Dear Editor:

 Although I’ve never written in before and I generally agree wholeheartedly with Rabbi Schonfeld’s takes, I want to take issue with Rabbi Schonfeld’s desire to criminalize those who choose not to vaccinate. Rabbi, before you brand those who disagree with you as criminals (with a recommendation of jail time?), have you considered perhaps we are being misled by the CDC, Dr. Fauci and all their supporters in the mainstream press? They’ve gotten so much wrong from the get-go and their track record hasn’t gotten much better since.

Do you find it odd that our so called “leaders” like Dr. Fauci not once mentioned to us that approximately 80% of COVID hospitalizations involve obese people, or that approximately 90% of COVID hospitalizations involve people who are vitamin D deficient? Yet I didn’t hear a word from our leaders about diet, exercise, or vitamin D. All I heard was we are all helpless, we must lock down. I’m not going to argue the merits of a lockdown, but why weren’t these mentioned?

Also, do you find it odd that no distinction is drawn between people who have been infected, recovered, and have natural immunity and those who haven’t? An Israeli study in August showed that natural, Hashem-created antibodies were 13x more effective than any vaccine. Yet the shul I daven in still insists that only unvaccinated people need to wear masks. It’s completely anti-science, but our shul and rabbi are following CDC guidelines.

Given the widespread outbreak of COVID in my neighborhood last month (baruch Hashem, no one seriously ill) where almost everyone is vaccinated, don’t you think a more appropriate announcement might be: Those who haven’t had COVID yet, please wear a mask? And it seems as if you are endorsing the vaccine for the entire population (with a limited exception for what you term “genuine health reasons”). Will you next endorse this new vaccine for five-year-olds? And if so, based on what? Because the CDC said so? Why do we treat a five-year-old with zero risk the same way we treat an 85-year-old with three comorbidities? We have lost our common sense and our ability to do risk assessment. If five-year-olds don’t die or get seriously ill from COVID, and in most instances don’t even know they have it, why would we subject them to these new vaccines? Please explain the upside.

And just to be clear, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I think all elderly and at-risk people should take it. I’m just a thinking person who’s not swallowing whole every silly pronouncement promulgated by the CDC.

 With respect,
Doniel Behar

Dear Editor:

 Several weeks ago, a special article was written about Barry Gavarin z”l. Amongst the items mentioned was his anavah (modesty) in how he gave tz’dakah. Many readers of the Queens Jewish Link are aware that for over 31 years, I have served as Executive Vice President of the Just One Life organization. Simply, we help with pregnancy crisis situations in Israel and, baruch Hashem, we have saved over 19,000 babies.

I, too, witnessed Barry’s humility. Whenever he saw me, for years, he came over and pulled me aside. He would then proceed to pull out a one-hundred-dollar-bill and place it in my hand or pocket. Yes, you add it up and these donations ultimately led to Yiddishe kinder being born in Israel all thanks to Barry Gavarin. That is who he was: an anav who, I am sure, did the same for so many other tz’dakos and aniyim (poor people).

Barry, as was pointed out in the article, was a ben Torah who loved to learn.

May he continually watch over his family and klal Yisrael. Y’hi zichro baruch.

 Rabbi Marty Katz

Dear Editor:

 I’m a little surprised that Rabbi Schonfeld can’t think of anything that President Biden has done that his voters would consider an accomplishment. Are there no frum families that benefited from the Child Tax Credit or other provisions of the American Rescue Plan? And while former President Trump spoke endlessly of having “Infrastructure Week,” Biden actually passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill. I know some partisans (and the media/propaganda company that a large part of the country swears by but somehow doesn’t rank to be called “mainstream”) will downplay everything, but, despite Biden’s own sagging poll numbers, those pieces of legislation polled very well (as do other items the President is trying to get through the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in Congress), so it should be easy to conceive that his voters view them as significant achievements.

Contrast that with Trump’s singular legislative victory, an inflation swelling tax cut for the rich, which polled so badly and was so unpopular that he barely (if at all) mentioned it during his campaign. But hey, I’m sure that Trump in his genius would have figured out a way to give a needed boost to a recovering economy, while also fixing pandemic-related global supply chain issues, in such a way that sinking supply would meet rising demand and stave off inflation.

Yaakov Trib 

Amid Inflation Surge, Wheel Of Fortune Forced To Raise Price Of Vowels (Satire)

Dear Editor:

 Inflation has been hitting virtually every major sector of the economy – from gas at the pump, to food, to lumber. We’ve all felt the effects of inflation personally in our daily lives, and it hasn’t been pretty, to say the least. So, it may come as a surprise to you that inflation has hit an unlikely target, one place that you’d least expect it to reach – and that’s everyone’s favorite game show, Wheel of Fortune.

According to The Washington Post, the price of vowels has increased by five percent since July of this year. Experts say the shortage is connected to the current supply chain crisis, as reports show that thousands of vowels are stuck at major ports throughout the country, and the shortage has caused prices to increase. Experts also say that there are hundreds of vowels still stuck in Afghanistan, thanks to President Brandon, which has caused a shortage of vowels in the United States.

“Buying vowels is a staple of the game show,” Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak said. “As someone who’s been selling vowels since 1981, I understand more than anyone else how these price increases will hurt the middle class. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

To help alleviate the crisis, language experts recommend that vowels on the show should be kept to a minimum, similar to how people text each other. For example, instead of the phrase “Typewriters are extinct,” the newly worded phrase would be, “Typwrtrs r xtnct.” Or instead of “Drink responsibly,” it would be “Drnk rspnsbly.” Or instead of “Happily ever after,” it would be “Hpply evr ftr.”

 Rafi Metz

Dear Editor:

 I would like to respond to Warren Hecht’s article, “It’s Criminal.” Warren states that even though the Mueller investigation was predicated on a lie, it still resulted in proving that Trump was guilty.

I do not know what world Warren is living in, but it appears that he does not know that the Mueller investigation was a dud. Mueller admitted that there was no evidence whatsoever that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. It appears that Warren gets his “news” from the fake media. The fake media consists of CNN, MSNBC, and ABC. They do not report news. They just make it up.

A perfect example is the Kyle Rittenhouse case. The fake media claimed that Kyle Rittenhouse is a White Supremacist who gunned down three model citizens because they were Black.

The truth is that Kyle is not even White. He is of mixed race. In addition, Kyle did not gun down anyone. He shot three White people who were about to murder him. These three “victims” had long rap sheets and were very dangerous criminals.

Our esteemed president, along with the Democratic Party, agreed with the media narrative that Kyle is a white Supremacist. The sooner we vote out this corrupt party and their senile leader, the better. I advise Warren to get his news from other sources.

 Eric Rubin

Dear Editor:

 In these difficult economic times, as a result of COVID, it is especially important to patronize your neighborhood businesses. Do it not only on annual Small Business Saturday, November 26, but every day of the year.

Small independent businesses are at the mercy of suppliers, especially third-party brokers, who control the price they have to pay for merchandise. There are additional costs of sanitizing the store and providing protection to employees, who deal with the public during this ongoing health emergency.

I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local stores survive. The employees go out of their way to help find what I need. Customer service is their motto. As an independent mom and pop store, they don’t have bulk buying purchasing power that Amazon or large national chain stores have. The owners can’t negotiate lower prices from suppliers. This is why they sometimes charge a little more. It is worth the price to avoid the crowds and long lines at larger stores in exchange for the convenience and friendly service your neighborhood community store offers.

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 employed as possible. Many maintain the tradition of offering job opportunities to students during the holidays and summer.

Customers also patronize other commercial establishments on the block. Foot traffic is essential for the survival of any neighborhood commercial district. If we don’t patronize our local community stores and restaurants to shop and eat, they don’t eat either. This helps keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.

The owners of independent mom and pop stores are the backbone of our neighborhood commercial districts. Thank the hard-working owners and employees who continue to work during these hard times. Show your support by making a purchase.

Stop by your favorite 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:

 Re: Larry Penner’s letter on Governor Hochul riding the LIRR test train to Grand Central – in last week’s QJL.

I agree with the author that maybe – maybe – the cost vs. time saved is not cost effective. But as far as LIRR ridership being down, how can the author possibly predict what will happen in December 2022? In October 2020, the author had an opinion piece published in the Riverdale Press, predicting there would be no air conditioning on MABSTOA buses in the summer of 2021. The vaccines were rolled out after his prediction and the buses were very air conditioned.

The author claims it takes seven minutes to go from Penn Station to Grand Central. I would agree with the author – if he had access to Captain Kirk’s transporter.

LIRR trains leave you on the lower level of Penn Station. Assuming a commuter has no mobility issues, fighting the throngs of people, it would take at least five minutes just to get to the uptown platform of the 1, 2, or 3 train at Penn Station. Assuming a train comes instantly – a huge assumption indeed – and assuming the train runs at top speed to Times Square, that takes another two minutes. Then there’s the walk from the uptown 1-2-3 platform to the shuttle, at least another two minutes. Assuming for the sake of argument the shuttle leaves immediately – again a huge assumption – it’s at least two minutes from Times Square to Grand Central.

All told it could take easily twice the time Mr. Penner asserts it would take from Penn to Grand Central.

Because he is against a project, the author uses half-truths to justify his opinion.

 Nat Weiner