How was Torah debacle allowed?

Escorting a registered sex offender [Mendy Levy] with the Torah he commissioned in such loud public fashion was not the best idea (Jewish News, 11 January). If Lubavitch say they knew nothing of the efforts he put into the publicity, they are perhaps missing a way forward to try to get
back respect.

No way could Mr Levy have published it in such an outlandish fashion without Lubavitch knowledge or consent.

They got caught in the act and, perhaps, didn’t think it through.

Could it be that all the rabbonim and families, who escorted him to local stardom, and were simply there to show their support to his family, were also probably destroyed by his ugly actions?

Rabbi Yossi Simon refers to Levy as “an individual”, as if he isn’t known. All nearby communities know he is a huge Baal Chesed, and like politicians, perhaps they all have to show face to get his next handout.

The Torah scroll commissioned by  Mr Levy was perhaps destined for Beis Menachem, Mr Levy’s own synagogue, which is in temporary premises while the new shul is being built. Beis Menachem, which he and his family frequent, is now under the umbrella of the Federation. One wonders whether the  Federation looked through the membership list before agreeing to take on such a partnership.

B Emess, By email

From the holocaust to hope

I have written a poem to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which I would like to share with Jewish News readers. It focuses on the meanings of the letter H…

The letter “H” symbolises hatred, and evil acts perpetrated.

Against the Jewish people throughout our history,

that our enemies still aim for in the 21st century.

Hatred that’s driven, and still leads individuals,

to try and annihilate Israel and the Jews,

such as Haman, Hamas and Hezbollah.

But, to date, worst of all was Hitler,

Who almost succeeded with his Final Solution,

to exterminate European Jews, some six million of who perished in the
Holocaust,

which we commemorate on HMD.

But now, the letter “H” for me,

Symbolises the word “hope”.

In a similar vein, you’ll note,

That Hatikvah (meaning “The Hope”) is a Jewish poem

And of course, the title of, Israel’s national anthem.

J D Milaric, By email

May your stars shine

Back in 1967, when my sister and I were students at Liverpool University, we went to Israel and worked on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was known as Kibbutz 27, but its name was Afek.

We spent seven weeks there until the Six-Day War broke out. We were evacuated out to Cyprus from Haifa. I wanted to stay, but they wouldn’t let me, plus I had to get my sister home.

Now I’m an old man and I look back across the years, I think of it as one of the happiest times of my life.

They were days of excitement and change to an innocent young lad abroad for the first time. I loved the people, the places and atmosphere of commitment and hope.

Tell the people of David, never give up. Never give way and never give in. There are more people with you than against you.

May God bless you all during these terrible times we live through,

And may your stars always shine.

Brian Joseph Coughlan, Staffordshire

Levy allowed to do good

The campaign pursued in your columns by Yehudis Goldsobel against her offender, Mendy Levy is highly objectionable. The matter has been -judicially concluded so if Mr Levy wishes to do good by donating a Sefer Torah then so be it. Torah is explicit: ‘kiven shelokoh ochicho hu’ (“since he had paid the penalty”). This lady’s hounding of him with all the attendant self-publicity is incompatible with the virtue she seeks to represent.

Geoffrey Niman, Stamford Hill 

Orthodoxy not threatened by LGBT community

Your headline statement that “Orthodoxy cannot continue alienating LGBT community” (Jewish News, 4 January) is open to challenge on many levels.

There is a primary Orthodox requirement to behave civilly to all of humanity (see Pirkei Avot Chapter 1 Mishna 15) and observe the law of the land when it does not contradict Torah law. The Orthodox community should use the standards of the Torah to govern what is acceptable behaviour to be welcomed and what is not and therefore cannot be.

Gay and lesbian issues are not an absurdity, nor do they threaten Orthodox Judaism, but equally they are not within the Torah’s halachic framework.

Roisy Nevies, By email

Why BBC drama rings true 

Anthony Waldman (Jewish News, 11 January) need not get too irate about the presentation of an Israeli politician in McMafia as a corrupt international gangster. This is not anti-Semitism or anti-Israeli.

We all know, don’t we, that there are, of course, no corrupt politicians in the Knesset. Previous presidents and MKs (not to mention religious leaders) who have done time were clearly traduced and were innocent of all offences.

The series deals with corruption around the world, with gangsters and manipulative businessmen from many countries, with politicians in their pockets.

Let’s stick to identifying antiSemitism or anti-Israel bias where it matters, not where, sadly, it has the ring of truth about it.

McMafia is uncomfortable, but rings true.

Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath