Satirist Ephraim Kishon Dies At 80

user submitted pictureAfter narrowly escaping the Nazis in Hungary, Ephraim Kishon went on to a long career as Israel’s most famous humorist, producing plays, essays, movie scripts and countless stories.
In a eulogy on Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said “Ephraim Kishon was one of the giants of Israeli culture, who created an entire cultural world for a country in formation; he created an entire world of culture for the country.”
We’re really embarrassed that we have not read a thing by him, but we promise that will change immediately.
Kishon died in Switzerland from a heart attack last week. He leaves behind a massive body of work that should keep Jews busy and laughing for many generations to come.

Jaywalk of Faith?

user submitted pictureWe don’t normally think of our Orthodox brethren as lawbreakers, but it seems that the highly religious may develop a reputation as deliquents: reports on an Israeli study that found out ultra-Orthodox Jews of Bnei-Brak were three times as likely to jaywalk than their secular neighbors. The article suggests that “religious people take more risks because they are more fatalistic and have less fear of death,” but it seems to us that not holding a child’s hand while crossing a busy intersection falls under the category of bad parenting rather deep faith. We’re curious if there will be more studies on whether the devoutly uncautious don’t wear their seat belts and leave their cars unlocked in bad neighborhoods.
*thanks to Boy Genius Hooli-oh for this one!

Bed, Bath and Beyond Good Taste-Continued

The origin of the sheets emblazoned with WWII “Jude” stars remains a mystery, in spite of the manufacturers’ efforts to get to the bottom of this disturbing interior design fiasco. J. reports that Salem and Sons, the parent company of Nature at Home, have traced the fabric to a factory in South Carolina but have not unraveled how the sheets came to be for sale in fifteen Grocery Outlets across California. A total of 24 sets (we assume this means a fitted sheet, a flat one and two pillowcases) have been pulled from the shelves. Since Salem and Sons claims that almost every one of their employees is Jewish, we can only assume at least one of them is blind.

Britney’s New-And-Improved Kabbalah Tattoo

user submitted pictureHere’s a shot of Kabbalah-wannabe Britney Spears engaging in one her favorite activities: getting silly tattoos that represent her “undying faith.” Her latest holy skin additions are a Hebrew symbol on the back of her neck that somehow means “the power of healing” (you may recall that her first Hebrew tattoo translated into nonsense; either it got fixed or she just crossed it out and inked on a new one) and a pair of pink dice on her wrist to match her husband Kevin’s blue ones. Classy and sincere.

Put Down That Hairbrush, Holmes

user submitted pictureSo according to former Jewish grand rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, singing in the shower isn’t kosher.
From Australia’s”You will not sing in the shower,” the former leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jews instructed a listener inquiring about Talmudic laws on an ultra-Orthodox religious radio program. Rabbi Eliahu explained that the Hebrew language, holy to the Jewish religion, “was not to be sullied by use in a bathroom.” Humming, however, is considered acceptable as long as no Hebrew crosses the mind while attending to one’s personal hygiene.
The Talmud makes no reference to bleating out show tunes and the Grateful Dead while bathing, so we guess we’re cool?

Debra’s Lovely Locks

user submitted pictureIn an interview with Newsweek[i]‘s Nicki Gostin, kosher cutie Debra Messing may be leading the trend away from boring, [i]goyishe straight hair:
Nicki Gostin: What is it with Jewish girls and curly hair?
Messing: I think it’s just something we lovely Jewish ladies have to embrace. When I was is high school I literally would spend two hours in the morning trying to straighten my hair because everyone wanted to look like Brooke Shields.”
And now all the shiksas are spending hours with a curling iron trying to look like her, even the boys. Debra’s new movie The Wedding Date hits theaters February 4.

Jewish ‘Fat Camp’ Accentuates The Positive

user submitted pictureWith all the recent attention given to the international child obesity epidemic, it’s good to know our Canadian neighbors are on it: Camp Gesher in Cloyne, Ontario has announced the first ever Jewish weight loss camp. Chubby campers will learn how to prepare healthy kosher foods and participate in safe physical activity, but there won’t be any of those awful weigh-ins that any kid would dread. “The program is designed so that that campers will begin to feel comfortable with themselves, because kids who are comfortable with themselves have less tendency to be overweight,” says Shaul Zobary, director of Camp Gesher.
We applaud the Canadian Jewish community for addressing the health of our future Jewish leaders; with nearly 13 percent of American children weighing into the “obese” category we hope we see more programs like this stateside.

What Would Moses Do?

The following incident happened to a dear non-Jewish friend of ours and she wants some advice:
“I was at the hairdresser todayand there were 8 of us at a small salon. We were having something of a group discussion about vacuum cleaners (pathetic isn’t it?) and one woman, a middle school teacher was talking about how her expensive Orek is always breaking and how she is “always having to call that little Jewish guy to fix it.” That comment made me do a double take. It seemed clear to me that if the Orek guy was Protestant or Catholic she would not have included that information. It seemed ugly and especially insensitive considering that today is the 60th anniversary of the liberation Auschwitz.
I sat there, foils in my hair struggling for an appropriate response: “Hey, don’t say that!” or “Some of my best friends are little Jewish guys!” or “I know a great Baptist vaccum repair guy you can call next time”? I just knew I couldn’t say nothing. Then I noticed one of the other older women looked upset and wipe her eyes.
Who knows, maybe the hair color goop was getting in her eyes, or maybe she was a Jew and felt the sadness of knowing that millions of her people died and school teachers still said things like she just heard.
I worked up all the courage of a cabbage and said how horrifying it is that as bad as the tsunami deaths were that they were nothing compared to the Holocaust death toll. Of course, no one responded.”
So what do you think, Jmericans? What would you have said, if anything? Our friend feels like woman didn’t mean to be malicious, but what else could she have said in the moment? Please post your thoughts; they’ll be deeply appreciated.