Colors: Cyan Color

Amid the recent run of bad news, there is a positive development that deserves our attention: Congress recently passed, and President Biden signed, a $1.5 trillion appropriations bill, which may well be the most pro-Israel legislation ever passed. It includes $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel, $1 billion in supplemental funding for the Iron Dome, $500 million for US-Israel cooperation on defensive missiles like the Arrow and David’s Sling, and $75 million for US-Israel cooperation in areas such as agriculture, health care, homeland security, and anti-tunnel and anti-drone technology. Under the Israel Relations Normalization Act, the US is required to support and expand peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Also included is $250 million for security grants for shuls, yeshivos, and other at-risk nonprofit institutions. Our thanks go to Congressman Gregory Meeks, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congresswoman Grace Meng, who spearheaded the effort for increased funding for security grants, for their leadership role.

The midterm elections are eight months away, and candidates from all over the Empire State are gearing up for a long election season.  With the dismal job being done by President Joe Biden and the Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, candidates running for federal seats are looking forward to their races with a certain level of optimism.  With the awful track record of Governor Kathy Hochul combined with the Supermajorities in the State Senate and Assembly, this may be the best chance that the GOP has had in decades to turn New York in their favor.

January 2022 was one of the most profound months of my life lived thus far - and not for the reasons one might think. While it carried significance as the month prior to my three-year wedding anniversary and marked one year since Joe Biden’s ascension to the presidency, it was more importantly when I started learning EMDR. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy discovered by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987. I say discovered because Dr. Shapiro didn’t intentionally think about upsetting imagery while watching an object move across her visual field. Even psychotherapists aren’t that crazy. But accidental as it was, her discovery is to psychology what the New World is to geography. Perhaps uncontacted tribes practiced EMDR for millennia, but modern psychology accredits it to Shapiro nonetheless.

What’s with Jews and drinking? Is there a Mitzvah I don’t know about? Because Purim is here, I always feel compelled to speak out in the strongest terms. Maybe someone out there will listen. Maybe some parents will reverse course and not let their kids go out unsupervised and unrestrained. It’s probably because of working many night shifts on a city ambulance and seeing more than my share of such young people die or get mangled from drunk driving.

As Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine drags into its third week, imagine for a moment the terrible reality of the refugees who are being routed from their homes, and the homes of their ancestors, to avoid the devastation of war.  The mothers who place their children on buses, hoping to see them again, the fathers who take up arms to defend their country, and the families that are torn apart in all the chaos.  This is the reality of Putin’s aggression, but it draws a distinct parallel to many of the darkest hours in history.