Limmud: the updated code of conduct

The Sages do not impose on the community a hardship which the majority cannot endure (bBava Batra 60b)

In the spirit of the above-mentioned Jewish heritage, for 2018 the Limmud Corporation Plc has decided dramatically to amend its code of conduct as follows:


Limmud strives to be a place where Jews of all stripes can come together to elbow each other, tut at each other and buy drinks.

Our work is based on the following core values:

  • Food
  • No handouts
  • Colour coding
  • Hashtags

The behaviour we expect from participants

We aspire to a Limmud where everybody acts according to the highest standards of behaviour exemplified by the greatest Jewish leadership bodies of our generation: the Board of Deputies and the Knesset. May that time come soon and last forever, bimheira b’yameinu v’nomar amen.

Here are a few clear rules which apply to all participants, volunticipants, volunteers, participeers, chairs, co-chairs, tri-chairs, quadri-chairs, and anyone anywhere in the world who wears a purple lanyard:

  • At Limmud, anyone can be a teacher. No-one is any better or worse at teaching than anyone else. That’s why there’s no correlation whatsoever between room size and popularity of presenter.
  • If the fire alarm goes off, stand around looking hopefully for someone to come and bring you your coat and gloves or else for the fire just to self-extinguish. On no account leave the building unless you hear both the fire alarm and volunteers shouting at you to move.
  • Sit at the end of rows. One bonus point for tutting at anybody who wants to get past to use any of the 10 or so seats you’re obstructing. Two bonus points if you sit down at the end of a long table in the dining hall and totally block off the rest of it and contribute to the congestion there.
  • Save seats in the dining hall for people who won’t arrive until 20-30 minutes later if at all.
  • Keep the corridors moving by walking at a reasonable speed… then stop suddenly and without warning to look at your mobile and cause a mass pileup.
  • Ringtones during sessions please.
  • On no account take your meat dining ticket with you to the meat dining room. If you take your meat dining ticket with you to the meat dining room you have not fulfilled your duty.
  • If a presenter invites questions, give a comment. If they invite comments, ask a question. If they invite audience participation, keep awkwardly quiet. If they ask for silence, play the kazoo.
  • If a presenter says they’ll only take questions at the end, they definitely have something to hide. Barrack them repeatedly until they agree to an immediate cross-examination.
  • Thou shalt surely not suffer a panel discussion and live.
  • Whenever a comment is being made from the floor and you can’t hear properly, get all your friends to shout, “We can’t hear!” It is a well-known fact that the more voices shouting over someone, the easier it becomes to hear that person.
  • Your way of assembling a cup of tea is right. Anyone who wants to do it differently (hot water before milk, for instance, or vice versa if that’s how you do it) is wrong and their approach disrupts the proper way people are supposed to use the tea station and they should be tutted at.
  • If you’re stuck in a long queue and have a session to get to, ask the people in front if they’d mind if you go first. They won’t have a session to get to. The fact that this is a break between sessions isn’t anything to do with the fact that the queue is long. You have extenuating circumstances and should get priority.
  • There are not strange doors at the back of the Red, Orange and Blue rooms. You might believe you saw doors there, but you didn’t. Those doors do not exist. Don’t think about them. Don’t worry about them. There are no extra doors and they don’t go anywhere.
  • We’ve heard all the Nittel Nacht jokes before.
  • Don’t mention the (Six-Day) War.
  • Re. the revolving door at the entrance: scream if you want to go faster.

We hope that these guidelines are a better reflection of life here at Limmuddington Towers, and that this year, for the first time, we are not imposing on the community a hardship which the majority cannot endure.

Enjoy your Limmud Confival!

Channukah 5779: bringing sovereignty back home

Arron Banks speaking at a Maccabee rally (far right)

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a group of aggressive zealots waged a fierce campaign to free their nation from European influence. Eventually, after months of questionable tactics and undemocratic propaganda, they succeeded in liberating the country.

But, oh, at what cost!

For the campaigners, in all their fervour, had neglected to plan for the day when they would once again be in charge of a government – solely responsible for all their nation’s needs. They found that they did not have enough supplies. Despite all that they had stockpiled, their stores would barely last a single day.

Then, yea, a miracle happened.

Note from Gabriel: at this point I need to decide once and for all whether this is a recitation of the Channukah story parodying Brexit, or a recitation of the Brexit story parodying Channukah. If it’s the former, then a happy ending involving a miracle is possible. If it’s the latter, we’re all screwed.

But in the meantime, be sure to stockpile a few topical and seasonal gifts from this year’s catalogue. Yes, it’s GABRIEL FESTIVE INNOVATIONS!

We hope you feel able to make some purchases.

Other sovereign areas

The decision by ‘let your spare room’ giant AirBnB to stop advertising accommodation in illegal West Bank settlements has angered people who support illegal West Bank settlements but not really bothered anyone else.

Since Israel has basically been using the West Bank as its spare room since 1967, nobody can claim to be surprised. Nobody, that is, except Knesset member Michael Oren, who referred to the new policy as “the very definition of anti-Semitism” – though I thought that was the thing that had been belatedly adopted by the Labour Party – and called for a boycott of AirBnB, to, er, express the strength of his opposition to boycotts.

To mark the occasion, the editors and proprietors of this esteemed organ are delighted to present to you a new rentition of a well-known Beatles song, quite simply entitled, Let it AirBnB:


(Note to people who found this song controversial: I mainly did it for the puns and the strained rhymes and it’s only a song so probably not worth getting too concerned about.)

Reactionary right-wing middle-aged men demand vote of no confidence in female leader

No, it’s not Theresa May in whom they have no confidence, it’s Jodie Whittaker’s portrayal of The Doctor.

The ridiculous implausibility of having a fictional sci-fi character with thirteen lives turn into a woman has really upset readers of The Daily Mail, most of whom didn’t even know that women are allowed to become doctors. To add insult to injury, two of the Doctor’s three companions are “ethnic” and one is (according to an incredibly vague line in the script) “possibly bisexual”.

This is, of course, yet another totally unacceptable example of the BBC’s politically-correct agenda to perpetuate the myth that some people in Britain aren’t straight white men.

It gets worse.

Episode 3 of the new series – which was, incidentally, the first Doctor Who episode ever to have been written by a person of colour – saw Team TARDIS visit Rosa Parks in a racially-segregated 1950s USA. What did the viewers have to comment on this? “Who did the villain turn out to be… you guessed it, a white man.” Gosh! Who’d have imagined that an episode about Rosa Parks would portray a white person as in any way blameworthy.

Another gammon commented on this episode: “Goebells would have loved this.” Yes, the Nazi Party is fondly remembered for its love of civil rights for black people.

Hardly representative of modern Britain

Episode 6 was set during the partition of India, and even before it was aired, the discussion fora were buzzing: “This is presumably going to be another PC-BBC lesson in how it was all Britain’s fault.” And somehow the BBC did manage to make quite a convincing case that Britain was somewhat at fault. It’s a strange world.

Episode 7 was different. The villain in Episode 7 was a militant trade unionist who was using violent means to try to destroy a legitimate profitable business. Daily Mail readers were clearly struggling to find anything to criticise. But then, fortunately, one of them hit on it:

One thing I find particularly annoying, is the muted colour palete they insist on using. I had to leave the room at one point, because it irritated me so much

One moment they’re complaining about the presence of ethnic minorities; the next they’re complaining about a muted colour palete [sic]. Make your mind up, gammons.

Freud or foolishness?

Student rabbis studying at a different seminary to my own are required to take a psychometric test before being admitted. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is a very popular standard test, and consists of over 500 statements which the applicant has to declare either ‘true’ or ‘false’.

So what deep areas of the human psyche are explored? Well, the very first, and without a doubt most important and revealing, statement is:

Later on, we have:

…which is immediately (and quite logically) followed with:

Some seem to have obviously correct answers, such as:

Others create epistimological nightmares: how is it possible to respond to…

…with anything other than ‘true’? Yet others are clearly designed to disclose the prophets among us:

There are a whole range of career-based questions that seem totally aimless and are randomly dispersed throughout the hundreds of lines of statements:

I was so baffled by these that I looked up the manual which explains what each question indicates about the mind of its respondent. And it turns out, according to the official commentary accompanying the test, that the question, “If I were a reporter I would very much like to report sporting news” is included because it indicates whether or not the subject would very much like to report sporting news if s/he was a reporter.

Well that explains it! (And by the way, ‘false’.)

Corbyn outrage latest

The news that Jeremy Corbyn wore a coat (pictured right) to the Remembrance Sunday event at the Cenotaph caused predictable outrage.

However, he fended off criticism, telling the nation that “a second coat is not an option any more”. He insisted that the choice of coat had taken place, and that he “didn’t know” whether he’d wear a different coat if given the chance to choose again.

Dear oh dear.

That’s all, folks

We hope to see more of you in 2019 (as the Remoaner said to Europe! -Ed.)

Credits (no injunctions here)

So, as the TARDIS of time [travel] materialises on the alien planet of destiny, and as the script editor of fate cuts out the politically-incorrect scenes of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, the seasonal gifts were provided by Gabriel Festive Innovations, and the wreath was brandished by Jeremy ‘Red’ Corbyn. Psychiatric assessments were conducted by the University of Minnesota and the West Bank was boycotted by AirBnB. This was an Gabrielquotes production.