Just yesterday, Tamar and I were sitting around the office discussing the merits of talking about our favorite television shows on this blog. Of course, the answer is all about context. I’m not just going to rant to you about how all of you should watch Parks & Recreation and how no one watches it, and how if it gets cancelled I will blame each and every single one of you. I would never do that. Because where is the Judaism in all of that?
Wait! Hold the phone! I found a connection!
I remember when I first fell in love with Community. It wasn’t right away. I was not blown away by the pilot. However, at the end of their second season, during the final credits, they got me hooked. When Abed and Troy did their improved Spanish rap song, I knew right then and there, that this show was doing something fresh and original.
Still no connection to Judaism you say? Well, two guys in Israel (as far as I can tell, they aren’t on a television show or anything, but prove me wrong), did their own Hebrew version of the rap. It’s pretty amazing too.
So which one do you think is better? The original or the Hebrew parody?
Straight from the depths of the dark mind of Jeremy Moses, I present you with the best articles of the week. SCARY.
This week was Yom Ha’atzmaut! It’s kind of like the 4th of July except the British don’t think of it as a national day of mourning.
Speaking of which, here is everything you need to know about the birth of Israel.
If you’re planning a trip to Israel this summer (I’m looking at you Jewish teenagers/my parents), here is a guide to the best food markets (shuks) in the country. NOTE: My parents are not Jewish teenagers.
The Amidah is an amazing prayer that can elevate your spirituality. And even if you don’t feel spiritual at the time, shuckeling can be a fun activity for 3-4 minutes. The key is to close your eyes super tight like you’re trying to break the socket. Then people will think you are holy.
Here is a recipe for Israeli Salad–otherwise known as cucumbers and tomatoes!
I think that’s it! They are pulling me off the stage! Shabbat Shalom.
There has been a small, but growing trend among some musicians and bands to refuse to play in Israel because of the country’s policies towards Palestinians. This, of course, is part of a larger boycott movement against Israel from the far left that generally targets products made in Israel or owned by major Israel supporters.
So far, the most prominent musician to boycott playing in Israel has been Roger Waters, the former lead singer of the overrated (YEAH I SAID IT) Pink Floyd (Honestly, the only Floyd song I can still bear to listen to is Learning to Fly. That song is the bomb). Of course, the movement isn’t gaining that much traction, with artists like Justin Bieber still coming to play in Israel as part of their world tours.
The latest group to come to Israel to perform is 80s rock band, Deep Purple. But beyond playing, Deep Purple isn’t keeping its mouth shut about the music boycott either. In a press conference leading up to their weekend shows in Caesaria, Ian Paice, Deep Purple’s drummer, called anyone who refuses to play in Israel a wimp.
Yeah, Roger Waters. That’s right. Some guy from Deep Purple thinks you’re a wimp. You got a response? No? Because you’re too busy playing mediocre music that you wrote 40 years ago while on acid? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Your music sucks.
Not sure if you’ve heard by now, but the United States killed Osama Bin Laden last week. A couple of days later, in a propaganda/awesome move, the White House released a picture of President Obama and his cabinet watching the raid on Osama’s compound in real time. Again, the picture is awesome.
The picture and the story spread across the world quickly. Every newspaper was reporting on it–including the Hasidic newspaper, Di Tzeitung. Except they left out something very specific–women. That’s right, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary State of the United States, and Audrey Tomason, the Director of Counterterrorism for the National Security Council, were photoshopped out of the photo. By the way, you’ve got to admit, their photoshop editor really is pretty good. It really does look like they were never there.
Of course, this type of thing gets noticed, especially with such an iconic photo clearly changed. And the uproar began. The uproar was the usual. It’s offensive to women. Hillary played such an important role in all this, etc., etc.
Listen, before I go on, I think it is absolutely absurd that they photoshopped the picture. But at the same time, I do (kind of) understand where they are coming from. The newspaper has a religious policy of not showing pictures of women. As horrible as it may sound to you and me, because I haven’t even spent a day inside the Hasidic world, who am I to judge their values?
But here is where I’m lost. Why did they feel the need to show the picture in the first place? Sure, the picture is cool, but it is by no means necessary in the grand scheme of reporting the story. Just show a picture of Osama, or his compound, or even Obama making the announcement that Osama was dead.
You don’t want to show pictures of women because it might offend some of your readers? Fine. Be that way. But why spend all that time photoshopping women out a photo when you don’t even have to show the photo at all?
Final point. What would they have done if Hillary has won in 2008? Would they just show empty stages every time she gave an important speech? Would they just pretend McCain had won? Or would they just tell their readers that Hillary was a ghost?
Maybe, just maybe, the East Coast is coming out of winter. Yesterday, I had to wear a sweatshirt to work and I was still cold. Today though, not too shabby Mr. Sun. Not too shabby.
The Holocaust can be difficult enough to discuss with adults. But what do you do when your kid asks you about it? How do you approach the subject?
Tattoos really aren’t my thing. Sure they look good now, but when you are old and flabby, I just can’t imagine you’re going to look classy. But never mind me. What does Jewish law have to say about it?
So you’re pregnant (congratulations!). But why wait until the bris or the brit bat in order to have a Jewish ceremony? There are some Jewish things you can do to honor your new pregnancy RIGHT NOW.
Israeli breakfasts are like lunch but at 9 in the morning. Maybe the greatest thing ever invented.
Holiness is something that is discussed often in religion. But according to Judaism, what does the term even mean?
Finally, Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, begins on Sunday night.
That’s it. That’s all. Get out of here.
Now I did not know this but if you were to visit Arlington National Cemetery, there are three seperate plaques that are set up to memorialize different religious chaplains that have been killed as a result of their military service. There is one dedicated to chaplains from World War I and the other two are dedicated to Catholic and Protestant chaplains that have died in subsequent wars.
However, between 1943-1974, there were thirteen Jewish chaplains that were killed while in service. But since they weren’t involved in World War I, nor were they Catholic or Protestant, they have been excluded from the memorial. Hopefully, until now.
Congressman Anthony Weiner and Senator Chuck Schumer, both from New York, are sponsoring a bill that would create a fourth plaque to be placed into the cemetery.
But like most things in Congress, bills sound easier to pass than they actually are. While there is bipartisan support for the bill, there is a worry by some supporters that many congressmen are weary about giving official memorials to just anybody.
Nevertheless, organizers of the bill have raised about $50,000 in order to pay for the memorial and have done proper background checks in order to confirm the exact names and correct number of chaplains that need to be honored.
Umm…sometimes things shouldn’t be that complicated. Just make it happen, right?
Yesterday was Yom Hashoah. And while our blog had minimal coverage of the day, that doesn’t mean that people around the world weren’t commemorating and remembering the victims of the Holocaust. That includes, of course, all the kids from around the world who converged on Poland this week with the March of the Living to visit the camps before heading to Israel for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Thanks to YouTube though, we can get a taste of what they experienced yesterday almost instantaneously. The Montreal delegation of the March was very smart to bring along a videographer who has been filming and upload videos and interviews of the kids’ experiences.
Here is their latest video that they filmed while visiting Auschwitz:
Here’s the thing. If God was able to split the sea and allow the Israelites to pass through it, why didn’t he just delay the Egyptians a tad longer so they could have spent a little time to leaven their bread? I mean, he just killed thousands of Egyptians with the tenth plague! You’re trying to tell me that the only way the Israelites would have freely made it out of Egypt was if they didn’t bake bread? Plot hole, God. Major plot hole.
Speaking of which, how good is bread? Am I right, people?
Alright, here is every link you need for the weekend.
Seriously though, who wants to bake challah?
I made it all the way to Day 1 of the Omer, and then I forgot. Are you still going strong?
This Sunday night and Monday, Jews around the world commemorate the victims of the Holocaust with the annual Yom Hashoah.
The Territories–the West Bank, Gaza Strip, parts of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights–have had a large impact on the growth and history of Israel (to say the least!). Learn more about them.
Okay! See ya next week!
This looks like it might get ugly.
An anti-circumcision group in San Francisco has collected and submitted 12,000 signatures (about 5,000 more than the required minimum) in order to get an initiative on a November ballot to ban circumcisions in the city. If it passes, the maximum penalty will be up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. Then again, if you want to circumcise someone over 18, be my guest.
Obviously, all the right Jewish groups have come out against this and I’m sure they are going to campaign hard to not let this bill pass. My bigger question is, and I have literally no expertise in the field of law, but will this bill hold up in court?
I mean, let’s say it passes. You can be sure that people, Jews and Muslims alike, will challenge it in court as an affront on the freedom to practice religion. But then again, if someone can challenge that circumcision is cruel, they might have a valid argument in court.
Can anyone smarter than me provide a little insight into this?
Last night, right as Passover came to an end, I ran over to the computer in my parents’ house and logged onto Twitter to tweet the following: Back from my communication vacation.
I have to admit that for the first time in my memory, this Passover, I really had trouble avoiding technology. You see, the first two days of Passover were fine. I was even able to tolerate Shabbat this past Saturday. But these last two days of Passover on Monday and Tuesday were seriously unbearable. And I’m blaming Twitter.
Over the past few years, I’ve become more and more accustomed to being connected to my e-mail and Facebook at all hours of the day. But really, it was Twitter that brought me over the edge. I love checking my Twitter feed. I love writing dumb tweets that I assume no one reads. And since I’ve purchased a smart phone, I’ve been able to feed my Twitter addiction anywhere that I am, at any time of day.
I really was cool with taking a break from Twitter over those first couple days. Honestly. But by yesterday morning, I was going crazy. I felt like a whole week had gone by, and that even though I had three days of hol-hamoed in the middle of the holiday to catch up, I seriously felt out of the loop. Out of the loop of what? I’m not sure. But it was killing me nonetheless.
What scares me the most is that my first move post-Passover was to the computer and not to some bakery to buy a huge loaf of bread for myself. In years past, by the eighth day of Passover, I was restless, sure. But it was more because I wanted to eat bread. And while this year I was tired of matzah, believe you me, I was more just tired of being unconnected.
I’m just hoping that they never invent some type of leavened bread-social media contraption. If that ever happens, it might just be the end of Passover.