Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sacks on the Hill

Chief on Hill

Lord of the Ringlets

With no prior announcement and none of the PR fanfare the 'rabbi' is so adroit at, Yesodey Hatorah Secondary School for Girls, to give it its full name, last week welcomed Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to its hallowed corridors. You read it here first as it appears to have been too late for last week's Hamodia where the 'rabbi' acts as an unpaid advisor, which must mean that a front page photo every other week is of no value or payment in kind doesn't count.

The girls themselves were told only the day before thus denying more right wing elements the chance to galvanise and arrange some form of protest. Some parents may even have withheld their dear neshomolech from school for the day. Since the 'rabbi' respected his girls when they refused to take an exam paper on Shakespeare he would undoubtedly have respected them on this point of principle too. But it is a moot point since the Chief's visit passed off without incident and one must now wait for the weekend papers to see Sacks beaming on an N16 platform he so covets and Pinter with an equally broad smile in the company of yet another semi-Jew as far as we in Stamford Hill are concerned.

You may wonder why the 'rabbi' had to turn so far west, and so far left, and to such high altitudes for a speaker for his girls. Isn't bringing a rabbi to Stamford Hill a bit like taking coal to that suburb of Gateshead? Before even our own chief Padwa has addressed the girls along comes a Lord from a different manor to shepherd our sacred sheep.And it's not as if the lesser local rabbis have been exhausted since rabbis rarely step foot into that place lest anyone suspect that history is not as it's been rewritten. That what has been turned into the sole domain of a single extended family was actually established by rabbis and individuals with different family names.

Inviting dignitaries from foreign shores whose sheep would never be welcome in our greener meadows comes with its own reciprocal kickbacks. And if in this instance it provided a photo opportunity with an ermine backdrop then all the better. As to the addressees, those precious neshomelech, they too provide a pretty setting for opportunistic photo shoots. And supine too, for his Lordship was not taken to the boys’ school where a different reception may have awaited him assuming he was received at all.

So it was left to the acting head who actually runs the school (bar admissions and external relations which by convention are the domain of the ‘principal’), and who by remarkable and as yet unexplained coincidence happens to be none other than the 'principal's dear wife, to advise the children the day before of their noble guest and then give way to her husband to officiate on the day. I mean he is the 'principal' after all though mind you his appearance in front of his flock is almost as rare as that of the Chief himself. It may even have been his debut address to 'his' school had not the former prime minister but one popped round some years ago which forced the 'principal' to bring forward his maiden speech to the maidens.

In line with the school's mission of developing the girls' thinking, initiative, creativity and leadership skills, questions to the Chief would be allowed. Questions however are a dangerous tool in the wrong hands for one cannot predict the answers from the Chief. Worse still once cannot foretell questions some of the girls may be harbouring in their delicate brains. Questions such as which we are told are never posed in our postal areas.

For instance, why do we celebrate our freedom by subjecting our womenfolk to slavery in the weeks running up to the festival? Which may have prompted, why do girls break up 2 weeks early to 'help their mothers' while boys study on blissfully for an extra week to keep them from under their mother's feet? Questions also have a horrible habit of veering from their course. A question may have been popped to our own paragon of inclusivism and bridge-building: should not a publicly funded school with a mission to 'understand the world we live in' have a day off for the national holiday of the royal wedding especially when an honour from those quarters is so hankered after?

But trust the 'rabbi' to come up with a solution. Yes, question will be asked but only by the highest class. Yes, questions will be asked but we will decide who will ask them. Yes, question will be asked and we'll even set the questions for the questioners. The mission does after all also include moral understanding and we cannot afford to allow morals to fly out of the window for the sake of satisfying a guest as exalted as he may be. So a question on anti-Semitism will do very nicely thank you but as for more pressing issues, girls, that's not for our sort yidn.

As for Rebbetzin Sacks, well that's a bit of a touchy matter. It is after all a girls' school so perhaps it would be fitting for the Chief's wife to come along. But then there are rebbetzins and rebbetzins. In our environs we like them plump with 15 layers of clothing, skirts till the Maginot line to repel would be invaders, shrapnel proof hosiery and sheitels if not evocative of a mop then hidden away altogether under some contraption of a kerchief. If you are a chief rebbetzin like, say, Padwa you must also instigate campaigns of tznius (and more on that shortly). But rebbetzins of the Sack's variety, well how shall we put it, she may just give the girls some wrong ideas. You know, that rabbis' wives too may look presentable and even attractive, and that, we're afraid, is not quite part of the school's mission. It is just possible that the rebbetzin too didn’t particularly cherish pre-Pesach meetings of the haggard-eyed sisterhood in turbans with one hand on their hips and another cupping their chin, 'and where are you up to with Pesach?'

Truth said, since her photo would not appear in the papers and definitely not in the company of the ever so photogenic 'rabbi' she was hardly missed. The meeting of the two titans, nos. 1 and 8 respectively in the Power List (of which more here) served its purpose very well without her. Each can go back to his respective constituency enhanced by the visit. No. 1 can demonstrate how his clout reaches even in darkest N16. It might even earn him a rare photo in the Hamodia or Tribune as part of the bargain notwithstanding that to all intents and purposes he was brought in through the tradesman's entrance to address as softie an audience as could be mustered.

And no. 8? Well, he can yet again parade his Cheshire cat grin showing off the extent of his reach to parts others can’t even touch with the ever so subtle subtext that from a perch so high nothing can be toppled.


Anonymous said...

Your denigration of the pinters is rather sick. They may not have allowed your child in their school and now we can see that it was with good reason. The YHS girls school is the best school in Hackney, if thats not a kiddush hashem I dont know what is. Satmar girls is even lower than the coloured girls schools, and proud of it! The Beth Chinuch is nowhere near as good. Why do parents send their girls there to waste their time when they have a perfectly good school like YHS. This all the work of Mrs Pinter who has single handedly done wonders there. Now she has created a sem which has ruined the London sem and all the others. Even Satmar girls are clamouring to go there. You ought to give credit where its due. And if anyone needs recognising in SH its Mrs Pinter.
Your previous article is telling us where youre coming from and its not SH or GG. Why not tell us exactly who you are. Youre not orthodox for a start. I would have thought that Sacks with his trouser suited wife was your sort. But you make fun of him as well.

J. said...

Rabbi Sacks' wife does not wear trousers. It's amazing that anonymou has no issue with the issur de'oraysa of motzi shem ra, yet is very concerned with what the CR's wife wears.

IfYouTickleUs said...


As far as I recall this blog has never attacked Mrs Pinter so I don't see the relevance. I have never made any pretensions to orthodoxy so that isn't relevant either.

Parents probably go elsewhere because the school you are so enamoured with has refused to accept their children. As for the standard of the school the fact that it has been rated 'outstanding' does not mean that there is nothing to comment upon. They also got the lowest score on governance. Incidentally, Beis Chinuch also had a glowing Ofsted report very recently.

You must also account for the boys' school where the male members of that family rule supreme. Although it has picked up in recent years it was for a very long time nothing short of a disgrace.Even now it is nothing special which is why dignitaries are kept at bay.

Anonymous said...

I'm just intruiged that YHS would invite in someone who, despite his position, clearly holds reform values and doesn't believe in the Ani Maamins as shown by the statements he has made and his book.
Sacks is a fine gentleman but not someone who we, as orthodox Jews should be looking up to or inviting into our circle.

Anonymous said...

It is very relevant that you dont make pretensions to orthodoxy. That means i suppose you are not orthodox.
You have no right to come on an SH or GG blog and attack orthodoxy like the gedolim in your previous post.
The chief rebetsen wore trousers or slacks.
A new school has opened with R Yossel's Padwa's hechsher for the YHS non frum drop outs. I hope his chickens are more kosher. These rabbonim are so easily fooled. How can a frum rov put his name to the place.
Beth Chinuch secular results are no where near the YHS and some subjects are considered treif.
The Torah they learn there is officially 'deeper' than the YHS as though chasidic girls have to learn deep, have they never heard of satmar.
The headmistress has more hebrew letters after her name perhaps.
Its mostly rubbish anyway. The YHS has a much broader and higher standard of hebrew. Again some hebrew subjects like dikduk are treif.
I cant see anywhere where the beth chinuch scores.
The boys school youre right is a disgrace. They have to sack all their old men not just R Kamionka, and start again.
They should put Mrs Pinter in charge. She should just make sure the boys learn as much as the girls and that would be great improvement.
It is typical of SH, that a lady of Mrs Pinter's calibre who has done more for SH than anyone else gets no recognition from anyone.

Anonymous said...

Anon you make me laugh. Do you want him to ask a heter to write his blog? If you don't like it don't come here. If you want Mrs Pinter to get credit get her husband to stop stealing the limelight and let him go and sort out the boys school.

Anonymous said...

This is the only blog in SH and it should be written in accordance with the people living here who are all orthodox. No one apart from the NK would ever dream of attacking a real godol. One doesnt jump into a place and start attacking it. If he lives here then he should also be orthodox. If he doesnt he should write about where he lives. I think there should be a public medium like this where one can voice ones thoughts, but there are limits.
I dont see what Mrs Pinters husband has to do with it. Just because her husband is not deserving is no reflection on her. One gives credit where its due or was your daughter also refused.

J. said...

It seems like the various anoynmii here are trying to win the prize idiot contest. To quote,

"You have no right to come on an SH or GG blog and attack orthodoxy like the gedolim in your previous post."

Ifyoutickleus did not come onto a blog he/she CREATED a blog. If you don't like it - leave. This blog makes no pretensions of Orthodoxy, as its creator admits. If so, what do you mean 'right' - by whose authority to you claim to dispense such rights? If you mean by the authority of the powers that be, I'd would hazard a guess that Mr/Mrs/Ms Iftickle couldn't care less. I am Orthodox myself, but I don't go marauding on blogs that don't claim any fealty to my belief system for not adhering to it in the first place. If you have a proper ta'ano - state it clearly - otherwise stop being a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Calling yourself J doesnt make you non anonymous. Perhaps it stands for Jerk. Which you claim others to be. If he wants to make a blog for SH and GG and I fully agree that it needs one, and I thank him for it, he also has to adhere to the people here. And even if he is non orthodox himself, he should not go attacking the gedolai hador who dont even live here. Maybe you dont consider them gedolim, everyone else does. How would you like it if he started arab propoganda and said kill all the Jews would you also say its his blog he can do what he wants. I suppose you would.

J. said...

You simply don't get it. When did the author of this blog state that it is meant as a communal service that you should boss him/her around as to what it needs? And who watches the watchmen? Does anyone hold the 'gedolim' to account or are our dear leaders simply beyond questioning? Since when is it unfair to point out that Rav Elyashiv has not published much in the last few decades? And I'm sure if you speak to many of your chums in SH, he won't be considered much of a gadol at all. The Briskers certainly aren't his biggest fans, and I didn't know Satmar were favourably inclined to those who enourage others to violate the issur chamur of voting for elections to the knesses haminim.. Elyashiv himself admitted to R. Noson Kamenetsky that he mistakenly banned his books

J. said...

The last sentence was meant to read, 'Rav Elyashiv himself admitted to Rav Nosson Kamenetsky that he banned his books based on false information - perhaps he is not omnipotent after all. I don't think he even claims to be, rather it is the circus surrounding him who try their hardest to drive the whole world meshuga.'

Anonymous said...

To J (or jerk)
There are no briskers! All those who learn there are really R Shachs chasidim and now R Elyashiv. The present day brisker has no followers and is not considered a godol. Satmar here are the NK I mentioned. If that would be the case that slifkins books were banned mistakenly how is it that slifkin hasnt heard of it yet. In every post of his he berates him as though he is an equal. In Israel R Elyashiv's shul is on top of meoh sheorim shtiblich, real NK territory.
You still havent answered my question and dont expect you will. If the blog owner started giving arab propoganda what would you say. Its his blog let him do what he likes!

J. said...

I think there are a few people on Fairholt who would disagree with you about Briskers in London. What has Arab propganda got to do with anything? Klotz mit boidem. I don't see any incitement to violence here - just a little gentle critique - or would that also be forbidden in your heimishe dystopia?

Anonymous said...

To J or jerk
That wasnt gentle critique of Rav Elyashiv. That was downright chutspah. So you agree with me, about arab propaganda. Because Schlesinger calls himself brisk and other names when it suits him doesnt mean he is that. I dont think the brisker rov went round eastern europe to get his photo with all the low down shikurrer mayors there. To call his ilk brisk who dont daven or learn, is a travesty and mockery of the name brisk.

J. said...

The issue about what the Schlesingers are or aren't is beside the point. In general, I would argue that for a society to function healthily, a culture of critique is necessary. Witness how abuse scandlas were covered up by those at the highest levels until the blogs forced the subject into the open. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I happen to believe that Rav Elyashiv is presiding over a mass tragedy (ie the self-inflicted poverty of tens of thousands of bnei torah in EY) that he could have made an effort to change. This situation will not be altered trough more submissiveness. You may well disagree with me - that is your right. It is mine to hold and express my views, as it is that of the baal(as?) hablog. I believe that we are witnessing the same thing in Stamford Hill to a lesser extent. See the recent JPR report featured in the Jewish Tribune:
While Kedassia are congratulating themselves on how their tzibbur are prepared to pay 'a little extra' for all their hiddurim (see the latest Hakohol), children in SH are going hungry, and, as I'm sure you are aware, there's a very great degree of poverty and welfare dependency. This is certainly not going to be solved by more of the same. Chnage will come from below, and that is what worthy endeavours such as this blog are likely to ferment.

Anonymous said...

to J
Rav Elyashiv is not a RY and is not part of what you want him to change. Schlesinger is the problem in SH though. One thing they learn in his mossad is how to milk the system. I think they were the first. Before that everyone worked. He closed his yeshivo, (who needs yeshivot)in favour of teaching how to abuse the system. Much more rewarding. So now he's the biggest 'rebbe' here with the most chasidim and has taken over other mosdos as well. He's got his man as the top of kedassia even though hes a sefardi, not bad at all. Except that when he makes posters other rovs dont sign. Expect a new one soon about the new university for frum people. They are slow off the mark. But i suppose chol hamoed they will find a heter to print one.

J. said...

It's a bit of a shame how this all has turned out. At the turn of the last century, when Machzikei Hadass was founded, they had R. Abba Werner as the Rov - he was previously Av Beis Din of Telz and one of the gedolei oilom , but he was moderate and thought that Yidden being matzliach in the sciences was a kiddush Hashem. His grandson, Bernard Homa, was the head of the UOHC in the 30's was an esteemed doctor and ehrliche yid - he came up with the name 'Kedassia'. Unfortunately, this way has lost out to more fanatic mehalchim, especially since the Ingrishers came in the 50s - Schlesingers are bichlal yekkes - R. Elyokim's father was a chemist, and his brother in America is a regular Agudist. We need a return to the original values of the hamoin am supporting themselves normally and receiving an adequate education, and a kashrus organisation that does not need to monopolise everything, with a bit of transparency thrown in. Would it really hurt if, contra Rav Padwa's notice in last weeks's papers people did not have every single Pesach product with a Kedassia shtempel? The UOHC is supposed to serve us, not the other way around. It seems like it's too late to be mesaken it from the inside - secession is the only answer - Belz need to get their act together and stop giving into threats, and people need to transfer their alliegances in NW London so that the next generation of Halperns have a bit more competition. This has to come from below - b'h recent occurrences in NW portend besoros tovos.

Fariah said...

>I dont know what is. Satmar girls is even lower than the coloured girls schools, and proud of it!

You f*ing racist idiot. Sod you. You have the insolence to mention your God in such a vile, vile, comment? If that is what your Hashem turns you into, sod him too.

Kriah said...

GO GO Pinter!!

These and similar blogs are just proof that you were right all along.

We will always be indebt with how you sheltered our diamonds from mixing with the children of these heretic jealous low lifes.

Yeah you love the limelight, yeah you crave headlines, SO WHAT???? You have funneled that charteristic and given the community so much, a first class school and helped hundreds of families throughout your time.

Thank GOD that you have elephant skin, please for the sake of the sane part of SH, keep strong. WE WILL ALWAYS BE INDEBTED TO YOU!!

Anonymous said...


Pinter Pinter Pinter....

You are clearly obssesed and jealous.