Richard Cohen

It gives us great pleasure to present the first 5775 Shalom Magazine. Firstly we would like to thank our immediate past Editor, Michael Newman, for the sterling work he put into producing many previous editions. It must be a huge burden to collate a multitude of material on one’s own.

Everyone has his or her own perspective and story to tell. Every member of the Shul is a fascinating amalgam of historical geographical family psychological and religious influences. We thank those who have taken the time to contribute their articles and we seek to encourage those who have not yet done so to take the plunge.

Why are words so important? They have the power to persuade inspire and change the course of history. The American journalist Ed Murrow said of Churchill that he mobilised the English language and sent it into battle during WW2. When you read the article on proportionality in War it is not the dry clauses of the Rome Convention or their academic interpretation by Professor Laurie Blank but the appeal to the heart and sentiment by the wartime Prime Minister that stirs the emotions.

This is a skill with which trial lawyers persuade juries to cast their vote thus giving the jurors the power to change an accused’s life forever. I refer to the art of convincing your listener with overwhelming argument.

Similarly with Israel whether on the Radio TV or in letters and internet commentaries the importance of putting Israel’s case fairly and with hard facts cannot be overestimated. I am not talking about propaganda but about the ongoing battle for hearts and minds which Israel has been losing on the international stage for too long.

We all wish for peace and stability in the Mideast and indeed the world and at this solemn time of year we might well reflect on what we as individuals can do to bring about those objectives. An obvious answer as we used to say at school is to “know your stuff” and present it in the best way that you can.

David Viniker

Welcome to the Rosh Hashanah Edition of the Loughton Synagogue Shalom Magazine 5775 – 2014.

We thank all contributors whether they are authors or advertisers. They have been generous with their time and effort.

We hope you will like the new A4 format. Articles from the magazine will be included in the website.

The content has been organised into Shul, History, and Travel and Political sections. Some views expressed in articles are not necessarily in accord with those of the editors.

This year, the Middle-East has been thrown into turmoil. Leading politicians have resigned or commented over what is a proportionate response but stayed silent when those who have hi-jacked a religion have committed atrocities. The British Prime Minister is concerned that the Islamists could soon reach the Mediterranean seemingly unaware of the positon of Gaza. This edition understandably has several articles on the subject.

Wishing all our friends a happy and healthy New Year and well over the fast.