LETTERS
Why not make anyone welcome to join minyan?

WHAT is this fascination with transgender men? Anyone who wants to make up a minyan should be welcomed.

Far too many minyanim are struggling to survive because of the falling off in religious observance and the preoccupation with technology.

If a man wants to come to a minyan, welcome him and encourage him to continue.

There are occasions when there are 10 men present, but it is still not a minyan.

When someone is converting to Judaism, he can go to a minyan... but until the conversion is complete, he does not count in the minyan.

I do not know of any minyan where a person is interrogated to be sure he is bona fide before he is counted.

If a stranger appears for the first time, the others will soon know whether he can read Hebrew.

If he cannot, he could still be Jewish and should still be welcomed.

The Outreach movements like Chabad and Aish Hatorah are doing good work in bringing lost Jews back into the fold.

On another point, anyone who thinks that halting the building of settlements will stop antisemitism does not know his Jewish history or understand the purpose of antisemitism.

I once asked a rabbi speaking at an Encounter meeting in Manchester: “Would the Jewish people have survived over 2,000 years without antisemitism?”

He replied: “No. We are a ‘stiff-necked’ people. We constantly argue among ourselves — but the thing that unites us and keeps us strong is antisemitism.

We don’t like it... but it is a necessity for our survival.

What’s more, the antisemitism of today is not a physical antisemitism. It is a rare event for a Jew to be attacked on the streets of Britain.

And when it does happen, the authorities deal with it. They no longer turn a blind eye.

Howard Sherrington,
Manchester.

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