jlink
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It’s Not So Simple:

Diogenes, Hoenlein and The Truth

At least five times a day, in the Sh’ma, a Jew prays about truth.  Diogenes spent his life looking for an honest man. And in all the chatter about the Middle East, truth is hard to find.

But if there is anyone who can figure out what is going on in the world that affects the Jewish people, it is someone who goes where the action is, talks to everyone around him, listens carefully, and sees and hears for himself the facts on the ground. The person who does that for the Jewish community is Malcolm Hoenlein, who is disconcerted by those friends of Israel who accept distortions and lies about America’s relationship with Israel. The lie Hoenlein chose to address with JLBC was the one about how Obama twisted Bibi’s arm to get him to make peace with Turkey—a dangerous lie that might drive the Turkish prime minister to even further extremes.

We are reminded that lies and distortions come from people who have a vested interested in keeping fear alive. Whether they do it for ratings on cable TV, sticky eyes on the World Wide Web, or for more nefarious purposes—like destroying political candidates, currying favor with powers that be or personal gain—Hoenlein feels that the people who do disinformation should be accountable. Our agenda as friends of Israel should be the pursuit of the whole truth and as Hoenlein says, thinking about the long-term consequences of our actions. Anything less is a threat to Israel’s security and Diaspora Jewry, as well.

Kol HaKavod to a Remarkable Kid

The JLBC says Kol Hakavod to Tehila Kornwasser, a sixth grader at Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey from Teaneck for going above and beyond what one would expect a sixth grader to do in the midst of a grueling, international Chumash competition, the Chidon. Tehila made it to first place in the regional contest and was sent to Israel to compete in the finals, where she ranked fifth in the world. That alone is a remarkable feat for an 11-year old.

To Tehila, that didn’t matter as much as finding out about the 19-year-old Israeli Chidon champion, Elior Babian, who overcame his handicaps and his family’s struggles to make it to the top. Although she never met him, our hearts were touched when we learned that for her bat mitzvah project she decided to raise money for his family, which is burdened with overwhelming medical expenses, as their children suffer from a variety of developmental and physical ailments that have strained the family’s resources to the breaking point.

Elior’s father is an underemployed Hebrew Studies teacher, and his mom was fired this week from her job in elder care. Both are seeking steady, permanent jobs in the Beit Shemesh area.  His mother would like to work as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant, his father would like to teach lemudei kodesh every day. In order to help Tehila achieve her goal, the JLBC is asking people to donate money or contact Tehila with information that could lead to possible jobs for Elior’s parents. Surely someone in our community can help Tehila help Elior. See the story on page 12 for additional details and contact information.