by Bill White
As our community around the globe seeks forgiveness from G-D, I am literally prevented from participating in the traditional way by a small cabal of men who believe that they speak for G-D. It's Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, and this day is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. We traditionally observe this day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Beginning last night, when we lit candles for my family and when I made the traditional prayers, and for the rest of today, I will be reflecting on the last four years.
With Rabbi Guttentag's 'help' I was shunned by a cabal of men including Rabbi Guttentag, David Frei and others within the British clique of Jews, who would not accept the documents that I could produce that prove for any reasonable person that I am Jewish.
My great-great-grandmother (on my mother's side) Agnes Kiss, was a victim of the Shoah, or the Holocaust as it's called in English. She married Benjamin Toth and together they lived in Hungary until the War, when Agnes was murdered by the Nazis. Their daughter, Julia Toth, had moved to the United States as a young woman. She married Michael Simon, in January 1913, in New York City. Julia's parents remained in Hungary. As a matter of fact, the family name "Kiss" is one of the oldest known Hungarian Jewish family names, and that name was documented as such in the 14th century. Kiss can also be associated with the biblical personal name Kish, the name of King Saul's father (I Samuel 9.1).
Rabbi Shindler, with the Chief Rabbi's Marriage Section at the Chief Rabbi's Office, advised Rabbi Guttentag that when there is any question one "should lean toward acceptance" and it was based upon his advice that I was initially welcomed into my local Shul.
Soon, however, Rabbi Guttentag bowed to the internal politics. This young Rabbi wanted very much to join the cabal, and so he and another long-standing member, Robert Pinkus, who was President at the time, informed me that despite the advice of Rabbi Shindler, 'they' would no longer be able to 'count' me among the men for purposes of a Minyan (certain prayers require a quorum of 10 men over the age of 13).
Rabbi Guttentag told me that he had spoken to the Beth Din (or 'House of Judgement', like a rabbinical court of Judaism) in Manchester, under which St Annes Synagogue (now called Shul by the Sea) falls and Rabbi Guttentag said that without more supporting 'Jewish documents' it would be best for me not to attend 'his Shul'. He said that because the synagogue struggles each day for 10 men, it would be embarrassing, for me, 'if when we have just 10 men you're not counted and other members wonder why...', he said. So, you see, he was just concerned with my feelings, after all...
I spoke to a senior Rabbi at the Beth Din in Manchester, who told me that he 'would have no problem selling the chametz to [me] at Pesach'. Let that sink in... I will not name him because there is a special place in Gehinnom where his soul will spend a great deal of time when his 'House of Judgement' decisions will surely be judged by HaShem.
So these men, who speak for G-D, like David Frei, Rabbi Guttentag and the despicable Rabbi festering away at the Beth Din in Manchester, who have and continue to collectively deny a Jewish man his birthright believe themselves capable of knowing who is or is not Jewish.
I suspect there is no Atonement for their actions.
Bill White is CEO of WireNews.