JN is ‘against Torah’
I have been following your latest bashing of community life in Stamford Hill and subsequent refusal to apologise.
While I’m not defending the lawbreakers, one thing you failed to take into account is that the Torah clearly forbids any kind of lashon hara, even if it is true and even if there will be benefit to someone else. Surely, as a Jewish newspaper, the Torah laws override any feelings or questions you may have against the most religious of Jews.
You may ask: how can we consider ourselves a newspaper if we cannot relay the negative aspects of Jewish life – we will not be a real newspaper!
You are right, you have a serious problem. But, fundamentally, a newspaper as the way you want to be is completely against the Torah.
So you can choose: do you want to be a real newspaper while living in this world, fulfilling the life purpose you have created for yourself while transgressing multiple serious Torah probitions, or perhaps you will decide to reconsider what the term ‘newspaper’ means to a Jew and the best way to continue a career of journalism that fits the expectation the Torah demands of us.
Can I humbly suggest that the reason God put this crazy idea in your mind was to allow you the chance to wake up and rectify what you may not have been aware of since you began your career in journalism?
Perhaps it needed multiple people like myself to write to you (although I don’t live in London and have never read your newspaper) to help you come to this realisation that a newspaper as you and I know it to be is against Torah life!
Dov Leitner, By email
Place this plaque
Would readers assist me by letting me know if they recognise this plaque and where it was located.
It was found at Bushey Cemetery and I would like to identify it for historical purposes. Email email@example.com
Martin Sugarman, By email
Cutting down the tree
As a religious Zionist, words cannot express my utter desperation, shared with many, at the wilful disobedience of certain sections of our community – the flagrant flouting of halachah by observant Jews! Surely the high percentage of sad deaths among them should be proof enough to obey any government!
Why do those who purport to follow the Torah with “trembling” choose to blatantly ignore halachah, which allows for the enactment of necessitous “temporary emergency measures” at times of crisis – the need to suspend schooling, limit gatherings, adhere to restrictions, etc?
Famous examples are found during the contest of Baal – Eliyahu the prophet was permitted to build a bamah (high place for offerings), which had hitherto been forbidden, once the Temple stood. The Hasmoneans, our Holy Cohanim, men of peace, were able to take up arms during the war against Hellenism. I can quote other cases.
Why do certain sections of our people blatantly ignore the mitzvah of the sanctity of life, which supersedes every single mitzvah of the Torah, even turning a deaf ear to the pleadings of those among them who see reason?
The Torah is a “Tree of Life”. Some of our own are cutting it down, causing senseless deaths.
Flora Frank , By email
Rules for a reason
What a shame the 18-year-old who berated you in last week’s letters page about your investigation into illegal simchas in Stamford Hill did not have the courage to be named.
To make reference to the Holocaust is all too easy but, as he or she said, Jews were looked on as one during that time. So Jewish communities, wherever possible, tended to look out for each other back then.
Why not now? If the Charedim were true to the teachings of Hashem, they would follow the rules like the others.
Do the Charedim not realise that the loss of at least two of their eminent rabbis was owing to not following the rules?
Hashem looks after us, but only if we meet him halfway.
Marilyn Finester, By email
We need positivity
In the week of Holocaust Day, remembering the atrocities suffered by our brethren, I found the survivors’ stories hard to bear. Who are we to moan at the loss of our freedom as we know it during lockdown?
We can’t travel, shop, see our loved ones when we want – the normal commodity of freedom has been taken away from us and we feel deprived. At home, as we are surrounded by the media, warmth and comforts, we still feel deprived of social interaction and I know members of the community are isolated. We should stop and think hard about what took place in the name of the Jewish race and also others who were named outcasts. We owe it to our children to present a more positive attitude to life.
Norman Neville, Hendon
Admit your anti-religious agenda
I applaud the individual who wrote anonymously to your newspaper last week, criticising your reporting on Charedim breaking lockdown rules. It was a brilliant comment and very well articulated.
I wish to follow in their footsteps by asking you the following – why do you not admit you have double standards? Why do you continue to lie? If what you’re concerned about is the flouting of Covid regulations, why wasn’t it front-page news when tens of thousands of individuals marched through London chanting Black Lives Matter, especially given many Jewish organisations supported and endorsed it. Where was your outrage?
If the wedding a few weeks ago was a Reform wedding, would it be on the front page? If it was a gay couple, would it be? I think we all know the answer to that. Do the right thing and admit to your anti-religious leftist agenda and maybe change the name to the Non-Jewish News or the Palestinan News. At least then you’d be honest.
Sammy (surname withheld on request), By email
The public interest
So when upset, scared and angry members of the Stamford Hill Jewish community came to Jewish News to tell the newspaper that illegal, potentially deadly events were taking place on their doorstep, in contravention to the laws of the land, your newspaper should have hushed it all up?
I honestly didn’t think intelligent people could hold this view until your invetigation. I’m shocked by how little I knew of the depth many in our community will sink to cover up truth in the public interest when it reflects badly on Jews.
Adam Senkin, By email
The selfish few give majority bad name
I write, as many have done, about your coverge of lockdown lawbreaking by sections of the Stamford Hill community.
Don’t take the lawbreakers who think they represent Hackney seriously. Most are on social media groups that spread hate and gossip all the time.
However, I’m not in favour of the press generalising a community because of the selfish few. We need to keep the negativity to a minimum as it doesn’t do the Jewish community very much good. It just fuels yet more hate.
Lazar Friedlander, Elstree
Overjoyed by over 80s celebration
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your 120 Over 80 countdowns. It was uplifting and quite moving to find out about individuals who built up British Jewish life into what it is today. Congratulations to all those who featured and thank you for all the work you’ve done – and continue to do – on our behalf.
Miriam Regov, By email
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.
By Joe Millis