Columnist’s narrow-minded devotion to a bygone age

I should have known better than to read Brian Gordon’s latest column (Jewish News, 20 July). He continues to spew out his negative, narrow-minded narrative.

Despite how difficult it might be, with the worldwide anti-Semitic hatred Jewry faces, we should be putting religious differences aside and pursuing a sense of communal unity. Not so with Brian, his never-ending diatribes against Progressive Jews, and the nasty vitriol coming from some of the supposed learned rabbis in the Rabbi Dweck saga, sadly show as a people we are more divided than ever.

Mr Gordon’s last words sum up succinctly his and other Jews’ views of the direction Jewry should follow in today’s modern world.

As he writes “just as it was in Temple times thousands of years ago”, I presume they would follow precisely all the rites and rituals of those bygone days, including animal sacrifice.

Robert Dulin, Winchmore Hill

First refuge of the coward

Brian Gordon’s diatribe disgusted me (Jewish News, 20 July]. He pontificated about the Jewish nature of Israel but is content to leave the defence of the country to those not Orthodox enough for his conscience.

Mr Gordon is concerned about non-Orthodox conversions “that recognise converts who have not been taught any real commitment to the commandments or the divinity of Torah and the Oral Law”. How does he square this concern with the many “proper Jews” who owe their status to the fact that their mother was Jewish, despite having had no religious education and being ignorant of Torah or the oral Law?

When it comes to being a good Jew, I would point to my granddaughter, who spent seven years in a combat regiment of the IDF and my grandson, who, despite being sightly impaired, volunteered and served for two years.

If Israel was the country Mr Gordon wants, how would it be defended? By yeshivah regiments facing the enemies’ tanks and guns waving copies of the Chumash?

It is said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I would paraphrase that to: Orthodoxy is the first refuge of the coward.

Alan Miller, By email

 

Set the record straight

Your article, “Mayor blocks Hasmo plan” was misleading and unbalanced (Jewish News, 20 July). The proposal was to demolish the girls’ school and build a boys’ school and a girls’ school well away from the site of the girls’ school, and on some 15 acres of prime green belt. As neither gender were to catch sight of the other, separate playing fields were to be built.

The proposed site provides “lungs” for residents and teems with wildlife and is adorned with established trees, many of which are protected. The Talmud instructs us
that destroying trees and nature encompasses the
entire range of needless destruction.

The planning committee passed the proposals by only one vote, but you omitted to mention this was the casting vote of the chair, himself an old boy of the school. Another member was also an old boy, and a further member had been a governor. None recused themselves.

Roger Selby, NW7

Questions over motives

So Sadiq Khan chose to reverse Barnet Council’s decision to allow the expansion of Hasmonean School. This follows his decision to allow supporters of Islamic extremists to march though London carrying terror flags, protected by his police. He also allowed a conference in support of the so-called Palestinian cause, where Jewish attendees and their families were reportedly ejected by the police. One can only wonder where the mayor’s true loyalties are and what has happened to his pledge to be a mayor for all Londoners and all faiths.

Martin Greenberg, Redbridge

No place for baseless hate

I’m heterosexual, but admire the letter from Laurence Seeff regarding his son’s homosexuality (Jewish News, 20 July).

It is not homosexuality itself that causes problems but the attitude towards it. As Mr Seeff correctly states, everyone is different. If we learn to accept each other’s differences, instead of taking issue with each other, the world would be a better place.

Those of religious backgrounds will note the Second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Hating homosexuals just for being homosexual is also baseless hatred.

After all, gay people were also murdered by the Nazi regime during the Second World War just for being homosexual.

Sarah Gilbert, by email

The west swallows the propaganda every time.

Has there ever been a more ridiculous, absurd and pathetic excuse for rioters to take to the streets than the placing of metal detectors at the eight gates leading to the Temple Mount following the killing of two Israeli policemen by three Arab Israelis? Recent demonstrations in London that saw Palestinian supporters just take over a major central London street of their choice, openly display terrorist flags and burn the flag of Israel (the only democracy in the Middle East) shows how the west has bought into the propaganda. Again.

Russell Ballen, By email