Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Mel Pearlman


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  • A cease-fire with Hamas is nonsense

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jun 21, 2024

    Since when did terrorism enter the lexicon of valid political or diplomatic debate? Since when did intellectual up become intellectual down and the real targets of intended genocide, Israel and the Jewish people, become the accused perpetrators of genocide? In a recent interview with the foreign media, a Hamas terrorist was asked, “How is it that most of your missiles fall in open areas to such an extent that they are predominately inaccurate?” In response he allegedly replied simply that “our missiles are accurate, but the God of the Jews move...

  • President's 'ironclad' promise to defend Israel is showing signs of rust

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|May 17, 2024

    President Joe Biden’s decision to “pause” the delivery of smart bombs, artillery shells and other kinds of ammunition to Israel as a form of punishment for Israel’s sin of ignoring the president’s admonition not to invade Rafa fails to take into consideration a number of factors all of which are critical to U.S. national interests. The president based his decision on humanitarian concerns for the displaced citizens of Gaza who have relocated to Rafa, the only remaining city in Gaza not under Israel’s military control; and that there have alread...

  • Arabs of Gaza are collaborators; not innocent civilions

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|May 3, 2024

    The great universities are now paying the price for allowing woke professors to indoctrinate their students with idealogical and political dogma instead of offering them a critical thinking and intellectually honest education. The result is a vulnerable and naive student body on many of America’s prestigious colleges and universities, egged on by radical outsiders supported by questionably legal funding sources, violently protesting the war against the Arabs in Gaza, and endorsing the delegitimization of the Jewish State. The attempted t...

  • New American policy must stay the course

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Oct 27, 2023

    On Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, I sent the following e-mail [edited] to the White House: “Dear Mr. President, Your decision to unambiguously support Israel and the Jewish people in their hour of need after the horrendous, barbaric, and totally immoral invasion into Southern Israel by the Hamas terrorists this past weekend is deeply appreciated. Unquestionably, this decision is in the best interest of both the U.S. and the State of Israel. Terrorism, especially against the Jewish people and antisemitism at home and abroad must be vigorously c...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 10

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Oct 13, 2023

    On our return to Warsaw we took some time to rest from our day’s touring, to prepare for Kabbalat (Evening) Shabbat services at a local synagogue and Shabbat dinner at our hotel. We were advised at the last minute that we would not be attending the local synagogue; rather Kabbalat Shabbat services would be in the hotel led by one of the guides from a companion group which had combined with our tour group for Shabbat services and dinner. I was a looking forward to Kabbalat Shabbat services at an actual “working” local synagogue since all the syn...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 9

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Sep 22, 2023

    Following our visit to the Jewish Historical Society Museum in Warsaw we took a walking tour of the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery (Cm. Zydorfski), the largest Jewish Cemetery in Europe with an estimated 250,000 graves dating back to 1806, when the Jewish community of Warsaw made up a substantial part of the Warsaw population and the need for more Jewish burial sites necessitated the new site. According to the Jewish Community of Warsaw website, the cemetery is, “the resting place of many spiritual leaders, political activists, creators of Jewish c...

  • High Holidays - A time for mutual respect and forgiveness

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Sep 8, 2023

    The days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are devoted not only to examining our relationship with God, but also to self-reflection and our relationship with others. Our tradition, developed over more than three thousand years, has created a rich narrative of prayers and readings which, selectively are an integral part of synagogue services for all denominations. Included in the High Holiday liturgy is the retelling of our rich history from the rituals and pageantry of the High Priest in the Holy Temple to our religious experiences throughout the...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 8

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Aug 25, 2023

    The City of Warsaw was ravaged in WWII by the Nazis, who destroyed close to 95 percent of all its buildings including museums, historical landmarks, churches, and of course synagogues. The Warsaw Ghetto in which the Jews courageously fought the Nazis was reduced to rubble. Once liberated from Soviet domination, having prospered economically from European Union membership and increased national security under the umbrella of NATO, Poland undertook a major rebuilding of its war-torn country. As our tour bus entered the city at dusk we were met...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 7

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Aug 11, 2023

    The next day our positive energy experienced on the March of the Living quickly dissipated as we arrived at the site where an estimated 800 Jewish children are buried in a mass grave in the Zbylitowska Góra Forest. The gravesite is located deep in the forest on the outskirts of the Polish village of Tarnow, which also once included a sizable Jewish community. The site was only discovered after the war. According to our guide and my own research, these Jewish children, many of whom were outed by their non-Jewish neighbors, were taken from the to...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 6

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jul 28, 2023

    If weather can ever be a metaphor for emotion and feelings it certainly was so on the two days we visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps. On the first day, the weather was cold, damp, rainy and overall bleak. It mirrored perfectly the despondent, depressed and mournful emotions of remembering the Jewish victims of the most horrific attempt, and successful genocide of more than one third of the global and ninety percent of the European Jewish population. Our second day visit started out with a tour of the Krakow ghetto, established...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 5

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jul 14, 2023

    The bus ride to Birkenau took only 15 minutes since the two facilities were less than two miles apart. The next day we would be marching that same route from the gates of Auschwitz to the entrance of Birkenau as part of the March of the Living. Birkenau was built closer to the main rail line; and a train track spur was added from the main rail line directly into the Birkenau death camp, bringing it very close to the gas chambers and crematoria. The intent was to divert the freight trains carrying their human cargo directly into the camp so as...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 4

    Mel Pearlman|Jun 30, 2023

    As we stepped through the entrance gate of Auschwitz I, marked with its overhead sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” “Work shall set you free,” I was trying to figure out how I was going to emotionally handle what I was about to experience. Our group was not alone, dozens of other visitors were already there when we were introduced to our personal docent, an English speaking, albeit difficult to understand, middle-aged Polish gentleman at least one generation or more removed from World War II and the Holocaust. Not surprisingly, his explana...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 3

    Mel Pearlman|Jun 16, 2023

    The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp complex is located in the city of Oświęcim about 70 km. (43.5 miles) east of the city of Krakow. It was initially built as a prison camp in 1940 by the Nazis for Polish prisoners. In 1941-1944 it was expanded and designated as the primary slave labor camp and Jew-killing facility as the “Final Solution” because of its convenient central location and good railway links to the main population centers of the Jews in Eastern Europe. This allowed the Nazi regime to “relocate” the large Jewish po...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 2

    Mel Pearlman|May 26, 2023

    After several hours of rest and regaining my composure from my encounter with the beautiful Vistula River and its ugly past as the depository for Jewish ashes, I met the group I would be traveling with at our organizational meeting. Several of us had already communicated via e-mail, introducing ourselves to each other and sharing personal thoughts, anxiety and anticipation of what we were about to experience. The group was a cross-section of American Jews from coast to coast, non-Jewish partners and a Jewish couple from Winnipeg, Canada. An Isr...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 1

    Mel Pearlman|May 12, 2023

    This year 2023 marks the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the 75th anniversary of the Jewish State of Israel’s independence. It is also the 35th anniversary of the first annual March of the Living. In that first March of the Living, Jews from around the world descended on the city of Oświecim, Poland to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps. They walked in the same path that over one million of our people — men, women, children and babies — unbeknownst to them, made on their one-way trek from Auschw...

  • Jewish voters face a conundrum in midterm elections

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Oct 28, 2022

    While almost every federal election is generally perceived as “the most important election the American people have ever faced.” this year’s midterm elections should accurately be described as one of the most confusing and potentially dangerous ever faced by Jewish Americans. For starters, there have never been so many candidates in this year’s national, state and local elections who believe the elections are rigged and fraught with fraud. These candidates and their supporters are continuing to persist, in spite of the overwhelming evidenc...

  • The ever-increasing miracle of Jewish survival

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Oct 14, 2022

    On the eve of The Day of Atonement, “Erev Yom Kippur”, it is traditional for Jewish families to recite the Kapporeth prayer in the morning before Yom Kippur as part of our atonement, asking G-d to forgive our sins of the past year; and to give charity in support of our request for forgiveness and to be written into the Book of Life. This year I recited the Kapporeth prayer on behalf of 19 relatives. Among these 19 relatives are one Holocaust survivor, two second-generation Holocaust survivors, five third-generation Holocaust survivors and six...

  • A pulpit is not a podium

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Sep 30, 2022

    Through the course of American history and two centuries of developing constitutional law, two great principles have emerged, both of which have become increasingly ignored by many good and patriotic Americans. The first of these principles was hammered out after much heated debate at the constitutional convention in the formative years of our nationhood by our founders, most if not all of whom were members of various Christian denominations. That principle is the doctrine of “separation of church and state”. This principle separating religious...

  • Who are the Jewish People?

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Sep 16, 2022

    This article won second-place in the American Jewish Press Association’s annual Simon Rockower Award program. Rosh Hashanah is the time of year when we as individuals find ourselves at the center of the universe in direct communication with God. For a brief moment the present stops, the past does not recede and the future refuses to beckon us. The High Holy Days are rest stops on our journey through life; a brief respite to catch our breaths, to check our baggage and to recharge our human energy. To understand where we have been, where we are,...

  • Old people; New friends

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Aug 12, 2022

    Making friends is an important part of human development, human experience and ultimately human happiness. It begins in very early childhood. Some children are born with personalities that are naturally gregarious, and other children suffer shyness from a very early age. In most cases children outgrow their shyness, but sometimes it lingers into adolescence and even into a lifelong impediment to making friends. New parents and grandparents, who joyfully cannot keep their eyes off the new arrival, search for hints of personality. They do so...

  • A speech without purpose; A policy without impact

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jul 22, 2022

    On March 26, 2022, with much fanfare and staging in the Polish capital of Warsaw and with the whole world watching, the President of the United States and the leader of the Free World, made a speech which can only be described as, employing the Shakespearean line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” In October of 2021, when the Russians were increasing their verbal and actual threats directed to Ukraine, and were increasing their military buildup along several strategic points along the Ukrainian border, including Ukraine’s share...

  • Catechism trumps US Constitution at SCOTUS

    Mel Pearlman|Jul 8, 2022

    In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe v. Wade, the five justices of the United States Supreme Court who voted in favor of the reversal embraced Mississippi’s statutory definition of a fetus as an unborn human being. This definition is not an accredited scientific definition, but is based on religious doctrine. It gives the Court leeway, however weak, to exclude the right to abortion from constitutional protection afforded to other rights, which the Constitution is obligated to secure. In...

  • Sanitizing acts of violence against Jewish Institutions

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jan 28, 2022

    On Jan. 15, 2022, during Shabbat services, Congregation Beth Israel located in Colleyville, Texas, a suburb of Ft. Worth was attacked by an armed individual who barricaded himself in the synagogue, after taking four congregants hostage, including the synagogue’s rabbi. Fortunately, there were much fewer attendees on this Shabbat morning because of the continuing pandemic, as most congregants were participating at home through live streaming of religious services. The attack on this synagogue is the latest in a string of violent and lethal a...

  • Working my way through college

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jan 14, 2022

    News of prominent NYC business woman and Jewish philanthropist, Helene Fortunoff’s death brought back memories of working in the Fortunoff family business during my college years in the 1960s. Helene was the last of the second generation of matriarchs of a very successful family of retailers who created a mini-retail empire, a model and forerunner for the Walmart and Target stores, which today dominate the big box retail business Soon after graduation from high school in June 1960, I landed a summer job in a warehouse and housewares store o...

  • A new year; same old problem confronts the Jewish people

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Dec 31, 2021

    As the holiday season concludes with this evening’s New Year’s celebrations and tomorrow’s recovery, the same old problem of 2021 confronting the Jewish people is carried over into 2022, namely global antisemitism. As we move into the new year, virulent antisemitism continues to grow unabated here in America and throughout the world. How long must we deal with the endless and meaningless apologies for the use of antisemitic tropes, for physical attacks on Jewish citizens and for attacks against Israel based on knowingly false accusations that...

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