Colors: Green Color

 We have a tendency in our world to dismiss many nice American customs because they are “goyish,” not of Jewish origins. If you ask me, that is often a display of a lack of confidence with our own religion. If you read the accounts of many of our greats who grew up in America, you will find that most of them had no trouble being fully acclimated Americans, including baseball and apple pie, while at the same time developing and loving their Yiddishkeit. The recent book Just Love Them, written by Yisroel Besser and published by ArtScroll, makes that abundantly clear in describing the life of the legendary m’chaneich (Torah educator), Rav Dovid Trenk zt”l. There was just something healthy about living a life of accepting and not constantly rejecting – in other words, normal.

 What led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the 1970s was not the break-in to the Watergate complex to get information on his political opponent. It was not the petty burglary. It was the cover-up of the crime approved by the president himself. If a president abuses his power to such an extent, our very democracy is threatened.

Dear Readers:

Last week’s issue of the Queens Jewish Link contained a Letter to the Editor that was critical of some of our local elected officials. Some of those officials are very dear to many of us. I received complaint calls as though I was responsible for editing the paper. I am not. As the Rabbinic Consultant, I am only shown articles in advance of publication that may pose a halachic issue or a matter of modesty.

This past week, the Torah community suffered some immense losses. Rabbi Yaakov Busel, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ) in Edison, New Jersey, was niftar early last week. Then, on Friday, the Poseik HaDor in America, Rav Dovid Feinstein, was niftar. On Shabbos, we suffered the loss of former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, one of the great thinkers, writers, and orators. It was too much for us to bear.

 There are just a couple of weeks remaining till we go to the polls in what many describe as the most important election in American history. While it may be true, it’s likely that it is true of most presidential elections. Nixon/Kennedy, Johnson/Goldwater, Reagan/Carter, Bush/Gore, and Obama/McCain were all epic elections that were game-changers for the country.