Just another split in Judaism

Rabbis will share duties with women for the first time as the Chief Rabbi says there is a “real need” within the Jewish community for females to be put in a position to offer others advice.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis launched his new scheme, known as the Ma’aynot Project for female Jewish leaders, in a bid to create roles for women within modern orthodox Judaism. Female rabbis are not permitted within orthodox Judaism, unlike in more liberal denomination such as Reform and Liberal Judaism.

There is in fact no central doctrinal body within Judaism. There are many interpretations.

So, some will accept this and others won’t. Just as there is now orthodox, reform, liberal, there will now be reform, liberal, orthodox accepting women rabbis and orthodox not accepting women rabbis.

Rabbis share duties with women for first time, in ‘turning point’ for Judaism

Thus it’s not for the first time and it’s not a turning point. It’s just another fraction.

A certain amount of trying it on here

The set up seems believable. And yet:

A Jewish businessman has criticised the Family Court for putting him in a Catch-22 situation over a divorce ruling which allegedly traps him between family law and religious law.

Alan Moher, 54, was ordered to hand over a £1.6million lump sum to his wife Caroline, 46, by the Family Court and told he must also pay her £1,850 per month in maintenance payments until he grants her a ‘get’ – a document that officially ends a marriage under Jewish law.

However Mr Moher, of Salford, Greater Manchester, claims that a get is only valid if it is granted ‘freely’, while he is being put under pressure to provide it by the continuing maintenance payments.

As an aside, is Moher a derivation of mohel? At which point we’re in cliche territory, no?

Anyway. Judaism does maintain its own courts and they do deal with exactly this sort of thing. Not sure, there might even be separate Sephardi and Ashkenazi such. Anyone know? But that would seem to be where to go get a ruling. Is such continuing maintenance until a get a bar to the get being granted freely?

Well Rabbi?

Which is where the hint of a suspicion arises that using the secular courts to fight this is trying it on a bit.

Anyone care for the Salman Rushdie bet?

As the old joke went, Rushdie’s next book was going to be “Bugger Off Buddha, Ya’ Fat Bastard”.

The joke being of course that there was no militant Buddhism slaughtering people.

And the bet? We care to insist upon that about Sri Lanka?

I think it unlikely but then that’s just opinion and uninformed at that…..

Weasel words

So far this year, the United States, which eliminated measles in 2000, has seen 465 measles cases across 19 states. The majority have occurred in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and Rockland county, New York, where parents have shunned the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, seemingly influenced by claims that the vaccine is not “kosher” because it contains “pig DNA”. In fact, the final product is highly purified and most rabbis accept that vaccines are not prohibited by religious laws.

Most rabbis is not all rabbis. And who are the most likely to be out of step with most? The ultra-Orthodox, that’s rather what it means.

Nope, not saying that they’re right, not saying that vaccine dodging is a good thing. Only that that argument, as given, is a particularly weasel one.

Well, how many should there be?

Stephen Poliakoff says it is ‘striking’ how few Jewish characters are portrayed in British TV dramas

Some 250,000 or so in the population. One in 200. Do we hit that sort of level of representation? In anything where the religion of the character is either im- or ex-plicit?

Actually, the real explanation is this:

Launching his new BBC drama Summer of Rockets,

Gotta say something to get the PR going….

Fair point

The magnificently woke actor George Clooney has demanded we all boycott luxury hotels with links to Brunei because the country has ruled homosexuals must be stoned to death. Happy to help, George — that’s Brunei off my Christmas card list.

There are nine other countries where gay people face the death penalty. They all have something in common. Much like the countries that will put you to death for apostasy. Shall we boycott those, too, as well as countries where gay people are simply imprisoned or lashed? They all have something in common, too.

I wish George would explain what that something was.

Um, what?

The painting is thought to represent the patron saint of lawyers and advocate of the poor. The figure appears to be holding what the gallery describes as “a legal document, which would be appropriate for Saint Ivo”.

Yes, I know, odd mixtures of things that saints are patrons of at times. But really, lawyers and the poor? Is it actually possible to be patron of two things quite as in opposition as that? SPUC and Planned Parenthood perhaps?

This is amusing

Dalia Fleming of KeshetUK, a charity that works with LGBT+ Jews, says people in the Orthodox community faced “an impossible choice” between their sexual or gender identity and their religion.

“There has been a shift,” she said. “There is much more information available now, but there definitely needs to be more support for people who are LGBT+ and want to stay in the Orthodox community.”

Umm, well.

Bit like insisting you want to remain a Catholic priest after getting married*. It’s an either or really. To have come out rather does mean coming out of the community which insists that coming out is an anathema and those who do must be shunned.

*No, you can’t, although you might be able to become a priest already being married.

Well, obviously not, no

Jason Isbell: ‘Jesus would not have voted for Donald Trump’

Well, obviously not, no.

Jesus wasn’t an American, wasn’t alive at the right time and didn’t have the vote anyway. You know, what with living in a Monarchy associated with an Empire and all that.

Very jealous these Christians

Yesterday, as he again returned to the cathedral to read aloud from the Bible, Mr Coote said: ‘I am not hurt or angry, but very surprised that St Paul’s would support the Occupy London people but not support the reading of the Bible.’

The Reverend Peter Simpson, a pastor at the Free Methodist Church in Penn, Buckinghamshire, said he endured a similar experience outside St Paul’s two years ago, when he and a colleague were ordered to leave. ‘We did not say anything inflammatory as far as I can recall,’ he said.

‘We were just preaching from the Bible but were told to move. We did not want to break the law so we moved to the edge of the grounds marked by bollards and preached from there.’

The Barnabas Fund, which campaigns against the persecution of Christians, has launched an online petition urging Parliament to intervene. Dr Martin Parsons, head of research at the charity, said: ‘This illustrates the slippery slope down which the UK is losing its heritage of religious freedom.

‘One of the first aspects of freedom of religion to be established in England was the freedom to read the Bible in public. A Royal decree specifically forbade clergy from stopping anyone reading the Bible in public. Now St Paul’s Cathedral is trying to stop someone reading the Sermon On The Mount in public.’

Well, you know, the Anglicans don’t want the Methodists – people who actually believe in the stuff – poaching their flock to be shorn, do they? As they have been for a few centuries now.

Yes, amusing

London is known as a bastion of liberal values.

But by some measures the capital city is less progressive than you might think.

Findings from the British Social Attitudes survey found that residents were the least likely to say that pre-marital sex and homosexuality were rarely or never wrong.

Just 73 per cent held this view about sex before marriage and 67 per cent about same-sex relationships.

The trend is despite London having the largest proportion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the country.

Researchers said the regional variations were down to “religious differences” between different areas of the country and Londoners’ social conservatism was “largely driven by religious factors”.

“Controlling for religion, a factor significantly correlated with views towards pre-marital sex, differences between London and other regions became statistically non-significant,” the paper said.

So, what’s the explanation? Which religion and its association with immigration?

Part of it would be Judaism – not that I claim to be an expert but isn’t London home to the only substantial Hassidic or equivalent communities in the UK? But much of the rest of it would be Islam, no?

Tempus Fugit etc etc

Holly Meyer The Tennessean
Published 3:32 p.m. UTC Jun 12, 2018
DALLAS — A Georgia church was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention on Monday over charges of racism.

Er, no, for being racist.

Still, how times change, eh? It’s taken only 80 years or so to go from compulsory to forbidden.

Noncey boy bollocks

But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do, and thus in a subtle way it can enslave us.

It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much.

Convenience as we now know it is a product of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when labor-saving devices for the home were invented and marketed.

The rediscovery of Calvinism, hard work is good for you.

Bollocks.

Merry Solstice to all

This is a cause for regret to my more devout friends, I know. They feel as though their festival is being not just cheapened and commercialised but taken over by godlessness. Is it any comfort to them to know that this is a reversion, that the opposite happened some centuries ago? Christianity once colonised and usurped a pagan festival.

Indeed, there are signs that we are simply removing some Christian layers from Christmas to reveal its older traditions buried beneath. While the Christmas tree is a German 17th-century addition, the habit of bringing greenery into the house at the time of the winter solstice is almost certainly far older than Christianity and was a Yule tradition of northern Europeans with origins lost in the fog of antiquity. Likewise gift-giving and the lighting of candles to urge the return of light in the darkest time of winter.

This is of course true of near all of the major Christian festivals. No, not to insist that Christianity means nothing nor that it is an invention (hey, make up your own minds).

Rather, that the hegemonic religion of the time spent some centuries noting that people tended to get merry at certain times of the year, three of the four turning points of the year for example. Samhaim became All Souls/All Saints, the arrival of spring Easter and the winter solstice Christmas.

As Matt Ridley notes:

If Christmas is really just a repurposed pagan festival of the solstice, this does not make any of its traditions, Christian or pagan, any more or less worthwhile than others. In particular, let us give the Christians credit for two things: charity and beauty. Had it not been for St Paul and Constantine, we might still be celebrating midwinter with just debauchery, flamingoes and female gladiators, and no acts of kindness, consideration, contemplation and care. And we might never have heard a boy’s treble singing Once in Royal David’s City in the incomparable, soaring splendour of Kings College chapel’s perpendicular architecture.

So have a merry solstice, be good and let’s hope the sun heeds our heathen hopes and starts to return this week.

Whatever your beliefs do have a merry one.