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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

I normally do not write political columns. In light of current events; both in the parsha and in our community, we will discuss this sensitive topic. The medrash tells us that three people were part of the discussion when Pharaoh wanted to enslave the Jews. They were BilaamYisro and IyovBilaam encouraged the decree. Yisro protested the decree and had to flee to MidyanIyov was quiet. The Gemara says they each received payment/punishment mida kneged midaBilaam, who encouraged, ended up being killed by the Jews. Yisro, who protested, had children who occupied the makom haMikdash until the Bais HaMikdash was built. Iyov, who stayed quiet, received “yesurim” (tremendous pain.) It seems to be easily understandable when we look at what happened to Bilaam and Yisro. It is harder to understand why Iyov was punished with yesurim when all he did was stay quiet!

 I saw an explanation in a sefer that brings down different vertlach beshem the Brisker Roshei Yeshiva. When a person is in pain, he screams from his yesurim. Although his screams don’t really help him, it is a natural reaction for a person to scream out when he is in pain. Iyov had a very good cheshbon for staying quiet. He felt that if he would protest he might lose his advisory role and he wouldn’t be able to help in the future. Iyov also figured that why bother protesting when it was a fait accompli. Hashem showed Iyov that He gave him yesurim that caused him to cry out in pain despite the fact that the screaming did not bring relief. Hashem proved to him that if a person is truly in pain and truly feels other people in pain, you should not be quiet, but protest and scream out in pain even if it may not help the pain.

Pharaoh had a brilliant technique to cause Klal Yisroel to become enslaved. He spoke to them “Bfeh rach-“ in a soft manner and even showed that he himself was ready to work. He showed them that his concern was only for the benefit of Klal Yisroel. The Brisker Rov said it is important that we learn from this for the future. Even if reshaim tell us that they are doing something for our benefit, we need to stay away from them and show that they are our enemies when it comes to our spiritual welfare. We must be careful not to fall into the trap of accepting their overtures of kindness because the result may end up with our being enslaved.

We are currently dealing with the issue of the NYS education commissioner who is allegedly saying that she is setting these new educational guidelines for the benefit of our children. We must scream in protest and know that this is a terrible decree. If something hurts, we scream. We cannot stay silent at this crucial time. The Education Department needs to hear from the entire Jewish community that they should not be instituting these new guidelines.

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  1. We were quiet too long.
    Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, z”L, said re: Roe V Wade- we must scream and protest the ritzicha.
    Now we have ritzicha, assisted suicide, etc. in all areas of Society.
    We were quiet & didn’t protest the LGBTQ life style (Only Rav Avigdor Miller, Z”L did)
    Agudah Organization even honors NJ’s Garry Schaer.

    There is a lot more.

    Stop voting Democrat, it’s Ossur per Rav Avuigdor Miller, Z”L.

    • because Rav Miller is the only Rabbi in Jewish history and alive! maybe you would like chassidus. they currently have two sects around nifter Rebbes!

  2. But, we have to know that our children are NOT adequately educated to be able to be gainfully employed. We must improve secular education in our yeshivas.
    Today’s yeshiva grads don’t speak properly, don’t know math, they can’t even fill out a Food Stamp application! “Where there is smoke, there is fire”. It is true that WE have to improve secular education in our schools & moisdos.

    • States can measure the outcome of education by standardized tests without peering into the schools’ lesson plans, etc. Many public school students do abysmally on state tests—despite extremely liberal grading to avoid embarrassing the worst school districts too much.

      I challenge NY State to send better prepared public school graduates into the job market. State officials, good liberals as they are, don’t dream of punishing under-performing public school districts or restoring discipline there. Discipline is so passe, even racist or something. They just send more money down the drain. They’d rather focus on other people, us, and not on their unionized permanent fiasco.

  3. If you take State funds you are going to have to accept the State’s intrusion. Government funds have strings attached. The free ride is coming to an end.

  4. One of the lishonos of tefillah is tzakah. Is that what the author meant? If so, of course we must scream. My only hesitation is that the author wrote

    “The Education Department needs to hear from the entire Jewish community that they should not be instituting these new guidelines.”

    Why is that?


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