Heshy Tischler leads anti-lockdown protest in Brooklyn
Heshy Tischler leads anti-lockdown protest in BrooklynREUTERS

Since September, I am aware of two major newsworthy events that scare me. I see a pattern of Jew vs Jew. Worse, it’s Orthodox fighting other Orthodox. Non religious Jews and anti-Semites are witnessing this and many seem to be enjoying it.

A Local Race

For years, I have shared vital information about why Jews of all religious affiliations, financial situations and neighborhoods must educate themselves about registering to vote in both major parties. Part of the registration process is educating oneself about all candidates, including school boards and judges.

In September, in the Five Towns, a race took place for the positions of mayor and trustees in Lawrence, one of The Five Towns. All of the candidates were religious. These races became nasty, with accusations of voter fraud and a lawsuit filed and later dropped. The worst was that the eventual losers of the race were consulted by some “questionable” political consultants.

In the end, those who were attacked won with an overwhelming majority. But Orthodox Jews all lost as these vicious attacks played out in public.

October Surprise In Brooklyn

In America, an October surprise usually involves a national political campaign. For Jews, it came in Borough Park as the COVID illness numbers spiked in Jewish communities. While I am not advocating defiance to social distancing, mask wearing and using common sense - quite the opposite - I am advocating for Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio to play fair.

If you allow riots and looting for those participating in Black Lives Matter gatherings, why aren’t you allowing religious worship for Jews?

Not all Jews in Borough Park were going to accept a lockdown quietly. Heshy Tischler, a candidate for City Council and radio show host organized peaceful protests. Something went wrong. Journalist Jacob Kornbluh was attacked. Tischler was arrested.

Kornbluh vs Tischler is a Jewish embarrassment.

In a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, do we really need these headlines?

This has nothing to do with Republican vs Democrat. This has nothing to do with Trump vs Biden. In the end, Jew versus Jew is the worst look for all of us. Hitler did not discriminate when he sent Jews to their death eighty years ago. He had a lot of support and help to kill Jews because the public saw Jews as weak.

When the public sees Jews fighting Jews like we are witnessing in New York, all Jews lose.

Moving Forward

Jews have to make serious decisions. Most important, regardless of which side wins in November, is how they are going to treat each other publicly and privately. We are “The Chosen People” and that means we should set the best examples of character and practices, especially to fellow Jews.

We also must improve our relationships with other communities. Times are tough, people are frustrated and unhappy. We should be encouraging people with our mitzvahs and charity the way we always do. We shouldn’t be spreading slander (Lashon Hara), forging papers or instigating physical harm.

Could we be living like the Jews who lived in the desert for forty years and were punished for poor behavior? Jews in New York and all of America achieved financial success, educational opportunities and religious freedoms like never before, especially after surviving an American Depression and European Holocaust. Now, they fear socialism, the growth of radical Islamic power in America and a pandemic.

It’s a new year. Jews are lucky that they get two chances in New York to make annual resolutions. In addition to making more money and losing weight, Jews as a group and as individuals MUST make the decision to stop giving the Chosen People a bad name.

Cindy Grosz is an award-winning pro-Israel and Education activist. She works on exposing corruption in schools, improving oversight on classroom curriculum and ending anti-Semitism in education situations. She also helps educators fight discrimination in the hiring and firing practices of school staff.