A friend of mine said, tongue in cheek, that one good thing about my having surgery is that I will have something to write about. This may have been a subtle hint that I should not write about politics since he and I have very different views. He will be disappointed, since I must mention about the death of former U.S. Senator and majority leader Robert Dole on December 5, which also happens to be the same English date as my father’s death. His death is a reminder of how far this country has fallen.

The Republican Party for years has been known as the party of law and order and staunch supporters of law enforcement. They always attacked the Democratic Party as being soft on crime and more interested in protecting the rights of the defendants and being haters of law enforcement.

A few weeks ago, Sergey Kadinsky authored an article about “Swastikas and Stars among Anti-Vaxxers at Bronx Protest.” Then came Michael Flynn’s comment in a church about the United States having one religion under G-d. I called out Jews on the political right to speak out. The response was disappointing - but not shocking. The latest comment was from Lara Logan, host of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” on Fox, who compared Dr. Fauci to Josef Mengele. “He (Dr. Fauci) represents Josef Mengele, Doctor Josef, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps and I am talking about people all across the world are saying this.” This statement was made on Chanukah. Logan was condemned by Jewish organizations such as ADL, AJC, and the Auschwitz Museum, yet were met with silence from the Jewish right.  It is unfortunate since they will have no credibility when they then attack those progressives whose comments warrant a response. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be willing to condemn conduct no matter who does it. Anything less makes you nothing more than a partisan organization.

When I am working on a criminal appeal and I want to raise the issue that the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence, I focus on the witness’s testimony, exhibits, and the judge’s instructions to the jury focusing on the elements of the crime. Appellate Courts are loath to reverse a jury’s verdict. They like to say that a transcript is a cold record. In other words, a transcript is only a copy of what was said but not how it was said. It does not reveal the body language of the witness or the tone of voice or how the witness presented themselves. An example from the political realm of this dichotomy between the words and the seeing the person occurred in the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960. Polls showed that people who heard the debate on radio thought Vice President Richard Nixon won but those who watched it on television thought Senator John F. Kennedy won. Kennedy looked youthful and exuberant, and Nixon had a five o’clock shadow and looked ragged.

By the time this column is published, it will be Chanukah. Most people look forward to Chanukah. It is a time of celebration, the Festival of Lights. However, some of us have a different view. It is a reminder of losing a loved one. I can imagine that individuals who’ve lost a parent on any other festival such as Pesach, Shavous, and Sukkos feels the same way.

Although I have never met him, I wish to give a mazal tov to Rabbi Gary Slochowsky on being an honoree of Yeshiva University’s Chag HaSemikhah. I tip my cap to HAFTR for publicizing this accomplish of its alumnus by putting a full-page ad in the Queens Jewish Link. It has been a difficult last thirty days, so it is good to be able to comment on a joyous occasion.