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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:

    I heard a story that sounded very strange to me. I am a

    regular reader of the Jewish Vues and I see every week

    ads from all the major Jewish organizations. This week is

    the Agudah convention for Agudas Yisroel. I see in many

    different papers, ads for the convention. I understand that

    every organization can advertise wherever they want.

    However the story I was told is that they are not allowed

    to advertise with you because of the FJJ. Is that true? Are

    we living in a time of sinas chinum? Sinas chinam is

    what has always destroyed Am Yisroel. Is Agudas Yisrael

    also guilty of this sin?


    Vues Master’s Note:Why don’t you ask the Agudah or FJJ

    this question? Why are you asking us?


    Dear Vues Master:

    This past Monday Mayor Eric Adams signed a 99 year

    lease for a $1 to complete the Brooklyn Eruv Project. The

    idea is that now one can carry throughout Brooklyn with

    an Eruv. Can you please explain this to me? What would

    Rav Moshe say about this? Is this different from the other

    Eruv out there that people use?


    Vues Master’s Note: It is still a Reshus Horabim



    Dear Vues Master:

    The wisest of the woman builds her house, but the foolhardiest,

    with her own hands, tears it down. – Proverbs

    14:1 Rav Elya Lopian says a woman wields immense

    power in building her home, and she carries a massive

    responsibility: With her wisdom, she can build a splendid

    palace worthy of the Shechinah, and with impudence, she

    can demolish the very foundations of her home. He says,

    from the incident of Rivkah at the well, that if someone

    possesses refined character and good middos, but has not

    yet attained fear of Heaven, he will eventually seek that

    virtue, since good middos are the basis of all spiritual

    achievements. A person of corrupt character will never

    acquire yiras Shamayim (ArtScroll). Perhaps this can

    help explain the examples used in mishna Nedarim 3:2.

    Why would a father make an oath on his wife for hitting

    his child or stealing his purse. In order to protect his

    son from his foolish mother. Afterwards the mishna continues,

    with a different case, and says that had the child

    known that he [mistakenly] made an oath on his father

    and brother he would never have said it. The nearness of

    these two examples seems to suggest that when a father

    looks out for his son, from a foolish mother, the son will

    show love and favor to his father when he is older. The

    only time to instill good middos in a child is when they

    are still young.


    Vues Master’s Note: Chinuch of a Mother and father are



    Dear Vues Master:

    There are two months that have an extra word attached

    to them. Mar Cheshvan and Menachem Av. What do they

    have in common? First, we must understand that mar and

    menachem are not adjectives as in Hebrew the adjective

    comes after the noun. Here the main words are Mar and

    Menachem and cheshvan and av are modifiers. Mar

    means bitterness which could be good or bad. We want

    the mar to be good by making a good cheshvan (introspection).

    For example, when bitterness comes in the

    form of medicine it is good. Since everything God does is

    good it is only a question of framing what happens with

    proper introspection. The month of Tishrei was spent with

    family and it is easy to clash with them so the next month,

    Cheshvan, is a time for reflection. What does the Torah

    want you to reflect upon? Well, all the Torah readings in

    that month revolve around family like Adam and Chava,

    Cain and Abel, Noach, Terach, Avraham and Yitzchok just

    to name a few. Just like we fast in the month of Cheshvan,

    to make up for the levity that happened the month before,

    so we must make amends with our family and especially

    family that may have been insulted because we turned our

    backs on them. Menachem means comfort which could

    be good or bad. We want the menachem to be good like

    an av (father). For example, I was temporarily comforted,

    at a therapy place, by all the workers who were friendly.

    However, in the end I wasn’t comforted as they gave me

    bad instructions because I only had the OT for ten minutes.

    I prefer a harsh OT work on my finger than a bunch

    of cordial workers. Similarly, I prefer a father that bites

    now and comforts later than a mother who comforts now

    and bites later. Today’s youth want instant gratification,

    so it is hard to find a wise son, one who respects his father.


    Vues Master’s Note: I was worried your one track letter

    won’t come but shere it is!



    Dear Vues Master:

    It’s crazy to think that we are going into the month of December this week. In a couple of weeks it will be Chanukah & in less than a month we will already be in the year 2023. Why does it seem that as I get older it feels that time goes by faster? A typical explanation that might explain some of this perception is the simple fact that for a 10-year-old, one year represents 10 percent of their entire life and even 15 to 20 percent of their conscious memory. But one year for a 50-year-old represents less than 2 percent of their recallable life. Thus those long days in school and almost endless summers of grade schooler’s childhoods, and the rapidly fleeting days, weeks, and months that most adults experience. Please just don’t tell me Pesach will be here soon. I need some time for that!


    Vues Master’s Note: What do you mean the Country Vues is coming out very soon!


    Dear Vues Master:

    I’m so happy that we finally have someone in the Israeli government like Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir. The world is scared of the man. The US is scared to deal with him & the Islamic Jihad terror organization this past Monday threatened to assassinate him. I just hope that he remains strong & doesn’t back down from his beliefs now that he has some power.


    Vues Master’s Note: Time will tell if we will have our annual Israeli elections again very soon!


    Dear Vues Master:

    The other night I took my son out for dinner to a local restaurant for shawarma. We ordered our food to go & when I paid by credit card the cashier asked me whether I wanted to give an 18, 20 or a 25% tip. I was shocked. I was taking food out and they wanted a tip. I asked to speak to his manager & the manager told me that we did not have to give a tip. He said people give tips all the time but we didn’t HAVE TO give a tip if we were taking it to go. Now, I give generous tips when I eat in a restaurant if my service is good, but to demand a tip!! What is this world coming to?


    Vues Master’s Note: Seems like tips have become mandatory like in camp after paying heavy tuition for camp you still need to tip because the camp director does not pay his staff!


    Dear Vues Master:

    I just read on Matzav.com a very interesting psak by Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l. The sefer Siach Shidduch, containing rulings of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, features a question from a bochur, who says that he is 21 years old and learning in Eretz Yisroel. He is returning to the United States to enter shidduchim, he says, and he can enter a yeshiva where he’ll learn better, but they have a restriction there that does not permit a bochur to date during the first three months of his first zeman there, or he could go to another yeshiva, which does not have this rule, but he does not think that he’ll learn as well there. Which yeshiva should he go to? The sefer quotes Rav Chaim as saying that he should go to the yeshiva where he’ll learn better, and he should begin shidduchim right away. As far as the yeshiva’s rule against entering shidduchim for the first three months, says Rav Chaim, “Don’t listen to this tenai (condition) of theirs, as it is a condition on something written in the Torah, for which the condition is null and void – masneh al mah shekosuv baTorah, tenai botul.”


    Vues Master’s Note: I wonder what Reb Chaim would say if a bochur wanted to go home from Eretz Yisrael earlier, would he say go home and get married?


    Dear Vues Master:

    A fool was walking down the street with half an umbrella. When asked what he was doing, he explained: “The weatherman said it would be partly overcast.”


    Vues Master’s Note: The answer is that the weatherman said there will be weather today and everyday! Prediction will be right!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Benny was late for an important meeting. He spent 10 minutes looking for a parking space, but there was none to be had. Looking

    up to Heaven, he said “ השם†give me a

    space and I’ll donate $100 to tzedakah.” He circled the block but there still was no parking. Benny was getting desperate. He raised his offer to $500. But there still was no parking. Totally frustrated, he said “Please השם†, if you find me a space I’ll give $1,000

    to tzedakah.” Just then, he saw a car pulling out of a spot right in front of him. “Never mind,” he said, “I found a spot on my own.”


    Vues Master’s Note: This is like getting a call in the middle of the night where the guy says I hope I did not wake you and I respond no I had to get up to answer this phone call.


    Dear Vues Master:

    Why do they make in America brissim typically early in the morning and in Eretz Yisrael they make brissim all day long? Just this past week I was invited to a bris that started at 6:30am in Far Rockaway. I really wanted to go, but that would mean I would have to wake up at 5am to get there.


    Vues Master’s Note: Each scenario is different but yes the Mitzvah is to do it as early as possible. Sometimes the Mohel has more than one bris a day!


    Dear Vues Master:

    How can the Jewish people back Trump now when he is having dinner with antisemite Kanya West & Holocaust denier, Nick Fuentes? He did more for the Jewish people & Eretz Yisrael while he was president than any other president in the history of the United States, but Trump is such a hot head, that you never know what he is going to do.


    Vues Master’s Note:What other side is better than the ones enacting Sdom and Amorrah on us?


    Dear Vues Master:

    My wife complains that I eat too much at my shuls Shabbos morning kiddush. I try to be nice and tell her that I’m just very hungry after davening. The truth is I prefer my shuls kiddush over my wifes food & I really dont want to have shalom bayis issues. What should I do?


    Vues Master’s Note: Maybe if she did not have to cook she would not mind. Tell her you have a kiddush so she does not make food for nothing!I bet you they licked their chops with that answer!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Besides Aharon and his descendants, whom else does the Torah call Kohen? Shem, Yisro and Potifera.


    Vues Master’s Note: Interesting tidbit.


    Dear Vues Master:

    Twice in recent weeks, former president Donald Trump has made derogatory joking references to Asians. He is not the first president to have used racial or ethnic minorities as the butt of his jokes—and not the first to have avoided any serious political consequences for doing so. In a September 30 tweet, Trump derided his own former Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan and is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as “his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” On November 11, Trump tweeted about Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin, “Young Kin (now that’s an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?).” Trump is not the first president or ex-president to have indulged in sophomoric racist humor. Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson were reported—after they had left office—to have told jokes that included harsh ethnic stereotypes. Ronald Reagan, when he was president, was caught in an “open mic” moment, joking about Irishmen and Italians. As a young man, Harry Truman once shared with his future wife a joke involving “a n—— and a Chinaman.” Woodrow Wilson, as president, was notorious for telling racist jokes about African-Americans, sometimes with a faux accent, even at events such as Princeton University alumni dinners. President Franklin D. Roosevelt hissed through his teeth in mocking imitation of Japanese speech patterns, in a 1942 conversation with the journalist Quentin Reynolds. That same year, FDR’s assistant, William Hassett, recorded in his diary a joke the president told him about the Japanese being the offspring of a Chinese emperor’s daughter and a baboon. FDR also had a penchant for anti-Jewish “humor.” His grandson Curtis told Roosevelt biographer Geoffrey Ward that he recalled “hearing the president tell mildly anti-Semitic stories in the White House,” in which “the protagonists were always Lower East Side Jews with heavy accents.” FDR also once joked that relatives might suspect his fifth child was Jewish, in view of the baby’s “slightly Hebraic nose.” At the Yalta conference in 1945, Roosevelt shared an “I don’t want them and you wouldn’t either”-type joke with Soviet leader Josef Stalin: when FDR mentioned he would soon be seeing Saudi Arabia’s king, Ibn Saud, Stalin asked Roosevelt if he intended to make any concessions to him; the president replied “that there was only one concession he thought he might offer and that was to give him the 6 million Jews in the United States.” That remark was recorded in the official transcript of the conversation, but the State Department suppressed it for several decades for fear it would harm Roosevelt’s image if the public knew what he said about Jews. As public disapproval of racism has intensified over the years, there have been consequences—in a few instances—for telling racist jokes. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz was forced out in 1976 after word leaked of a crude joke he told about African-Americans. In 1983, Secretary of the Interior James Watt resigned after telling a harsh ethnic joke about “a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple.” However, the resignations of Butz and Watt were exceptions, not the rule, when it comes to consequences for public figures indulging in racist humor. Those who manage to avoid the prolonged glare of news media attention often are able to avoid paying a price for their bigoted words. James Jones continued in his position as national security adviser in the Obama administration even after telling an unflattering joke about Jewish merchants in 2010. Rebecca Erbelding, a staff member at the United States Holocaust Memo

    rial Museum (and adviser to the recent Ken Burns film on the Holocaust), has tweeted jokingly about the allegedly distinctive nature of Jews’ noses—not unlike FDR’s “joke” about “Hebraic noses”—but the museum has not required her to apologize. “Just kidding” should not be an acceptable excuse when it comes to public figures making derogatory references to ethnic or racial minorities. There need to be meaningful consequences which will clearly establish that in contemporary American society, racist humor is no laughing matter.


    Vues Master’s Note: There is politically correct and then there is using your seichel.


    Dear Vues Master:

    The TUR (O.Ch. 428) writes, ”Tishrei is always a full month (30 days) and Teves is always a missing (short) month (29 days). The months alternate one month is full and the following is short. The months of Cheshvan & Kislev are exceptions. Some years both months are full. (Shana Shleima ). Some years both months are short (Chaseira) and some years one is full and the other is short (Kesidra)“. The reason for this is to equalize the months. A lunar cycle is 29 days+12 hours+ 793 parts chalakim (Approx. . hr.) A year can have 353- 354- or 355 days The Levush explains why Chazal picked Cheshvan & Kislev to change the system of alternating full and short months. and not any other month. “The first opportunity we have to add or subtract from the month is on the month of Cheshvan. We can’t do it on Nissan and Iyar because the 50th day of Sefira needs to be on the 6th of Sivan. (by adding or subtracting a day we will have it on the 5th or the 7th ) From Shavuos till Yom Kippur we need to have 3x 40 days to commemorate the 3x 40 days from Moshe Rabbeinu standing on the mountain (Shavuos) to bringing down the Luchos on Yom Kippur. Chodesh Tishrei is the king of the months and the Month with Yomim Tovim (Yerach HaEisanim) we can’t make it a Chaser. Therefore, the first opportune time is in the month of Cheshvan.


    Vues Master’s Note: Wow I never knew that. Just assumed that it started with the new year on Rosh Hashana so Cheshvan is the second month but your pshat is much more geshmak!


    Dear Vues Master:

    A man walking down the street saw a blind man standing with a walking stick in one hand and a tin cup in the other. He dug into his pocket and put spare change into the cup. The next day, he was shocked to see the “blind” man reading a magazine. He asked him: “I thought you were blind. How can you read?” The man responded: “I wasn’t reading. I was only looking at the pictures.”


    Vues Master’s Note: Not a nice joke!


    Dear Vues Master:

    I read your response to the letter regarding garbage in the November 16 – 22, 2022, of the Jewish Vues. The answer you gave is actually wrong. Under New York City’s Sanitation Rules and Regulations it is illegal in all five boroughs for one to place garbage in someone else’s pail (see page 13/Section 16-120a in the attachment below). Also, it is illegal for someone to remove garbage from someone else’s garbage pail once they’ve put it out at the curb because once it’s at the curb it’s considered New York City property (see page 27/Section 16-118(7)(b) in attachment below). Either offense could result in a fine of $100 – $300. PS: I noticed that the initials of the letter writer are “HK” but I assure you that I didn’t write that letter (because I knew the answer).


    Vues Master’s Note: But the people collecting bottles and messing with my garbage never get a ticket, only I do, as it is my responsibility. It is like Sdom!


    Dear Vues Master:

    Israel’s recent five elections in just three years has caused many to highlight Israel’s lack of a constitution. Along with the debate over the role Israel’s Supreme Court should play and how much power it should have in Israel’s legislative systm, the absence of a constitution has caused many to question if it’s time for Israel to write a constitution. Without a constitution Israel has no overarching law that requires it to be a Democracy. When studying Zionism, it is clear that the early Zionists imagined an Israel that would be a Democracy. For a want of a constitution, the Israeli Declaration of Independence is Israel’s document of principles. Unlike America, Israel doesn’t have a constitution, a bill of rights or even an Israeli version of the Federalist Papers. Israel’s founding fathers, Herzl, Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky and Begin all wrote and believed in a Democracy, but nothing concretized Israel’s government as a Democracy for decades after its founding. The Israeli Declaration of Independence does not mention the word “democracy,” but it does state that the State of Israel will “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex” and to provide “full and equal citizenship and due representation” to Arab citizens. In 1992 Israel legislated the “Basic Laws.” Included in article one of the “Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty” is its purpose “To protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law, the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Israel’s “Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation” explicitly mentions Israel’s Declaration of Independence and includes, “The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law, the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Many people understand there to be an inherent contradiction with a Jewish and Democratic State. Judaism is a system with its own set of rules, some of which are inconsistent with democracy. A Jewish state can leave non-Jewish citizens of Israel excluded from laws, national holidays and culture. Judaism aims to include Jews who adhere to its law, values and axioms, Democracy aims to include all citizens irrespective of faith or creed. Many people question whether a state committed to having a Jewish character can also be as committed to Democracy. Knowing that the majority of Israel’s citizens are Jewish placates some of the worries of Israel’s critics. Democracy is first and foremost a system that follows the will of the majority. With the majority of Israel’s citizens being Jewish, at least the Jewish nature of Israel is consistent with the wishes of the majority. These same critics fear a possibility of the Arabs who live in Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) become Israeli citizens and combine with Israel’s current non-Jewish citizens to make up a majority within Israel. How could Israel explain it being a Democratic and Jewish state with only a minority of its citizens considering themselves Jewish? The fear of Israel consisting of a non-Jewish majority is a political hot-potato and a practical nightmare. It doesn’t necessarily contradict the Zionist ideal of an Israeli State being both Jewish and Democratic. A fallacy surrounding the fears of Israel’s democratic nature being put at risk is that a democratic country must be perfectly democratic. This mistaken idea of democracy is that to be considered a democratic country, every person living under the nation’s administration is entitled to a say in the nation’s decisions – either by a direct vote or through an elected representative. This mistaken notion of democracy isn’t historically accurate and it’s not even true of today’s democracies. Ancient Athens is known as the first democracy – although there were city-states that practiced democracy before Athens. Athenian Democracy allowed – and forced – any male citizen over the age of twenty to vote in its elections. This left out more than half the population of Athens from having a voice (just think about all the silenced women). Even the contemporary example of a democracy, The United State of America, doesn’t allow all people under its control to have a voice and determine their own future. American citizens in Washington, DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico are allowed to vote for a representative in Congress, but those representatives aren’t given a vote. A worse example of America’s democracy not giving all people under its control a voice is American Samoans. While American Samoans are allowed their own governor, they are considered an unincorporated territory of the United States, their people are American nationals, not citizens, and the American Secretary of the Interior oversees the government, retaining the power to approve constitutional amendments, override the governor’s vetoes, and nomination of justices. It is erroneous to pretend that today’s democracies ensure all people under the government’s control have a say in their future. The test of a healthy democracy isn’t whether every person under the government’s control has a say in their future, but whether the nation is working to improve the freedom and quality of life of all those under its control. The democracy that early Zionists advocated for and the one practiced by Israel today aren’t designed to give every person under its control a say in their future, but it does strive to improve the liberty and quality of life of everyone it governs. Today’s Zionists must work to improve the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel. Neither of the two aspects of Israel’s nature is perfect – and it most probably never will be perfect. Critics of Israel, especially Zionists who love Israel, must balance their criticism with a realistic understanding of the challenges the state faces, a realistic understanding of how practical democracy has always been practiced and the need to push Israel’s leadership to form a more democratic Israel. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and Israel’s improved democracy won’t be formed in a day either. The Jewish people and State hold themselves to a “higher standard,” but that need for a higher standard must also be balanced with an empathy of how democracy has always functioned in the global community.


    Vues Master’s Note: We call it the annual elections in Israel!