HOOKED ON CON­FLICT

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

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

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