Letter: The Chosen Few vs. The People

If you’re like me, you’re sick and tired of the back and forth in the race for governor. On one side we have a group of people saying we owe Phil Murphy hakaras hatov because he didn’t shut down shuls and yeshivos, and was generally less harsh on the Lakewood community during COVID-19 than he could have been. They also argue that there are askanim who have forged a relationship with the governor and his staff, and that it would be wise to ensure that those relationships are strengthened.

On the other side, we have a growing number of people who say that Murphy was, in fact, quite harsh on the Lakewood community, adding that he doesn’t particularly support our values and our derech hachaim, and if anything has been pushing liberal, anti-Torah agendas ever since he rose to power.

The question over who deserves our vote – Phil Murphy or Jack Ciattarelli – has ignited fierce debate in the frum community, with each side insisting that their perspective is the correct one.

I don’t want to use this piece to illustrate and expound on my own personal view regarding how well Murphy did or didn’t treat frum yidden over the course of his term as governor. Instead, I want to note something else: this race really boils down to who matters more – the chosen few or the people.

We have seen how Governor Murphy operated: he worried a lot about the people at the top and very little about the people at the bottom or somewhere in the middle.

Take for instance what happened during Covid-19. If you were a large retailer like WalMart or Target, your store was allowed to be open. But if you were a small business, selling bicycles for example, you were forced to remain shut – literally forced by the government into bankruptcy while the big players laughed their way to the bank.

Another example: during Murphy’s recent visit to Lakewood, he held private meetings with healthcare executives who are rightfully upset at him for how he handled nursing homes at the height of Covid-19, to hear out their concerns and guarantee that he will make sure they can be profitable. That’s wonderful – businesspeople in healthcare deserve to be afforded the ear of the governor when it comes to rules and regulations so that they can make money. But did Murphy hold private meetings with the thousands of Lakewood individuals who could barely get unemployment benefits after losing their jobs due to Covid-19? No, he didn’t. Did he hold a fancy party for all the people in Lakewood who can’t find an appointment at the DMV to get a license or register a car? Nope, he did not.

Instead, Governor Murphy met with the rich and powerful in Lakewood, for all intents and purposes ignoring the little guy. He didn’t publicize before that he was coming to Lakewood, nor did he post a single picture or acknowledgement of his visit to Lakewood when his trip to the township of 135,000 people concluded. Telling, isn’t it?

Contrast that with Jack Ciattarelli. The Republican challenger to Murphy has been in Lakewood a number of times already, meeting with local residents and hearing them out – at shuls, at the DMV, at kosher takeouts, and at other small businesses. As far as I am aware, he didn’t hold a single big-donor fundraiser, and he didn’t keep his meetings and events exclusive to the wealthy and powerful. He simply came to listen and hear people’s concerns. That was it.

When it really comes down to making a choice for whom to vote for on November 2nd, you only have to ask yourself this: which candidate cares about me? And, if you’re not sure of the answer, think again about the difference between how Governor Murphy acted when in Lakewood and how Jack Ciattarelli acted when he was here. The difference could not be greater and more instructive over who we should vote for.

We can fight all day long about who is really better for the frum community (though the answer also seems obvious – vote for the guy who says he will protect our values and address our needs), but it would be smarter to focus on who cares about us, the little guys, more: Phil Murphy or Jack Ciattarelli?

The answer isn’t a mystery and isn’t difficult to figure out. The guy who cares about us, our values and our needs is Jack Ciattarelli. It’s been conclusively shown over and over again. Don’t follow the money and the power, follow your own interests and needs. Vote for Jack Ciattarelli.

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38 COMMENTS

    • that is already being “refunded” by your gas tax and all your other essential needs. do you know how much plastic cups are????????? and if you tell me to start using real dishes the demon-rats will tell you that there is a shortage of water…. this is all childs play of what will be as soon as this governor is reelected chas vshalom! a video from project veritas just came out saying the governor already gave 40 million to the illegal immigrants that entered our country illegally and they are getting paid with our tax dollars, the money that i work for so i can feed my family. 40 million!!!! and he’s planning on giving more the second he is reelected! that’s where your hard earned money is going! to these filthy and discussing illegals who are littering your streets with marihuana and stealing your cars and everything else. thanks but no thanks murphy!

  1. It’s not just New Jersey, but the entire nation is watching. If a Republican is voted in, the Senators who are campaigning in 2022 will take note and perhaps grow a brain and reverse some of these progressive agendas. Parents opposing CRT in schools are being cited as potential domestic terrorists. We cannot allow this to continue and we cannot be indifferent.

  2. Of course some have a lot of Hakoros Hatov to Murphy. Don’t forget many “Roshei Mosdos” walked off with millions of dollars thru all sorts of COVID programs from testing to lunch boxes etc. Money that should really be invested in the Klal. Non of those telling you how to vite ever addresses the quality of life needs of the general public.

  3. Murph supports gay rights, abortion, crt, legalizing weed and many other things. Ciattarelli is openly anti gay for the record. I think the choice is clear

  4. I think the mosdos should give a tuition refund for the ppp funding, covid funding and lunch programs, etc. Even the day camps received funding for absolutely no reason. They should be giving a discount instead of charging full price.

  5. To the $500 rebate guy. He can have it back and lower gas and food prices and property tax. I guess giving it worked for him its called the vote for my re-election rebate in English. You probably not used to payi g bills so this was like a gift some of a work and pay bills and don’t get everything for free and talk about it in the yeshiva coffee room.

    • To Tax payer. So now you want the Governor to lower food prices? That doesn’t make sense. He’s done a good job for Lakewood, and deserves to be elected.

  6. I saw the data in the exact opposite way.
    Citarrelli is promising to be everything to everyone. He is making promises he cannot keep, and obviously never had any intention of keeping. He is trying to be all things to all people.
    Murphy is the ‘devil we know’. He has his shortcomings and he is not perfect. But we are not seeking perfection. He has promised things that will trickle down to many of us (remember, the extra money coming to BMG now is nursing home money. Where do you think that comes from?) and we stand to gain from him.

    Nobody said that Murphy is perfect. But any politician who says he can provide perfection, will provide nothing.

  7. Gratitude is great. If someone gives you something, be grateful. But what if someone takes something away and then gives it back to you? Does the gratefulness doctrine still apply? How about if he has to give it to you? If you go into a grocery store and the clerk hands you your groceries, you appreciate their help … but are you now somehow indebted to this particular grocery store because they “gave” you the groceries you paid for?

    A governor is required to uphold our rights and freedoms enumerated in the constitution. Those are our G-d given rights to life, liberty and property. And just because a tyrant across the river took away most of those rights, does not make us somehow indebted to our semi tyrant for going “soft” on the tyranny and allowing us to maintain some of our freedoms. We are not peasants in czarist Russia to now bend and bow to the czar for sparing our lives and be forever grateful to him.

    He didn’t give you anything. He took something away with one hand and then placed it in the other hand and pretended not to notice if you took it back. And in my book, that is not someone you reward with gratitude or votes. That is a feckless politician with no guts who does not deserve your vote, gratitude or respect.

    Come on people… open your eyes. Gratitude is great… but make sure that you are actually getting something you think you should be grateful for.

  8. This piece is well-written, and, I originally thought, well thought-out.

    Just a thought
    :
    The author of this article is of the opinion that because Mr. Ciattarelli made himself available to a much larger number of our community, he must care about the little guy, and we should thus support him over Mr. Murphy because the latter only hobnobs with the wealthy and powerful. This does actually resonate with many people, and I agree it does give pause for thought.

    Let me ask you; do you think Mr. Ciattarelli will be able to affect any meaningful change for the masses by giving to individuals at large of his limited time, attention, and energies? All resources are finite, and to me it seems a better idea to have select ‘leaders of our community’ as it were, who have the Governor’s ear and can address topics important to our community at large. The chances of Mr. Ciatteralli taking on cases and concerns of individuals seems slim at best, and even were it to materialize, his resources would be exhausted immediately.

    Did Mr. Ciatteralli make people feel good by spending time with them? Did it feel good to many of us? Undoubtedly, and perhaps it was political folly for Mr. Murphy not to have done so as well. Do you think any human being will be able to have a meaningful impact when his time is so grossly mismanaged?

    I think we should keep in mind that we are blessed to have a community where many of the aforementioned wealthy and powerful give generously of their time, money, contacts and resources to help out in time of need. The value of having such people with real relationships to the seat of power cannot be overstated.

    #Don’tSplitTheVote

    • If you dont want the vote to be split, vote for Jack. Lakewood & Ocean county are overwhelmingly Republican. Trump won over 90% off the vote. Christy won our town big as well. So no, we the masses will not join you few people who will gain $$$ from Murphy. Sorry

  9. Vote Murphy out of office, his first term gave us plasttic straw bans, plastic bag bans, higher taxes, vaccine mandates, what do you think a second term where he would be a lameduck would bring, we need a republican governor to stop the democrat legislature from doing what they have been doing.

  10. This piece is well-written, and, I originally thought, well thought-out.

    Just a thought:
    The author of this article is of the opinion that because Mr. Ciattarelli made himself available to a much larger number of our community, he must care about the little guy, and we should thus support him over Mr. Murphy because the latter only hobnobs with the wealthy and powerful. This does actually resonate with many people, and I agree it does give pause for thought.

    Let me ask you; do you think Mr. Ciattarelli will be able to affect any meaningful change for the masses by giving to individuals at large of his limited time, attention, and energies? All resources are finite, and to me it seems a better idea to have select ‘leaders of our community’ as it were, who have the Governor’s ear and can address topics important to our community at large. The chances of Mr. Ciatteralli taking on cases and concerns of individuals seems slim at best, and even were it to materialize, his resources would be exhausted immediately.

    Did Mr. Ciatteralli make people feel good by spending time with them? Did it feel good to many of us? Undoubtedly, and perhaps it was political folly for Mr. Murphy not to have done so as well. Do you think any human being will be able to have a meaningful impact when his time is so grossly mismanaged?

    I think we should keep in mind that we are blessed to have a community where many of the aforementioned wealthy and powerful give generously of their time, money, contacts and resources to help out in time of need. The value of having such people with real relationships to the seat of power cannot be overstated.

    #Don’tSplitTheVote

  11. To quote the author of this letter, “… was generally less harsh on the Lakewood community than he could have been.”

    Do you Lakewooders think you are the only frum community in the state?

    Please tell me in which way he was less harsh on you than he was on Teaneck, Highland Park, Passaic, Fair Lawn?

    That he didn’t close mosdos? He never closed any mosad anywhere or l’havdil any public school – instead leaving it up to the local towns to decide whether to hold in person classes.

    That he let Lakewood walk around and gather in shuls and yeshivos unmasked when his own regulations demanded otherwise? If that is a political favor that was carved out for Lakewood, then it is shameful and says more about Lakewood than it does about Murphy.

    • If people in Passaic don’t like him, don’t vote for him.
      If he was good for people in Lakewood, then we will vote for him.

      We do not have to vote for the same person.

  12. There aren’t any fierce arguments over who should be governor with these 2 choices in Lakewood, everyone knows the percentage of most of New Jersey land areas are voting 75-80% Republican, and higher in Lakewood, the reality is that there are many people voting Democrat in Trenton and Newark areas etc and that got the vote at the 2020, (if you believe it wasn’t “stolen” outright).
    Therefore the people who want to be part of the government to reap the benefits and think that the Democrat party will win are trying to at least look like they are on the winning team, but they won’t fool Murphy as he can see exactly how many of us voted for Trump and probably will vote for Jack.
    But Murphy is playing a smart game cozying up to the right people who might influence a more significant portion to vote for him for just this reason.
    Have a nice day!

  13. You start off saying that you don’t want to illustrate or expound on your personal view, and then you turn around and do just that. Is that some sort of trick to get the reader to continue reading? Very odd.

  14. To quote the letter from Rav Uren Reich
    “Let us not forget, before ניסן תש”פ the whole world was thrown into turmoil from Covid and our physical and spiritual lives were severely impeded. From סיון of that year till now, Lakewood has enjoyed unequalled freedom, our Mosdos Hatorah have been unhampered and life has been close to normal. This is not true about NY, Toronto, London, Yerushalayim or Bnei Brak. Mr. Murphy could have made our lives really miserable and B’Chasdei Hashem the Lev Melochim was favorable towards us. TO not demonstrate our Hakoras Hatov, would be a Chilul Hashem.”

    • UMM. As far as I remember, our mosdos WERE shut down. Schools & shuls! They didn’t even let us daven in our back yards at one point.

      We had summonses at vorts & weddings.

      Nooo, he didn’t do us any favors.

  15. NJ is a Blue state. That may change if people in North Jersey can tell the difference between fact and truth. Ocean and Monmouth counties are Red and likely will stay that way. I have met both of them personally and up close and IMHO Ciattarelli is the mentsch.

    Murphy’s early voting will cost us $77M dollars!

    BTW: Ocean County has 600 Sequoia Pacific AVC Advantage Machines. Yep, that’s Dominion. However…… they are from the 1980’s so the actual ballots cannot be changed online. I cannot speak for other counties or places like Newark or Trenton.

    Don’t take my word for it, see here:

    .occis.com/cis/civiceducation/Voting_Machines/Ocean_County_Voting_Machines/ocean_county_voting_machines.html

    Remember every single day to vote for Hashem and Mashiach. No ballots required.

  16. I think another term for Governor Murphy will be terrible for NJ but I still am voting for him. Why? Because he will win! NJ is a deep blue state & Democrats have a 10 to 1 chance of winning a statewide election. Let’s be pragmatic & do damage control, Murphy is winning anyway. At least our askonim will have some clout with him if we vote for him. Stop being an ideologue at the expense of our long term interest. Vote Murphy because he’s the winner in Democrat filled NJ.

  17. The Chillul Hashem is voting for someone so anti our values because he wasn’t as bad in one instance as he could have been, hakaras hatov would be acknowledging him for whatever you think he deserves our hakoras hatov for with a plaque acknowledging such, voting for someone who will hurt our community with his radical leftist policies as he has already done with his plastic bag ban and his raising taxes to pay illegal aliens is a Chillul Hashem and a farkrumt way to show hakoras hatov.

  18. Don’t allow this politically charged gibberish to influence you.

    Its politics no one likes or cares about anyone.

    Vote for the winner don’t be a fool.

  19. I fully understand the emotional feelings of the author. It feels good that Jack said hello to the “regular guy” (to earn their vote)
    But, some of us are old enough to remember that we have tried this experiment before.
    When Christi was running against Corzine, we also had the heated debate of caring about our values etc. Tuition vouchers, fixing the public school formula, lowering taxes, pro life…

    and then Christi got into office…

    In reality, we live in a democratic controlled State. (legislature is controlled by Dem’s)
    So all the fantasies in reality will not be fulfilled.

    On the other hand, we do have a relationship with the current Gov and (putting hakaras hatov on the side) only makes sense to build on that relationship going forward. especially since Murphy has a very good chance of winning regardless.

    on the flip side if Jack wins, he won’t hold it against us for voting Murphy because everyone thinks that his values are so in line with ours anyways…

    p.s. I guarantee, if Jack becomes Governor he will not come back to Lakewood and have lunch with each of the 135,000 regular guys. just not enough time in the year for that…

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