Monday, 29 November 2010

A tale of two cities

***Update below***Antwerp elections

Yesterday the frum community in Antwerp went to the polls to elect a new rabbi. We, by contrast, were handed our rabbi on a plate in a graveyard. Quite literally. Ok the plate bit I made up but the graveyard is almost true and in fact the announcement was made at the previous rabbi’s funeral. Or as Wiki puts it “The honorary officers of the UOHC announced the appointment of his youngest son, Rabbi Ephraim, as the new rabbinical head of the community.”

How we would have cheered had it not been during the summer holidays when we were sunning ourselves in some summer camp rechristened, if that’s the word, Stamford Hill-on-sea for a couple of weeks. Alas we weren’t there and the officers who are honorary in name and name only had the field to themselves. They could have appointed a frog and we would have followed every hop and croak while persuading ourselves that we are the envy of the world. So they chose a dinosaur instead and we should be grateful to them for that. And to to enforce his pre-Neanderthal credentials, at his inauguration our Sanctified Leader duly delivered an exquisite disquisition on the topical subject of the Decapitated Calf.

In Antwerp they evidently do things differently. Rabbi Kreiswirth passed away almost 10 years ago and his seat has remained vacant ever since. There was talk of them nominating our own Dayan Ronnie Dunner as a candidate (or as he is sometimes fondly referred to, Dyno-RoD) but his community threatened to block his exit if he as much as left for an interview. Less kinder tongues wagged at the time that he declined when it transpired that there were others in the running. How the Antwerpians, or the Twerps, must have blessed their holy stars when Dunner travelled to India, saw the Taj Mahal and deciding he couldn’t build his dear darling rebbetzen a hovel like that got her instead a synthetic sheitel without any chashash of Avoide Zore. Just imagine the smoocher he got on his return.

I digress. I digress. Antwerp has been without a rabbi for almost a decade and it appears none the worse for it. It has had an eiruv for very many years having had the good fortune not to have had a Padwa at its helm. Its fortunes have been declining of late with the diamond industry moving to India and no largesse from its government to match that which housing benefit throws our way. It is  nonetheless a respectable community albeit reminiscent of a pale of settlement shtetl c.1890 and a shuttle service plies the sanctified Stamford Hill-Antwerp route several times a day which cannot be said even for Stamford Hill-Golders Green.

Recently a suitable candidate was found and the male burghers of the Flemish city were asked to express whether they are for or against him. It appears that King Leopold’s countrymen know more of common suffrage than us dwellers in the shadow of the mother of parliaments. And so choose a leader they did and Rabbi Aharon Schiff duly won the vote.

Mazel Tov!

There are however 2 points on which I must sound off. The first is that according to this source (in Hebrew) 1263 members were entitled to cast their vote in Antwerp. This may be another explanation, besides the patently obvious one, why Padwa was not put to the vote. While the UOHC purports to speak for and to all of us every time something ‘comes to their attention’ in reality they have relatively few members and there are even fewer reasons why one would want to become a member. They’ll rip you off for your meat, milk and marriage and ban your strawberries whether you’re a member or not and as for burial they’ll dump you in a water-logged bog reserved for members only. And without members it is rather difficult to hold an election so the next best thing was to slip him in while we were smeared with Amber Solaire.

And the next point is on the dinosaur comment I made earlier. The big story about town is of the local couple who’ve been arrested for allegedly drugging and abducting their daughter to take her out of Israel. They were taken off a plane bound for Bucharest and arrested. Bail has for the moment been refused.

The kneejerk defences are well under way. ‘The girl is mad’. ‘She has a boyfriend.’ ‘She is 21 with a mental age of 10.’ ‘You don’t know what good parents they are.’ Or simply, ‘It can’t be. You must hear the other side and you can never trust the Israeli media/police/judiciary for they all hate us'.’

What follows is a translation of a comment on an Israeli chareidi website, “The chareidi community in London is known primarily for being the most primitive and extreme of chareidi communities abroad. This community harboured in her midst the monster Elior Chen who tortured and abused small children in the name of religion. This community, the majority of which belongs to the extreme Satmar chasidim, suffers from a communal ‘honour’ syndrome and for the sake of honour all means are kosher. –What will people say?- This is of course the pretext for throwing the girl to the dogs in order to save her parents’ skin. The facts on the ground are that the girl is intelligent, sharp and fun and only malicious people could descend to such sub-human conduct [to malign her]. And let us assume that it is true, I ask: may one abuse a mentally ill daughter? If she is indeed, as they put it, retarded may one cruelly inject her with drugs and abduct her with force? Stop putting on a straight face!”

It hurts when it comes from Israelis who are the maddest extremists of the lot. But that makes it no less true. And while I would quibble whether we are indeed worse than others we are generally rather behind with the times and perhaps it is time to catch up. And harbouring fewer rapists and paedophiles and not raising money for them wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

Here is the JC's report on the above story.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A classic vort

Is it a coincidence that the oaf is male and the heretic female? No wonder the rabbis weren’t (aren’t?) happy for women to study Torah.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The milk of rabbinical (un)kindness

Stamford Hill is in a lather, or, given the subject matter, perhaps that should be a latte. Whatever, the place is frothing over the no simple matter of a litre of milk.

2 businessman from Golders Green backed by a third North Westerner have set up a milk supply to challenge the long-standing monopoly of Chareidi Dairies. So far so good, you may think, until you notice the kosher seal on the bottle and the peyos will drop. For if where there is muck there is brass, where there is kosher there is brass, copper, silver and more. And as will be seen, where there is kosher milk there is lots of cream too.

For the last 10-15 years there has been a monopoly of kosher milk in London. This was supported by that bastion of holiness, Kedassia, who in return for a royalty on each litre of milk refused to certify rival milk supplies. However many sheitels you added to the cow's head its milk would remain treif. For as it is written in the Scriptures "Thou shalt mug the mothers for the kids' milk." The arrangement suited everyone especially us paying 94p+ a litre for the privilege of uber kosher milk and some kosher pig headedness in the bargain. Honestly, what are a few pennies when the sanctity of our souls are at stake?

But that has now changed. The half-goyim who reside in Golders Green are importing milk from Scotland where entire herds have been found that refuse to recognise or, more likely, are ignorant of the exclusive domain of Kedassia within the M25. Kedassia was approached for a hechsher and holding true to their principles said 'nein', we do the milking round here and not necessarily of cows. So the GGers turned to other rabbinical authorities and this is where things get tricky.

That there can be a rabbinical authority besides the Kedassia is itself open to question. But that that authority should actually declare what is and isn't kosher within Kedassia's back yard is contrary to the exclusive charter granted to them by Edward the Confessor and according to some scholars by King Ine of Wessex whom the Scots do not recognise. Turning to others for kosher certification is therefore not only heresy but treason of the highest order. This however is what the world is coming to and turn to other authorities they did.

The rabbis authorising the new milk are the London Beth Din and a Rabbi Knopfler. The KLBD is so kosher that many of their own Dayanim won't touch their meat stuff so they wouldn't slice the butter round here. Similarly, Knopfler may be a harmless fellow but of unknown pedigree on this side of Nags Head. Were it therefore only those 2 certifying the milk it would curdle as soon as it passed Manor House. Let the Golders Greeners continue fressing the treif they are accustomed to. Our kids however must suckle a pinta that is nutritious for the body and the soul.

But, as Tony Blair well knows, there is a third way and at times a third rabbi too. Enter Rabbi Eckstein and this, ladies and gentleman, is where things begin to warm up. Rabbi Eckstein took up several years ago a position as the rabbi of the Belz shtibel in St. Kildas Road. He has now broadened his horizons further north than even his birthplace in Manchester and has added the 3rd seal of approval to the Highland milk. Pity the environment for the cows must be releasing excessive amounts of methane gas in their exuberance at having a triumvirate of rabbis approving the provenance of their emanations. And rejoice Stamford Hill for thou milk has been deflated.

Lest anyone accuse Kedassia of putting principle before gain they did apparently offer a deal at the eleventh hour to add their seal subject to payment of something like 4p per bottle in order to comply with the biblical command of squeezing tithes out of teats. They were politely told to go and chew cow pat of a strictly kosher variety.

Kedassia however being Kedassia is not quite taking this on its bearded chin. Eckstein was sacked from his unpaid position on the rota of rabbis who deal with public enquiries at Kedassia's rather grotty citadel on Stamford Hill. This though is only the celestial angle taken care of. As to the more Godly problem of the loss of royalties by having alien cows plying their trade in Kedassia's hallowed meadow, well God looks after that too though with a varied record of success.

The local groceries sat on their shelves for the first week but they are now stocking it to the delight of their clients. If anyone ever accused us of being a spineless, supine bunch just ask the grocers how many requests they had prior to stocking it and how the new milk has been walking off the shelves. It is not that we are unwilling to protest it is simply that we lack the opportunity. Most of the time the rabbis and God are on the same side so offending the former risks inviting the ire of the latter which naturally we are loathe to do. Besides we all have sons and daughters and we do need to marry them off at some stage. It is only once in a lifetime that God and the rabbis part ways and on those rare occasions we immediately abandon the rabbis and leave them mooing in the cold. Miraculously too the old milk dropped in price overnight and assurances have been sought that standards in kosherness have not been sacrificed on the altar of competition.

True, Grodzinsky has been ‘requested’ not to stock the new milk. Neither for their cappuccinos which may contain only milk that frothes to the command of Kedassia hot air and nor in sealed bottles. This is on pain of, well, that which is best left unpronounced. Do however make the sums of the number of loaves and rolls they sell a day and you get the consequences of messing with the true breadwinner.

As for wider repercussions, there could be some turbulent times ahead for Kedassia. Unlike the US and Israel, London remains the only large ultra-orthodox centre where there is a virtual monopoly on the strictly kosher market. This status quo has now been breached and other products and even meat, where the main money lies, may follow. Kedassia did try to issue a rabbinical notice in support of a single certifying authority but apparently Satmar refused to sign and herein lies the problem.

As mentioned, Eckstein is a dayan in Belz which has a long-running rivalry with Satmar. Should Eckstein establish himself Satmars will no doubt be calling for their own milch cow. This could eventually lead to the break up of the Kedassia and the Padwa dynasty, banish the thought. And when one dynasty falls others are sure to follow.

Even more serious to the Kedassia hegemony is the possibility of an Eiruv in Stamford Hill. At the last failed attempt Eckstein was its main rabbinical and halachic supporter. He was forced to retreat when the main organiser was threatened by the financial backers of his kolel. Belz also did not want to be seen as being the sole supporter of a project strongly opposed by Padwa & co. That may change if Eckstein feels aggrieved by his dismissal or if Kedassia retaliates against Belz as a community. If, please God, that were to happen the milk could yet give rise to poles and string round Hackney and its environs.

May our land continue flowing Milk and Honey and may we live in interesting times. Amen!

Democracy II

News reaches me of the outcome of the Parent Governor elections mentioned below and I am left to eat my streimel.

Not only were the elections held with no allegations of vote rigging or other impropriety but the winner was apparently the sole woman candidate on the list. She is a local educator so don’t expect anything too exciting but it is a victory nonetheless.

Mazel Tov is surely in order and we hope she enjoys the soporific experience of taking part in board meetings where very little is debated and even less decided.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Democracy is coming to Stamford Hill

Shock. Horror. Disgust. Dismay. These are just some of the sentiments expressed by our Dear Leaders among the panoply of emotions generated by the news that elections are to be held in Stamford Hill. Not in our, or their, wildest fantasies did they, or we, imagine that there exists a power to compel anyone in the holy square mile to hold elections. We have been brought up that power is theirs by right, and just occasionally, when a contingency arises, by might, and now we are led to question our most basic and fundamental assumptions. How are we to contend with this, is the question on all lips.

Admittedly, local and national elections are held at polling booths within shockling distance of our great institutions, and these are passed by the Rabbonim as permissible so long, of course, that votes are cast in favour of the right candidates. But as with all non-Torah-true influences great care is taken to ensure that alien concepts such as democracy, accountability and transparency do not infiltrate our hallowed, kosher, bug-free-lettuce homes. For democracy, plebiscites, suffrage, enfranchisement and similar obscenities make no appearance from In the Beginning of Genesis to the last word of Chronicles and so are as treif as strawberries.

And as we are constantly reminded our shoulders are too narrow and the space between our ears too confined to bear the responsibility of introducing such ideas of our own accord. Of the heimishe, for the heimishe, by the heimishe, is simply not a heimishe concept.

For this reason we are fortunate that our chief rabbinate is run by one dynasty, our dayanim by secret appointment and our lay leaders by the size of their dislodgeable posteriors and just occasionally by the depth of their pocket. This last one being the exception rather than the rule as rules round here are, as a rule, there to be flouted. However, we should not complain. It is this system that has allowed our exalted and lofty way of life to be handed down through generations and the secrets methods of our distillation to be perfected over centuries. And when it comes to ‘our’ schools, well they are a story of their own. There has never been any doubt that we are in the good and able hands of a unique dynasty that has guided us hither and will continue to do so yonder.

Or so we thought. For news reaches me that to the consternation of those who dictate our way of life Yesodey Hatorah Secondary School will be holding elections for a Parent Governor. And if that isn’t enough, apparently a species of the fairer sex has had the temerity to stand for the position. I mean, what is the world coming to if a woman can try and elicit votes from parents which include men (though one wouldn’t think so when attending open days, parent evenings, graduation ceremonies or any other school activity except if it includes a visit by the PM or a few police officers when the men all miraculously appear)?

How, we all ask, has it come to this? Where have we gone wrong? Is this the result of a (non-existent) fair admissions policy? Is it the influence of having, G-d forbid, parents with tops which indicate a shape beneath and skirts which hint at legs ambulating within? Let us not mince our words. This is the greatest threat to our collective existential survival since the advent of 24mbps broadband and SMS messaging. Nothing short of a national day of tznius observance and tehilim recital is called for to eradicate this democratic cancer from our midst. We should be tearing down the mezuzed doors of our Dear Leaders and demand answers. If we can have kosher mobiles and kosher internet surely it is not beyond the innovative minds who are so adept at constantly moving the bimah posts to keep undesirables from sending their urchins to ‘our’ schools and bringing with them these dangerous, unheard of concepts.

But please do not be rash. We ask that you pay heed to the Rabbonim who have decreed that we bear this news with equanimity and dignified silence. Now is not the time for public protest, letter writing and faxing campaigns and a further announcement will be made if and when the situation changes. Buses will of course be put on for any demo. And whatever you do do not by any means approach the media for that is the exclusive domain of better and abler hands, if not necessarily brains.

We end with a prayer that the right candidate is elected, that once elected he (for he it shall no doubt be) votes as he is told, assuming anything is ever put to vote, and that our enemies who are trying to bring about these dangerous alien changes are put to flight. Amen!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Has Pinter been demoted?

The 'Rabbi' has always titled himself as the 'principal' of Yesodey Hatorah Schools or, sometimes, Yesodey Hatorah Secondary School.

In 2003 the BBC website has him as principal, in 2004 he was so called in The Independent, in 2008 in the Guardian and more recently in the JC on 21 September 2010, when the 'Rabbi' also said 'I have 150 employees..' presumably as principal of one or more of the schools.

So why was he described in last week's JC as 'Charedi leader' and who and what does he lead other than his schools, unless a rent-a-quote career on any subject from human embryology to the number of people at a wedding qualifies one as a leader?

Even stranger is his title in the recent interview with him on the Blood and Property blog on the very subject of YHS where he is introduced as Yesodey Hatorah 'spokesman'.

So has he resigned as principal? Has he been sacked? If so, by whom and why? And is it usual for schools to have spokespeople, do they draw a salary, how many hours do they work a week?

'Rabbi': please can we have a quote.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Red Ed? More like boring Ed

He makes John Major seem exciting and muesli like your cereal of choice.

Friday, 17 September 2010

New River Win

ConservativeHome is gloating this morning about a tory win in one of England's poorest wards.

Either they’re being disingenuous or they are completely ignorant of politics round here. In reality it makes little difference either way.

For those of you fasting tomorrow take it easy and don’t overdo it in shul!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Is legitimate protest a threat?

This morning I see a representative from the CST patrolling outside a Kapores centre and I wonder if this is what the CST is for.

The concerns of the organisers of this event are not primarily security because the CST is not seen at much larger local gatherings. Their concerns are animal rights activists and local authority inspectors who, rightly or wrongly, have in the past targeted this practice. In the USA there have been demos and concern has been expressed in this country too. Even within Judaism there are respectable views against Kapores with the Shulchan Aruch (in a 1565 edition) calling it a munhag shtus and that one should refrain from the tradition. Of course, if the ritual is carried out humanely there should be no reasons to fall foul of the authorities.

So why is CST securing this event? Their role as expressed on their website is :

to protect [the Jewish Community's] many achievements from the external threats of bigotry, antisemitism and terrorism.
Does this include preventing legitimate protest albeit, to some, of an inconvenient and unpleasant nature? Unless it is the CST's view that any opposition to anything done by Jews is by definition anti-Semitic the CST should have no truck with this particular event.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

On the Right Side of the Road

I should be wishing my handful of readers a Happy New Year and joking about the honey and how the chasidim go for the golden runny variety at the cost of £4 a jar and not the thick sliceable goyishe type that can be picked up on the cheap. And I should also be in bed so I can get up early for some pre-dawn penitence, followed by voiding promises and all the other traditions which make up Rosh Hashone Eve.

I’ll however write something brief on the creeping extremism into Stamford Hill and how by stealth ever more stringencies and madnesses are being imposed on us. While it is the big stories that make the news it is the little stories that matter. They creep in unnoticed and in no time become the norm so that when the next madness turn up it seems only reasonable to let it pass. Of course a contrarian will say ‘a meshugass!’, some woman will say ‘and what’s wrong with that?’ and the rest of the world will shrug and do as they’re told.

So here I shall keep a little flame of protest alight simply by noting what others would prefer to go unchecked. I’ll tag them each Fundamentalism-Watch and see how quickly they pile up. How’s that for a new year’s resolution?

In today’s Heimishe Newsheet, the ad-only, intellect-free weekly which is distributed round here (while the newspapers that teach you how, what and not to think are on the brink of closure) the central spread is a call for women to walk on one side of the pavement and men on the other when walking to the river for Tashlich to dump our sins on Rosh Hashone.

According to the centre spread it is to avoid ‘the possibility of men and women mingling’ and ‘it has therefore been decided, with the agreement of the Rabbonim, that men should walk on the left side of the roads leading to Tashlich and women on the right side of the roads.’

Feminists of Hackney where are you when we need you most?

Now if only one of those dear Rabbonim would care to put his name to the edict at least I’d respect him for his convictions. But they too are victims of some nut and are as gutless as the rest of us. And so we will all follow like zombies and be grateful we weren’t told to jump in the river once we get there.

On a serious note though, I would add a postscript to the notice that to avoid a wasted trip for those of a holy disposition they should please mingle on the way there only so that upon arrival they don’t look odd with no sins to dump. To those however of a more green inclination, admittedly not many amongst God’s Chosen, I’d say Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

As Van Morrison might have said walking towards the river with a sack load of sins:

Little baby take my hand
You can help me share this load
From the right side of the road
To the dark end of the street

Sunday, 29 August 2010

'Discovered' in Clapton Common

Those with the gall to break out of the community are expected to slink away in silence, to disappear into the netherworld of mainstream society.

It is this attitude which makes us writers so misunderstood in our community. There is no appreciation that people simply want to voice their opinion and tell their story. It must be self-hating, self justification, bitterness, vengeance, malevolence, sucking up to the goyim. In fact anything other than that perhaps there is a point and there is some validity in what is being said. And even if there is a point 'do you really have to let the goyim know what's going on?'

Ah well, we'll go on writing and they'll go on vilifying.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Hath not a Jew manners?

Ha, with an opening like that what could I be referring to but the by now notoriously infamously shocking, gut wrenchingly nauseating, angst inducing, repentance instigating, Psalms resorting, redemption pleading article by Christina Patterson in The Independent. I know, I'm a Yiddl come lately as we're now almost a month after the event and no one's even talking about it any longer. I have however been away in the great après Tisha B'Av exodus when Stamford Hill puts on its collective skates and heads for the mountains, hills, sea and even slums, recreating them if necessary, so long that it's away. But shh don't utter it too loudly as the ganovim may pay you a visit and without the shomrim about who will be there to lend the cops a hand or stand in for them altogether?

I'm digressing as usual. I was up to Ms Patterson's famous 'And I would like to say…' tribute to yours truly, his (or her if you choose) brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, neighbours, shul colleagues, friends, foes and, to cut it short, co-religionists of any hue, colour, shade or complexion living in Stamford Hill. No hat style is exempt, no beard length excused and I’m afraid no matter whether human-hair or synthetic sheitel is your forte we’re all in it together. She’s even lumped us together with the Muslims, now there’s an insult, and now we may get to share coaches when we go to the joint demo. Naquibs and sheitels to the back, beards to the front and in one fell swoop la Patterson will have created a multiculturalism that actually works and shares a ride.

Truth said there ought to have been a great talmudical debate whether south Tottenham is covered or whether they stand out as that rare specimen of Jews who have manners. According to Blood and Property it may be something of a Hackney thing and Patterson has got it all wrong: it’s the geography stupid. On the other hand she may have omitted our Tottenham brethren as Stokies are loathe to admit that they're geographically closer to south Tottenham than to Hoxton which could shave a few tens of thousands off their lovely Kyverdale and Allerton Road (the ‘right’ parts) houses.

The trouble however is that the rabbis round here have never heard of the Independent (except of course for the 'Rabbi' who is on first name terms with even the editor of the Nowheresville Herald so long that it can fit a couple of hairs of his beard and his latest press release on its front page). You see for us it's The Times for the wannabes, wrapped up in the Estates Gazette, the Telegraph for the old timers and the Guardian for the anti-semites and self-haters. Oh and The Sun for the proste builders (though they're all Polish these days) the Mail when there's a juicy Jewish gossip story and the Express for your granny. But the Independent? Vos is dos? Are they good to the Yidn? Robert Fisk? keinmol nisht gehert.

Mind you to be fair such philistines are we in addition to our congenital rudeness that we’d never even heard of Patterson before she was kind enough to pay us homage. But you must give it to us. We Jews really do control the press. One word about us and the blogosphere, twittersphere and commentsphere want to talk about nothing but us. And if you think I'm being sarcastic type Christina Patterson’ in your search engine and of her entire oeuvre it is we who appear on top. The Chosen People as seen on google. Oy, how the Zion Elders would have kvelled. Jews get Burchill and they get Patterson.

Ok, very funny but what about the accusations themselves? Do you deny them or is this a shoot the messenger exercise? Well, Ms Patterson if you think you’ve seen it all join us on an El Al flight and you’ll see what rudeness is about. You’ll be praying for Stamford Hill 5 times a day and that’ll be just at the check in desk. But who am I to answer if public opinion on the Hill as voiced on our behalf by that denizen of 7 miles away Mr Strom and from even further afield in the JC are all strongly anti-Patterson. So what is better being mauled by Patterson or defended by Strom? Oh, L-rd save us from such invidious choices.

Strangely, the Buffoon deserted us just when we needed him most and has simply kept shtum. Who would have believed this multi-talented fossil was capable of that too? As for our spokesman the 'Rabbi', he has released a Directive not to approach La P. if seen wandering about on the Hill and definitely not to be argued with as talking to the press is his exclusive domain and infringers will have their kids refused admission or kicked out altogether from his voluntary aided (i.e. aid to the his extended family on whom HM Government has in its beneficence bestowed untold and previously unknown riches and power and jobs and buildings and who knows what else if only we could make some Freedom of Information requests without being summonsed by the entire Rabbinate and their wives and 15 kids, daughters included no less) school.

But I have some other issues with Patterson. The trouble is that when you tell us Jews that some of us are rude (I DIDN'T SAY ALL, OK OK, I didn't and I didn't mean you there flailing your arms when thanking the car on the zebra crossing, and you I caught prostrating in front of the bin man when he took your building material and the gratitude and hakoras hatov we all show to our askonim thanking them at dinners, in speeches and in newspaper ads for their daughter's weddings and wives' funerals) I only said some of us. But when you do say that up pop all the lovely Jews to say but it's not me. I'm not rude. So let's get this clear. I am rude. I am a proud practising Jew and conform to every word of Patterson and here is my tribute to her:

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew manners? Hath not a Jew hands, ears, mobiles, wifi, bluetooth, hands-free as a Christina has? If you phone us do we not speak, if you text us do we not misspell? If you blog us do we not comment, if you spam us do we not you trash, and if you flame us shall we not you tweet? Hath not a Jew a middle finger like he in a white van conveyed and can he like him not honk his horn? When you sit astride us do we not rise and when you greet us do we not turn the other cheek? When we apply for planning do you not object and when we a school wish to erect do you not petition against? And when you visit the park do you not outside a Jewish abode on Lingwood Road station your carriage and when to the Gunners must you roar do you not occupy Queen Elizabeth Walk? Do your canines our towpaths and bridlepaths not foul? When inebriated do you not your beer cans on railings impale and our pavements with your oral emissions adorn? When you forget the pill do you your offspring not cart around in a pushchair and when on Ryanair do you your seat near a Jew choose? Why, rudeness. The villainy you teach me I will execute and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Breaking News! Tribune to Close

It was with great shock and sadness that the news was received that the Organ of Anglo-Torah Jewry, the one and only (thank the L-rd for that) Jewish Tribune is to close. Such is the degreee of yeridath ha'doroth that even charedim can't be relied upon to make the correct choice in their media preference. Oh how we shall  mourn the sagacity of the Buffoon, the wit of Alex Strom, the unrivalled madness of Judith Weil, those letter pages and how can the tears stop flowing when we think of the Woman's Tribune? Where will the heimishe ladies get their advice on women's health which was never addressed anyway or on women's rights which in any event is one big oxymoron?

Sorry but with a stopped heart, flowing eyes and nose, stooping shoulders, cracked ribs, shoin enough already, we must wish you a gut shabbes and find some consolation in the kigel and tsholent.

Yom Tefiloh, demos, letters to ambassadors and shnorrer appeals next week im yirtse HaSh-m.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

And yet we'll go on voting Tory...

Here is a quote concerning the announcement in the recent budget that housing benefit will be capped at £400 per week.
I need to touch on a problem in the north of Hackney... where orthodox Jewish families will be severely hit. Such families typically have more than four children, and many of them live in the private rented sector, so the limit on benefit will have a devastating impact. The council and social landlords in Hackney will be unable to take the strain, so I need answers from the Minister on how councils will be supported in dealing with that.
Now guess who it came from? The Tribune? Nah, too busy defending the Emanuhell racists and condemning the disinterment of yet more bones somewhere in Israel? The Hamodia? Also not I'm afraid. Their preoccupation is some other Israeli 'scandal' which concerns very few of us as well as of course the Hello style Rebbes page where their Divinities are shown in various forms of ecstasy celebrating the Redemption of the Firstborn of their 5th cousin 7 times disputed. Not the JC either who are more interested when we're caught with our trousers down or drugs in our baggage than in our social needs. Perhaps one of our councillors, or the 'Rabbi', or the Buffoon, or the latest prick on the block competing with the 'Rabbi' over the number of constables he can be seen with and the number of Get Out of Jail cards he can dispense (though without mentioning how much is paid on passing Go).

The words above were by none other than the Labour MP for Hackney. But not the leadership contender and our MP Diane Abbott who is too busy with the Yemenites but rather by Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South. And who quoted her and discussed at length the effect of the benefits cap on our community? None other than the goyishe blogger Blood and Property. And our leaders bless 'em will keep on telling us to vote Tory because, I'm not too sure because what but that's what heimishe guys do and don't ask question and just do as you're told.

And for those who want to delve further into the figures here is something that won't be music to many people's ears. According to this undated paper, Orthodox Jew make up about 7% of the Borough's population. An ethnic breakdown of Housing Benefit claimants shows us at 6% which is just under our percentage of the population. However, where the numbers become interesting is when you consider how the £400 cap affects our community. Take a look at this and you will understand why according to this report:
Ethnicity analysis of those LHA claimants who will be adversely affected by the cap proposal (see below), clearly shows that the Charedi community will be the most severely affected.
But you needn't worry. Our press and rabbis won't mention it because it may cause some heretics to query why it is so and whether it has been ordained that it must remain so. Let them carry on with their demos against NVQs G-d forbid and carry coffins round Kensington and leave such nonsense as housing to our Dear Leaders who have our best interests in their hearts and pockets and they will sort it out for the best as they always do. And if not there is always the Book of Psalms to turn to which neither Tories nor Trotskys can deprive us of.

Hallelujah!

Rabbis for the Internet!

In a rare show of solidarity seldom seen in this country or anywhere in the world rabbis of all persuasions, cults, creeds and colours (sorry black and white only) came out in unprecedented numbers to support the world wide web. Rabbis who have spent their life prohibiting the internet as the greatest threat to Judaism since the golden calf recanted in public and stood shoulder to shoulder and hat-brim to hat-brim to proclaim their belief in the dot coms and dot orgs of our age to redeem us of our orthographical errors.

As the arch pro web campaigner fondly known as Dyno Rod in a rare public recant proclaimed 'We the Rabbonim have always been surfing the web to ensure that you are protected from the filth we are forced to endure for your sake. However for spelling sake and to avoid the even greater dangers of our teachers having to take an NVQ we have accepted that we may have been mistaken in the past and hereby announce the world wide web open for all. Hurrah! Mazel Tov! Oyf Simkhes! Mertshem bay You! And while the yungeleit do their rebetzen's returns in T.K. Maxx we shall all retire for a coffee. Rabbis to Starbucks!'



And while we're at it despite the endorsement, nay exhortations, of the Rabbonim including the real, sans quotation marks, Rabbi Pinter to attend, the Buffoon and 'Rabbi' Pinter were nowhere to be seen. The Buffoon was of course busy refilling his fountain pen after his prolific letter-writing campaign on behalf of the Emmanuel racists and the Jaffa interned inviting them all to move to the fox-infested bog in Carterhatch Lane under his control. As for the revered, esteemed, capillary endowed 'Rabbi' Pinter, with not a politician or chief superintendent in sight we must agree that his time could be far more productively employed fraternising with the Buffoon at a 'meeting' of some sort rather than be seen with the 'nine-days' unwashed oi (vei) polloi and not a lens in focus.

When is a party not a party?

When is a party not a party? Of course, when it's a birthday bash by the Board of Deputies and the Buffoon is in attendance. This week he had the grace to tell us abou the 'meeting' he attended and all the wonderful things that happened to him. When was the last time you attended a 'meeting' where the women turned out as for Ascot and not a chair in sight? And do God's, sorry G-d's, emissaries on earth really attend BoD 'meetings'?

I suppose we must put it down to the Buffoon's customary humility and modesty again. What an assett! How fortunate we are to have him in our midst and how impoverished the BoD for having him round for a 'meeting' once only in 250 years.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Poor little Israel

The following is an extract from this BBC story on the Russian spy scandal.
The papers also allege the suspects travelled on false passports.


A decoded message to Tracey Lee Ann Foley, accused of using a fake British passport provided by the SVR, reads: "Very important: 1. sign your passport on page 32. Train yourself to be able to reproduce your signature when it's necessary. 2. Pls, be aware that you just visited Russia... If asked, we suggest you use the following story: you flew to Moscow on Mar 16 from London for example flight SU 211 to participate in business talks..."

She is told to destroy the memo after reading.
I have yet to hear of the Russian ambassador being summoned for a dressing down, a Commons statement, expulsion of diplomats and not to mention press headlines and outrage by Ming Campbell.

Yet another instance when it feels like Israel is the little kid in the playground trying so hard to behave like the big boys but the big boys just keep on sneering at them. Israel thinks the solution is to try even harder or just to make its own rules whether the big shots like it or not. The rest of the better behaved kids however just can't understand why they can't get back into the line.

Sometimes you really do feel sorry for them.

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!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Has the JC become a Lubi ragsheet? I ask because in this week's issue they published a hostile review of The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman. The book is not sympathetic to the Lubi line and not surprisingly the Lubavitchers are far from happy. As usual they've taken to attacking the authors, the reseach, the sources and anything that is inconvenient to the demi-God they've made of the previous Rebbe, assuming we may talk of him in the past tense.

A hostile review of course does not turn the JC into Lubavitchers but it's when you consider who the reviewer is and the basis for his hostility that you begin to wonder. The reviewer is David Klinghoffer who according to Wiki is a BT from reform judaism who in his writings seeks to promote opposition to Darwinian views of evolution. Show me someone with these credentials and neutral to Chabad and I'll consider reconsidering.

I googled the reviewer because after reading his review I was left wondering who he was and why the review was ever published. First it was news to me that 'You hear much less now about the Rebbe-is Messiah concept.' I keep on seeing the Moshiach message regularly and while it doesn't make the headlines because it's been going on for some time I haven't heard anything to suggest that the movement is waning and much to suggest that its following is as strong as ever.

Then there was a paragraph about 'the mystery of why Chabad is now more omnipresent in Jewish life...' Well it isn't a 'mystery' as not many movements set out with Chabad's aims and their resources. It's no mystery that they're doing well in Russia by sucking up to Putin and it's no mystery that they do well in dying communities by commandeering local facilities or pouring in loads of cash to set up rival organisations. But then the Discovery Institute, of which Mr Klinghoffer is a senior fellow, has a link on its website to 'The Real Russia Project' whose goal is 'to offer to offer an accurate picture of life in Russia'. 'Accurate' as in no mention of the murder of critics of the regime, the stifling of the press and the absence of law and order. So success in Russia for instance must truly be a mystery if not outright divine providence.

Another criticism of the book is that the source for many of the damaging insinuations in the book are attributed to a bitter opponent who was also a nephew of the Rebbe. Well, I doubt he wanted them to source their material from 770 who would have maintained that the Rebbe studied at the Sorbonne and which the authors show to be a gross lie. Nothing of this by the way in the review.

But what most stunned me was the following paragraph:
Great men are rare but the Rebbe was one such. I remember the feeling of being torn and abandoned that strangely overcame me the night he died, though I was not aware he had done so and I was not -- and am not - a Chabad follower. Readers of this biography may wonder if the authors have failed to grasp their subject because he inhabited a realm with vaster and deeper spiritual dimensions than they, like squares contemplating a sphere, can fully appreciate.
So according to this reviewer the proof of the greatness of the Rebbe which the authors cannot fully appreciate lies not so much in the Rebbe himself but in the telepathic feelings of the reviewer on the death of the Rebbe. We can debate whether the reviewer could do with some medical assistance but I can't see how the Rebbe becomes implicated in this either way.

I'm not sure what I made of the Rebbe by the end of the review but I have some serious doubts about the greatness of the JC.

Friday, 4 June 2010

'Fortunately... it was just a small middle-aged lady'

Spare a thought for Dr Barrie Walker who in an interview with the BBC on the terrible murders in Cumbria made a somewhat infelicitous comment. To his credit he realised what he'd said the moment it was too late and if ever you wanted to see someone eating their words here it is at 0:55 onwards.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Tzniusfest - sponsored by HM Government

Little is known of the benevolence of Her Majesty's Government in our circles once Housing Benefit is taken out of the equation. Malchus shel chesed is a nice catchword for those who want us to repose our trust in them as the sole channel to the authorities who must be kept on side lest they herd us all on cattle wagons for transportation to the other side of the river lea. But in our day to day lives any beneficence of the authorities is wiped out by parking tickets, bailiffs and the nazis in the planning department. You could perhaps include the NHS though one could argue how benevolent it is to have to wait in a queue in the early morning cold to get an appointment with a doctor everyone knows to be a shlimazel. As to free education, as far as most Stamford Hillers are concerned it's like western civilisation to Ghandi: not a bad idea.

But Yesodey HaTorah was supposed to change all of that. Parents who've been dodging the school-fees collector all their child-rearing lives, and that lasts rather long round here, have woken up to spare funds in their pockets thanks to the free school in their midst. And whilst our North West cousins must pay for the Hebrew lessons, in our neck of the woods those too come for free. Mind you they're taxed when using the school wedding hall for those same children's betrothal party but for the moment the little ones are still at school and the shadchen has yet to call. Free schooling works best to put elbows on desks, especially when the more holier elements have tarnished the school for its national curriculum obligations, Heaven forfend. And though our dear kinderlech are the apple of our eyes even that can't beat a free lunch.

I digress for I have come to discuss the benevolence of HM Government and since hakoras hatov, gratitude to you and me (put it in Hebrew and it feels as if not only did we discover it but we remain its sole curators), is something that is drilled into us from the moment we know and appreciate the true meaning if not the value of an asken we should know of this particular act of governmental beneficence. It has not only saved us the price of an entry ticket or a donation to the latest Decree of the gedolei yisroel but according to the speakers at this great event we were bringing our redemption closer and all thanks to Alastair Darling for whom we didn't even vote. But that too is another matter.

So to the Tzniusfest. For the past few weeks parents privileged to have their children admitted to the YHS schools have been bombarded with invitations, flyers, phone calls, letter and not to mention pressure from the kids to attend an event that took place on the first Monday of May 2010. Bank Holiday to many people but as the late Rabbi Dunner would say in his characteristic non-existent yekishe humour, we're not banks so what's it got to do with us?

"An evening that you don't want to miss!' we were promised, or rather 'ALL YHS MOTHERS' were promised. And since you were made to sign in upon arrival you indeed wouldn't want to miss it because having succeeded in getting your kids in to the school you wouldn't want to risk it all by defying a summons of this nature. 'Links in our Legacy' was its original name which mutated (the kosher variety) to 'Golden Links' described as 'an opportunity to link with the school and to show your child you care'. A line up of a 'renowned' lecturer no one's heard of and a 'thought provoking' speaker from Lakewood, where thinking is famed for provoking the ire of its inhabitants, ignited intellectual curiosity, an elegant buffet whetted the appetite and audio visual and musical presentation broke down all resistance.

Besides, the Hill was agog with rumour. After the latest baby/shidduch/cheesecake recipe this was truly the number 1 preoccupation of the female denizens of the Hill (the male variety not requiring Golden Links or being unwilling to sign a register upon entry). Surely if we're talking of linking with the school and caring for our child it could only be the launch of a PTA with a question and answer session where questions haven't been pre-vetted. (In true Hill tradition and YHS sensibility questions could be submitted anonymously in advance.) Or perhaps, and here I'm really running away with myself, elections for a parent governor. Ultimately we knew this had to be a transmogrifying event in the annals of the Hill and the history of the school and as always trusted YHS not to let us down.

So turn up we did and why not for a ticketless entry. Since there was no sponsor, not even of the space filling 'anonymous' variety we can only but assume that it was Her Majesty and her loyal government to whom we were required to our sheitels to and doff our sheitels we did by the time they let us out. But for that I'm afraid I must leave you in suspense for the sequel.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Fanatics or Phonetics?

When you think the Tribune can't get any madder along they come with an article on the Book of Rus. Does than mean we'll soon be getting stories of King Tholomon or only of Nasan the Prophet and Josef and Potifar?

How Thackeray must be blessing his stars that he doesn't come to be mentioned in the Tribune.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

New Bournemouth hotel

Shh... not to be read if you're in Stamford Hill. Apparently it's only for the JC crowd though you did read it here first. We in Stamford Hill are only interested in what they're doing to some pagan bones in Israel and the Buffoon's witticisms week in week out. And as for what the AIHC is up to, you'll be told when they'll deign to let you through its doors and in the meantime please don't spoil the party.

Perhaps Pinter was right after all when he said "I think it's worth mentioning that the Hamodia is now the main newspaper read by the community and not the Jewish Tribune" though that didn't stop him sharing his views on PR in his guise as 'Voices of the People'. The trouble however is that the Hamodia didn't give us the Bournemouth news either, so they obviously have it from on high that it's something we're not meant to know. Since the last thing this blog wants to do is shed the innocence of the Hill's precious neshomes please ignore this and the previous blog and retreat to our Eden on the Hill.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

What a Downfall...

We don't discriminate, do we?

A Shidduch indeed

Without wishing to labour the point, according to the BBC Clegg said at this morning's cabinet meeting that an Indian relative told him that arranged marriages work better. So there you are. What however he has to know is that while shiduchim may indeed last until death doth them part there's not always much love in them. Her domain is in the kitchen, his in the office or in shul, meet during the week for a gulped down meal and shabbos for a bit longer and so long that they don't get on each other's nerves too much why should they split up? The price for divorce must also be a high one, stigma for both sides and poor shiduchim for the kids.

But other than that it can go one forever. Fiddler on the Roof reaches Downing Street.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Con-Lib coalition: Is it good for the Jews?

So the shidduch has gone ahead and consummated almost the same day but is it good for us? Jenny Tonge may be unlikely to be appointed as a minister with responsibility for the middle east but how are the rest likely to fare. On school issue Michael Gove, who is generally favourable, is no longer education supremo but is still minister for schools. Will that be enough to get a change in the law on admissions? I doubt it, as the Lib-Dems are not sympathetic to faith schools and the Tories don't command a majority. It's not a priority for the Tories so it's unlikely to be addressed while these 2 are in bed.

As to Israel, Hague in the foreign office, Lib-Dems at the cabinet table and Gove outside the cabinet. Oy vey iz mir!

As for the economy, hospitals, transport and things that really matter, well yes but hardly the stuff to mull over in shul.

UPDATE: Gove is Education Secretary after all but it doesn't really affect matters as a majority is required for a change in the law. That goes for the law on schools as well as for universal jurisdiction which puts some senior Israeli visitors at risk of arrest. And consider this from the BBC: Mr Hague has said that as foreign secretary, he is determined to put in place a "distinctive British foreign policy". Well, you know what that means.

New kosher hotel in Bournemouth?

Apparently someone has bought The Grove Hotel in Bournemouth with the intention of setting up a new kosher hotel. More like a B&B at the moment but then you never know. The grapevine reports that Ita Symons of AIHA may have a part in it which could suggest a convalescence home of sorts. More to the point, will it have a minyen where the nearby flat owners can park their backsides on morns and eves? They should charge a prayer fee or it is bound to end up like the Normandy: the place you wouldn't be seen in other than to daven.

To his credit it is said the late Rav Padwa tolerated a relatively lax kashrus regime at the hotel in order to provide a respite for those needing a break. If only he had adopted a similarly humane policy to an Eiruv his son would not have been bound to his crazy legacy.

Mazel Tov!

What else can one say? They should see lots and lots of naches together un oyf simches by you.

Will David Davis be Home Secretary? It'll be moshiach times.

The first PMQs will be one of those weddings where one side just can't imagine they're having to share a simche with that lot but were forced together and you must come along for the sake of the family. All you can do is pray that no one does something really embarrassing and that it's all over quickly.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

If only this were a Shidduch

Meeting another suitor while making up your mind? Are you out of your mind? Which half respectable parent would allow their child to be put through such insults. I mean it's not as if we're talking about an alte bokhur or a girl from a divorced family. This is for God's sake a party that got almost an outright majority, which makes them like the second best bokhur in the yeshive or the ex-sem girl who teaches, knows how to cook and how to dress. With someone like that you don't stand for this kind of nonsense. And anyway do you really want to get into bed, sorry go under the chuppah, with someone who'll consider that lot. If the Libs want them you don't want the libs.

So David, tell Clegg the shidduch is off and let him drink Le'Chaim with the 'progressives' who follow you on every street corner, lock you up without trial and force you to carry an ID card even on Shabbos. Then sit back and watch it all fall apart and make a real effort, in the best interest of the nation, to hide your schadenfreude.

Monday, 10 May 2010

They're talking a shidduch in Westminster

It appears the party leaders are entering into classic shidduch mode. First dispatch a shadkhen, then the telephone call, followed by a secret meeting where everyone one arrives through the backdoor so that the neighbours don't notice. The meeting is just over an hour and since they seem to like each other they'll be meeting again tomorrow morning. Of course everyone wagging their tongues 'is it going ahead?' to which the answer is 'they must first sort out the finance', or the economy and the Euro in this case.

One can imagine the setting. David sitting down with Nick, which school did you go to? Eton, wow! my cousin went there. And what do you do now? Looking for a job, oh I see.

Boruch Ha'Shem the first bashau went well and they'll be meeting again. The boy's putting pressure that they've got something else lined up and they need an answer. She's agreed to wear a band so long that he doesn't put on vase zokn. Actually here it is, he can keep his blue tie so long that he doesn't wear a red one. It seems the lchaim will take place tonight though the boy's zeide is not sure since he knew the girl's grandfather and he's not sure it's suitable for him. The kaleh's aunt thinks a band is meshugaas but the boy's uncles say it's not enough and in their family they always wore a shpitzl.

The banana liqueur has already filled three quarters of the disposable bronfn glezlekh and her side (they definitely started it first) tried talking about first past the post or PR (whether one is enough or Pru u'Rvu like the bunny rabbits). The boy's father said he wants to think about it and they haven't called back. The shadchen is not taking calls, Sholem Meylekh has gone over and now she's saying she's not so sure either.

Stay by the phone; an announcement is due any time.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Springfield Ward Results

We Yiddishe kep are supposed to be renown for the content of our craniums. Nobel prizes, desert blooming, Einstein and all the rest. What we hear less of is of yiddishe foolhardiness which blessed be the Lord above has been concentrated in Hackney to a disproportionate degree.

Have a look at the local elections which took place in the shadow of the national elections. In the national contest Dianne Abbott's victory may have been a foregone conclusion irrespective of Satmar's canvassing on her behalf for her efforts to prevent Yemenites landing up on what she would probably deem Palestinian land irrespective whether they went to Gush Etzyon or Tel Aviv. The same goes for Jules Pipes who owes us nothing and does for us even less. Our representatives from the Buffoon onwards rubbed Labour's noses into it when it suited their agenda and now that we're on our backfoot it's payback time. Not at all fair especially when seeing his grovelling at the Muslim Centre but nonetheless rather difficult to complain.

Where the outcome was anything but certain was the local elections where the frum have significant numbers in some of the wards. Even if they aren't a majority, since people are persuaded to vote tribally rather than on any rational basis, and not voting for the heimishe is almost a betrayal a high heimishe turnout can be guaranteed to defeat the opponents. (Tessler may be an exception being unsuitable even for the local Tories which is saying something.)

In Springfield there were 3 Tories, Steinberger, Levy and Napier of which the first 2got in by a whisker, 1 of them apparently with a majority of 12, but the third lost. To achieve that loss there can be only 2 explanations. One is that Labour and Lib-Dem supporters went for the first 2 in large numbers because they're good looking or because the electors' philo-semitism led them to abandon their party affiliations for the sake of 2 frum guys. Another possible explanation could just be that heimishe voters sought out heimishe names and they don't come much more heimish than Steinberger and Levy. As for the others, well let them jump in the waterless pond.

I leave it to you which is the more plausible explanation. Perfectly legitimate of course but please don't then complain when we're accused of tribalism.
Isn't it ironic that to cast a vote for a Jewish candidate one must wait for a national or municipal election? I mean voting for a PTA? What does that stand for? School governors? That's not a Jewish idea I think, definitely not da'ath torah. Board of Deputies? Those goyim, are you crazy? Rabbis are inherited, that's quite normal, but what about communal positions, surely there must be a vote preceded by a debate with vetted questions? Ok, you obviously know little about our hallowed way of life but since the Buffoon has promised us his wisdom only next week you'll have to do with mine as second best for the mo.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

I went to vote and I felt empowered and part of something greater than myself. Let cynics scoff that my vote made not one iota of difference in this neck of the woods but still I voted. I voted for whom I decided to and not for whom the great and good ordained their flock should follow.

But it's of course a lot more than that. Living in a community where my views are never canvassed, my voice is never sought and my opinions not deemed legitimate, where others purport to represent me without consulting me and my very presence taken for granted and treated with contempt, it is with pride that once in 5 years I exercise my right to cast a vote that together with millions of my countrymen and women will decide who is to lead this country for the next 5 years. You local charlatans may be no worse than some of the crooks in Westminster but they put themselves up for election and can be voted in or out at the whim of the people. Let us see you do that even once in a lifetime.

Viva Democracy!

Election Day

Who will you be voting for? For the ones recommended by ex councillors, for the good-for- nothings simply because they're heimish, for she who rescued Yemenites or for someone of your own choosing?

Other than Michael Levy who has worked for the general good, and took flak for his efforts, I know of many reasons not to vote for any of the heimishe candidates. They have given us a terrible name over the years and Hackney's planning policy is due in no small part to them and their predecessors.

I do not know the wisdom of being represented by Tory councillors in a borough as red as ours and Haringey shows that the Labour councillors have achieved a lot more with a lot less fuss. So you guys continue to do what you do best and tarnish our name so that we will not be trusted municipally for generations to come. I however shall vote with my brains and not with the shape of your hats.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Here is the official invitation to come and take part in the 'debate' of the candidates who have deigned to talk to us. Questions submitted in advance to the address on the flyer; questions you want answered, don't bother. The rabonim and the askonim will ensure they don't get asked.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Jewish Care Don't Care

So Jewish Care arrange a live debate for local candidates but questions must be submitted in advance. Why is that may I ask. Is this a national debate on prime time TV where questions must be vetted because time is at a premium and cranks must be excluded? Or is this a local debate for local issues where apart from the candidates all the smarmy machers who can't resist the allure of a lens and a notebook are guaranteed to show up to hold our hands and keep our mouths shut when we're in view of their prized contacts and networked pals?

Jewish Care, if you and those behind this event think we can't be trusted in the presence of your imaginary high society then pack your bags and take some of our odious bearded bigwigs with you.

And Diane Abbott, Keith Angus and Darren Caplan, if you want to hold a debate then I'm all for it so long that you throw yourselves open to questions from all voters and not just to questions vetted by Jewish Care or some other unelected 'court Jews' controlling our access to their deluded power bases.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Whom has Skinners skinned?

Can someone shed some light on what's going on at the Skinners School site in Stamford Hill? Here is the Hackney Gazette story. Although you can safely ignore our own media which are there for the sole purpose of steering us in the direction they see fit to take us and then persuading the world that we are loyally following, I was nonetheless intrigued by one line in the Hamodia, that Beis Chinuch had originally agreed to move but then had a change of heart.

So what happened ? Is this another case of some mad, if not greedy, askan who thought he (never a she unless it is Ita Symons) had Berkeley Homes over a barrel and was told to go jump in a mikveh? If Beis Chinuch was supposed to get the site why are Belz and Lubavitch up in arms? Where is Rav Feldman, or has he been banished due to his 'ignorance' of a convicted sex abuser's crimes? If Satmar was also to get part of the site, where is their voice? What caused 'Rabbi' Pinter to rear his hairy head? Are there prospects of another rip-off wedding hall? And who was the idiot who called a demo and then called it off? Did Pinter get cold feet at the prospect of being seen publicly with his own brethren?

All I'm asking for is some facts. Please someone fill us in so that we can get our placards out, Buffoon Yitzchok can start minting his tears and perhaps Reb Elyokum can get his sackcloths from his Purim fancy dress storage. Letters will get you guys nowhere; barricades is what we need. And while we're at it perhaps a banner or two to remind Pinter of all the kids he continuously excludes from 'his' schools.