Dear Editor:

 Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld zt”l. Listening to the hespeidim, which tell much but so little of who you were to each of your congregants, behind the pulpit with the Chanukiyah, where your drashos for years resounded in our ears (though usually I missed the punch line, which reverted back to the Yiddish that most of the older congregants easily and fondly understood). Ner Hashem nishmas adam: You in your lifetime understood that making way for a new generation, for your son, didn’t diminish the old but strengthened the future – leading but still creating leaders for when you wouldn’t be there anymore – something so few other leaders understand due to ego.

Despite my having made aliyah 19 years ago, you are still The Rabbi, Our Rabbi, a true leader of a congregation. While you always wore a gartel and a black hat, your drashos were directed at your congregants – in each decade according to their knowledge, never judging, a true poseik who knew also to take into account the persons asking the questions – their backgrounds and their abilities to adhere to your answer. My respect of you was something I always remember, because my grandparents so deeply cherished you, and my parents, even before I could later form a similar opinion. I have no doubt that my z’chus to live in Israel is written in heaven to your credit – your love of am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael were so entrenched in your congregants, in my grandparents, to form roots here and the desire to be here before I even reached my formative years. Sheli v’shelanu – shelcha hi.

T’hei nishmaso tz’rurah bitzror ha’chayim.

 Rena Levovitz

Dear Editor:

 In these difficult economic times as a result of COVID-19, it is especially important to patronize your neighborhood businesses. Do it not only on annual Small Business Saturday, but every day of the year.

My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20% against the total bill, including taxes, year around. During the month of December, as a thank you for being there for us all year long in good times and bad, we tip 25% against the total bill. Whenever it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford adding an extra dollar or two to the tip. When ordering take-out, we always leave a dollar or two for the cook. It is appreciated.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued the good fight to keep their existing staff and suppliers employed without layoffs and canceling product or supply orders. They continue to work long hours, pay taxes and keep as many local neighbors employed as possible. Many maintained the tradition of offering job opportunities to students during the summer. If we don’t patronize our local community stores and restaurants to shop and eat, they don’t eat either.

Stop by your favorite restaurant or store and also drop off a box of candy or cookies as a show of appreciation. Something sweet for the holidays helps take the edge off the stress we all face.

 Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York


Dear Editor:

 After reading Moshe Hill’s column this past week, I’d like to offer a few corrections:

President-Elect Joe Biden has said that he will “mandate” the wearing of masks and face coverings inside federal buildings. This is something that the president has the authority to enact via executive order.

He also stated that he would “request” that “all” Americans wear masks in public for his first 100 days in office. In case Moshe is unaware, newly inaugurated presidents have a “first 100 days” to set policy, atmosphere, and guidance for how he plans to run his administration. One hundred days would also coincide with the currently-estimated timeline for the first 200 million doses of the vaccines being produced by Pfizer and Moderna to inoculate approximately one third of all Americans.

Since the President does not have the legal authority to “mandate” nationwide mask-wearing, he is “asking” people to do the right thing. The effectiveness of mask-wearing has been demonstrated quite conclusively in tests performed by the CDC as well as private labs, newspapers and even ordinary people with a little bit of equipment and know-how.

In short, universal wearing of surgical grade paper masks or three-ply fabric masks that cover the mouth and nose are effective at reducing the rate of subsequent transmission between 50% to 80%.

As far as, ‘should mask wearing be compulsory every flu season?’ Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China; the wearing of masks during flu season is quite commonplace. I don’t believe it should be compulsory once the pandemic is over, but it can certainly be a wise practice for individuals in specific situations.

 Yedidya Hirschhorn

Dear Editor:

Despite the obvious issue of fraud, many spineless politicians and judges are prepared to allow it to continue. Warren Hecht and the Dems point to Trump’s legal defeats as proof that the fraud cases are baseless. However, many of these cases were decided on technical issues such as laches and standing. They were not decided on the merits.

Many House Republicans have joined in the Texas lawsuit. About 70 percent of Republicans believe the election was fraudulent. If this fraud is not addressed, many will lose faith in our election system.

I love this country and do not want it to become like Communist China. The bottom line is that mail-in ballots and the Dominion machines helped to steal the election. The law and the facts are on Trump’s side. Let us daven, give tz’dakah, and call elected officials (especially in Georgia).

 Martin Berkowitz