EMPTY PRAYERS

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Many of the an­cient sto­ries passed on by our rab­bis talk of wel­com­ing a Jew into your home and syn­a­gogue. The essence is that we as Jewish peo­ple have al­ways been hos­pitable.

The threat of ter­ror­ism and an­ti­semitism is so es­ca­lated that on a re­cent trip to Lon­don it was no prob­lem be­ing ad­mit­ted through bor­der con­trol, Houses of Par­lia­ment and Buck­ing­ham Palace, but try at­tend­ing syn­a­gogue on a High Holy Day. I un­der­stand why we have to be so cau­tious but I wrote to Jewish in­sti­tu­tions to re­quest an op­por­tu­nity to at­tend syn­a­gogue. Only two of 10 letters re­ceived replied. One asked for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion as well as a se­cu­rity ref­er­ence and the other replied by the time I had al­ready re­turned from my trip.

I got the sense that it was more of a has­sle than con­ve­nient to ac­com­mo­date for­eign Jews. I do not be­lieve that there was any ill-in­tent in ig­nor­ing me, I just be­lieve that it was the eas­ier and safer op­tion.

I find it aw­fully sad that an un­in­tended con­se­quence of the scourge in an­ti­semitism has been the rights of Jews be­ing de­nied an op­por­tu­nity to stop in and pray. I un­der­stand why all the red tape from a Jewish per­spec­tive, but I will never ap­pre­ci­ate how far we have come

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