Rabbi Ari Enkin in Dalet Amot of Halacha (Sept. 15) wrote as one of the reasons for reciting Tashlich where there are fish: “Just as fish are always getting caught in the fisherman’s net, so we are ‘caught’ in G-d’s ‘net’ of judgment at this time of year.”
I used to officiate as rabbi/ba’al tefillah for the Yamim Nora’im. It was located in a school gymnasium that was set up as a shul. There was an elevated stage used for plays where I sat facing the congregation. Right above me was a basketball net to which all congregants faced. I told the congregants one year during my sermon that the basketball net was the perfect symbol for the High Holidays.
I said “Unlike a regular net, where fish are caught, this net is open on the bottom. With teshuva, G-d releases us from the ‘net’ where we have been trapped because of our sins and gives us the ability to begin the year with a clean slate.”
May the “net” result of all our actions bring us the geula shleima with the coming of Mashiach!
Rabbi Mordechai Bulua
The Case for Trump
I agree to some extent with letter-writer Josh Rosenthal (“The Sins of Donald Trump,” Sept. 15) regarding Trump. I believe that Trump manifests significant personality flaws and that he may exhibit narcissistic personality disorder, e.g., inordinate and unmitigated grandiosity, haughty and arrogant attitudes, and, at times, a lack of empathy. Such character flaws inevitably affect one’s interpersonal functioning. Although I voted twice for Trump, I would prefer Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley as the Republican presidential nominee in 2024.
That being said, Trump was indeed subjected to a “witch hunt” early in his presidency, namely, the hoax concerning his alleged collusion with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton. The official report of the Durham investigation concluded that the FBI acted without proper basis to open the investigation, that it did not use standard analytical tools to evaluate the information, that there was markedly different handling of the Trump investigation and that of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and that the FBI and DOJ failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law.
Trump was also highly successful as POTUS by various metrics regarding domestic and foreign affairs. In contrast, President Biden has consistently low approval ratings, especially concerning the economy. Most Americans think he is too old or impaired to be president. A substantial percentage of Americans also believe that he benefited from the millions of dollars raked in by his son Hunter’s, involvement in foreign deals with Communist China, Ukraine, and other countries.
While there may not be a “smoking gun,” there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including eyewitness testimony, that, as Vice President, Biden knew of his son’s business deals and had direct contact with Hunter’s foreign business partners. Even if Biden only “talked about the weather” with Hunter’s business partners, it was the “Biden brand” that was lucrative.
Biden has a long and repetitive history of numerous fabrications and lies about matters both benign and extremely relevant to the American public (e.g., his denial that he was informed by his generals that Afghanistan would quickly fall to the Taliban upon American troop withdrawal and that a contingent of U.S. troops should remain until all Americans were evacuated). Such extreme propensity to distort, exaggerate, or lie suggests that he may suffer from significant personality psychopathology, likely impacting his role as president. Indeed, would we expect someone who routinely tells numerous blatant lies to become an Honest Abe when the truth would spell personal disaster?
I find it curious that Mr. Rosenthal is puzzled that polls show Trump and Biden running neck and neck. While Democrats accuse Trump and Republicans of endangering democracy in America, I think there is much projection on their part. It was the Biden White House that told social media giants to restrict so-called disinformation, a.k.a., free speech, e.g., concerning the origins of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines. Most recently, the White House essentially told journalists to get on board with criticizing, if not inveighing, against the Impeachment Inquiry. That smacks of “semi-fascism” or totalitarian-light.
In my opinion, any Republican currently running for president would be better than any Democrat running for president.
Dr. Robert Semel
Check the Record
I’m responding to Arlene Ross’s letter in the Sept. 9 issue of The Jewish Press: “Trump Editorial Disappoints.” Ms. Ross took issue with the editorial, “What Part Don’t They Get?” I for one, thought the editorial was excellent. It was relevant, honest and factual, focusing on Donald Trump’s achievements, his relationship with Israel being a major part of those achievements.
To deny that Trump, in his four years, was the best-ever friend and benefactor Israel ever enjoyed is more than ludicrous; it’s shameful. Opposing a generations-long taboo by our antisemitic State Department, Trump proudly and happily recognized Israel’s capital as Jerusalem and promptly saw to a change in its location from Tel Aviv. Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights was a gutsy move that spoke volumes to Israel’s enemies and detractors.
President Trump also said to PA leader Abbas: “You lied to me.” As for achievements here at home, who on earth can deny the excellent economy he created? Who can deny the wonderful feeling of energy independence he accomplished? He lowered our taxes and made sure our military was first class, a force to be reckoned with. Young Mr. Un in North Korea met his match and actually shut down his propaganda and bombastic diatribes. Iran, China and Russia all took notice that the new sheriff in town was dead-set on protecting the American people 24/7.
Our southern border was stable, closed to illegals and administered by professionals who put America’s interests first.
Ross wrote of “the severity of the crimes for which Trump has been indicted….” Really? What severe crimes? Talking on the phone and asking a state official to be sure the votes cast were legitimate? Being blamed for the January 6 Washington D.C. fiasco in which he implored his supporters to act peacefully? Questioning the 2020 votes in five or six states? Have the Trump haters succeeded in blocking (indicting) him for having an opinion regarding the vote count? I suppose I should also be indicted because I too have a plethora of questions regarding those votes, as do many millions of other Americans. If free speech is not allowed in the Biden administration, then lock us all up.
I wonder if Ross has any problem with the venues of the various district attorneys charging Trump with a multitude of charges? I have a major problem with a number of them and their demographics. Are Trump’s peers on a fair, unbiased jury deciding his fate? Don’t make me laugh (or cry) at the blatant hypocrisy of the feeding frenzy, the great joy expressed by those district attorneys determined to convict Trump regardless of the nothing-burger it all is. Again, millions of Americans see the farce quite clearly as being aided and abetted by our dishonest, biased and thoroughly corrupt mainstream media. Those “journalists” on television and in newsprint, are a slimy and disreputable cabal of partisan allies – of Democrats, naturally.
Ross wrote a line that knocked my socks off, referring to Trump: “His attempt to steal the 2020 election ….” Forgive my silly thoughts, but I and millions of others firmly believe that Joe Biden succeeded in stealing that election, with much too much “funny business” regarding mail-ins, boxes of votes that “just showed up” at midnight and a host of irregularities. Calling Trump the villain of the piece and, incredibly, prosecuting him for saying so, turns my stomach. It’s the epitome, the classic case of unbridled hypocrisy.
Saul Alinsky, a great hero of Hillary Clinton’s college years, was a radical, poisoned-pen communist agitator who wrote a book titled “Rules For Radicals” in which he taught his disciples, when accused, to simply turn the very same charges against his accusers. In other words, blow smoke and rely on the inherent animosity his supporters had for his detractors.
I see, quite clearly, the ever-united Democrats, with their media allies carrying water for them, doing exactly that. Ross describes herself as a “lifelong, active Republican.” I would ask her two questions: Why not a single word about the most dishonest man to ever sit in the Oval Office, Joe Biden, referred to by a growing number of Americans as the head, the Don of the Biden Crime Family? And what were your facts in referring to Trump this way: “His continuous lies, cruelty and complete lack of integrity”?” Somehow, that description doesn’t fit the profile, the resume of a lifelong active Republican. Again, I applaud The Jewish Press for standing up for a great man. Biden has yet to explain his moronic, chaotic exit from Afghanistan, the disastrous fiasco at our Southern border, and our return to relying on OPEC for our oil, among a tsunami of other bad moves. I wish Ross had mentioned those blunders before defaming Donald Trump.
Pearl River, N.Y.