Colors: Green Color

I would like to begin this article with an apology. In last week’s article, “Where Is Our Al Sharpton?” I concluded with a short list of organizations that can be relied upon to speak up about issues facing Jews in the United States and Israel. I received several communications asking why I did not mention the Zionist Organization of America, led by Mort Klein.

I have this habit of listening to old radio. There is nothing like the mysteries and cop shows from the 1930s through the 1940s. I have an SiriusXM app, and I find myself falling asleep when I need to nap to their classic radio channel (I never find out who the murderer was). The Whistler, Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Dollar, and Dragnet are up there with my favorites. I can’t get over the fine acting, the sound effects, and the wholesomeness, even in some of the gangster shows. The worst of them would not even think of maintaining a man-woman relationship without getting married.

It’s one of those great Yiddish words that defy ordinary translation. A macher. What’s a macher? A macher is a busybody, often with a great sense of self-importance. The Jewish community has always had machers. It’s machers who get things done. It’s machers who have the political connections. It’s machers who have the pull to reach the right people at the right time.

About 15 years ago, the OU gave the hashgachah to the executive dining room of a very elegant bank in Manhattan. Everything about the room, the service, and the food was top notch, real class. But it was not a simple hashgachah, as the management was very demanding on many issues. This included their source of food and coping with very particular chefs.

It is said somewhere that when a talmid chacham passes, it is like the sun setting at mid-day. (See Yirmiyahu 15:9.) Rav Yaakov Ruderman zt”l, legendary founding Rosh HaYeshivah of the Ner Yisroel Rabbinical College, explained what the connection is between a premature sunset and the passing of a Torah scholar. When the sun unexpectedly sets in the middle of the day, said Rav Ruderman, people witness this unusual event and wonder with great trepidation what will be tomorrow. Will the sun rise again? How can we move on, following the departure of a Torah leader? What will the morrow bring?

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