HOOKED ON CONFLICT
The words of Martin Luther King with regards to his critics, that “if I sought to answer all... I would have little time for anything else” has guided my own approach, except when an attack is so vicious that silence could be mistaken as acquiescence ( The rabbi who helps Jew-converters, March 28).
My 11 years in Anglo-Jewry taught me that there is scarcely a community more committed or generous — and that its fatal flaw is nonetheless a need to make communal life compelling through conflict. To Charles Golding’s condemnation of me, therefore, that while living in the UK, I was not a “team player”, I would respond that too often joining the team meant not attending the funeral of a Holocaust survivor if he was also a Reform rabbi or joining in ad hominem attacks against a Chief Rabbi who was assailed by extremes of both right and left.
To Mr Golding’s attack that I am unqualified to combat missionaries because there is an ad for a hotel on my website, I would respond that had I judged him solely on the many pictures of him with celebrities on his website, I might have mistaken him for an insecure namedropper. Mr Golding should have Googled the many scholarly articles I have written on Jesus, and watched some of the videos of my debates with Michael Brown.
The Jerusalem Post recently identified Britain as the new epicentre of European antisemitism. Perhaps Mr Golding and Rabbi Yitzchack Schochet, whose gratuitous insults I have ignored for more than a decade, ought to focus their energies on real rather than imagined enemies. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach New Jersey, USA