13th Siyum HaShas

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Wow! Last month’s coverage of the 13th Siyum HaShas was fantastic. The photos were top notch. They made the stories even more inspirational. It is truly wonderful that Jewish communities from all over the world had the opportunity to share in a joyous affirmation of our faith, our love of and respect for learning, and the power of uniting together. How amazing it must have been to be able to participate in this momentous event.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Siyum HaShas this time. But, after reading the articles and seeing the pictures in your special commemorative section, it certainly got me motivated. So much so, that I joined a Daf Yomi group (although, I have some catching up to do). B”H, I will be able to participate in the next celebration.

Charles B.

The Siyum HaShas issue was gorgeous. If a picture is with 1,000 words then four pictures are worth 4,000 words! I think it might have been fitting to  include a line or two about Rabbi Haim Benoliel’s Siyum Mishnayot, whereby he beautifully represented the Sephardic community (in addition to the picture caption). This omission may have given the mistaken  negative impression that Rabbi Benoliel’s Siyum Mishnayot  did not merit special mention. I assume it was not mentioned because it was not one of the longer speeches. However, we missed an opportunity to convey  his role on that special day (which I saw firsthand), as it engendered great pride in many members of our kehilla. I hope I’m not being too petty. Thanks again for your wonderful magazine.

Trump Report Card

I enjoyed reading last month’s article about President Donald Trump’s achievements in 2019 (The Trump 2019 Report Card). But, I’m pretty sure there were many people that did not feel the same way, especially if they are Democrats. I would like to bring up an important point, that even honest anti-Trumpers would concede,  that the president has shown tremendous support of Israel and the Jews.

Whether you like Donald Trump or not, he is doing more to help Israel and fight anti-Semitism than any other president in history. I have been around for almost 90 years. I find the anti-Semitism in the universities, schools, and other organizations utterly despicable.

I understand that the protection of Israel doesn’t come from any human, but rather from Hashem. We are, however, required to show our gratitude to someone who acts with kindness to us. That’s called hakorat hatov. Trump has cancelled the Iran Deal, recognized Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, moved the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,  legitimized Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and just recently gave Jewish students a powerful tool to fight against anti-Semitism on college campuses.

I am of the belief that President Trump, despite his many personal flaws, deserves the gratitude of the Jewish community. Bless President Trump for his courage and actions.

Marc G.

Community Security

The last issue’s interview with CSA President David Assis (Community Security Alliance – Protecting Our Community) was quite informative and provided me with much-needed assurance. I felt a little more at ease and relieved after reading what is being done to protect our community institutions against terror threats.

However, more needs to be done by all of us. We cannot overlook the fact that all the recent horrific events serve as a wake-up call to each and every one of us. Hashem is calling out to  all of us. Sadly, there is much division between family members and fellow community members. Hashem wants us to live peacefully and respectfully with one another. We’ve lost so much, let us unite and do so for our loved ones’ sake, and for Hashem’s sake. And thus we will merit more compassion and protection that He longs to give us in this world.

Frieda L.