December 2013 | Kislev/Tevet 5774
INSIDE THIS MONTH
Rabbi’s Word comes courtesy of Rabbi Alan Mann on p2
Anthony Scott-Norman visits the Jewish Museum’s exhibition celebrating the FA’s 150th anniversary. p15
It’s Not All Doughnuts! Read about some alternative traditions to eating latkes and doughnuts on Hanukkah. p17
e have now reached the time of the year when we go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. We only see the garden only at weekends, and the sun rarely. We remember the summer with nostalgia. It is hardly surprising that most cultures have a mid-winter festival of light. Our own such festival is, of course, Chanukah.
The festival of lights reminds us in the middle of winter of the summer that has gone, but also of the spring that is to come. It also reminds us of the battle for freedom fought by the Maccabees, freedom from Assyrian/Greek rule and the freedom to follow the traditions of Judaism. Memories of the past are an important part of our psyche. However, is the importance of Chanukah overstated? It is a minor festival, post Biblical and merely recalls a series of survivals for which our history is full. In this it must fall below Purim in importance. Yet there are public lightings of the Chanukah candles in public places, in Trafalgar Square, in Golders Green and at Golders Green. To the nonJew, or even the Jew who
is not well versed in Jewish history and literature might be forgiven if he were to think that Chanukah was the most important of festivals and the centre of Jewish theological teaching. Yet, we know that the public displays and the frenetic buying of presents at this time of the year is more to do with another festival of candles and lights which is celebrated by the majority community. If you cannot beat them join them, and put on it a Jewish twist. After all, Chanukah is a good excuse for the eating of Latkes, with the roast turkey. I am not a killjoy. I am not against celebrating Chanukah. It is better to do it than ignore a tradition of two millennia. Perhaps we should also celebrate the other festivals with equal enthusiasm. Enjoy Chanukah and have a good time, after all there is little else to celebrate at this time of the year. Let us brighten up life
with candles and singing while the winter wind blows round the house and sight of the sun is a rare pleasure. But just remember the memories that the candles are designed to remind us about. And should we forget, just go out in the garden all wrapped up against the winter wind and with a stick stir up the leaves on the garden beds, and you will find, just peeping through, the heads of daffodils poking out of the cold earth. If Chanukah is here, Spring, cannot be far away. Now that is cause for celebration; lets have a doughnut.
Rabbiâ€™s Word is written this month by Rabbi Alan Mann
Religion School The Religion School will continue in December with the return of Rabbi Pete, following its regular structure and content. The morning will be divided into two halves: Hebrew and Jewish studies. The children- also in two groups, Junior and senior- will spend half their morning on each of theses activities. The Religion School will meet on the following dates in December/January: Sunday 1st Sunday 8th Sunday 15th Sunday 22nd Sunday 29th Sunday 5th Jan Sunday 12th
10.00 am- 12.15 pm 10.00 am- 12.15 pm No Religion School No Religion School No Religion School 10.00 am-12.15 pm 10.00 am-12.15 pm
And there will be the usual Religion School Service to end the morning.
Bar-/Bat-Mitzvah Class The Bar-/Bat-Mitzvah class, led by Rabbi Pete, will continue its work looking at the earliest stories in the Toarah and why they are there. It meets on the following dates in December: Saturday 7th Saturday 21st Saturday 4th Jan Saturday 11th
9.30 – 10.45 am 9.30 – 10.45 am 9.30 – 10.45 am 9.30 – 10.45 am
Kabbalat Torah Sunday 1st Saturday 14th
12.45 pm 10.00 am
Adult Education Watch out for any last minute announcements about Adult Education in the weekly bulletins when Rabbi Pete returns.
Dear Editor Regarding your interesting and informative article in the last Hakol about changes to our services. We wondered why this need for “change”? What is so wrong with tradition? I go to Shabbat Services on a fairly regular basis and enjoy the familiar format of our service, where I can join in, reflect and feel that I have understood the meaning of the service, what a shame it would be to loose this. I appreciate, we of the older generation, are not always willing to try new things, but hasten to say that we favour Technology and new ideas to a point, but the familiarity of our Synagogue is such a comfort, although this has changed somewhat over the years since my husband and I have been members, and has become more and more anglicized. Would changing the format of the services encourage more young congregants to attend, I think not, but feel it may well discourage us older members!! Also referring to David Steinberg and Harry Hurst’s articles regarding the Yom Kippur services, we loved both of their ideas. I am sure we all remember our loved ones who are no longer with us continually but especially at Yom Kippur, and really don’t need their names to be read out during the Yizkor Service. Many Thanks, Carole Pomerance
Happy Birthday to... Jesse Alter; Grace Babb; Ellen BaumringGledhill; Joshua Ben; Alice Bradshaw; Joshua Caplan; Sam Cohen; Eliana Cowan; Mia Festenstein; Emily Garland; Oscar Haffner; Nicole Liubarski; Dexter Riedl; Charley Swarc; Eva Zur.
Welcome to... Malcolm & Doreen Rose
Deadline for the next edition which will run from mid January to the end of February is Thursday 9th January
The Jews of St Albans
ome and hear the lecture at Verulamium Museum, 7.30pm, Thursday 5th December, admission £8.
This talk has been prepared through the combined efforts of all the local synagogues and promised to highlight some little known facts about the Jewish contribution to St Albans past and present. Tina Shaw
â€™d like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Walton, Rebecca Davey and the members of the KT group who lead the Saturday morning service which commemorated this event.
Sadly there was only a small congregation to witness how seriously our young people took this event, how decorously they behaved and how well they read the service which Rabbi Pete had prepared prior to leaving for his sabbatical. In fact we owe a big thank you to all those who have lead services, taken classes and made visits to care homes during this period. It takes a great deal of time and effort to do this as well as holding down the day job. We are lucky to have a number of congregants who are prepared to ensure things have been kept running smoothly during the past two months and of course Rebecca who has had the extra burden of ensuring everything joins up. Val Dickson
Date: Saturday 7 December Meet at:the Bell pub Bedmond for a 5 mile walk across fields & styles. Time: Meet 2.15. Leaders: Michael & Tina Shaw Mobile: 07527 525 111 Mobile is for ON THE DAY ONLY Date: Saturday 18 January Meet at:Bullsland Lane off Heronsgate Rd, Chorleywood, WD3 5BD. Time: Meet for prompt 2.00 start Leaders: Monique & David Blake Mobile: 07956 235568 Leave M25 at junction 17. If travelling anticlockwise, take 3rd exit off roundabout into Long Lane. Go just under 1 mile passing THE STAG pub on your left, to T- junction. Turn left into Bullsland Lane (cul-de-sac) and park anywhere beyond the double yellow lines. Walk will start promptly at 2pm as it starts getting dark just after 4. Please note that there MAY be a some cows in one of the fields we have to cross.
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Diary | December-January 2013 Sun 1st
Kabbalat Shabbat supper
Singing group practice
Shabbat morning service
Erev Shabbat service
Shabbat morning service
Erev Shabbat service
Shabbat morning service
Erev Shabbat service
Shabbat morning service
Kabbalat Shabbat supper
Shabbat morning service
Erev Shabbat service
Shabbat morning service
Erev Shabbat service
Shabbat morning service
Starting Tues 22 October at 10am, there will be a 9 week Pilates course for Beginners/Intermediate taking place at TLSE. Cost ÂŁ85.50 The class will be limited to 10 people, to ensure more individual attention where required. Please contact Mandy t: 07946579931 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place in advance.
On Being Jewish
y childhood years were mainly spent in Edgbaston Birmingham, and I started at a Nursery school at the age of four and a half years where I met several Jewish children who remained friends during their entire lives, but after more than 80 years later there is only one still alive today. My maternal grandfather was a particularly strong Orthodox member of Singers Hill Synagogue and he was very strict with me his eldest grandchild making sure that after I became seven years old I accompanied him each Saturday to synagogue. It was more than 2 Â˝ miles walk to the synagogue. He was an extremely religious person but absolutely genuine in his beliefs and he would not break the rules like many of his congregation did such as driving to the synagogue and leaving their car in a side road. I must say I had to admire his honest behaviour. My Father on the other hand was not at all religious although my mother was more so having been influenced by her Father.
I found the service at Singers Hill to be rather heavy going and gabbled through at a pace and except in the very front rows there was very little decorum, however despite what I have said the Rev Abraham Cohen was a brilliant speaker and some of his sermons were very educating and in fact I can remember one of them to this very day. One thing I did experience was a little anti Semitism on the occasions that I walked from the synagogue on my own after the service particularly in the area near to the synagogue which was in a fairly rough part. Sometimes three or four boys would chase after me and try to put bits of rubbish on my head or just push me and call me anti-Jewish names. Being alone there was not much I could do against these numbers except move out of the area as quickly as possible. I did also experience some anti Semitic remarks from a friend named Geoffrey and this always happened when we had some disagreement and he would then call me a dirty Jew or suchlike which would make me extremely
angry. On one occasion his outburst had lead to a fist fight and after he had returned to his home after having received a punch from me, his mother came across to complain, but my mother quite rightly said that these remarks he made could only be attributable to him hearing such anti-Semitic talk at home. Although they denied such happenings, this must have been the case and our friendship was lost for a period although we made it up again sometime later. Apart from these incidences I did not suffer from any other acts of anti Semitism during my early years. Early in 1939 I started lessons for my barmitzvah which was scheduled for December of that year. I also learnt that I had passed the entrance examination for King Edwards Birmingham, which was the school my mother always hoped I would be able to attend. The situation in Europe was very tense with the antics of Adolf Hitler and my grandfather told me that he could not see any other solution except one in which we
would eventually have to go to war. I also saw many Jewish refugees from Germany arriving in Birmingham and one man in particular had suffered a few weeks in a concentration camp and it was upsetting to see his broken nose and marked face from the knocking about he had received from the Nazis. Soon after war was declared in September 1939 I was evacuated with King Edward’s School to Repton in Derbyshire and after a couple of weeks in one of the houses of Repton College we were found billets with local families. I and five other boys found themselves joining the vicar and his wife at their vicarage in Willington which was a few miles away from Repton. I do not believe the vicar’s wife could have possibly understood what she was taking on by having 6 eleven-year-old boys in her house. To add to her aggravation she had to put up with me singing and practising my posha in my bedroom whenever I was able to do so. I still did not attend school on Saturdays and this would make a significant difference later on as both chemistry and physics were only taught on that day and I therefore gained no knowledge of
them whatsoever. On some Saturdays one of the older Jewish boys in the school would take a short service so we did keep in touch with our religion. I did manage my barmitzvah in Birmingham and it went off reasonably well considering I mainly had to teach myself, but the only party was a lunch at our house attended by three or four guests. 1940 saw the fall of France and being on my own in Derbyshire I must admit I felt a little frightened as I had a good idea what might happen if the Nazis were successful in invading Great Britain. However there was then a rather strange happening in that the Luftwaffe started to bomb Derby, where Rolls Royce was based, whilst nothing was happening similarly in Birmingham. As we were only a few miles from Derby we had to shelter under the stairs at night and our life became quite difficult. So much so that it was decided that the school should return to Birmingham which was still quite quiet. The Germans however did not leave Birmingham free of bombing for very much longer and we were soon back in the shelters in our
house and those which had been constructed in the new school building. I particularly remember seder in 1941 at my grandfather’s house which took place with a heavy raid on Birmingham. My grandfather took no notice of the bangs and crashes around us but carried on with the seder as though nothing was happening. When it had finished and there was a lull in the bombing we managed the 10 minutes’ walk to our home and we had no difficulty in seeing our way in the dark as the fires burning in the centre of Birmingham lit up the streets in our area. Soon after this there was an air raid and our house was damaged and my father decided that we should try and find accommodation in Stourbridge which was about 15 miles away. He was very lucky as he managed to rent a house where we remained during the rest of the war and thereafter. In January 1945 I was called up to join the army and spent more than a year at various places in the United Kingdom before being shipped out to the Middle East in early 1946. At a transit camp at Tahag in Egypt all those
in my Army group were told they would be going to Palestine, however I was later called back to be told that due to the unrest in Palestine they were no longer sending Jewish soldiers to this destination and I was sent to Cairo instead. Of course during this time the situation in Palestine became very serious and there was a lot of fighting between the army and the Jewish groups. Terrible incidents like the bombing of the King David Hotel and the execution of two British sergeants made life for me very hard. On one occasion I was on a troop ship which had also many British soldiers who had been serving in Palestine who were very bitter and I must say I felt quite lucky that following their ranting and ravings against Jewish people I had not been thrown overboard. One other thing which impressed me whilst in Egypt in 1946 was a talk given by the most senior officer of the unit to which I was attached who gave his thoughts and analysis regarding the future of Palestine. In fact during this talk he predicted that the state of Israel would happen in a couple of yearsâ€™ time, which was
exactly what did happen. I spent nearly 18 months in Cairo and then was sent to the desert zone when Cairo was evacuated by the British army. In 1947 I had a few days leave in Alexandria and in fact on Yom Kippur I was able to attend a service in the synagogue in that town. Here I met a lot of young people and was also kindly invited to break my fast by a family who lived there. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were important days for me and trying not to work during my army career but to quietly read my prayer book was always a task I had to deal with as the army did not recognise such days as holidays for Jewish service personnel. Thus I had to often give up days of my leave to keep these days clear. After six months in Malta and 3 Âź years in the army my demobilisation time came up and I arrived home in early 1948. At this time my parents had decided to leave Singers Hill and join the Liberal Synagogue in Birmingham, where the Rev Bernard Hooker had recently become the Minister. I welcomed this change and followed them and as well as attending services, only
occasionally due to our location, I also became heavily involved in the youth movement for many years, including becoming its Chairman. In 1957 I got married and the Liberal Synagogue became a large part of my life and I joined the committee and also became its Secretary prior to moving to Bedford and then London. After being a member at Wembley Synagogue I joined Stanmore Liberal Jewish Synagogue which became Hertsmere progressive and then The Liberal Synagogue Elstree. During my time with this Synagogue to date I have headed the PTA, been Treasurer twice and Chairman, Vice President and President. At the present time I still attend services on a regular basis and I retain my interest as to how the synagogue and the wider Liberal movement are progressing. Regarding any anti Semitic remarks I have learned from my father, and over the years, that it is always better to tackle the perpetrator and not to ignore the words even if this makes it a more difficult solution.
We are very sorry to announce that Toby Clifford has passed away and we send her family our sincere condolences. â€˜Our condolences to Alan Stockman and family on the death of his father Gabriel Stockmanâ€™
020 8953 1369
020 8950 1862
020 8954 9569
020 8953 1369
020 8953 4439
We wish muzzletov to Eve & Mark Saunders on the marriage of their son Joshua to Alexis Levy.
Telephone Scam in Hertfordshire Please be aware of a new telephone scam which is currently being used across Hertfordshire. The Caller states he is a Police Officer or a Bank employee. The caller usually tells you that people have been arrested and have used your bank cards. They will tell you to call 101 or 999 to verify their story if you seem suspicious of them. DO NOT RING ON THE SAME PHONE! They will not hang up when you do, and just pass the phone to another person who corroborates their story. The victim is then asked for their PIN number and is told to cut up their bank card in a certain way and give it to the courier who arrives later. NEVER GIVE YOUR PIN NUMBER TO ANYONE. Luckily many people who have received this phone call have either seen the previous OWL message about it or have become suspicious on their own. Some people will be fooled by this however and it is important for us to protect as many vulnerable people as possible from falling foul of the scam. This Scam is currently being used across the Hertfordshire area. There have been over 100 Calls in October.
Services for December - January 2013/14 Fri 6 Dec 6:30pm Kabbalat Shabbat supper Sat 7 Dec 11:00am Shabbat morning service 4 Gen 14, 1-24;The story of the two brothers Council Rep: Davina Bennett Theme: Peace Fri 13 Dec 5:45pm Tots’ service Fri 13 Dec 6:30pm Erev Shabbat service Sat 14 Dec 11:00am Shabbat morning service Special Booklet; KT leading; Gen,15, 1-17; Psalm 105, 1-15 Council Rep: Lizzie Rabin Theme: Special KT Fri 20 Dec 8:00pm Erev Shabbat service Sat 21 Dec 11:00am Shabbat morning service 5 Gen 16, 1-16; Judges 13, 2-24 Council Rep: Michael Reibscheid Theme: Children Fri 27 Dec 6:30pm Erev Shabbat service Sat 28 Dec 10:00am Tots’ service Sat 28 Dec 11:00am Shabbat morning service 1 & birthday blessings Gen 17, 1-22; Jeremiah 31, 27-34 Council Rep: Richard Elman Theme: Covenant Fri 3rd Jan 6.30pm Kabbalat Shabbat supper Sat 4 Jan 11:00am Shabbat morning service 2 Gen 18, 1-15; 1 Samuel 1, 1-3, 9-20 Fri 10 Jan 5:45pm Tots’ service Fri 10 Jan 6:30pm Erev Shabbat service Sat 11 Jan 11:00am Shabbat morning service Fri 17 Jan 8:00pm Erev Shabbat service Sat 18 Jan 11:00am Shabbat morning service
Borehamwood Food Bank Food & Volunteers Wanted TLSE have delivered the first batch of food to Borehamwood Foodbank, which is helping to feed more than 600 adults and children who would otherwise go hungry. Please donate tins and dried food - soups, pasta, tuna, vegetable, puddings, etc. Collection boxes and detailed shopping lists are in the entrance foyer. If you are sometimes free on a Thursday morning between 10am and 12.30pm, could you help at the Foodbank, which is located behind St Theresa's Church in Shenley Road, Borehamwood? (Diagonally opposite the Council Offices). The volunteers are very friendly and include members of churches and synagogues in the area.
Football at the Museum by Anthony Scott-Norman
lease put a note in your diary now to visit the Four Four Jew exhibition at the Jewish Museum a mere 3 minutes’ walk from Camden Town tube station. The exhibition started on 10 October and runs till 23 February 2014 as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations. There are concession tickets and a cheap Thursday evening opening. You can just turn up enjoying the museum galleries also or book ahead on www.jewishmuseum.org.uk /football. As a museum volunteer I have both enjoyed all aspects of this unique exhibition for myself who doesn’t passionately support any football team though there is some very loyal Arsenal support in the family. I also love seeing the enjoyment of visitors from all walks of life and from young to old. The exhibition explores in video and audio, in documentation the personal witness of past Jewish players, directors, writers and even football fan rabbis. Yes Pete we acknowledge their support. We learn how the Maccabi .the Wingate and Brady clubs encouraged by Anglo – Jewish philanthropists used football as a way to integrate many very deprived East End boys into Jewish societies and give them a purpose in life. It is amusing to note how Jewish players in and supporters of the big league clubs ranging from West Ham to Arsenal and Leeds and Manchester City and Manchester United had to reconcile the demands of Shul in the morning and the other “religion” in the afternoon. The former Chief Rabbi Sachs called it two different congregations. Also managers varied in how match time off and timings could be accommodated with high holy days. Some hard traditionalist Rabbis thought Football totally detracted from a holy day of rest but seemed to be in minority. Three major events in footballing history are highlighted in the exhibition. The first chronologically was a match in the late 1930s between the national German team under the Nazi banner and a British team and Jews were put in a very difficult position. The dilemma today of not mixing sport and politics still resonates today. Secondly reactions varied and changed over the acceptance of Bert Trautmann, a German ex Prisoner of War as a key club player. In my view it was right for him to be accepted as integrating into British society. Finally we learn or the loss of key Man U players in the 1958 Munich air crash together with a key Jewish sports reportersorry forgot his name. Who finally can answer these questions-? What does football have to do with Jewish identity? Why did the swastika once fly over White Hart Lane? Which club’s all-time leading goal scorer was an observant British Jew?
STAND by Tina Shaw
am a member of St Albans CND (STAND) and although I am not very active I usually attend their AGM. For the second year running the focus was on Israel and the Middle East. Last year, several local Jewish people came to hear the speaker and were able to ask pertinent questions. This year, as far as I knew, I was the only Jewish person present. It was an uncomfortable experience. The speaker was Professor Colin Green from University College London, speaking about ‘Israel’s Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Armoury and control of Middle East Oil.’ Essentially, the talk was about his experiences as a surgeon in Gaza, complete with some horrific pictures of injuries suffered by mainly children in Gaza, which were very difficult to look at. He described Israel as a classic warrior state which does not want peace but wishes to maintain the status quo. He spoke of the amount of money Israel, supported by USA, spends on military technology and equipment, combined with their control of oil and gas pipelines. He described the people of Gaza as being squeezed into a small area, struggling to make a living because the more fertile farmlands are in dangerous border areas and their fishing grounds are being polluted by sewage and their fishermen are restricted to a small area around their coast. Before you give up reading in disgust, let me assure you that Professor Green was not anti-semitic. He gave some mention of the courageous Israelis who speak out against their government’s military behaviour, and he also mentioned the British use of these horrendous weapons, white phosphorous, uranium tips and drones, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the birth defects now apparent in Fallugia. I managed to stand up and question his statement that Israel didn’t want peace and to try to explain Israel’s vulnerable position which, I believe, leads to their aggressive stance. I couldn’t defend their use of these awful weapons any more than I could defend the British use of them, but the subsequent comments he made were softer and took a more balanced view of the situation, so I felt my comments had been worthwhile. I didn’t say I was Jewish but it must have been apparent from my comments as several people came up to me afterwards to ask about the local Jewish community and talk about ‘Jews for Justice.’ Sunridge Court in Golders Green is looking to recruit an EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, which is a new, part-time, position. As the home was established (about 45 years ago) to provide a home-from-home for elderly but active Progressive Jewish people, we are keen to promote the job vacancy within the Progressive Jewish Community. email@example.com
It’s Not All Doughnuts! (Information from Claudia Roden: The Book of Jewish Food)
he miracle of the oil is the background to much of the catering for Hanukkah but it’s not only the traditional doughnuts and the Ashkenazi favourite, potato latkes.
The Sephardim eat fritters in syrup variously called zalabia, loukoumades, sfenj and yoyos. Italians eat chicken pieces dipped in batter and deep fried. Moroccans eat couscous with chicken that has been deep fried rather than boiled. Or if you are after a drink to lift your spirits, why not try the old Hanukkah custom of Russian Jews who put a lump of sugar in a spoon, pour brandy over it, set it alight and drop it in a glass of tea. Another Hanukkah custom, practised sine the Middle Ages, is to eat dairy food. This is a tribute to Judith of Bethulia who saved her city from the enemy by serving their enemy Holoferness salty cheese. This made him so thirsty that he drank lots of wine and became so drunk she was able to cut his head off. To remember her bravery the Ashkenazi eat foods with curd cheese and sour cream, whilst the Sephardi eat cheese bimuelos. Apparently, Jews used to eat goose at Hanukkah, a habit adopted from the Christians who ate goose at Christmas but we have now mostly followed the rest and gone over to turkey, duck or chicken.
Couscous Sucre ‘Seffa’ (Sweet Couscous). This is a North African Hanukkah dush served in bowls, often accompanied by cold milk, or buttermilk. Ingredients- (to serve 6) 500g couscous; half teaspoon salt; 100g butter, or 6 tablespoons oil; 1 tablespoon cinnamon; 3 tablespoons icing sugar; 100g sultanas. Method- prepare the couscous as per the packet instructions- add salt initially and the other ingredients after ten minutes. Please note - Council has decided that this edition will run until mid January, due to production difficulties during the festive season.. Some information may need to change when Rabbi Pete returns and you are advised to check the weekly bulletin or telephone the office if in doubt.
Our KT Group who lead the Saturday morning service which commemorated Kristalnacht
High Holy Day Appeal The 2013 appeal has not closed yet and will stay open till 31st December. If you wish to pay by cheque, please make it out to TLSE and send to me, the Honorary Treasurer at TLSE , indicating how you would like your donation allocated between this year’s causes - Jewish Womens Aid, Keren B’Kavod and Cherry Lodge Cancer Care. As an alternative you can pay by debit or credit card through Virgin Money Giving where we have an account in the synagogue’s name. At the end of October £8,600 had been donated by roughly twenty per cent of the membership, ranging from £10 up to £1,000. By mid November, only a further 3 individuals had given. If your donation is eligible for TLSE to claim Gift Aid, please let me know, even if you have mislaid the original appeal letter with tear-off slip. The Gift Aid which we recover goes into the Tzedek Fund, from which the Council allocate a sum each month to an emergency. In November we were able to send £300 to World Jewish Relief’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.
Sue Woolf - Honorary Treasurer