Skip to main content

Why? – On Our Conduct in the Pandemic

This is a translation of the final chapter of an extensive feature in the latest issue of the Yiddish journal Der Veker focusing on the Charedi, and specifically Chasidic, response to Covid-19. ( The feature was also covered by The Atlantic .) After compiling and analysing figures which show covid deaths amongst New York Chasidim about four times higher than the national average (which is consistent with figures compiled elsewhere), Der Veker dedicated the final chapter to the burning and painful question of “Why?” Now read on… Our reckless conduct during the pandemic has produced grim and heart-breaking results and the conclusion is shattering: we have with our own hands brought upon ourselves a death rate four times worse than that of our neighbouring communities. And the question cries out to heaven, why? As Jews we are raised to be compassionate, our communities have an immense number of social welfare and medical organisations with much of it evident during the pandemic. E

The Chaims they are a changin

Leyton Orient rabbis, marked
Spot the difference
The above is the call in support of the of Leyton Orient internet rally. It is signed by almost all London Rabbonim affiliated to the UOHC. Ringed are those who signed the recent letter in support of Chaim Halpern.
What a sign of the times!

Popular posts from this blog

Why? – On Our Conduct in the Pandemic

This is a translation of the final chapter of an extensive feature in the latest issue of the Yiddish journal Der Veker focusing on the Charedi, and specifically Chasidic, response to Covid-19. ( The feature was also covered by The Atlantic .) After compiling and analysing figures which show covid deaths amongst New York Chasidim about four times higher than the national average (which is consistent with figures compiled elsewhere), Der Veker dedicated the final chapter to the burning and painful question of “Why?” Now read on… Our reckless conduct during the pandemic has produced grim and heart-breaking results and the conclusion is shattering: we have with our own hands brought upon ourselves a death rate four times worse than that of our neighbouring communities. And the question cries out to heaven, why? As Jews we are raised to be compassionate, our communities have an immense number of social welfare and medical organisations with much of it evident during the pandemic. E

“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

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 highlig