Long live era of zoom judaism
As synagogue movements ponder religious services in the coming months, one suggestion is that events are all-ticketed affairs.
Attendance at online gatherings has been huge. No fuss about what to wear, or where to park. I fervently hope online events continue as long as possible, and are as open as possible. Being part of a congregation has become so much easier.
Janet Gamley, London, N12
Rabbi’s intermarriage views
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner’s defence of intermarriage in last week’s Jewish News seeks to take the ecumenical high road but swerves past the cautionary signs on the road.
First, she asserts the view that Ruth converted long after having married her Jewish husband, when in fact the matter is disputed by the commentators. Moreover, Ruth assumed her Jewish commitment under halachic auspices, a condition Janner-Klausner finds wholly dispensable, if not downright disagreeable.
And even she concedes that Ruth did convert, a quaint option the good rabbi would never dream of imposing upon a non-Jewish marital partner. Nor is Janner-Klausner bothered by the halachic standing of a child born only of a Jewish father – because she isn’t bothered by halacha at all.
Janner-Klausner needs to remind herself that she is a Jew solely because her ancestors observed Jewish law and married other co-religionists; and by sanctioning Jewish outmarriages, she and her colleagues – or accomplices – play a vanguard role from within in defiling the integrity of the Jewish people, a manner of sedition that, to quote the party of the first part, is unambiguously vile.
Abbott Katz, By email
Dont’ let jeremy corbyn off the hook over antisemitism report
Of course Jeremy Corbyn questions the impartiality of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the run-up to its report about allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party.
He knows that it will be a condemnation of his racist actions whilst leader.
Corbyn questions the integrity of an independent watchdog to try to give himself some wriggle room. But he and his cohorts must answer for their actions.
It is imperative that our community does not sweep this under the carpet, or it will encourage other people to follow the same bigoted pathway.
Simon Weinberg, By email
Israel must protect us
I’ve been in Israel during lockdown and am an interested party in the ongoing debate regarding annexation, not by force but by law. Many of my family live in the area known as the West Bank.
Israel does not wish to alienate herself from allies and friends – the Talmud states “Give me friends or I die” – but not at the expense of our safety and sovereign rights.
Israel is a democracy and I will support any decision that is made by the government, firmly believing that it is all too easy for us to be armchair critics. If one wants a say in decision-making, make aliyah, as
I did, and vote.
We do well to remember that on many occasions, Israel offered to give up ‘land for peace’, but sadly our neighbours rejected the offer, never wanting to live peaceably, but bent on our destruction.
We fervently pray for peace, but no country in the world would relinquish its sovereign territory to those who declare war. We have both the right and duty to look after ourselves. Otherwise, who will?
Flora Frank, By email
We also lazily stereotype
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd [in Minneapolis, Minnesota] we should reflect, individually and as a community, on how prejudice shapes our lives – in the way we are perceived and how we perceive others.
My parents and grandparents’ generations suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of those who viewed the world as ‘us and them’.
But Jews are not always victims. It pains me to admit it, but sometimes we are the guilty ones, the ones who lazily stereotype, look down, jump to dangerous conclusions and let our conclusions be drawn by baseless preconceptions.
I urge the UK Jewish community to reach out to black communities at this time of immense pain and build bridges that can sustain warm friendships and common ground in the years to come.
Adam Brookman, By email