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The Sixth of Nissan

"44 years", they marvelled, just as they did last year and just as they will keep doing year after year with incremented numbers while measuring their own life by her death. But 44 years it is and still it feels like this. Still it hurts and still the ground is cold. This morning AL, now with a white beard, recalled how as a kid on his bike at the corner in Clapton Common he heard the news. BS namechecked her and wanted to know if it was only that one name. PF stroked his unfurled almost navel length beard, fresh and untangled after the mikveh, as he told of the photo he has of my mum with myself and my siblings. Forty four years. Others commented on the freshness of the croissant sandwiches while the shy boy stood quietly at the side eyeing the food but too timid to approach the adult table where death was being served up with Scotch. Less shy were the drinkers sipping Lechaim from sample-size cups. In some shuls they wish you a long life but here they're more conc

Mirvis’s Baptism of Fire

Anti limmud_edit


  1. Far more restrained than the document signed by many more and internationally more respected) Rabbonim against the Belzer Rebbe 40 years ago.

    So, what/who is worse? Limmud or Belz?

  2. where was this?

  3. Just wondering what aspect of the Limmud Mission statement there were referring too:

  4. I happen to agree with the rabbonim. The whole idea of Limmud is to frame orthodox Judaism as just one of a series of equally valid "streams of Judaism" alongside the reform and liberal movements. Unfortunately, more and more of the young post yeshiva and sem young people who return to England are being drawn into the Limmud orbit, because its a huge and lively event which gives lots of young people an opportunity to organise a major Jewish residential event. Millionaires in the Jewish leadership council and the so called "peace movement" pour money into the Limmud enterprise who are committed to "pluralism" and promoting the "peace movement". I greatly admire Chief Rabbi Mirvis, and I hope he will be persuaded not to continue on this path.

  5. Ben Kitaigorodsky11 October, 2013 03:39

    Nice to see that Roberts has found his tongue

  6. In contrast to Adloyada's opinions above, I desperately hope Rabbi Mirvis goes to Limmud. I grew up Orthodox, went to Hasmonean, and was subjected to the relentless, stultifying barrage of text and mindlessness that passes for limmudei kodesh in the UK. It was only a few years after yeshiva that I went to my first Limmud. That was the first experience of Jewish education that genuinely thrilled me. It was the first time I wanted to learn and explore more. It was the first time I felt encouraged to think. It was the first time I could really see our seforim in a useful context and appreciate them in a way that made me want to learn more.

    So, bearing that in mind, I can see exactly why Ehrentreu & co. are so afraid of Limmud: because it's better.

  7. what yoz just said. for me, limmud was an important opportunity on the road to becoming shomrei mitzvot, or traditionally observant if you prefer. the ehrentreu competitor, "encounter", failed because it was simply more of the same "this is why we're right", preaching to the converted. limmud is simply a different way into judaism. but for people that can't see value in anything outside kowtowing to the yeshiva world, i can understand the objections. go ahead - it's still the biggest thing ever to come out of anglo-jewry and is being replicated worldwide. it is a qiddush haShem and brings many people to observance of the miswoth rather than the other way round, despite it not aiming to explicitly or even tacitly do so. go and see, rather than sticking your head in the sand.



  8. Non-Limmud Attendant12 October, 2013 20:40

    Well done to Rabbi Roberts for once again showing such courageous leadership!

    When one of his mates is found to be up to who knows what with frum women he dithers for weeks on end, kills every initiative to stand up for decency and then finally writes a letter that says precisely nothing besides for the fact that people can come and speak to him in private.

    Yet when it comes to Limmud, which nobody who regards him as an authority would even consider attentding, he suddenly finds his pen.

    I suppose the temptation to have one over the hated LBD was just too much to resist.

  9. I was just about to book my Limmud ticket when I saw this notice. I was going to disregard its contents until I saw that not only is Dayan Krausz the author of Mekor HaBrocho but also of "od seforim". If that's the case he must really know what he's talking about.

  10. Rabbis Mirvis, Winegarten, Krausz, Janner-Klauszner, Romain, Rich, Eherentrau (to name a few) all have one thing in common: they all believe they have the truth. Will the real Judaism please stand up !

  11. Confused, looking for answers, Help!16 October, 2013 08:29

    Am slightly confused, anyone care to explain??

    Firstly does Rabbi Mirvis support limud? If yes where is that confirmed?

    Secondly, if Limud is that bad and supports apikorsus why do so many frum rabbonim attend?

    Thirdly, who are the Jewish leadership council? Who appoints them? Are they real leaders or just wealthy people? Is is a status thing for the likes of GR?

  12. JLC is not frum16 October, 2013 08:41

    The Jewish Leadership Council is made up of mainly reform/liberal/massorty and a few non orthodox Jewish charities as well as the United Synagogue!

    Nothing to do with the large and significant charedi communities in the UK

  13. The organisations that the JLC represents do a lot of work with the frum kehillah so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them. Just because Jewish Care doesn't invite the Moron D'asro to bang mezuzos in doesn't mean it's reform.

    1. I think that in JLC IS NOT FRUM's list of constituent organisations Jewish Care falls under the classification of 'a few non orthodox Jewish charities' and not under the 'reform/liberal/massorty" (sic) classification.

  14. Jewish Care's subsidised restaurant in Raine House, Stamford Hill, is under Kedassia supervision. There is a full time chassidsche mashgiach there.

    The UOCH Baal Habatim kollel is in the same building.

    Rav J. Padwa, one of the most senior rabbonim in UOHC, has his shul (Shabbatot and Chagim etc. only), Cheshev Ho'aifod, in the same building.

    To say nothing of the many social and other services Jewish Care provides for the local community at no cost.

    Jewish Care "non orthodox"?

    Is there another public service institution that does as much for Chareidi Stamford Hill at no cost to the community as Jewish Care?

  15. jlc is not frum17 October, 2013 10:38

    Mr educated , your missing the point. Jewish care is a Jewish charity that is not scumy and pertexier run like stamford hill. It supplies services in stamford hill like it does to all Jewish communities in the uk. They are a nice charity focused on their provision of charitable service which mainly covers the non religious community. I wasn't knocking them!! I was pointing out that the jlc does not include orthodox jewry, in fact it makes a wide berth around the "frummers" almost as if we don't exist.

    I stand by point that the jlc represents reform/masorti/liberal and the us who I am sure are lovely people. It also has membership from the lovely Zionist family of organisations as well as some NON religious charities! ( one of whom provides what is for them a propotionally tiny service in the hills)

    For example the CST, lovely people I am sure but from 50 staff, 200 volunteers and 2000 trained synagogue volunteers under a handfull of frumers and 1 haimisher SYD.

    Shomrim, Hatzola, the union, agudah etc etc should be on the jlc if they want to call themselves representatives

  16. Why would any serious organisation want to have anything to do with the Union of Overweight Heimish Crooks? The reform have more in common with Torah Judaism than those kleptomaniac molester protesters,

  17. jlc.

    You have missed my point.

    The UOHC Rabbinate have many times with great emphasis forbidden contact by anybody in their sphere of influence with any "non-orthodox" institution. It appears they have a policy of "Do as I say, not as I do".

    Jewish Care, although associated with JLC, is run as an entirely separate organisation. As are most shuls and shtiebelech in Stamford Hill "affiliated" to the Union.

    The reason the "Chareidim" are not in JLC is because the frum Rabbonim will not be associated with any body that does not unquestionably accept their directives as outright law. They do not brook any opposition or debate etc. They take it for granted that all will immediately obey all rulings. Where ever they can they impose any sanction they can on any "rebels" they do. You see this mostly, but not only, in schools acceptance policy. Which is why so many SH residents send their children to Golders Green moisdois and indeed several, otherwise chassidish, families have moved there.

  18. Limmud is an initiative of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) an organisation that was established because of the orthodox dominated Board of Deputies' refusal to permit any conservative/liberal/massorti/reform etc., representation or recognition. (Ironically, UOHC would only allow an informal alliance with the BoD but refused all offers to have any representation or formal affiliation with the Board).

    Setting aside the halachic discourse on how much association, if any, a torah observant Jew or organisation may have with the variety of alternative Judaism groups. The JLC was setup to represent all of Anglo Jewery irrespective of the affiliation or observance of the individual/organisation. It is hardly surprising that the JLC has a large constituency of alternative or non-observant organisations. It is more surprising that the United Synagogue is a constituent. 

    As the US is now led by lay people, neither the rabbis of the synagogues nor the dayanim of the beit din have any say about policy and direction. The board & management of the US is run by people who have a high level of commitment to the organisation but a very secularised outlook on religion and orthodoxy.

    The US joining the JLC was sharply criticised by its rabbis and beit din, yet continues to date. The emeritus Chief Rabbi was more than keen to attend Limmud, but refrained due to pressure exerted by - allegedly - the then senior, currently emeritus, dayan of the LBD. In the selectioneering for new Chief, it was made pretty clear that the chosen candidate will ignore the "right wing" objections, and will attend Limmud. I also guess - though this is totally unfounded supposition, and not an allegation of any impropriety whatever, purely my ramblings of a fictional hypothesis - the lack of any signatories of current employees of the US could indicate that the risk of displeasuring the paymasters could result in a shortened term of employment. (It could just as easily indicate that no current employees were asked to sign, or were asked but don't concur with the statements and refused to sign).

    The bottom line is that UK Rabbonim are/were too weak or disinterested to halt the US from joining the JLC. The current leadership of the US is 1) keen to show that it is modern and inclusive, and open to all Jews. 2) scared of losing control of the BoD, or, a far greater disaster, the downgrade of the BoD from sole representative to the UK establishment or even from being removed as any form of representative. The alternative groups have been seeking for a foothold in the national representation market, and for minimalising the orthodox voice. 

    In my opinion, the US has given them this one on a silver salver bedecked with all possible fineries. They have also placed Mirvis between a rock and a hard place. He will be damned if he attends and damned if he doesn't.

    It also due to the charedi rabbis who make a mountain out of molehill issues, that alienate the public from taking them seriously when it comes to genuine alpine matters.

     The fuss over women praying at the kotel, with or without talit, tefillin & sifrei torah, is laughable were it not so sad. Equally a recent edict by the Federation, banning women from dancing with sifrei torah on simchat torah is indicative of the petty mindedness of the rabbinates.

    Whilst not being a pre-war European custom, and in spite of the references to back the ban, there's no genuine grounds for the ban other than an unfounded history of it not being customary. 

    Even more amazing, one of the signatories to the giluy daas against attending Limmud was far less militant and nowhere near as specific when signing a letter earlier this year concerning a certain local rabbi and allegations of his improper behaviour, verbal, by phone and physical, towards girls and women - many married - who were sent to him for counselling. Or does RPR consider attending Limmud a far greater evil than protecting the public from a close colleague?

  19. Keddassia from birth,20 October, 2013 08:31

    Why are we judging chief Rabbi Mervis, its for the US community to judge him.

    We should be looking at ourselves, end of,

    If the united synagouge decide to get closer/join a conference with REFORM, that's their choice!

    We have our Rabonim and our community. Let's look at ourselves not the us with its frum rabonim but non frum directors and non frum congregation.

    1. If it weren't for "the us with its frum rabonim but non frum directors and non frum congregation" what do you think "our Rabonim and our community" would look like today?

  20. to confused.... "so many" frum rabbonim don't attend limmud. At the end of the day it is pluralist, to go is bdieved because Us congregants are there, not lechatchila
    But yes Rabbi Mirvis has publicly said he is going.

  21. Why do the UOHC and the JT show hiporcrocy and support the CST which is run against the torah. But against limmued
    Only one way to see it they can get money from CST and not from limude

  22. Whether or not one agrees with the Gilui Daas, the letter published in the JC from a core group of Jewish Leadership Council people is beyond disgusting and uncalled for. It attacks some of the most eminent Halachic authorities in the UK as if they knew nothing about communal leadership-- and this from such shining beacons of moral authority as Gerald Ronson, Lord Mendelsohn (formerly Gordon Brown's favourite lobbyist firm and fundraiser) and Mick Davis, former owner of gold mines where the impoverished miners dared to strike and were shot down. And these are the people who put money into pressuring the Labour Party to make Ken Livingstone put his name to some sort of pseudo apology so as to make him more electable. And they have the chutzpah to accuse Dayan Ehrentreu and his colleagues of political power play! The Jewish Leadership Council are totally self elected. They have an agenda. Their agenda is that their millions will only be used to fund projects and events that are "cross communal". That is a euphemism for according Reform, Liberals and Masorti the same status as orthodoxy. They are using their money to ensure that officials are picked for the charities they bankroll to support their aims.
    It is perfectly possible to disagree with the Gilui Daas without showing such grob disrespect as they've done to the Rabbonim. And I think it behoves everyone to think very carefully about what the Gilui Daas says rather than sneer at it, mock it and ascribe the motives for writing it to bad faith and jealousy. Last time the Rabbonim issued a Gilui Daas, most of us cheered, Only that time it was the supporters of a certain Chaim of Bridge Lane who went in for organized sneering and discrediting attempts on Dayan Ehrentreu and his colleagues.

  23. Rabbi Roberts has just put out another Gilui Daas, with contents remarkably similar to this one:

    “Cover-up” is the political correctness of the Charedi world. The upshot of this is that even though issurei arayos are transgressed, no one is deemed to be wrong.

    As religious Jews, however, our fundamental bedrock is that there is only one moral standard – that of the Torah B’ksav and Baal Peh which is of divine origin.

    Divrei Chaim and similar organisations espouse the ethos of “cover-up”. Participating in their davening, shiurim and apple throwing blurs the distinction between authentic Judaism and pseudo-Judaism and would have tragic conferences for Anglo Jewry.

    As such we strongly advise any Jew whose heart has been touched by the fear of G-d and who wishes to walk upon paths that will be viewed favourably by the Ribbono Shel Olam, not to participate in any activity which is under the auspices of Divrei Chaim or similar organisations.


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