Showing posts with label Board of Deputies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Board of Deputies. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Outside the Tent p****ing in

Big Tent - Copy

For translation see below

If you like following Anglo-Jewish politics, and no one will blame you if you don’t, you will know the politics of making a big tent for anything. A bit like I’m a Celebrity except that it goes, I’m a Reform Get Me Into There. The right wing of the US responds, We’re (pseudo) Charedim and get ya the hell outa here because you’re as welcome as Berlusconi at a Bat Mitzvah party. At this point the Jewish miLlionares Club (aka JLC) will see it as their duty to intervene with their own version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or, rather, who wants a share of our millions. No 50/50 lifelines but an edict to phone-a-‘friend’ or else. Naturally, the Board of Deputies follows suit and, and, come on, wake up there at the back.

If you’ve followed this far you’ll have heard of the Big Tent events which basically gather together similarly minded pro-Israelis who spend a Sunday bemoaning boycotts and deligtimisation of which we are supposedly the hub. After a few cockle-warming speeches and feeling awfully sorry for Israel and disgusted by its detractors everybody goes home feeling they’ve done a good deed and gone out of their way to do their bit for Israel. Of course, the Israelis themselves couldn’t give a monkeys and they happen to think that we’re more into Christmas than Chanukah. The biggest elephant nowhere near the tent remains Israel’s inexorable slide towards a racist theocracy which continues unabated but trust these guys to see the enemies anywhere but staring in their face.

Anyhow, if pro Israelis unite on anything the nay-sayers of Stamford Hill must have a contrary position and so they have. A bit late but this is Stamford Hill after all. In the notice above we are exhorted to stay away from such events, which may only be referred to by its acronym, and told that anyone who has ‘a brain in his coconut’ will know that they bring no good to the Jews. Not, surprise, on tznius grounds, but apparently because this non-event of an event of which other than some bickering machers few have heard of could jeopardise and endanger our very existence in this country. (As for wholesale reliance on state handouts, I’m afraid the notice is silent on that point.) And if not for the notice we would of course have been flocking to it in droves.

The signatories are mostly Satmar affiliated though for reasons known only to themselves Padwa and Halpern Snr added their names. Belz and Ger steered clear as did Dayan Dunner despite his anti-Zionist streak. Also absent are Halpern’s sons and in fact there are no Golders Green rabbis at all who generally lead a more nationalistic flock. This is the second time Padwa has alligned himself with the loonies on Israel; last year he signed for a demo at the embassy on grave digging. Rabbi Schneebalg of Manchester has more sense and knowing that he serves a wider community, abstained. Shame Padwa didn’t inherit those aspects from his father who would have no truck with any of this.

Perhaps the most surprising signatory is Dayan Gukovitsky of Springfield Shul which is affiliated to the Federation. It may have something to do with his territorial battle over his shul and wanting to gain some right-wing allies which he is sorely in need of, but more on that another time.

Translation

A Call from the Rabonim

In light of reports of various meetings (BTFI) across England (currently in Manchester), it is obvious to anyone sensible that such activities and their like are of no benefit to Jews, God forbid.

It is unnecessary to dwell on their inherent dangers and it is incumbent on everyone to avoid attending them and to do everything to publicise and announce that these meetings do not speak on behalf of Jews who believe in God and His Torah. God forbid to allow this destruction to enter England where thank God we dwell under the protection of the state, may its grace be exalted*, which is a benign realm.

We are obligated to pray for the well being of the realm and not to become involved with various people [groups] the majority of whom have cast off the yoke of Torah and mitzvos entirely or in various degrees, and their habit is to maraud and cause destruction.

In the merit of undertaking upon ourselves the yoke of our exile and behaving with humility in this country as we have in each and every generation throughout the thousands of years of our exile may we merit to be saved from all forms of peril and to the arrival of the Messiah speedily in our days, Amen.

London [27 November 2011]**

Signatories

* An expression used for the Tsar and Kaiser and is not used very often nowadays.

** The date of the Manchester Big Tent event though the notice was publicised only last week.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Board’s birthday bash

We in Stamford Hill have always known the very many reasons to be grateful to our askonim. Whether they are in the hatzole sounding their klaxons to save our lives, in the kosher business to fill our stomachs, in schooling to babysit our kids or in the fundraising industry to improve our souls by diminishing the contents of our wallets there is a common thread running through them. Selfless men and a few women too who give their all to save us from looking after ourselves. Wagging tongues don't deflect them and nay sayers don't deter them. They are on a mission assigned to them from heaven and if they happen to benefit indirectly from their good deeds not only do we not begrudge them their sidekick but we open our pockets to line theirs. We know that for the exalted few our needs are theirs and so it is only right that we should let them treat us as as they see fit.

I am of course referring to those altruistic individuals who give from their time, their money, their jobs (if they are lucky to have one) and their family for their niche askonus. A much rarer commodity however are those individuals who will sacrifice even from their ruchnius, from their religious values and duties, for the sake of the general good. Men and women who will desecrate the shabbos, skip a minyen, speak loshen hore, refuse kids places in schools, converse with goyim and even strike up friendships with them and all for the sake of avoiding us opening our mouths and saying the wrong thing. Altruistic utilitarianism you might like to call it though such individuals are so rare a breed that their DNA is still being pored upon by askenologists. The Chofets Chaim it is said skipped a minche when at a meeting in Warsaw to discuss the terrible decree that would have obliged Jewish kids to get some secular education. And for that he is the Chofets Chaim. Yet we in our generation, in our country, in our city and in our very community have merited not one but indeed two such individuals.

This may sound incredible and indeed it is but true nonetheless. Gracing the pages of last week's papers were our own esteemed 'Rabbi' and Buffoon partying away for the sake of all of us. Cynics amongst you may be thinking, big deal, he went to a party, where for Christ's sake is the mesiras nefesh in that? Haven't we all been to a party? Of course, with a wall-to-wall mechitze, a glatt kosher kedassia menu of roast potatoes and schnitzel, or fish if that be your preferred choice, tznuesdike attired females on the female side and a bearded holy fool mumbling in the mic held too close to his moustache begging the ladies to be quiet. I mean you're not trying to tell me that they went to some goyishe or 'Jew-ish' G-d forsaken fest where men mingle freely rachmone litzlon with noshim, Reformists masquerade as Jews and the food is, well, dodgy at best considering the meat has a hechsher your dog wouldn't rely on and side dishes and dessert containing innocent looking broccoli or even those notoriously treacherous strawberries.

Dear reader it is just such a party I am referring to and this is what I mean by the mesiras nefesh of our unique and once-in-3-generations askonim. No less than the exalted 'Rabbi' and the esteemed Buffoon sacrificed all that is dear and holy to their precious souls and all for the sake of representing you and I. We know they give away their time to mingle with entire units of Scotland Yard's finest to prevent them rounding up all of us for the crime of being Jewish and for that we genuflect and kiss the concrete they walk on. We are fully aware of the dedication of being a councillor and mayor for decades for measly pay and sleepless nights so that our bins should be collected on the eve of Pesach. We will never forget the angst they endure when saying no to kids being admitted to their schools so as not to pollute the more delicate neshomes of our charges.

But this? Just take look at the pain in their eyes, their forced smile, the discomfort so evident in their body language, beard unkempt and tie askew and you will come to understand why there is virtually nothing they will not do for us. And then to read the Buffoon a week later and to marvel at him having the grace and mentshlichkeit he is so renown for in wishing the Board a happy birthday and with his hallmark modesty made no mention of his own attendance. Mi keamkho yisoreil? And who is like thou askonim, O Israel?

And imagine the sight when the envelope dropped through their toiredike letter box undefiled by the shmutz that is the common lot of non-heimishe letterboxes and their shock when they discovered its contents. How they referred their predicament whether to attend to daas torah. The 'Rabbi' explaining how he simply could not attend a party where women wore no sheitels and the tznius standard was lower than the reach of his beard. And the Buffoon shedding excruciating tears setting out how he would excoriate anyone seen at an affair where 'they' are represented as yidn. And the Rabbonim after consulting their oracle invoking eith la'sos lashem, 'if not for you who is for us' and decreeing that in the merit of representing their brethren they will see no evil and taste no evil.
They say a photo speaks a thousand words but photos like these make us lost for words. How do we begin to show hakoras hatov for people who are the personification of askonus. It is why Stamford Hill is the envy of the world and we more than anyone else feel safe in the knowledge that however few our abilities and however many our shortcomings we will always be able to rely on our askonim to walk, talk, smile, think and even sin for us.
 
Yasher Kochachem!