Colors: Cyan Color

The civil rights movement led to the end of legalized racial segregation and the beginning of the ability of African Americans to be free and equal citizens in the United States of America. But similar oppressive government injustice is happening in New York City today.

It’s been an eventful few weeks. One of the stories dominating the news has been the debacle in Afghanistan. Without question, it is one of the most humiliating moments in American history. You will be able to read more about who is to blame and the geopolitical impact elsewhere. Last Shabbos was Shabbas Shuvah. It was also the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which led to the war in Afghanistan. It is an appropriate time to think about what the war in Afghanistan can teach us about our personal lives as we reflect on our mistakes of the past and commit ourselves to a year of growth in Torah and mitzvos.

Years ago, my father told me a story from the Satmar Rav, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum zt”l . There were once two brothers who lived near each other but could rarely dine with each other. They were both very wealthy and could afford the finest food. The problem was that one brother loved dairy food while the other enjoyed meat – the milchiger brother and the fleishiger brother.

On November 4, 1979, 52 Americans were taken hostage in Iran, prompting international outrage and nonstop media coverage.  The nightly news gave consistent reports, and ABC began the show that would eventually become “Nightline.”  For 444 days, the hostages were on the minds of every single American. But when Joe Biden left hundreds of hostages for the Taliban in Afghanistan, America forgot within a week.