Chief must not be deterred from supporting Rabbi Dweck

Geoffrey Alderman’s column suggested that the Chief Rabbi should bend to the threats of those rabbonim against Rabbi Dweck, lest the saga cause a rift in the Orthodox community (Jewish News, 6 July). Well, Geoffrey, I have news for you – it will lead to a rift whichever path the Chief Rabbi takes.

If he supports them, he will offend and possibly alienate those who see Dweck as having done nothing more than put forward a case for a more mainstream Orthodoxy. If he supports Dweck, he will alienate those following the harder line. A possible third way is to disagree with Dweck, while acknowledging that the issue of homosexuality and Judaism is complicated and Dweck’s comments were made with the best of intentions. Dweck should not apologise or compromise his principles and the Chief Rabbi should not be held to ransom because of threats.

In fact, Ephraim Mirvis would for a lot of the community have his credentials enhanced by taking a stand in favour of Dweck.

Mike Hinden, By email

Difference between winners & losers

Your letter writer Adam Alexander clearly lives in the deluded world of George Orwell’s 1984 – doublethink and doubletalk.

He thinks Mr Corbyn won the recent election. Er… third defeat in a row for Labour? Some 56 fewer seats than the Tories? Some winner!

Labour is tragically in thrall to the hard left, with Corbyn’s puppetmaster John McDonnell calling the shots, not to mention Seumas Milne.

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn continues his triumphal demagoguery following the rally at Glastonbury. The Tories are in a mess, with a weakened PM and dissidence in the ranks. Sadly the Opposition is just as divided and on the fringe of British politics like never before. The Jewish vote is significant in only a couple of constituencies, so Mr Corbyn’s feeble statements on anti-Semitism ring hollow, subsumed within a general “we oppose all racism” mantra.

How sad for a once- proud party, which most Jews supported. Attlee, Gaitskell, Wilson and Callaghan must be turning in their graves (although perhaps not Michael Foot).

Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath

Rabbi, does my son not deserve happiness?

After Rabbi Aaron Bassous called for the Sephardi Rabbi Joseph Dweck (pictured) to lose his job over his supportive remarks about homosexuality, I would like to share my letter, sent to Rabbi Bassous, to which he is yet to respond:

Dear Rabbi Bassous,

I’m a 66-year-old Ashkenazi and my wife comes from an orthodox Sephardi background. Our four children are in their 30s.
They attended the same Jewish primary and went to secular schools. They had the same opportunities and are thoughtful human beings. There was no difference in how they were raised.

At 23, our youngest son told us he was homosexual. He is an intelligent, rational boy and was clear about his orientation. We love our son not one iota less than our other children. It is evident that nurture played no part in his sexual orientation. Our conclusion is that his sexual orientation is due to nature. He was born that way.

Some people are born clever and some not; some handsome and some not; some musical and some not; some athletic and others not; some have physical deformities and some not. Some people are born homosexual and others not.

Rabbi Bassous, does our son deserve any less love than his heterosexual siblings? Should he be denied the right to build a life with a person that he loves irrespective of gender? Is it right that he should be discriminated against by the Jewish religion?

Laurence Seeff, By email

Inmates can show us they mean it

Your item “Kosher is the new snack for picky prison inmates” and amusing editorial “Kosher Porridge” made me think (Jewish News, 6 July).

The last paragraph of the editorial stated “the prison authorities could cut this trend off at the knees by asking for the appropriate blessing”.
My suggestion is to insist that the men have a brit milah first as the start of their conversion.

J D Milaric, By email

School compromise

Although there can be little doubt that the motivations behind ­Ofsted’s recent criticism of Stamford Hill schools are highly questionable, with some goodwill on both sides accommodations might be possible.

No sane psychiatrist really believes that children as young as three can be educated about such notions as transgender and homosexuality. On the other hand, it should be possible for even the most Charedi school to invite a frum psychiatrist – and a few of us do exist – to speak to children about the importance of the ­acceptance of differences.
We want children to be accepting of others.

Dr Joseph Berger, By email

Congrats Jemma 

Among all the waffle one reads – even in your newspaper – Jemma Wayne’s column on the tragedy of Grenfell Tower stood out for its coherence and righteousness (Jewish News, 28 June). Read Jemma’s article here: After Grenfell, we must redress inequalities that plague our society

 

Mike Sarne, By email