Colors: Purple Color

A few years ago, I shared with Queens Jewish Link readers the start of my genealogical journey [Treasures from the Attic, 2013], which recently reached an emotional highlight. To briefly recap, while sitting shiv’ah for my mother a”h in 2002, I was intrigued by the visits of cousins whom I had hardly known. That, coupled with the discovery of a suitcase filled with documents, from my grandfather (my mother’s father passed away in 1966), set me on a course where I have created a family tree with over 2,500 names.

This weekend, the nation reacted to the news that there were two mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio. In an all too familiar and an all too predictable reaction, every side of the issues said what they always say. There was little to no mourning for the victims of the tragedy, because the nation is too engrossed in political point-scoring to focus on the humanity.

Travel through the Bronx and one can’t miss the Puerto Rican flags hanging from thousands of windows. Take in a baseball game and notice how many of the players have salsa hits as their walk-up songs. Then there is the biggest parade of them all on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. “New York’s connection to Puerto Rico runs deep,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said to his Puerto Rican counterpart Wanda Vázquez Garced on a visit last week.

I’d like to share my impressions of Germany, to complement Warren Hecht’s article from September 5. Please be forewarned: This essay is part travelogue, part history lesson, and part my personal impressions of Germany. For all those not interested in any of those topics, you can stop reading now.

A barrage of gunfire, with hundreds of rounds fired, concluded around 2:00 p.m. in the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday afternoon as a deadly shooting left four victims lifeless inside a kosher supermarket, including three frum Jewish members – Reb Shlome Friedman, Mrs. Leah Mindel Ferentz, and Mrs. Chava Gold, according to local Hatzalah volunteers and the JBN Jewish media outlet. Fifteen-year veteran Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals was also deceased, following a probable gun or drug deal gone awry at nearby Bay View Cemetery just after noon. Misaskim founder Rabbi Jack Meyer was on the scene alongside Chesed Shel Emes and NJ State Police Chaplain Rabbi Abe Friedman to ensure proper procedures were followed for the Jewish victims. Two other officers and three others were injured. The suspects were found dead in the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City.