting that Hashem has kept this world going long before you and I were around and I believe Hashem has his ways of keeping the world going way after you and I will leave the world. If Covid teaches us anything it is that Science does not have any basis and that all rules about viruses are out the window.
Dear Vues Master: The keyboard warriors in the Jewish community (many of whom identify as modern orthodox Jews) certainly got a late Chanukah present with the news that R Hershel Schachter and R Mordechai Willig were vaccinated at a clinic that was apparently breaking the law in giving out doses to the public. Denied the opportunity to point out how Orthodox Jews are anti-Vaxxeers, they are instead able to (almost gleefully) point to rabbis pushing themselves to the front of the line. Perhaps some more mature reflection is needed? If this had been some kind of a black market operation – “cash only, no questions asked, don’t tell a soul” kind of thing, critics would be 100% correct. But of course there is no way in a million years that rabbis like these would have gone anywhere near such an operation. When I heard that a clinic in Williamsburg was vaccinating people over 70 I was surprised but not shocked. First of all – I was pleasantly surprised. A clinic, in one of the most badly affected parts of New York vaccinating people over 70? That’s exactly what SHOULD be happening. (perhaps that alone should have set off alarm bells). Everyone knows that the Vaccine roll out will be a bureaucratic mess. The New York Times reported how even in hospitals there are fights going on regarding which staff members will get first. The Mayor has announced there will be some kind of ‘fairness’ committee to ensure that every ethnic group is properly served, which basically means it will be a mess. And for those not familiar with the workings of our great country, unlike the private sector, in America the federal, state and city bureaucracy is, by and large, awful. I mean, excruciatingly awful. Unlike in Israel where everyone over 70 can just make an appointment and get the vaccine, every single person here expects the system to be, like so much else, a patchwork of special interests, mysterious allocations and total confusion. So the idea that a clinic serving a particular community was already vaccinating people would – at most – prompt only the kind of shrugging that anyone who has ever tried to navigate the New York City website would be familiar with. In Williamsburg people had to present their insurance cards and social security numbers – this was not some criminal backroom vaccination. And dear rush to judge friends, let me point this out. If there had been a photo of a line of people waiting outside a clinic in Harlem or The Bronx, with a photo of a leading pastor getting vaccinated, you would probably have ‘liked’ that photograph. even shared it. Frankly, I would be surprised if any charges are brought in this case (if clear law breaking happened, of course they should be. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many examples of bureaucratic mis- allocations or indeed political favors from the highest level to different communities going on. But spare me the hand wringing – it’s kind of predictable.
Rabbi Shaul Robinson
Vues Master’s Note: Are you implying that the Govt is corrupt and were bought off by special interest groups? Cant be our Liberal Governor and Liberal Mayor said that vaccines will be distributed based on color blah blah blah. I guess the color would be green as in cash!!
Dear Vues Master:
From the CDC: “Doses Distributed: 11,445,175 Doses Administered: 2,127,143 “ (In other words, 18.6% of the doses distributed have been administered.) Why haven’t they administered 100 percent of what was distributed. I know they want to make sure it goes to the “right” people, but isn’t it most important that they actually go to people? What a national embarrassment.
Vues Master’s Note: As long as AOC got her shot everything is OK she must be in the high risk group!
Dear Vues Master:
Cuomo announced that vaccines will be prioritized to prisoners and to drug addicts in rehab. Whoever said crime does not pay. If there is an older gentleman living at home above the age of seventy who has kept his nose clean his only problem is that he turned old he should have to wait longer for the vaccine. Is this called Moshiach’s times where the youth will be prioritized. Cuomo never learned his lesson killed many people in the nursing homes. Now he continues with this nonsense he will probably blame it on Trump! Btw where are all the State assemblymen allowing and being complicit with this behavior. Senator Felder especially you who is supposed to represent us. Where is your outcry???
Vues Master’s Note: Wow! This letter writer is so right. Could not have said it better myself!!
Dear Vues Master: Why does the TV VUES (yes, I wrote TV on purpose) feel a need to be holier than thou? First they take away the TV listings, then they stop putting in pictures of ladies or even rebitzens. Soon, all they’ll have is pictures of black hats and white shirts.
Vues Master’s Note: Get with the times. That train has long passed!
Dear Vues Master:
The dictatorship and illegal government of Israel decided to bar entry of all foreigners to the country, effective immediately, even those who have a permit. Where is the international outcry. Families are being literally torn apart, separated on different continents for no good reason.
Vues Master’s Note: Well if it saves one life it may be worth it. The question is will it?
Dear Vues Master:
Congress agreed on a stimulus deal that would give $600 checks to Americans and provide funds for small businesses and vaccine distribution. Do you know who’s going to benefit. Read more: Schumer and Pelosi say the new PPP program will expand “PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters.” Yup, that’s right. Our beloved media will receive an influx of money for just existing.
Vues Master’s Note: Well who else will bash Trump if not for the media. Ooops you think they might bash Biden too? Not if they get the checks from him.
Dear Vues Master: All you always Trumpers, give up. The 538 members of the electoral college have met Monday in their respective state Legislatures across the country and officially voted for the candidate who won their state. Joe Biden received his 306 votes and President Trump 232. 270 are needed to win the presidency. Can’t get more clear than that
Vues Master’s Note: If you are so confident, why do you care what they say?
LOVE OF A PARENT
Dear Vues Master:
The love of a father is for his children. The love of his children is for their children.” (more love to your children than to your parents) We find it in Parshas Vayigash . Yehudah was pleading to Yosef to allow Binyomin to return to his father otherwise his father (Yakov) will die. Why not plead about the suffering of Binyomin’s ten sons ? The Kotzker Rebbe answers “From here we see parents are in more pain when their children are suffering than the pain children have when their parents are suffering”. The Zohar writes,” Yaakov bentched his grandchildren before bentching his own children because one loves his grandchildren more than his children.”
Vues Master’s Note: I love this letter, what a great vort!
Dear Vues Master:
We all love to read and hear inspiring stories. To experience something that gives us a warm feeling in our heart and connects us more to Hashem and others. This is all well and good. But I think it is much better that the reading and experiencing doesn’t end with that “Wow” moment. That the lesson learned motivates us to take ACTION, to use what we read or saw to help others. Recently, I saw a clear connection between something that happened to me 10 years ago and what I did in the here and now. It all started a decade ago, when the owner of Ateret Avot Senior Home in Brooklyn, where I work as director of recreation, came into my office. He asked me to print out an email and give it to a 95 year old woman – Fay Gritz zt’l — who lived in the Home. The missive was from her only son who was visiting Israel at the time. I was only too happy to do it. To connect my good friend Mrs. Gritz with her son, who I knew would be so happy to hear from him. I printed out the email, intending to bring it to her after I did a few odds and ends at my desk. Got a phone call, took care of a few other tasks and then I reached over for that email. It wasn’t there. I thought I had left it to my right on top of some newspapers. I looked there in about 10 other places but still couldn’t find it. All right, Plan B. I would print it out again. I went on to my computer to call it up, Immediately, a sick feeling penetrated my stomach. I was stunned when I saw that the email had been accidentally deleted. Nowhere to be found! Did another search – this time frenzied – looking for that printed out email. Turned over every nook and cranny. Looked in places I didn’t even know existed. No sign of it. I felt terrible. Miserable. But I knew I had to tell Mrs Gritz. She might be expecting it. I bolted to the lobby and was told by the receptionist that my friend was sitting outside. I opened the door and was out in the bright sunshine, my thoughts clouded by what I had to tell her. I saw Mrs. Gritz sitting in her familiar spot. Immediately upon seeing me, her face lit up and she gushed, , “Alan, great news! My son sent me an email and someone is going to print it out and give it to me.” Feeling dejected beyond words, I said, “I am that someone. And I am so sorry to tell you that I lost it and it was deleted on the computer. I am so sorry.” At that moment I thought she was going to get very upset…either at me or the situation. And I would not have blamed her. But within a second she was telling me, “Don’t worry. It’s nothing. He’ll be home soon. It’s okay.” It was not just her words; her manner was equally soothing. I was so moved by her generosity of spirit, that when I got back to my office I was determined to find that email. But not in the rushed, nervous way if she had been angry or even disappointed at me and said, “You better find it.!” But in the calm centered way of someone who is relaxed. I sat at my desk and blanked my mind. Calmed myself. Felt at peace. I tried to bring myself back to that place in time when I had just printed out that email. What had I done next? To be in that moment as much as possible. A number of seconds passed and then it hit me. After printing that email, I was working on schedules. SCHEDULESI I turned to my left and on the shelf was the folder I put schedules into. I reached for the folder and went through some of the papers AND THEN I SAW IT. The email from her son. Happiness is too mild a word to describe what I felt. Waves of relief and joy washed over me. I took the email in my hand, walked out of my office and made the short walk to the front of the building. When I walked outside, I saw Mrs. Gritz,, and holding that paper in the air I said, “I found the email!” She instantly became overjoyed. She exclaimed, “Oh, you don’t know what this means to me!!! I was looking so much forward to reading it. My only son. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I handed her the email and saw her start to read it. I walked back into the building and I was filled with a sense of awe. Here was a 95 year old woman, who had wanted SO much to read that email from her son. SO MUCH. But when she saw the pain in my face when I told her I had lost it, she amazingly sought to comfort me. Only when the email was found was she able to gush with joy. Now, to how Mrs. Gritz’s reaction inspired me to action a short time ago. I was making introductory remarks as part of a series of Torah talks I sponsored for my shul during the pandemic to an audience over the telephone. After five minutes I would introduce the main speaker who was very popular and much anticipated. But she didn’t come on after my five minutes, so I made a few more remarks and when I realized she still just wasn’t there, I knew I had to speak. But about what? Off the cuff, I decided to relate anecdotal stories about me becoming a Ba’al Tschuva. About my family’s acceptance. About my wedding. Not planned, and knowing no one expected me to be on point, I completely relaxed and began relating one story after another with vim, clarity, drama, and humor. It was like putting pearls on a necklace. One anecdote naturally connected to the next. When I finished I felt that in those 25 minutes I had relived a significant part of my life. The feedback I got from the listeners was overwhelming. They loved it! Couldn’t understand how I could do it with no preparation. Heart-felt Yasherkoachs. I had caught lightning in a bottle. And I knew it would only keep going better. The man who ran the tech for these telephone shiurim recorded the talks. I would have this forever! I could share it with family. Friends. Web sites. Maybe even sell it . I emailed the tech guy and thanked him for his work and asked if he, at his convenience, could send me the recording of my talk. He emailed me right back with his apologies. Waiting for the other speaker to come on, he had forgotten to push the record button for my extended talk. I was devastated. Demoralized. But thankfully, only for a few seconds. I reached back in time and remembered how my friend Mrs. Gritz had not wanted to hurt me, Said that me losing that email didn’t matter. She would see her son soon enough. Even though she felt SO much pain. I immediately wrote the tech guy and said that it was okay that it wasn’t recorded. All was well. “This is the way Hashem wanted it. Don’t even give it a second’s thought.” And I thanked him for his work in putting the program on. . How fortunate for me that I had such a good role model to learn from and I ACTED on it.
(Epilogue: The tech guy recorded a talk of mine some weeks later which was just as meaningful to me and I am making a CD of it.)
Vues Master’s Note: I almost lost the answer to this email. Very inspiring!
Dear Vues Master:
Did anyone else see the ad for Nitel night at men’s night out at American Dream Waterpark in NJ? I’m not sure if this is what the rebbes meant. Chess is one thing. Making a huge trip to a waterpark is another.
Vues Master’s Note: Did you end up going? How was it? Did anyone say a dvar torah there?