Before I get to portion of the column that I had anticipated I would write, I will digress. On June 26, I went on the Discover Hudson Valley Bike Ride. Originally, there was going to be a 100-, 75-, 55-, 33-, or 15-mile route. The week before, I had ridden 88 miles on various bike paths both ways from Yonkers to Brewster. I figured that the 75-mile route would be the best choice. Unlike the week before, when it was relatively cool, this past Sunday it ended up being in the 90s. In anticipation, the 100-mile route was cancelled, and the start times were moved up. I still decided to go with the 75-mile ride.

Like most people, I have not been able to take a vacation since COVID became known in February 2020. I finally decided to go away the week before Memorial Day. I expected that it would be a quiet week. Originally, I was supposed to fly to one of several places with my daughter Shoshana and stay from Sunday until Friday. However, my plans were changed when due to the weather, Shoshana was unable to get a flight to New York until Monday afternoon. I decided that instead of flying and getting stuck for Shabbos, especially on Memorial Day weekend, it would be better to drive. It ended up being a good decision, since we had perfect weather with low humidity and temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees. In contrast, the places we had contemplated flying to had lousy weather. Many flights also ended up being cancelled.

I had planned to write about some of the highlights from the hearings of the January 6 Committee. However, so many things happened this past week that I need to put that column on hold. I am sure that the Trumpians are upset. I guess they will have to find another way to get rid of their aggression.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the Celebrate Israel Parade and the Met Council breakfast returned on May 22. Traditionally, the breakfast and the parade are on the same day because it helps both events. There are people who would have gone to the breakfast even it was on another day but now will also go to the parade, and vice-versa. I went to both events.

At the end of the New York Rangers post-game show, the commentators said that they would “See you in September.” Another year not winning the Stanley Cup. It is an understatement to say that the Rangers have had trouble winning the Stanley Cup. They have won one Stanley Cup in President Biden’s lifetime - in 1994. The Rangers had not even made the playoffs for the past few years, which takes talent, since half of the teams make the playoffs. Thus, making the playoffs was an achievement this year. The team beat expectations by coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and then winning game seven on the Carolina Hurricanes’ home ice. Carolina had not lost one game in the playoffs at home. The Rangers won the first two games at home against the reigning two-time Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They took a lead in game three, but lost the lead and then the game. Tampa ended up winning four straight, which were all close games. It could have been worse; they could have lost to the New York Islanders or the New Jersey Devils as in the past, when both teams went on to win the Stanley Cup.  

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.