I was extremely dismayed to read “Monsey Stabber: A Halachic Analysis” in the January 3 issue. The author, although insisting he was not going to opine on the legality of a citizen shooting a fleeing attacker, nevertheless indulged in discussing that without citing or apparently even consulting an expert in criminal law. I’ll leave it for others far more knowledgeable than I am to pick apart the author’s halachic analysis, but it was highly irresponsible of you to publish an inflammatory front-page opinion that it is halachically permissible to gun down such an individual while fleeing in his car.
New York, New York
Dear Ms. Schnall,
The author did consult someone regarding the law who did not wish to be quoted but stated that the issue is far from clear. This was clearly stated in the article. As far as the halachah is concerned, the author stands by his statements. An individual who stabs and attempts to murder Jews because they are Jewish is considered a rodef who may strike again imminently and it is permitted to shoot to kill from a halachic point of view, even if he is fleeing.
Rabbi Yair Hoffman
Reaction to Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State Address
I am disappointed that Gov. Cuomo has once again failed to address funding toward disability and homecare services, and has not done enough to address the recent spike of religious hate crimes. It isn’t enough to just say we are going to push out hate — Gov. Cuomo should outline how he intends to accomplish this. For this reason, I have introduced legislation that would add all hate crimes to the list of bailable offenses. This would give judges the discretion and authority to set bail if they see fit. I’m outraged that those who committed such crimes were allowed to walk free in the first place. We must all come together. Our state has no room for hate.
Gov. Cuomo’s suggestion of changing education funding is very concerning. His plan for altering the funding could potentially have a detrimental effect in a variety of areas. As a mother myself, I want the absolute best for our children. I will continue to fight to ensure that all of our children are receiving the best possible education they deserve.
Assemblywoman Miller represents the 20th District, which consists of parts of Nassau County, including the towns of Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Five Towns (Inwood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett), Oceanside, East Rockaway, Island Park, Point Lookout, and Lido Beach.
Siyum Magazine Correction
Page 214 of the lovely Siyum HaShas handout showed a picture of my LIRR Daf Yomi shiur. Each day a group of 10–15 people learn the day’s daf for 45 minutes during our ride into midtown Manhattan. The caption mistakenly listed my name as Rabbi Yossi Klein. Since the event, many have approached me incredulously, asking if I recently received semicha. While I would love to one day pursue such an endeavor, I have not yet received a designation as rabbi.
Our train group is a chevra of bnei aliyah. We aim to utilize our commuting time in the best way possible. Every Monday through Friday we delve together into the yam haTalmud. As one of the maggidei shuir, I owe much more to the participants for allowing me the pleasure of sharing with them. Preparing the shiur has strengthened my learning and retention. I am just a simple “baalabos.” I am OK with that. Please do not pacify me with a larger label. As my father-in-law says, call me anything — just don’t call me a jerk!
Daf yomi, as we know, is a very powerful tool. For who? For everyone, none greater than the common baalabos. We relish in seeing sugya after sugya. Surely, we would all like to have many more hours to invest in the koslei beis ha’midrash. However, what daf yomi has achieved is to help ensure that each day has its dose of learning. With seven and a half years of dedication and consistency, one is able complete a breathtaking amount. To actualize the completion of Talmud Bavli!
Many of the pre-siyum videos shown at the stadium echoed the message. “If I can do it, so can you!” I, the average Joe, have accomplished this. I do not seek a publication to cushion my title. Please do not boost my credentials, making me into something I am not (yet, iy’h). Decent everyday Yidden who have steadily been kovei’a itim, mazal tov. Normal regular people who strive each day for something more, mazal tov. These are the general celebrants of this monumental achievement.
For me, this is the real inspiration. Mevakshei Hashem, not some fancy moniker of “rabbi.” We, the baalei batim, with all the stresses, struggles, and excuses, did it. Yes, we were featured occasionally around the stadium. It would be even more encouraging if we could be central to the siyum program on the podium.
Dear reader, all you need is the drive to take advantage of the time. To capitalize on the gift HKB’H grants us each morning. It makes no difference how much you know or your background. The power of a daf is in the wise use of your time. Whether it’s mundane commuting time into work or quiet moments at a chuppah or bar mitzvah.
Please, if you must give me an appellation, just call me “Reb.”