Letters for March 27

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What Would Rav Genchovsky Say?

I wondered what my late relative, Rav Avrohom Genchovsky zt”l, would have to say about the current state of affairs.


I really couldn’t surmise, though he would certainly stress growing in spirituality. Perhaps by sharing a few stories and two of his ideas, a philosophy can emerge. Story-wise, he didn’t have an easy life. He lost his son to cancer and at one point in his life lost all his money. The story is told that at his son’s funeral he arranged a ride for someone so he wouldn’t be stranded. It almost defies logic, yet it emphasizes his love of mankind and his optimism in the travels of every man. Every Saturday night he visited a widow in Bnei Brak to provide hope to a shattered soul. On one occasion, when leaving the apartment to go to the airport, he tossed a huge duffel bag of mine on his shoulder and walked me to the bus station. It was quite embarrassing having a gadol carry my tattered duffel bag, but his goal was to make me feel happy and appreciated and he did that.

There are 30 days between Purim and Pesach and 30 days therefore to darshan for the chag. For Purim he darshened. When Adar begins, we increase our happiness. He connected this to another Talmudic phrase: One who plants a tree called Adar is guaranteed that it will endure. He said to guarantee eternity you must plant happiness in your heart. Happiness was his banner. For Pesach he told me the thought that chametz and matzah have basically the same letters, the only difference being the ches of chametz and the hey of matzah is differentiated by a small protrusion. He emphasized that to go from a life of chametz to one of matzah one need only make one step and it can all be turned around. Once again, a thought of optimism.

I can’t pronounce sophisticated theories about what he would say about the current situation, but I can emphasize the happiness, love of people, and sheer optimism he carried into every situation of life.

From Steven Genack from Clifton, New Jersey

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Biden Is No Friend of Israel

Your March 13 editorial (“And Then There Were Two”) described Joe Biden as “a solid, reliable friend of Israel.” Yet Biden has said that he “wouldn’t have” moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem. He opposes anti-BDS legislation (absurdly claiming it would violate free speech). He is an avid supporter of the Iran deal, which gave that terrorist regime billions of dollars. And he has continually said that Jews should be prevented from living in Judea-Samaria (“I have been on record from very early on as opposed to the settlements.”) That extreme position has extended even to Jews living in many sections of Jerusalem — we all recall the ugly diplomatic clash with Israel that Biden provoked in 2010, when he denounced Jews for living in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo (because the area is slightly beyond the armistice line of 1967).

Is this the record of a “solid, reliable friend of Israel”? Not in my book.

From Moshe Phillips, National Director of Herut North America, The Jabotinsky Movement
Philadelphia

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