We all know the score. Every year thousands of Jews leave the fold, be it to assimilation, intermarriage, or Aish HaTorah. Every year the community produces lengthy reports showing how far numbers of Jews are likely to fall, with varying estimates as to the size of the community in 2020, but all in the range of 6 – 13.4 jews remaining. This has been the subject of countless sermons, UJIA appeals, Bagel lunches and burlesque nights, but still the answer has proved elusive. Until, that is, the dayanim of the Jewdas Beth Din started chanting Kabbalistic spells, creating sums with gematria and playing with their ‘black fire on white fire’ fridge magnets. A voice called out with an answer. And behold, it was very good.
After the voice’s message had been translated from Galician Yiddish, the meaning was clear. The Beth Din was to take its cue from new organ donation ideas , the approach known as ‘assumed consent’, the idea being that one should opt out otherwise they become donors by default. The connection to Judaism was obvious to the Jewdas Beth Din. From now on, everyone would be presumed Jewish unless proven otherwise. The Beth Din would continue to have a high standard of proof, for those wanting not to be Jewish. To prove non Jewish status, claimants would need their mother’s birth certificate, evidence of having played a role in nativity plays, and proven history of pork pie eating. Those wanting to become gentiles would have to undergo a rigorous programme of study, including a year living with a family in Norway.
The proposal would have countless benefits. The Beth Din rabbis were pleased it would finally put an end to the scrabble to find a minyan, as now synagogue wardens could simply step out on to the street and more likely than not lay their hand on a Jew. Any reluctance to join in the prayer would be swiftly dealt with by CST volunteers.
It would end the intermarriage issue at a stroke, as it would become all but unnecessary to marry without a Huppa. The move, in good keynsian style, would have the effect of boosting the economy, leading to thousands more jobs for kosher caterers, makers of matching kippot and bands who play songs with ‘mazeltov’ in the title.
At a stroke, Jews would suddenly make up at least 95% of the population, transforming Britain would into Jewish State overnight. Parliament, now relocated to Radlett, would be in the shape of the Star of David, in a new ‘radical’ building by Daniel Liberskind and his company ‘Buildings That Have Something to Do with the Holocaust plc”.
A new national anthem, composed by Debbie Freedman, would flit seamlessly from Hebrew to English, crossing both boundaries of nationality and of taste.
The language of the country would continue to be predominantly English in a concession to the Board Deputies who would ‘not want thing to go too far’. However, the dictionary would be enriched by many new words and phrases, such as ‘mazel and brocha’ ‘shepping naches’ and ‘stop behaving like an arab’.
Some community cynics have however raised fears about the psychological impact of no longer being able to scour the media for signs of Islamo-crypto-antisemitism, and the negative effects of losing unwarranted suspicions about goyim neighbours. Others worry that without a constant fear of our sons marrying shikses, a fundamental part of Jewish identity will be lost, but brushing these fears aside, a Beth Din spokesman reminded the community of the benefits arising from the increased availability of havdallah candles and other hard-to-find Judaica.
Presenting the new proposal, Dayan Keaton, of the Beth Din was effusive in his praise; “Can you imagine? Everywhere you look, Jews! Not just in Hendon! Riding Bikes, Eating (hechshered) cakes, dancing the hora, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews!” At this, the good Dayan collapsed in excitement, to be replaced by his colleague, Dayan Princess of Wales, who was more cautious. “There will some in our community who will say this is a step too far, and we should keep our heads down”. But what if we’d kept our heads down when Mosely came to the East End, or at Masada, or at Mount Sinai?” Sensing that his audience was looking somewhat perplexed he decided to finish on a high note. “As Herzl once said ‘If you will it it is no Dream’. Just after he said ‘why don’t they just all convert to Christianity?”