Dearest Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Dearest Rabbi Shmuley,

My name is Devora and I am a Jewish student currently studying International Relations in London.

In light of recent events and your outright unkindness towards Saul Yardley, a mench beyond words, I would like to put forward a few things if you don’t mind.

Regardless of my views on what happened during that meeting at Kings, the way you have conducted yourself on social media platforms to lambast a young Jewish student is simply unacceptable. As a Rabbi, you should be representing an attitude of openness and acceptance, of love and understanding. People look to Rabbis for guidance; they are role models that set a path for followers to embrace.

I am disappointed in your lack of respect and consideration.

Secondly, with all due respect, you are not a Jewish student in London, and therefore your comments bashing Saul regarding the JSOC lunch “incident” are coming from a place of misunderstanding. Truth be told, you have not experienced the system we have here, you do not understand how things work, and you do not have a right to go and use social media as a platform to complain and whine.

You have misinformed the internet public on what exactly happened and such is dangerous because things are now getting out of hand.

Thirdly, you are inciting unfair hatred towards a Jew, a Jew who I live with and know to be a role model many of us look up to. When I moved here from Singapore, I was amazed at how much Saul has done for Jewish and Israeli causes on campus. He has dedicated his time and energy towards issues that mean a lot to him. He is a born leader and a great advocate for Israel, someone I would love to emulate.

Fourthly, Jewish societies are for topics specifically related to the religion of Judaism. Current Israel affairs are discussed in our ISRAEL society. Its as simple as that. Jews come to JSOC lunches to socialise and hear a speaker talk about the parasha, or whatever. This you have made a mistake of translating into “we do not care about Israel”. You are being ridiculous. It is JSOC policy to not be political and thus is a reason for why Saul spoke up. There really is not much else to it.

I take offense to your claims that Jewish students are not standing up for Israel. I, and many others like Saul, have committed ourselves to standing up for Israel even when it seemed pointless. Now is probably the worst time as any to be a Jew on campus yet we speak up and refuse to be silent- Saul being one of them. We take hateful comments as they come but we refuse to back down.

If you receive this article, I hope you realise the massive Chilul Hashem you have spread.

About the Author
Devora Khafi grew up in Singapore and is currently a student at Queen Mary University of London. She specializes in issues regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as security threats to the region.