This past Shabbos was a weekend of contrasts. First, the weather was supposed to be stormy and it was raining Friday night, but Shabbos was a beautiful and very humid day.
Motzaei Shabbos we heard the sad news that our dear friend and neighbor for many years, Mrs. Suri Schechter, was nifteres. So many wonderful memories. She will be missed. Just a few days before, another friend, a longtime mispallel in our shul, Dr. Gershon Ney, was niftar. And today, we learned of the petirah of yet another neighborhood friend and longtime mispallel in our shul, Rabbi Yitzchok Popack.
So, you must be wondering, what’s the contrast? On Sunday we went “me’eivel l’yom tov,” from the Schechter levaya to a vort for our great-nephew. The contrast was from sadness to simcha and a conflict of emotions.
My emotions are very intense lately because of all the craziness from everything that has been going on since March. First came the pandemic, and we still don’t have clear-cut answers as to how it spreads and how to prevent it. Yes mask, no mask. It’s a mixed bag out there, with everyone doing different things.
Just today I received a message about a new “virus” — something that is going viral on the internet. #JewishPrivilege is a new hashtag that people are using with posts of anti-Semitic garbage on Twitter and is getting a lot of followers. It’s despicable, and talk about contrasts—there are contradictions and double standards applied to Jews.
#jewishprivilege is based on the term “white privilege” and transferring that prejudice to the Jews who the haters believe are privileged. The racist and prejudiced ranting on Twitter is being answered by personal stories by over 100,000 people including well known comedienne Sara Silverman and other celebrities. The tweets by Jewish activists was started by Hen Mazzig, an Israeli writer and activist, who wrote that his family was forced out of their homes in Iraq and Tunisia. They fled to Israel, coming there with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Sarah Silverman wrote how her father used to get bullied in school while she also faced discrimination in New Hampshire on the bus and in Florida by pastors who preached to his congregants that killing her would be doing G-d’s work.
British comedian David Baddiel wrote that he remembers being beaten in London in the 1970’s and Dov Hikind tweeted that he grew up without grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins because the Nazis wiped them out.
Jews have had the “privilege” of being hated and murdered throughout the centuries.
In other news, I heard an audio tape interview of Rabbi Berel Wein in which he said that the U.S. is about to implode, and that every civilization that fails implodes from within. He also spoke of someone who told him that he was planning on buying property in Florida and will rent in Israel when he visits. Rabbi Wein advised him to do the opposite, rent in Florida and buy in Israel. Israel will continue even with imperfections and problems; it will always be ours. Now is the time to invest in a place in Israel to visit, or to live in if you have been thinking of aliyah, or to run to if it becomes unbearable here. We are waiting for a flight to be able to go to Israel to look around to buy, build, and develop an Anglo community. Join us. You can be in touch with me through my e-mail.
Correction: In last week’s column I posted that the YIJE showed the movie Zoolander. It should have said Zootopia.
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or email email@example.com.