Rabbis’ statements translated

The last week has seen a flurry of statements from the greats of our religious leadership. For the uninitiated, the language of responsa can be confusing and technical. To help make sense of these for lay people, we offer a translation of the loshen kodesh.

What they say

What they mean

We need rational discourse Everyone should agree with me
People need to listen to each other People need to listen to me
We need better dialogue I’m worried I’ll lose my job if I say anything of substance.
I have campaigned tirelessly on this issue I have recently learnt how to use Twitter
Antisemitism has never been so rife I have recently learnt how to use the Internet
I feel compelled to speak out I am desperate to appear relevant
We have no desire to curtail legitimate criticism of Israel I don’t think any of your criticisms of Israel are legitimate
We have no desire to stop people criticising Jews Not yet, at least
There is nothing wrong with criticising individual Jews It’s my favourite hobby
We are proud of our work with UJIA Please keep giving us money
Jews are no different from the rest of society Keep your head down and try to blend in
We must be on guard against populists, right and left I have singularly failed to understand the causes and consequences of every major political event since Napoleon
The majority of British Jews are Zionists We drive out the ones who aren’t
Jews in Britain are terrified We have literally no sense of proportion
No one disputes the right of countries such as Britain or the United States to exist The most left wing people I know are Blairites
This should mark a watershed moment Please G-d let this end

 

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