A couple of Benjamins have been making the news lately. We all know that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar made her infamous statement referring to Jewish influence in Congress that “It’s the Benjamins baby!” – meaning that Jews are into money as represented by Benjamin Franklin, who is depicted on the $100 bill.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, to the eternal shame of the Democrats, including unfortunately the Queens representatives, they refused to take any meaningful action against this anti-Semite.

The anti-Semitism lately has not been coming from White Supremacists but from minorities, including the Asian man who shot two Jews in Los Angeles. The politicians and media have a hard time grappling with this, as it runs contrary to their narrative. It’s hard to blame Donald Trump for this, try as they may.

An outgrowth of the controversy over the “Benjamin” comments by Omar was a discussion of whether Jews do indeed love money. Joe Rogan, one of the most popular podcasters in the country, reacted by endorsing Omar’s statement. “Let’s be honest,” he said. “Saying Jews don’t like money is like saying Italians don’t like pizza.”

How absurd! Associating Italians with pizza or Blacks with fried chicken is harmless. So they have their favorite foods. Big deal! But associating Jews with money conjures up images of a crooked-nosed, greedy fiend sucking blood money from hapless victims. The Nazis employed that image all the time. And it resulted in the worst violence against Jews.

But let’s think about it. What is so wrong about loving money? Isn’t that what capitalism is all about? Isn’t that what feeds the engine of commerce? If Chinese people liked money, would it result in violent hate? It would not. It would make people curious about Chinese people and their passion for money.

Let’s take it a step further. Think about your favorite baseball hero: Tom Seaver, Albert Pujols, Max Scherzer, or Aaron Judge, for example. Or basketball’s LeBron James. These, and countless ballplayers like them, were willing to dump their team that brought them to fame and spit on their loyal fan base. Why? Because $35 million a year was not enough if they could get 40. Is that not greed to the max?

Why aren’t they accused of loving the Benjamins? They would be, if they were Jewish ballplayers. We are hypersensitive to chilul Hashem – and we should be. Especially if the money was gotten illegally. But keep in mind, we are a great people who have bad apples. A lot fewer bad apples than others. Keep strong and keep proud.

The other Benjamin is Binyamin Netanyahu. He and his new coalition are facing opposition that is threatening to literally bring civil war to Israel, G-d forbid. A former Israeli air force pilot, who participated in bombing the Osirak nuclear facility in Iraq in 1987, called for the assassination of Netanyahu. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called for a civil war by street combat. And former PM Yair Lapid also called for insurrection. This all supposedly over the judicial reform debate.

Remember following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin how people were rounded up wholesale, including roshei yeshivah (Rav Rabinowitz zt”l) for incitement, just for reportedly having used the word rodef (pursuer) about Rabin, as it implied that he can be stopped by any means necessary?

It seems that Leftism is an international religion whose rules follow the same pattern. If you don’t like someone or something, cancel them. Call them names. Feed lies to the public. Create hysteria. Accuse the opposition of the wrongs you are doing. Be protected by the media.

Yes, it’s the Benjamins, baby. But baby, these Benjamins can teach us a lot. It teaches us how wary we have to be of the strange direction the world is taking. Stay clear of it!

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.