May 28, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Cory Booker Was Never Ours to Lose

Regarding your lead story (“Have We Lost Cory Booker?” August 9, 2018), my only question is why that is a question at all. Mr. Booker has made clear where he truly stands vis-a-vis Israel and no effort to sugar coat it will change reality. In the past he delighted Jewish audiences by sharing Divrei Torah, so I’ll remind him of an opinion cited in the Talmud that the word “B’Pharech” (translated as “harshly”) used in Chumash to describe how Pharoah dealt with the Hebrews can be understood as a contraction for “Peh Rach” – soft-spoken words – in other words, as the Maharal explains, first he seduced them with nice words and then stabbed them in the back by oppressing them harshly. Cory Booker has revealed himself to be a modern-day Pharaoh who has enticed our gullible community into believing that he is a staunch supporter of Israel in order to extract money from our pockets. Now that he has attained his political goal of establishing himself as a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic party and it no longer serves his purpose to be associated with our community, we, and more importantly, Israel, have become expendable. No question about it.

I also want thank The JLNJ for publishing weekly articles by R. Jachter on Sephardic law and customs, something all too unknown to the general Ashkenazi community. Two comments on his column this week. First, I don’t think one has to refer to Choni the Circle Maker to justify the beautiful custom of saying livracha regarding the request for rain. Unfortunately we have seen with our own eyes the numerous hurricanes and other storms that have brought massive flooding, wreaking havoc and devastation. Rain is not always a blessing and the interjection by the congregation of livracha reminds us of that. Second,.Jachter mentions “at least three men” coming together for zimun in benching. The Halacha mentions that three women who eat together may also begin benching this way, and I would enjoy learning more about Sephardic attitudes towards this practice.

Robert Friedman
Teaneck
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