The weather was perfect. The crowd was cheerful, enthusiastic, and sizeable. Aside from the ubiquitous but marginalized Neturei Karta members on Madison Avenue, there was a complete respite from pro-Hamas and pro-Palestinian harassment. Much of the credit goes to the organizers of the event and to the NYPD. Of course, the crowd itself gets a lot of credit, as we Jews are not the rowdy bunch that populates similar events. I wore my “Build Israel Great Again” red and white cap, which drew some thumbs up reaction and a request for a picture of the hat. So, all was well.

My only regrets are that I did not get to see His Honorable Charles Schumer marching in the parade, which would have allowed me to express my feelings to him, shared by countless others. I am sure many of you have seen the sign that went viral, “Charles Schumer, you are the Shomer Yishmael.” I also had the opportunity to take a great picture, but for some reason my phone went into the wrong mode at the time: As we were driving to the parade, we noticed a pickup truck on Madison Avenue hauling a “Johnny on the Spot” portable toilet. Wrapped around the truck was a big banner belonging to the aforementioned Neturei Karta, which read, “According to the Talmud, Jews Are Not Allowed to Have a State of Their Own.” The optics of the Neturei Karta depicted by that outhouse would have been great.

I had a certain topic that I was intending on addressing this week. I even had the title worked out. It was to be “Semite Anti-Semites,” about how some of our greatest enemies are from within, and trying to figure out why that is so. But with all the horrible news coming from Israel, from the deceased hostages to the raging fires in the North to the disastrous Biden surrender plan, I wanted to not focus on the troubles we have.


To me, one of the interesting matters of note at the parade was the fact that, unlike previous years, there seemed to be a very strong showing of non-Orthodox at the parade, which means that many Jews who till now were alienated from their Judaism and from Israel are now beginning to wake up.

We must continue to shout and shout again, “B’yachad nenatzei’ach! – Together we will win!”

Shavuos is upon us, celebrating the giving of the Torah. The pasuk says (Shemos 19:2), “And Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain (Har Sinai).” We know how to encamp as well. Rashi comments, “They were gathered as one man with one heart.”

If we keep together, we will be able to overcome our enemies from without, from within and our political “friends.” The day will come when we all will be parading down the streets not of Manhattan, but of Jerusalem. Amen.

Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi Emeritus of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.