Monday, June 20, 2011

Tolerance? Understanding?

There will be no synagogue expansion on Hutchison. At least, not this synagogue. And not this time. The real loser here is... (you fill in the blank). Actually I blame both sides. I'm guessing that the Hasids have never invited their neighbours over for tea, let alone smiled and said hello when they passed in the street.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another referendum in Quebec

I wrote about the Outremont Hasidic community in The Rent Collector and their fight to erect an eruv, a virtually invisible boundary allowing certain practices on the Shabbat. Round two came when the Hasidim asked the local YMCA to cover a window that allowed passersby to view women exercising in skimpy clothes (the Hasidim paid to have frosted glass installed). Round three is at hand - this battle about whether a small synagogue should be allowed to renovate and expand their building. Of course, this is really all about tolerance and the perceived increasing 'encroachment' of a growing religious people on the surrounding secular community. My guess is that rounds four, five and six are not far away.