T-Shirt of the Week: Hamsas for World Peace?

hamsa_hand_3_shower_curtainI think y’all know by now how I feel about hamsas: They’re my favorite.

I’ve got one on my key ring, one above the kitchen sink, three glued to my dashboard, several hanging in my closet and one always, always around my neck. I love them so much I’m thinking of ordering this one for the bathroom.

It’s more than an aesthetic attraction: It’s a symbol before my eyes to remind me of all of life’s blessings at all times. I don’t know that I’m so superstitious that I really believe in its protective powers, but listen, dahlink, it can’t hurt.

Most importantly, it serves as a token of peace: This symbol of God’s hand not only evokes the sacred feminine, but also represents common ground between Jews and Muslims: Writer Yaron Gordon explains:

The name “Hamsa” (“Hansa” in Sanskrit, or “Al Khamsa” in Arabic) is from the Semitic root word for five, and is a very ancient symbol in the Middle East…Some say that the Jews were the first to adopt the use of the Hamsa, as a protective amulet against the evil eye. Jewish lore sometimes calls the Hamsa the Hand of Miriam, referring to Miriam, the sister of Moses, or it is more generally called the Hand of God.The Hamsa hand is also a popular talisman with Muslims, who call it the Hand of Fatima, referring to the daughter of Mohammed. To the Muslims, the Hamsa refers to the five pillars of Islam.

Somebody tell Selena Gomez. (After Gomez’s uneducated pro-Hamas tweets, Supreme Yenta Joan Rivers eye-rollingly referred to her as “that college graduate.” Check the hilarious TMZ vid here.)

But let’s just be happy about today’s cease-fire extension. Perhaps by flooding the world with hamsas we can smother the hatred and violence. Or better yet, hold them up as “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” in solidarity for Christian our brothers and sisters in Ferguson, MO.

I say hamsas for everybody, regardless of religion. The only remaining question is: Up or down? According to Gordon, it depends:

With the fingers pointed up, the Hamsa symbolizes a “stop sign” to the adversary, in other words, for protection. With the fingers pointed down, the Hamsa symbolizes God’s goodness and blessings coming down to the wearer or to the room where it is hung. The interpretation of the Hamsa is for the individual who owns it.

Tattoo one to your forehead for all I care, as long as you’re willing to high-five with the rest of humanity.

Kippah Clip Genius

Please forgive the unforgivable pun, but it sure is refreshing to see the interwebs blowing up with something positive coming out of Israel.

All over every gadget site this week and joining the ever growing list of examples of Israeli ingenuity—which includes cell phones, portable flash drives and the camera on the end of the hose they shove up you for a colonoscopy—is the Leatherdos, a multi-functional tool masquerading as a barrette.

enhanced-20787-1406490235-3Tel Aviv industrial design student (and obvious future Mossad recruit) Yaakov Goldberg came up with the Most Amazing Yarmulke Clip in History for his yeshiva buddies, and now every observant man in the world will be unclipping his kippah to measure the unkosher space between the slats in your terribly-built sukkah.

It’s good to know I can snatch this off someone’s head in synagogue next time a screw falls out of my sunglasses.

Of course, it still wouldn’t be kosher to use on Shabbat, unless it was an emergency, like if you found yourself locked on a moving trolley (wtf is a trolley coin, anyway?) and needed a chihuahua-tooth saw and tiny wrench to detonate a bomb. (Dammit! I’m sorry. There’s really no escaping the explosively tasteless humor around here.)

Anyway, Presbyterian divestment be damned, young Yaakov has a bestseller on his hands head—the $10 clip is already on back order.

Guessing it won’t be long before it’s standard IDF in rucksacks and on next year’s camp list.

And the countdown until one of these in confiscated by a TSA agent starts now…

Camp Packing Blues

Oy, it’s that time of year again when I crawl into the attic to shlep down the plastic drawers and the duffel bags large enough to hide several dead bodies.

The Yenta children are off to Jewish camp next week, and as usual, no one is anywhere near ready. The nice people at camp always provide a handy-dandy checklist to follow, yet somehow, I remain farmisht.

Who owns 25 pairs of freakin’ underpants? Why must I send two bars of soap when it takes three months to disappear a shared one? Does a hoodie count as a jacket or is it a long-sleeved shirt?

Plus, Little Yenta Girl’s feet have basically doubled in size this year, and it turns out that clown-sized sport sandals are expensive and hard to find. Also, Young Yenta Man now uses a vast arsenal of hair products that may require its own Hoffa-sized duffel (I suspect the Gum Tresses Wax Gristle may contain unkosher ingredients.)

What this family needs is several pairs of extra socks and a whole lotta luck.

PRO_AL_1355499206_MTov_500_compactOh, what’s this?! Mazel Tov knee socks from ModernTribe.com! If I send each kid to camp with a pair, does that make up for only sending one toothbrush?

I bet they help Lil’ Yenta Girl crush it in the gaga court.

 

 

 

 

T-Shirt of the Week: Keep Calm and…WTF Where’s My Rescue Remedy??

i-don39t-keep-calm-cuz-i39m-a-jewish-mother-long-sleeve-t-shirt_red_long_sleeve_tshirts_thumb_a92100clHappy Mother’s Day!

Look, I’m all about blasting the stereotypes about Jewish mothers, and I really don’t appreciate being called neurotic and overbearing and dammit if someone tells me to JUST RELAX one more damn time I’mma gonna slap…

Um, right. Carry on then.

From Israeli-T.com.

T-Shirt of the Week: Talk to the Hamsa

talk_to_the_hamsa_tee_shirts-r5b5372bc0acd4d979d28323bbf0bf94d_8nhmi_512I haven’t done a “T-shirt of the Week” post in a while, as the demand for snarky Jewish t-shirts seems to have waned in the world.

Which is a real shame, because I really miss the idea that I might see someone rocking a Guns N’ Moses shirt one day. (Eat, Pray, Kvetch was pretty classic, too.)

But in today’s interweb travels I came across this adorbs “Talk to the Hamsa” shmatte from Zazzle.com and rejoiced!

First off, I believe that “talk to the hand (’cause the face ain’t listening)” is one of the best linguistic contributions of the ’90s. (Well, besides “your mom” jokes.)

Also, I’ve been obsessed with hamsas as my Jewish symbol of choice for some time now. They’re amulets shaped like hands with an eye in the middle and supposedly bring good luck and protection not only in Jewish traditions but also as Islam’s Hand of Fatima, and I dig anything that builds bridges between faiths.

Also, as hamsas are associated with Torah shero Miriam and Muhammed’s awesome daughter Fatima, they are inherently feminine symbols, the perfect representation of the shekinah, or Sacred Feminine. What better emblem for a post-modern Jewish feminist who loves pretty things, I ask you?!

Apparently I’m far from the only one enamored with hamsas: Our little Semitic hands are enjoying quite the cultural tsunami as of late. (See: Etsy.)

Though when you can buy a  5000 year-old icon meant to stave off the Evil Eye at Urban Outfitters, does that means it’s jumped the shark?

 

Suck it, Hobby Lobby

hobbylobbySo, it was reported this week that chozzerai peddler Hobby Lobby won’t carry Chanukah or Passover decorations because it conflicts with CEO Steve Green’s “Christian values.”

“We don’t cater to you people,” a clerk told some nice Jewish lady last year, according to New Jersey blogger Ken Berwitz, and boy, did THAT cause some tsimmes.

The Hobby Lobby damage control trolls are already at work, sort-of-apologizing on Facebook and pretending that someday, they might consider carrying some cheap crap made in China that could pass for Chanukah decorations:

“Hobby Lobby is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Our customers have brought this to our attention, and we are currently evaluating our holiday items and what we will carry in the future,” wrote a representative.

Herm, I’m bowled over by the sincerity, yeah. Listen, Hobby Lobby, don’t do us any favors. We don’t need you to dust off a shelf of moldy yarn in the back and stock it with some blue tinsel and crap cardboard menorahs and call it redemption. Chanukah is the Festival of Lights, and all we Jews ever need to make it a joyous holiday is a chanukiah and box of candles, both available in the gift shop of our local synagogue.

And maybe just a few strings of blue twinkly bulbs from Home Depot.

Not-the-T-Shirt of the Week: Badge of Dishonor

Last week the world went apesh*t over this t-shirt on the Urban Outfitters website, for damn good reason.

The Anti-Defamation League came out with its usual “strongly-worded” chastisement of any use of a six-pointed star that could be construed as offensive, demanding an immediate apology from the so-hip-it-hurts clothing purveyor. Considering last week was Yom Ha’Shoah (that’s Holocaust Remembrance Day for the rest of y’all), it was a prime time callout.

Urban Outfitters (heh, I was going to write UO, which so super close to OU, standing for the Orthodox Union that would certainly NOT place a kosher hecksher on this shirt, or on this blog, for that matter) has removed the shmatta from the site and replaced it with a plain yellow shirt of a similarly hideous hue.

The Danish designer of the shirt promises that the star wasn’t intended to evoke a anything about “judaism, nazism or the holocaust” (do they not use proper nouns in Denmark?) and that “the graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns.”

The designer, Brian SS Jensen, who should really ditch those middle initials if he doesn’t want people to think he’s a Nazi, claims the shirt on the Urban Outfitters site was an early prototype and they were never actually for sale in the first place.

Fine, I believe you, UO and earnest Danish t-shirt person. You didn’t mean to be assh*oles by unwittingly marketing Holocaust swag to hipsters. Which leads us to the true outrage: Why in the world would a barf-colored t-shirt cost A HUNDRED DOLLARS?

Either its woven with tail hair from a unicorn or Mr. “SS” Jensen is raising funds in anticipation of more legal battles with the ADL.

“Sack Religious” and Other Greetings

A rousing “challa!” to my favorite Eco-Girl and cousin Patricia Dines for turning me to Tuba Loons Kosher Greeting Cards!

Nothing like some offbeat Jewish hilarity to lighten a heavy week—especially when combined with chicken humor (“Altar Cocker”? heheheheh.)

I spent a good portion of the morning chortling over these and wondering when the Tuba Loonies will get busy with a silkscreener: I haven’t found a decent T-shirt of the Week in months. What self-respecting yenta wouldn’t want to sport a “Ms. Shegoss” schmata around town?

If six pages of synagogue silliness gives you a few giggles but you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the alarming state of the world, check out EcoGirl’s latest column about how to keep on keepin’ on with joy.

A restful Shabbos and delightful weekend to all!

T-Shirt of the Week: That Ol’ Black Magic

I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball…but that Supermoon still has me feeling all mystical. Or maybe it’s just that I’d like to stick pins in a roughly-sewn, doll-like effigy of my enemies.

In any case, guess what? The connection between Judaism and Voodoo isn’t as meshuggeh as you might think. I think I’ll look up Manbo Sallie (née Sallie Ann Glassman) when I visit New Orleans this fall for my 40th—who knows? Maybe I’ll come home a priestess for my mid-life crisis.

Jewdoo schmata available at ShalomShirts.com.

Mensch-Of-The-Month Club

Generally, I don’t do wall calendars. Most of them seem to feature kittens or half-naked photos of neighborhood firemen and such images do not help me reflect positively on the sucking passage of time that leads me closer and closer to my own mortality. Besides, I use my iPhone.

But, this, THIS is worthy of wallspace and any kvetching from El Yenta Man about how even little tiny nails make holes in the plaster. The Nice Jewish Guys Calendar is the brainchild of NJG Adam Cohen and features fully-clothed eligible bachelors who like Weird Al Yankovic and hipster dive bars and possess just the right amount of self-deprecation and of course, the absolutely fundamental quality in a sexy man: A sense of humor.

All the singles ladies should be swooning, I’mma tellin’ ya.

But “nice” doesn’t just mean they’ll pretend to like your new chop haircut: The NJG calendar donates its proceeds to charity and recently wrote a big fat check to Mazon.org, a Jewish hunger relief agency “that allocates donations from the Jewish community to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.” Tzedakeh is HOT, people.

It’s been selling like hot latkes after a BBYO dance (rumor has it that it’s HUGE in assisted living common rooms) but there are still a few 12″x12″ units to be had. January’s not even over yet, so take down that hideous Garfield calendar and pass 2011 with some guys who think nerd glasses are sexy and would never, ever leave the seat up.

“Like” Nice Jewish Guys on Facebook; they’re hilarious (of course they are!) The calendar’s available at ModernTribe.com.