Some Things Never Change: How Saba Kept Singing Review & Justice for Joey Borgen

As much as things change, they stay the same.

In honor of Yom HaShoah earlier this week, PBS aired the documentary How Saba Kept Singing. The film followed David Wisnia, the late Cantor and Holocaust survivor.

Originally from Poland, David was the only member of his immediate family to see the end of the war. The only reason he walked out of Auschwitz was his singing. The audience travels with David and his grandson Avi as he talks about his past and visits the place in which he nearly died.

I loved it. I was in tears by the end. This was a man who had every reason to be angry and bitter. But he found the light and a reason to live. It is a message that anyone can relate to.

Back in 2021, Joey Borgen was attacked in broad daylight in New York City. His crime was being visibly Jewish and attending a pro-Israel rally.

His attacker (who shall remain nameless on this blog) was given a slap on the wrist: six months in jail and five years probation. Alvin Bragg‘s office claims that they did a thorough investigation. If they did, these men would have been charged with a hate crime and given a significant jail sentence.

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The message is loud and clear: anyone who verbally or physically assaults a Jewish person in NYC will not be treated as the criminal they are. They will be told they were naughty and nothing more.

That is not the city I know and love. Shame on you, Alvin Bragg. You know better. You could have done better, but you chose not to.

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Where is the Justice for Sarah Halimi?

Justice, in theory, should be blind. However, that does not mean that a murderer should be allowed to walk free.

In April of 2017, Sarah Halimi was murdered simply because she was a Jew. The man accused of killing her was acquitted because he was on drugs.

The accused, a Muslim man originally from Mali, is said to have Allahu Akbar as he took Mrs. Halimi’s life. Before I go any further, I must stress that I am not saying that every member of the Muslim faith is anti-Semitic, just as not every Jew holds anti-Islamic views. There are many in both faiths who just wants to live their lives, the faith of the stranger standing next to them is unimportant.

But the thing that bothers me is that this man got off because he was high. That is a flimsy excuse and in my mind, an easy out for the French justice system. Instead of addressing both the drug issue and the fact that this was a hate crime, they chose to ignore the fact that Mrs. Halimi was only targeted because she was Jewish. Had this not been the case, she would be alive today.

My heart goes out to her family. May her memory forever a blessing. Z”L.

P.S. There will be protest vigil today at 1PM at the French Embassy in New York City.

Thoughts On The Latest News from the Jussie Smollett Case

Earlier this week, all of the charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett were dropped.

I am to be honest, not thrilled that the charges were dropped. As an American, I am bothered that Mr. Smollett used the justice system and cried wolf simply to get a raise.

To be specific, there are four reasons why I am bothered by this case:

  1. The Chicago Police department, like every other police department in every other city has limited resources. He wasted what amounts to $130,000 of time, man power and financial resources of the police when there are real cases that were put on hold. From my perspective, he could at least pay the department back for their efforts.
  2. Among the many that work and dream of performing for a living, only a small handful ever see that dream become a reality. His false claims of a hate crime spit in the face of everyone who has tried and failed to make it as an actor.
  3. I don’t know much about the inner workings of Hollywood, but I do know that actors usually sign a contract that states the details of their employment after they are hired for a job. There have been many actors over the years who have renegotiated their contracts or bargained to change the terms of their contracts before re-signing. There are other ways to change the terms of one’s employment without getting the police involved.
  4. ┬áHate crimes are real. Too many are attacked because of their skin color, their religion, sexuality, etc. If someone is attacked for who they are, they may think twice about going to the police, allowing the perpetrator to remain free. The police, for their part, may question if the attack was real or if it was made up by the “victim”.

Only time will tell how the fans and Hollywood react. But karma has a way of getting us all back, one way or another.

 

 

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