כי לא מחשבותי מחשבותיכם

כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם, וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Last night: Large Fundraiser in London to 'Save Children' from Irreligious Parents

Last night at 6:30 - 8 PM, in the shtetl of Stamford Hill, a large gathering was held in the big Bobov shul at Egerton road to raise money to fund the legal expenses of parents who wish to alienate their spouses, who went off the derech (left orthodoxy)  from their children. They talk about 'saving' 17 children whom would possibly become irreligious if their rebellious parent gains custody of them. Can you feel the fear? 

It was advertized like this:





Partial translation of the second advert:

‘Rescue the Children’ Convention with the participation of the Greats of the Generation

Since we now need one million pounds therefore the community is requested to join in with a minimum sum of £500 and it is possible to pay this in instalments up to two years

And everyone who donates the sum of £5,000 and above will receive a certificate of partnership signed by the important guests, Their Holinesses, the Lords, Rabbis and Teachers, Peace be to them and long good days.
  • The big synagogue will be prepared with thousands of seats to accommodate the thousands of members of the community.
  • The women’s synagogue will be open for men
  • There will also be loudspeakers on the street
  • We ask the community not to come with cars
  • Due to lack of space, teenage boys and young boys will not be allowed in.
Of course, the Head Rabbi of Stamford Hill wrote a proclamation that everyone should join the effort:



This is a translation of the Head Rabbi’s letter of support for the convention:

Holy Proclamation

From His Honour the Genius Head of the Bet Din and leader of the flock, peace to him and to long and good days

To participate in the convention ‘Rescue of the Children’

Rabbi MCE Padwa
Principal Rabbinical Authority of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
35 Filey Avenue, London N16 6JJ

With the help of God, 5th day of Av, 5776, London (Tuesday 9 August 2016)

To our great pain, and our misfortune, our community finds itself in a terrible situation - seventeen of our pure and holy children where one of the parents, God rescue them, have gone out to an evil culture, and want to drag their children after them. This is a decree of shmad (lit. apostasy) and this situation has motivated our rabbis who are in Israel:
  • His Honoured Holiness, our Lord, teacher and Rebbe of Viznitz, peace to him and to long and good days
  • His Honoured Holiness, our lord, teacher and Rebbe of Slonim, peace to him and to long and good days, and
  • His Honoured Holiness, our lord, teacher and Rebbe of Rachmastrivka, peace to him and to long and good days
to come here in a personal capacity to increase prayer and to gather money for the legal fees, and to achieve this a convention has been organised of prayer and also to collect money.

It is incumbent upon every male of the town to come and join in personally in the convention and God should hear our outcry and it should fall in our hands to rescue the holy children from descending into ruin, Amen so be the will

Who signs in honour of this great deed

Moshe Chaim Efraim Padwa


Apparently, the event raised £ 600'000 (roughly 750'000 USD), which sounds like they are willing to spend lots of cash on lawyers, so that the ex-religious parent, who likely has little money if any, gives up their children quickly. 

To me, it sounds like the parents should be rescued. From their belief that it is OK to alienate children from a parent, for religious reasons.  

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Some pictures of the event (from Jewish Daily News):






Friday, June 24, 2016

Dershowitz On Halacha and Animal Sacrifices

Image from jewishleadership.blogspot.com
Alan Dershowitz, in his 1997 book called The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century, has an interesting quote about halacha and animal sacrifices (italics mine):
Jewish Halakah — the methods used by rabbinic authorities to derive religious law — is a wonderful institution of which we should be very proud because it has contributed so much to the quality of our lives as Jews as well as to the lives of all humankind.
But it is an ever-changing institution that must continue to change.
Consider, for example, the elimination of animal sacrifices from the Jewish ritual. If you asked a Jew who lived in Jerusalem during the days of Solomon's Temple what the central ritual of Judaism was, he would answer without hesitation “the animal sacrifices in the Temple.” He would point to verses, chapters, indeed large portions of the Torah as describing these rituals in the most minute detail and commanding them in the most unequivocal terms. Judaism without animal sacrifice would be unthinkable to a Temple Jew. Yet the unthinkable has come to pass without weakening Judaism or Jewish life.
Nor will Judaism ever return to animal sacrifices. Because we need to pretend that Judaism is immutable, we have created the myth that we will return to animal sacrifices when the Temple is rebuilt. No we won't! Not in my religion! Jewish animal sacrifices were no more brutal than the rituals of other primitive religions — indeed, they were far less brutal than human sacrifices. But those days are over and Judaism will never return to them, even if we build another Temple.
The rabbis will figure out some way to justify not returning to so primitive and anachronistic a ritual, because they know that Judaism today could not survive it. Perhaps that is why we will never have another Temple: because the rabbis would not want to be confronted with the dilemma of how to rationalize a Temple without biblically commanded animal sacrifices.
In any event, this was a major change in Jewish life and in Judaism – a change that would have occurred had the Temple remained standing. (Some Orthodox scholars might well argue that God saw to it that the Temple was destroyed precisely in order to put an end to animal sacrifices, which had seen its day go by. So be it, but the result is the same: no more animal sacrifices!)