Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Oy,  it comes to something when the leader of the people's republic of China isn't as socialist as the leader of the British Labour party....

Friday, 13 March 2015



As informed readers will know Israel is a couple of days away from a general election. As in any democracy,in the heat of the election  both left and right are  making assumptions on who would be best to make Israel strong or on the left make peace with the Palestinians .

Israel has a string of domestic issues which need, in my humble opinion,to be addressed as priorities over any peace conference: as for Iran then if that country poses a threat it should be dealt with by Israel, rather than begging the US to do it for Israel.

However on the subject matter of peace, I'm pretty much relaxed over what will happen. No Israeli gov't will be able to come to any kind of comprehensive peace at the expense of security or the survival of the Jewish state. Why? Because as long as there are in effect 2 arab Palestinian states one of which is controlled by a vicious terrorist group, who  are dedicated to Israel's destruction then there can be no peace. On the west bank, Israel cannot withdraw without it becoming a new Gaza and Abbas has been nothing but intransigent. 

I recall the time when Clinton negotiated the last serious attempts at peace. Arafat got everything he could possibly have got-including control of east Jerusalem- and he walked away. Then we had the wave of terrorism which forced Israel to build a security barrier to stop this and save lives.  And this was supposed to be the moderate Arabs, not Hamas.  From that moment on I personally became utterly convinced that Arab Palestine would never come to peace with Israel, because the leadership is unappeasable  and has no care for its own people: jihad or secular terrorism is far more important. 

I really do want and pray for peace, but it simply won't happen until Hamas is gone and the Palestinian leadership is ready to negotiate in good faith.I have no idea about what this would be like,  probably a self governing west bank, which Israel has suren auren but sadly I simply don't see peace  anytime soon.

 However this doesn't  mean we should feel depressed or downbeat. May we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as ever:

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; May they prosper that love thee. 
Peace be within thy walls, And prosperity within thy palaces"

[Psalm chapter 122: 6-7]

Monday, 16 February 2015

Learn, study work...

Greetings all

This is the latest of those posters of the adopt a disaster, adopt a Adopt-a-Kollel! campaign in Israel (following austerity cuts) :

The Hebrew Bible does of course write extremely poetically about how the Torah and studying it, is worth more than gold or precious jewelry. However the sages also, in my view at least, also talk about finding work and doing a trade and working for a living. There is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING which says one shouldn't work alongside Torah study and neither do I see that secular study is in any way a bad or wrong this: aren't we supposed to be the light unto the Gentiles? How can we do this stuck under a rock?. 

This is what I find so depressing about the situation in Israel: that working to provide for oneself or if married ones family is somehow illegitimate or wrong as opposed to full time study in the yeshiva or k. I cannot see why a system would be so opposed to doing so, nor can I understand the resistance to serving in the IDF. It is terrible that haredi families are suffering and in some cases starving. But this is entirely down to the dogma of the system that they've been brought up in. That has to change in order to prevent a terrible catastrophe for the Jewish people. I really do hope that after the next election in Israel, whatever government is formed is one that is committed to helping the Haredi out of this situation, which doesn't mean going back to dishing out cash like there is no tomorrow,  but does allow for a 'reformation' to this system,  which is hurting so many of the Jewish people. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Want us to stay in the UK? Don't whinge about circumcision or Kosher slaughter

David here,

Saying to Jews we want you to stay,does mean accepting our right to circumcise males and to slaughter animals according to our religious tradition

There are a few understandable voices within our community which are afraid of staying in  Britain, under what sometimes feels to be a new tide of antisemitism, this time not from the far right, although this still exists, but via the fundamentalist version of the religion of you know who, you the one which is above and beyond all criticism (that is if you wish to remain alive).  

I utterly understand these concerns and a few other people have said to be to note the reassuring noises of Cabinet Ministers( such as Eric Pickles and Teresa May), but this is where the elite seems to get quite confused. Whilst May and co were gushing over the Jewish community and how much she'd like us to stay in the UK, which I utterly applaud by the way, elsewhere in the Jewish News were read about a Judge's opinion of male circumcision, which he not only calls 'Harmful' (without saying why, although I've not felt any ill effects of being circumcised for most of my life) and compares it to female genital mutilation,but that male circumcision is 'tolerated' because society (we could say a lot of other things, such as gay marriage are tolerated today, but as with male circumcision will it be in the future?)  wishes to tolerate it. 

So there you go. If the politicians really wanted to make Jews feel safe, then they'd make sure, by passing legislation and finally getting rid of the human rights bull crap act (in so much as it has become a byword for left of centre ideas about what and who gets human rights) , that both male circumcision was protected in law as was religious slaughter. It's bad enough being attacked by the traditional antisemitism of the far right, the religious fanatics of ISIS, as well as the new fanatics of those atheists and secularists who wish to interfere with my religious freedoms, beliefs and practises. Which is why I don't believe that a secular or atheist state would be any better for Jews than the current arrangement of an established Christianity. 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Why the difficulty with messianic Jews and not secular Jews?

Greetings all,

A reader asked me the following questions:

"In respect of  Messianic Jews it seems that  that most (all?)  Jews see them as no longer Jews, is that correct? But why do religious Jews not say the same about  Secular Jews? I have always thought that  being a Jew is passed down through havinf a Jewish mother, so if you can inherit it (unlike Christianity), how do you lose it?"
My answer:

Firstly you are correct that a Jew is Jewish if your mother is Jewish, also if you convert to Judaism you are considered to be Jewish as anyone born Jewish. We follow this because it is part of the Oral Torah which Moses received at the same time as the written Torah of the Bible. I appreciate that Christianity rejects the notion of the Oral Torah, but Jesus (being a good Jew) did not c.f. Matthew 23:1-3 ,Mark 2: 23-27& Matthew 5: 17-20. Also we see that this law was already in practice in other parts of the Bible: in Ezra the Jewish men were told to send their wives and children back to Babylon because they were considered to be non jewish, not Jewish women being told to send back their husbands and children.

Secondly. I also understand secular Jewish atheists who are observant for cultural or family reasons. That's a distinctive feature of Judaism, a nation and a community, fused into a religion which permeates every aspect of oneself and life. We are more than a group of religious believers, but a global family. And to me family and community are key aspects of Judaism. We don't turn our back on family and therefore we shouldn't turn our backs or force them out, that those who struggle with God, with beliefs, but who wish to still be in the tent, however, it is quite clear that messianic Jews don't fit into this category.

Thirdly. A Jew who believes in Jesus as his/her “Lord and Saviour" has become a Christian. Even if not a formal member of a church group that person is a Christian theologically. The halacha (B.T. Sanhedrin 44a) recognizes the biologic link to the Jewish people as inviolate, but also recognizes that as long as one remains an apostate one is not considered to be part of the Jewish community. A willing convert to Christianity, whether formally or informally, forfeits his/her legal and social rights, which express a Jew’s belonging to the Jewish people. A Jew must meet, actively or inactively (e.g. a secular Jew), the fundamental biblical stipulation: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7). God declares: “I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

I've come to appreciate that one can never fully understand God, I believe a rabbi one said "if I knew him, I would be him"(Judah ha Levi) and as it is written:

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how life enters the body being formed in the mother's womb, so you cannot understand the works of God, the maker of all things"(Ecclesiastes 11:5).

But follow God and his commandments are nonetheless the thing for a Jew to do. A concluding thought to ponder. Does God prefer the most pious person, who observes the rituals and believes with dogmatic precision, but acts in a shameful fashion or the one who just tries with all of their heart? That to me is the difference between secular Jews and messianic Jews. But for all we are to bring them ALL back to the fold and help them become observant of the Torah. It is incumbent to hear the words of Ezekiel when he lamented "Those who went astray you did not return and the lost you did not seek "(Ezekiel 34:4).

New Year reflections

Greetings all,

Today in the secular calender is New Year's Eve, which we shall be quietly celebrating because tomorrow in the Jewish calender is a fast day (great timing eh?).But whilst we are on the subject of  new year, I guess I shall leave it to the floor to discuss resolutions, predictions for the forthcoming year. I don't have any, because there's little point in giving resolutions you can't keep and who knows what's going to happen. Having said that , I do have the feedback from my previous post and I hope next year I will be able to write about some of the topics mentioned.

Happy (secular) new year folks.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Dave's back!!

Well ..... I intend to start the blog up again, after my sister and bro decided they'd branch out on their own again(which is fair enough). Anyone got any topics you'd like me to write about, please leave in the comments thread below and I shall pen a few posts.