For translation see below
If you like following Anglo-Jewish politics, and no one will blame you if you don’t, you will know the politics of making a big tent for anything. A bit like I’m a Celebrity except that it goes, I’m a Reform Get Me Into There. The right wing of the US responds, We’re (pseudo) Charedim and get ya the hell outa here because you’re as welcome as Berlusconi at a Bat Mitzvah party. At this point the Jewish miLlionares Club (aka JLC) will see it as their duty to intervene with their own version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or, rather, who wants a share of our millions. No 50/50 lifelines but an edict to phone-a-‘friend’ or else. Naturally, the Board of Deputies follows suit and, and, come on, wake up there at the back.
If you’ve followed this far you’ll have heard of the Big Tent events which basically gather together similarly minded pro-Israelis who spend a Sunday bemoaning boycotts and deligtimisation of which we are supposedly the hub. After a few cockle-warming speeches and feeling awfully sorry for Israel and disgusted by its detractors everybody goes home feeling they’ve done a good deed and gone out of their way to do their bit for Israel. Of course, the Israelis themselves couldn’t give a monkeys and they happen to think that we’re more into Christmas than Chanukah. The biggest elephant nowhere near the tent remains Israel’s inexorable slide towards a racist theocracy which continues unabated but trust these guys to see the enemies anywhere but staring in their face.
Anyhow, if pro Israelis unite on anything the nay-sayers of Stamford Hill must have a contrary position and so they have. A bit late but this is Stamford Hill after all. In the notice above we are exhorted to stay away from such events, which may only be referred to by its acronym, and told that anyone who has ‘a brain in his coconut’ will know that they bring no good to the Jews. Not, surprise, on tznius grounds, but apparently because this non-event of an event of which other than some bickering machers few have heard of could jeopardise and endanger our very existence in this country. (As for wholesale reliance on state handouts, I’m afraid the notice is silent on that point.) And if not for the notice we would of course have been flocking to it in droves.
The signatories are mostly Satmar affiliated though for reasons known only to themselves Padwa and Halpern Snr added their names. Belz and Ger steered clear as did Dayan Dunner despite his anti-Zionist streak. Also absent are Halpern’s sons and in fact there are no Golders Green rabbis at all who generally lead a more nationalistic flock. This is the second time Padwa has alligned himself with the loonies on Israel; last year he signed for a demo at the embassy on grave digging. Rabbi Schneebalg of Manchester has more sense and knowing that he serves a wider community, abstained. Shame Padwa didn’t inherit those aspects from his father who would have no truck with any of this.
Perhaps the most surprising signatory is Dayan Gukovitsky of Springfield Shul which is affiliated to the Federation. It may have something to do with his territorial battle over his shul and wanting to gain some right-wing allies which he is sorely in need of, but more on that another time.
A Call from the Rabonim
In light of reports of various meetings (BTFI) across England (currently in Manchester), it is obvious to anyone sensible that such activities and their like are of no benefit to Jews, God forbid.
It is unnecessary to dwell on their inherent dangers and it is incumbent on everyone to avoid attending them and to do everything to publicise and announce that these meetings do not speak on behalf of Jews who believe in God and His Torah. God forbid to allow this destruction to enter England where thank God we dwell under the protection of the state, may its grace be exalted*, which is a benign realm.
We are obligated to pray for the well being of the realm and not to become involved with various people [groups] the majority of whom have cast off the yoke of Torah and mitzvos entirely or in various degrees, and their habit is to maraud and cause destruction.
In the merit of undertaking upon ourselves the yoke of our exile and behaving with humility in this country as we have in each and every generation throughout the thousands of years of our exile may we merit to be saved from all forms of peril and to the arrival of the Messiah speedily in our days, Amen.
London [27 November 2011]**
* An expression used for the Tsar and Kaiser and is not used very often nowadays.
** The date of the Manchester Big Tent event though the notice was publicised only last week.