As if the traditionalists didn’t already have their panties in a wad over combining Jewish practices with other forms of faith (as if God an all-you-can-eat buffet,) here comes Rabbi Joseph Gelberman with “Kabbalah In Motion,” a meditative exercise routine that combines yogic traditions with Hebrew mantras. (Personally, we’ve been eating at said buffet for years, so we welcome new and creative combinations of Judaism and other.)
Rabbi Gelberman helped found the country’s first interfaith temple in the 70’s with Sri Swami Satchidananda and the Rev. Jon Mundy and is the author of Zen Judaism. He doesn’t act much like a traditional rabbi from the old country, and he calls any distinction between religions is “an insult to God.” Now he’s 92 and still kickin’, and swears his form of meditation is what keeps him alive.
“It’s not how much you know, it’s how much you feel,” he says. “The mind can be a little bit flaky. Listen to your heart.”
Dig the message, rabbi, but our mornings are flaky enough without yoga.
Some blabbermouth at Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel Spa is spreading the rumor that Madonna won’t wipe her sweat with a towel unless it’s been washed in Kabbalah water. At $3.50 a bottle, we figure it costs about forty bucks for a load of laundry, which makes this story unlikely as well as ridiculous. But if the Peninsula was smart, they could make back their money plus hawking schmattes blessed not only with special water, but with celebrity shvitz. Now all we need is man on the inside so we get our cut!
Jon Stewart may be the prince of pundit satire, but Bill Maher reigns as the king of politically incorrect. His inappropriate truth-telling extends to the spiritual realm in an interview with HBO, in which he blasts organized religion as “childish”:
“Childish things retard the progress of society as a whole! As a society, we cannot move forward if there is a huge drag at the back of the parade!”
Maher’s mother was Jewish, but he was raised Roman Catholic, which might explain his vitriolic relationship with religion. He’s single, which definitely explains why he’s channeling his sexual frusturation towards believers. Slap a kepa on that keppe, Bill, and maybe you’ll find you a nice Jewish girl to show you it’s not all bad!
The National Jewish Democratic Council presents Episode 2 of the liberal-minded bubbie and her demands for accountability; too bad this one isn’t nearly as offensive (or funny) as the first.
NewKerala India reports that rapper Missy Elliot rejected the Kabbalah bracelet her buddy Madonna has been offering to celebs all over town, touting her Christian values as the reason. We just think the red bendel isn’t bling enough for Miss E- check out the gold rope, yo!
So as far as non-Jewish holidays go, Halloween is by far our favorite. So what if the pagans invented it? We’re always down for candy and playing dress-up. Still, we’re a little disturbed at the news that the L.A. synagogue that writer Sam Shmikler belongs to has cancelled Sunday school in observance of Halloween. Don’t Halloween festivities start at night, after the rabbi goes home and the goblins come out? We know L.A. is the land of costumes and parties, but teaching kids that little boxes of jujubees come before studying Torah is just so wrong.
And sometimes wrong goes the other way: Sam sent along this article about a Washington state school district that has cancelled its traditional Halloween parade because all the witchy-poo stuff is offensive to Wiccans. We’re pretty sure everyone knows that modern witches don’t ride brooms, a popular Halloween image that some Wiccans perceive as a negative stereotype. But shouldn’t the Wiccans be completely stoked that all the good American boys and girls want to celebrate their holiday? We respect all religions, spooky or not, but this just seems to be political over-correctedness on crack. If public schools wanted to have a Purim party, would the Jewish parents yell “negative stereotyping?” if everyone came as Haman? No way. (Okay, sorry, bad analogy as Haman wasn’t Jewish. But please, witches, let the kids have their fun.)
The cute gourmands over at SomethingJewishUK have found true bliss in the form of Krispy Kremes, now available exclusively at swanky Harrod’s in London. While the Brit version of fluffy-hot-sweet-fried-goodness isn’t certified kosher, Krispy Kreme assures that the treats are made exactly the same way as they are in the U.S. (no animal fats, but plenty of fattening fats.)
We’re betting there’s a revolution afoot to depose the crumbly old scone as teatime’s reigning nosh.
The following amusing anecdote was sent to us from Jmerican and airline pilot Doug Lampert:
This is a true story which happened several weeks ago. As an airline captain, I come across some unique situations, but this one is definitely the funniest. A young group of BBYO/BBYG passengers boarded for their usual group trip. I jokingly asked the flight attendant “Do we have any Jews on board?” The Texan flight attendant smiled and with her southern drawl replied “Yes!” We have orange juice, grapefruit juice, tomato juice…” I broke out with laughter and spilled juice all over myself. Then I realized the PA system had been left on. The entire aircraft was hysterical for 30 minutes. What could I do after that? I opened the bar to keep the positive mood flowing.
Very generous of you, Captain; we trust you didn’t partake in any mixin’ while at the helm. Where’s your profile so the Jmerican ladies can snag a date with a real live pilot?
From MIStupid.com (the answer is yes, we are):
MONA LISA’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“After all that money your father and I spent on braces, that’s the biggest smile you can give us?”
COLUMBUS’ JEWISH MOTHER:
“I don’t care what you’ve discovered, you still could have written!”
MICHELANGELO’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“Can’t you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?”
NAPOLEON’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“All right, if you aren’t hiding your report card inside your jacket, take your hand out of there and show me.”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“Again with the stovepipe hat? Can’t you just wear a baseball cap like the other kids?”
ALBERT EINSTEIN’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“But it’s your senior picture. Couldn’t you do something about your hair? Styling gel, mousse, something, ANYTHING…?”
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“The next time I catch you throwing money across the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance good-bye!”
JONAH’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“That’s a nice story. Now tell me where you’ve really been for the last forty years.”
THOMAS EDISON’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“Of course I’m proud that you invented the electric light bulb. Now turn it off and get to bed!”
And, of course, our own:
JMERICA’S JEWISH MOTHER:
“This is a very nice dating site, dear; so why aren’t you married already?”
Apparently, history’s hot new trend is the study of the crypto-Jews, Spanish Jews forced to convert under the Inquisition in the 15th century who practiced secretly even after immigrating to Mexico and other Latin countries. Word on the street that Marcia Fine‘s new novel centers around this group and their bravery as they kept the faith.
The world will soon know even more about the Jewish-Latin experience after Arizona State University’s Jewish Studies Program sent a delegation to Mexico City and Guadalajara this month, part of ASU’s effort to “build links with Mexican colleges and make ASU a center for the study of Latin America’s Jews.”
“We think this can be a specialty for us,” said Jack Kugelmass, director of the Jewish studies program. “The university’s already very strong in Latin American studies, and so this is a perfect niche.”
Growing up in Arizona means we’re already used to our Jewishness with a side of jalepe?os, but we definitely dig that it’s going to be full-blown college major.
*Chili pepper mezuzzah available from 2jewishcowgirls.com.