Rabbinic gift horse

September 20, 2012

Last week, a few days before Rosh Hashanah, BBC1 transmitted what is now an annual film by the Chief Rabbi. One might have thought that a community as numerically small as ours would feel honoured to be accorded such privileged access to the nation's main TV channel. And yet every year the same response floods in to the JC: Why is it only the United Synagogue's Chief Rabbi who gets to make a film?

What about the rest? What about Reform? What about…etc. The same point is made when Lord Sacks delivers one of his Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4. If ever there were a case of looking a gift horse in the mouth, this is it. There is no reason why any leader from so relatively tiny a religion as ours should be given access to the airwaves (and, as it happens, Rabbi Julia Neuberger has a regular slot on Radio 2's Pause for Thought, with a far bigger audience).

Instead of being grateful that, in Lord Sacks, we have a figure who is regarded as compelling by the rest of the country, we moan that he is regarded as compelling by the rest of the country. It is almost as if we are taking part in our own Jewish joke.

Last updated: 3:20pm, September 20 2012