Oy, Plain and Simple

user submitted pictureAll right, we’ve had it. No more holiday music. After only thirteen seconds of “Oy To The World: A Klezmer Christmas”, a jaunty collection of traditional Christmas songs reproduced with a distinctly Eastern European flavor, our heads are spinning worse than that time we drank eggnogg spiked with Manischewitz.
Go ahead, try a sample and let us know if it has the same effect.
c/o Jewlicious.

If You Can’t Turn Off Your Ears, Listen For These

user submitted pictureWhile we’re on the subject of holiday music today (and trying to avoid it as much as possible), it’s interesting to note that two of America’s most popular (and by that we mean “overplayed to the point of brainmelt”) Christmas carols were written by Jews: “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (born Izzy Baline) and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Coincidence?
Not according to Jewish author Philip Roth in Operation Shylock:
“God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, and He gave to Irving Berlin ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘White Christmas.’ The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ

‘Hanukkah Song’ Catches Flack

user submitted pictureJewish World Review writer Binyamin L. Jolkovsky has called Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” an “embarassment” and is “spearheading an effort to depose” the pop song now playing on a top 40 station near you, reports The Washington Times.
Says Jolkovsky: “Hanukkah is about a lot more than menorahs or potato latkes…It’s childish when you take a minority that doesn’t take itself seriously and then you see what they’re offering.”
Okay, first of all, after a hundred seasons of “Jingle Bell Rock,” Sandler’s song has moved crowds of Christian boys and girls to shout “Put on your yarmulka, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah,” which is no small feat. Second, Chanukah (our preferred spelling) celebrates the miracle of light and the blessing of religious freedom, which may not be spelled out specifically in the lyrics, but just the fact that a Jewish kid can sing about feeling like the only kid on the block without a Christmas tree and get airplay is some kind of miracle. Third, it’s funny.
We guess we can understand that the observant among us would be disturbed by anything humorous relating to Judaism (much as religious Christians speak out against the corporate marketing hijacking of their holy day), but for those of us who grew up learning those tired Xmas carols in elementary school are pricked with pride every time Sandler comes out of the speakers. Look for us on the freeway, windows rolled down, singing along at the top of our lungs.

Stolen Art Finds Its Way Home

user submitted pictureThe British government has ordered the return of a French painting stolen by Nazis back to the descendants of the German Jewish family from whence it came. Once thought to be by Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, the still life is actually the work of some anonymous student of Chardin’s, which makes its value mostly sentimental. This is the first case in which British court has mandated the “restitution of plundered Nazi art” and we think it’s about freakin’ time.

Professor Simmons To Teach His Trade

user submitted pictureJewish rock icon and anti-role model Gene Simmons has signed on to teach a lucky group of innocent youngsters the ins and outs of rock n’ roll history, song composition and the art of performance in a new British reality show called “Rock School.” If this show is going to be of any use to these kids or its viewers, he’d better include onstage debauchery, backstage groupie ettiquette and how to bite the heads off rodents in the curriculum.
c/o our British brethren at Daily Jews.

Kick Ass Jew of the Week

user submitted picture Although we hate to admit it, we are just a little bit sappy here at Jmerica. We still cry whenever we watch E.T. or old episodes of Knight Rider. So, we thought we would keep in touch with that side of ourselves and blog this story about a mensch named David Lazerson who uses Jewish teachings and music in an effort to reach autistic children. In our humble opinion, this is pretty much what being a Jew is all about.

Now back to blogging celebrities wearing Kabbakah bracelets.

Tryptophan Trippings

user submitted pictureWe’re a bit dubious about this article that tries to establish Thanksgiving as the American Sukkot.
“The pilgrims invited local Indians to the first Thanksgiving during the fall of 1621. Historians speculate that this celebration occurred somewhere between Sept. 21 and Nov. 9, but most likely in early October, around the time of Sukkot.”
As much as we’d love for the Plymouth Rock Puritans to be revealed as the first Jewish immigrants (and, by proxy, tell all those WASP-y Mayflower descendants that they’re tribal, ha!) we don’t think the Jews can take credit for Thanksgiving. Surely, many cultures around the world celebrate the harvest and some of those traditions are going to overlap.
Whatever. We’re just thankful for all of it.
We’re going off-grid (no phones, no DSL) ’til Sunday, so enjoy your bird!

‘Echoes’ At #4 This Week

user submitted pictureBubbeminza queen Danielle Steele has hit the bestseller list again with yet another bodice-ripping, housewife-porn potboiler about a Jewish heroine during WWII.
“Bookish, raven-haired beauty Beata Wittgenstein meets dashing French nobleman Antoine de Vallerand while on vacation in Switzerland and falls passionately in love…”
Yawn. Not really our genre (we’re reading Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs) but we thought someone might be searching for some tribal fluff to read during their vacation.
We’d always assumed Steele was Jewish, but it turns out she’s half– and the wrong half, at that: Jewhoo reports that she’s a practicing Christian Scientist. However, if she goes through religions like she goes through husbands, she’ll be onto Kabbalah any minute.