Kiddish poses virus risk
I was very happy to see that my local synagogue has taken the coronavirus outbreak seriously, placing posters everywhere about the importance of hand washing and even providing hand sanitisers in communal areas.
I was also pleased to hear the rabbi and wardens reminding people not to shake hands, not to kiss Torah scrolls or siddurim, or mezuzot, as per the United Synagogue guidelines released last week and reported on your front page.
So you can only imagine my shock, having received all this prudent advice, when having gone through the rigmarole of avoiding touching others and cleaning our hands, that we were all expected to just plough in to the communal Kiddush and share crisps and bridge rolls and pastries.
In short, we were meant to use our hands and hope for the best that someone else hadn’t touched the food before us – or indeed that they didn’t have the infection.
Where is the sense? Surely most synagogues agree this is not the way forward to protect members.
Emma Elias, By email
This year’s seder nights will be truly different from others
There has been much publicity about the fact that visitors to Israel will now be subjected to a two week quarantine on arrival, in order to make sure they are not carrying coronavirus.
This will clearly affect family visits to Israel over Pesach. But similarly Israelis cannot visit their families here, since they too will be quarantined on return home. Since 4 March all health workers in Israel have not been allowed to leave the country.
It is so disappointing for Jewish families worldwide to be separated from their children and grandchildren at Pesach. This year the seder night will truly be different from all other nights.
Kay Bagon, By email
Front page was surely a spiel
Congratulations on your headline story in last week’s newspaper titled Shuls: Don’t kiss Torahs or mezuzot. It was the funniest Purim spiel I have read. Indeed, it was worthy of Jonathan Swift, who was the expert in religious satire.
Michael Roodyn, Edgware
What an inspiring lot!
I was inspired by your Eighteen Under 18 countdown (Jewish News, 27 February 2020).
Jewish youth in London, their achievements, their leadership and their creativity are a perfect example for the next generations and for the Jewish communities as a whole.
The best part is that it is all done for a meaningful purpose. Each one of them is determined about their goals, values and ideals. Each of them knows their strong side and uses it in order to enhance the chesed flowing around the community and to preserve the core principles of Judaism.
Be it climate change, social work, community leadership or fighting antisemitism, sport, art, or fundraising, all these kids have underlined different parts of a greater whole.
There were two young women who particularly inspired me: Elisheva Landau-Pope and Amanda Mond.
Everyone has a story; we may not know the full story, but kindness and appreciation matters. That’s why I think that they have a strength that can widely motivate others to never give up and to always work for the better. Well done to all!
Matthew Little, By email
Teens truly an example
How inspirational it was to read your Eighteen Under 18 feature (27 February). It sometimes feels as though the ‘me generation’ will only ever be interested in themselves, or whatever their friends share on social media.
So it was really heartwarming to find that young people in our community are campaigning so brilliantly for charity, working hard at making music and developing their ability to connect with other young people in leadership roles. It’s particularly good to see teens engaging other young Jews.
In the 1980s, when I was a teenager, we had a tiny fraction of the distractions today’s youngsters have to contend with. So, mazeltov to these young people, and to Jewish News for showcasing them so superbly.
Frayda Asserson, By email