The Talmud in Yevamos 62B briefly mentions the story of the 12,000 pairs of students of Rabbi Akiva who died between Pesach and Shavous. Most opinions are that they died within a 33-day period. The reason they died was because they did not treat each other with respect. The medical cause of death was diphtheria, which is a bacterial disease. It can spread through airborne such as sneezing or coughing. It causes breathing problems, which can lead to other issues. Thankfully there is a vaccine, so the disease is rare in the western world.

Say what?! That was my reaction when I saw the article below my name in the Pesach issue of QJL. It was Goldy Krantz’s column, which was also under her name in another part of the paper. Considering how empty the streets were during Pesach, I doubt many people even read the paper. The correct article is in the online version if anyone is interested. Since it was about Passover, I cannot use it this week and must write something new. (Editor’s note: We apologize to Mr. Hecht for that terrible error and will be more careful in the future.)

Those who are expecting me to address the merits of the premise of Roe v. Wade that gives a woman a right to an abortion based on a constitutional right to privacy will be disappointed.  If I were writing in 1973, before Roe v. Wade had been decided, then it would be a valid topic for discussion. However, forty-nine years later, it is not the key issue.

Passover has arrived, and it is time to put the activities that consume our time aside. Thus, I am not writing about politics or other topics I write about throughout the year. Instead, I will focus on the Seder night on Passover.

The ADL came out with its annual report of antisemitic incidents, which reached an all-time high of 2,717 in the United States last year.  The ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. 1,776 incidents were categorized as harassment, either verbally or in writing, with antisemitic conspiracy theories, slurs, or stereotypes. This increased 43%, up from 1,242 in 2020.

I know some people who are not interested in hearing or reading criticism of their positions. I find it helpful to read or listen to others who may disagree with what I write. This past week is a good example. Someone mentioned to me about my comments relating to Supreme Court Justice Thomas and his wife’s texts with then-Trump-Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows. He thought it was unclear as to who wrote the texts and, in any event, why should a husband be responsible for his wife’s activities? It sounds sexist.