Monday, January 31, 2011


A number of years ago I was a scholar-in-residence in the Hamptons .I remarked to Rabbi Mark Schneir that he had done a remarkable job in building a community.However I noted, what was missing was an eruv so that the women pushing carriages coming to the synagogue would not be violating sabbath law.
After a fitful start, a few weeks ago the orthodox community filed suit in Federal Court to force the local communities to issue the proper approvals.
Who is against this sffort? why Jews of course.Those who call themselve in the Jewish Week "the real Jews".
The attorney for the shul previously represented the successful eruv case in Tenafly.
The residents are worried that the orthodox will flood the neighborhood,force businesses to close on shabbat etc.How sad that our fellow Jews can be so self-hating and vicious.they will lose of course,because America is a tolerant society,even if these Jews cannot tolearate their co-religionists.

Todays Federal Court ruling of course is not the last say on Obamacare.It will come down to Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court-assuming the last Justice(Kagan) does not disqualify hearself baseed on her position as Soliciter General when thos law was considered.
Nevertheless this will further take the wind out of the sails of the Obama boondoggle.The Dems are attacking the Judge, however they were warned long ago that they were on slippery constitutional grounds,but laughed it off.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

An analysis of Egypt- Israel

Events in Egypt,Tunisia,Yemen and Jordan have both short and long range effects on Israel and of course the US.
The Arab League for the most part has shown its impotency,and for all purposes dead.The yelling for years that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the source of ME instability has finally proven to be a silly accusation.Poverty,lack of jobs ,political persecution by dictators,corruption and inflation are what the demonstrators are yelling about.Rigged elections, supported by the US are coming home to roost.
In essence Abbas used the Arab League and Mubarak as a crutch to support his lack of negotiations.The crutch is gone,and Abbas may join Mubarak as his people learn more about his willingness to compromise-from Wikkileaks.
The "peace process" is dead .Israel can only depend upon itself,and must have proper safeguards at the Jordan River, Gaza border and the Golan-Lebanese borders.Compromise is silly,and yields no security gains.
The left wing in Israel, alrady decimated will further wither,as no Israeli could consider the Arabs as "partners" in a true peace.
If Sulemein and the military can come out on top, that would be the best solution to saving the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.He has been tough on infiltration from Sinai.
El Beredei,helped the Iranians hide their nuclear program, and now that the Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed him,that is double trouble.
King Abdullah is sorrounded by Palestinians, and is weak to begin with.He is vulnerable,except the army is loyal.
The integrity of the Suez Canal is not at present an issue,nevertheless the price of oil and gold will rise.-Obama will be happy about the rising price of oil,as he hopes that will drive us away from hydrocarbons.Hopefully we will respond with greater domestic drilling.
Just as Carter lost Iran, Obama a foreign policy neophyte will be known as the one who lost Egypt. HILLARY CLINTON WAS RIGHT IN THE CAMPAIGN CRITICIZING HIS FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE.
Finally,Israel may have to devote more funding to the IDF, to beef up the potential future conflict with Egypt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Taking 2 grandchildren to Disney is challenging and exciting-but yet a tremendous responsibility -especially when you get a little older.This was our 8th trip with grandchildren,and the crowds were the worst ever.On Mon. we arrived at 9.10 AM, but it took us over an hour to get into the park,since the monorail was down,and they had 2 boats which went one at a time.This was the first time we went in Yeshiva week,however since I needed a minyan.I had no choice.
Kudos to Chabad near Universal for 3 AM minyanim,as well as a mincha-maariv minyan.They also have a small resaurant connecting to the shul.
The worst complication was the weather up North,which caused cancellations of yesterdays and todays flights.In addition Tues.nite was a storm with a serious tornado warning.
One of the tricks of Disney, like the casinos, is to keep the world out of sight,and concetrate on your spending money for their products.Thus except for the SOU, which I watched at nite,the riots in Egypt were not on my radar.
The speech has been analyzed by many-but to me the most important non-domestic -non-discussed issues were Iran-Lebanon-nuclear blackmail by N. Korea,and ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM and the threate from groups non-AL- QUIDA.
I didn't do a search, but I wonder how many times Presidents have ommitted references to our relationship with ISRAEL in previous addresses for the SOU?
In short a weak campaign speech, which I actually thought was trite on many occasions-short on details and slogans from the past-without for example analyzing what a halt in spending really means in current dollars, vs. cutting levels to '08

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Rubashkin Affair

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

I would state at the outset that I have not discussed this particular post with my father and therefore it reflects only my thoughts. I would add that my symphathies go out to the Rubashkin family who must live with their husband/father who sits in federal prison. However there are serious questions that must be raised with the conduct of the Jewish leadership/Rabbinate with respect to the Rubashkin case.
For those unfamiliar with the Rubashkin case, Sholom Rubashkin, the owner of Agriprocessors, was arrested in 2008 after an immigration raid on his meat plant. He was subsequently charged with labor violations and with bank fraud. In 2009 he was convicted in federal court on 86 counts of bank fraud but acquitted on the labor charges. He was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison. The Jewish community has mobilized in publicizing this case and many Rabbis have been vocal in urging rallies and donations on behalf of the Rubashkin case. Less than a month ago, a letter from many (but not all) orthodox rabbis of the Five Towns was circulated which publicized a rally at the White Shul on behalf of Rubashkin. This set off a number of letters to local Jewish newspapers raising difficult questions as to the community's handling of the case. This led to a response from a local Rabbi (published in last week's Five Town Jewish Times) which dismissed out of hand many of the questions being raised (as if these questions shouldn't be raised in the first place.) His responses were non-responsive on the important points and raised the question as to whether these issues had even been considered by the local rabbis before getting behind this rally. Here are a number of the issues which have been raised by the Rubashkin case:

1. Do the Rabbis believe that Mr. Rubashkin is completely innocent or that he is guilty as charged on the bank fraud charges but that his sentence is unfair? If the latter, should we be rallying for convicted felons whose guilt is not being questioned.

2. Do they really believe that the federal prosecutors/judges/jury involved in this case are involved in some anti-semitic conspiracy? After all, the US Attorney General at the time of Rubshkin's arrest was Michael Mukasey, an Orthodox Jew who sends his kids to Ramaz. Was Mukasey the head of an anti-semitic Justice Department? It seems unlikely.

3. Is Rubashkin the only victim of the "anti-semitic" Justice Department? If there are more victims out there, why are we not speaking out about them? If there are no other victims, why would the Justice Department single out a single Jew in their ant-semitic plot? Were they prodded by PETA? Why would the Bush Administration care about PETA? And if the Justice Department is targeting Orthodox Jews, shouldn't we rally outside the White House to protest this anti-semitism?

4. Have we really considered the ramifications of accusing the Justice Department of anti-semitism?

5. Is it wise to rally on behalf on convicted felons? How is it not a chilul hashem in that we are getting behind an individual who was convicted by a federal jury of theft?

6. Why are we doing all this for this particular defendant? There are other Jewish convicts who claim innocence (although not anti-semitism)? Should we hold rallies for all Jewish convicts who proclaim their innocence?

7. Is this best use of our community's time and money? Would it not be wiser to support Tomchei Shabbos and Project Eliezer with our community's money?

8. How about a rally to support Gilad Shalit? The silence of certain segments of Orthodoxy on Gilad Shalit is deafening.

9. How about a rally which stresses the evils of bank fraud and money laundering?

10. Is this really a case of Pidyon Shvuyim and if it is, what are the ramifications for the community money that is set aside for other charities/shuls?

11. What is the point of a community rally on behalf of a convicted felon? Are we trying to influence the Court of Appeals that will hear Rubashkin's appeal? Its unlikely that federal judges in St. Louis will be influenced by a rally of supporters. Are we trying to influence the federal prosecutors? Unlikely, since we are saying they are anti-semitic. Are we trying to get him a Presidential pardon? If you are believe Obama is going to pardon this individual then you are kidding yourself. So what is the point of a rally? Is it purely to say tehilim for this individual? Then there are sick people in our communities which deserve a separate rally first before rallies for others.
It would be beneficial if those Rabbis who signed onto to this movement to clearly explain why the stress on this particular case has been made and what they are trying to accomplish.

on to Disney /Turkel / Obama /Olbermann

Many years ago Sheila and I made that when the grandchildren are able to appreciate Disney, we would take them.Tonite we leave to make our 7th trip with Rachie and Hannah Ganchrow. Hopefully Elli will blog in my absence.

I am really sorry about Olbermann's leaving MSNBC, since it robs me of a few nitely laughs.I usually switch over during Fox commercials to see him Mr. Ed and Rachel Maddow for a quick "high" and laugh at their arrogant style.

The Turkel Report should come as no suprise -namely that IDF forces used their best behavior in capturing the Turkish ship.The crew and passengers were aiming for violence and confrontation.
Absent from the report,is the question of intelligence in preparing for the ship.They certainly could have been better prepared.

I have to laugh at the daily polling of the President's numbers.A calming speech, and a forced signing of the tax bill is not why voters turned away from his party.These cuurent numbers are transitory, until after the SOU.
When the Congress deals with the budget,health care budgetary matters,defecit reduction and the raising of the debt ceiling,we will see the partisan battles heat up,and then things may change.

I am no fan of Rahm Emanuel who is an arrogant pompous individual.However his opponent a former US Senator has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric.(I FORGOT HER NAME FOR A SENIOR MOMENT).

If Obama fails to veto the Palestinian UN resolution on nsettlements,this will prove once and for all that the man is an enemy of Israel and our community.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dagan's statement /the nsame old-same old

On the one hand the statements by former Mossad head Dagan has taken the pressure off a military strike by Israel on Iran.However, countries might feel that there is no current urgency about the economic pressure on Iran.
There are others ,who want to put pressure on Israel to avoid rhetoric or action, instead of on Iran the perpatrators.

Former CIA operative Bruce Reidel told a Middle East Policy Council meeting ,the old canard that the Israeli-Palestinian conlict is the root of all the ME conlicts including Al Quada.This is such nonsense.However the Left never stops in trying to place the onus on Israel.His advice that the US should get tough with Israel has not workrd up to now,and wil fail agaib if applied.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Joe Lieberman / China / Gov. Christie appt.

I have mixed feelings about rhe reirement announcement of Sen. Joe Lieberman.He has been great on Israel related issues,as well as national security.Howevever he is basically a liberal at heart.
I recall the moment when he came over to me during an OU dinner in NY,and introduced himself.He was the Attorney-General of the state.He asked me for mmy support in his race for the Senate.I told him that we had to support Sen. Weicker an 18 year veteran with a great record on our issues.
Subsequently Sheila raised money for him,abd after his election we became close.He installed me as President of the OU.He is a straight shooter and an honest spokesman nfor whatever issue he supports.He will be missed .

Similarly, as President of HUVPAC, I Had a warm relationship with Sen. Kent Conrad.sHe is a decent and honest individual, that will be missed by the Senate and the country.

It is beyond belief,that Obama gave a State Dinner to Hu.What with currency manipulation,lack of human rights including jailing the Nobel winner,their lack of help on Iran and N. Korea and their belligerent attitude on military matters they did not deserve this honor,
Yes they are a powerful economic force,as I saw myself this year,however we should not think that we have lost our moral standards.
I recall sitting in a car in Beijing and asking our guide, a college student if she used Google,and she replied she never heard of it,

How about the announcement according to Steve Emersn, that Gov. Christie has nominated Sohail Mohammed,as a State Judge. According to Emerson he is a "mouthpiece for radical Islamic groups?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sorry will blog tomorrowI

I spent the evening at a shul meeting here in Boynton,so I will have to blog tomorrow.Exciting things are happening here,as ground breaking took place for a new location of our residence/shul.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Volt / Mossad ---and labor

It is amazing that the Volt electric auto which sells for $4o,ooo ,is subsidized to the tune of $7,000 per auto.
This is a car which few people could afford and even fewer would want to purchase without such a subsidy.
What is needed is a massive drilling for off-shore oil,including Alasks so that the cost of gas will not rise to five or ten dollars per gallon.Obama thinks that if gas goes up,less people will drive.If by 2012 gas reaches that level, it will help make Obama a former President.
Americans need their autos for work and play.Expensive trains between cities that will not suffice to satisfy drivers, but cost billions to please the unions or politicians are merely a gimmick.
We need clean coal,wind solar gas and oil to keep our industrial machine and our consumer needs viable.

It appears the outgoing Mossad Chief Dagan may have overstated his projection for the date vthat Iran will become a nuclear nation.He seems to be back-tracking.
However on a recent teleconference with the former head mof the Israeli Security Council, I asked if Dagan's views were accepted by the entire Israeli intelligence tea.He answered in the affirmative.

A pity what has happened to a once proud successful political party-with the demise of Labor.Ehud Barak really has no principle as he remains in the cabinet with a shrunken group-what they stand for is hard to ascertain.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

the rally

Of course Arizona was and is a tragedy.However,I believe that the constant cable coverage-primarily repetitious is over the line.
This is not an event that will permanently change the landscape.Liberals are still calling for Palin's scalp.
The Palm Beach Post has on page one that Jewish groups are angry with Palin for her use of the "blood libel" remark Thewe groups would attack Palin even if she read from the Bible.
I was disappointed with the Memorial service,which was not the somber. spiritual event I expected.It was a rally with yelling and applause.and resembled an election campaign event.I do not fault the President for that,but he spoke too long.
When President Obama missed key events to lay a wreath at Arlington, the liberals did not comment.Boehner did not attend the event and is criticized.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Left never stops

When I was in high school and college,one of my greatest joys was serving on the debating team.I believe many people know that 2 members of our h.s. team were Avi Dershowitz (today Alan) and Steve Riskin (today Rabbi Shlomo).
Since the entire year colleges around the country debated the same topic ,we debated both sides of the issues.We were trained to think on our feet,and use any bit of informatiom pro or con to our advantage.
Today, we see that the Left,is prepared to mini-pick any bit of suspected slip-ups etc.,and attack the Republicans and especially conservatives.
Even if it makes no sense,--attack...attack perhaps something will stick-the old Goebbels technique of the big lie.
And so when this nut job in Arizona ,who watches no TV, does not vote,has no rational interest in politics strikes-within minutes the left comes out against Palin etc.This deranged individual probably never heard of Rush, Palin Savage Mark Levin etc,but so what attack---attack.
And when Palin thoughtfully responds and uses the slogan "blood-libel" attack again.
It was nice to see my old colleague Dershowitz stand up for reason.
But you know,America is not stupid,and these attacks will backfire.I would love to see a survey of how many time the Democratic campaigns have said they will "target" a certain district?
How many times have they cursed and wished death on Bush and Palin-without MSNBC blasting them ?
American politics has always been a rough game,and while it should not be so personal,lets have an even playing field.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

gay toilets / a feeling for our democracy

How much more politically correct can you be than the announcement from Brazil that there will be GAY TOILETS AT CARNIVAL !

I am not a lawyer,however I know enough to realize that though it is a man-made document,and imperfect,our constitution has served us well.For a relatively young country, we have weathered wars, depressions and recessions, race riots and other problems primarily because we are a nation that lives by the of law.The anchor is our constitution.
Menbers of Congress raise their right hands and swear to uphold the constitution,as does our President and V.P..
Why therefore should Democrats make fun of the reading in the House Chamber?
Similarly President Obama took off from his jacket lapel a year ago, the American flag.Nor did he in the past place his right hand on his heart for the pledge of allegiance, when everyone else did.
Loyalty and a fgeeling fcor our country and our exceptioslism go hand in hand.Too bad many nDems don't get it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

Obviously the shootings in Arizona is a disgrace and extremely sad for our country.
This is not because political discourse is so violent that right wing politicians and commentaters promoted this.To the contrary, spirited political debate is part of our tradition.
If you look at left wing demonstrations againt the Vietnam War,against Pres. Bush, against General Petraeus by,against Sarah Palin etc, you can easily match any "right wing outburst by a similar and more vicious left wing attack. Even Obama in the campaign said-if they bring "knives" then bring guns.
To insert political correctness into this episode by saying that calling someone a "socialist" IS OUT OF BOUNDS,-IS CRAZY.Many politicians and talking heads on left wing stations are proud socialists.
The bottom line, is that this is a deranged individual,thought by his former classmates to be a left-wing loonie. His agenda was not right wing, nor did the tea party play any role in his thinking.
That the NYT and othe left wing "thinkers" cannot get over their defeat in a fair election,makes finger pointing easy, even if not based on any facts.
This is not a time to panic,nor is this story,sad as it is worthy of continuous around the clock coverage with repetition ad nauseum.Sadly because of loose gun laws, and the number of crazies on the street,this will not be the last such episode in our country.However as in every such episode,the assassination of Lincoln,attempts to murder Truman and Reagan and the tragedies with Pres kennedy and his brother,our country does not remove our civil liberties.
Yes more security for Congress, but not to the point where contact with their constituencies is lost.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Three generations / Labo0r's threat

This morning our grandson Jonah had his first aliya as a bar mitzva.We all dovened in his elemenary school-Yeshivat Noam.Our grandson Jack who was in the first graduating class last year, started with 50 kids in his class.Now they have 713 children-just beatiful to see.
As I said kaddish this morning in memory of my mother,I became emotional.because sitting right next to me were 2 generations-plus myself= 3 generations of individuals committed to Torah.

The threat of Labor to leave in a couple of months if there is no progress in "peace" talks,is a lot of baloney.
Firstly, an interim govt.,will be more r-wing
secondly-if elections are held,6 months minimum=nothing happening
Thirdly-Labor would probably lose seats in a new election.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Mazel Tov to Jonah Ganchrow

The internet was down all day in our area,and just now went back on line.
We leave in the morning for N.J., to celebrate our grandson Jonah's bar mitzvah this shabbat.
We were fortunate to have spent 9 days with him recently on our trip to Israel. He really is a special young man,and it is wonderful for grandparents to have an opportunity to join in such a wonderful simcha.
Weather permitting,we will return to Fl this Sun. morning

Monday, January 03, 2011


Congress is not back yet ,however the talking heads on cable are in full swing.
Much can be learned from the body language of liberals on MSNBC and CNN.In
discussing the attempt to repeal Obamacare,instead of discussing the feelings in the country etc,they belittle the GOP with the tact-why waste everyones time?-as though the elections never took place.
Then when some Republican is speaking,their eyebrows go up, a small smirky smile develops and a few other head maneuvers-all meant to imply-this guy is crazy.
And tonite when Mr ED, the MSNBC individual-(I don't want to honor him by saying he is a commentator)spoke of Cong-elect West a Fl black conservative Republican,he blasted him personally, for calling the Dems socialists etc.
The fight over the debt ceiling will be one of the most significant battles ,if the GOP sticks to its guns-demanding real progress in lowering the debt and spending.

I don't understand why all the fuss about the Navy Captain,who 4 years ago tried to loghten up the crew,away from home for many months with off-color humor.It seems that many on board, including women had no problems with this humor.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Jack Ganchrow-sports announcer / Jake Ratzker helps with snow tubing

The other day I received a phone call fro my mechutan Menno Ratzker to quickly turn on my computer.
The Yeshiva High School hockey League was featuring the team from Kushner (Livingston N J ) and TABC ( Torah Academy of Bergen County).We have grandchildren in both schools, and on both teams.
What was exciting was that TABC has a TV network (TABCTV.COM) which was broadcasting the games.More exciting was the fact that Jack Ganchrow ,from Teaneck, son of Banji and Ari, was the co-host for the 15 minute pre-game analysis and the game action, with Michael Hirt-whose father like Ari is a Monsey product.
Sheila and I were shocked to see Jack, dressed in a suit,holding the microphone and smoothly discussing the teams,players and other relevant sports information.They both spoke without a single hesitation,were extremely poised and looked totally professional.We were certainly proud.
For me it was a side of my grandson that I had never before seen.
I have commented before that the extra-curricular sports and other activities bears no resemblance to my days in yeshiva high school.

This week also, our grandson Jake Ratzker joined with his Kushner classmates to volunteer their time for an afternoon with special needs children who went snow Allie's Camp.
During the summer it has now become routine for special needs children to spend time in summer camps where our yeshiva kids attend.
NCSY and Yachad, as well as Our Way for the deaf,are just some of the programs that sensitize our young people to the needs of others less fortunate than them.
All of these programs ,and many more that are not publicized are training our young people to perform chesed-truly a noble cause.