Author Archives: Jeremy Moses

Best of the Week

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Going on vacation for all of Passover (remember this holiday is dedicated to the Moses family) so find other things to do to fill in the time you wasted with me. Go ride a bike. Or build a fort. Just don’t let it involve leavened bread (like building a fort out of bread).

I just mailed in my taxes this morning (the government owes me approximately $100,000, so that will be a nice check). But Judaism has some thoughts about taxes too. Judaism seems to have thoughts about a lot of things.

Passover is in just a few days. Again, if you want–but don’t know how–to properly clean your kitchen for the holiday, here is everything you need to know.

My favorite part of the Passover seder has always been the section on the Four Children. I think a cool viral video would be a “Where Are They Now?” VH1 piece seeing the kids as adults. Someone make that.

Tuscan Spinach Soup! That sounds good, right!??!?

Finally, you might only be aware of the square variety, but there are actually four different types of matzah. I’m not going to tell you what they are though.

Okay!

Have a good weekend and a Chag Sameach!

Posted on April 15, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Defending Justin Bieber

This entry was posted in Israel on by .

Say it aint so Justin! Or better yet, never say never Justin!

You know Justin Bieber, right? The greatest singer alive? The future President of the United States, even though he was born and raised in Canada? My hero? Well, he’s in a little bit of trouble right now and we need to help him out.

My boy Justin is currently on a world tour and has made a stop in Israel. Because Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t have a busy schedule in the slightest, the two of them were supposed to meet. Then, as circumstances sometimes get in the way, the two ended up cancelling their ever-so-important meeting.

But why? What were these circumstances that got in the way of the most influential meeting of all time? As it turns out, and this is just according to local news in Israel, the Prime Minister’s office cancelled the meeting after Bieber’s people refused to allow kids to be present at the meeting.

That wouldn’t make the news normally. I’m sure Bieber is so used to getting hounded by teenage girls that the meeting would quickly deteriorate into a screaming frenzy. This probably happens all the time.

Only one problem. The kids he refused to meet with were from Sderot! Oh no! No one says no to kids from Sderot! That is about a big a Jewish no-no as you can do.

But again, the Biebs is on top of it. His spokespeople have said that it was nothing personal and certainly not political. In fact, he has already invited a bunch of kids from Sderot to come to his concert–a move they say was made prior to the cancelled meeting.

Hey people! Cut my boy Justin some slack. He can make butterflies come back to life.

Posted on April 13, 2011

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Best of the Week

This entry was posted in General on by .

Hello! The week is over! Have a good weekend and enjoy reading all of this good material I’m providing for you.

Does God belong in the bedroom? Here’s what you need to know about Judaism and sex.

Are your matzah balls sinkers or floaters? Personally, I don’t care because I will eat both.

The seders are just over a week away. Do you know what to put onto your seder plate? There is more to a seder than just matzah.

Did you ever see that Mel Gibson movie where the guy from New Kids on the Block kidnaps his kid? And he screams on the phone (ironic ha!) “GIVE ME BACK MY SON!”? Man that movie was good. It turns out that Jews have a thing or two to say about ransoming captives as well. Take that, Mel.

Okay! Bye!

Posted on April 8, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Kosher.com’s Gay Scandal

This entry was posted in Practices on by .

This was almost a story. Thankfully, the people at Kosher.com handled this very well and didn’t let it blow up.

It came out a couple of days ago that Kosher.com was affiliated with JONAH–a Jewish organization that fights against homosexuality by trying to rid Jews of their gay feelings.

Affiliated is actually kind of a loose term. From the looks of it, Kosher.com didn’t even realize who the people at JONAH were. You see, Kosher.com has a program on their site that allows organizations to create coupon codes that give kick backs to the organization that sent traffic to Kosher.com. It just so happened that JONAH signed up for this program and was getting money from Kosher.com every time someone put in the JONAH code.

This is not uncommon. As someone in the office here pointed out, sites like Amazon and others do the exact same thing. Do you really think Amazon does a full background check on every group that signs up for their promotional programs?

So JONAH signed up for Kosher.com and Kosher.com probably didn’t realize who they were truly affiliated with. That doesn’t mean a scandal didn’t ALMOST break out. When someone emailed Kosher.com with a complaint, this was the response they received from a representive from the website’s marketing affiliate:

We are sorry to hear that you were disturbed with our affiliation with Jonah. However, we do not have any political agenda. Anyone can join our affiliate program. Our company does not have an opinion on the matter. We will create emails for any non-profit organization that is in need of funds. If you have any further questions or concerns I can get you in touch with someone in the company.

Probably not the most sensitive thing they could have responded with. Unfortunately for them, the person with the complaint brought this issue over to Queerty.com, where this issue suddenly was about to bring a lot of bad press to Kosher.com.

But as I said in the beginning, this was only ALMOST a story. In fact, Kosher.com handled it very well. Here is the statement they put out today.

Firstly we wish to apologize if any action taken by any member of our company offended anyone. Our affiliate program has pretty much been an automated system whereby any site can go and join the program and put our banners in their email blasts going to their members. In the past it was not something that we had monitored but considering the current reaction regarding jonahweb.org’s decision to send their members our affiliate offerings, we have decided to discontinue that affiliation and our management will review our affiliate programs guidelines going forward. Our agenda is simply to be a good company selling a good product and to be considerate of people’s feelings and sensitivities.

Good job Kosher.com. Just be a little more careful next time–and possibly hire a new marketing firm.

Posted on April 8, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

The Bible in the News

This entry was posted in Texts on by .

A new book “relies on an imaginative reading of the Bible supplemented by legends and lore promulgated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims over the centuries’ to create an “unauthorized biography” of King Solomon. (Jewish Ideas Daily)

Remarkably, “the Bible remains a vital text in secular Israeli culture,” and a new book “approaches the Bible…as an unrivaled literary exemplar, as the locus of a culture’s lasting archetypes and mythology.” (Forward)

Is the Biblical Tarshish just another name for Atlantis? (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar makes the case for using the Bible as a guide for archeological exploration. (The Trumpet)

Yair Hoffman, professor emeritus of Bible at Tel Aviv University, says that the “Hundreds of linguistic and ideological differences between the Masoretic version of the Pentateuch and the Samaritan text”point to the critical role of editing, and of the later addition of diacritical and cantillation marks to the Masoretic version. (Ha’aretz)

Posted on April 8, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

The Matzah House

This entry was posted in Holidays on by .

Last year, I attempted to break (set) the record for the fastest time to eat a piece of matzah. I almost died, but nevertheless, I’m still a world record holder. As the saying goes, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the game. (video below)

I thought I was pretty hardcore with my matzah games. But I have been beaten. No, not in the matzah eating department. That record is still mine. I’ve been beaten in the originality department.

Up in Montreal, where Passover is also observed, artist Melissa Schiff is displaying a homemade matzah house. Unimpressed? Well, this isn’t just some kosher of Passover version of a ginger bread house or a deck of cards.

No no no. This is a real house. Like a life size house. Just look at this picture! Okay fine. Not a life-size house, but it’s still pretty darn big! Schiff has used over 5000 pieces of matzah to make her little (big) creation.

Originally made in New York City in 2005, the exhibit, called the Medium is the Matzo, has remains intact, and not eaten (thankfully).

So you tell me, what’s more impressive? Her amazing matzah house or my slow (yet still a record!) time for eating one piece of matzah?

Posted on April 6, 2011

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A Good Passover Video!

This entry was posted in Holidays on by .

I’ve been working here long enough to know that most Jewish video spoofs are terrible. The jokes are corny. The lighting and sound is terrible. The editing job is so miserable that you don’t understand how they didn’t realize that their video should have been two minutes shorter. Overall, a bunch of “total waste of time” videos.

Thankfully, the people at Shalom Sesame exist to show that creativity and Jewish holidays can go hand in hand. With the first seder two weeks from tonight (yeah, you heard me), we might as well start off the season with a cool little video.

If you like Les Miserables, then this video is for you. When you’re done, feel free to watch Kveller.com’s awesome Passover video as well.

Posted on April 4, 2011

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Best of the Week

This entry was posted in General on by .

It’s April Fools Day! Which would be a fun day on the internet except for the fact that the internet is normally filled with ridiculous news stories and videos. Now I don’t believe anything is real anymore. It’s been a weird day.

At my bar mitzvah party, I vomited. Not my finest hour. Here is a list of things a kid SHOULD do at his or her bar/bat mitzvah.

Do you know the history of Passover? It goes beyond Charlton Heston freeing the Hebrews.

There might not be anything better in the world than homemade potato kugel. Thank God it’s Shabbat.

The Reform movement theoretically allowed for women rabbis in North America in 1922. However, it didn’t happen in practice for another 50 years.

Finally, the history of the nudist bar mitzvah.

Have a good weekend!

Posted on April 1, 2011

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A Good Looking Pastrami

This entry was posted in Culture on by .

There is no other restaurant in New York that makes me feel fatter than when I leave than the 2nd Ave. Deli. And I mean that as a good thing. You might think you’ve eaten good deli before, but if you’ve never been to 2nd Ave., then I’m telling you, you’ve never truly had good deli.

And for all the great things that are on their menu, nothing, not even the matzah ball soup, tops their pastrami. It’s mouth watering. The greatest thing that has ever touched my fair lips.

Not convinced yet? Watch this video where we learn how they make their most iconic sandwich.

Posted on March 30, 2011

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Downloading The Haggadah

This entry was posted in Holidays on by .

At my parents house, we routinely have anywhere between 15-20 people at our Passover seders, occasionally even more. And while no one at the table even notices, my parents are able to provide a haggadah for every single person at the table. Not only that, we have more than one set of haggadahs! That comes out to about 50 books. That’s quite the financial commitment.

But what if you’ve never hosted a seder before? Should be expected to shell out hundreds of dollars just to be able to provide the proper reading material for your guests? And even more than that, what if you are all beginners, and don’t know the slightest thing about Passover or seders? Is it really worth it to invest in 20 books?

Luckily, the internet exists.

And inside the internet, JewishBoston.com has actually created a free downloadable basic Haggadah for your Passover seder. It’s very user friendly and, again, its free.

I wouldn’t say that their Haggadah is the most in depth Haggadah out there. So if you have a doctorate in Jewish Studies and have been hosting a seder for 50 years, this might not be the Haggadah for you.

But if you weren’t considering having a seder this year, partially because you didn’t even know how to have one, you should check out JewishBoston.com. I came away impressed.

Posted on March 29, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy