Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Yeshivish Schtick

Purim may be behind us but it’s never too late to laugh.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Kosher jodhpurs–Purim style

Who said we can’t be original…?

Kosher Jodhpurs - Copy

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

PURIM EXCLUSIVE! Letter (not) from Jonathan Ar**-Kush to the Jewish miLlionaires’ Club

According to Minhag Anglia this epistle is read immediately after the Megillah and the entire congregation should stand. Some opinions hold that it is sung to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivanovich's 'I Am the Very Model of a British Jewish Deputy.'

Dear President, five dozen Vice Presidents, Esteemed and Exalted, Good Looking, Alpha Males, Machers, Knakers, Oligarchs, Door Openers to Power, Door Closers to Oiks, Elected, Accountable and Acceptable Members of the Jewish miLlionaires' Club

Following last week's JewC coverage, I felt it important that I clarify my recent remarks and I now come before you in my sack and ash coloured tie.

The Jewish miLlionaires' Club plays a vital role in the infrastructure of the money men of our community. It provides a much-needed vehicle to supplement your 5-jag, 2-maybach, 7-roller fleets to transport you to your giddying heights. It has done much to enhance the reputation of its members who otherwise might have been machers with nothing to mach on. The Jewish miLlionaires' Club has undoubtedly added immense value to the figurative six-packs of its members.

With regard to the democratic surplus of the Club I accept that its legitimacy stems from you having attended the Putin School of Democracy and passed with flying colours. You have opened doors even to the Old Bobe of Threadneedle Street who has pledged quantitative easing of further tranches of democracy in the unlikely event that a shortfall should arise. I sincerely apologise for the insinuation that you lack accountability which I entirely withdraw. There is no doubt that you are accountable to offshore celestial authorities and safe havens in heaven where your just and untaxed rewards await you.

I accept there were threats to withhold funding unless I stick out my tongue for the duration of this letter and then swallow it for good and that this is perfectly acceptable behaviour for oligarchs who must lead from their wallets. It was scurrilous of me to suggest that you do not have the right to do with your hard earned cash as and what you like which is why I am in my current horizontal position in front of your positively ogreish average of 5ft 3.75 inches (minus the heels).

I also accept that my remarks were outrageously blasphemous. Our greatest leaders and prophets from Moses to Isaiah through Maimonides and Spinoza were famously loaded and there is no reason why you, our Dear Leaders, should shed a few pounds to ease yourself into position. As we were taught at Sunday Cheder, Mount Sinai was chosen because of the size of its helipad so our leaders need not arrive by easyJet.

I further acknowledge that standing by one's principles to the point of resignation is for woolly lefties and cheek turning Christians like Canon Fraser or our accursed enemies such as Baroness Tonge, tfu tfu. It is not what is expected of Yiddishe leaders who have turned the practice of stepping backwards for ose shalom into a hallowed and much cherished tradition.

I am truly sorry and contrite that in a poll 62% of respondents agreed with me. It was never my intention to set the proles against our Dear Leaders or to suggest that cab drivers from Ilford and tsholent fressers from Salford should have the chutzpah to dictate who should be their leaders. The role of the Board is to deputise to your supreme, uncontested leadership and to twist the arms of demurring representatives until their pupiks squeak.

I ought not to have overrun my allotted speaking slot timed to .69 of a millisecond on the Hublots above your exalted fists. It is measure for measure that I should have to write an entire megillah for each fraction of my infraction. It has been the rule ever since I was in school that you must lift your finger before being excused and speaking out of turn gets you detention and attached to this letter is my sheet of 150 lines 'I promise never to wet myself again.'

I can confirm that I was not suffering from a bout of bipolar, schizophrenic, psychotic, delusional paranoia brought on by my double barrelled surname and I only had a sore nose caused by too much rubbing. I am particularly proud to support the punishment banning me from the Aipac outing since I could not be trusted to sing in tune on the tour coach.

Finally I am not writing this on the rack nor am I dunked in a mikve of hydrochloric acid and there is also no electrode attached to my beitzim as there was difficulty finding a connection. I am signing this letter free of my free and unimpeded will.

I beg to remain eternally, Sirs (and 1.5 Madams), your most humble, obedient and t*ches licking servant

Jonathan Ar**-Kush

PS May I get up now?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Pinter on Governance

I know it's only two days to Purim and you may think that what I'm about to tell you is a seasonal spoof. Trust me that this is not the case as even if I tried I could not have made it up.

In the Hamodia of two weeks ago we were given yet another photo of the great man, this time not in the company of other great men but in front of a lectern. This is a relatively rare occurrence and indeed it was not in the N16 area where we must make do with his beneficence on our behalf but where we rarely get to hear the great man himself. Of course he pops up in Edgware for fostering in Hackney and Haringey and the ripple effects instantly reach the boundaries of Waltham Forest. He was investing in our future with a Ken photo op which he also did with Jeffrey Archer so who said he lacks political nous? And now he's done it again by popping up at no less a place than the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue.

Actually this may have been one of the better matched engagements on his very busy schedule since a 'rabbi' and rabbis ordinarily go well together. Never mind that many of these rabbis would get nowhere close to any of 'his' schools but it was pay back time. The Chief was hosted at YHS and despite the news blackout that was imposed even at the newspaper he graciously advises a reciprocal visit was in order and the invitation duly arrived.

So what did the great man choose to talk about? Liberty and Freedom? Nah, that's for Guardian readers only and not something to bestow upon his co-religionists. Tznius, perhaps? That would have been easy and he could have made a visual presentation aided by the graphic sheets handed out at ‘his’ school. But no, that too was given a miss. How about the evils of nepotism? Now, that's getting personal and we ought to set that one aside.

Let me not keep you in suspense any longer. According to the Hamodia the speech included 'his many years of experience dealing with local authorities and government departments in his roles in school governance…'

How could I have missed it? Since governance has always been in the remit of the 'principal' and little to do with the chair of board of governors there are few who can speak on the subject with such authority. Topics would surely have included transparency of the frosted window type, communicating with parents and how not to do it, raising revenue through the school hall, tips from the missus on menus for school dinners, creating a budget surplus and the black hole to keep it safe and, as a final topic, being in control without being in the chair. Fascinating topics each and every one and let us hope the questions, if any, that followed were of the planted variety as one does when VIPs come knocking.

I should also suggest that in light of this year's enlightened choice of speaker the Rabbinical Council might wish to consider for their next bash inviting Boris to talk on sholem bayis followed by Murdoch on privacy. Should they be otherwise engaged they can always opt for Chris Hune to discuss the Highway Code.

Or if all else fails, how about the Sun editor on Tznius?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Meisterspinner of Chareidiberg

As you may already know Pinter gave a comprehensive interview to the Blood and Property blog. And if you don't, sign up to my Twitter feed. There. On the right. Nu, what are you waiting for?

The interview spans a wide range of subjects, from local planning issues and land grabs to gender segregation, the position of women in chareidi society, chareidi politics in Israel through to the kosher dictionary and local demographics. Even contraception is covered on which there is, unfortunately, no comment. Yours truly gets a mention too though before you pass out at the thought of a 'principal' of a chareidi school perusing the blogosphere he 'can't say' that he actually reads this blog. Who would have thought otherwise?

It would be churlish in the extreme to pick holes in some of the things he said and there will be plenty of opportunities for that on other occasions. For now however I doff my streimel to the man.

Unlike most of the chareidi pygmies we are used to hearing from here is someone who knows how to answer a question without sounding either hollow or defensive. He accepts that planning is an issue but that it is not as black and white as it is often presented. Rather than deny the obvious as others often do, he explains the background to the issues that have arisen. Not from him anything as asinine as Clever Joe's intervention linking the apparent lack of chareidi crime to planning breaches.

Although Pinter too is capable of going into classic chareidi mode such as when covering Israeli politics and how they don’t seek to impose themselves on others, as if, he also knows how to use humour to deflect a question. When the dictionary is raised rather than try and defend the indefensible he wonders how there were any words left to include.

Fortunately for him, though not quite for us, there were no questions on schools which may have given us our own Paxo v Michael Howard moment. Great men need luck on their side too and so far he hasn’t run out of it.

As for my favourite quote: 'The perceived leaders are only in their positions by consent, rather then by authority.'

If only, Rabbi, if only.