Chutzpah for Chutzpah?

From the West Australian:

An Israeli tourist tired of wolf whistles from road workers in New Zealand stripped off her clothes in a show of defiance, police say.

The woman was about to use an ATM in the main street of Kerikeri, in the far north of the country, when the men whistled, the New Zealand Press Association reported.

She calmly stripped off, then used the cash machine, before getting dressed and walking away.

The woman told police she did not take too kindly to the whistling from the men repairing the road.

“She said she had thought ‘bugger them, I’ll show them what I’ve got’,” Police Sergeant Peter Masters told NZPA.

“She gave the explanation that she had been … pestered by New Zealand men. She’s not an unattractive looking lady,” Masters said. “She was taken back to the police station and spoken to and told that was inappropriate in New Zealand.”

Would this be appropriate in Israel, then? What do the locals do if someone grabasses them on Beb Yehuda – perform a pole dance routine?

Not sure how I feel about this meshuggeneh woman. I’m all for giving the finger – or picking one’s nose – in response to catcalls and wolfwhistles, but isn’t giving stupid horny men what they actually wanted (and never dreamed they were gonna get) only going to encourage them?

I Must Become…The Jewish Dog Whisperer

Have I told y’all about how our neurotic dog? She has the most amazing spaz every time someone touches the mail slot – just the slightest rattle will send her into a yelping, demonic seizure that leaves her hyperventilating for an hour. Trust me, it is a FREAK SHOW. I’m worried she’s going to have a little pug heart attack, but not as much as I am that she’s going to eat our tax rebate check.

I consulted Cesar Millan’s site, but it was useless. I don’t need any of this “pack leader” nonsense – I just want to read a copy of Newsweek without Anna Quindlan’s column shredded!

Then I came across this book and thought “Finally, someone who understands the challenges of raising a meshuggeh Jewish dog in a Christian-dominant culture. Maybe I can learn to strap some tefillin to her collar so she’ll chill the hell out.”

Alas, the Rabbis of the Boca Raton Theological Seminary don’t actually exist. This book is entirely satire. And here I thought using guilt and shame was going to work.

*ruff*. Meanwhile, Clarabell just ate the power bill.

Clarabell, feeling safe and secure

Would She Consider Coming to Savannah?

Alysa Stanton-Ogulnick is proud to be black, proud to be a woman and proud to be a 45-year-old single mother who raised her adopted child on her own. And when she’s ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion next May, she’ll be the world’s first black female rabbi. Read the rest of her amazing JTA story here.

I already love her because she’s dedicated to living Jewishly in an authentic, creative way, but the fact that she recently shed over a hundred pounds gives her an ability to relate to people’s real issues that is going to serve her future congregation well. I predict Reb Stanton-Ogulnick will attract many Jews who have dropped out of sight from synagogue back to the fold – ’cause everyone adores an outlaw.

Havdalah Dance Party Playlist

havdalahHere at Yenta headquarters, religious traditions tend to devolve into momzer moments. In spite of our best intentions, someone’s always eating off the seder plate or playing “Taps” on the shofar.

Look, we try. But y’know, dancing, davening, whatever. Here’s the Yenta’s recommendations for a groovin’, Shavua Tov:

1. “L’Cha” by The Chevra.

Get the party started with the tune that made frum fashionable – check out David Lavon’s famous inspirational moves.

2. “Water” by Mastiyahu.
Could this be complete without a track from Judaism’s reggae rock star?

3. “Chiribim” by Golem
Old Country meets hot hipsters. Nothing like a little post-punk accordion to get heads bobbing!

4. “Hava Nagila” by the Hip Hop Hoodios
Plenty of beat flava for the whole family, except for the masturbation reference. And surely they’re saying “I’m a Jew for Cheeses”…right?

5. “Bar’chu/Sh’mama” by the Original Jewish Gangsters
The album Hip Hop Shabbat has been on heavy rotation here for years – there IS such a thing as sacred rhyme, yo.

6. “L’Cha Dodi” by Craig Taubman
The Yenta’s favorite silver fox delivers Shabbat’s #1 tune in loopy Dixieland jazz format.

7. “Not By Might, Not By Power” by Debbie Friedman
The kids dig this one, plus it comes with built-in choreography.

8. “Hamavdil” by Pharoah’s Daughter
There may be some Grateful Dead-esque Sufi spinning happening about now in your livingroom…

9. “Eyes of a Child” by Hamsa Lila
Continuing on the psychedelic trance train, an elevated perspective is inevitable.

10. “T’Shuatam” by Neshama Carlbach
Kick off the week with screaming guitars and infectious drums – this lady’s always good for the neshamah, ‘aight?

There it is – a rhythmic recipe for a fabulous week!

Anyone have any suggestions for Version 2.0?

Finally, A Full-Fledged Yenta

Check me out with my homegirls from the JEA Senior Lunch!

That’s Minda in the Betty Boop gear, Ms. Dorothy on my left, and the one trying to steal my cane is Flora. (See how she’s trying to hook my sh*t? I was all “Step off, old woman – I will cut you.”)

I’ve gotten tons of love for my orthopedic cane with the pink roses – especially when I wear my matching fedora. I look like a Laura Ashley-pushing pimp selling black market hearing aids.

Israel@60 Goes Off A Little Too Quietly…

Yesterday’s celebration in Forsyth Park was fabulous! Games, exhibits, shwarma, falafel – and brain-draining heat, just like the Holy Land!

Little Yenta Girl folkdanced her little heart out, dug for artifacts at the archeological site and grooved to the loopy Middle Eastern melodic magic of Pharoah’s Daughter while the Jews of Savannah kibbitzed and schmoozed. Unlike the “kosher-style” Jewish Food Festival, the frum faction was in attendance, making us Jews seem like a complete, whole community for the first time since I moved here.

But y’know for me, being a Californian, something was missing. I kept looking over my shoulder, checking out two cops snoozing in their golf cart. I mean, what kind of Israeli gathering happens anymore without a bunch of scary kaffiyeh-wearing freaks showing up? Not that I was all, “You know, what this party really needs is some people shouting ‘End the Occupation!'” but after living in the Bay Area and getting into weekly shouting matches with those crazy bitches from Point Reyes who pretend like they’re collecting money for Palestinian orphans but spend it on weed, I’ve got some post-traumatic stress.

I’m just sayin’, all the love made me nervous.

Schmata of the Week: Outta My Way, Schmuck

Wish I’d been sporting this on the way to work, when the methhead in the Chevy Impala yarming into her pay-in-advance cell phone decided one lane was not enough for her and that weaving in between two or three was the fastest way to her destination. Without it, I had to resort to my trusty middle finger.

From Kosher Kafe. It also comes in a thong version, which changes the context considerably.

Reptilian Real Estate

Nope, not a post about this crazy market everyone’s kvetching about (El Yenta Man and I figure we’ll weather the storm just fine since our house is made of brick, just like that of the smart Third Pig in the fairy tale. The Big Bad Recession Wolf cannot touch us.)

The title is much more literal than that, referring to the Yenta’s Mother’s Day outing to the Savannah Botanical Gardens, a highly under-appreciated treasure of nature and beauty right in the middle of the city. The rose garden is blooming right now, attracting all kinds of creatures – it seems like every flower was occupied by a butterfly, bee or something else with eyeballs.

But have you ever seen a lizard/frog condo?

“It’s like college!” exclaimed Yenta Boy.

Or, like renting in the Bay Area.

Have A Hilarious Shabbos

So a belated Happy Yom Ha’atzmaut to everyone (so sorry, the Yenta and her Bad Hip don’t like sitting at the desk so much this week)!

I also missed another important holiday: May 4 was World Laughter Day, a the global celebration for the Laughter Yoga movement.

For me, ALL yoga generates laughter, especially Downward Dog, which always seems to make me fart.

But for real, there are groups all over the planet gathering together in parks, offices, studios and ashrams just cracking each other’s sh*t up for no other reason than for the joy of it. You can even become a certified laughter yogi or yogini!

If synagogue services were more like this, we’d all probably attend more often, nu?

Hottest Jewish Rock Star. Ever.

I’m remember Maroon 5‘s “This Love” playing in the background when I first launched this site, and I remember thinking Adam Levine’s voice reminded me of a combination of Stevie Wonder and a fresh-from-the-frier Krispy Kreme raspberry-filled donut – mmmm.

He performed last night on American Idol; my tongue must have been hanging out, because Yenta Boy poked me and said “Close your mouth, Mom.”

Sure shows up that smarmy David Cook, fer shur.