Dear Editor:

 In his column two weeks ago, Moshe Hill offered a novel defense of prominent Republicans, such as Gov. DeSantis, who failed to condemn former President Trump’s meeting with anti-Semites, arguing that they were just avoiding follow-up questions from the media. And then, last week, he defended Marjorie Taylor Greene’s much criticized comments about January 6 by saying they needed to be understood as a joke in the face of media criticism of her. I understand that Mr. Hill views the “mainstream” media as a boogeyman (and maybe, as a hyper-partisan member of the conservative media, he has a unique insight into that), but continually using them as a convenient excuse for all types of questionable behavior seems like a copout.

As for DeSantis, his history of deflection when asked about anti-Semitic incidents, as well as January 6, seems (at best) to be a calculated decision to avoid angering a certain segment of Republican voters. It’s therefore disheartening to see Trump supporters who are finally willing to break with him, pivoting almost as one to backing DeSantis as an alternative, instead of looking for a more moderate choice. I suppose that anyone who fully supported Trump through thick and thin isn’t really looking for moderation, but I would hope that anyone who just backed him due to his support of Israel would look for someone a little less extreme, and not just the person who plays the best to the Fox News outrage machine.

Yaakov Ribner


Dear Editor:

 Warren Hecht has written recent columns about the Democrats’ surprising success in the midterm elections and the multi-billion-dollar FTX scam that Sam Bankman-Fried has been accused of. He hasn’t, though, connected the two events. I’m not sure why.

Election campaigns require money to be successful. Lots of it. Much of these campaign funds are used to purchase advertisements selling the public on the need to vote for a particular candidate or negative ads for their opponent. There are a substantial number of Americans who are unfamiliar with the political issues of the day. They see particular events but can’t connect the dots on why they are occurring. Take, for instance, gas prices. An informed observer would understand that the numerous administrative burdens placed on the gas/oil industry on Day One of the Biden regime via executive order make investors in gas/oil extremely wary about investing in gas/oil, which results in less drilling, which results in a diminished supply, which results in higher prices at the pump for the end-user. But that has not stopped Biden and his inept White House Press Secretary from blaming high gas prices on the “Putin Price Hike.” There’s no way the Biden administration could get away with such an absurd, outright lie, but for the mass ignorance of large swaths of the electorate.

Same deal with inflation. Anyone, with even a basic, rudimentary understanding of economics, knows that inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. The last thing that anyone trying to curb inflation would do is introduce new massive government spending bills in the middle of an inflationary cycle. Yet President Biden has absurdly stated many times that we need to spend more money to lower inflation. He even introduced a bill called the “Inflation Reduction Act” that only served to increase inflation. How can this administration continue to float these anti-economics, anti-common-sense ideas if not for the millions of ignorant Americans who simply do not know any better?

The stunning ignorance of many Americans extends to their political candidates, as well. Recent data has revealed that approximately two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and supermarket prices are conservatively up 15 percent, year over year. Yet, Americans decided in the midterms they wanted more of the same, electing an alarming number of Democrats, opting for a continuance of their own financial demise. How can this be? Well, a large contributing factor to getting ignorant people to vote against their own interest is advertising, and guess who paid for lots of that advertising? None other than Sam Bankman-Fried! He was the second largest Democratic Party donor, rerouting over $40 million of stolen FTX funds to Democratic campaigns. The Democrats in almost all the key races (e.g., Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Cortez-Masto in Nevada, and Warnock in Georgia) enjoyed significantly more campaign money to spend than their Republican opponents.

Mr. Hecht wonders how Bankman-Fried’s scam went on for so long with no governmental regulation, but when you are constantly filling up Democratic coffers with cash, you will receive special treatment. Anyone who naively chalks up the timing of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s arrest, one day before he was scheduled to give Congressional testimony regarding cryptocurrencies as a coincidence, also likely believes that Nancy Pelosi’s estimated $115 million net worth, accumulated while she was regulating many of the industries she profited from, is merely coincidental, as well. Based on his writeup of the Bankman-Fried affair, it appears that Mr. Hecht mistakenly assumes, like many, that the Bankman-Fried scam only affected the uber-wealthy folks who invested money with him. This, however, is a fallacy, as Bankman-Fried’s actions affect everyone, as his stolen funds likely tilted many Congressional races in favor of Democrats.

 Jason Stark


Dear Editor:

 Rabbi Staum mentions in his story this past week about a Pesach that ended on a Wednesday. Unless that was in Israel, that’s not possible. We have a rule, “Lo B’DU Pesach,” which means that Pesach cannot begin (or end) on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

 Shlomo Miodownik


Dear Editor:

 It wasn’t only the media and Democrats who were outraged by the recent New York Young Republican gala, as Moshe Hill claims. We normie (normal) Republicans were similarly shocked and angered by this showcase of the worst elements of the Republican Party, including Trump cultists Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., and the father and son Giulianis.

The noted guests, most of whom still maintain that the 2020 election was “stolen,” represent the worse elements of the current Republican Party, which is desperately attempting to rebuild by distancing itself from Trump. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the keynote speaker at the event, is a repellent to Republican-leaning voters at a time when the party should be reaching out to unaffiliated, Democratic, Independent, and former Republican voters who left the party due to Trump. Greene is a looney QAnon conspiracist who spoke at a Nick Fuentes America First (white nationalist) conference this year. Recall her unhinged anti-Semitic statement that California wildfires were ignited by a corporate cabal including the Rothschild banking firm. Her outrageous quote, “I want to tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, we would’ve been armed,” she said of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Hill claimed she was “joking,” which is highly suspect. Remember the proverb: “Many a true word is spoken in jest.”

Some other gems of her speech: She does not want to support a “single penny” to help Ukraine battle Russia. Further, she was optimistic the party would work together to “defund” the FBI.

Hill doesn’t utter a critical word about any of this. He merely says it’s “too early” to endorse Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, as this club had already done. Hill had no comment about the damage Trump is doing to the Republican Party and how unwise the club’s decision is. It’s political reality that if Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee, the Democratic candidate will win the election. So the New York Young Republican Club is actually helping Joe Biden get a second term.

They are the elements that were represented at this gathering that give the media and partisan Democrats fodder to dismiss Republicans as a party of hateful, ignorant lunatics, at a time when the Republican Party is the vehicle most likely to save a sinking America.

Arlene Ross
Forest Hills, New York


Dear Editor:

 “Pass the latkes, please.” As we gather for Chanukah meals, we face the universal problem that The Wall Street Journal addressed: “What do we call our in-laws?” (No this isn’t going to be a series of nasty mother-in-law jokes.) One way of avoiding the problem is deleting any name and using the pronoun “you,” as in, “Can you please pass the salt?” However, English lacks the French language’s familiar “tu” versus the more formal “vous.”

If we were part of the British royal family, it wouldn’t be a problem. I would simply say, “Would Her Royal Highness please pass the salt?” I’m assuming, though, that despite the fact that we are all Jewish princesses and princes, we don’t use those formal appellations. Yet, we certainly can’t address our in-laws by their first names, and it’s difficult to refer to them as Mom and Dad. My father z”l was always referred to as Rabbi, and my father always referred to my mother as Rebbetzin. Even my in-laws, who weren’t religious, referred to my father as Rabbi and my mother as Rebbetzin.

Once our parents become grandparents, though, the name problem disappears. We can call one set of parents Saba and Savta and the other set of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa or any other name of endearment. All of a sudden, the in-law term becomes irrelevant, and the term of endearment takes its place.

The truth is, halachically, we are to show respect to our in-laws. The most famous of all mothers-in-law was Naomi, and both her daughters-in-law paid her respect. Let’s take a page from their book and show our mothers-in-law the respect they deserve. Therefore, we can say, “Mom, please pass that extremely dry brisket and peas that you know I love.”

 Debbie Horowitz


Dear Editor:

 Good. One thing Mr. Hecht and I agree on is moving on from Trump and Biden. If Biden wins the Democratic nomination in 2024, that would be a gift to the Republican Party, as long as we don’t have Trump. While Trump did many wonderful things for America, and Jews in particular, his ego has gotten the better of him lately and he has turned off too many to win.

Hakeem Jefferies is as big an election denier as any Trump candidate who lost in 2022. So, Democrats have plenty of those, too. The Democrats and their media surrogates are obsessed with Trump and cannot let go. It’s clear that Merrick Garland and his DOJ, New York State AG Letitia James, and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg are all guilty of malicious prosecution. They all hate Trump and will stop at nothing to see him thrown in prison for even the slightest infraction, even if they have to make one up. It’s Third-World-country stuff and is a terrible stain on our country. Just move on and try to beat the next guy.

Mr. Hecht completely ignored Paul Whelan from his column. Why? He’s a patriot who served this country for 16 years in the Marines and is being held in a Russian jail on bogus spy charges. If anyone “deserved” to be traded for, it is he. Griner isn’t a celebrity. Mr. Hecht, you are an avid WNBA fan? You knew who she was? She’s a nobody who committed a crime in a foreign country. She checks the boxes for the Democrats because all they care about is intersectionality. She’s an African American, a female, and a lesbian. It’s all about the box-checking. Marc Fogel and Paul Whelan are not even on this President’s (or his pathetic Secretary of State’s) radar because they are white, straight, and male. Don’t think for one second that this doesn’t set a very dangerous precedent.

 Shalom Markowitz


Opening Bathrooms Beats Elevator Odor-Detection Systems

Dear Editor:

 New York City Transit President Richard Davey announced that his agency would be testing an odor-detection system in 353 elevators within 472 stations. It would send out an alert when a urine-adjacent aroma is identified. Riders urinate and sometimes even defecate in elevators, at the end of platforms, and in other discreet locations inside subway stations, due to the lack of open, safe, working bathrooms. Funding for his “odor-detection system” would be better spent reopening all 130 existing bathrooms at 70 of the NYC Transit’s 472 subway stations that remain closed. Add the installation of more bathrooms as part of future station renovation projects for those that have no pre-existing restrooms. Have former station agents, who are no longer staffing token booths, periodically inspect elevators. They can notify station cleaners when encountering urine and feces in elevators for immediate cleanup. Reopening secure, safe subway station bathrooms with adequate supplies of toilet paper, soap, and hot water would be one way to keep elevators from smelling of urine. Access to a public restroom should be a basic human right.

Larry Penner