Latest update: December 12th, 2012
Hello, my holy Jewish brethren and sistren, hope you’re in a mood to learn about all the stuff our planet has to offer in areas of interest to the people of the book (we used to call ourselves People of the Bookmark, but that’s just so geezertalk, might as well be reminiscing over how we got that steam engine installed and Yankel Hershkowitz said it’ll never work – but I’m digressing).
But before we start, I gotta’ share this joke with you, if it’s ancient don’t hate me, I’m trying my best here. This secular guy complains to his friend that his eldest boy did T’shuva. A year later they meet again, and the secular guy is in tears – his second oldest son did T’shuva. Another year goes by, and he’s just destroyed – his youngest boy up and did T’shuva. So his friend tells him, You know, with this happening to so many of your children, it sounds really serious, maybe you should check your mezuzahs?
A YIDDISHE ROBBERY
The Daily News just reported that Police arrested Efram Sanders, 28, who lives just three blocks from the Congregation Ohel Rachel Degel Israel Synagogue on 68th Drive in Kew Gardens Hills Tuesday, on suspicion of stealing more than a dozen religious artifacts.
Sanders was picked up after he took the stuff to a pawn shop, police said. You see? Can’t trust those pawn shop owners – you drop the loot, you turn around, and they call the cops on you.
Rabbi David Sheinfeld said Sanders had visited the synagogue in the past but was not a member of the congregation.
You think maybe they didn’t give him an aliyah so he took Hotza’ah v’Hachnassah instead? (that’s when you’re called to take out the Torah – which, let’s face it, he did).
Look at us, telling jokes about synagogue theft. If it wasn’t Adar time…
THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND THE JEWS
The New Brunswick, NJ, Daily Targum, reports on a panel of representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam discussed gender roles in religion yesterday at the Cook Campus Center. (Panel explains gender differences in religion).
So what did the rabbi say – right? Who has the strength to listen to the whole thing until you finally get to the rabbi? Not to worry, they served up the rabbi first.
Rabbi Esther Reed, associate director for Jewish Campus Life at Rutgers Hillel, said followers of Judaism do not believe that a man and woman are inherently different.
So now you know that a rabbi is capable of speaking through a variety of cavities, not necessarily the oris (that’s Latin for mouth, because Latin is the last resort of the scoundrel).
“I personally do not believe that gender is a fixed thing,” Reed said. “I don’t believe God made human beings so that men are made one way and women another way.”
Oh, man, I could have taken this story to such amazing places, but I can’t, because they’ll take away my G rating. So use your imagination and by all means go, go…
Thank God for Imam Moustafa Zayed, who set the record straight, saying, “One gender can do what the other does, but the two elements cannot fill themselves and their worth unless they complement each other and complete each other.”
And this is how monotheism’s good name was rescued by a child of Abraham, but from the shikse…
LATTER DAY THIS
Are you worried that one day, after you shut your eyes permanently and walk toward the light, some creepy Mormon would sneak up to your grave and baptize you against your will? (For a full view of the funny, funny image on the right, go to All Hat No Cattle – make it go viral.)
Mormon ritual is no threat to Jews, declares Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, who says he knew that some Mormons, eager to save the souls of dead Jews, had taken to submitting the names of Holocaust victims for posthumous baptism.
“The discovery didn’t trouble me at all. In Judaism, conversion after death is a concept without meaning; no after-the-fact rites in this world can possibly change the Jewishness of the men, women, children, and babies whom the Nazis, in their obsessive hatred, singled out for extermination. I found the Mormons’ belief eccentric, not offensive. By my lights, their efforts to make salvation available to millions of deceased strangers were ineffectual. But plainly they were sincere, and intended as a kindness.”
Jacoby is right, of course, in refusing to panic over this weird goyeshe stuff, but you know something, it still creeps me out that a bunch of cult heathen would lay their hands – even as an idea which packs no halachic offense at all. Lay off my zeide, go baptize yo mama, is how I react.
I’m an angry, angry man.
Incidentally, while working on this piece, this new item came in from Boston.com:
Helen Radkey, the excommunicated Mormon who’s been combing through the church’s archives, said that records indicate Pearl, who was Jewish, was baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011 at a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho. That’s Daniel Pearl the Wall Street Journal reporter who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan.
Now would Jacoby feel like he has to take a shower?
ALBERT BROOKS? TRY ALBERT SPEER!
Pontiac, Michigan, resident Sarah Deming sued CH Novi, Emagine Novi and FilmDistrict Distribution, after the September, 2011 release of the movie “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks. It has so far made more than $35 million, and Sarah says it did it in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
She believes it was misrepresented in a movie trailer as a “race action film similar to ‘Fast and Furious.'” But instead of “high speed action, race driving or chase driving” she was offended by “predominately Nazi style anti-Semitic propaganda.”
Deming alleges “Drive” portrayed only Jewish characters as evil, murderous, dishonest and scheming.
But wait, Michigan readers, here’s your chance to make some change on the side: Deming’s complaint has been amended and now seeks to be certified as a class-action lawsuit on behalf of anyone who has ever bought a ticket for or purchased a copy of “Drive,” because the film advances “content that urges the consumer to murder Jewish civilians through overt, subtle and subliminal content.”
I don’t know – Albert Brooks an anti-Semite? Seriously? I don’t see this doggie catching no rabbit any time soon, but let’s keep on watching, and, like I said, if you’re in Michigan, check out the DVD, just in case you’ll be offended (now that we told you how), and make a buck.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH GUY GETS WATCHED BACK
Bill Van Esveld, a member of Human Rights Watch, was forced to defend his statements at a heated forum on Tuesday, after several members of his audience accused him of taking a biased approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Arizona daily Wildcat (Damn, why didn’t we think of that name first?) reports in Rights advocate accused of bias, that Van Esveld, although stressing that both he and his organization are nonpartisan and concerned with prosecuting those who abuse human rights law regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion or otherwise, nevertheless clearly took the Arabs’ side Operation “Cast Lead,” the December, 2008 Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip that killed about 1,400 Palestinians.
Ken Miller, a graduate student in the Judaic Studies department , told Van Esveld: “A couple thousand rockets, mortars and missiles were launched from the populated areas in Gaza against the residents in Southern Israel. You’re not mentioning that at all in context with why Israel would go in to retaliate against Hamas in Gaza.”
As he continued, two pro-Palestine men spoke up. Soon, the three men were shouting over each other and Van Esveld was struggling to regain control of the discussion.
Finally, Van Esveld announced: “We do not try to say, ‘Yes, Hamas launched rockets for years, therefore everything Israel did was justified.’ We would say, ‘Hamas launched rockets for years, Israel is justified in launching a military campaign to stop rocket fire against civilians, but that doesn’t justify everything.’ You have to fall within the laws of war.”
Yada yada yada – the fact that a slew of international investigators gave Israel a fairy clean bill of rightfulness, and the one great detractor (Justice Goldstein) took it back with an apology – all of that did not change the essential stance of Human Rights Watch, which is, essentially, proportionate response. As in: if one robber is holding up a bank, Police must send only one cop to try and stop him.
Man, is it stupidity? Viciousness? I so don’t want to say Antisemitism, please don’t make me…Yori Yanover
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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