What next? Lawful polygamy?
The article by Rabbi Neil Janes on modern marriage requires serious introspection (Jewish News, 15 February).
The 10 Commandments have passed the test of time for several millennia. To meddle with them now to satisfy a number of people who wish to change the tenth one for their own purpose is contemptible.
Considering that homosexuality was declared unlawful in this country until recently, for it now to be given a high social and lawful position is something that would have been unheard of in previous generations.
As the concept of marriage is changed, there is no reason why polygamy, as well as other forms of bonds such as group marriages, should not be allowed by law as well.
Once marriage was not legally based on complementary, gender-based roles, gay marriage seemed possible. Indeed, we have seen increases in same-sex relationships, homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites and transgenders, which will inevitably slow down the world population expansion and maybe even diminish it.
Nothing stands in the way now to tamper with the first nine laws, which also stood the test of time. Having changed, biblical law has been abandoned and can now be dispensed with.
The bonds, having less substance, will be more easily broken, adding – considering all the disadvantages involved – to the substantial number of singles.
The mind boggles at the thought. Have we failed as progenitors in the relationships with our children?
Hopefully other rabbis will add their thoughts, before this modern marriage overtakes us.
Fred Stern, By email
We all have responsibility to act
I’m a former academic and irreligious Jew who has always supported Israel verbally and, on occasion, in print.
I was, therefore, shocked by your reports on 8 March, both about Labour MPs’ membership of the Facebook group Palestine Live, but also Israel’s decision to deport up to 30,000 African asylum seekers – some of whom you report have been in Israel for up to 13 years.
I was also concerned by the country’s policy of destroying selected Palestinian homes in the West Bank.
Of course, Israel cannot accept an indefinite influx of asylum seekers, any more than can the UK, for the numbers would surely reach hundreds of millions.
The two policies listed above, however, are not only immoral in themselves, but provide ammunition to anti-Israel activists.
Israel actually needs rather more non-Jewish inhabitants, particularly Africans, at least some of whom will doubtless praise Israel’s democracy and its many other virtues.
If we are to truly be a ‘light among the nations’ we should condemn bad behaviour by any Jews worldwide which, alas, is a common occurrence, even if proportionally still quite small.
Ardon Lyon, NW3
Just 20 yards from Hitler
I refer to the recent statement by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks that he would not sit in the same room as Jeremy Corbyn (Jewish News, 8 March).
In 1932, Winston Churchill came within 20 yards of Hitler at the Continental Hotel in Munich.
A meeting was tentatively arranged, but Hitler got cold feet and no meeting took place.
Could the history of the 20th century have been any better if the two had met and talked, seven years before the war?
I think not.
Richard Cohen, Loughton
Corbyn sets the tone
Am I the only one not surprised at the latest Labour Party revelations?
No doubt those within, such as Ken Livingstone, felt any anti-Semitic rant or comment would be acceptable with their leader associated with a blatantly hostile group as Palestine Live. The thought of Mr Corbyn and his party ensconced in Number 10 should be an anathema to all, and early action should be taken to prevent such a nightmare.
Stephen Vishnick, Tel Aviv
Unchanging Torah reveals the truth on evolution
Note to Daniel Stein: not all evolutionary scientists agree that Darwinian evolution has been the main driver for genetic change (Jewish News, 8 March).
A 2010 article in New Scientist on the work of Woese/Goldenfeld concluded that lateral gene transfer across different species of fauna was by far more important to the development of life since the formation of our planet than the vertical form.
Daniel should also be aware there are vast gaps in our knowledge of science that are likely to lead to major revisions in all areas – today’s science is tomorrow’s junk.
On the other hand, our written Torah has been with us unchanged for thousands of years and tells us Hashem created us and all we see.
Julian Mann, By email
Teach kids creationism
Last week there were more attempts to justify prohibiting real science in favour of low-quality, naturalistic paradigms force-fed to our children at state-funded schools.
UK Education Secretary Damian Hinds says: “Creationism has no place in the science curriculum; you’re not going to get marks in your science GCSE talking about creationism.”
Hmm… Consider Sir Isaac Newton: “When I look at the solar system, I see the Earth at the right distance from the Sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”
Then there is Fraser Michaelson (Jewish News, 23 February), who said in his small rant creationists are “not [entitled] to their facts”. (What?)
Creationism is high-quality, scientific research. The sooner it is back in the classrooms, as a viable theory of origins, the better.
Dr Neville Jones, Scotland
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”
By Joe Millis