Dear Editor:

 Shanah tovah.

I am no halachic expert, but I am pretty sure creating a chilul Hashem is never permitted, even on Erev Rosh HaShanah.

I was driving around Kew Gardens Hills on Sunday and was appalled by what I witnessed on Main Street in front of a certain large kosher grocery store on Main St. off 73rd Ave. Cars were parked in bus stops and in front of fire hydrants; some cars were even double-parked in front of the bus stops and fire hydrants. Everyone gave the same old, tired excuse: “It’s Erev Yom Tov and I have to buy gefilte fish.”

I know this stuff has been going on for many years in neighborhoods like Boro Park (13th Avenue), Flatbush (Avenue J), and the Five Towns (Central Avenue), but it has only recently come to Kew Gardens Hills. Our non-Jewish neighbors also shop on Main Street and they see what is going on, and who knows what they think of their Jewish neighbors. In addition, it is very dangerous when a bus stop is blocked, and some 85-year-old woman has to step out into traffic to board the bus.

So, in the spirit of the Yamim Nora’im, let us strive to refrain from causing any kind of chilul Hashem, and we will all merit a year of good health and happiness.

 Barry Koppel
Kew Gardens Hills


Dear Editor:

 Pills! It seems that all of us, no matter what our age, must take a number of pills each day. High blood pressure? High “bad” cholesterol number? Not enough Vitamin D or B-12? Get those pill boxes out and distribute the pills accordingly.

I love it when the doctor asks you if you have any side effects from the pill that she’s prescribed. If you answer in the negative, she informs you that the pill could be affecting your bones, and you must take a bone density test and take another pill for that problem.

Speaking about side effects, have you ever read the pamphlet (longer than the Gettysburg Address) that accompanies the said pills? Well, after taking out your magnifying glass, you discover you will suffer from accompanying ailments that you never had. Some of these side effects are the exact antithesis of each other. How can you have insomnia and sleepiness and lethargy? How can you suffer from constipation and diarrhea at the same time? True, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play a doctor on TV, but I’m concerned about the plethora of medications that we take.

Nevertheless, let’s listen to the doctors, follow their advice and say “Refa’einu Hashem” with a lot of kavanah. After all, everything is in Hashem’s hands. Let’s pray for a good, gezunt year for everyone!

 Debbie Horowitz


Dear Editor:

 Those attending the United Nations General Assembly could lead by example when it comes to Global Warming and Climate Change. Hundreds of heads of state, ambassadors, military attaches, and security personnel can give up limousines taking them to and from their embassy, hotel, or residency to the UN. These motorcades contribute to traffic gridlock and increase air pollution.

Join several million New Yorkers by riding the subway or bus. Enjoy some fresh air and walk several blocks from any nearby subway or bus stop. Mingle with ordinary citizens to develop a better understanding of America and its people.

If Congestion Pricing kicks in next year, they should not be exempt. This includes any police, FBI, or other law enforcement escorts whose vehicles should be billed to whomever they have been assigned to protect.

 Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York


Dear Editor:

 I would like to express a profound thank you to Police Officer Kevin McCarthy of the Community Affairs Unit at the 107th Police Precinct for taking the lead in arranging a smooth tashlich experience for residents of Kew Gardens Hills despite an unfortunate accident at KFC on Parsons Blvd. in the early afternoon. I had gone by prior to the crowds to ensure all was in place and advised of areas of concern along Park Drive East and Jewel Avenue. Thanks are extended to Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan and the officers, as well as traffic safety officers who were present to ensure safety. P.O. McCarthy received guidance from myself and Yaakov Serle prior to the chag and made special arrangements for the unique detail. The 107, like much of the NYPD, has been going through changes and shortages of staff, yet ensured that our community had additional patrols available throughout Rosh HaShanah, and specifically for this task on Monday afternoon. Kudos to all involved.

 Shabsie Saphirstein
Treasurer, Queens Jewish Alliance