Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh My Goy

The word goy, in our community, has none of the connotations some of my readers suppose it to have. For the native Yiddish speakers on our Hill the word masks none of the hidden longing and jealous admiration that the secular Jews are accused of. The definition of goy, for us, is non-Jewish. The definition of Jewish is less simply defined on the other hand. Far too many Hillers define Jewish as anybody with a level of judaic religious observance above whatever standard they arbitrarily decide, but that is another matter.

Goy means gentile like boy means male human child. So when someone says to you “Listen here boy,” it means, listen to me male infant. If you happen to be overweight, fifty-seven years old, black and lesbian you might take umbrage but that does not make boy a rude word.

When a Chassidic property dealer with a messy beard and an accent thicker than his waist says, “My goy vill deal viz it.” with utter finality he is not denigrating his ‘man’ rather he is asserting his manhood. His ‘having manhood’ that is. You see everybody on the Hill can deal a few properties here and there but it is having your own goy that really makes you the man. ‘I’ll tell my goy to take care of it’ is a sentence you practice before the mirror before skipping to brush your teeth.

Each industry has it own set of goyim. When I was younger each of the property-dealing families used to have an Irish man. A Paddy or an O’Riley they could call upon any time of the night or day to deal with whatever needed to be dealt with, from a dripping tap in a bathroom, to a front room to chassidified with three fluorescent tubes or a grandmother that has to be picked up from the airport. It was an Afro-Caribbean in the eighties and Columbian in the nineties. Today it is most often a Polish guy with lots of drive, a big toolbox (with tools in) and the mistaken idea that hitching his star to a Jew will shoot him off into the stratosphere- moneywise.

The car salesmen all have a mechanic they like to call My Goy and even my washing machine repairman proudly proclaims his goy’s virtues above rubies. These batmen are invariably very well treated by their Chassidic benefactors who are more often than not completely baffled by the mentality of the gentiles they are dealing with. It is these goyim whose task it is to serve as interpreter and cultural attaché, translating English for their bosses and their bosses to the English. They understand fully well that while their bosses might dress like the Jewish version of a priest that is a sartorial mirage and in fact, behind the exotic exterior often lies a Londoner (pun intended). Forewarned and forearmed by the information provided by his goy the Chassidic businessmen’s associates can come to table with no unreasonable expectations and thus can business commence.

Come Pesach, the Rabbis too have to produce their very own uncircumcised member. Like the businessmen whose lives they covet all year and who lead and advise them in all matters, when it comes to Pesach each Rabbi worth his salt has to have his own goy. Originally the idea of selling Chametz (leavened foods forbidden over Passover) was instituted to allow businesses, that would suffer financial hardship if they had to liquidate all their stock every year, to circumvent this law. The ceremony involves a symbolic selling of the goods, which are stored in a carefully marked place, to a certified goy for the duration of the week after which the goods are returned to their original owners automatically.

Today in our ever growing frummity we all dutifully traipse down to our local Rav and sell him a whole pile of stuff that is not chometz anyway, like headache pills and washing-up liquid, but which we earnestly put aside as questionable because they don’t have the kosher stamp. The Rav does so out of genuine concern and also because each of us leaves him a generous gratuity. The Rabbi then performs the same transaction with the goy in a ceremony I am dying to see; Especially the part where the Rabbi verifies the credentials of the goy.

Happily, the goy is an awfully understanding and generous chap so he does not mind at all that half the town borrows from his stuff without asking, like when suddenly someone falls ill and remembers the Aspirin are in his box. As I said we might look like Rabbis but that is a deception and far from being goy haters, this particular Yomtov we positively love ‘em.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Protocols of the Meeting

I am sure many of my reader have suspected for a while that there is more to this blog than meets the eye. That there is a calculated mission hidden inside the innocuous ramblings of "an anonymous, thirty-something Stamford Hiller claiming to be a Chassid and regularly churning out his personal take on whatever he likes." That it has become so widely read despite the many who do not like positions taken serves only to reinforce that suspicion.

My use of the word elders to describe my leaders should have been a clue and They are right that it was careless of me but, as we have been taught all the time, most people are like sheep and created to have wool over their eyes. Did nobody ever wonder how comes a blog from nowhere gets so many visitors? Did they not wonder how comes someone sitting on the Hill and spouting what he sees for the entire world to see, has managed to stay anonymous? Did nobody notice that all those displaying too much interest were eliminated?

On the other hand the Elders are losing Their touch too. As a group who have managed to remain hidden for so long despite Their manifesto having been published over a hundred years ago and still available on sale in the few countries where Their control is not yet absolute, They were surprisingly negligent in allowing me to have this amount exposure without a minder. Did They not suspect that I would squeal if they tried to clip my wings?

It is not only my carelessness They are unhappy with either. It seems I have overstepped the line too. I have been using sarcasm, my Board of Control unanimously agreed, and that is against the rules. They make a valid point. It is difficult to pin down exactly what is being said in satire and the Elders, like most of our Rabbis, don’t really go for the whole humour thing. The position I was supposed to hold on the cartoons for instance was one of moral outrage followed by smug self-righteousness. When I asked for practical guidance I was told to watch the Board of Deputies and how they handled the Ken Livingstone story.

In truth I had been watching that and the Prince Harry one. I had questioned to myself whether it really was in our best interest to react like stuck pigs whenever anyone mentions the holocaust and our constituents don’t get a cashback. I had been asking myself for while if my mission of bringing the Hillers firmly into the hold of the Elders, like all the other Jews of Britain, was as good a deed as I had been led to believe. I had also, as the Control Board speaker pointed out, mocked the appointed religious leader’s style and that when They had worked so hard to get one of Their choosing after the previous one had turned out to have something of a mind of his own. The Michael Howard remark I was duly absolved of after I pointed out that I wasn’t to know he was Theirs.

But it was exactly the Red Ken story that caused me to rebel. I cannot for the life of me see why it is in the Elder’s interest to antagonize the man for a silly remark he made that is not even offensive. I pointed out to the Board that with the growing antisemtism in London (the Elders had promised it would be eliminated worldwide by 1950 - antisemitsm not London), not to mention the regrettable incident in France They forgot to promote in this country till a week after the event, it might be wise to at least attack him for his views we actually oppose rather than this pathetic media circus act. After all he is known to be a fair man alongside his odious anti-Israelism. They reminded me that I had been developed to write their opinions not to develop my own. They further reminded me that criticizing Them was forbidden and I was lucky not be severely disciplined.

I was ordered to stop writing but I shall continue as independent and if I am doomed I am doomed. By doing so I will prove that the Elders are not as powerful as some people think. Of course I will take extra precautions and if anybody pricks me with an umbrella I will have it checked immediately but I doubt They will feel forced to eliminate me. Most people will put this down as some Purim joke after all. Isn’t it wonderful to be Jewish?