The trouble with kids these days is that they think luck counts more than they should. That’s the diagnosis of America’s young people offered by a New York Times opinion piece this past weekend. Generation Y has moved back home and given up on gung-ho because in these recessionary times, they’re putting too little weight on the importance of effort and too much weight on the riskiness of risk.
Spice giant McCormick has agreed to stop selling its spices to Iran, following the efforts of a Baltimore Jewish activist. Jay Bernstein, an attorney and community activist, read in The New York Times article last December that despite sanctions against Iran, the U.S. Treasury was still allocating licenses to American companies to conduct business with the Islamic Republic. One of those companies, he learned, was the Baltimore-based McCormick & Co., founded in 1889 by a Jewish immigrant.
To facilitate pidyon shvuyim (redeeming captive Jews from secular prisons) we are commanded to go so far as to sell a community's Torah scroll. Yet it is hard to rejoice that Bill Clinton pardoned four chassidim from the village of New Square, N.Y., along with an alleged tax evader who donated megabucks to Israel. In contrast to the complex moral and ethical questions that grated pro-and-con during discussions over the possible pardons of Michael Milken and Jonathan Jay Pollard, there is something unequivocally outrageous in Clinton's decisions to pardon the four Squarer chassidim and the international oil merchant whose dealings prompted the Justice Department to allege, among other things, tax evasion and trading illegally with Iran.