The dispute over mask mandates and vaccine requirements is an example of a fundamental debate that is going on in this country. Which is paramount: an individual’s right to choose or the government acting on behalf of the society at large? The answer should depend on the situation. When the behavior only affects the person engaging in the conduct, that is the strongest argument that an individual’s right to choose should be unfettered. There are exceptions to this rule where government has the right to regulate it. For example, the seat belt law applies even when a person is driving alone. Also, possession of narcotics is prohibited under the penal law even if the person only plans to use it for themselves.

It feels like déjà vu all over again. There is a COVID virus spreading and hitting the unvaccinated. There is also a debate about mask wearing. The difference is that now we have a vaccine. It is the fault of those who refused to get the vaccine and not wear a mask that we are now in this predicament.

By the time this article is published, the Taliban will be fully in control of Afghanistan. In Washington, D.C., there will be the blame game; indeed, there is plenty to go around. However, I want to focus on the current president, Biden, and the former president, Trump.

 There has been criticism about the Netflix series “My Unorthodox Life,” including that it wrongfully puts Orthodox Jewry in a bad light. There are also claims of antisemitism. I do not subscribe to Netflix and have no plans to do so. Therefore, I must rely on others’ description of the show.

In last week’s edition of the Queens Jewish Link, there were six letters to the editor responding to columns I had written. What this tells me is I am picking topics that people are interested in and make efforts to send in responses. I know it is not an easy choice to decide to respond. People who have told me that they are afraid to write anything in because they are afraid of a backlash. Therefore, a person who puts their name on a letter to the editor knows that they could be subject to a negative response in the paper or in person. They write because they feel it’s necessary. I respect them. The only ones I don’t respect are individuals who frequently use either initials or a nom de plume to voice their opinions. If you don’t have the guts to use your real name, then you shouldn’t be writing.

 One week ago marked the first time that an Orthodox Jewish player was chosen in the Major League Baseball draft. There were actually two players chosen: Jacob Steinmetz, who went to HAFTR, and Elie Kligman, from Las Vegas. Steinmetz, a pitcher, was picked in the third round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Kligman, who is looking to become a catcher, was picked in the twentieth and final round by the Washington Nationals. It is reported that Steinmetz plans to immediately go into professional ball while Kligman will go to college.