Thank you, President Trump

I write in disappointed incredulousness regarding the ‘less than a molehill made into a mountain’ Frisch H.S. letters issue (“Was a thank-you note a breach of etiquette?” January 26). Let’s face reality; while the Standard’s article provided valid background information to the non-issue, the anonymous and attributed quotes reflect nothing but the continued whining of liberal sore-losers. The fact that Jared Kushner went to Frisch many years ago is irrelevant, and speciously used to generate headlines. Taking it another step, Shammai Engelmayer, in his weekly editorial of supposed Talmudic wisdom, felt the need to chime in with distorted and irrelevant references to saving lives and spilling blood. Does he seriously believe that letters of thanks from high school students to the President of the U.S. will lead to loss of life or spilling of blood? His disingenuous use of our beloved Sages’ words to bolster his own unhappy prospective is disappointing and not worth refuting, especially given the innumerable citations in our history to the expressions of thanks given to our non-Jewish rulers. Will he next call for a discontinuance of our weekly prayer for the government, which we have said in one form or another since Jeremiah’s time? Oh, and let’s not ignore Neal Borovitz’s “shock” in his letter, upon reading about this issue in the always even-handed reporting of Haaretz. Isn’t it astoundingly ironic that a reform ‘rabbi’ would call for a protective fence (gezeirah) for secular legal principles?

So now, let’s consider the realities from a nonpolitical perspective. This President has undoubtedly raised the worldwide stature of Israel. He has fulfilled long-made promises of recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. He has and continues to shift the U.N.’s and, for that matter, the world’s attitude toward Israel. All of this is good for the Jews. We must also be concerned by a number of the negatives ascribed to President Trump that are incessantly reported by the press, but that should certainly not countermand our appreciation for all the good.

Accordingly, the idea that Frisch students, who appreciated his Jerusalem stance, should voluntarily send a note of gratitude to the President seems absolutely proper and apolitical. After eight years of a president who was decidedly unfriendly to Israel, it is truly refreshing to finally have a U.S. leader who is willing to publicly recognize Israel’s correctness, especially in contrast to its adversaries. There is no question that we should be a light onto the nations, but not to the detriment of our own people. As my former professor, Elie Wiesel, aptly stated, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity” and silence or protest is certainly not the way to reflect that thankfulness.

Frisch H.S did nothing wrong, and in fact, we should all be proud that Frisch and many other Jewish day schools know how to motivate their students’ recognition of the blessings bestowed upon us and to give thanks to those who deserve it.

Leonard Fuld

Shame on you, Trump haters!

According to the Book of Ezra, 2500 years ago the great Persian king, Cyrus, allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the second Temple. In his honor, they dedicated the Eastern gate of the outer walls of the Temple Mount, the Shushan Gate facing Persia. Fast forward to the present and for the first time an American President proclaimed Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

As a token of appreciation, Frisch students (the First Son-in-Law’s alma mater), were urged to write thank-you notes to the President. The reaction: a few token parents (needless to say, Trump Haters) objected and the rest was left for the media to pounce upon. To add salt to the wound, Rosh Yeshiva and teacher of Talmud Ozer Glickman weighed in by stating “that the timing of the letter writing campaign was unfortunate.” Seriously! The timing? When would be the correct timing? On another front, various so-called Jewish leaders invoked separation of Church and State!

Shame on these parents. Shame on Ozer Glickman. Shame on self-hating Jews. Perhaps these individuals should take a moment to open the Book of Ezra and glean some sense of spiritual guidance.

Herbert Burack

Thank you, Rabbi Ciner

As a current Frisch parent, I completely support the school’s decision to ask their students to thank the president. “Was a thank-you note a breach of etiquette?” is the headline of your article. Seriously? Shouldn’t we be teaching our children if someone does something nice for you to say thank you? Not saying thank you is a breach of etiquette!

In recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, our president stuck his neck out with this monumental gesture and went against the advice and threats of the entire world.

Our community should be most grateful to the president — regardless of how you voted!

In full disclosure I am a fan. I came across Mr. Trump around 12 years ago as I was walking up Broadway near the Letterman theater. Mr. Trump was standing next to his limousine with a random mishmash of about a half dozen New Yorkers around him. His driver was nowhere in sight — I assume he went into one of the bodegas. I stood there for a few minutes then nodded to the future president and continued on my way. As I walked away I remember thinking that if I was one the richest men in New York I wouldn’t be standing around like that. I’d be inside that car with the doors locked. I believe the President is a people person. He genuinely enjoys being around people.

It is refreshing to finally have a president that tells you what he is thinking without having to turn to his pollsters to find out what to believe or say. It is remarkable to have a president that is not afraid to do things in his first year in office that other presidents do in their eighth year as they walk out the door!

Rabbi Ciner, thank you for the amazing job you are doing and please ignore Facebook and this fake controversy. What happens on Facebook should stay on Facebook. Most of it goes against Jewish values anyway.

I also hope Frisch will continue to invite people like Jason Greenblatt to speak to the students, and not turn into another Rutgers. A wonderful quality of the Orthodox community, as a recent Pew Research poll shows, is the varied and balanced opinions and political viewpoints in our community (about 50-50 as contrasted with the Conservative and Reform movements where it is skewed 70-30 and 80-20 respectively towards liberal viewpoints).

Mr. Greenblatt’s message is truer in our time as ever. As a community we know how Israel is often the victim of this biased reporting. How many times has a false story been splashed across the headlines of the “newspaper of record” only for a retraction to be buried deep inside the paper days later. How many times has a story that puts Israel in a positive light been completely ignored by the popular media.

The media’s biased treatment of the president should be evident to every thinking individual. Just a look at Time magazine’s recent covers is enough to tell you that this is no longer a news magazine put a propaganda tool. On February 16, 2017, just a month after the president took office, Time printed an article by Maya Rhodan titled: “Trump’s immigration crackdown seems designed to spread fear”. Every law enforcement official interviewed said it would be impossible to plan and implement this type of operation in under a month and that this was planned well before Mr. Trump’s election. So, is this honest and balanced journalism or propaganda?

As citizens of this great nation we should support our president and wish him continued success and teach our children to do the same.

Sam Rappaport

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