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.

On January 5, 2021, the country was divided. There was Trump and many of his supporters claiming election fraud, namely, that the election was stolen from him. Then there was the rest of the country, which accepted the results. There was no court or any recount that supported Trump’s claims. A year has passed since then and nothing has changed. The Big Lie of election fraud is still being made. There have been more recounts and court proceedings which upheld the election results.

Rabbi Simcha Krauss, who was the rabbi at the Young Israel of Hillcrest until he retired and moved to Israel, died last week. I could write about his scholarship or how he was an important leader in the Jewish community. Instead, I will write about how he had a great impact on my life. Back in 1988, I saw an ad in the Jewish Press about a shiur being given at the Young Israel once a week. I decide to try it out. It was a small group. I was single. After a while, Rabbi Krauss decided that he was going to set me up with single girls from his shul. I couldn’t say no. I ended up marrying the third girl he set me up with. My wife, Beth, said she also felt she could not turn down Rabbi Krauss. There was no guarantee that even if Beth and I had met another time we would have ended up going out. I subsequently learned that we both had been at the same singles Shabbaton before we went out. Neither of us approached the other at the event.

Last year, I was mentioned in 49 letters to the editor in this paper. The topic that received the greatest discussion was my article in the July 22 edition, titled “Struck Out.” I thought we could move on. However, Rabbi Schonfeld, in last week’s Queens Jewish Link, wrote on the issue of an orthodox ice skater, Hailey Kops, who is representing Israel at the Winter Olympics. I do not want to repeat my arguments stated back in July. You can look at them online.  However, I need to address a few comments made by Rabbi Schonfeld.

I must hand it to the progressives. They are doing their best to make sure that the Republican Party will take over the House of Representatives, the Senate, and more state legislatures or governorships. One of the Democrats’ strongest arguments is that Republicans in many states are changing the rules for voting after Trump’s loss to make it harder to vote and take control away from non-partisan election officials and giving it to the legislature. Then the NYC Council passed a law that allowed voting in a municipal election by “a person who is not a United States citizen on the date of the election on which he or she is voting, who is either a lawful permanent resident or authorized to work in the United States, who is a resident of New York City and will have been such a resident for 30 consecutive days or longer by the date of such election.”