The Voice Of Unreason
Thank you for your article last week and your comments regarding Mr. Koch’s feelings regarding Jonathan Pollard. I strongly agree with your assessment that he and other Jewish people feel threatened by Jonathan Pollard, feeling that if they are more supportive of him their own loyalty to this country would be questioned. And I believe this explains how Mr. Koch, who described himself as a “voice of reason” on his radio show could say that “Pollard should have been hung for his crime of espionage.” Some “voice of reason.” I believe Senator Lieberman has also been guilty of this.
In The Company Of Spinoza
Your article “Ed Koch, American Jew” described well the conflict that many secularized Jews have had to contend with. Unfortunately many abandoned their loyalty to their religion to gain acceptability in non-Jewish American society. The previous week’s article about Ed Koch and the Holocaust depicting him as a fierce fighter for Jewish causes by his criticizing of FDR was really irrelevant. Koch was 14 years old when WW II started. The fact that in 1988, 33 years after the war, he criticized FDR for not allowing more Jewish refugees asylum in America took no great courage. During the war it was Orthodox rabbis such as Rabbi Eliezer Silver and others who had the courage to go en masse and appeal to the president. In my mind Koch will be remembered as the author of Executive Order 50. As mayor it was within his power to declare that in all city employment, homosexual couples will have the same rights as heterosexual couples. He prided himself in being the most outspoken politician in advancing such (Biblical) immorality. It is interesting that some rabbis put him in cherem, excommunication. He said he was proud of it because he was in the company of Spinoza. Perhaps that is why Koch chose to be buried in a non-Jewish cemetery. It is said that one who dies in cherem is not to be buried in a Jewish one.
Moetzes Plea: Don’t Undermine The Gates
Emphasizing the central role that Torah study plays in ensuring Jewish continuity and strengthening Jewish security, the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America has expressed its deep concern regarding the effort to revoke the longstanding exemption for yeshiva students from the Israeli military draft. Following is a translation of the statement of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America:
We are deeply dismayed by the efforts in Eretz Yisrael to draft B’nei Yeshiva and remove them from the Beis Medrash, the wellspring of Torah to which they dedicate their days and nights. The perseverance and security of Hashem’s people are rooted in its dedication to Torah study, as Chazal comment on the posuk ‘Our feet were standing at your gates, Yerushalayim.’: “What will enable our feet to stand firm in war? The gates of Yerushalayim, where [Jews] devote themselves to Torah study.”
We appeal to the members of the government in Israel not to take any steps that will in any way negatively affect the B’nei Yeshiva and their study of Torah. For Torah study is “our life and the length of our days,” which will “lead us, upright, forever.”
Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America
The Bottom Line
On School Sale
The Simone Development Company has been trying to rally support for its proposed purchase of the Number Six School by making promises of “heimish medicine.” They are trying to woo the neighbors by assuring them that the only entrance to the building will be on Branch Boulevard and by saying that the other sides of the property will be beautifully landscaped. I fear that the average voter does not realize that there is no permanence to these plans and no consequences to “changed circumstances.”
Voters of School District 15 must know that there are no restrictions to the proposed sale. I have confirmed this unfortunate fact with both the attorney for Simone and members of the School Board. Any plans or promises are subject to change. The bottom line for Simone and Mt. Sinai is money. When there are changes in circumstances or just a need to increase profit, all their promises and plans will go out the window. I’d like to believe that at the present moment the intention of Simone is to develop the property as they are advertising. However, things change. If there is a need at some point in the future to change the entrance to the property or add additional entrances, they can do that. If they decide that to supplement the “heimish medicine” a drug rehabilitation clinic or Methadone clinic would bring in money, they can do it. I don’t think it will be very long before Mt. Sinai realizes that there are already several after-hours care facilities within the community or within close proximity that are open well past 9 p.m. and they too will increase their hours well into the night to compete. With no restrictions on the sale, Simone and Mt. Sinai will have carte blanche. Remember that if you approve this sale to a business as the Simone Development Company and Mt. Sinai are, then money is the bottom line and not the security or well-being of our neighborhood.
A Concerned Neighbor