Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Jews Making Jews Look Bad

I don’t know which segment of Orthodoxy is responsible for yet another Chilul HaShem.

Of course it starts with Halacha. This one is in the form of requiring a quick burial for a deceased child. Halacha dictates that a burial should not be delayed for any undue reason. This has happened to a child from that community in Manchester, England who died last Friday.

YWN published a call by - you guessed it – the Asakanim of this community to act. From YWN:

Unfortunately a tragedy has occurred within the Manchester kehilloh where a baby of 21 months passed away Friday night and Askonim have still been unable to secure a release document from the Coroner’s office, which entitles burial, despite promises that release would take place this morning.

Protocol was followed by the Chevra Kadisha and family immediately and, local askonim feel they need as many members from the Frum community as possible to impress on the coroner’s office to expedite matters immediately.

Askonim therefore request, that a pleasant email is written in your own words to:
coroners@manchester.gov.uk urging them to put this case to rest asap.

It’s nice of them to say a pleasant email should be sent. But it should be obvious to all by now that telling people from certain communities to be pleasant is a complete waste of breath. No matter. It is far more important that they get what they want. Chilul HaShem be damned. I’m not sure God feels that way about His name being desecrated.

How do I know it was a Chilul HaShem? From the following comment in YWN by Simon Nelson, a Jewish coroner from Manchester who is observant. Here is what it said:

I was apppointed Her Majesty’s Coroner for Greater Manchester North in 2002. Before taking up my office I consulted with Rav O Westheim. My jurisdiction of 650,000 people includes the Borough of Bury and within that the kehillos of Prestwich and Whitefield.I am one of 115 or so full-time Coroners nationwide. The Coroner is wholly independent.

I was greatly saddened to learn after Shabbos of the sudden and tragic death of baby Dresdner.I have always made myself available out of hours for the kehilloh and my contact number has been on the Beis Din Luach for many years.

I was contacted by Rav Weiss last Monday evening and advised on both the law and practice in respect of an appeal against the decision of the Manchester City Coroner. There are Solicitors in Manchester who specialise in this area of law.

Local Askonim-in particular Rav Shlomo Adler have worked tirelessly behind the scenes for many years both with Coroners, the NHS and Government departments with the result that the four Manchester Coroners offer MRI scanning for those within and beyond the kehilloh.

Rav Adler is recognised nationally for his endeavours.There remains considerable opposition to the use of MRI scanning by Coroners outside Greater Manchester.

The actions of certain misguided individuals in attempting to influence the Manchester Coroner have done incalculable harm to the wider kehilloh and amount in my view to a chillul hashem.Whenever a person dies in England/Wales in order for the death to be registered and then for a burial to take place either a medical certificate as to the cause of death has to be issued by a doctor who has attended the deceased during their last illness or the death has to be reported to the Coroner. Baby Dresdner died suddenly and no doctor was in the position to issue a certificate.

The Manchester Coroner personally spoke to the family GP who confirmed he was unable to issue the death certificate. The Coroner agreed to conduct an MRI scan which took place on Sunday and thereafter personally spoke to the Consultant Radiologist on Sunday evening who was unable to offer a cause of death.The Coroner decided to authorise a post mortem to be conducted by a Specialist paediatric pathologist.

A request was made on behalf of the family that the post mortem examination be delayed pending representations.The Coroner saw the representatives at 5.30 on Monday evening.Sadly the examination was delayed on Tuesday because the skeletal (x-ray) survey had not been carried out.

It was wholly unacceptable for the Coroners wife and children to be distressed by the need for police protection outside their because of the planned demonstration by the kehilloh.

It was wholly unacceptable for the Coroner to be personally bombarded with over 600 emails which detracted from his ability to deal with the many other tragic deaths in his office.

It is unacceptable for his staff to be called ‘anti-semites’.

It is unacceptable in an email for the Coroner’s actions to be described as ‘an attack on all Jews’.

It is unacceptable for a member of the kehilloh to purport to communicate as a solicitor and write to the Coroner ‘that in Jewish law a parent is punished by G-D for not burying a body on the same day it dies’.

The Manchester Coroner himself has written ‘Uniquely in England and Wales I and my colleagues locally will allow MRI scanning and this does not happen in other parts of the Country’.

The actions of many within the kehilloh in ignoring the advice given have severly affected the goodwill that has been bulit up over many years with the local Coroners.

I am always available to discuss and advise.

Need I say more?