On this Shabbos Hatzolah of Queens, I felt that it is necessary to share a true story. I work in the main office of the Jewish Institute of Queens. This week, I received a call from a young man, identifying himself as a member of Hatzalah. He asked if we have a certain young lady in our employ. The name was vaguely familiar to me, since it was the maiden name of one of our wonderful teachers. He proceeded to tell me that she needs to be called to the phone immediately.
I immediately spoke to an assistant principal to cover the class and called the teacher to the office, telling her she had an urgent call. The teacher came down, literally shivering with fear, worrying what the call would bring. She was told that her newborn baby, who was in the care of a babysitter, was taken to the hospital and that they were on their way to our school to pick her up and bring her to the child.
I accompanied the teacher outside the front door of the school where the Hatzalah member was already waiting with his car and ready to go. He kindly and calmly reassured the mom and took her to the child. Thank G-d all was fine, and the mom and baby were home by 3:00 p.m.
What was so impressive about this incident was that although the babysitter had the mom’s phone number, she did not know the name of the school where she was teaching. Teachers are not allowed to answer calls while teaching. The babysitter only knew that it was a Jewish school. Hatzalah operators called around to neighborhood schools until they identified the right one. In addition, the kind and calm assistance offered by the driver who came to accompany the mom was amazingly reassuring.
I guess that’s what Hatzalah means and what Hatzalah is. They are there for the patient, for the family members, and our community as a whole. Not only do we not forget them in our times of need, but they never forget us in our time of need, as well. Furthermore, they often anticipate our needs before we realize what we might need.
Thank you, Hatzalah, for your past, present, and future assistance.
He’s Our Mayor
Over the last week, I have noticed a heavy dose of anti-Adams fanfare, alongside pro-Sliwa propaganda. I would like to note that I met with both mayoral candidates for quite some time during their campaigns and felt they each had the attributes to lead our city into a new era. Nonetheless, with the demographics as they stand, Mr. Sliwa had little chance to realize his dream. I commend Curtis Sliwa for taking time after the election to visit Ohr Natan Synagogue and the nearby establishments to bid farewell to the spaces they have long occupied. Sliwa expressed his frustrations as the Art Deco-style building with its iconic clock tower, host to what was the Trylon Theater, and the current Tower Diner in Rego Park, is set to be redeveloped by Rudolf Abramov of RJ Capital Holdings into 158 apartments and 18,000 square feet of commercial space.
As I mentioned in this past Thursday evening’s Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills Zoom session, the election of Eric Adams should have come as no surprise. In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement, having Adams serve as New York’s second black mayor seems only natural, and his pro-police stance and new ideas may pan out as a lifesaver for a city fraught with crime and quality of life concerns.
I was privileged to meet Mr. Adams this summer twice. Once was at a fundraiser held in Forest Hills, where he welcomed our leaders, influencers, elected officials, and candidates for office with open arms. This is to say that the Mayor-Elect appears ready to address concerns that regular constituents bring forward to our leaders.
Additionally, we met at a Queens endorsement meeting spearheaded by the Bukharian community. The significance of this meeting means that Mr. Adams knows of our community’s existence and its leadership, and as Mayor will have reason to acknowledge our presence. Under the de Blasio administration, we experienced a sense of flip-flopping, where a mayor, once a coveted friend of the Jewish community, seemingly made an about-face. We can only hope not to undergo more of the same this time around. Still, it was comforting to see Mr. Adams deliver his acceptance speech with Reb Moishe Indig of Williamsburg/Boro Park and Reb Chanina Sperlin of Crown Heights in his background. The victory party included a Who’s Who of the Jewish community, with a healthy scattering of yarmulkes, including Shalom and Victoria Zirkiev, former City Council candidate Avi Cyperstein, Jewish liaison to the Public Advocate Simon Sebag, Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor, and Met Council CEO David Greenfield. Mr. Adams is most definitely acutely aware of the Jewish influence that got him into office.
Over the last decades, the cost of housing in New York City has skyrocketed. People with low-wage jobs have difficulty getting by and can even find themselves homeless. There is a dire need for low-cost housing and subsidized rent programs in New York City. New York cannot be a city in which only those with high-paying jobs can live, as a city needs many different kinds of workers and they all need homes to live in.
In last week’s “Your Say,” Rafi Metz addresses the current debate among conservatives with regard to government vaccine mandates directed at private businesses. Quoting from the writings of French philosopher and economist Frederic Bastiat, Mr. Metz frames the question as essentially one of “negative rights” versus “positive rights.” He then leads us to draw the conclusion that those mandates that stop a business from imposing a vaccine mandate (a negative) are the just and proper ones, as they protect workers from being compelled to get vaccinated, while those mandates that protect employers (a positive) are the unjust ones, as they force workers “to get vaccinated against their will.”
Clearly, Mr. Metz advocates for each person to have the right to make his own personal medical decisions without any interference from governments or businesses. If it is also the case, as he maintains, that “[d]eclaring healthcare a ‘right’...clearly violates the private property of doctors and nurses, essentially compelling them to provide goods and services without their consent,” it should follow that those who decide to not get vaccinated have no right to overwhelm hospital ERs and ICUs, and cause stress, burn-out, and PTSD for doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers when they do become ill. Those who decide to not get vaccinated have no right to infect their fellow workers on the job or their fellow students at school.
Free people must be free to make determinations for themselves in all aspects of life, and they must live (and die) with the ramifications of those determinations.
Karen Rothenberg Halper
Kew Gardens Hills
In an article that the Queens Jewish Link published last week, “Assembly Member Rajkumar Pays Visit To Margaret Tietz,” I mistakenly neglected to give credit to those who made the visit possible. Assembly Member Rajkumar was raised with an appreciation for Jewish culture and turned these ideologies into action by ensuring that several Jewish staff members joined her office personnel, including Elliot Heisler as Policy Director, and Jacob Gross in the role of Senior Advisor.
Nonetheless, visits such as the one to Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center could not be brought to fruition without the forethought and wisdom of Rabbi Daniel Pollack, Jewish liaison to Congress Member Grace Meng’s office. Rabbi Pollack is often tasked with linking elected officials with worthy neighborhood institutions that are of value to their constituents. Without his consideration, the match between Rajkumar and Margaret Tietz would never have transpired.
Election Day has come and gone. This reminds me of “The Outer Limits,” a 1960s television show. With the end of round-the-clock commercials by politicians, political parties, political action groups, and pay-for-play special interest groups, we now return control of your television back to you until the next election cycle. No more candidates campaign mailings clogging mailboxes and weighing down our hard-working postal employees. No more robo-calls! Finally, some peace and quiet!
Candidates who claimed they cared about the environment can now do their part. Winners and losers should have their paid campaign staff and volunteers pick up all the thousands of campaign signs that litter our roads and highways to help clean up this waste. They could also use leftover campaign funds to hire homeless or unemployed people to collect this litter. Let some people with community service be assigned this task. If candidates refuse to clean up after themselves, the Department of Sanitation should do the job and send candidates the bill.
Igor Danchenko was recently indicted. Danchenko was a main source for the Steele Dossier that was used to support the Russian collusion hoax against Trump. The FBI knew it was false but continued to pursue a phony investigation to help the Democrats. The FBI main protocol is to use entrapment. This means that they choose a target and then “manufacture” a crime to trap the victim.
In the case of the late Marion Barry, former mayor of the District of Columbia, they wired Mr. Barry’s mistress and told her to convince him to take drugs. He refused at first, but after she threatened to cut off their relationship, he finally relented and took it. The FBI immediately pounced on him and dragged him off to jail.
Another victim of the FBI is Lt. General Michael Flynn. The FBI knew that Flynn had an interview with the Russian official. Flynn was trying to get Russia to vote against Obama’s anti-Israel resolution at the UN. For this “crime,” the FBI decided that Flynn had to go. They asked for an interview with Flynn; the purpose of this interview was only to catch Flynn in some kind of perjury trap. The FBI even advised Flynn that he didn’t need an attorney. They then found some small irrelevant discrepancy in his testimony and arrested him.
The FBI also concocted a phony kidnapping scheme against Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. They then approached a conservative group and told them about the phony scheme. The FBI then arrested members of the conservative group for the hoax that the FBI was involved with.
The FBI was also involved in the January 6 protest. The Democrats call it an insurrection, but the only charges filed were for trespassing. There was one individual who was screaming for the Trump supporters to enter the Capitol. Another individual was seen smashing windows. A third individual seen in the photographs was a Black Lives Matter protestor. These three individuals were not charged with any crimes. It is suggested that they worked for the FBI.
Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to deny that the FBI was heavily involved in the January 6 protest. It is interesting to note that the FBI declared that there was no organized attempt to storm the Capitol. They are saying this because they want to hide their role in this phony insurrection. Recently, the FBI has decided to go after Democrats who are not progressive enough. In Virginia, Merrick Garland launched an investigation against parents who objected to their children being indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory and Transgender Studies. The FBI was ordered to go after these parents, who were branded as domestic terrorists by the school board. Biden and the Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, sided with the school board and declared that parents have no rights to protest CRT. The voters of Virginia responded by voting in a Republican governor. This is significant because Virginia is a blue state.
I hope this is the beginning of the end of the Democratic monopoly on power. A Republican administration can reign in the “Squad” and the corrupt FBI. Since Warren Hecht is a defense attorney, I would love to hear his take on the actions of the corrupt FBI.