July 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

One Hour by Air and Six Hours by Car

Anyone who has ever read any of our columns or spoken with us knows how much we love Montreal and the wonderful life that we had there. Yet the recent current events in Quebec scare us into imagining that the fear of anti-Semitism, and other attitudes, are really not that far away from any of us.

Every place that we went in Montreal last week there was discussion relating to the new secularism bill proposed as Bill 21. This bill, which will shortly be sent to the Quebec House of Parliament was brought to the table by its current premier, Francois Legault, the chairman of the Coalition Avenir Quebec. What Bill 21 states is that no one in authority may be allowed to wear any symbol of religion in any government-based building. As an example, teachers who work in the public school sectors and wear hijabs would be banned from doing so, doctors working in any of the hospitals in Quebec would not be allowed to wear their kippot anymore, lawyers would not be able to defend their clients in court wearing either turbans, hijabs or kippot. A person wearing a cross while working in the public sector would no longer be able to wear it. In a recent article in the New York Times, a good friend, Greg Bordan, a well known constitutional lawyer in Montreal, decried that he would no longer be able to visit the Palais de Justice (the courthouse) because he would not be admitted wearing a kippah. The absurdity of this proposed law is being fought from every side. Daily demonstrations are taking place by all minorities, in universities and schools; hospital staff and leadership of most ethnic groups are appalled at this suggestion.

Montreal, always known as a multicultural city, will be greatly affected by this travesty of justice.

Upon crossing the border it did not take long for us to turn on the radio and hear about another outrageous remark made by Ilhan Omar, Democratic freshman member of Congress from Minnesota. Disgusted with her rhetoric we quickly changed the radio station and heard the tirade made by Rashida Tlaib on another station. Congresswoman Tlaib, from Michigan, is a huge proponent of BDS and, of course, a great fan of Ilhan Omar. Together they both would love to see any aid to Israel diminished if not totally abolished. These are new members of the Washington government circle. After listening to this sickening rhetoric, we talked of the dangers of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, still alive and well and spouting forth his anti-Semitic words. Al Sharpton came to mind, who recently made news, and we were reminded of his role during the Crown Heights riots in 1995 and all that he did to incite more violence and hate. Need we continue? Not too long ago we were all startled by the actions of our very own New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Are we remembering how he “sold us down the river” when he voted for the Iranian nuclear deal? With his presidential candidacy being touted by many we should not forget who he really is.

As we all sit down at our Seder tables we believe that it is imperative to remind ourselves of the freedom which our people worked to achieve under the leadership of Moshe. Unfortunately, threats to our freedom and our people are alive and well. Eretz Yisrael is waiting for us. Let the Seder be an opportunity to put it in the back of our minds to ponder at a more reasonable time. Chag Kasher v’Sameach.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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