Voice of the Jewish News: Slowly does it, and let this be a spring of hope

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Voice of the Jewish News: Slowly does it, and let this be a spring of hope

This week's editorial reflects on the reopening up of society - and the community - with the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions

The pending end of lockdown is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom (masks, distancing), the age of foolishness (huge weddings, anti-vax myths), it is the epoch of belief (normal’s on its way), it is the epoch of incredulity (I’m staying put), it is the season of light (book Israel, darling), it is the season of darkness (Finchley staycation), it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair.

It certainly has been a desperate winter, 11 months of it minus a fleeting summer interlude. As the voice of the Jewish community, we know that voice has, for almost a year, been a scream. So forgive us a double-page celebration this week of the beckoning ‘Jewish normal’.

If ever a people was social, we are that people: the shoulder tug, the cheek pinch, the scrum over sushi, the exit-blocking as we linger before leaving. Enough with the indoors, the nuclear family, the home-schooling, the poor-cousin Zoom replacements, the online services, the WhatsApp gossip that’s much juicier face to face. 

If normal is around the corner, British Jewry is hogging the inside lane and picking up pace.

A plea from this newspaper is to get there sensibly. Many of the protective measures in shuls and elsewhere will, alas, remain for now. Dangerous variants are doing the rounds, and far too many have died already. 

Let’s get ‘Jewish life’ back but let’s do so as slowly as we need. Let this be an age of Jewish wisdom, an epoch of Jewish belief, a season of Jewish light and a spring of Jewish hope.


Young people, find your inspiration in adversity

It seems only fitting that our third Young Writers’ Competition – which is launched today in association with WIZO and PJ Library – is themed around courage.

During the past 12 months, courage has shown itself in many guises, from selfless doctors and nurses and emergency workers, to essential retailers, bus drivers, teachers and care home assistants who put aside their own fears to continue supporting the most vulnerable in the face of a pandemic.

For youngsters too, months of disrupted schooling and distance from friends has been especially hard, but now a beacon of hope is visible with the recent announcement of a timetable for the ending of restrictions.

We hope that from adversity comes strength; in this case in the form of inspiration for our young writers.

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