Dear Editor:

 You all know who I am and where I work. I just feel that I have to go on record. It is my medical opinion, and it is the same of all the infectious disease experts, that these minyanim are going to kill people. I know it is very difficult for you all to understand it, because it seems like an innocuous gathering of 15 to 20 people. I will happily take any of you on a five-minute tour of what is going on in my hospital right now.

 Dear Editor:

 In 1969, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (the Rav) began a lecture on Purim, and asked the audience to ponder the “basic discrepancy between Purim and Chanukah,” two holidays that share a similar status or recognition, even if spaced a few months apart on the Jewish calendar, with individual observances unique to each. “I’m not speaking about specific mitzvos,” he continued. “I’m speaking about the character, halachic background...”

Dear Editor:

 As Purim comes around, I am reminded of the Purim Parade and Carnival we used to have on Main Street. Everyone has fond memories of the parade and carnival. It was an event that really brought the community together. The last time the event occurred was in a February, and I remember it being really cold that day and the carnival was mostly deserted; however, in years with better weather, I remember it being well attended. At that time, Kew Gardens Hills was smaller than it is today. Perhaps this parade and carnival could be revived – however, as a Lag BaOmer Parade and Carnival. The weather is better in May than it is in February/March, when Purim occurs.

Dear Editor:

 Interested in harming Jewish communities around the world? Hoping to weaken the State of Israel, yet unsure how to begin? Tragically, you can accomplish both of these goals by voting for Hatikvah in the election for World Zionist Congress. Hatikvah is led by members of J Street, an organization that openly supports a two-state solution and demands that Israel withdraw to pre-1967 borders. J Street is attempting to hijack the World Zionist Congress in hopes of uprooting settlements in Judea and Samaria and ultimately establishing a Palestinian state in its place.

 Dear Editor:

 We shouldn’t be panicked by this virus event, and I love the line Rabbi Schonfeld said during the drashah, that Hashem can so easily make a mockery of our “great economy” by having someone in China eat bat soup and thus wrecking our economy – but we shouldn’t ignore this virus either.

We have already had eight cases with unknown origin of coronavirus. Up until February 29, the only country that the Trump administration was barring entry from was China. Now Northern Italy, South Korea, and Iran were added to the list. Before these additions, Italians and others not from China were not even screened when they came into this country, so we don’t know what the effect of those who entered before the latest ban has on our population.

I cite here from this current article an infectious disease expert advising people to act differently during this virus attack. He says, “We may also have to think about reducing occasions when people are crowded together; that may mean more people working from home to avoid offices, buses, and subways. It may mean avoiding sports events, school assemblies, parties, and even unnecessary visits to crowded doctor’s offices – this is a time to develop telemedicine.

This Shabbos in shul, I didn’t feel comfortable shaking people’s hands and gave a fist bump instead. I know that the “Good Shabbos” handshake is legendary, but during these times I think it could be acceptable to go with alternate ways of saying Good Shabbos. One person was almost offended when I gave him my reason for the fist bump.

I think it would be good if Rabbi Schonfeld and other rabbis explained that fist bumps should be understood these days as an alternative for the handshake, if that’s what people want to do.

Abe Fuchs

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