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    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:

    This past Sunday night was the chasuna of Lavi Greenspan

    & Nechama Darrow. Lavi is blind & has more emunah than

    anyone I ever met. It was the nicest chasuna I’ve ever been

    to. People were truly happy & enjoyed themselves very

    much. There were plenty of big Roshei Yeshiva & chashuva

    people there. Lavi is an inspiration to Klal Yisrael & I just

    wanted to wish him & his beautiful kallah a wonderful life!

    Mazel Tov!!!


    Vues Master’s Note: What a simcha!! Simchas by all! We

    are proud of this couple!


    Dear Vues Master:

    This week the Toldos Aharon Rebbe instructed his chassidim

    that bochurim should not attend the chasunos of their

    friends in order to minimize bittul Torah. With all due respect,

    I’m having a hard time with this one. What about

    being misameach the chosson & kallah? Are people supposed

    to be learning in the beis medrash 24/7? If everyone

    is supposed to be learning constantly, why have a chasuna

    all together?


    Vues Master’s Note: Look not everybody needs to be there

    as we know that there is enough that the close friends

    should be there. There are obviously some boys that are better

    suited to be mesameach. Not those boys who stand on

    the side watching the band for them it might be bittul Torah.

    Each Bachur should consult with their Rosh Yeshiva!


    Dear Vues Master:

    A new letter from Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky shlit”a and

    signed by Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel shlit”a, Rav Malkiel

    Kotler shlit”a, and Rav Yosef Harari-Raful, urges schools

    and yeshivos to prohibit smartphones, including filtered

    ones, on their premises. The letter reads “The possession of

    smartphones in the hands of roshei mosdos, mechanchim,

    and mechanchos is something that leads innocent talmidim

    and talmidos who cannot distinguish between one smartphone

    and another, introducing an air of permissibility into

    their hearts which are struggling with the test of our generation.”

    Do you think in this day & age people are really

    going to listen to this? I know my son’s elementary yeshiva

    recently tried to make a new rule that smartphones are not

    allowed in yeshiva & my son says that everyone breaks the

    rule all the time. Is it realistic to make a rule like this, in

    this day & age?


    Vues Master’s Note: This is for people in Yeshiva! And yes

    in Yeshiva circles they listen.


    Dear Vues Master:

    I am so upset with Jewish NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

    If someone in the NBA did something against the African

    American community we all know that he would have suspended

    the ballplayer within 24 hours & would not have

    waited for the team to punish them six days later. There is

    no reason why Brooklyn Nets antisemitic basketball player,

    Kyrie Irving should be playing another game this season.

    All of his salary should go this year to Yad Vshaem or the

    New York Holocaust museum. I’m also glad that NIKE

    dropped him & his sneakers. Thank you Charles Barkley,

    Shaq & Reggie Miller for speaking up. LeBron & current

    ballplayers should have spoken up right away as well &

    they didn’t.


    Vues Master’s Note: I’m sure if David Stern was still alive

    & commissioner he would have handled it differently!


    Dear Vues Master:

    I can’t believe that it’s 32 years since Meir Kahane was

    killed. We need him now more than we ever did. He spoke

    the truth and one wanted to hear it. If you read his quotes &

    essays, you would think he is a navi. The Jewish people have

    no leaders like that anymore. Antisemitism is everywhere &

    it’s only getting worse. We need someone like Rabbi Meir

    Kahane to show the world that we are not scared.


    Vues Master’s Note: Y Amen! It’s hard to believe it’s 32

    years already!


    Dear Vues Master:

    How can anyone vote for Charles Schumer? I never understood

    it. He claims he’s a “shomer yisrael” but he does nothing

    for Klal Yisrael. He loves the squad & never helps the Jewish

    people in a time of need.


    Vues Master’s Note: Remember he voted for the Iran Nuclear

    deal so much for him liking Israel and Jews!



    Dear Vues Master:

    This past Sunday I voted at Edward R. Murrow High School on Ave L. I could not believe how long the lines were. I don’t remember an election where there were so many frum people voting. It’s clear that people in this area were voting for Lee Zeldin. I asked the person in front of me why they liked Lee so much & they said to me that his take on Yeshivas & how bad crime is, are the main reasons. I couldn’t agree more. I hope he wins. Hochul really has no idea what she’s doing!


    Vues Master’s Note: Hochul knows what she is doing! She comes from Sodom and Amorah where killing babies is OK and gun control is only for legal guns because murderers only use legal guns! That is a liberal! As long as she has the state police protecting her with guns she is good but for us common folk you can’t protect yourself! Olam Hafuch!


    Dear Vues Master:

    I really don’t like it when we change the clock. Why can’t we just move it in the middle & keep it there. Why do we continue to change the clock twice a year? A new study in the journal Current Biology predicts that year-round daylight-saving time could prevent 36,550 deer deaths, 33 human deaths, 2,054 human injuries and $1.19 billion in collision costs annually. Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time with the exception of the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.


    Vues Master’s Note: It is good so we can daven Shacharis after also!


    Dear Vues Master:

    A wealthy man in Yerushalayim who hid his dollars under the mattress was asked by his wife why he looked so tired. “I couldn’t sleep last night,” he said. “All night, the dollar was going up and the dollar was going down, going up and going down.” .


    Vues Master’s Note: I guess money talks and it was loud so he could not sleep!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Doesn’t it seem to you that Kathy Hochel gave up on this election? You really dont see her anywhere.


    Vues Master’s Note: : As they say things can turn around on a dime!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Hashem said to Abram: ‘Go from your country, and away from your family, and away from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. Berashis 12:1 Radak says the first command “from your country” was a simple request; “from your family” was more difficult because family gives emotional support; “away from your father’s house” was the most difficult because a father also gives material support and inheritance. Learn from here what is important to know about a bachur (bachelor). A bachur that has a weak connection with his father will lead to a weak marriage as it says in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will cleave to his wife, and they will be one flesh.” The degree that a man cleaves to his father and mother is the degree he will be able to cleave to his wife. Since the father is written first it means the relationship with the father is less than the mother. Therefore, when a bachur has a good relationship with his father, the weakest link, then he has the potential to be a quality husband and father.


    Vues Master’s Note: What about a connection to a father figure like a

    Rosh Yeshiva!


    Dear Vues Master:

    This is an excerpt from a letter I got from my son’s Rosh Yeshiva three years ago: We feel that the various ways of pressuring and controlling your son, etc. have a negative impact on his proper emotional development. We feel it is important for him to “stand up for himself” in order to properly develop and become a productive member of Kal Yisroel, and to create his own home. We feel that this need is so paramount for his proper development that it pushes away the commandment of honoring your father. The Rosh Yeshiva is doing a lech licha to my son or is he really doing a lech limi, go, for me? Go for me so I can get $10,000 tuition from your mother, fill a seat in the yeshiva, and give me honor. You know something is wrong when something that is supposed to be hard to do is easy. Leaving your father’s home hasn’t been easier. In the past one had to be an apikoros to leave but today one can leave and still be “religious”. If leaving your father’s house is so easy then there is something wrong with either the child or the Rosh Yeshiva. The Torah testifies that leaving the father’s home is the hardest thing to do; therefore, If I had a student in my yeshiva that was estranged from his father I would tell him lech lo, Go, to him (your father) and if he didn’t go I would say to him lech lech go away (from me). The reason I would do this is because one isn’t allowed to teach a student with such middos, I can’t be an accomplice to a crime and I can’t make myself suspect to others and my students.


    Vues Master’s Note: Oh! I respect you, at least you were honest. Your

    problem is you are spending money! It is all about the Benjamins!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Fourteen years after the passing of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., his diaries continue to provide historians with important new information. The latest beneficiary is John A. Farrell, whose biography of Ted Kennedy contains disturbing new details concerning the Chappaquiddick cover-up, which Farell obtained by gaining access to unpublished sections of Schlesinger’s diaries. My own experiences with Schlesinger and his diaries concerned a different American political leader, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The information that emerged was deeply troubling, to say the least.

    “We Have No Jewish Blood” My first encounter with Schlesinger was related to a meeting that President Roosevelt held on August 4, 1939, with a political ally, Sen. Burton Wheeler (D-Montana). They discussed possible Democratic candidates for president and vice president in the event FDR did not seek re-election in 1940; Wheeler composed a memo for his private files recounting their conversation. According to the memo, FDR dismissed the idea of vice president Jack Garner as the party’s presidential nominee on the grounds that he was too conservative: “[Roosevelt] said ‘I do not want to see a reactionary democrat nominated.’ The President said, ‘I love Jack Garner personally. He is a lovable man,’ but he said, ‘he could not get the n—- vote, and he could not get the labor vote’.” (Wheeler did not use the dashes.) The president also expressed doubt about the viability of a ticket composed of Secretary of State Cordell Hull for president and Democratic National Committee chairman Jim Farley for vice president. Sen. Wheeler wrote: I said to the President someone told me that Mrs. Hull was a Jewess, and I said that the Jewish-Catholic issue would be raised [if Hull was nominated for president, and Farley, a Catholic, was his running mate]. He [FDR] said, “Mrs. Hull is about one quarter Jewish.” He said, “You and I, Burt, are old English and Dutch stock. We know who our ancestors are. We know there is no Jewish blood in our veins, but a lot of these people do not know whether there is Jewish blood in their veins or not.” The memo is located in Wheeler’s papers at Montana State University. The file also contains two letters sent to Wheeler from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in 1959. At the time, Schlesinger was working on The Politics of Upheaval, the final installment of his three-volume history of the New Deal. According to the letters, Sen. Wheeler sent Schlesinger a copy of his 1939 memorandum on the “Jewish blood” conversation with FDR. Schlesinger, after reviewing the memo, wrote to Wheeler that the document “offer[s] valuable sidelights on history.” Nevertheless, Schlesinger never quoted FDR’s remarks about “Jewish blood” in any of the many books and articles he subsequently wrote about Roosevelt and his era. Ironically, in one of those articles (published in Newsweek in 1994), Schlesinger specifically defended FDR against any suspicion that he was unsympathetic to Jews; and he approvingly quoted Trude Lash, a friend of the Roosevelts, as saying, “FDR did not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body.” I wrote to Schlesinger, in 2005, to ask why he had withheld Roosevelt’s “Jewish blood” statement from public view. Schlesinger insisted he had done nothing wrong, since, in his view, Roosevelt’s remark was not antisemitic. “FDR’s allusion to ‘Jewish blood’ does not seem to me incompatible with Trude Lash’s statement,” Schlesinger wrote me. “It appears to me a neutral comment about people of mixed ancestry.” But if that were the case–if Roosevelt’s remark about Jewish blood was indeed “neutral” and not an expression of bigotry–then why did Schlesinger decide to suppress it? Why didn’t Schlesinger mention it in one of his published writings about FDR? After all, it certainly sheds interesting light on Roosevelt’s thought process in considering whether to run for a third term in 1940. Why didn’t Schlesinger at least acknowledge FDR’s statement when he himself raised the antisemitism issue in his Newsweek essay, and let readers judge for themselves?

    Bombing Auschwitz

    My second Schlesinger experience involved his diaries. This episode concerned an exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, regarding the refusal of the Roosevelt administration to bomb the railways and bridges leading to Auschwitz, or the gas chambers and crematoria in the camp itself. When the museum opened, in 1993, the the text accompanying that exhibit stated, accurately, that “American Jewish organizations repeatedly asked the U.S. War Department to bomb Auschwitz.” Historians have documented calls by thirty officials of Jewish organizations or publications for such bombings, as well as one instance in which a Jewish official supported bombing the railways but urged using ground troops instead of air strikes on the gas chambers for fear of hitting prisoners by accident. Three years later, however, the museum quietly changed the text of that panel to: “A few Jewish leaders called for the bombing of the Auschwitz gas chambers; others opposed it….No one was certain of the results…” The museum never provided evidence from historians to support making that change. In fact, the change would never even have come to light if a reporter for a Jewish newspaper not caught wind of it. An accurate text in the museum had been changed to an inaccurate one. Not only was the new wording inaccurate; it carried a significant broader implication—if only “a few” Jewish leaders favored bombing, while “others” (which sounds like a comparable number) opposed it; and if nobody could be “certain” of the results; then nobody today can reasonably criticize the Roosevelt administration for not bombing the death camp. In short, changing the panel got FDR off the hook. It is important to emphasize that the positions taken by Jewish leaders concerning bombing Auschwitz had no actual impact on U.S. policy. The Roosevelt administration decided in February 1944—four months before the first Jewish request for bombing— that it would not use military resources “for rescuing victims of enemy oppression.” That U.S. policy decision never wavered. But that fact has not stopped some contemporary defenders of FDR from citing alleged Jewish opposition to bombing in order to exonerate the Roosevelt administration. That said, a glaring question presents itself: Why did the museum change its exhibit? The answer would emerge, years later, from Arthur Schlesinger’s diaries.

    “A Successful Campaign”

    During the three years between the opening of the U.S. Holocaust museum and the revision of the bombing panel text—between 1993 and 1996—something curious happened. A retired nuclear engineer in Seattle, named Richard H. Levy, suddenly took an interest in the bombing issue. Although he had no professional training as a historian and no publications on the topic, Levy wrote a lengthy memorandum in which he argued that it was “beyond the power” of the Allies to interrupt the Holocaust by bombing Auschwitz or the railway lines leading to it; that many prominent Jewish leaders opposed such bombing; and that the museum should change its exhibit on the bombing issue to reflect these assertions. Those positions contradicted the findings of every serious historian who had researched the subject. Yet Levy and his arguments were championed in a series of articles and speeches by William vanden Heuvel, then president of the Roosevelt Institute. The institute’s mission is “to carry forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.” Remarkably, Levy was invited to speak at the U.S. Holocaust Museum; his bombing memorandum was published in a book of proceedings from a conference that he did not attend; and the memo was then reprinted, in 1996, in the museum’s journal, Holocaust and Genocide Studies—despite the journal’s own policy of considering only submissions that have “not been published and will not be simultaneously submitted or published elsewhere.” There was more: in a 1997 newspaper article, vanden Heuvel wrote that Levy “met with representatives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum” and persuaded them to change the bombing exhibit. Vanden Heuvel did not indicate that he had played any role in the process. His account raised more questions than it answered. How, without any outside influence, could a memo about Auschwitz by a retired nuclear engineer—a memo that was at odds with the findings of the experts in that field—convince a major museum to change an exhibit? The answer came from Schlesinger’s diaries, large portions of which were published posthumously in 2007 by Penguin Press. Schlesinger was a close friend of vanden Heuvel and had collaborated with him in efforts to publicly defend FDR’s Holocaust record. In a diary entry dated August 21, 1996 (p.789), Schlesinger celebrated the conclusion of what he described as “Bill [vanden Heuvel]’s successful campaign to persuade the Holocaust Museum to revise a most tendentious account of the failure to bomb Auschwitz.” So there HAD been a “campaign” (behind the scenes) by the president of the Roosevelt Institute to change the bombing exhibit. Evidently, the change was not—as vanden Heuvel had claimed—the result of Levy’s persuasive powers; nor was it the result of the museum’s historians discovering errors in the exhibit. The original exhibit, in fact, was accurate; it was changed–according to Schlesinger–because of the Roosevelt Institute’s “campaign.” Precisely what type of pressure vanden Heuvel’s campaign employed was not specified in Schlesinger’s diary. But the outcome of the campaign certainly indicated that the pressure had worked. Obviously, history museums update their exhibits from time to time. If a reputable historian points out an inaccuracy, a correction is made. Or if the museum staff itself uncovers new information, an exhibit will be revised. But it is another matter entirely to change an accurate text to an inaccurate one, in response to pressure from the president of an institute that has an agenda–in this case, the agenda of protecting the “legacy” and image of its namesake, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    “There Was Pressure”

    Schlesinger’s posthumous revelation went unnoticed by the news media and the academic community for more than two years. Finally, in 2009, New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen raised it. In the course of preparing an article about the bombing issue, Cohen interviewed Dr. Michael Berenbaum, who had been research director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum at the time the exhibit was changed. Cohen asked Berenbaum whether vanden Heuvel indeed had pressured the Museum to make the change, as Schlesinger’s diary entry indicated. Berenbaum replied (as quoted on Cohen’s blog on October 5, 2009): “There was pressure from the Roosevelt Foundation and we paid no attention whatsoever to that pressure.” Berenbaum’s acknowledgement that “there was pressure” was significant. It contradicted the narrative that vanden Heuvel had presented in his lectures and articles; according to vanden Heuvel Levy had, on his own, managed to persuade the Museum to make the change. As for Dr. Berenbaum’s statement that he and his colleagues “paid no attention” to the pressure–one can only note that they made the very change the Roosevelt Institute pressed them to make, despite the fact that the proposed change had no basis in the historical record.

    An Error Remains Uncorrected

    In the autumn of 2009, my colleagues and I provided the U.S. Holocaust Museum with new research identifying the 30 Jewish officials who advocated bombing Auschwitz or the railways. We also asked that the original caption in the bombing exhibit be restored. More than two years later, in early 2012, the Holocaust Museum leadership responded with a ten-page memorandum in which they agreed that at least 26 Jewish officials had supported bombing. That directly contradicted the statement in the museum’s exhibit that only “a few” Jewish leaders called for bombing. Twenty-six is not “a few.” Nonetheless, today, thirteen years later, the inaccurate caption is still on display at the museum. The erroneously-described position of the Jewish leaders continues to be used to, in effect, exonerate the Roosevelt administration on the issue of bombing Auschwitz. Presumably Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. would be pleased. But it does a disservice to the historical record.


    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for the History lesson!


    Dear Vues Master:

    A visitor to the Kotel saw an old man davening fervently. When he finished, the visitor said “I couldn’t help but notice how fervently you daven. If you don’t mind my asking, what are you praying for?” The old man replied: “Every morning for the last 20 years I come here, tell Hashem my troubles, and pray for peace in the world. In the afternoon, I come back and pray for a world free of poverty and sickness.” “That’s very impressive,” the visitor replied. “How do you feel coming here for so many years and praying for these things?” With a sad look on his face, the old man responded: “Like I’m talking to the wall.”


    Vues Master’s Note: I think he was just getting ready for marriage!


    Dear Vues Master:

    The hungry beggar asked a housewife for something to eat. Having pity on him, she had him sit down at the table and placed before him some fish and a plate of black bread and challah. The challah was almost twice as expensive as the black bread but the beggar did not touch the cheaper variety. Instead, he gorged himself on the challah. The housewife, growing more irritated by the minute, finally asked “Did it ever occur to you that the challah costs twice as much as the black bread?“ “I thought of it many times,“ said the beggar, “but believe me, madam, it’s worth every cent!”


    Vues Master’s Note: Hence the reason why in some places when they sell aliyos in Shabbos it gets sold in denominations of challas!