Friday, 29 July 2011

Divisions Divisions

imageSorry no time to comment at length but the letter speaks for itself. My favourite is engaging the concept of ze nehene v’ze loi chosar -one enjoys and another is not put at loss- for this purpose. Which side of the mechitze will be enjoying themselves? Surely the inability of husbands to ‘signal and gesture to their wives’ Go- forbid, must be a loss of some kind. One can just imagine the scene. He gets warmed up at Anim Zemiroth singing about locks, black and wavy and winks skywards, she nods in dissent and he continues shockling into his siddur, ‘Shith hamon shirai no olecho…’

You must however commend the writer for his honesty. Rather than try on rely on pseudo-halachic arguments as with the eiruv, to which this rabbi is opposed, he gives it to you as it is. Those half goyim in Beis Yisroel and Or Chodosh with ‘United Synagogue Rabbis’, well you know what that implies, have ‘superior’ divides and how can we be seen to be inferior. So to the barricades, members, or in this case mechitzos.

Divided we stand and United we fall and long may we continue on this upward spiral. Omein!

Hat tip: Moish

Monday, 25 July 2011

Tragic omissions

There are times when our beloved Buffoon outdoes even himself and last week was just such an occasion. After the fiasco of Kedassia beef’s fellow travellers he tries to set the record straight that this was not the norm and that it will not happen again. Strangely, none of this was included in Kedassia’s statement on the matter which implied that the practice was very much the norm. He then accuses ‘another Shechita board’ of behaving in the same way without providing a source. Facts however are never allowed to get in the way of the Chareidi papers where C.P. Scott’s famous maxim is reversed: comment is sacred but facts are free.

Not content with this he then proceeds with his trademark wit to even the score. Under the heading 'Four unreported tragedies' he lists four elderly rabbis who recently passed away and complains that none of the deaths was reported by the JC with the implication that the JC cares only for the pigs and not for the rabbis. Score: 5-1 to the pigs.

Why he expects the JC to mention their deaths is beyond me. The four were Rav Stein of the US, Rav Koppelman of Luzern, and Rav Lefkowitz and Rav Sarna from Israel. For a start, however esteemed they may have been, the deaths by natural causes of centenarians and nonagenarians can hardly be termed a 'tragedy' outside the hyperbolic and sensational Chareidi ragsheets. Besides, Rav Sarna and Rav Stein were hardly heard of outside Israel and the US respectively. Notably there were no public eulogies in London for either of them despite the apparent 'tragedy'.

Rav Lefkowitz was more of a brand though it is difficult to list his achievements that supposedly made him great. Leading a yeshiva is hardly a feat nowadays his tall, square kappel notwithstanding and other than turn up at demos and sign bans little if anything was ever heard of him and especially not on these shores. Of the four the only one who can be said to have made it as far as London is concerned is Rav Koppelman. It was however only in his 90s that he adopted the behaviour of a rebbe and joined the hassidic jet set. Earlier this year he celebrated a shabbos at the Heathrow Park Hotel with a select crowd which nowadays is the true marker of a tzadik.

One of the reasons he thinks the deaths merit mention is because of the size of the funerals. Never mind that Rav Koppelman’s funeral was surprisingly small since the Israelis have little time for European roshei yeshivos of a bygone, more moderate age and a more tolerant foreign world. In any event the gathering of thousands of chareidim in Israel these days is an almost every day occurrence as there is little else to occupy their swelling numbers.The buffoon is nevertheless perfectly qualified to comment on the stories the JC ought to run being the star columnist of the Voice, formerly the Organ, of Anglo Jewry which last year gave us that unforgettable corker of a front-page headline, 'Moshiach is closer'.

As if this isn't enough, his next piece is about the tragic murder of the 8 year old boy in Brooklyn by a fellow Jew who drugged the boy, smothered him, dismembered the body and then dumped one part in a bin while sticking the feet in the freezer. Shocking you might think and deserving some mention of how it came to be and perhaps an article on safety for children. Yet from the Tribune we got nothing but a short report on a tragic death tucked away on page 19. True they first covered the incident last week but also without a word on the alleged killer and not half a word on the protection of children. Ditto for the Hamodia which said just as little though using up more words in the process.

Yet to the Buffoon this is secondary to exculpating Kedassia and having a pop at the JC. He did however find space for warm words for the Shomrim organisation which made lots of noise but didn't bother informing the police until several hours after the child's disappearance. Heaven help us if this is what the London branch is trying to emulate. He found yet more space for praise of the Tribune, that paragon of open and free reporting and frank and honest debate, claiming them to be the 'only chareidi paper that reported it'. Besides being so blatantly untrue it is truly shocking that anyone can be so callous and try and score some stupid points from such a heinous crime.

In fact the story was covered by all chareidi papers the world over. Indeed the Yiddish press I came across reported far more details on the murderer and the circumstances which led to the butchering of a kid walking home from cheder. Last week's Heimishe Newsheet carried an anonymous advert in Yiddish in light of the incident against corporal punishment in chadorim . Similarly, this week's News Update carried a letter signed by Peninah Bergman urging parents to listen to children seriously and give their views proper consideration. Nothing like this appeared in the Tribune, and the Hamodia managed only a very brief anonymous letter. The Book of Proverbs tells us, 'Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise' but it appears the Buffoon knows not even his Scriptures.

To cap a successful week for the Buffoon, this week Baroness Warsi paid us, and the Shomrim, a visit and here is the photo the local press didn’t show you. Our beloved Joe in the company of the Baroness though at a far safer distance than his shoulder rubbing at the Board of Deputies' birthday bash last summer. Do remember though this photo was taken in Stamford Hill where different rules apply.


Photo: Hackney Citizen

Sunday, 24 July 2011

We only say goodbye

Am I the only one who’s noticed the marked similarity in the opening beat and cords of Back to Black and bein kach u’bein kach by Avraham Fried? Listen to the first 10 seconds. I suppose it’s unlikely Amy took it from Avraham…

Well, tsi azoi tsi azoi she had an amazing voice and it’s sad that such talent was destroyed so young.

She had a local connection too: the Back to Black video was shot in the Abney Park cemetery and in Stoke Newington streets.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Kedassia and the porkies


What are we to make of these new bedfellows, Kedassia meat, world famous for its excellence in kashrus and with a price to match, and some lowly piggies slaughtered presumably for the non-kedassia market? After Peppa Pig is this Rebbe Pig?

Before you bother huffing and puffing with your brilliant erudition that halachically there is nothing wrong in kedassia beef catching a free ride with some piggies and that they have been travel companions ever since the chazeirim have been ripping us off with their prices, let me remind you that there are other matters at stake when the ‘Seal of Quality’ gets into bed with the bacon.

For a start can we be sure that the pigs don’t carry in the eiruv? What if a piggy noshed a strawberry which then splashed onto the beef? What then,eh? Are you prepared to take the achrayis of strawberry juice without a hechsher contaminating your chulent? Let me pre-empt what the buffoon with a bout of mad-cow disease is bound to raise: can we be sure that the porkies weren’t destined for some reform bash and so turning up with Kedassia cows could suggest that members of the Union may share a platform with them? Isn’t sharing a platform the exclusive domain of, well you know who? And what about the milky issues? Say the cows were milked by the treif milk guys would it not make the pork lemahadrin by comparison? This is shocking! How can we have our holy ham transported with that blood-curdling milk? We want our Parma Parve!

Ladies and gentleman this calls for no less than a notice in lousy Hebrew and even worse English along the lines of:

It has come to our attention that pigs have been seen mingling with the most kosher beef this side of the equator and we wish to alert the public that they should not be fooled by the company some of the pigs keep. In some instances pigs were also seen texting the oxen on non-kosher mobiles. The public should remain alert at all times that a pig is a pig is a pig even if it moves in exalted circles. We must not be deceived by images of pigs suspended from hooks that they have reached celestial heights and a careful inspection will reveal that while their posteriors point heavenwards their snouts remain firmly fixed in the trough. If you have any doubts consult your local rov who is bound not to stray from the parameters we refuse to set lest it be confused with an eiruv. In future however we will be erecting a mechitze the entire length of the lorry similar to what we instituted in the lobby of the Decorium so that other than the pigs who like peeping to the other side non-kosher flesh will be on one side and the slaughtered variety firmly on the other. May we merit speedily in our days the promises of Animal Farm when we will all be kosher though some more than others. Omein!

Photo: Bechadrei Chareidim