In the run up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many in this country either supported Russia or wanted the United States to stay out of it. They included commentator Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Donald Trump. Ingraham, when interviewing Trump, was mocking Ukrainian president Zelenskyy for making what she thought was a pathetic speech. Carlson argued that “These people [U.S. officials who provide military aid to Ukraine] are so ghoulish…

I was asked not to write a column on politics this week, so I decided to write about economics. Right now, one of the top concerns of many people is the high inflation rate. There are many reasons given for the inflation increase, including the United States Federal Reserve monetary policy. The Federal Reserve has kept the interest rates historically low. In addition, the Federal Reserve has been buying government-backed bonds.

It has been repeatedly mentioned that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is the largest military operation in Europe since the Second World War. There are many parallels to our time, so it is important to remember what occurred back then so the same mistakes are not made.

This past week has been a very busy week, with many possible newsworthy stories to discuss. However, after reading Sergey Kadinsky’s letter to the editor to a fellow columnist about writing about the Ukraine situation, I decided to mention it before getting to my main topic.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when there is such division that people are shunned solely because of their opposing opinion. I am aware of one person who refuses to even acknowledge my presence because he disagrees with my political views. I doubt he is the only one.  For those regular readers of the Queens Jewish Link, they know that Moshe Hill and I almost never agree. It is so infrequent, that when we do agree, I mention it in my column. I had never met him until the QJL’s 10th anniversary event last week. I would have not recognized him, since unlike his picture, he does not have a beard. We had a very cordial conversation. We both agreed that in the group picture, we should stand next to each other. We wanted to send the message that individuals can disagree and be able to interact respectfully with each other.

When Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, he gave what at first glance seemed to be an unusual speech. He appeared to be addressing his remarks to high school students, grammar school students, college students, and law school students. However, he had the entire country in mind. It was a brilliant way of giving musar to everyone indirectly. In addition, he said it with a smile and a tone that was pleasant, not condescending or lecturing. We can learn from Justice Breyer how to give constructive criticism.