A hell of an invitation…

Dry Bones

Here at the Yo, Yenta! blog we prefer to highlight the lighter side of things, but with the recent news coming out of Israel overwhelming our thoughts and prayers its only right to divert our focus a bit.

On this 4th of July weekend may you and your family stay safe, enjoy the fireworks and kosher cook-outs, and may you fit Israel into your prayers. Shabbat Shalom, friends.

Cartoon c/o the Dry Bones Blog.

The wonderful world of Jewish Art

Today Richard McBee, from JewishPress.com, published the 5th in a series of primers on Jewish Art chronicling the biggest masterpieces, the most gifted painters, and various eras of Jewish Art throughout the ages.

I’m still reading and catching up on a few hundred years of history that have influenced our culture. You’ll exlopre the history of Jewish murals, manuscripts, contemporary art, papercuts, Hebrew micrography, Biblical art, post-Holocaust paintings, and more.

Without further ado, here are the 5 primers:

  • Jewish Art primer I
  • Jewish Art primer II: Books To Papercuts
  • Jewish Art primer III: Jewish Painting: The Past and Future Collide
  • Jewish Art primer IV: The New Age Of Individuals
  • Jewish Art primer V: After The Catastrophe
  • Kosher Cosmos: Shabbat In Space

    Jewish Daffy Duck - Outer SpaceCool news, NASA is actually accommodating Jewish Astronauts:

    NASA is seeking to consult rabbis regarding the necessary arrangements and ways to uphold Torah commandments in space. Among other things, there is a need to determine at every stage in the space flight the position of Jerusalem in relation to the space station, so that astronauts know which was to turn when praying.

    Until the Israeli Space Agency can launch its own astronauts we’ll have to rely on NASA’s efforts to adapt it’s shuttles and space stations for the needs of current and future “Jews in Space” (like Mel Brooks in Spaceballs). What would that freeze-dried Kosher space food taste like?

    I also wonder, when humans finally reach other star systems, how will we stay synchronized with the Hebrew Calendar without the Sun or the moon? (Drop some ideas in the comments section!)

    Good news for Jews in Georgia, especially for the Head Yenta

    Just in time for the Head Yenta’s trek to “red clay country,” news breaks out that Atlanta has one of the fastest growing Jewish populations in the country (they’re #11, up from #17 a decade ago). While we seem to be leaving places like Philadelphia and moving to Nevada and Florida, some rather stick around the Atlanta metro area and set up shop.

    The synagogues, the JCC’s, the Jewish agencies, and more are all expanding to meet the demands of the growing communities that plan to stay for generations to come. Logically this will create a spill-over effect that will benefit Savannah, GA’s Jewish community and I know our beloved Yenta will enjoy the company.

    I’ll leave you with the latest top 11 list:


    1. New York 1,412,000
    2. Los Angeles 519,200
    3. Chicago 270,500
    4. Broward County, Fla. 234,000
    5. San Francisco Bay area 228,000
    6. Boston 227,300
    7. Washington, D.C. 215,600
    8. Philadelphia 206,100
    9. South Palm Beach County, Fla. 131,300
    10. Greater Palm Beach County, Fla. 124,250
    11. Atlanta 119,800

    Jewish-Dolphin marriage ends with the death of Cindy

    Cindy the Dolphin and Sharon Married!Our fearless leader the Head Yenta (who is still in the process of moving) enlightened us a few months ago to the story of a Jewish Millionaire, Sharon Tendler, who married a male dolphin named Cindy in Israel. Sadly this love story came to an end as Cindy turned belly up in the Eliat Reef on Sunday, still floating in his favorite spot. Reef workers say that he was not eating properly or swimming normally in the days before his death. He was given a proper burial at sea by the reef workers.

    The article doesn’t seem to mention if Cindy’s Jewish wife Sharon Tendler was even at the funeral. She said she was “the happiest girl on earth” back when they got hitched in December of 2005. The word on the street is that Cindy has fathered plenty of offspring in the Eliat Reef so there are more fellas for Sharon to get acquainted with should she ever find love again with another dolphin.

    Photo: c/o Ynet

    What do they teach these kids?

    Jewish Summer CampToday I came across an article with the title “Being Jewish Not All That Bad“, which immedietly made me respond: of course is not all that bad, its actually great! I’d say its one of the greatest feelings to belong to such a community rich in heritage, tradition, and faith.

    But the article with the weird title was actually worth the read. It quickly highlighted the efforts of the new Gan Israel Jewish Summer Camp in Belarus and how it changed the perception of a child, who’s own mother was reluctant to send him to the camp for the summer. Once there, the child came to find out what the rest of us already knew and proudly told his mother: Being Jewish Not All That Bad!

    I wonder… what negative or misleading info might his mother have been feeding him about Judaism? Lets hope that this newly “awakened” child inspires his family to rediscover their Jewish roots.

    Photo: courtesty of FJC.ru, read the article here.

    Klimt baggs $135M for the world record!

    Klimt CNN has the scoop:

    The Jewish family that forced Austria to return five paintings by Gustav Klimt stolen from it by the Nazis have sold one for a world record price of $135 million and now must determine whether they want to sell the other four.

    After World War II, Austria held on to the Klimt paintings that the Nazis took from the family, saying that Mrs. Bloch-Bauer had wanted the country to have them when she died in 1925 at age 43. But her husband Ferdinand willed the works to his survivors when he died in Switzerland in 1945.

    In 2000, a niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer, Maria Altmann, now aged 90, launched a legal battle in the United States to have the paintings returned. In January, after several U.S. court rulings against Austria, an Austrian arbitration tribunal ruled in Altmann’s favor and the paintings were given to the family.

    Billionaire Ronald Lauder bought the painting and is planning to have it on public dispay as the family wished. Its good to see that our recorved treasure from the rotten Nazi’s is breaking world records and making the headlines.

    Let Israel be Jewish, dude.

    Israeli FlagI’m not trying to come across as leading a crusade (pun intended) on anti-semitic Christians but these dudes keep finding new ways to get under my skin (pun intended, again!) Don’t get me wrong… I have cool Christian friends who’ll vouch for my tolerance of Jesus fish and Christmass-consumption-shop-a-holic Day.

    But today I must offer a double whopper focused on the radical Christian “jihad” on all things Jewish.

    Lets start at www.India-Forum.com (who’s title I borrowed) where they start off with the following:

    Israel has allowed Daystar, a Texas-based Christian evangelical TV channel, to telecast into Israeli homes and attempt to proselytize Israel’s five million Jews. Is this religious freedom or adding insult to the Jewish injury?

    From there on the article explores the loooooooong history of anti-Jewish activity by Christians from the inquisition to their new invasion of our Israeli cable TV. It’s well worth the read!

    Next, Michael A. Gold thoughtfully sent me an email forward that brought to my attention how the Presbyterian Church (PC-USA) and other Christian denominations are bad-mouthing the state of Israel. Check out this quote from the e-mail:

    Unfortunately, some of PC-USA’s leadership has also traveled to Lebanon and met with the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Over the past two years, the PC-USA has fed its membership a diet of imbalanced and one-sided material harshly critical of Israel, so that members have only heard one side of a complex story.

    Holy smokes! I thought these dudes were about love, peace, and nappiness? We’ll not the nappy hair part but still, why rub elbows with Hezbollah of all groups? Luckily the good folks at The Simon Wiesenthal Center have a petition up, that I’ve already signed, urging the leaders of the Presbyterian Church to chill out and leave Israel alone.

    Fearless readers, I leave you with just one word: vigilance!

    Are you a soccer Jew?

    Over at the New York Observer, Lizzy Ratner serves up a colorful exposé into the life of a few self-proclaimed soccer Jews “caught in the frenzy” of this year’s World Cup soccer tournament. Here’s her quick description:

    Laydees (and gents), meet the Soccer Jew, that intellectual, kvetchy, Granta-reading guy who also happens to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of Ronaldinho’s every kick. With one foot planted firmly in the nerd camp and at least a few toes dangling in the jock sphere, he is the strange, hybrid Creature of the Moment.

    While most fans would consider soccer a religion in of itself, I’ve only kinda / sorta dipped into worshiping the pentagon-covered, goalie-smashing, black & white ball from time to time. Since Colombia didn’t make it into the World Cup this year I’ve focused my energy on the Miami Heat’s quest for a championship instead. But living in South Florida it’s hard not to enjoy a soccer game or two. Lizzy’s article was a great read, especially if you’re not caught up on the soccer craze that has swept the planet for the last 100 years!

    Photo credit: Ethan Zohn, “survivor” and world-famous Soccer Jew, from JewishJournal.com

    Is Superman a Jew?

    Jewish Superman So apparently this is news to me. With the upcoming release of the new Superman flick the “internets” are buzzing with the debate on Clark Kent’s religious background. Check this out:

    “From the very beginning, the Superman mythos reflected his creators’ Jewish backgrounds,” Simcha Weinstein, “the Comic Book Rabbi,” wrote on his Web site, rabbisimcha.com.

    “Superman and his nebbish alter ego, Clark Kent, are now recognized, in retrospect, as a complex symbol of immigrant identity and assimilation, the embodiment of the American Dream, as imagined by two second-generation Jewish kids.”

    Not so, counters Stephen Skelton, author of the new book “The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero.”

    Skelton acknowledges that the character, like Jesus, had Jewish roots, but he argues that the Man of Steel really is a “Christ” figure.

    Read the rest and leave your 2 cents, what other superheroes are possibly Jewish?