09 Feb 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:
On Tu B’shvat each year, we fondly remember one of the stories my grandfather most enjoyed retelling – not because it was evidence of his quick wit, but because the Divine gift he was given, the ability to find the right words with which to create a kiddush Hashem. It was the inauguration of George H.W. Bush, in January of 1989, and the whitebearded Rabbi Chaskel Besser was the lone Orthodox rabbi in attendance. He sat alone at the dais, waiting for the ceremonies to begin. As he often did, he filled the time by perusing his small Gemara, studying the day’s daf. He was suddenly aware of an exchange between two clergymen on either side of him, both of them high-ranking priests. “What’s the rabbi studying?” one asked the other, the words floating past him. “I think it’s the Talmud, which the Jews claim is the source of all knowledge and has all the answers.” replied the second, his tone just short of mocking, “Isn’t that right, Rabbi?” “Indeed it is,” replied my grandfather. “Perhaps, Rabbi, if so, you can show us where the Talmud refers to today’s event.” My grandfather smiled broadly, “Sure, it’s right here, in the tractate Rosh Ha- Shanah, The Mishnah refers to this evening, which is the fifteenth of Shevat according to the Hebrew calendar, as the new year for trees. That,” he finished, “includes Bushes as well.”
Vues Master’s Note: What a remarkable story.
WATER PARK ALERTS
Dear Vues Master:
A person who stands against water parks in general may be a very fine person (though such a person should consider allowing people to have fun, since there is no virtue in making people sad even in a pandemic). But a person who stays silent the four times the park is open for men, then suddenly becomes outraged when it is opened for women? That’s a misogynist. Someone who just wants men to have all the fun.
Vues Master’s Note: Unless he holds that kol kvuda bas melech pnima
Dear Vues Master:
You printed my note regarding “Sheimos alert.” It was basically to notify readers that there is “Sheimos in a recent issue. I should have been more effusive in praise of your fine publication. For example, from inspiring Parshah articles from various Authors, to “ Wheel of Mazel,” etc. etc…you deserve a Thank you. With appreciation for a quality worthy publication.
Mrs. K. Brieger
Vues Master’s Note: We are always happy to be appreciated. A lot of time and effort goes into this publication.
13TH SIYUM HASHAS VIDEO
Dear Vues Master:
13th Siyum Hashas Highlights Video!Heroes of the Daf! Agudath Israel I just had the opportunity to see the newly released Highlights Video of the 13th Siyum Hashas. It is a masterpiece that I’ve already watched 3 times. It begins by showing the production and construction of the MetLife stadium preparation for the 13th Siyum Hashas. It took days of advance work to be ready in time and to change it from a sports event to a Torah event. At first, you see the people attending whom I recognize like R’ Moshe Lamm from Torah Vodaath. HaRav Shlomo Mandel shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva YOB starts off with his crying voice of Tehillim for acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel. Then Eliezer Scheiner davened Mincha l’zecher nishmas his father Moreinu HaRav Reuvain Scheiner ztl, a Ram in Mesivta Torah Vodaath for 50 years. R’ Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive VP of Agudath Yisroel, welcomed everyone to this enormous historical event with 100,000 people attending in MetLife stadium and the Barclays Center, besides those all over the world. There were 30 countries participating: Yerushalayim, Canada, England, Lublin, Poland, Europe etc. and the proceedings were translated into Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, & Yiddish. It was described on the news as The Yeshiva Without Walls! People who attended, sometimes 3 generations of Lomdei Hadaf finishing Shas a number of times B”H. The BMG Rosh Hayeshiva, Ha- Rav Malkiel Kotler shlita spoke that we’re like one Neshama & of the Simchas Hatorah. There was a standing ovation as Rav Leibish Lish gave a Mazel Tov to Shimon Yehuda, a young boy recovering from a terrible illness, who finished Meseches Brochos with mesiras nefesh. The Novominsker Rebbe ztl spoke about Rejoice with the Torah & Mitzvahs forever. (The last time I heard him, as if the Rebbe was giving his final command!) HaRav Yissachor Frand shlita spoke about learning half of shas is better than not learning at all, and learning one mesechta is good although it’s not perfect. Then he said his famous sound bite;” And don’t let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good! HaRav Yankel Bender shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva Darchei Torah, spoke to the Masmidei Hasiyum, telling the young Talmidim that “You are the future of Klal Yisroel”. Rav Nosson Scherman, General Editor ArtScroll, told the boys to look around at the 100,000 Yidden, and see the tremendous Kiddush Hashem. Each one of you can become a Godol B’Yisroel. Mazel Tov! You are the future of Yiddishkeit! R’ Baruch Levine sang Vzakeinu L’banim ubnei bonim … Hagoan Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita said from Bnei Brak;”They should have the zchus to know Shas”! There were 2 mesaymim who had ALS Mendel & R’ Mordechai Weiss-Monsey. HaRav Shmuel Kaminetzky shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva Philadelphia, made the actual Siyum Hashas from a Gemara written in the DP camps, while HaRav Ahron Feldman shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva Ner Yisroel, Baltimore made the Haschalas Hashas. Rav Shmuel said that this is not the end but it’s only the beginning. Jay Schottenstein, benefactor of Mesorah Artscroll, said the Kaddish. In between was lively lebedik dancing and music by Shloime Dachs Orchestra, with Abish Brodt, Shloime Daskal, Shloime Gertner and Baruch Levine singing. Psach Shaarei Shomayim, Avinu Malkeinu, Ashrei mi Shmalah Batorah v’oseh Nachas Ruach Lyotzro, Olam Haba Iz ah guta Zach, learning Torah iz ah besser zach, Vl’Yerushalayim Ircha, vtaher libeinu. I saw my Rav from Monsey on the stadium screen dancing with such Simchas HaTorah! I saw my friend, HaRav Yossie Eisen shlita dancing with such Simchas Hachaim. I saw Rav Dovid Goldwasser shlita dancing with such Ruach. I even saw Harav Matisyahu Solomon shlita, Mashgiach BMG giving Brochos of Mazel Tov & Sholom Aleichem with his beautiful smile to people from his wheelchair. There were fathers dancing with kids on their shoulders full of joy & happiness in the freezing cold — the varmkeit from Siyum Hatorah shel Baal peh. R’ Shlomo Werdyger Chairman of the Executive Board of Aguda dancing with Shmuel Yosef Rieder who were the organizers of this event together with the tremendous staff & administration of Agudath Yisroel. Others who spoke were HaRav Uren Reich shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva Woodlake and HaRav Ahron Schiff shlita from England. Chazzen Yitzchak Meir Helfgott sang the Keil Maleh Rachamim for the 6 Million Kedoshim who died al Kiddush Hashem. You can see the survivors crying. I saw my friend Mr. Moshe Segal weeping for the Korbonos. A Hundred Thousand Tears fell to the ground! One survivor said; “I survived for this purpose, to witness this tremendous Kiddush Hashem”! They sang Ani Maamin just like in Auschwitz. We saw a video show HaRav Mordechai Gifter ztl, Telzer Rosh Hayeshiva, saying how the Siyum Hashas is l’zecher the Kedoshim. HaRav Shimon Schwab zt”l told how some escapee from the gas chambers told how he heard a young child ask his mother going to the gas chambers; “Was I not a good child”? Rav Schwab answered that,” Hashem took him in his arms and said you were alway a good child, and now I will be your Father & Rebbe who will teach you Torah”! There was kabolas ol malchus Shomayim with the Novominsker Rebbe ztl saying Shma Yisroel and the Klausenberger Rebbe shlita saying Hashem Hu Elokim! HaRav Eliezer Ginzberg shlita from the Mir davened Maariv with his Borchu & Shma heard around the World. (He doesn’t need a microphone!) They gave out a booklet Hasiyum. Other people who I noticed on video: Rav Ephraim Wachsman shlita, Paysach Krohn, The Bluzhever Rebbe shlita, Avi Lazar, CEO Mishpacha, RYCG-video booth directing, Ari Stern, Our YTV Lakewood host, and HaRav Mordechai Finkelman shlita Mashgiach of Ohr Chaim, who says” I thought I would hear the Shofar shel Mashiach”! Someone says;”Daf Yomi goes on, No Tired-No Vacations! My son started this cycle and wakes up for a 5am daf-Baruch Hanosen Lyoef Koach! I noticed in the stadium on video a sports ad for Bud Light, but on that special night it was the “Light of the Torah”Heroes of the Daf!
Vues Master’s Note: Hard to believe that it is a year ago and the last time we got together brov am
Dear Vues Master:
My Top 10 Composers!
5-Reb Shlomo Carelbach
6-Rabbi Baruch Chait
7- Baruch Levine
8-Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz
9-Reb Shmuel Brezel
Vues Master’s Note: I guess if the audience wants they can disagree and write in their picks as we know al taam v’reach ein ma lehisvakeach
CUOMO THE LIAR
Dear Vues Master: The truth is out. AG Tish James released a scathing report on NYS nursing homes. Among the findings is that health dept underreported nursing home covid deaths by 50%. This confirms everything we’ve know for close to a year. That Cuomo has blood on his hands. An overwhelming majority of N.Y. deaths were a direct result of that rashah’s orders to force nursing homes to take in sick patients when they were unable to protect their at-risk population.
Vues Master’s Note: Cuomo should be impeached for playing with us. He is an egotistical maniac.
Dear Vues Master:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed at his confirmation hearing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the U.S. embassy will stay there. Sec of State Blinken at his confirmation hearing said he would consult Israel and Gulf countries about returning to Iran deal. In addition, Blinken: We support a two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we don’t see a chance for making progress in the short term. You see that Trump’s administration has changed the facts on the ground. His legacy won’t be able to be erased so fast.
Vues Master’s Note: Hopefully sanity prevails since on everything else it did not!
Dear Vues Master:
It was ערב פסח and Pinchas called the plumber in desperation. “My toilet cracked,” he said. “I have all the children and grandchildren coming for יום טוב and I need to have the toilet replaced today.” The plumber said it was impossible. He was getting ready for יום טוב as well and simply had no time to do it. “I’m desperate,” Pinchas said. “What am I going to do?” The plumber responded that he could tell him how to close the water and remove the toilet and that Pinchas could come and pick up a replacement from him which would be relatively easy to install. Having no choice, Pinchas followed the plumber’s directions, removed the broken toilet and picked up the new one. As he was bringing it into his house, one neighbor said to another: “Hah, a new chumra.”
Vues Master’s Note: That got a chuckle out of me.
THE END OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Dear Vues Master:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has ceded responsibility as a leader. As it is widely known, on March 25th, 2020, Governor Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept patients from hospitals after a doctor or physician deems the patient stable. The order made it obligatory for the nursing homes to accept these patients irrespective if they still had COVID or not, as the order states, “All nursing homes MUST comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to nursing homes.” As a result, thousands have died in nursing homes as a result of negligence. Instead of taking responsibility, Cuomo has blamed it from G-d to Trump. Despite the pushback from the then-head of Medicare Seema Verma, stating that Cuomo’s order did not adhere to the standards released by her agency, Cuomo blames the Trump administration for his failings. Last week, Cuomo-endorsed New York AG Letitia James released a report showing that the Cuomo administration has covered up at least 50% of known deaths in nursing homes in NY. Everyone deserves due process, but being a leader also means being accountable. Democrats showed their outrage for what they claim was a lack of transparency from the Trump administration for four years, now they control the government, where is their accountability?! President Biden promised that his DOJ was going to be fully independent in contrast to Trump, now his DOJ has conveniently not announced any investigation into Biden’s good friend, Andrew Cuomo! This is the same DOJ that has hired Hunter Bidens lawyer’s best friend to lead the DOJ criminal division which happens to be investigating Hunter Biden! What happened to accountability and independence?! The only answer is that Cuomo and Biden are all talk and no action.
Sincerely, D S G
Vues Master’s Note: Cuomo arrogantly declares who cares! What a jerk!
SPECIAL ED PROCESS
Dear Vues Master:
“For years, we have been fighting New York City’s broken and punishing special education process. Instead of promised improvements it has only gotten worse. I am cautiously optimistic that a Federal Monitor will finally help bring the improvements that parents and their special needs children so desperately deserve,” said Senator Felder. https://www.thecity. nyc/2021/1/29/22256913/nycspecial- education-complaintsystem- federal-monitor
Vues Master’s Note: Lets hope this initiative does not end up like thousand others!
Dear Vues Master:
Pikuach Nefesh? Some rabbinic organizations have stated that halachically, everyone is obligated to get the covid vaccine because of “pikuach nefesh.” If pikuach nefesh refers to those around me, the vaccine has not been proven to prevent infection nor transmission of the virus to others, but rather only to lessen symptoms in the vaccine recipient. Thus a person taking or not taking the vaccine will not impact others around him one way or the other. (Perhaps taking the vaccine may actually INCREASE infections in others. If a person takes the vaccine and still gets infected, if he has no outward symptoms due to the vaccine he will not know he is sick and will go out and mingle with other people. However, if he does not take the vaccine and gets infected, most likely he WILL have some symptoms and will know to stay home.) If pikuach nefesh refers to myself, meaning i have to guard my own health because of halacha, then why do rabbinic authorities not pronounce smoking as halachically forbidden? Why are obese individuals not told that halachically they need to lose weight because that is a risk factor if they get a serious illness? Many serious adverse events have been reported to VAERS (the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) by covid vaccine recipients, at a rate far higher than previous vaccines (which were tested for at least ten years as opposed to less than a year). And only 1% of adverse reactions are actually reported to VAERS according to an H.H.S.-sponsored study. Considering that the vaccine manufacturers are not financially liable for their products (and the PREP Act removes liability as well from those who administer the vaccine) and considering that rabbinic organizations would likewise not be financially liable if a vaccine recipient suffers a severe reaction to the vaccine or death, chas v’shalom, it does not seem appropriate for anyone to be coerced into taking this vaccine under halachic grounds if they would rather take their chances of getting the virus and utilizing the current safe and effective treatments available if they do get the infection (and take prophylactic treatments available to help avoid contracting the infection in the first place).
Vues Master’s Note: I believe everyone should consult his or her Dr.
Dear Vues Master:
My wife is so into sefiras haomer that when I asked her what’s for dinner tonight, she responded “Last night was chicken”
Vues Master’s Note: I hope you ate it anyways.
ANDREW YANG GOT IT RIGHT ON BDS
Dear Vues Master:
We’re used to politicians mangling history, whether out of carelessness or partisanship. So it was a breath of fresh air when New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang recently shared a powerful historical truth about people who boycott Jews. Yang has been pilloried by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. But he got it right. “A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement, which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment,” he wrote in The Forward. And then came his most controversial — but most important — sentence: “BDS [is] rooted in antisemitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses…” The best known “fascist boycott” against Jews was waged by the government of Nazi Germany, beginning with a one-day nationwide action, on April 1, 1933, shortly after Hitler’s rise to power. Throughout the Reich on that day, stormtroopers were stationed at entrances to Jewish stores and offices, and above the doors they posted a yellow circle — the medieval symbol associating Jews with gold and prostitution. The boycott was intended to demonstrate that the Nazis could readily threaten Jews’ economic survival. In subsequent years, the Nazis avidly enforced local boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses across Germany. Elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe during the same period, anti-Semitic political parties and grassroots movements promoted anti-Jewish boycotts, although generally they were local initiatives, lacking the imprimatur of government approval. A notable exception was Poland, where, beginning in 1936, Prime Minister Felicjan Skladkowski openly endorsed “economic struggle” against Polish Jews. Here in the United States, the pro-Nazi German American Bund and the neofascist Christian Front organized and aggressively promoted boycotts of Jewish stores. The Friends of the New Germany, from which the Bund evolved, originated the boycott in 1934, establishing a German-American Business League to promote and police it. In the heavily German-American neighborhood of Yorkville, in upper Manhattan, Jewish business “are boycotted quite as thoroughly as in Germany,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that spring. A Jewish bookseller told the JTA his sales “have fallen off almost one hundred percent.” Previously, his business was so successful that there were “frequent robberies.” But now, “not even the burglars come any more.” To intimidate non-Jewish shopkeepers, those who failed to pledge loyalty to the boycott had their front window “marked with large swastikas;” in many cases, “the Hitlerite insignia has been cut into the bay windows of the stores, apparently with a diamond.” Over the next several years, in New York and Boston, the Christian Front, organized by followers of the anti-Semitic Catholic priest Charles Coughlin, distributed guides for shoppers identifying stores not owned by Jews. These guides carried the statement that “Christ Himself” sponsored the anti-Jewish boycott. The Christian Front posted fliers featuring Nazi-style anti-Semitic imagery in subway stations and on shop windows and buildings, urging passersby to boycott Jewish stores and to “Buy Christian.” These fliers included genocidal threats, such as “Destroy the Jews!” and “Kill the kike vermin!— Wake up Christians!” As in Germany, the boycott and the circulation of anti-Semitic propaganda precipitated frequent violent attacks on Jews in the streets and parks of Boston and New York, on Jews’ homes and stores, and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Commentators referred to these attacks as “mini-pogroms.” They reached a peak during World War II, but continued for several years after the end of the war. Obviously, there are many differences between the anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s and the BDS campaigns of our own time. Yet we dare not ignore the parallels. Today’s BDS advocates heatedly deny that they are fascists or anti-Semites. They claim they are “only” boycotting Israelis, not Jews. Likewise, advocates of “partial” BDS say they are boycotting “only” Israeli settlers, not residents of Israeli towns within the pre-1967 areas. If that were true, the BDS movement would boycott Israeli Arabs as well as Israeli Jews. And the “partial boycotters” would target Israeli Arab residents of communities beyond the pre-1967 lines. They would also refrain from boycotting foreign-born Jewish “settlers” who are not Israeli citizens. Have you ever heard of BDS activists boycotting Israeli Arabs in general, or Israeli Arab residents of settlements or exempting non- Israeli settlers? We haven’t. The reason is simple: they are targeting Jews. And that makes their actions uncomfortably similar to the behavior of the fascists to whom Andrew Yang referred.
Vues Master’s Note: All politicians are the same. They say what you want to hear then do their own thing.