JLCohen's blog

Could this be the legendary Greatest Thing Ever...?

By JLCohen, November 22, 2010

We're off to London for a couple of days tomorrow and plan on a trip down Golders Green road for some essential pre-Hanukkah shopping (ever tried finding hanukkiyah candles in between London and Manchester...?) and - of course - a visit to Grodzynski's, time-and-mogn-honoured purveyors of quite simply the very finest challah ever baked.


Are the new peace talks pointless?

By JLCohen, August 22, 2010
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President


Dutch police adopt Jewish dress to ensnare antisemites

By JLCohen, June 28, 2010

Not too sure if this might constitute entrapment under British law, but it certainly ought to be effective!


Continued: Did Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman break the BBC's impartiality rule?

By JLCohen, June 27, 2010

Earlier this month, I wrote a post on this very website in which I outlined my anger when Jeremy Paxman insisted on referring to the boarding of the Mavi Marmara by IDF commandos as an "attack" during the episode of Newsnight broadcast on the 2nd of June.


Did Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman break the BBC's impartiality rule?

By JLCohen, June 4, 2010

The BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight demonstrated what appeared to be a blatant example of the anti-Israel bias of which the corporation is frequently accused last night (02.06.10) when presenter Jeremy Paxman repeatedly referred to the IDF's boarding of the "aid ship" Mavi Marmara as an "attack." The show in its entirety - including excellent features on life inside Gaza and North Korea - can be seen here.


Twelve points from Griffindor!

By JLCohen, May 7, 2010

Shabbat shalom, all. According to the BBC, the British National Party have lost all twelve of the seats they previously held on Barking and Dagenham Council.


Election 2010:Epping's Jewish BNP candidate

By JLCohen, May 6, 2010

The JC's article "Election 2010:Jewish candidates await the results" includes a list of "other key Jewish constituencies to watch" - one of which is Epping in Essex.

A very brief bit of research reveals that candidate Patricia Feldman Richardson is - apparently - ethnically Jewish, though she does not practise the faith.


Frankie Boyle: Israel "terrorist"

By JLCohen, May 2, 2010

Frankie Boyle - no stranger to controversy with his briefly-funny-but-becoming-tiresome brand of shock humour - is in the headlines after claiming that Israel is a terrorist state in a response to the BBC's decision to apologise for a joke the Scottish comedian made in which he claimed to be learning an Israeli martial art - "I know sixteen ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back," he said.


Cardinal Maradiaga: Jews to blame for Catholic sex abuse scandals

By JLCohen, April 7, 2010

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Catholic Archbishop of Honduras, says more about himself than the recent paedophilia scandals plaguing the Vatican and Catholic Church - the potential papal candidate, who may well stand a good chance of replacing Pope Benedict in the future, blames the Jews, and uses all-to-familiar antisemitic language to do so. He's been blaming the Jews since at least 2002.


A question...

By JLCohen, April 2, 2010

When it comes to meaningful questions, "How is this night different from all other nights?" certainly takes some beating. It provokes deep thought on the meanings - obvious and not so obvious - of Pesach, is an excellent opportunity to begin explaining our history and traditions to young children and has been asked every year for thousands of years, which surely shows it has something.

One other question has been occupying me this year, but unlike "How is this night..." nobody has been able to answer it. That question is:

Why don't we eat charoset all year round?


Cameron's anti-extremist promises

By JLCohen, March 11, 2010

Conservative leader David Cameron promises "I will banish extremists from Britain," according to the JC's headline, going on to say that his party "...would never ally with a party we believed to be antisemitic, led by antisemites or with links to the far right."


Syria blames Israel for mystery uranium

By JLCohen, March 5, 2010

Syria, finding itself waiting in the hallway outside the headmaster's office due to the International Atomic Energy Agency having discovered suspicious traces of uranium at a research facility, has come up with a crafty ruse - blame it on someone else, namely Israel.


An interesting Orthodox view on homosexuality

By JLCohen, March 4, 2010

Rabbi Shlomo Brody, writing for the Jerusalem Post's "Ask The Rabbi" section, says that:


Polish Antisemitism

By JLCohen, March 3, 2010

My fiancee's mother, who is not Jewish - yes, I know, I'm marrying out - but whom has a lifelong love and appreciation of Judaism, Jewish people and Jewish culture dating from her friendship with children who came here as part of the Kindertransport, spent last week in Poland with a Polish work colleague who had offered an opportunity to stay for free with relatives. She planned to visit various sites of Jewish interest while there, including the remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz.


Proudly presenting: Kosher Lasagne!

By JLCohen, March 3, 2010

When I was a child, we didn't keep kosher at home - we drew the line at bacon but I have to admit to having eaten many a pizza topped with both cheese and meat and I can be held personally accountable for the deaths of many thousands of shellfish. In adulthood, as many people do, I became more interested in the faith of my ancestors and decided that I would, in future, keep kosher (I later gave up meat and then dairy, so it's easy nowadays).


Oy vey! Hamantaschen disaster!

By JLCohen, February 27, 2010

So this year I made hamantaschen using the exact same recipe I always use - the same one used by my mother for 60 years, by my bubbeh for 80 years and by those ancestors who came before her since goodness only knows when. As always, I made three types - one batch with the traditional poppyseed filling, one batch with blackcurrant jam and one with sweet mincemeat because I adore mince pies at Christmas and don't see why Christians should get all the fun.


Chag Purim Sameach

By JLCohen, February 26, 2010

I just thought I'd take this opportunity to wish everyone at The JC as well as all of the other users who post here, on the forums and in the discussions a very happy yom tov.

And remember - hamantaschen may be delicious, but do try not to eat a ridiculous amount - try to keep it below a thousand or so if you can, or you'll regret it when you get dressed on Monday morning and discover you seem to have increased your waist measurement by a magnitude of three. Still - your hangover might be bad enough for you not to care.

Chag Purim Sameach! :-)


Liberal Judaism's support of gay marriages

By JLCohen, February 25, 2010

Not very much shocks me (my mis-spent youth at rock festivals has seen to that) but some of the responses to Rabbi Aaron Goldstein's blog posts on this website have managed it - some people have told him that Liberal Judaism ought to find another cause because, they say, homosexuality and Torah are incompatible while others have stopped just short of accusing the Rabbi of not being a rabbi at all (in both of the


Hamas leader's son spied for Israel

By JLCohen, February 24, 2010

As reported by the BBC and Haaretz.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, converted to Christianity and moved to California in 2007 and has co-written a book about his life - and, presumably, Hamas itself; which is due to be published in the USA. Hopefully, it won't be long until we can get copies here too because it promises to be fascinating and eye-opening reading.


New methods may allow animals to be stunned during shechita

By JLCohen, February 22, 2010

Having almost as much of an interest in our sibling religion, Islam, as I do in Judaism and also being a supporter of any moves to improve animal welfare, I made a point of listening to Radio 4's excellent Food Programme yesterday as it was devoted to a discussion of the halal meat industry. If you missed it, you can hear it on iPlayer - it comes highly recommended.