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Chasidim contribute to Jewish life

I read Dr. Tani Foger’s opinion piece with interest (“Unusual guests at my Shabbat table,” December 21). I am neither chasidic nor ultra-Orthodox. It seems to me that the challenges in family life related to the transmission of traditions dating back to Har Sinai is a feature of the human condition. Those challenges can occasionally be found behind closed doors in modern Orthodox families as well. We must not put our head in the sand when we see a problem. That we can do better is one of the foundational principles of Judaism and part of our daily prayers.

But I feel compelled to point out that, in my view, the loving embrace of which Dr. Foger speaks is often exemplified by the chasidic movement in particular. Bikur cholim is synonymous with Satmar. Hatzalah was founded by a Satmar chasid in the 60s and has become a worldwide movement. The mitzvah tank and outreach of Lubavitch through Chabad houses around the world, amongst so many other projects, has opened the door for multitudes to be included in Jewish life — at a level of their own choosing, without any sense of being judged. In 30 years of law practice, it is the students of Lubavitch who have come to my office on Friday afternoon to say a dvar Torah and check on whether I needed a mezuzah, had matzah for Pesach, or whether I needed anything else. The Lakewood community has been an international center for Jewish scholarship for many decades.

I commend Dr. Foger on her dedication to providing the loving embrace to those who, like each of us in our own way, struggle. Each and every one of those individuals is not only precious but our responsibility as members of Klal Yisroel. Dr. Foger must be praised for giving more than lip service to our duty to extend a loving hand and we must learn from her example and act upon it.

Her professional life has put her front and center in understanding the issue about which she writes. I for one believe that we are a more fortunate people because of the significant contributions of the chasidic and ultra-Orthodox communities to Jewish life.

Jeffrey Bernstein
North Bergen

Enough of Trump is enough

It was a sad day for Americans when the Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, resigned. Every American should read Jim Mattis’ resignation letter. He questions the president’s fitness as commander in chief.

I think we have had enough!

Every day there is a new facet of the president’s illegal, unethical wrong doings. His tweeting of the withdrawal of our troops from Syria is not advisable and could be a disaster. He didn’t even have the decency to discuss this with the Pentagon or the generals. Apparently, his decision to withdraw the troops from Syria was influenced by the Turkish government. Such withdrawal would be a gift to Russia, Who does Trump work for??

Trump often does this to deflect any topic he doesn’t want talked about.

There are so many investigations going on covering this president. There is the Mueller investigation about obstruction of justice, collusion, and his financial ties to Russia and Saudi Arabia. There is the investigation of the Trump Foundation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, and others in New Jersey and Maryland. There is his raving about how he will “be proud” to shut down the government. In his two years as president, he has undone all the rules and policies. He has no sense of history or of our Constitution.

In plain language, he is an ignoramus.

He has broken agreements such as NAFTA and the Paris Climate Agreement. As a nation, we have 14 trade agreements and they are threatened by Trump.

He has no regard for the rule of law. He constantly attacks the FBI and the CIA.

He attacks the free press. His handling of the migrants seeking asylum at the Southwest border who must wait in Mexico is a disgrace and the separation of families is heart-wrenching

If a former president did a tenth of what Trump has done and is doing, he would have been out in a nanosecond. Where are the patriots in the Republican Congress?? Their silence is astonishing. They are weak, ineffective, and timid, which makes them as bad as the President.

How telling it was to learn that a bipartisan group of 44 former U.S. Senators recently wrote an op-ed expressing their concern about the dangers facing American democracy.

We cannot go on with this man In office, who hasn’t abided by the Emolument Clause or the Logan Act, or the Hatch Act, or the laws about nepotism. Why isn’t he called out for ignoring these laws, and for not producing his tax returns?

Hopefully, when the Mueller report comes out and the Democratic Congress is in office, they will finally discharge the powers and duties of their office and look to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, Section 4, or by impeachment.

How much longer do we have to put up with an incompetent, narcissistic, pathological liar, racist, and demagogue as the president of the United States? He is an embarrassment to our country and to the world. He has to go and take his tweets with him. You can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth! I have nothing but visceral loathing for this president.

To quote from “A Code of Jewish Ethics” by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin: “Boris Pasternak, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist and author of Dr. Zhivago, lived in the Soviet Union, a totalitarian regime, and routinely had to lie to stay out of prison. Pasternak noted the toll it took to live in a state of continual untruth.” As he said, “Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune.”

I remember the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and of Michael Bloomberg when Trump was elected. How right they were. The Supreme Court justice called Trump, “a faker” and the former three-term mayor of New York City called him “a scam artist.”

I say enough is enough!

Grace Jacobs
Cliffside Park

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