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    Dear Vues Master:

    Referring back to an article placed in the Jewish Vues dur-
    ing the winter vacation exodus to Florida, Rabbi Efrem

    Goldberg brought to light an issue that must be transplanted
    up the coast to the northeast into Sullivan County Catskills
    for the summer, (and all year as well). The Sullivan County
    Catskills is overwhelmed with over 500,000 of our fellow
    yidden in all categories of observance. Some are outwardly
    recognizable, but others, like myself who mix in with the
    locals, constantly hear antisemitism. The area has become
    a haven for our fellow Jews, but the locals, although they
    gain hugely from our presence, despise us with a passion.
    It is our responsibility, each and every bochur, Rabbi, man
    and woman and child, to be courteous no matter what the

    circumstances are. Antisemitism has reached insane pro-
    portions. Sadly, as witnessed, our chevra create a chillul

    Hashem by acts of entitlement, ignoring rules of the road,
    as well as parking anywhere they choose, handicap, NO
    PARKING, etc., over and over again! It is up to each and

    every single one of us to go above and beyond to appreci-
    ate how lucky we are to have this beautiful place to enjoy,

    full or part time. The askanim and rabbanim do not imply
    their followers to behave. They look to have funds brought
    to their batai midrashim and ignore the surrounding and
    oftentimes dangerous issues. I am speaking as a full time
    resident having witnessed our tribe consistently ignoring all
    the rules and regulations, and hearing first hand the hate
    from not only non Jews, but many non observant Jews as

    well. Let us show appreciation for all that we have and RE-
    SPECT and PROTECT as best as possible each and every

    one of our chevra. Wishing all a healthy, happy and safe
    Faigi E.
    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for writing this in. I couldn’t
    have said it better myself!

    Dear Vues Master:
    Why is there no parking upstate? South Fallsburg is a mess.
    Woodbourne is a mess. The 4 corners are a mess. Loch
    Sheldrake is a mess. You would think that they would make
    some more parking lots!
    Vues Master’s Note: It’s absolutely ridiculous! I know they
    want to give us tickets when we double park.

    Dear Vues Master
    I just went into the new Mountain Food store in Monticello.
    It was great. The shopping experience was really nice. I
    hope they don’t raise their prices now. They were always
    one of the most affordable groceries upstate.

    Vues Master’s Note: These days I feel everything is expen-
    sive! They are only open ten weeks a year so I’m sure they

    are not going to be cheap. They have a lot of expenses to

    Dear Vues Master:
    It seems like a lifetime ago, but COVID struck the world

    less than two years ago. The world was shut down, mil-
    lions died, and life was altered forever. Today we all carry

    around some trauma from those years of sequestration, so-
    cial absence, and fear. Some experienced anger and frus-
    tration over the government and social pressures. 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 consistent with the Torah. In a se-
    ries 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 chastisements of our God for thir-
    teen 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
    afflictions which it is impossible to attribute to the workings
    of nature. Every enlightened individual must acknowledge
    them as “the finger of G-d.” For the sicknesses 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 by-
    products 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 engulfing 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
    constantly alarmed by reports that in lands not
    at all distant from ours there are happening
    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 God
    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, un-
    trammeled by the Satan or by any evil inter-
    cessor?” 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 nu-
    ance, 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 everything else in Ameri-
    can 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
    thinking going on because of the high degree
    of polarisation and the high stakes. Charges
    without foundation invite responses without
    foundation.” I’m afraid to say I don’t think
    we reacted properly to the pandemic. 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 proportion. Of course, those are usually the
    survivors 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 moment in our lives and global history
    and use it properly.
    Vues Master’s Note: I say we mishandled it.
    We should not have closed Yeshivas and Batei
    Midrashim. There are people now not being

    machshiv tefillah Betzibbur as a result of Co-
    vid. Speak to the gabbaim at Shomer Shabbos

    and Landaus. They will tell you that there are
    much less people davening with a minyan!

    Dear Vues Master:
    There is a fairly new trend that stores, offices
    and even dental and doctor offices, have a
    scent dispersed in the air. These are harmful
    toxic substances that many people are allergic

    to and most people, even if they don’t real-
    ize it, are not tolerating it too well. We think

    it is normal to have headaches, strep, nausea,
    fatigue, asthma etc. on a regular basis but it
    is not. Even if it were healthy, the strength of
    these scents are very often overwhelming. It is
    unprofessional and very unpleasant. It should
    be in the background, like background music
    in a restaurant. Very often it can be smelled a
    block away and hits you in the face when you

    enter the establishment. When buying gar-
    ments from such stores they continue smelling

    even through multiple washes. It is becoming
    increasingly difficult and impossible for many
    people to shop in our favorite local stores. We
    want to support you… please at least LOWER
    the setting! I understand that this is someone’s
    business… There are non-toxic options out

    there. It would be great if he can take his busi-
    ness to the next level and upgrade to natural

    scents using essential oils. Not only are these
    safe, but they are actually beneficial. Doctors
    offices can use oils that promote relaxation.
    Stores oils that improve mood and schools and
    offices can use oils that help with energy and

    a clear mind. Thank you for everyone’s con-
    sideration. Let’s keep the business booming in

    our amazing communities!
    Frimet S.
    Vues Master’s Note: Something smells about
    this letter!

    Dear Vues Master:
    The מרוטנברג ם“מהר wrote a קינה for the
    burning of the Talmud in Paris in the year
    1244. Ashkenazim say this קינה on Tisha B’av

    (א“מ קינה- באש שרופה שאלי (One of the pow-
    erful stanzas of the

    קינה .אוריד דמעות עדי יהיו כנחל ויגיעו לקברות
    שני אציליך משה ואהרן בהר ההר ואשאל
    היש תורה חדשה בכן נשרפו גליליך

    “I will shed tears until they flow like a riv-
    er and reach the graves of your two princes

    Moishe & Aaron who are resting on the moun-
    tain of Hor. And I will ask them, “Is there a

    Torah that is new and therefore your scrolls
    have been burnt?”
    Vues Master’s Note: May we be zoche not to
    say these kinos anymore!

    Dear Vues Master:
    There was frantic knocking on the Rabbi’s
    door late one night. It was Moshe, who with
    fright in his voice said “I’m sorry to bother
    you so late at night, but I’m desperate. You’ve
    got to help me. My wife is trying to poison me.
    I don’t know what to do. I need your advice.”

    The Rabbi was incredulous. “It can’t be,” he
    said. “Yes, it is!” Moshe said, “I’m sure she’s
    trying to poison me. I’m besides myself. I
    don’t know what to do.” The Rabbi said he

    would speak with Moshe’s wife in the morn-
    ing and see what she has to say. Later that day,

    he called Moshe and said: “I spoke with your
    wife. My advice is: take the poison.”
    Vues Master’s Note: Oy! Is this another
    Churchill joke?

    Dear Vues Master:
    Math and reading scores among America’s

    13-year-olds fell to their lowest levels in de-
    cades, with math scores plunging by the larg-
    est margin ever recorded, according to the re-
    sults of a test known as the nation’s report card.

    The results, released last Wednesday, are the
    latest measure of the deep learning setbacks
    incurred during the pandemic. While earlier
    testing revealed the magnitude of America’s
    learning loss, the latest test casts light on the
    persistence of those setbacks, dimming hopes
    of swift academic recovery.
    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks to Fauci and the
    union for shutting down the schools during

    Dear Vues Master:
    Free Nechama: Finding Hope and Resilience
    in Parshat Chukat-Balak In the spirit of this
    week’s Parsha, Chukat-Balak, I’d like to draw
    your attention to a pressing issue within our

    community that’s in dire need of our collec-
    tive action and prayers. Our dear Jewish sister,

    Nechama Wasserman, has been denied a ‘get’,
    a Jewish divorce document, by her estranged
    husband, David Wasserman, for over 9 years.

    This has left her in a state of marital limbo, un-
    able to move forward with her life. Esteemed

    Rabbinic leaders – Rabbi Gavriel Tzinner,
    Head of the Bais Din, Rabbi Tzvi Gartner,

    Rabbinic Judge, Rabbi Yitzchak Aizik Shap-
    iro, Rabbinic Judge, Rabbi Menachem Mendel

    HaKohen Shafran, and Rabbi Shimon Russak
    – have issued a Psak Kefiah, a forceful decree,
    against David. This significant move has led
    to David’s excommunication and permission

    to use extreme pressure (as long as it’s com-
    pliant with local law) until he grants the ‘get’.

    Despite this, David continues to evade his re-
    ligious and ethical responsibilities. Now, let’s

    delve into this week’s Parsha, Chukat-Balak,
    to glean lessons that resonate deeply with
    Nechama’s ongoing struggle. In Chukat, we
    encounter the ritual of the Red Heifer – Parah
    Aduma – an enigmatic commandment which
    deals with purification from a state of impurity
    – the most profound being exposure to death.

    This complex ritual is a potent symbol of re-
    silience and rejuvenation. It tells us that no

    matter how severe the impurity or adversity,

    there is a path to purity and renewal. Much
    like the Red Heifer’s transformation from a
    state of impurity to purity, we maintain hope

    and faith that Nechama, too, despite her dif-
    ficult ordeal due to David’s refusal to grant a

    ‘get’, can emerge from her current situation
    renewed, once again able to fully engage in
    life. In Balak, we witness the story of Balaam,

    hired by King Balak to curse the Israelites. In-
    stead, his intended curses become blessings.

    This narrative not only emphasizes the impos-
    sibility of reversing what has been divinely

    blessed but also underscores the potential for
    transformation. The current adversity faced by

    Nechama, as challenging as it is, has the po-
    tential to become a catalyst for change, mobi-
    lizing our community and sparking a broader

    conversation about the importance of justice

    in marital disputes. Furthermore, the narra-
    tive of Balaam highlights the power of speech

    and the impact our words can have on others.
    As we have seen, words intended for harm

    can be transformed into blessings. In a simi-
    lar vein, our collective voices of pressure in

    support of Nechama have the power to bring
    about change, transforming her challenging
    situation into a springboard for reform. The

    narratives of Parshat Chukat-Balak inspire re-
    silience, hope, transformation, and the power

    of a collective voice. They call on us to stand
    strong, to believe in the possibility of change,
    and to raise our voices in the pursuit of justice
    for Nechama. # Free Nechama
    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for sharing!

    Dear Vues Master:
    The parsha of Korach details the rebellion
    of Korach and his followers against Moshe
    Rabeinu. Korach was smart and a righteous
    person yet he let his ego lead him to challenge
    Moshe. But what attracted all those “Anshei
    Shaim” to join him. Shouldn’t they have been
    ashamed? Well, we know that Korach was the

    richest man of this generation. He was a “ka-
    reeai moied” to them – he called them to po-
    litical meetings where he preached his woke

    philosophy. He threatened to boycott them if
    they didn’t go along with him. How did he
    get richer from other people? Everybody at
    krias yam suf took from the bizas – business
    – of the yam. However, when the Maan and
    the Slaav fell separately, he put them together
    and created the sandwich. The idea caught
    on like ketores fire and became known as the

    Korach. It proved so popular that it was in-
    corporated into the Seder simanim. However,

    as a remez to the machlokes, it was put after
    Matzo which also means Meriva and after
    Maror. Others who followed his way was
    Haman who was the richest man in his time
    and Soros likewise in our time. They use their
    riches to corrupt and destroy. One of the main
    arguments he used was the techelas ploy. He
    said that a begged that is completely techeilas

    shouldn’t need tzitzis. A question arises that

    when the Yidden saw Mordechai wearing te-
    cheilas it was a sign of hope and joy. How

    do we reconcile this? The answer could be
    because it says “biroisum Yachad Techeilas
    Mordechai”. They saw it with achdus while
    by Korach it was used to divide the people.
    Moshe tried to mollify Korach. He offered

    him to get an aliya of Levi bemakoim Ko-
    hen. Korach still wasn’t satisfied with that.

    He said “Loi Naaleh”. “Historer” he even
    became hysterical with his demands. At this
    point, all logic was lost. But was it about On?

    His wife saved him. She told him to tell Ko-
    rach “Just say NO” which is On spelled back-
    wards. She was a Tzaddekes but she also

    had a practical reason for preventing On from
    joining Korach. She knew that they would
    come to a bad ending and she didn’t want to
    lose her father-in-law’s Palace. That would
    be too much to swallow.
    Vues Master’s Note: It’s a good thing you are
    not my rebbe, otherwise I would not know a
    drop of Chumash!

    Dear Vues Master:

    Only Yekkes & Oberlanders may wear mod-
    ern clothing. The (*א:ט“פ (אדם חכמת de-
    fends Yidden from (אשכנז ארץ כל (Germany

    who wear clothing similar to the Goyim. The
    אדם חכמת claims since in Ashkenaz they
    never instituted a dress code to be different
    than the Goyim, therefore there is no Issur of
    תלכו לא ובחקתיהם by keeping their original

    dress, which is similar to the Goyim. Howev-
    er, Yidden originating from countries where

    they did institute a dress code that is different

    than the Goyim (Lithuania included) (regard-
    less of the reason) they may not wear cloth-
    ing similar to the Goyim. Those who do wear

    ובחקתיהם לא תלכו on עובר are clothing such
    .חייב מלקות are and
    Vues Master’s Note: I guess clothing does
    not make the man but clothing makes you a

    Dear Vues Master:
    Sam was a very successful businessman. As

    their twenty fifth wedding anniversary ap-
    proached, he asked his wife what she would

    like for a gift. “Would you like a diamond
    necklace?” he asked. “No, thanks” she said.
    “”Well how about a new car?” he asked.
    “No,” she said. “An apartment in Florida?”
    he asked. “No,” she responded again. “Well
    what do you want for our anniversary?” Sam
    asked. “I want a divorce,” she replied. “Oh
    no,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on spending
    that much.”
    Vues Master’s Note: Pretty penny!

    Dear Vues Master:
    On pg. 28, in last week’s Jewish Vues you

    printed a quotation from R. Goldberg: Every-
    thing will be OK in the end. For if it’s not

    Ok, it is not yet the end.” The source of the
    quotation is from a Portuguese novel. Please
    make this correction.
    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks for bringing it to
    our attention.

    Dear Vues Master:
    The danger of listening to the wife.
    (משלי יא כח)
    בוטח בעשרו הוא יפול אמר רבי לוי: שני
    עשירים גדולים היו בעולם, אחד בישראל ואחד
    באומות העולם- קורח בישראל והמן באומות
    העולם; ושניהם שמעו לנשיהם, ושניהם נפלו”
    The two wealthiest people in the world had
    their downfall listening to their wives. I’m
    not sureפשט in this Midrash, Is it, a) only
    the wealthy shouldn’t listen to their wives.
    b) even the wealthy shouldn’t listen to their
    Vues Master’s Note: I asked my wife how
    to respond. She said you don’t have enough
    money so just be quiet!

    Dear Vues Master:
    How do we know that the Jews drove cars
    out of Mitzrayim? The pasuk (Bamidbar
    21:1) tells us that the king of Arad captured a
    Chevy from them. DE
    Vues Master’s Note: Should have gotten an

    Dear Vues Master:
    The Chasam Sofer in the
    Chazal the explains דרשות (ח“א קפ“ג ד“ה כן)
    “ת“ח מרבים שלום בעולם” of
    Hashem created the Midos.
    The , בושה-עזות ,גאוה -ענוה, שלום-מחלוקת
    world is in need of all of the מדות and cannot
    exist without them. However, all these מדות
    can be used for the good or ו“ח for the bad.
    מחלוקת in תורה learning is a beautiful thing.
    It forces the true פשט to come out. Having

    Talmidei Chachamim arguing in Torah re-
    duces the need for bad מחלוקת in the world.

    “מרבים שלום בעולם” are they Hence
    Vues Master’s Note: I can’t argue with this

    Dear Vues Master:
    During a trip to Russia, Moshe Montefiore
    went to meet with Czar Nikolai the first, who
    was a well-known anti-Semite. Montefiore,
    the great philanthropist and defender of Jews,

    urged the Czar to permit Jews to leave Rus-
    sia. “How much are you prepared to pay me

    for each Jew that I permit to leave?” asked

    the Czar. Montefiore responded: “If Your Ex-
    cellency were to ask me to pay the worth that

    each Jew has in my eyes, there isn’t enough
    money in the entire world to do so. However,
    if you were to ask me to pay for each Jew

    what he is worth in your eyes, the whole mat-
    ter is not worth your while at all.”

    Vues Master’s Note: Great answer!

    Dear Vues Master:
    DG brings to light the sad state of affairs
    when one ignores the realities that Hashem

    created the world with. *A mother is the gate-
    keeper to her children. Being good to her

    keeps that channel open. Staying married
    to her makes that much easier. *Parenting is
    the responsibility of the parent, not the child.
    *Having a child does not give one the skills
    to have a relationship. That has to be worked
    on. * A child learns to respect or disdain the
    people you respect or disdain. When you
    show disrespect to the other parent, they to
    show disrespect (what to them is) the other
    parent. *You can not demand respect, it can
    only be earned. May Hashem help each of us

    become the best we can be bein adam lacha-
    viro v’bein adam lamakom.

    Mrs. R
    Vues Master’s Note: Amen! I wish DG would
    stop blaming everyone else for his problems!

    Dear Vues Master:
    An elderly woman boarded a hot, crowded
    bus, with no available seats. Addressing a
    young woman, she said “If you knew what
    I have, you would give me your seat.” The
    younger woman stood up and gave her the
    seat. Ten minutes later, the elderly woman
    asked the bus driver to stop and let her get
    off. “I’m sorry ma’am,” he said, “the next
    stop is three blocks away.” However, she
    wouldn’t take no for an answer. With a big
    sigh she said “If you knew what I have, you

    would let me off here.” Being compassion-
    ate, the driver stopped the bus and opened the

    doors to let her out. As she was going down

    the stairs, he said “If you don’t mind my ask-
    ing, what do you have?” “Lots of chutzpah,”

    she answered.
    Vues Master’s Note: Great story! Now if it
    was true and happened to me I might Shpritz
    her with my water bottle as I have some
    Chutzpah too. My Rebbes used to smack me
    for Chutzpa!

    Dear Vues Master

    This is about an article called “Jewish Match-
    making Kosher” by Rabbi Gil Student. The

    author assumes that all his readers understand
    the lingo, the Hebrew words used. Rabbi

    Student consistently used the expression “lif-
    nei iveir”, never once translating it. How is

    one to understand what he is saying? I read
    his bio and saw that he, like me, grew up in a
    Conservative Jewish household, and that he
    climbed the ladder, so he should understand
    the predicament. I am climbing the ladder,
    but his constant use of some words “put a
    stumbling block” in my way; I had to google
    the word to understand it, but Rabbi Student
    is guilty of doing just that. Not everyone is
    fortunate to have had a yeshiva education;
    please be mindful. Thank you.
    Response from Rabbi Gil Student:
    Thank you for your comments and for taking

    the time to read the article. I greatly appreci-
    ate any feedback from readers. I normally am

    careful to translate Hebrew phrases, albeit
    briefly due to space limitations. In this case,
    I wrote: “in regard to the biblical prohibition
    of lifnei iveir and the rabbinic prohibition
    of mesayei’a yedei overei aveirah, both of
    which include assisting someone in sinning”.
    In my mind, this was a sufficient translation.
    I apologize if it was not. I will work harder to
    make sure the words and concepts are clearly
    translated and understandable. Thank you
    Rabbi Gil Student

    Dear Vues Master
    What is this world coming to? Residents of
    New York City who heavily rely on takeout
    meals will soon no longer receive plastic
    spoons and chopsticks. Restaurants now face
    potential fines for providing these items. The
    city recently proposed a set of fines, ranging

    from $50 to $250, for restaurants, food deliv-
    ery services, and third-party couriers who in-
    clude utensils and condiments like soy sauce

    and ketchup packets in orders without the
    customers’ request. This initiative, known
    as the “Skip the Stuff” bill, aims to reduce
    the amount of plastic waste generated by
    restaurants, as stated in the newly published
    Vues Masters Note: This is the woke world
    we currently live in! It’s only going to get