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The Jewish New Year at the Park: The Celebrations of the Majority and the Celebrations of the Minorities

01.01.2017

 

It is New Year’s Eve in England. People roam freely in the middle of the night. They don’t fear any attack. Women feel safe. The people drink freely. Many people are intoxicated. They believe that drinking will not raise safety concerns. They are safe in the knowledge that no one will want to hurt them on this happy occasion. There is no need for police. This is the New Year of the majority.

The scene is a few weeks ago. It is the Jewish New Year in England. I notice the congregation of Jewish people at the side of the stream in my local park. The police are everywhere. It is the police that first draw my notice to the gathering. The Jews don’t roam freely in the middle of the day, in broad sunlight. They do not feel safe. They fear an attack. The exercise of their religion in an open space raises safety concerns. They do not feel safe. They know that people will want to hurt them on this happy occasion. There is a need for the police. They do not feel safe. The police don’t just protect. The police supervise the Jews. They are not permitted the freedom and safety of the majority. They are kept under surveillance. This is the New Year of the Minority.

The New Year of the majority. The New Year of the Minority. This is England.

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