It is going to be 1,551 years since the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash, the Holy Temple. I cannot imagine that the generation of the destruction would have had any idea that the third Temple would not have been built after so many years. There was only a seventy-year gap between the destruction of the first Temple and the construction of the second Temple.

My daughter who lives out-of-town flew into New York and stayed over for Shabbos. My married daughter also spent Shabbos with us, along with her husband and daughter. They joined my wife and me and our two daughters who live at home. It was the first time in a while that the family was all together for Shabbos.

I agree with Moshe Hill that it is unfortunate that athletes who represent our country do not show the proper respect and feel that they need to make a political statement. I wish that this were the biggest problem in which our stature is being diminished abroad. 

I rarely publish consecutive columns addressing the same topic. However, this election is so important that it warrants repetition. It is more important than the presidential election because it was clear that there was no way Trump was going to win New York. There are some readers who are registered as Democrats but may not be excited with any of the Democratic candidates. It would be a big mistake to sit this one out. Despite what some may believe, Curtis Sliwa (a Republican) is not going to become the next mayor no matter who the Democratic Party candidate is.

In his book on the parshah, Rabbi Mordechai Katz explained why the Torah reading was named after Balak, the King of Moav, instead of Bilam, the prophet. Balak had one good attribute: honesty. “He made no attempt to conceal his hatred of the Israelites. At least everyone knew where he stood.” In contrast, Bilam “pretended to be a holy man and to aspire to fulfill only Hashem’s desires.” His conduct indicated otherwise.

Unfortunately, in our current political climate, it is unusual for a person to criticize those who are members of their political party and praise those who are members of another party. An extreme example is the comment from one of the letters to the editor - whom I believe has stated in the past that he is the son of Holocaust survivors - who attacked me for criticizing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments which demean those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. In contrast, it was refreshing to read Izzo Zwiren’s column in which he praised the president.