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    Dear Vues Master:

    An elderly Jew was brought to the hospital for treat-
    ment of issues involving fainting, high blood pressure,

    and diabetes. During his examination, the doctor no-
    ticed sores and bruises all over his body. “How did

    you get these?” The elder man paused, stuttered a bit,

    and then presented a series of obviously false expla-
    nations. He claimed he had fallen out of bed on one

    occasion and tripped down the stairs on another. With
    patience and perseverance, the doctor finally managed
    to get the truth story out of him. As it turned out, the
    man was a widower who lived alone with his only
    son, a violent and greedy individual, who often beat
    his father to extract money from him. That doctor was

    shocked to hear the terrible story and offered to im-
    mediately call the police to arrest the son. The father

    then burst into tears and begged him not to. “He is my
    only child. He is the only one I have to take care of
    me. If he is sent to jail, I will be all alone in the world.
    I would rather suffer his blow than be left alone with
    no one to help me.” The doctor could tell that it was
    by no means an issue of life and death for the elderly
    man to remain with his son, since the wounds were

    not so severe. Nevertheless, he turned to Rav Zilber-
    stein for advice, to ask what he should do. Should he

    heed the father’s request to ignore the issue, or should
    he call the police and arrest his son? R’ Zilberstein’s

    answer was based on the verse, “He who strikes his fa-
    ther (aviv), or his mother (imo) must be put to death.”

    Shemos 21:15. The Netziv (in Ha’amek Davar) com-
    ments that it would be just as grammatically correct

    to write quotation “father” (av) and “mother” (eim)
    without using the possessive suffix at the end of the
    word, since it is clear from the context that the verse
    refers to the assailant’s own father and mother. The

    Netziv therefore explains that our verse refers specifi-
    cally to a son who is the only child of the father and

    mother. The verse adds the possessive suffix to im-
    ply that they are his parents alone, and no one else’s.

    Since his death would leave them entirely bereft of
    offspring, they would probably prefer to forgive his
    blow and preserve his life. Nevertheless, he must die
    for his terrible sin of striking his father and mother.

    Here we see that when a person deserves punishment
    for striking his parents, we do not take into account
    their feelings on the matter. He is punished not just
    to avenge the wrongs against them, which they might
    have been able to forgive. Rather, Hashem demands
    that we kill him in order to rid evil from our midst,
    regardless of his parents’ opinion. In our case too,
    we should not take the father’s feelings into account,
    but should ensure that the son receives the necessary
    punishment for striking them. This would certainly be
    the case if the son faced execution by Beis Din, after
    having been warned by two valid witnesses. However,
    the Netziv’s insight does not necessarily apply to the

    punishment inflicted by civil law. R’ Zilberstein con-
    sulted his father-in-law R’ Elyashiv zt”l, who ruled

    that rather than showing mercy to the aged father, we
    must show mercy to the son’s poor soul by preventing

    him from ever committing such terrible sins again. Al-
    though there is no Beis Din in our times authorized to

    administer capital punishment, that son will undoubt-
    edly be punished severely by Heaven for every blow

    he inflicts on his father. Therefore, the police must be

    summoned to remove the son from the father’s com-
    pany, and we must trust Hashem to continue providing

    for the father, just as he provided for him in the past.
    (Veha’arev Na, Feldheim)
    Vues Master’s Note: It is sad how much older people
    are being abused!

    Dear Vues Master
    I went last week to hear Rav Dov Landau shlita speak
    in Boro Park & I was amazed at the crowd of people

    that were there. Looking at the age of the Rosh Ye-
    shiva, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly

    surprised how clear & well spoken the Rosh Yeshiva
    was at his old age. Klal Yisrael needs leaders like Rav
    Landau in this day & age.
    Vues Master’s Note: It was great to have one of the
    gedolei hador come visit us from Eretz Yisrael. There
    should have been more people there!

    Dear Vues Master
    Is it just me or does it seem like there are
    more hachnosas sefer torahs in Brooklyn
    this year than ever before? There were 3
    Hachnosas Sefer Torahs in just 2 blocks

    over the last two weeks in my neighbor-

    Vues Master’s Note: I was thinking the
    same thing the other day! Isn’t it beautiful!

    Dear Vues Master
    My rebbie insists that I be chazzan in my
    Yeshiva at least twice a week. I usually
    jump to do a mitzvah but I find that when
    I’m chazzan I have to rush my shemoneh

    esrei for the tzibur and I have less kava-
    nah. What should I do?

    Vues Master’s Note: Listen to your rebbie!

    Dear Vues Master

    I can’t believe my youngest child gradu-
    ated high school this past week. I’m feel-
    ing really old. Next year I’ll have all of my

    six children out of the house. What should
    I do?
    Vues Master’s Note: Spend time learning!
    Get a chevrusa. Your entire life you said

    you were too busy with life’s responsibili-
    ties. With all your kids out of the house,

    you’ll have some free time. No more ex-

    Dear Vues Master:
    If a man has a wayward and defiant son
    (Ben Sorer Umoreh), who does not heed
    his father (aviv) or mother (imo) and does
    not obey them even after they discipline
    him, his father (aviv) and mother (imo)
    shall take hold of him and bring him out to
    the elders of his town at the public place of
    his community. They shall say to the elders
    of his town, “This son of ours is disloyal
    and defiant; he does not heed us. He is a
    glutton and a drunkard.” Thereupon the
    men of his town shall stone him to death.
    Thus you will sweep out evil from your
    midst: all Israel will hear and be afraid.-
    Deuteronomy 21: 18 – 21 Based on the
    Netziv, as mentioned above, the word aviv
    and imo means that the verse is speaking in
    a case where this is the parent’s only child
    and nevertheless they are commanded to
    take him to bais din to have him sentenced
    to death. The lesson here is that we have
    to have rachmans (mercy) on our children
    even if it means not having rachmanis on
    us. It requires deep introspection, when

    parents say they have rachmanis on their
    child are they really having rachmanis on
    themselves? Rav Elyashiv had the correct
    vision about the Next World and how to
    deal with an insolent child in this world.
    Similarly, Rav Brevda would illustrate the

    difference between a European Jew (pre-
    war) and an American Jew by what they

    would pray for. For instance, if a son had
    to choose between doing a sin or giving up
    his life the European parent would want
    him to give up his life and the American
    parent would want him to do the sin.
    Vues Master’s Note: Back to your topic
    again! You just won’t give up!

    Dear Vues Master
    It seems like a lifetime ago, but COVID
    struck the world less than two years ago.
    The world was shut down, millions died,
    and life was altered forever. Today we
    all carry around some trauma from those
    years of sequestration, social absence, and

    fear. Some experienced anger and frustra-
    tion over the government and social pres-
    sures. No one came out of COVID as they

    came into it. With some space between
    us and the pandemic we can ask if we

    handled the pandemic in a manner consis-
    tent with the Torah. In a series of sermons

    titled “Drashot Haran” Rabbeinu Nissim,
    a 12th Century scholar wrote about Divine
    punishment and how to react to global
    tragedies. He wrote this sermon just after
    the black plague had torn through Europe
    (he lived in Spain) and killed millions of
    people. He said the proper response of
    survivors was repentance. The Ran wrote,

    “We have been witness to the chastise-
    ments of our G-d for thirteen years now,

    a complete reversal of the natural order of
    things. For the evil Plague descended in
    that year upon most of the inhabitants of

    the earth, bringing upon them unusual af-
    flictions which it is impossible to attribute

    to the workings of nature. Every enlight-
    ened individual must acknowledge them

    as “the finger of G-d.” For the illnesses
    common to man may be attributed to his
    nature, unlike strange, exotic illnesses,
    which must be regarded as the punishment
    of G-d to man in His constant surveillance
    of him. …The language of Scripture, then,
    agrees with what is dictated by intellect
    — that sore, exotic afflictions are not the
    adventitious byproducts of man’s nature,
    but rather “the finger of G-d.” And it is
    such afflictions that we witnessed with

    our own eyes, reaching out and engulf-
    ing all in that year, until in the space of

    just one year the world underwent a more

    radical change than it had ever undergone
    previously in the course of two hundred
    years. And in many places it happened
    as it happened with Dathan and Aviram,
    many men — they and all that was theirs
    — being completely wiped out, until their
    inheritance reverted to their foes. I am not
    saying that this happened because of their
    sins, but that it happened. And we, too,

    these days and in this time are being con-
    stantly alarmed by reports that in lands not

    at all distant from ours there are happen-
    ing things of the kind which happened in

    our land and which we witnessed with our
    own eyes. This being so, how can our evil
    inclination and our deceitful imagination
    make any claim upon us? How can they
    arouse us to rebellion and drive us from
    domicile in the inheritance of the Lord?
    Is it not our own eyes that have seen the
    chastisements of the Lord our G-d and His
    strong hand exhorting us not to fall prey to
    false, temporal vanities? Is it not easy for
    us to return to the Holy One Blessed be
    He with a whole heart, as dictated by our
    intellect, unimpeded by any hindrance or
    deterrent, untrammeled by the Satan or by
    any evil intercessor?” Did we follow the
    Ran’s advice and repent after the COVID
    pandemic? As David Smith wrote, “[This]
    is a long fight over the origin of a virus
    that has caused close to 7 million deaths
    worldwide, clouding efforts to pursue
    a neutral, fact-based inquiry. In its loud
    opinions, blue v red certainties and lack
    of nuance, the melee echoes clashes over
    pandemic lockdowns, masks and vaccines.
    Bill Galston, a former policy adviser to

    Bill Clinton, said: “Isn’t this just like ev-
    erything else in American politics, where

    a partisan position on one side invites a
    partisan response by the other? There’s a

    lot of what might be called reactive think-
    ing going on because of the high degree of

    polarisation and the high stakes. Charges

    without foundation invite responses with-
    out foundation.” I’m afraid to say I don’t

    think we reacted properly to the pan-
    demic. There’s a well known joke about

    COVID that is too true. “Many people
    didn’t think COVID was such a big deal,

    they claim people blew it out of propor-
    tion. Of course, those are usually the sur-
    vivors who think that way.” There’s truth

    in every joke, but unfortunately there’s
    too much truth in that joke. As we seem
    to steer clear of COVID, it’s important to
    take time and ask ourselves how COVID
    affected us, what changes did it make to
    us – by our choice or not by our choice –
    and how have we become better because
    of those changes? Did we re-examine our
    values and priorities? As much as COVID
    was a horrific tragedy it is also a reflection

    point. We must take advantage of this mo-
    ment in our lives and global history and

    use it properly.

    Vues Master’s Note: Interesting perspec-

    Dear Vues Master:
    Kiddushin is done with וביאה שטר ,כסף.
    Why is gittin limited to shtar? Why can’t
    a woman simply be given money and told
    to take the money and leave? The answer
    is that this comes to teach us that money
    can’t buy happiness.
    Vues Master’s Note: Why don’t you just
    give me the money and I will deal with the
    happiness or lack of it!

    Dear Vues Master:
    There is an ancient question, how did
    Noach get into Megillas Esther? Noach
    is actually mentioned three times during
    the climactic battle the Yidden fought
    against the followers of Haman. First, it
    says “Noach b’arbuo usur”, then “Noach
    b’chamisha usur”. Which one was it?
    So yeshi dorshim l’ganai v’yesh dorshim

    l’shvach. Some say he only led the fight-
    ing in all the lands in open territory but he

    didn’t want to fight in the urban area of
    Shushan where street to street fighting is
    more intense. So it says, b’chamisha usur.
    He continued to fight even in Shushan.
    Which was it? So, yuvoi ha’kosiv
    ha’shlishi v’yachrio bei’nei’hem. It says a

    third time ‘Noach mei’oiveihem’ – wher-
    ever there were enemies trying to destroy

    the YIdden, he led the battle to victory.

    You might ask, why are we discussing No-
    ach and the Megillah this time of the year?

    Well, we can ask a similar question in the
    Parshas Beha’aloscha: what is he doing in
    this parsha? We find Noach mentioned in
    the parsha in the part near the end where
    Miriam was punished with tzaraas due
    to complaining about Moshe. It says

    ‘va’yeitzu sheneihem’. Aharon and Mir-
    iam were told to leave Moshe when Hash-
    em would tell them shvach about Moshe.

    When they left, Hashem told them the
    greater sh’vach. So Rashi compares this
    to Noach that he said his whole shvach loi
    be’fonof – Tzadik tomim and only partial
    in front of him when Hashem called him
    just a tzaddik. Every Yid a Big Tzadik.
    So we need Noach mentioned in various
    areas; he doesn’t get much rest. Now, we
    raise another question about someone who
    is in the news a lot. Where do we find
    President Trump mentioned? In Parshas
    Beha’aloscha, it discussed the Cha’tzoitris

    – the Trump-ets. It says the Yidden had
    two trumpets. Why two? Again, yesh
    dorshim la’ganai – those that are against
    him say that there were two indictments.

    Those who support his many great ac-
    complishments say la’shvach – there will

    be iy”h two terms. He doesn’t get much

    rest either. Time will tell who will pre-

    Vues Master’s Note: I think your letters
    are hilarious! Noach could not have built
    a teiva in the time you spend writing your

    Dear Vues Master:
    אברהם מנחם מנדיל הלוי שטיינברג When
    ר׳ was criticized for being מתיר four
    thousand agunos, he responded: “First,

    I took the responsibility on myself be-
    fore the מעלה של דין בית and I’m certain

    that I will go out זכאי. Second, even if

    I’m חלילה found to have acted improp-
    erly, the 4,000 klezmerim who played at

    the weddings of those עגונות will begin
    playing and will distract the prosecuting

    Angels and I’ll take the opportunity to es-
    cape to עדן גן.“

    Vues Master’s Note: I hope he was right!

    Dear Vues Master:
    Henny Youngman said that he and his
    wife were married for better or for worse.
    “I couldn’t have done better,” he said.
    “And she couldn’t have done worse.”

    Vues Master’s Note: Oy! The perfect mar-

    Dear Vues Master:
    The Saudis’ takeover of the Professional
    Golfers’ Association of America (PGA)
    is just the latest in a series of attempts by
    dictators to use sports to divert attention
    from human rights abuses. It’s been less
    than five years since Saudi government
    agents tortured and strangled dissident
    journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi
    consulate in Istanbul, and dismembered
    his body with a bonesaw. As part of a

    concerted effort to distract the interna-
    tional community from the Khashoggi

    murder—and Riyadh’s many other ongo-
    ing human rights violations—the Saudis

    have been using their wealth to buy their
    way into the sports world. They lured
    tennis stars to a tournament last year by
    offering an unprecedented $1-million to
    the winner, and they convinced Brazilian
    soccer star Ronaldo to play for a Saudi

    team by paying him $75-million annu-
    ally, making him the highest-paid ath-
    lete in the world. Now the Saudis have

    turned their attention to golf. Two years
    ago, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan
    denounced the Saudis’ creation of their
    own golf league, the LIV, as an unfair
    attempt “to buy the game of golf.” He
    alluded to Saudi Arabia’s connections
    to the 9/11 attacks, asserting that golfers
    who remained in the PGA would never

    have to be embarrassed about their as-
    sociation, while those who jumped to the

    LIV would find themselves “apologiz-
    ing” for doing so. This week, however,

    the prospect of massive Saudi funding
    has persuaded the PGA to become part
    of the Saudi league, and Monahan is
    saying the merger is “historic” and the
    Saudis are “visionaries.” For the Saudis,
    it’s a major victory in their campaign to
    whitewash their appalling human rights
    record by securing a respected place on
    the world stage. The phenomenon now
    called “sportswashing” debuted nearly
    a century ago, at the 1936 Olympics in
    Berlin. Adolf Hitler exploited the games
    to dazzle the international community

    and distract from his persecution of Ger-
    many’s Jews. The Roosevelt administra-
    tion had ample warning that the Nazis

    intended to use the games for propa-
    ganda purposes. The U.S. ambassador in

    Berlin, William Dodd, reported to Wash-
    ington that the Nazis intended to use the

    Olympics “to rehabilitate and enhance
    the reputation of the ‘New Germany.’
    ” Foreigners will “have only the usual
    tourist contacts” and were likely to come

    away doubting the veracity of “the Jew-
    ish persecution which they have previ-
    ously read [about] in their home papers,”

    Dodd predicted. The Hitler government
    had hired two thousand translators and
    was training them in the art of “parrying
    embarrassing questions and insinuating
    praise of Nationalism Socialism in their
    small talk,” the ambassador warned. The
    Nazis were also careful to remove Der
    Sturmer and other antisemitic literature
    from the newsstands in Berlin shortly
    before foreign visitors began arriving in

    the summer of 1936. “Jews Not Want-
    ed” signs that had been posted along

    major thoroughfares were taken down.
    Physical assaults on Jews were kept to
    a minimum during the games. Visiting
    journalists were duly impressed. The
    Los Angeles Times hailed the Hitler
    regime as “worthy hosts” who “put on

    a magnificent show.”The Berlin corre-
    spondent of the New York Times hailed

    Hitler for “a good job well done—al-
    most without flaw” and predicted that

    the games would lead “to the undoubt-
    ed improvement of world relations and

    general amiability.” What actually hap-
    pened, of course, was exactly the oppo-
    site: the failure to confront Hitler paved

    the way for him to plunge the world into

    a Nazi bloodbath. In the 1970s, Philip-
    pine dictator Ferdinand Marcos likewise

    used sports to counter the bad press he

    had been receiving because of his hu-
    man rights abuses. He paid heavyweight

    boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

    $4.5-million and $2.5-million, respec-
    tively, to fight in what became known

    as the “Thrilla in Manila.” The “whole
    purpose of the fight,” Sports Illustrated
    noted, was “to show that Manila was no

    longer an outlaw city, that foreign in-
    vestment was secure, that martial rule,

    for all its connotations, was a cleansing
    instrument: Martial Law with a smile.”
    The dictator certainly got his money’s
    worth. In the days leading up to the
    fight, Ali declared that Marcos was “a
    great man,” “humble,” “peaceful” and

    “loving,” who “will lead his people al-
    ways with the best decisions…President

    Marcos knows how to solve the prob-
    lems here better than we could.” The

    apartheid regime in South Africa tried

    a similar strategy in the 1980s, spend-
    ing lavishly to host international tennis

    events and boxing matches. The regime
    offered tennis stars John McEnroe and
    Bjorn Borg to play each other for what

    the Washington Post called the “gargan-
    tuan” sum of $1-million to the winner

    and $600,000 to the loser; Borg agreed,
    but McEnroe refused. Many top boxers,
    including Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray

    Leonard, refused to fight in South Afri-
    ca. But other prominent fighters of that

    era, such as Greg Page and Mike Weav-
    er, decided the money was more impor-
    tant than the cause. And famed boxing

    promoter Don King, one of the earliest
    supporters of the “Artists and Athletes
    Against Apartheid” group, jumped into
    bed with the apartheid regime when the
    price was right. From Berlin to Riyadh,
    dictators can always find athletes who

    are prepared to turn a blind eye to atroci-
    ties if offered enough money. But the ul-
    timate power rests with the fans: if they

    refuse to patronize events sponsored by

    murderous regimes and ostracize ath-
    letes who collaborate with them, it will

    become impossible for those regimes to

    continue exploiting sports for their unsa-
    vory purposes.

    Refael Medoff
    Vues Master’s Note: Now I understand
    my Rebbe when he used to say that Sports
    iz an Avoda Zora!

    Dear Vues Master:
    A woman had an artist paint her portrait.
    When it was done, she complimented him
    but asked if he could add a large diamond

    necklace. He did so and she again com-
    plimented him but asked if he could add

    matching earrings and a bracelet for her
    wrist. “Don’t you think it would be too

    much?” he asked. “You look lovely with-
    out them.” “Thank you,” she responded,

    “but my husband is younger than me and
    when I’m gone he’ll probably remarry. I
    want his next wife to go crazy looking for
    this jewelry.”
    Vues Master’s Note: I tell my wife all the

    time you are picture perfect without jew-

    Dear Vues Master:

    Mark had an appointment with his ac-
    countant. The receptionist asked him to

    take a seat. Mark picked up a magazine

    and began reading but was unable to con-
    centrate because of the screaming com-
    ing through one of the doors. Mark ap-
    proached the receptionist and asked what

    was going on. “It’s a partners meeting,”
    she replied. “But why are they shouting
    at each other?” he asked. “It’s a battle
    of wits,” she replied. “Who is in there?”

    Mark asked. “Horowits, Lebowits, Rabi-
    nowits and Abramowits,” she replied.

    Vues Master’s Note: A lawyer believes a

    Dear Vues Master:

    Having visited today the kever of the Zai-
    dah the Chasam Sofer, I noticed people

    lighting candles there. I was wondering
    if this would not be considered געול שרל.
    The Chasam Sofer writes he is unaware
    of the so-called רבה מצוה) sarcastic) to
    light a נשמה נר at home or even at the
    kever. The Chasam Sofer holds that the
    concept of a נשמה נר is only when it is
    used to light up a Shul or a Bais Medrash.
    Vues Master’s Note: Light up the night!