September 07, 2005

No Jews, three synagogues

I first found this report in the Detroit Free Press before seeing it plastered all over the net. Israel's Chief Rabbinate has petitioned the Supreme Court to prevent the demolition of synagogues in Gaza. Even though there will be no one to attend them, according to the report, the rabbis say that demolishing synagogues is against Jewish law.
On Tuesday, Israel's Supreme Court stepped into the emotional conflict over whether the Gaza synagogues should be torn down, ordering the government to check into whether the Palestinian Authority, the United States or the United Nations would be willing to preserve the buildings.
This is very strange because, not that long ago, Stanley Kalms wrote a report on the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth and how it should function in future. He argued for the disposal of various shuls (synagogues) on the grounds that it was uneconomic to keep them. I remember one in Earlham Grove in London E7. My nan used to go there. Even I went there sometimes. Well it's not there now. Stanley Kalms (CEO of Dixons et al.) had other plans. It's just, I don't remember any ballyhoo over it and we're always told that diaspora Jews are more frum than our Israeli counterparts. I love Israel; it always gives me lots to think about to keep my mind off things.

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