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    Speak Your Vues

    Graduation time 

    Dear Editor:

    Some graduate because of their teachers. Some graduate despite them.

    That is all. Thank you and have a nice day.

    Sincerely and respectfully,


    Editor’s Note: I think you aren’t giving teachers enough credit. The teachers work very hard on a daily basis. If there are people out there who feel they are graduating despite the teachers, the problem is not with the teacher, the problem is with the student.

    Israeli Day Parade

    Dear Editor:

    I have thought about writing this for years…Kol hakavod to all the schools and businesses that give their time in preparing and marching in the parade.

    But perhaps because they are some of the first units  at the beginning of the parade, the media usually do not mention the NYPD, FDNY or the volunteer police and firefighters.

    As far as I know ,the city police and fire department, which includes the EMTs and paramedics, march voluntarily. I know for certain that the volunteer firefighters do .

    Some of the volunteer firefighters, including my daughter, have even trained with the Israeli firefighters so they can man the stations in Israel if chas v’shalom the Israeli firefighters are called up.

    And of course there is Hatzala that is on location throughout the parade.

    Can these volunteers please get a mention with or without pictures for the time they take to march on top of them volunteering their services at all times.

    Thank you.

    Ellie Weiner

    Retired volunteer EMT

    Editor’s Note: Hatzala should get credit for being there for us at all times, not just at the Israeli Day Parade. They are there for us 365 days a year, day and night. They never rest. On them we say a mi’sheberach on Shabbos, “All those that work honestly for the needs of the community, only Hashem can repay them.”


    Dear Editor:

    Just wondering how one of the pictures of an engaged couple in your Simcha Section got past your editors! The boy and girl were leaning on each other, heads touching…as frum Jews we do not touch before marriage and the fact that they were shouldn’t be publicized and shown off, but rather corrected!

    Editor’s Note: Many times a picture may be misleading due to the angle of the camera. Don’t be quick to judge. In the future, we will try to be more careful.



    Dear Editor:

    Trump has floated the idea of pardoning himself. This would go against the gemara that says a jailed person cannot free himself.

    Yankel G.

    Editor’s Note: I guess Trump hasn’t learned gemara. Maybe he should speak to his son-in-law for clarity on this.



    Dear Editor:

    The rav in my shul, for certain necessary reasons, is currently not very active. He delegated many of his jobs to others, and asked me to deliver the daily gemara shiur before maariv. (I was privileged to learned in yeshiva, unlike most of the members in the shul.) Out of a courtesy to the rav, I agreed to, even though I could really do without this “shteller.”

    It’s my first time giving a shiur, and I never realized how difficult it is. There are about five regulars who attend. One of them thinks that the shiur is an “ask-the-rabbi” session, and even though I don’t even have semicha, I’m asked about his pots and pans and tefillin and all sorts of questions. I finally managed to explain that I’m not a rabbi, even if I could translate a gemara, and I can’t answer those questions. So now, any time we learn a gemara which relates to halacha (we’re learning mo’ed katan, so most do), he has a whole litany of questions after seeing about one line of gemara. I told him many times I’m happy to go through the rishonim and shulchan aruch, but as long as it’s just a gemara-rashi shiur, he can’t expect to know the halacha off the bat. My words, if they even penetrate one ear, goes straight out the other.

    A different member thinks he knows everything and tries to show off every bit of information he knows, whether or not it bears any connection to the subject at hand. We could learn a mishna about taking a haircut on chol hamoid and he’ll proudly point out that the king would take a haircut every day (Thankfully, the first one didn’t say, “so what’s the halacha with a king on chol hamoed). This happens many times throughout the hour-long shiur and it’s thoroughly irritating.

    The same person, plus another person, tend to space out and pick up a line here or there, and ask a question or make a comment which proves that very point. Also very annoying.

    I don’t have the koach for this, it’s really very very annoying. I want to quit, but I feel I owe it to the rav, who’s a very special person and has helped me many times. I know the rav has that talent of telling people off without insulting them. I can just imagine him chuckling and saying, “Where does this mishna mention a king? Let’s stay on topic,” and everyone would laugh along, but I don’t have that talent. In addition, four out of five of the regulars are considerably older than me, and it makes scolding, even friendly scolding, much harder.

    Please! Any ideas? Thanks.

    Shaya E

    Editor’s Note: Giving a shiur is an art of its own. The maggid shiur is not only teaching gemara, he also must keep the participants entertained and attentive. They usually come after a full day’s work or early in the morning before a day’s work. Their minds and capabilities may not be like someone in Yeshiva a whole day. Your job is to do “V’haarev Na-” to make it sweet for them. Sometimes, if it’s short and sweet you’ll be better off.