ערב שבת קודש פר׳ נצבים-וילך תשע״ד
Algameier: Scottish Rabbi, Creator of Jewish Tartan Says Country’s Jews Oppose Independence (INTERVIEW)
Dave Bender, September 16, 2014
Rb. Mendel Jacobs
Scotland’s only local-born rabbi, and the creator of the only official Jewish tartan pattern, believes that, “From the Jewish perspective, we’re hoping for a ‘no vote,’ in the vote for independence,” from the United Kingdom on Thursday. “From my understanding, a majority of the Jewish community, or ‘the’ majority of the Jewish community wants a ‘no’ vote,” Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, told The Algemeiner Tuesday.
“I don’t think a nationalist country has ever been good for Jews,” Jacobs said of fears within the 10,000-member community, and stressed “that if [the vote] went yes, anti-Jewish sentiments would increase.” (cont.)
(Tip: Daled Amos)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
By now, we have all heard that Scotland will not be reclaiming its independence, anytime soon.
Still, I cannot help but comment on it, not because I have any feelings about Scottish independence one way or another. But, rather, since I have become quite jaded over the years when it comes to "major" news items, why they are being reported on, and why others are not.
What is the issue of Scottish Independence designed to distract us from? The Ethnic minorities in Iraq who are getting slaughtered? Financial shenanigans going on behind the scenes? The British Parliament or other government voting on something completely unrelated, as the same time, so that no one will notice their rights being chipped away?
Your guess is as good as any. But, what concerns me, is whenever there are Jews who have been sucked into the process, albeit unbeknownst to themselves.
Rabbi Jacobs might just be one of those Jews.
In all fairness to Rabbi Jacobs, I have no doubt that he cares very deeply for Am Yisrael, and does whatever is in his power to assist and support the Scottish, Jewish community, and to bring its members closer to Torah and to maintain an environment, conducive to Jewish, spiritual life.
In addition, he does touch upon the issue of aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel),...
...unlike some Scottish Jews who have succeeded in resettling elsewhere, including in Israel, “some can’t leave – they’re stuck,” either due to age or infirmities.So, how about using any time and energy spent on dabbling in exile-related issues, such as goyshe designs to help Jews feel more comfortable in galuth (exile) and local referenda, on helping those who are "stuck" to get out, and resettle in Israel?
Another Jew from Scotland has a different take on the issue...
Nick Henderson, 26, was born and raised in Glasgow, and emigrated to Israel in 2004. While he’s friends with Jacobs – who is even sending him yarmulkes made with the “Chosen” tartan – Henderson, who holds an absentee ballot, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that he has mixed feelings about Scottish independence, both as a Scot, and as one who left to make his life in the Jewish homeland.The bottom line, either way you slice it, is clear. Which is better, an independent Scotland with an ignorant, Israel-hating First Minister, and citizens telling Jews they must possess anti-Torah beliefs, or be ostracized, or an United Kingdom with Scotland, already filled to the brim with potential murderers of Jews?
While calling Scotland ”a safe place, a warm place, for Jews,” he pointed to unpleasant experiences, as an identifying pro-Israel Jew.
“You’re judged on your Judaism by how much you criticize Israel or not,” he charged.
“When I started at my previous job, the first thing my boss asked me was what I thought about Palestine and Israel,” adding that if Jews don’t hew to the popular anti-Israel tropes, “you’re seen as a Zionist, in a negative sense.”
He noted comments by Scotland’s pro-independence movement leader, First Minister Alex Salmond, who on Sunday equated Israel with ISIS, as exemplifying the hard left attitude towards Israel among some in Scotland.
Nick Henderson, for whatever reasons, seems to have gotten the message somehow, left the country of his birth and exile, and came to live in his only true homeland, the Land of Israel.
One day, I pray, we will no longer see ourselves as Scottish Jews or American Jews, Russian Jews or Moroccan Jews (nor Ashekenazi, Sepharadi, Yemenite), but just Jews living in the Land of Israel.