30 June 2010

Yellow Card and other warnings

You would have to be almost dead to miss the World Cup of late in South Africa. The Beautiful game, soccer, futbol, football, whatever you call it, has captured fans worldwide for generations. Now we are down to 8 teams, representing their country: Argentina, Germany, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Ghana, Netherlands and Spain.

The use of the yellow card, pictured here, is a big deal. There are so few penalties and so much riding on penalty kicks/goals. One extra penalty on your side, and you could give away the match and have to wait another four years for a rematch. If you get too many yellows, you exempt yourself from playing in the next match. or if in the same match, you incur the red, thus diminishing your side's strength. I know, it can be confusing, sorry, but all up, it's a warning.

In Australia we have warnings for all kinds of things. Swim between the flags; watch out for cattle and sheep crossing; Watch Out, Kids about; and hundreds more.

I remember crossing a new marking on the ground in Sydney. It took me a while to sort out what the warning was about. It was yellow. It was an alert to be sure, but now only 7 months later, I drive right through the warning without much thought. A couple months later, they added pennants on the ground as another warning, but still I often miss those.

What is it about warnings? What is it about us? We seem to notice them for a bit, but over time, the impact is lost.

Consider the Bible. Consider the warnings we read there. Consider the shock they are to us when we first hear them. And note your own continued consideration of them. But God is ever reaching out to us, warning us of misbehavior and mis-belief... so that we can keep our relationship with him in good order.

Jer. 11.7 ‘For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, “Listen to My voice.”

Deut. 32.46 he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.

The most uses of the word is in Ezekiel chapter 33 "then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. .. Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth, and give them warning from Me. (verses 4, 5, 7)

Consider Noah, who warned his fellow citizens about impending doom and preached for 120 years, to no avail.
Consider Jonah, the prophet and the whaler. But consider what God told Jonah to do. "The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” (chapter 1. verses 1-2) God's love is for all people. He cares enough to warn them. He cared enough to send one of his best to tell them the bad/good news. What great love!

Consider Jesus. He warned Peter, his mentee, to admit their relationship. He cautioned Peter that during the night of Jesus' arrest, Peter would knock back that admission. "But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a cock crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22.60-62)

Think of Peter, who although he failed the Lord on this matter, and his weeping was warranted, still, there was a private considerate appeal. Jesus looked at Peter. He didn't shout at him saying, "You loser! What's wrong with you? I walked with you and let you walk on the water with me. Now, you dissociate yourself from me? Come on, turn it around!" No, Jesus gave Peter yet another chance. And a quiet one. It was a yellow card. It was a warning. And in due course Peter turned it around, again with Jesus' help. Thank God.

How many chances do you get? How many offers? How many warnings? Listen to the Lord. Turn to him and be saved. He cares and cares enough to yellow card you before you get red carded and sent off the field.

28 June 2010

Hebrew classes

Shalom friends in Sydney.

This week is a 'free' class Level 1,intermediates, for anyone who is looking for a new Hebrew class. New 10 week term starts 22 July. Bondi Junction. Ring 9388.0559 to book. Pass on this information to your mates and those you don't like, too. We'd welcome all learners.

Some of the beginners are continuing. They know their alef-bet and many early vocabulary words. This Level 1, intermediate class is for those who want to keep going.

Cost is $150 for the 10 weeks (School term), including the book and all materials, and a fun time together each Thursday @ 7:15 pm (to 8:30 pm).

No, you don't have to wear a red shirt to attend.

26 June 2010

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

25 June 2010

David Statue in Italy

david statue
Originally uploaded by bobmendo
Michelangelo sculpted this David. He also said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

Maybe that's why I have hope for people. Some only see blocks, and at that, big blocks of useless stone. Some others see money in the marble. But if you look deep enough, you can find a person of value, a person for whom Y'shua died, a person of concern to God, in the midst of all God's concerns.

You are like that David statue.

Originally this was only a block of stone. Only the eyes of faith and the eyes of the creator can see inside to the David who is there the whole time.

That's how you should feel about yourself. Some have a bad self-image and consider themselves a mistake of heaven, or an embarrassment to their family. But God knows who you are, and he made you. The Bible says 'you are fearfully and wonderfully made.' (Psalm 139)

Others have a bad self-image in that they think the world revolves around them. That's not healthy either. You were created; the Creator is the One around whom the world revolves. You are the satellite, not the planet. You are not the sun. Even so, God has a plan for you and compassion on you and wants to be in relationship with you. How good is that!?

Rest in his love and his care. Let him knock the extra baggage off. Let him remove the dross and chip away at the non-David stuff of your life. He wants to shape you and create you in his image. And to keep going until you are his, completely. Trust him. He will do this.

24 June 2010

Showdown at The Lodge

Contest is the word of the day in Canberra. A showdown between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his deputy, Julia Gillard. This photo took place last September. Kevin made a friendly bet with Julia on a finals game between Kevin's Brisbane Lions and the Bulldogs. Julia's Bulldogs came through on the night and Kevin was true to his word wearing the Bulldogs tie on the following Monday.

What appears friendly and fun in those days of a few months ago has turned to her constant denials of interest in Rudd's job and now this morning, we are all waking up to the spill vote coming at 9 a.m. if Kevin even stands.

I'm not sure we're getting anything different except a change of gender and a partner rather than a wife in the Lodge. Julia voted with Kevin each and every controversial issue the last 2 and a half years and she's as deeply connected to unions as any Labor leader has been. She voted with him on Emissions trading schemes and on everything!

Kevin came into power in 2007 on the philosophy of 'change.' The problem with a philosophy of 'change' is that it's a steamroller that eventually rolls over the original changers. So will this spill roll over Julia? Time will tell.

23 June 2010

Sport and Perspective

Wimbledon is on.
World Cup in on. Vuvuzelas are off.
The US golf Open finished Sunday.
State of Origin is on and off.
Baseball is in full swing fast approaching the All Star game.
As is Twenty20 cricket.
NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers (are there any lakes in LA?) ended as it should have, within four points after seven games.
Next week the Tour de France begins.
...are you weary yet?

I'm so sorry about the attention so many around the globe are paying to so much that would be counted as irrelevant viz history. At the end of the day, when a man should be in bed, many in Australia are turning to the television to find out about their favourite team, Italy or South Korea or whoever is playing England. And I'm sure that for them it matters. And in a way it does. We gain some satisfaction if our side wins. We even use the term "we" to describe the nation or the national team. Imagine the pains just now in England and France, heavily endowed sides who didn't even make it past the Group stage. Ouch.

Today Samantha Stosur got knocked out of Wimbledon by a qualifier from Estonia. Sam wasn't happy. Loads of Aussie fans were crushed. Sam came so close in the French Open, coming in second last month. But now 'we' are pinning all our hopes (our national hopes) on Lleyton Hewitt in the Gentlemen's singles or Alicia Molik on the Ladies side.

It just sounds so funny to me. If Lleyton wins I will eat dinner. If he loses I will eat dinner. What happens in London is irrelevant to me. And in South Africa and in the golf and tennis and Tour and ... you get it.

But am I so callous as to not care? Not in the least, but things need to be put in perspective. I value a good tennis match or love watching my wife on her cycle ride. I play golf and squash most every week also, so it's not that I'm anti-sport.

What annoys me is the linkage and the personal consideration by which we gain status. What gives me worth is not Andy Roddick or the US soccer team. What gives me worth is not Lance Armstrong or an American winning the golf.

My worth comes from the Creator, who is himself worthy of all consideration. My worth is found in relationship with him, who gives us plenty of reason to think well of ourselves. God is the preeminent pro-human. He is the one who made us, after all, and wants to enjoy us and for us to enjoy him forever.

If Erasmus is the ranked civic humanist, God was the chief humanist before that. He said in the Psalms, "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty! Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." (Psalm 8. verses 3-8) God shared with us his life and prestige. He keeps his glory, all by himself, and that's fine. But he lets us enjoy him, to be proud of him.

And our worth comes in shared relationship. Maybe that's why it's so disappointing that people find their worth in the football or golf. They are so close. It IS about shared relationship and shared glory. It IS about shared meaningfulness and shared worth. But it's not in the basketball in LA or Boston. It is only found one place. In the Gospel of Y'shua; the truth that he cared and did on our behalf.

Listen to the most famous verse in the Bible. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Wow, God cared about the people he made, he counted us as worthy, as worth his love and action. And he gave his son as a cost to buy us back from sin and hopelessness. He thinks we are worth a lot. You will find your worth in agreeing with him.

And put down your vuvuzela.

17 June 2010

Blog and twit and politics

Making the sound byte hearable.

Everyone knows that politics is about getting things done and making sure others know you are getting things done. It's about marketing and sales. It's about communications. And control.

So this week there is quite a discussion about the use of twitter and blogger spaces to communicate. After all, can a politico ever get his voice heard above the din of all the other noises out there?

Consider the Dutch brewery. How do they get 'heard?' Two Dutch women appeared in a South African court for a publicity stunt that sent 36 women in orange dresses to a World Cup game, sparking protests by the Netherlands against the charges.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen condemned FIFA's handling of the incident, saying it was "absurd" that the pair had been arrested and charged with organising the so-called "ambush marketing" campaign.

The row began when a group of three dozen women turned up at Monday's Netherlands v Denmark match in Johannesburg wearing identical orange mini-dresses that were sold with packs of Bavaria beer in the Netherlands.

I thought that was pretty clever. And it's not illegal, is it?

But what about our politicians in New South Wales? The ABC reported yesterday about an experimental debate using the social media site Twitter. The debate took place ahead of a highly-anticipated by-election in the western Sydney seat of Penrith this Saturday.

The discussion, which called for contributions from the public, ran for over half an hour and was moderated by Channel Nine's Kevin Wilde. Most said, the debate was hard to follow with many questions asked by users left unanswered.

Followers also had to endure the occasional interruption by the Twitter fail whale - the cartoon character that tells you when the site is over-subscribed.

The Daily Telegraph's Joe Hildebrand was one of many tweeters expressing frustration.

"Exclusive: twitter debate confused, nonsensical and unproductive; perfect representation of NSW politics," he wrote.

Lee Rhiannon says while the debate was chaotic, it is a good way to engage lots of people. "Kristina Keneally overdid it I think in terms of just running out policy lines," she said.

"But there still was engagement from the three of us with a number of people that were putting questions to us."I acknowledge that it was limited, it was far from perfect, but it was a start." Moderator Kevin Wilde admitted there were teething problems but said the first Twitter debate would not be the last.

"Training wheels on for everyone on this. It will be better during the NSW debate that is locked in for March 2011," he wrote.

Let's see, unanswered questions. Could that be a political debate? Of course! Unproductive and confused. Yup.

I couldn't get on, as twitter was oversubscribed. I couldn't even go to my own twitter site and update what I was thinking or doing, as if I were doing anything of significance compared to such lofty things as debates and World Cup matches and State of Origin rugby contests.


I invite you to the twitter site, to follow us.
I invite you to this Blog, to follow us.
And to participate in conversation, however that works.

I invite you to our website, and our podcasts.

And I invite you to comment. It's only fair.

Getting someone's attention. Good work.
Keeping someone's interest. Never easy.
Being worthy of anyone even noticing you...very hard. But if you are a believer, and have something about God, and how he has worked in your life, or what he is up to on the earth, then I'm all ears.

12 June 2010

More on the floatilla

The Australian newspaper published an article today from William Shaw Cross, author of many books. It was first published in the Jerusalem Post on 8 June. More of my comments below the article.

'Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz.” That was the response from the “peace flotilla” when Israel broadcast a radio message warning the Turkish flotilla that it was about to enter an area under naval blockade. In another response, someone on board the “humanitarian aid convoy” replied: “We’re helping the Arabs go against the US. Don’t forget 9/11, guys.” After these exchanges, IDF commandos landed on the ships. On the Mavi Marmara they were attacked by pro-Palestinian activists wielding iron bars.

Turkish papers have now published photographs of soldiers bleeding badly as they are assaulted by thugs.

Eventually the commandos shot back in self-defense and nine activists were killed. It was a disaster for Israel and a triumph for those who hate Israel, Jews and the West. Bulent Yildirim, head of the Turkish Islamist organization IHH, which organized the flotilla, exulted in a speech to an audience he called “people of paradise.” “Last night, everything in the world has changed, and everything is progressing toward Islam,” he said.

THAT IS the reality today. Consider these words from Sheikh Hussein bin Mahmud, a pseudonymous but apparently popular commentator in the global jihadist community: “Everyone who has had contact with the Jews and lived alongside them, in the East and in the West, has spurned them, loathed them and detested them, to the point where Hitler said, ‘I could kill all the Jews in the world, but I left a few alive so that the entire world will know why I killed the Jews.’”

Such raw hatred of Jews, let alone Israel, is commonplace in the Middle East, even without an excuse such as last week’s deadly incident. The “peace flotilla” was no such thing. It had some peaceful people aboard, but its organizer, IHH, is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, an openly terrorist organization pledged to the destruction of Israel and the triumph of Shari’a law everywhere. Scores of the “peace passengers” were Islamic militants pledged to kill Jews and secure martyrdom for themselves. Hence the confrontation with the Israeli commandos and the tragedy of the deaths on board.

That was not enough for Sheikh Hussein. He declared that the Turks should “kill every Jew in Turkey.” Moreover, “Gaza does not want ‘freedom ships’ bearing blonde women with Muslim, Christian, Jewish and atheist men; it wants a naval fleet and a land army bearing black Islamic banners... Gaza will not agree to a cease-fire with the Jews. On the contrary, it is thirsty to drink the blood of the sons of apes and pigs, and it is hungry and longs to devour the body parts of these cowards.”

Western critics of Israel often say that they are not anti-Semitic, merely anti-Zionist. No such distinction occurs to commentators such as Sheikh Hussein – Jews, Israelis, they are all “the sons of apes and pigs.”

It is not surprising that such racist loathing creates a siege mentality in Israel. Worse is the fact that Israelis know it’s not just “the black Islamic banners” with which they have to contend, but also the irrational hatred of much of the rest of the world

The realities of Gaza, Israel and the West Bank – where, with Israel’s assistance, the Palestinian economy is booming – are deemed irrelevant to the conventional narrative. Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption. What is deeply shocking – and frightening – is that the narrative the world accepts is always that of Israel the evildoer.

It was true with the so-called Jenin massacre allegedly committed by the Israelis in 2002. There was no such massacre. It was a lie that was widely and uncritically propagated by the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the BBC. It is true today. The hatred that Israel arouses is absurd, even obscene. One senior military source was quoted last week as saying it did not matter what his country did; however carefully it responded to such events as the “peace flotilla,” it would always be condemned in the UN, on the BBC and almost everywhere else.

The bien pensants of the Western world are never prepared to give Israel the benefit of any doubt. The UN has become more of a lynch mob than a constructive debating chamber. Israel’s right to defend itself is ignored. So is the fact that Iran has threatened to obliterate it, and that the Hamas rulers of Gaza are Iranian agents also pledged to its destruction.

LAST WEEK, the UN, as always, jumped instantly to the conclusions most damaging to Israel. The UN Human Rights Council, of which Iran is a member, instantly denounced Israel for its “attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.”

Similarly, the Israeli ambassador to the EU was harangued and abused in the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. No one was interested in his explanation, and when he showed images of IDF soldiers being beaten with iron bars on the Mavi Marmara, MEPs asserted the film was faked propaganda. The only person to defend Israel at all was Charles Tannock, the Conservative MEP. (Unlike the Israeli ambassador, the Iranian ambassador was treated with courtesy.)

Israel is an imperfect society (like any other), but it has extraordinary social, scientific and scholastic achievements. Despite living under endless threats, it is far closer to the liberal ideal of a free society than any other in the Middle East. But it gets scant credit.

Europe prides itself on its tolerance of gay rights, free speech and feminism. These are all integral to Israeli society also, but Israel gets scant credit for that. Radical Muslims, on the other hand, stone women, hang homosexuals and kill to deny free speech. Do Europeans protest that? Not many, not often.

Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other nation. Few people seem to care much about North Korean atrocities, at home and abroad, let alone its terrifying nuclear defiance of the world. No one marches or calls emergency meetings of the UN and the EU to protest the vicious Muslim brutality against other Muslims that takes place every day throughout the Islamic world – and beyond. No one demonstrates on behalf of Christians murdered in the Middle East, their churches burned. Such horrors are waved away. Only Israel merits such constant abuse.

The Muslim world and the Western Left are in an unholy alliance; they do not want to improve the Jewish state, they want to remove it. Israel has come to expect double standards from Europe and assault from the UN.

Much more serious is the loss of support from the Obama administration.

In his attempts to reach out to the Islamic world, Barack Obama has abandoned the US tradition of whole-hearted support for one of its principal allies.

He has showed himself far more tolerant of (or unconcerned by) abuses of power in the Muslim world than by mistakes of Israel.

Most recently, Obama backed a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference statement that singled out Israel in calling for a nuclear-free Middle East. No other president has ever done that, and Israelis are understandably concerned. What Obama does not seem to understand is that his lack of support for Israel not only saps Israel, it emboldens its enemies.

The Middle East and the world are now a much more dangerous place as “the sons [and daughters] of apes and pigs” are delegitimized once again. On their way back to Auschwitz, if their enemies succeed.

End of article by Saw Cross.

Then in the same newspaper in Australia, John Lyons writes, "some blame Israel for the siege. Some blame Hamas. Some blame Egypt. The trust is, they are probably all cuplable, one way or another."

Ouch. The truth is, as X Files used to say, 'out there.' And when we look for it, really diligently look for it, we find it. Let's hope the media keeps looking.

Let's hope all in the Middle East look for it.
Let's hope you and I look for it.

For when you seek, you will find. That's what Jesus taught. He knew what he was talking about.

He's the truth. And he's out there, and very near you, too.

If you ask.

07 June 2010

New Zealand and shechita

New Zealand - Jewish communities in New Zealand and Australia have expressed outrage at a new animal welfare code in New Zealand that makes it a crime to kill livestock using kosher slaughter, or “shechita.”

The code went into effect on Friday, May 21, 2010 and specifically requires cattle and other animals to be stunned before slaughter, in order to ensure humane treatment of the animal. Jewish halachic law forbids stunning before slaughter because it inflicts a wound on the animal, and because the animal can regain consciousness during the slaughter and experience pain as a consequence. Halachic law, which is addressed in the Talmud, maintains strict oversight regarding the slaughter of livestock that is used for human consumption. Proponents of shechita also maintain that it is a more humane means of slaughter because of the technique that is used by the shochet, the trained slaughterer.

Acting President of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, expressed dismay toward the new ruling, which he referred to as a “blatantly discriminatory action.” Rabbi Gutnick said that every effort would be made by Jewish groups to reverse the ban.

According to the Australasian Internet news service, j-wire, he has also disagreed with a recent statement by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that the kosher slaughter of poultry had not received very much interest in recent years. As the Rabbinic Administrator of the Kashrut Authority of Australia and New Zealand, Rabbi Gutnick has been responsible for supervising shechita of poultry in New Zealand.

The code also prohibits the importation of live chickens or uncooked poultry, which can carry disease. Unless reversed, the two rulings are expected to have wide impact on the ability of observant Jews to keep kosher. The prohibition on uncooked kosher poultry would mean that ethnic dishes such as freshly prepared chicken soup with matzo balls at Passover may become a thing of the past in New Zealand.

New Zealand is one of several countries to ban shechita in the last 100 years. Norway, Sweden and Iceland have banned the practice for many years. Anti-Semitic attitudes are believed to have influenced the outcome of the rulings in Norway, which has banned kosher slaughter since 1927. A number of other regions and countries have also maintained partial bans on shechita over the years, including Estonia, Latvia and Switzerland.

The consequence of the Code is that, effectively, it makes it impossible to produce kosher meat or poultry in New Zealand, as the stunning of an animal prior to slaughter is not permissible under Jewish law. Meat killed in this way cannot be made kosher. Jews in New Zealand have thus had their right to practise their religion totally compromised.

While kosher beef can be imported, Jewish people will have to completely miss out on having chicken in their diet if they want to observe their religion. Due to quarantine restrictions, chickens cannot be brought into New Zealand, meaning that the Code effectively eliminates chicken meat from New Zealand’s observant Jewish family tables.

The New Zealand authorities are demonstrating a hostile lack of understanding of Jewish culture, and of kosher slaughter practices in particular.

The original purpose of the Code was to set minimum standards to be met by persons in charge of the slaughtering of animals. The Code is given legal force by the relevant provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (NZ) (the Act). The Act states that its guiding principles are to ensure that owners of animals and persons in charge of animals attend properly to the welfare of those animals, including taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the animals are met in accordance with both (i) good practice; and (ii) scientific knowledge.

The report on the Code, also issued by NAWAC, specifically recommended that the special dispensation previously given to kosher producers be removed. The Agriculture Minister went ahead and removed the dispensation without further consultation.

How can a piece of legislation, aimed at protecting animal welfare, detract from the human right to freely practise religion? Was this an unintended consequence - just a significant oversight on the part of the Government? I believe it was deliberate, and very unfortunate, and needs to be reviewed if the government is not to follow dangerous precedents.

Section 13 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (Bill of Rights Act) expressly states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and hold opinions without inference”, while Section 14 expressly states that “everyone has the right to manifest that person’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private”. By making animal slaughter practices that are unacceptable to adherents of the Jewish religion mandatory, the Code could well breach their human rights under these provisions.

New Zealand’s Agriculture Minister, David Carter, a cattle breeder with more than 30 years farming experience, has previously been a vocal advocate on animal welfare issues, as expressed in a speech last year.

The timing of this move to put kosher meat out of business in New Zealand comes, ironically, only a couple of months since the opening of New Zealand’s first religious orthodox restaurant in downtown Christchurch, a short ride down State Highway 75 from the NZ Agriculture Minister’s electoral office. While the Kosher Kitchen restaurant, operated by distinctively-bearded members of the orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement, has specialised in a non-meat menu, the ban obviously puts out off any prospect for future expansion of the small Jewish community’s new restaurant by its effective dismissing the possibilities to venture into meat-based meals.

The New Zealand authorities are demonstrating a hostile lack of understanding of Jewish culture, and of kosher slaughter practices in particular. This is a slippery slope for any government, as it follows a historical pattern of oppressive anti-semitic regulation. The effect will be to place pressures on observant New Zealand Jews to leave their country. Forget any Jewish jokes about chicken soup - Jewish people are simply to be banned from their religious practices, under the guise of protecting animal rights. What about human rights?

This article was published first on
http://www.vosizneias.com/57165/2010/06/06/new-zealand-ban-on-shechita-of-kosher-meats-a-disgrace (Vos iz neias (Yiddish for “What’s news?”) is a highly popular, rapidly-growing blog that meets the demanding media needs of the Orthodox Jewish community in New York, across the United States, and around the world.