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Rabbi no spokesman

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By Mark Gevisser

(source: BusinessDay, PG10,  23 April 2010)

In his handling of the matter of Richard Goldstone’s attendance at his grandson’s bar mitzvah, Rabbi Warren Goldstein has demonstrated a callow lack of wisdom (Judge welcome in shul despite report, April 21).

The rabbi pours fuel on the fire he pretends to be dousing by reminding his congregants that he believes the judge perpetrated a grave injustice against Israel. He also tells us self- righteously that synagogues are open to all, but in the same breath informs us he and the leaders of the synagogue “took a decision” that the shul’s door would be open to the entire Goldstone family, as if they had the power to shut it.

By his own argument, this is not the rabbi’s decision to make. Thus, while appearing to welcome Judge Goldstone into the house of God, the rabbi effectively shuts him out.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking, and in its shadow, it is worth remembering that Rabbi Goldstein is neither the elected representative of, nor the spokesman for, South African Jews. He does not represent Judge Richard Goldstone and he most certainly does not represent me.