Voices from Russia

Saturday, 31 August 2013

31 August 2013. Taking a Stand… Retracting It Under Pressure… What NOT to Do

00 cowardly lion. 31.08.13


Rav Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, said the following in 2011:

The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i. When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about ‘I’, you don’t do terribly well.

In a later statement, the Chief Rabbi’s office said:

The Chief Rabbi meant no criticism of either Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century.

Methinks that lawyers for Apple threatened Rav Sacks with a lawsuit (or big-time contributors held the lumber over him, which amounts to the same thing). The Cupertino Commandoes ARE that arrogant (so are big contributors). Rav Sacks should’ve stood his ground… his retraction nullified what was a perfectly-apt and spot-on observation. Isn’t there any courage and grit left today? One does wonder…



Gay People Should Feel At “Home” In Orthodox Synagogues, Says New Chief Rabbi

00 Rav Ephraim Mirvis. 30.08.13


Editor’s Foreword:

By the way, the moral theology of Orthodox Judaism (especially, Modern Orthodox Judaism) and Orthodox Christianity are very similar. Of course, since “our Lord Christ lived and died a believing Jew” (as a Greek country pappas put it in World War II) that isn’t surprising. The positions on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, female ordination, and gender roles expressed below are IDENTICAL to those of the Church. Ponder that.



Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who’ll be inducted formally as successor to Lord Sacks as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth at a ceremony on Sunday, also welcomed moves to give women a greater role, but ruled out allowing them to become rabbis. He said that he wanted to “strive for equality” but not “uniformity” in his role as the most senior Orthodox rabbi in the Commonwealth. On Sunday, the Prince of Wales will take his place among more than 1,000 guests at St John’s Wood Synagogue in North London as Rav Mirvis is installed as the most senior figure in the United Synagogue, the largest Jewish religious  body in the UK. He will be only the 11th holder of the office in more than 300 years… a period which has seen well over 50 Prime Ministers come and go.

Rabbis in the Liberal and Reform movements are amongst those at the forefront of the campaign for same-sex marriage. However, Rav Mirvis signalled that the United Synagogue would retain its traditionalist stance and opt out, in common with most Christian churches and all mosques, when gay marriage becomes law next year, saying, “We have a clear Biblical definition of marriage which is the union of one man and one woman, and through that, we value traditional family life, but I’d like to reiterate our genuine sentiment to every single Jewish man and woman… you have a home in our synagogue and we’ll make you feel comfortable regardless of who you are”. Asked, during a BBC interview, whether he was “out of step with modern society”, he said, “Equality is what we strive for, but when we talk about equality it isn’t uniformity. When we talk, for example, of men and women and the opportunity within synagogues and within community life, there are clear roles that different people can play and in that way each of us can achieve his or her own amazing potential”.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, a prominent figure in the liberal-leaning Reform movement, urged Rav Mirvis to break with tradition and abandon the title of Chief Rabbi as a symbol of reconciliation with the growing Progressive congregations. Now, Progressive synagogues account for around a third of all Jewish congregations in mainland Britain, but Rav Mirvis has already declined to break with tradition and visit one… although he insisted he wanted to work closely with non-Orthodox rabbis. Rav Romain said, “The Jonathan Sacks years were marked not only by his prominent contribution to wider society, but also by much internal division and controversy. Hope of rapprochement have already been dashed in advance by Rabbi Mirvis stating that he won’t enter a non-Orthodox synagogue. The refusal to even step inside a Reform synagogue makes it clear that he’s in no position to represent all British Jews. Rabbi Mirvis should, therefore, abandon the title of Chief Rabbi… once appropriate, but no longer so… and adopt a more accurate title, such as Senior Orthodox Rabbi”.

30 August 2013

John Bingham

The Telegraph


Editor’s Afterword:

Firstly, the Church condemns anti-Semitism in no uncertain terms; it’s position on that is that of St Ioann Kronshtadtsky, not that of the Black Hundreds. We understand (and value) our spiritual descent from the People of the Old Covenant. Secondly, the Church doesn’t excommunicate or shun homosexuals. It takes the Middle Path, as St John Chrysostom put it. It rejects same-sex marriage, but it opens its hands to homosexuals. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (no Renovationist or “liberal” he) has written that he’s heard the confessions of homosexuals. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but it’s NOT the worst sin. Konvertsy err when they think that we ape the sectarian “Evangelicals“. We don’t… the Church’s nuanced position satisfies neither the Extreme Right or the Extreme Left. As I wrote in the Foreword, the Church’s position and that of Orthodox Judaism on morals are very close, indeed. Reflect on this… Our Lord Christ “disappointed” many whilst He was alive, so, does it surprise you that the same is true of the Church that He founded? That’s a worthy meditation…


Friday, 21 June 2013

21 June 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Robbers Dressed As Rabbis Hold Up Bank

00 two rabbis cartoon. 21.06.13


Three robbers… two dressed as Orthodox Jewish rabbis and the third as a security guard… held up a Buenos Aires bank and fled with the contents of several safe-deposit boxes. Police said that the robbery occurred early in the morning in the Villa Urquiza neighbourhood when the bank was full of customers. The bandits emerged from a car parked in front of the bank, whilst a fourth person waited behind the wheel. Once inside, the fake rabbis subdued the employees and customers and took the contents of a number of safe-deposit boxes. Police say the robbers were disguised, “with two of them dressed as members of the Orthodox Jewish community, that’s to say, black outfit, wide-brimmed hat, beard, and curls, and the other pretended to be a security employee inspecting the closed circuit television”.

20 June 2013

Perth Now


Thursday, 25 April 2013

25 April 2013. Some Vox Pop from the Cabinet on “Modern Orthodoxy”


Do you want to know what modesty looks like? Look at this image…


I’d like to offer another comparison of Modern Orthodox Jews to Modern Orthodox Christians. Modern Orthodox Jewish women follow Jewish modesty laws, but they do so in “normal” clothes readily available, just making sure that the items are modest. This blog is a good example. “Modern”, observant Orthodox Christian women dress modestly for church, as well, but in “normal” clothes. It’s very possible to be both stylish AND modest. In contrast, just as you can find more-“traditional” Orthodox Jewish women dressing very frumpily, so, too, you can find this amongst Orthodox Christians, especially the konvertsy. I have to stifle laughter when I see konvertsy women and their daughters dressed like prairie muffins with clothes right out of Little House on the Prairie. It’s an almost sure sign the family came from evangelical Protestant circles. Amongst the “normal” Orthodox circles I run in, I mostly see Orthodox women wearing their business clothes to church (skirt suit, dress, or blouse/sweater and skirt) with a scarf or little hat added for church head covering. Dresses/skirts are at the knee or a bit longer most of the time, although there’s nothing wrong with a longer skirt if one likes them.

The problem comes when an Orthodox Christian woman thinks that “modesty” means only skirts down to the floor, sleeves to the wrist only, and a head covering that resembles a repurposed large embroidered tablecloth or a Muslim woman’s head scarf. In fact, I’ve known Orthodox Christian women go to great lengths to buy clothes from stores that cater only to Muslim women. There’s something very off-kilter and wrong if Orthodox women think they need to look like Muslim women to be considered “modest”. What’s so wrong with these individuals (the women, and the men, including priests, who encourage this thinking) that they can’t go to church unless they wear so many clothes, even in the hottest summer weather, that only their face and hands are showing?


Hear, hear… modesty doesn’t mean ugliness or weirdness. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, one of the closest confidants of HH, has voiced the same concerns many times over. He’s for modesty under all circumstances, but he’s also opposed to priests who collect claques of oddly-dressed women around themselves… that’s not Orthodox in the least. Fr Vsevolod is no modernist… but he’s no obscurantist, either. In another related instance, to show you how his windsock points, he’s reiterated the Church’s REAL teaching on artificial birth control, which is that it’s allowed via oikonomia. In like manner, he teaches the Church’s true position on modesty… that one shouldn’t dress in a sexually-provocative manner (that goes for ordinary life, as well as church-going). However, you don’t have to wear a shapeless burlap sack, nor do you have to cover your head with a feedbag with holes cut out for your eyes.

God gave us good-sense, didn’t He? It’s clear that plunging necklines, micro-minis, and camis worn alone aren’t kosher for church wear (or for ordinary dressy affairs, either). We need to be told that? That kind of thing is obvious even to children. As bad as it is when young people do such, what’s worse is when someone over forty wears such… in virtually all cases, it’s an absolute eyesore (we’ve all seen it, haven’t we?). We don’t need rules… let’s face it, we all KNOW what’s provocative and what’s not (if you don’t know that, boy, are you in trouble, hon). What we do need is good example, wouldn’t you agree?

What’s modest? Look at the image posted at the head of the article. Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral is with modestly-dressed women… they’re not in black, and they’re not frumps (do note that feminine trousers are kosher). Any questions?



Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.