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Thursday 26 April 2007

Members' feedback to Yom Hashoah Article

1. I think this is monstrously cruel and unacceptable, particularly as
Micky lost his son fighting for Israel.


2. Dear All
The difficulties for Israeli Reform and Progressive Communities
sometimes are mind boggling!
Michael Reik
Israel Desk
3. Not sure what sort of reaction you are expecting - this incident seems
unnecessarily distressing. While experience leads me not to take much
newspaper reporting at face value, this appears to show how much damage
orthodox factionalism is inflicting on the country.

4. I have emailed this article to everyone I know, including my Orthodox
family in Israel. What I hope to hear back from them is that they are
ashamed of this decision, but I don't hold out much hope.
I would have liked the article to refer to Mickey as Rabbi Boyden,
rather that just 'Boyden', which would have made their position clearer.
When will they ever learn?

5. Shalom,
Here is what I wrote in response to Mickey's request for support - alas,
it didn't help. It went to all the Town Councillors on his list.
Rabbi Walter Rothschild.


To His Honour the Mayor of Hod Hasharon,
Mr. Chai Adiv.

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I write in English to support my colleague Rabbi Mickey Boyden, of
MARAM, whom I first knew when I was still a rabbinic student in Britain
and he was serving a congregation in Manchester. He was a helpful mentor
to me then, and later he made Aliyah, became heavily involved in
building up Progressive Judaism in Israel (something which even Prime
Minister Olmert keeps telling us is so important to do!) and paid the
highest price that an Israeli parent can pay. I believe the rest of his
history and his activities are well-known to you.

And now he is facing the same sort of insulting discrimination which so
many of us have to face in our lives and careers. Suddenly a small group
of intolerant activists wish to push him to one side, to suit their own
prejudices. This must not be allowed to happen. I write with bitter
experience from the European Jewish community, and I know that the
moment one gives in to this sort of Antisemitism (for this is what it is
- Jewish Antisemitism, ignorant prejudice against Jews - and the fact
that it is Jews doing it makes it no better) that there will be no end
to the demands that this group will make. Once one gives in, they are
only encouraged to demand more and more.

They have the right to perform their rituals and their memorials
elsewhere - Israel is, in this respect, a free country. But they do NOT
have the right to prevent a rabbi from reciting a prayer, including for
his own son, just because they do not like some aspects of his theology.

In Germany, where I am the State Rabbi for Schleswig-Holstein, with five
congregations to minister to, there is in principle an agreement that
"all Jews work together in the Unified Communities". In our experience
it is however always a small number of self-appointed Orthodox bigots who:-
a). Try to prevent this cooperation and then
b) Try to blame the Liberal Jews for causing the split!!

Believe me, when this sort of thing is allowed to infect a community, it
can take very drastic measures to heal the splits again. I therefore
urge you to do all you can to prevent this precedent from being set.

It is still Shabbat afternoon here as I write, and no doubt some would
find this offensive, or maybe even proof of their worst prejudices. But
the issue is urgent with Yom haZikaron so close. One may save a life on
Shabbat, and to deny a father the right to mourn publicly for his son
and as a representative of other parents who are also mourning seems -
to me - to be such a dreadful offence, almost another murder, a removal
of a Name, and so I would rather write now, than wait until Motzaei
Shabbat. Your Council has a simple choice - to respect the wishes of the
organisation of bereaved parents that has nominated Rabbi Boyden to
speak on their behalfs, or to respect the wishes of those who wish to
prevent this in the name of Self-Righteousness and Intolerance. I hope
you will set a good and fair example to your citizens.

Shalom, Shavuah Tov,
Landesrabbiner Walter Rothschild.
Landesrabbiner von Schleswig-Holstein.

6. Really depressed and angry reading this morning`s article. We Jews
certainly don`t need any help from external bigots and oppressors, our
home grown variety are more than sufficent.

7. The Haredim don't object to Reform boys dying for them,but don't
want pray with them
.Absolutely disgracefull!
8. Primarily, of course, shock and disgust on the personal level at the
treatment of Rabbi Boyden. Our hearts have to go out to him and his family.

Nonetheless, in accepting that other aspects of this must be secondary
to the personal hurt, I believe they should be canvassed.

As religious Zionists we believe in a fully democratic Israel in the
secular sense, the Law of Return, and a society based on Jewish
religious values in so far as religiously committted persons can
influence the nature of that society.

Progressive Judaism, in its various organizational forms, is the main
stream of Judaism in this world. I see a real danger to Zionism from an
eventual rise in a feeling of disassociation by millions of Progressive
Jews in the Diaspora from Israel, if the authenticity and authority of
their (our) Judaism continues to be denied there.


9. I think this is truly shocking and makes one despair that such
discriminatory practice can take place - in Israel of all countries!


11. - And this was done in the name of religion? What happened to the
ideal of
rachmonas? It is an absolute disgrace, and Pro-Zion and other Progressive
groups should make vigorous objections to this sort of behaviour, which
surely will alienate many diaspora Jews whose support, both moral and
financial, these people welcome.

12. It is an absolute disgrace but unfortunately not something which
surprise me. After all, Lord Jacobovits said that aids was a function of
the wrath of God brought down on sinners and 'unbelievers' turning away
from orthodoxy.This is worse though.'Their' behaviour over Hugo Gryn's
funeral etc is in the same mould.


13. My reaction is one of disbelief that Jews can be so insensitive to
the pain that this action has obviously caused to Mickey Boyden and his

The whole weight of our Reform Movement should go on record on behalf of
Rabbi Boyden - no doubt this will have little effect but we must show
with those of our Movement who are prepared to stand up for their religious

Best Wishes


14.We are very distressed by this at Menorah, and our Chairman has sent
letters to the Jerusalem Post and elsewhere
Harry Lesser

15. Shameful.

16. It is simply beyond belief that a Reform Rabbi who made aliya from
Cheshire and whose son died in the defence of Israel was prevented from
participating in the Memorial ceremony at Hod Hasharon, the area where
he has created a congregation named for his beloved son.
I was privileged to read a special tribute to Jonathan Boyden at
Manchester's Yom Hazikaron ceremony on Sunday. I now feel his blessed
memory has been defiled
Is this the Israel so many of invest our time and energy in defending?
Is this the image we can defend and say we are proud to be Jews and Zionists
I know it is a cliché but it is not long since we commemorated those who
died in the Holocaust, Jews of every shade of our religion and secular
Jews in name only
I am truly ashamed that Rabbi Boyden has been treated in this way, and I
feel it a real Hillul Hashem that rabbis would think this is an
appropriate way to behave.
I hope they are shunned and shamed for that is what they deserve
Joy Wolfe

17. My husband and I are totally HORRIFIED to read what has happened to
Rabbi Boyden and his family.

We remember him from the days when he attended the RSGB Southern Region
Weekend in Eastbourne where I seem to remember he was keynote speaker
and he was inspirational.

We have attended ceremonies at the Kotel and on Mount Herzl many tines
on Yom Ha'Zikaron and I have never thought that anyone may consider
that those who fell in defence of Israel to have Orthodox or Non
Orthodox status but I have always been aware that in the eyes of some in
"authority" only the dead are Jewish, whilst the living are treated on
these (and many other occasions) with utter contempt.

On this basis, when we mourn the 6m on Yom Ha'Shoah, perhaps they would
like to give us their revised figures,

If the secular Zionists who created the State of Israel were with us
today would they, too, be gagged? Or is this punishment applied only to
the religious Jews, orthodox and reform?

If there is any way to convey our deepest sadness to Rabbi Boyden please
do so. He is often recalled by us with warmth.

Gilian and Ernie Walker

18. Disgusting ignorance but should we expect anything else from Haredim.
Kol Hakavod to Mickey Boyden who was a pupil of mine in the
alav hashalom days. Jerome Karet (Past Chair of RSGB as it then was)


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