In his book on the parshah, Rabbi Mordechai Katz explained why the Torah reading was named after Balak, the King of Moav, instead of Bilam, the prophet. Balak had one good attribute: honesty. “He made no attempt to conceal his hatred of the Israelites. At least everyone knew where he stood.” In contrast, Bilam “pretended to be a holy man and to aspire to fulfill only Hashem’s desires.” His conduct indicated otherwise.

Unfortunately, in our current political climate, it is unusual for a person to criticize those who are members of their political party and praise those who are members of another party. An extreme example is the comment from one of the letters to the editor - whom I believe has stated in the past that he is the son of Holocaust survivors - who attacked me for criticizing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments which demean those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. In contrast, it was refreshing to read Izzo Zwiren’s column in which he praised the president.

My daughter who lives out-of-town flew into New York and stayed over for Shabbos. My married daughter also spent Shabbos with us, along with her husband and daughter. They joined my wife and me and our two daughters who live at home. It was the first time in a while that the family was all together for Shabbos.

Anyone who reads my columns regularly know that I rarely agree with my fellow columnist Moshe Hill. However, his analysis of Chuck Schumer’s inaction in the column “Cowardice, Thy Name is Chuck Schumer” is spot on.

I rarely publish consecutive columns addressing the same topic. However, this election is so important that it warrants repetition. It is more important than the presidential election because it was clear that there was no way Trump was going to win New York. There are some readers who are registered as Democrats but may not be excited with any of the Democratic candidates. It would be a big mistake to sit this one out. Despite what some may believe, Curtis Sliwa (a Republican) is not going to become the next mayor no matter who the Democratic Party candidate is.

House member Marjorie Taylor Greene commented on a show called “Real America’s Voice” in connection to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requiring members to show proof that they were vaccinated in order not have to wear a mask:  “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany…And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.” There was only limited condemnation of her comments, and none from Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and former President Trump. Unfortunately, the horror of the Holocaust is being lost the further away it is and there are fewer survivors.