Wednesday, 4 September 2019

“A tragedy of titanic proportions”

A letter sent to the New York State Board of Regents (who run the New York State Education Department) in support of the proposed regulations for education standards in New York non-public schools, which includes all chadorim and yeshivos, to ensure “all New York’s children leave school with the knowledge they need to succeed in life”.

Not surprisingly, the usual suspects ranging from the Williamsburg antediluvians to the well-educated Agudah lay leaders and others have whipped up a storm to try and ensure that Chasidic kids remain pig-ignorant until the coming of the Messiah and long thereafter. Amen.

For the truth in the ‘equivalence’ of Torah study and the other spin and outright lies commonly propounded over there and over here, keep on reading.

Dear Regent,

I'm a 36 years old Chasidic man, who grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When I attended yeshiva, secular education was a little better than it is today. We had 1 hour and 45 minutes of English studies 4 days a week, for 7 years. The studies weren't really taken seriously, and there was no professional curriculum to build on the progress year after year.

By the time we were 13 years old, during our last year of secular studies, most of my class was able to read on a third or fourth grade level [Years 4-5 in UK]. In math, we reached up to long division. In the last year, there was an attempt to teach some fractions, but the class wasn't ready and wasn't motivated.

We had some books on history, science and social studies. These books were rarely used. Personally, I loved to read, so I read many of those books during recess and lunch time.

After I got married, I decided to work on a degree. I went to an Orthodox college, and I was from the lucky ones. The education I got in yeshiva – as dismal as it was – was better than what many other Chasidic students got in their yeshivas. Many of them had to drop out, because it was impossible for them to follow along. Since I was able to read English (albeit on a fourth grade level), I was able to build upon it. It was extremely hard, but I made it through. To me this demonstrated the difference between zero education, and some resemblance of one. No doubt had I had a decent basic education, as the law demands, my path would have been much easier, and I'd have way more opportunities to explore.

G-d granted me precious children – including 3 boys. They are in a Chasidic yeshiva, and while the Hebrew studies are now better than they were when I was a child, the secular education is way worse.

The kids don't get the basics of secular education. The time allotted for English studies is about an hour a day, 4 days a week, for 5 years. The teachers are in most cases completely incompetent, who can barely speak English and don't know the basics, like the multiplication table. There are almost no books, and there's no curriculum.

Our 13 year old, a bright and inquisitive child who's thank G-d doing very well in his Hebrew studies, has already "graduated" the English studies, and he can't write a coherent sentence in English. My wife and I spent many hours to help him get some education, but there's only so much parents can do after a full day at school. Our son reads English well, thanks to the work we did together. He's the only one in his class of 36 that understands and reads English beyond a second grade level [Year 2]. Since he's already 13 years old, there's now zero secular education in yeshivah.

Our younger sons are currently in cheder (elementary school), and are going through the same educational neglect. There's no interest in providing a robust basic education. To the yeshiva administration, taking basic secular studies seriously is a laughable and ridiculous idea.

The lack of education is even deeper than simple English. There is no educational mindset; there's no real reading or writing curriculum even in Yiddish or Hebrew. (At the start of each school-year kids get a Yiddish writing book, but bring it back home mostly empty at the end of the year.) The average Chasidic teen can't write a simple essay in ANY language.

And we don't have a choice here. We are Chasidic Jews, and we want to bring up our children in this heritage. We need them to attend a Chasidic school, as did we, and the generations before us. We should not be forced to drop our heritage, just so our children should be able to get a basic decent education – as is their right.

The educational neglect is not a question about Judaism or Chasidic belief. All Chasidic yeshivas – including the big yeshivas like Satmar and Bobov – were originally built with a decent secular studies component. Yeshiva leaders simply neglected their moral, educational, and financial responsibility to ensure their students are properly prepared for their future.

Yeshiva leaders are fighting against attempts to fix this horrible neglect, to cover for their gross incompetence. They simply don't want to take upon themselves the responsibility of teaching secular studies – a duty that they so successfully managed to get away with for the last few decades.

Yeshiva activists tout graduates of the few ultra-Orthodox yeshivas that do provide some education and the scores of Orthodox non-Chasidic schools that provide an excellent education, and use them to cover up for the educational neglect in most other Chasidic yeshivas. Instead of spending money to correct this horrible problem, yeshiva leaders spend it on PR and propaganda. But if one wants to believe no one, and just wants to find out the hard cold facts: get a group of unbiased educators to visit the Satmar yeshiva on a random day, and ask basic educational questions from random students. These yeshiva leaders are experts in putting up a show. Talk to random students on a random, unannounced day, and the sad facts will fully emerge.

Many parents are afraid of government intervention. But they, too, readily admit that the current situation has to change. It is a tragedy of titanic proportion.

Personally, I'm more afraid of the educational neglect than the government intervention. I believe that if the yeshiva leaders would think in terms of actually fixing the issue, and not in terms of how to fool the government, they would have been able to negotiate a solid education for our children that is close to what yeshivas originally provided before the era of neglect, and close enough to satisfy the State.

I therefore beseech you to approve Rule # EDU-27-19-00010-P, and to force the yeshivas to comply with the State regulations to provide a decent education. Approximately 3 hours of secular studies a day is fully consistent with the Jewish religion and Chasidic values. We need it, you need it, and most importantly, our children need it.

Thank you very much,

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The One and Only ‘One Individual’

You may be surprised to read what follows and you may be sure that I'm even more surprised to be writing it. Those who follow my tweets (do, they're pretty good) will know that, to put it mildly, I'm neither a fan of Pinter nor of the UOHC Rabbinate. But since the two are almost always on the same page I do not often have to make the invidious choice of who is the better looking or has the tidier beard. This time, however, after their very public falling out it is precisely this choice which falls to me and if needs must we might as well get on with it.

The facts are pretty basic. Pinter expressed himself 'shocked' after the local MP Diane Abbott failed to oppose or even speak out during a debate on the local Labour party motion that the Labour party is not institutionally antisemitic. A pen pusher from her office then turned up at the UOHC Beth Din to complain about Pinter following which the UOHC Rabbinate approved the above letter. I have highlighted the salient passage where Pinter is dismissed as a mere unrepresentative 'one individual'. The rest, as they say, is commentary.

Before we move on to the madness and badness of this letter, it's worthwhile putting it into context. A week earlier Shlomo Sinitsky, the chairman of Kedassia, had resigned and the entire Rabbinate debased themselves in order to bring him back. Every one of them personally signed not one but two letters in his support, senior rabbis paid him a home visit, the original offenders issued public apologies and all in an effort to get Sinitsky to retract his resignation.

How then should Pinter feel seeing all of this? Without meaning to devalue Sinitsky’s work, his is an administrative job which with some training can be picked up by another competent administrator without too much disruption. Pinter on the other hand is the public face of our community. I do not agree with much of what he says or does and it would sometimes be nice if he wasn't so much in love with his face. But it's not me that matters here.

From the point of view of the rabbis, Pinter has been providing them and their community a stellar service for decades. I'm not now referring to the schools but to the public relation he conducts on behalf of the community and the rabbis. I've heard from askonim within and from outside journalists how no one but he will speak up for us. It is them rabbis who keep on stepping right into it and parading it to the world thinking it smells of besomim, it is they who time and again abjectly fail in their duties as leaders and it is to him that they turn to pick up the pieces and stick out his neck for them in public.

Speaking out for our community is a thankless task. Far too often we put ourselves out as objects of scorn by seeming to condone if not actively facilitate shady activities, by covering up all forms of abuse, by engaging in practices which win us negative headlines with unseeming regularity. In those situations the rabbis lock themselves away, at best mumble some incomprehensible mutterings into their moustaches and at worst aggravate an already bad situation with pearls of wisdom such as 'the police are not the solution'. It is at times like these that Pinter pops up on the radio, television and in newspapers to spin some yarn on their behalf. Yet it is precisely in this arena where they chose to cut him down.

Gosh, I'm enjoying this so I might as well continue. If there was any logic or calculation behind this I may have tried to understand them. If they had eased Pinter out of 'his' school I would have paid tribute for the credit due to him and optimistically (or naively) looked forward to a new governing body to put their house in order. If they had put the wedding hall on a fair footing I would have cheered them to the rafters. But none of this will change and they at UOHC know that for these reasons the Sinitsky route is not available to Pinter. UOHC is itself a beneficiary of the wedding hall shenanigans and they wouldn't want him to go either.

So they stuck the knife in where they know he cannot strike back, on the public stage he so covets and in relation to the local MP who is also a national figure. And you ask yourself why? For what rhyme or reason? All Pinter had said was that he was 'shocked' by Abbott failing to speak out on a local Labour Party motion. On a scale of 1 to 100 of political expressions, 'shocked' comes in at about 5.5. To put it into context when in a parliamentary debate on antisemitism Abbott caused an outcry by trying to deflect criticism of Labour in pointing the finger at Ofsted, it was Pinter who stood up and defended her. If some of the rabbis are unhappy with the inertia of ChinuchUK they have plenty of opportunity to make themselves known. But this is of an altogether different nature and what calculation however Machiavellian could have been behind it? But there is none.

I know I'd be expected to say something about Shraga Stern but I shan’t. Shraga Stern does what Shraga Stern does best. He claims to speak on behalf of no one, he's a disruptor activist elbowing his way to the top and so far he's been doing rather well. There is, however, absolutely no reason why the rabbis should be behind him if they chose not to. They told Stern to back off on the Board of Deputies demonstration which he did. It is the rabbis who signed the letter in support of Corbyn, again the rabbis who ruled for Stern in his Freedom of Information dispute with ChinuchUK and now yet again the rabbis who authorised this anti-Pinter letter.

This is about the rabbis and them alone. Even if I was inclined to be generous to them by saying they did not mean to give him a kick it would still be beside the point. How stupid must one be not to realise that if a pen-pusher from Diane Abbott's office turns up in front of them he must have been put up to it? Are the rabbis so self-obsessed to think that anyone outside our square mile has even heard of them? They think they are invincible because they can expound on bulls goring heifers and come up with wheezes on a watertight sales contract for chometz and so they must also understand the real world of everything including labyrinthine politics which they neither follow nor understand. Who knows, perhaps they have something to say on nuclear diffusion too.

We now know that they're useless at kashrus which is a central part of their remit - don't take my word for it; 30 odd of the town's dayonim have so confirmed. But yet it hadn't dawned on them perhaps to defer, to discuss, to consult before issuing this letter. And even if they were inclined to proceed, wouldn't common decency and mentshlichkeit prompt them to pause before stabbing one of their most senior lay leaders? Is this what their superior 6th sense of Daas Torah guides them to do? That when a problem is brought before them they grab a knife instead of a pen to kill off the goose that most protects their golden eggs? We confuse the rabbis' survival skills in protecting their positions for themselves and their kids as indicators of good sense. In reality, as this incident shows, there is simply no seichel there in any meaningful way. Even from the vantage point of their self-interest, they shuould not heap ridicule on their public face in this shameful manner.

It’s shameful indeed that it’s left to me of all people to remind them that Pinter is not ‘one individual’. He is a UOHC trustee, he is chairman of the external affairs committee, for better or worse he runs our flagship school and to top it all he more than anyone is the public face not just of our local community but of the national chareidi community.

If senior rabbonim paid Sinitsky a home visit to placate him, then the entire Rabbinate, their wives, kids, daughter in laws and grandchildren should be crawling in front of him. No one expects that to happen but where are Pinter's senior colleagues who should at the very least be extracting a 'clarification' from the Rabbinate on its position. Where is Frand? Where is Baumgarten? Where are Goldman, Rothfeld, Gordon, Kesselman and the other bigwigs who sit round the table with Pinter at those grand-sounding subcommittees? Why when the community at large is firmly anti-Corbyn are the rabbonim knifing Pinter when all he did was to respond to a motion widely seen as anti-Jewish by Jews and non-Jews alike? If the rabbis were naïve in the pro-Corbyn letter what is their excuse in this anti-Pinter missive? And if the rabbis can't see the point, where are the lay leaders?

The answer is plain to see. There is simply no one there. The same people who stab us daily by tripling the price of foodstuffs and weekly by denying us an eiruv will stab their own when it suits them. No calculations, no grand plan, just shamelessness, ineptitude and idiocy on a gargantuan scale. Hardly anything we hadn't known before but from time to time they'll do something just in case we hadn't been paying attention.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Au Revoir Skulener Rebbe

Shabbos Parshath Tetzave…

Went to the Skulener's tish simply to see the crowd. I also hoped I'd get to hear some nice singing. I left the house at 9.45pm and I turned up at Yesodey Hatorah School on Stamford Hill and the marquee was rather empty with few people at the top table. By the time I left after 11 the place was full to capacity. They had set up a marquee across the entire girls' primary school garden stretching from Hurstdene Gardens all the way to Northdene Gardens. There is the trunk of a dead tree in the centre of the garden which looked rather atristic in the middle of the marquee, its bare branches looking like a supplicant holding his hands up to heaven. Trust Chasidim not to see something like that and their concern must have been whether the tree may be touched on Shabbos or speculation if it's a fruit tree and so can't be cut down. As if it's a capital crime for a tree not to bear fruit.

The Rebbe, who is a tiny little man with a cute smile, enchanted the audience. They were arranged on 7-tiered scaffolding on either side of approximately 100' long tables (though I'm bad on measurements). The singing was warm and he clearly electrified the crowd which must be one of the larger turnouts London has ever seen for a rebbe. Since the songs were not familiar I was wondering who taught them to the crowds who were joining in with gusto. I later heard that a rent-a-crowd was imported from the Wilreijk yeshiva in Belgium who were taught the songs in advance.

Having waited about an hour for the rebbe to appear and then a further 20 minutes or so for him to welcome his celestial escorts he had still not proceeded to kiddush, and with only intermittent chanting and singing I beat a hasty retreat. But not before they burst out to sing 'Her sons rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done valiantly, but you excel them all.’ A rather mundane song on the border where chant ends and song begins but it appealed nonetheless when sung spiritedly by the imported teens. Besides the Rebbe was his son who is slightly taller than his father though appears to lack his father's gracefulness. The Rebbe clapped his hands and the terraces clapped. He flailed his arms and the terraces lifted as one. Then he stopped and so did they. Rather orchestrated with too little spontaneity other than in the Rebbe himself but no less moving for that.

I made my way out and all the roads were leading to Skulen despite midnight being less than an hour away. In the morning I heard that YHS had charged £5k for the hire of the garden for the better part of a week. Estimates of the costs of the marquee and scaffolding for the 'bleachers' and double tiered dais were approximately a further £25k. This Rebbe must be raising huge amounts if so much is being invested though luckily on Shabbos money cannot be spoken about. That though didn't stop them pasting the walls and leafleting the place with information on the Rebbe's institutions in Israel with more than a subtle hint that you're expected to return for the Saturday night jamboree when pockets need not be bare upon entry.

I will leave it to the new look Tribune (more face lifts than Michael Jackson, more botox than Jaylo) to report, or rather cut and paste, on the warmth at the tish and the mood that prevailed throughout the Rebbe's stay and the impression the Rebbe left behind without a mention of course of what and how much he'll be taking along with him.

All in all, however, this Rebbe as many other rebbes prove the adage that it is better to travel than to arrive. For when the Skulener arrives home to Borough Park in Brooklyn he will find barely 2 score people in his shul and at his tishn. By contrast, here he drew huge crowds by the force of his song, his moral authority as a Holocaust survivor and someone who was imprisoned by the communists for his Jewish activities, his charisma and the legendary songs composed by his father in Romania after the war when he cared for the many orphaned Jewish children. So thank you and au revoir Rebbe for the warm Shabbos though I'm more sceptical over your post Shabbos activities.

[I wrote this (with some slight edits) after the Skulener Rebbe visited these shores in 2011 for a Shabbos though for whatever reason I didn’t publish it at the time. The date on the file is 12 February 2011]

Sunday, 27 January 2019

A 10-Point Plan for Chasidic Vaccinations

What follows is Reb Tickle's 10-point plan for increasing vaccination in Chasidic communities:

  1. Have as senior a member of government as is available pay homage to Chasidic Rebbes, or Grand Rabbis, to request them to urge their followers to vaccinate their children. Ideally this should be the Secretary of State for Health in the respective countries provided it is not a woman. Not only would that make it impossible to show the meeting in frum papers, it would also be immensely disrespectful to report of a meeting between a Grand Rabbi and a woman. The meeting must be handled with great sensitivity so that each Chosid gets the impression that his Rebbe is the only one who truly matters in the corridors of power and that it is he who holds the keys to the health of the nation. Once one visit has taken place a suitable interval must pass before another visit is scheduled with the next Rebbe so that by the time of the second visit the first visit has faded from memory. A visit is necessary for A-class Rebbes only because if every rebbe (with a lowercase 'r') was visited we'd be long wiped out from the diseases that the vaccinations are meant to prevent before the visits are completed. Bear in mind, however, that we are discussing the real A-Classers here. Those who are clad in technicolour coats and are on first name terms and speed dial with Michoel, Gavriel and the rest of the lads. These are not mere mortals. They fly the globe yet have never seen the inside of an airport, handle millions yet don't even have a bank account in their name. To get an idea of how steeped in Avodas Hashem these Rebbes are, some don't even stop at red lights. Imagine that. So get the vaccination message through to them and the rest is a doddle.

  2. Once the Rebbes are on board, or on tish, they must be persuaded to talk about vaxing at very opportunity including shaleshudes, kol nidrei, tekias shofor, shovevim, at the yortzeit seudo for the previous Rebbe and even during the cordial visits between Rebbes when about 139 people crowd into a dining room that seats 8 and they sip from silver beakers, and offer each other slices from a round brown sponge cake which each rejects with a swipe of the hand, and they tell each other stories of the cat that interrupted their grandmothers' dream which is followed by trying to figure out whether they may both be related to the cat. Getting the Rebbes to agree to talk about it is no doubt the most challenging bit though once this has been broken through all else is guaranteed to flow smoothly thereafter. I concede that they do sometimes plumb our plebeian depths and talk about smartphones and even, when they really must, the tightness of women's t-shirts though that depends of course on how eye-popping they turn out to be. But vaxing? Does Rebbe Reb Shmiel Yankel of the farmyard near the wagon stop, 15 miles north-east of Lublin discuss it in his book which angels only browse on Yom Kippur night? Of course not so who are we to be wiser? Such is therefore the task to get Rebbes to put vaccinations on their tish that it may well require intervention by the Head of State himself. Or herself as Rebbes would probably make an allowance when it comes to the Head of State.

  3. A Rebbe alone is not enough as he can only intercede in Heaven while we need someone in an executive role for the mundane tasks of getting the stuff in the blood flow. For that we must appoint a heimishe health czar or macher who is connected to the very highest echelons of government. In fact so high that when there's a government resignation his beeper goes off even in the middle of Tashlich. This macher, or super-macher - though not a Rebbe because besides the reasons above he will also be talking far too much sense than we are used to hearing from the Rebbes - must tell us why for the sake of not making a chilul hashem and because we are in golus and Moshiach is not yet here we ought to vaccinate. He must then promise that once Moshiach, who is due any day, arrives we can safely give it all up. He will also need to assure us on the size of the needle and that the needle has been tested on all the gedoilim and not one of them said, oy, ouch, oy vey, och, ach, ay or anything of like effect. Of course, the czar should not speak to the Times, Telegraph, JC and Vanity Fair as we have one such czar already and stepping on his toes is generally not advisable besides that it can also put at risk your kids' school places. We are talking of a heimishe health meiven who actually talks to us. Us the heimisher oilom. Us in shul, in the shops, at a kiddush with a mouth full of eir kichel, at weddings while yelling over the loudspeakers, at a shive on the back row because you anyway don't have what to say to the mourners. That said, he must still keep a certain distance. Should he talk to us too much then he's one of us and so we stop trusting him (because of course it's a him). He must therefore strike a careful balance: close enough to be trusted that he cares for our interests but distant enough to be trusted that he knows what he's talking about. It will greatly assist if this super-macher has connections to a top Harely Street doctor whom you can approach only through him. This will get all the moneyed families flocking there and so even the schlimazels who can't afford it will still turn to their local NHS clinic in order to keep up with the Getzels and Yehosua Meirs.

  4. Now that the Rebbes are signed up and a super-macher, or an arseken, is in place the next step is to start a campaign. For that we must employ a Chasidic graphic artist to design a campaign in garish colours, close-up, in-your-face photography, drawings of kids with peios, fathers in shtreimels and of course no mothers or sisters chas v'sholom. Then set us in suspense for months on end with blank pages in the various newssheets and only a graphic in the bottom corner so that by the time the full advert comes we'll be rolling up our sleeves, exposing our arms and handing over our kids while begging for any pin prick just to be told what's hiding behind the months of blank. Next, hire every lamppost, tree trunk, shop front and any spare wall or hoarding to paste the campaign and by the end of it we'll be begging again though this time for any affliction even if it means pricking us black and blue just to be rid of the notices, adverts, phone calls half an hour before midnight, loudspeakers on the streets, soliciting stands in shuls and taps on the shoulder while wrapping the tefilin.

  5. Next we want Chasidic copy writers to write the content of the ads. These must warn, threaten, promise, cajole, badger, blackmail that unless your kids are vaccinated you will not inherit the World to Come, your kids won't be accepted in local schools, your Rebbe won't consent to your next child's name and God forbid your WhatsApp groups may even expel you. Whatever you do, do NOT include long expository articles with scientific information on the necessity of vaccinations. Firstly, we don't need no education, is our holy call from Above. Besides, what chutzpeh do they have telling us about science and medicine as if it isn't included in our Torah and Talmud studies. How many times do we have to repeat this? Our Torah studies combine secular studies and we don't do drugs and the supermarkets don't follow our kids through the aisles and therefore our gedoilim can carry out open heart surgery with a circumcision scalpel and they know as much about vaxing as any professor. Anyway, how many kids do they have and how many do we and we need no lesson from them on chicken pox, thank you very much. The copy must of course contain many stories of the 'open' miracles that people experienced a day after the jab, the jabs that were given to heimishe jailbirds and how it strengthened their faith in Hashem and of gedoilim who took a jab for 40 consecutive days and soon after their beard doubled in size. Just one important caveat: do not include any psukim in the ads or that may invoke the wrath of the rabbis. No matter how many times healing is mentioned in the holy books and no matter how many lives may be saved, psukim do not belong in adverts. A baby up, a baby down but keep the psukim out.

  6. Before we get on to the vaxing itself, we must introduce money somewhere. It's difficult to say at this stage what role the money will play especially if the NHS foots the bill and this will have to be figured out or improvised. The money need not necessarily be in the form of a charge for the jabs though that should certainly not be ruled out. And it does not have to be handouts to parents who bring forward their children though that too ought to be considered. But at this stage we're talking money in the abstract. We need something to grease the campaign with plenty of juicy gossip about sticky fingers, hands in the till, the macher who's all of a sudden built an extension, bought a new car and gone to Israel with his family for sukkos. Only this will ensure that the entire vaxing issue is kept high on the communal agenda. One possible way of blending in money could be if those being vaccinated are not told of the content of the vaccination such as whether it's a placebo, blessed water from a mekubal in Northern Galilee or the real thing. However, once the vaccination has been administered those pesky oiber chachomim who must know the content of their injection can be provided with the information for a $500 payment, or $1,000 if the reply is needed within 14 days. (I am using dollars as it’s safer if the data is exported far away from our crazy data protections laws.)

  7. And so for the vaxing day itself. For this we must set up a heimishe kosher wonka factory laden with a rainbow of colours of sour sticks, gushers, cherry nibs, fruit winders, twizzlers, candy planets, mayim chaim cherry flavour and even Chazon Ish-size popcorn helpings. This is not for the babies who are of course too young though they can also be bribed with Ribena, Robinsons, chocolate syrup in the milk bottle and a winky or two. The main purpose of this candy paradise is for the brothers and sisters of the vaccinating child. Trust me, even the most resolute parents cannot withstand an onslaught of 2 dozen Chasidic kids when faced with the multi coloured choice with a mehadrin hechsher. True, it may have a side effect on the teeth but we have already been assured by the Chareidi Health Forum that it's all under control so there isn't really much to worry about. Anyway, since our teeth are anyway rotted we might as well scoff as much nosh as we can get our gums into.

  8. The adults may not be ignored either. Lay on a heimishe spread as only we can. Now don't stereotype about cholent and kugel though of course they should not be given a miss. And while you're at it, just pass me that plate, there behind the herring. But nowadays we've matured and if the government really wants us to vaccinate then we want something serious in return. And that something had better consist of giblets and cold cuts, tongue and lamb, sushi and fish balls, a giant salmon with a leek, cherry-tomato and cashew salad at the side and of course a beverage table with more whiskys than at a St Andrew's ball. Because as Hashem promised Abraham ‘I will multiply thy seed as the carbs at your kiddush and the whisky cups at your chupehs. So just give us that and we'll deliver up our kids to the government for as many vaccinations as are needed so long that protected characteristics are kept off the menu.

  9. Vaccinations with a hechsher should be a top priority. For a start it will assure the doubters and sceptics that it must be safe because which rov in his right mind would give a hechsher to something that might endanger your health? But I'm afraid one hechsher will not do the trick because that would still mean 80% of the oylem refusing to take it because the rov of that hechsher's wife's tights are skin coloured and she also changes to cream tights from a day after we start saying moirid hatol. You need at least 3 heimishe hechsheirim to cover every permutation of the rebbitzen’s headgear and then a U inside a circle plus a KLBD for those Englishe fusspots who insist that they eat only from a hechsher where the mashgichim are paid on the books thus losing all their benefits - that's how big reshoim those Englishers are.

  10. Finally, whatever you do, do NOT mention measles or chicken pox at any cost. Our parents and grandparents and the First, Second and Third Rebbe of blessed memory to the life of the World to Come all had measles and chicken pox and look what they achieved and so we should not try to be any wiser than them chas v'sholom. Mind you they had buckwheat for breakfast while we have Weetabix but that is a question which as a great Rebbe said, questions are a side effect of sinning. And another said, any question is heresy. So don't be so clever and just do as you're told and walk in the footsteps of the lemmings and Hashem and our arsekonim will look after the rest.

Amen!

PS These tips are for Chasidic non-vaxers only. Alas, Litvishe non-vaxers actually believe the nonsense they are fed and so unfortunately are beyond redemption. And as Rebbe Reb Ber said, Yad hachasidim al hoelyoino, the [vaccinated] arm of the Chasidim always comes up tops.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

“A Time to Act – For the Sake of the Schoolchildren

A TIME TO ACT- FOR THE SAKE OF THE SCHOOLCHILDREN

As is well known to our esteemed public may they live, members of Chareidi communities throughout England, the future of the education of Jewish boys and girls to enable them to be educated on the path of the Patriarch Israel and in accordance with our ancient traditions passed down through the generations is in a dire situation.

As that Elder, Jacob, peace be unto him, prepared [in time of crisis] with three strategies [appeasement with gifts, prayer and battle] so have we also followed in the footsteps of the sheep. We have held days of prayer and supplication in all our communities when young and old assembled to tear at the Gates of Heaven to revoke the evil decrees. Our efforts have certainly had an effect upon High and behold the Almighty God does not despise the prayers of the many. And we hereby beseech each individual to plead and increase their prayers before the Creator Blessed be His Name to revoke the evil decree. Likewise, we have also made intense efforts to rescind and revoke the decrees in every way possible with a variety of lobbying efforts, both public and private. Obviously many of the discussions with the authorities are best kept secret and [as the sages teach us] the blessing is best applied on matters hidden from sight.

In previous generations when the authorities increased the burden of the exile on the necks of the Children of Israel, communal dealings with the authorities were purposefully through representatives of the communal heads and its sages and they would assess the most appropriate methods for interceding with the authorities in their elevated and difficult task. Likewise, in contemporary times, the only way, with the help of God, to succeed to rescind and revoke the educational decrees from upon us can be only through representatives who carry out their duties to which they have been appointed by the communal heads and who thereby have the authority of the entire community.

Therefore, we the leaders of the Holy Nation have gathered to appoint and to endorse the representatives of the Merciful, our representatives, who are the appointees and activists of ChinuchUK may they live, who carry out their work faithfully and whose hands are like our hands. May they go from strength to strength to revoke the difficult decrees upon us by pursuing the traditional methods that have been utilised throughout the generations.

And this is our message to the representatives: be strong and be fortified for the Honour of His Blessed Name, and may it be the Will that we should merit the revocation of the evil decrees speedily. Amen.

We hereby sign 18 Shevat 5779 [23 January 2019]

*Bold in original