Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Publish and be lauded

Guys, I feel like a diva at La Scala on the final curtain call. I bow before you all, tilt my head slightly back and thrust it forward propelling my hair, sorry my sheitel, into the air and over my face so that my head looks like a willow in the storm of applause. What should I tell you? I’m overwhelmed. Hits have shot up as if my site overdosed on Viagra, with a hechsher of course, (I now know what they mean by stats porn, you know that feeling a rebbe gets at a sell-out tish), laudatory emails have been raining in from the chareidi blogosphere kings of yesteryear and the Hill is alive with the sound of comments. In the middle of it all stand I shaking like receiving my first Oscar and feeling, like the real winner, as if my career has peaked. Of my Warholian 15 minutes I can only say may they last for 120.

But as my father always told me, 'don't let these things get to your head'. And as we were taught at the age of 9 in the ethical primer The Paths of the Righteous in the chapter titled The Gate of Humility you must take credit for very little and confidence building is only kosher if it comes from a heimishe speaker who has devoured all of Carnegie but quotes only the Talmud and R' Avigdor Miller. So perhaps it's time to shut up about myself and get on with the issues at hand.

Rereading the Telegraph article several things struck me. Apparently there is help and support for Gays and Lesbians in the community. This is from the 'rabbi's' mouth and he does not lie. Is this advice under the auspices of the Union? Is it supported by the local rabbonim? Does it have a hotline where confidence is guaranteed? 'Rabbi': for once we want to hear what you have to say so please fill us in. Otherwise we may have to resort to the communal forum in the letters page of the News Update.

Still with the 'rabbi', he mentioned that 100% of parents opt out of sex education. I have spoken to several parents and they tell me they opted for it just like they opted to attend the tzniusfest. Actually with that there was a great deal of effort to cajole parents to come along and enjoy an evening of stories of miracles of girls whose lives were saved by their thick blouse and 80 denier tights. But with sex education since it's never been on the menu how do we opt? Perhaps he opts for us just like he talks for us. Anyway, since our motto has always been 'No Sex Please, We're Chareidish' by opting in you'd lose that 24-carat definition of Chareidi which got you in in the first place and so you’d have opted out. A bit of a Catch 22 with a Talmudical twist. A Bateman cartoon of 'The parent who opted in' should be one to treasure though.

Then there is Buffoon Yitzchok’s alter ego about all of us being happy. I am; are you? You're not? Aha, you're not following the path of the Torah. A few years in 're-education' should sort you out. I particularly liked the finishing flourish about us being 'survivors' in reply to the question of difficulties with housing, employment and all the other tribulations that Satan lets loose on the happy bunch.

Survivors. What a classic. Hint at the juicy bits of Jewish history like Egyptian bondage, Hellenist subsumation, Roman imperialism, the crusaders, inquisition, blood libels, pogroms and the rest and then draw a subtle equation to housing benefit cuts and unemployment. Listen guys, we’re as innocent now as we were innocent then. We survived Pharaoh and Antiochus and we'll survive Cameron and Osborne. Unless I have misread it which is of course always possible .

And finally there are the leaks. I’m not referring to the carbon monoxide variety which has an entire classroom and teacher doze off. For that we praise the Lord and keep shtum; ‘parents can sometimes be such a nuisance’. I mean the more serious leaks which some people actually want publicised. A nice little earner on the side as they say but what can I do if people send them to me? I suppose it is the price of fame that you must publish and be damned. Or as a wise rabbi could have put it, you'll be more damned if you don't.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure what right your dear columnist has to call himself gaavad padwa. Considering our dear P does not know English after being almost born here, it cant possibly be him. Masquerading under another name, when perhaps some foreigner may be reading it and not knowing the truth is a capital offense. Worse than all the others he comes up with like what he calls losh. He is making our great P the laughing stock of the whole world if anyone really considers its him.
I am sure our new Beth Yaakov school will go overboard and provide all the ... education you want. I doubt if they will be teaching anything else. Our other P will really 'shep nachas' from it as the proud patron. No need to opt in for it there. I dont think ... is yet on the Satmar prohibited list of education for girls (which is their excuse for teaching them nothing, since everything somehow finds it way there). To obtain funding from the Hackney council they have to go through and give the girls tests, which of course they all fail, but as we are 'blessed' with the yesodai hatora's neighbour the catholic school who are just as bad they still obtain it. What that mean is that the council equates shwartses with satmar chasidim. At least they get it right.
A bigger chillul hashem I know not. Whatever you have to say about Pinter, his girls school the best in Hackney although that doesnt mean much is a kiddush hashem.

Yoav said...

To what extent is the younger generation in SH likely to follow the lifestyle that they are being socialised into? What is the nature of the challenges that the community faces in upholding its way of life? In the times of the haskala, there was mass abandonment of ultra-orthodoxy partly for intellectual reasons - is this likely to repeat itself? Are most of the older generation true believers or is it similar to the educated end of modern orthodoxy where there are many 'nudge-nudge wink-wink' skeptics, who have read their Dawkins and Kugel and admit that their beliefs are not watertight? I mean, not everyone can go through a whole life and still believe that the world was created after the domestication of the dog. Do all the women really buy into their roles? Are there many who resent the burden of large families? Can sceptical attitudes be expressed over the Shabbos table? Will the benefit cuts lead to further defections, or will people just grin and bear it? Would it be feasible for people to adopt a more 'modern orthodox' approach (e.g. ruling in accordance with poskim who are more lenient on birth control or rabbis who encourage secular education) or would this be almost as unthinkable as leaving the fold completely?

Anonymous said...

To Yoav
Stamford Hill and GG is not infested with modern orthodoxy. We in the UK, export our Slifkins of Shaarei Torah Manchester to the US. There he can 'brain' you. If anyone goes OTD here its not because of your MO influence. Our beliefs have never been challenged, and Dawkins has no following. No shabbos table will ever discuss him. Unlike you in the MO, who pride yourself on your vast Torah knowledge by having joint men and women shiurim on 'reading' daf yomi in english and are all at the same time kofrim led by your newly ordained women 'rabbis'. I am quite sure the benefit cuts wont make us change our beliefs in creation. These may be your problems, and give you sleepless nights worrying as you put it, exactly when dogs were domesticated, I doubt anyone in SH has these grave problems unless someone will reply and prove me wrong,

Gavad Padwa said...


As Mr Tickle has written in an earlier comment: -

There are people who just want to be able to sit in their illegal lofts and unlawful rear extensions and tap away at their keyboard just for the sake of it. They like sitting there late at night when the family is fast asleep or when the birds are chirping and the day is dawning and get words off their chest.

So i dont think we are on for a modern approcah yet.

We dont live in a Dor Hafloggo but we do live in a Dor Hablogger!

As I have warned earlier Mr Tickle is feeding fodder for the beheimos.

People like you jump on the bandwagon and take a minority online view and point it toward the direction of the Haskala! Bloomin Mad!

I think even Mr Tickle / Frummer? will agree with me on this one.

Anonymous said...

Gaavad P, your name choice and the lack of ingenuity it demonstrates is a helpful clue when trying to understand how you could possibly mistake this new talented writer with the banal and low caliber drivel by frummer.

Anonymous said...

Read about you on Congratulations, you write well.