Monday, October 29, 2007

Empathy for Gazans / A free MRI

It is amazing that no sooner did Israel announce some cutbacks in electricity and fuel for Gaza,that they rescinded the decree. The reason-to avoid a humanitarian crisis.Who says a
crisis will develop?-the U.N.
Where is the U.N. when over 300 rockets a month come into Israel from Gaza-disrupting lives and wounding innocents?
Where was the feeling of empathy for thousand of Israelis expelled from Gaza.without permanent homes,schools,jobs up until the present?
There was one benefit from the disengagement-it allowed Hamas to smuggle 112 tons of explosives into Gaza,and enable the rockets to come closer to Sderot etc.(according to Israeli intelligence)
Oh I forgot myself for a moment-that was our enemies who gained.
When I was early on in my group surgical practice,some businessmen came to us and offered that we install an SMA-12 machine into our office.The purpose-to make money!After all a busy four man surgical practice had lots of patients,who needed blood tests anyway.
Our answer was in the negative-we were doctors not businessmen!
Today with doctors advertising on TV etc,one sees a different standard.Yet,I always question in my mind the quality of those who need to advertise.
Thus today,I was shocked to hear on the radio an invitation for patients and families to come to NYU for a seminar on brain tumors.
Sound great-and educational.
I forgot to mention-each patient who attends is entitled to a free brain MRI.
Enough said!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


About 37 years ago,we moved to Monsey in the town of Ramapo.The slogan of the town was "Keep Ramapo Green".Indeed,except for a stretch of route 59,and the "business district" of Monsey which were old and unappealing,Ramapo was indeed green.
A number of years ago ,things started to change.I do not follow local politics,nor do I even read the local newspaper.So I report to you what I see=period.
Throughout areas of Monsey,multiple dwelling homes are going up.Some of the older areas ,where these homes were built years ago, look like something from Europe(fiddler ?).There is dirt, garbage and suddenly Ramapo is not green anymore.
I have no honest idea regarding sewer or water needs.I do see,that our roads cannot handle this influx.I do know, that these homes are an eyesore.
There is an election coming up soon,and evidently some individuals are calling for a change in policy-a moratorium on building,while studies are performed.
The hasidic community believes that all these hundreds and perhaps thousands of posters on every corner and vacant space calling on citizens to stop "the building
and to preserve Ramapo" are anti-semitic in nature.They are called "Jew haters"and comparing the efforts to 1938 Germany.
I do not know the parties on either side of this political struggle.I do know it is a chilul hashem to create such an atmosphere of hate in this community.
When the town of Suffern tries to stop an unobtrusive building at Good Samaritan Hospital that has long been used as a Shabbos Venter for patients families,I feel it must be fought.
However,when the physical character of my neighborhood is threatened,with ugliness,potential loss of property value,and overcrowding ,my complaints are not because they are chasidim or "ultra-orthodox",but because it is wrong.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Likud-NRP-Tour of the Temple Mount

I have just sent an e-mail to Bibi Netanyahu head of Likud ,and Zvulun Orlev the head of the NRP (National Religious Party), suggesting that they conduct a joint Likud-NRP tour of the Temple Mount.The purpose would be to highlight the fact that the Har Habayit,and Kotel are an intrinsic part of the Jewish past ,present and future.Such a move would make it impossible for Olmert to make the unprecedented concessions that he is likely to make on Jerusalem,Yehuda and Shomrom etc.
There is of course precedent for such a visit.Olmert's old boss Arik Sharon did exactly that.And if you say, that such a move will lead to cancellation of Annapolis,I would say..Great
If you will say that it will lead to violence,then I would answer, that this represents the violence that Fatah plans,should they not obtain 100% of their goals.
To this day,suicide bombers attempt infiltration,rockets fall on Israel,and we hear not a word of concessions or change of attitude by Abbas on "refugees,borders etc".
This is not the time for a Condi Rice meeting where the pressure will be all on Israel.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trash /Pelosi-Reid

Throughout our history,we have always suffered not only from the hatred of Gentiles, but fromthe sectarian battles between Jewish factions.
As we walk the streets near our homes in Monsey,we note Hasidim-not all,but many especially young ones,walking by us on Shabbat,without the traditional "Good Shabbos".It is as though we did not exist.
Occasionally, the Israeli flag that flies near the American flag on our Synagogue has been torn down.
This past week,someone went to the trouble of copying a piece of our Synagogue stationary,on which there was an announcement of a special Shabbat program,featuring Rabbi J.J. Schacter.
They used a computer to print a headline in bold print ,under the schul name that read
They next spread the sheets around our lobby.
Sad,is the only word that I can think of!===============================================================
It is hard to find a more inept leadership pair than Pelosi/Reid.They have taken an electoral victory and basically thrown it to the wind-with petty vindictiveness and a lack of determination to legislate.The veto-overide loss of SChIPS,the Senate agreement on wiretapping,the failure to stop the President in Iraq,Move-on.Org,the attack on Rush Limbaugh,and so on has brought the Congressional ratings down.There is still time for them to pass budget bills,and work with the White House on acceptable legislation.
The American people,are not pleased,when the main agenda of the two Parties is "Gotcha".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Justice Clarence Thomas

Yesterday, my sons and I attended a luncheon in honor of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.It was co-sponsored ny the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation,and was attended by about 1300-1500 individuals.
We were extremely impressed by his intellect,common sense and humility.
The most poignant remark he made,was to the fact,that there are those who criticize him as a Black Man,who does not act or think in the stereotype that they expect of a "black man"That is, he said, a type of segregation that is unacceptable.
He pointed out that his late brother ,asked him how he should respond to those who criticize his decisions.He answered,"Ask them if they actually read the decision?"
Almost always they did not.
I started reading his autobiography today,and even in the first few pages was moved
to feel pride in this great country,where a Clarence Thomas,against all odds,can become a great Supreme Court Justice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Words have great meaning-especially in diplomacy and politics.
Thus,in response to an OU (Orthodox Union) letter to PM Olmert ( on Sept 20) regarding Jerusalem,Rachel Risby-Raz ,Diaspora Advisor to the PM ,answered on Oct. 8.
Note,this PM, who as Jerusalem Mayor led a 350,000 person demonstration against dividing Jerusalem, did not personally respond.

She says:
The issue of Jerusalem"is currently not under negotiations with the Palestinians."-If you believe that-do I have a bridge to sell you!
In any future settlement,"the PM, will strengthen the Jewish character of Jer...,enhance its Jewish majority,and keep Jer.. as the eternal,united and internationally recognized Capitol of the Jewish People,and the State of Israel,"

Meaning-if we can get away with it,we will divide Jer..,and give away the Temple Mount,and perhaps internationalize the Kotel.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The end of Olmert?

Could it be that secondary to a confluence of events, we may be seeing the end of the Olmert Prime Ministership?
The Police at the insructions of the AG are starting a new (is it third or fourth)investigation into his dealings.
The Winograd Report,will (perhaps)be coming out.(If they wait any longer, it will be a historical novel,rather than a panel of inquiry).Will Olmert be named,with a suggestion to resign?
In any case,Ehud Barak,has told associates,that he is determined to take the Labor Party out of the coalition after the report.
New polls show a major Kadimah loss and Bibi gain if elections were to take place now.
Shas,is threatening to leave the coalition if political issues(Jerusalem) are on the Annapolis agenda.Avigdor Lieberman will not be far behind.
The PM was forced to replace Ramon as head of the negotiating team to be replaced by Livni,who is more cautious.
Condi Rice,back from a less than successful meeting with Putin,is trying to browbeat Olmert publicly-and there could be ( and should be)an Israeli public backlash.
Abbas and his team are raising the ante,and when they ask for the Wailing Wall(kotel),except for some left-left -left radicals,this is over everyones RED LINE. The rockets and mortars continue,and only good security prevents a major disaster.
Members of the knesset of all parties,are asking Olmert to suspend himself,(unlikely)while the investigations are on.
My question to the Rabbinic leaders of Shas-How can you stay in a Govt. that wishes to give away Har Habayit?(Temple Mount)
We shall watch and pray-as the Arabs hopefully walk away from this silly event.

Rudy Guliani has wisely come out against a 2-state solution,and Sen Sam Brownback has endorsed the Elon plan(basically-Jordan is Palestine-do away with UNRWA).
Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gore-Nobel/Oscar winner

Congrats to V.P. Gore on joining Yassar Arafat and Jimmy Carter as Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
It is a long stretch of reasoning as to how one gets from global warming to war and peace,but I am sure that smarter people than me woulde be happy to present a cogent scenario.
A number of years ago,the V.P.,agreed to meet with a group of OU leaders in the Sheraton Hotel in NY.When he entered the room,he gave me a hug,and loudly pronounced "Mendy and I spent many evenings together exchanging war stories"
Of course,I had been a combat surgeon,and he a reporter for Stars and Stripes.However,we never spent any evenings together,and certainly never exchanged war stories.
Subsequently I noted a little blurb in a political column,that one of his aides told him that he must stop exxagerating( ie.I invented the Internet).
I believe ,as the Judge in England pointed out,the Gore global warming saga,represents those excesses,in degree of danger,and time lines.
Look for a starring role at the Dem. Ntl Convention.After all Carter and Arafat never recieved an Oscar!~

Monday, October 08, 2007

Veto! /Obama's lapel/ Jerusalem-why not give it away totally?

It is a shame that President Bush,in his entire Presidency vetoed only four bills.He allowed wild spending ,secret add-ons to the spending bills(earmarks),and reckless bipartisan efforts to break the financial decorum of our country.Had he been a true fiscal conservative, this so-called childrens health bill, would never have been passed in its current form.
Meant for the poor, as passed, it would give government funding to individuals with over $80,000 income.This would encourage such individuals to cancel their private insurance for the govt. -sponsored program.
His veto should stand-and he should be prepared to use it as needed,to encourage fiscal responsibility.


The flap over Senator Obama not wearing an American flag on his lapel is ridiculous.The lapel pin,is certainly no measure of a persons loyalty or feelings.This campaign is too long,and the pundits should stick to the issues,and not the frivolous(such as Rush's comments-"phoney soldiers vs the phoney") .
The battle for Jerusalem is on!
The Israeli Cabinet,is prepared to give away the Temple Mount.(Har Habayit) the holiest site of our people.
It is said that people get the government they deserve.And that is exactly on point.
We who live in America,have failed to make aliyah, and thus our cries mean much less than were we in Israel.In truth,our ZIONISM,was fine before a State was formed.Since 1948,we have been less than honest with ourselves.We are ready to fight,criticize,etc from the comforts of our homes in the US.
I know that many will point to their children,cash contributions, or their vacation homes as proof of their feelings.The late President Weitzman,once remarked to me,that if in the Six Day war period, as many Jews who attend dinners (in N Y) for Hebron and other historic sites under attack, would have made aliyah to these places,there would today be no question of ownership!(or a need for dinners).
The Israeli political parties have suffered from mediocrity and corruption,and the results are clear.
The Religious streams,have shared in this mediocrity-corruption,and have failed to educate the people even on a minimal basis as to our common traditions and heritage.
When the majority of Israeli youth have never visited Jerusalem,who can fault them for failing to react to a plan to divide the city.
All of the rhetoric of Olmert as Jerusalem Mayor,is not worth a shekel ,as he will stop at nothing to give in to Abbas.The latter,wisely ,asks- no insists on more and more, and he hopes he will be successful.
There are so many feelers out in the press,by Ramon,Lieberman ,and the Haaretz columnists,that if you combined all the ideas,Israel should follow the Iranian suggestion,and
move to Alaska.
One interesting sad omission-compensation for all the Jewish refugees from Arab countries,who outnumber "Arab Refugees".
Thankfully,there is a merciful G-d,who has a Master Plan,and we must have Bitachon (faith).Then again history has shown that the Arabs never miss an opportunity to screw themselves!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Christian America / Shalom Auslander

All my life I have referred to the U.S. as a "Christian Country".Of course what we have that makes it so special, is the fact that it is based upon "Judao-Christian Values",supplemented by a Contitution that provides for all of our freedoms,and separation of Church and State.Our American forefathers,came to this country and established religious tolerance as our way of life.Our Courts and legislatures have kept the system on an even keel.But the overwhelming majority of our population is Christian.(as have all our former Presidents).
How else could you describe this country ? Yes we are a melting pot,and every religion is present and made to feel welcome.Never before in the history of our people in the diaspora, have we had the rights and opportunities as in this great country.
Thus, I have no negative feelings toward Sen. John McCain, who is being criticized for stating the obvious.Perhaps it was expressed poorly, or did not have to be said so bluntly in a political campaign.BUT, THERE WAS NO MALICE OR BIGOTRY INTENDED.


Todays NYT ,(page 1) of the Art Section, describes Shalom Auslander,who took a NYT
reporter on a visit to Monsey on the second day of Rosh Hashonah.
My first serious problem, is the choice of a picture that features chassidic men and their children walking in the street on the holiday.To any reader,it would seem that this depicts the neighborhood where Shalom was brought up in.The obvious connection that a secular or non-orthodox reader would make is"No wonder he rebelled!"
In fact,Shalom Auslander,lived in a modern orthodox area.Men were primarily clean shaven,wore business suits of all colors,and except for a small skullcap,would be indistinguishable from any Rockland County citizen, going to Church etc.
This picture represents intellectual dishonesty!
Shalom was a classmate of my son Ari,and much of the description in this article, and in his New Yorker article a few months ago leave those who knew him with serious doubts as to their accuracy.
That he hates his parents would seem a fair conclusion.I have no personal knowledge as to why he hates with such a cutting passion,but he does come from an illustrious family.His mother worked for many years in the medical office of my neighbor ,a pediatrician.
Throughout my life,I have had friends and classmates who turned away from Orthodoxy.
Some have become totally irreligious,others are Conservative or Reform.Almost all,appreciate their religious education,even if they do not believe or abide by the traditions of our faith.They show respect to those who choose to practice the religion.
Never have I seen however, a hatred to the point that desecrationg the sanctity of Rosh Hashonah is not enough.He must take a reporter in his car to tour the old neighborhood.Perhaps, he was secretly hoping that a former friend or classmate would see him ,be shocked,and have additional spice for the article.
If his intention was to disgrace his family name.he and he alone stands disgraced.
Perhaps the next time he has professional help in analyzing his hatred,he should try to ask himelf -who did he hurt by his antics?
His writing career will surely benefit, but at what price?