Colors: Cyan Color

Where Is Our Al Sharpton?

When Reverend Al Sharpton was in his heyday as a spokesman for the African American community, so many Jews wondered aloud, “How come we don’t have an Al Sharpton?”

Al Sharpton may have been the most divisive person in the country as he was embroiled in controversial stories such as Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights allegations, Freddy’s “white interlopers,” etc. to supposedly advance the plight of his fellow African Americans. He pitted whites against blacks and everyone against Jews, as our city became a racial cauldron, especially during the Koch and Dinkins years. And he was rewarded by MSNBC with a job as a commentator on the social scene.

The inauguration of Joe Biden in January of 2021 placed an enormous “Come On In!” sign at the southern border.  Since that time, millions of people have illegally crossed the border and were released into the country - if they were detected at all. While DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas may claim that the border is “secure,” it is without a doubt as porous as it has ever been.

As we remember the many tragedies that befell the Jewish people on Tish’ah B’Av, the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza (Gittin 55b-56a) is often cited as an example of how baseless hatred caused the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. By reading between the lines of the story, we can gain new insight into what happened 2,000 years ago and its implications for today.

As we approach Tish’ah B’Av, we remember that Jewish lives have been lost in all too many ways. The example of Aharon HaKohen, who showed that peace and love are the way to bring people closer to Torah, can show us the path to redemption.

President Joe Biden returned from his trip to the Middle East, and for those who are skeptical at Biden’s ability to get through a normal day without breaking the country too much, there was a lot of bated breath.  Would he open a Palestinian consulate in East Jerusalem?  Would he harm the relationship with Saudi Arabia?  Would he push concessions on Israel?  With Biden, and his abysmal foreign policy track record, anything was possible.  So it was a sigh of relief when his trip essentially accomplished nothing.  At this point, doing nothing is a win.