sick pumpkinEven though vampire queen Anne Rice has found Jesus, I have not and so will be celebrating Halloween this evening with my pagan brothers and sisters. I don’t care what the rabbis say, I want candy.

And regarding last week’s Simchat Torah post about my Jewish inferiority, I did get to dance in the redwoods in a belated ceremony with my son’s Sunday school class. Maybe Esther’s right — he just might end up a rabbi. Maybe I can convince him to abandon his Harry Potter costume for some glued-on peyes and a tallis…

(Yeah, I posted this photo last year, but I just really get a kick out of it. Sue me.)

Who Loves Google?

So Google’s Video search is up in its beta version, with a few relevant offerings:

Here’s a somewhat lame video of two frum guys looking for love (tip: lose the matching sweaters, boys.)

And though flipped sideways, this one starring someone named Jeremy “The Jewish Giant” Miller singing an old favorite is awful cute and decent waste of 30 seconds.

But the biggest and best waste of time is brought to you by Google Earth, which I discovered this weekend on a friend’s PC. Fortunately for you, dear reader, it is not yet available for Macintosh so I will stay focused, right here.

Dontcha wish you’d bought stock?

Probably Not Good For the Jews

kabbalah waterTel Aviv police have placed Shaul Youdkevtich, head of Israel’s Kabbalah Center, under house arrest on charges that he bilked a cancer patient out of tens of thousands of dollars in order to “heal” her.

From YnetNews: A devotee of Kabbalah, the ill woman put her faith in the center and contributed $36,000 to the organization. When her condition deteriorated, members of the Israeli branch recommended she donate another $25,000. Meanwhile, rabbis recommended that she also purchase holy water to improve her condition – at an exorbitant price.

You can read more at Ha’aretz and there will certainly be plenty of jibs, jabs and blasts from the mainstream. Hopefully by now folks can tell the difference between the money-grabbing arms of the Kabbalah Center and the true, quiet ways of the ancient rabbis. It’ll probably get ugly, but kabbalah has survived pogroms, diaspora and a helluva lot more than Rick Ross pissing on it.

I’m deeply sorry for the suffering for this woman and her family, and the shanda Youdkevitch and his cronies have brought to the table is just so much worse than Madonna singing about Isaac Luria, even she’s humping the Zohar wearing a tefillin thong.

A Classic Gets A Rewrite

green eggs and hamSo a few months back we were out to breakfast at this cute diner in town and the waitress asked my son if he wanted bacon with his waffle. He looked up at her with all the sincerity his 5-year-old self could muster and said “No thank you, ma’am. I don’t eat pig.”

And I swear, he has told me on several occasions that he will not ever, EVER! eat green eggs and ham because “Jewish people don’t eat pig and ham is pig. Not even with a fox, mommy. Not even if I was really hungry.”

So you can imagine my husband and I got quite a kick out of this redressed ending to Dr. Suess’s classic, care of Soaraway at Weird Jews:

Will you never see?
They are not KOSHER, So let me be!
I will not eat green eggs and ham.
I will not eat them, Sam-I-am

But I’ll eat green eggs with a biscuit!
Or I will try them with some brisket.
I’ll eat green eggs in a box.
If you serve them with some lox.

And those green eggs are worth a try
Scrambled up in matzo brie!
And in a boat upon the river,
I’ll eat green eggs with chopped liver!

So if you’re a Jewish Dr. Seuss fan,
But troubled by green eggs and ham,
Let your friends in on the scoop:
Green eggs taste best with chicken soup!

Schmuley Coming To A Neighborhood Near You?

shmuleyYou knew everyone’s favorite (or unfavorite) celebrity rabbi would find his way into reality TV eventually: The Forward reports Shmuley Boteach will star as the host of “Shalom in the Home,” on The Learning Channel next year.

While the pitch is to apply Jewish wisdom to family relationships, which sounds like some kind of halachic Super Nanny bubbeminza, the reb promises is won’t seek out sensational, Jerry Springer-esque content (even though much of the show takes place in a trailer):

“What he likes about the new format, he said, is that the goal is not to shock families but to help them. ‘That is our mandate, to assist families,’ he said. ‘As a rabbi, I really think that I come with the benefit of thousands of years of Jewish focus on the family.'”

It’s not clear whether all the families will be Jewish; it’d be way more interesting if they weren’t.

football fanJewish football fans know that Christmas Day is the best time to catch big NFL games uninterrupted. Like, what else is there to do while non-Jewish fans try to convince their families that they’re not more interested in the game than little Billy’s new train set?

This year, however, you might get caught under the radar (or, rather, in your underpants on your Barcalounger) as Game Day is also the first day of Chanukah; it will be you pretending to love listening to your neighbor’s latke recipe while you keep one eye on the tube.

While this yenta is notsomuch a fan of the football (to mimic the voice of fabulous shoe blogger The Manolo,) the smart sportswriter Harvey Rosen published a synopsis of the NFL’s Jewish Year, reprinted here from The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix:

As the 2005-06 NFL season gets in gear, it’s time to take stock of noteworthy developments involving Jews in pro football – from ownership to quarterbacks to the warriors on the line.

On Aug. 7, the late Benny Friedman was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Friedman, who passed away at age 77 on Nov. 23, 1982, was a quarterback star in the 1920s and ’30s and was credited with popularizing the forward pass. The two-time All-American, as a collegian at the University of Michigan, played pro ball for the now-defunct Cleveland Bulldogs, Detroit Wolverines and Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as the New York Giants. In 1928, he led the National Football League in both rushing and passing touchdowns. Continue reading

For the Love of Torah, Make It Stop Stormin’!

simchat torahI feel like a bad Jew when the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (actually, it’s one holiday, but I’ve already established that I’m an inferior Jew) come around, but this is one of those times when guilt should take a hike. After all, it’s a new year and we start again at the very beginning of the Torah (which, of course, is a very good place to start.)

But when I read stories like this about how Jews in other countries, in other times would suffer most anything to be able to dance with the Torah, the guilt creeps back. *sigh*

Being an American Jew in 2005 certainly isn’t hard like being forced into the Czar’s army, made to convert to Christianity and whipped with your own tefillin; it’s hard like trying to convince your kid how cool Chanukah is now that he’s old enough to notice that the f*in’ Christmas decorations are already out in the stores. No, it doesn’t make you bleed or leave scars, but it doesn’t instill a huge sense of meaning and purpose, either. And sometimes that’s hard, when I know Jews all over the world are dancing with G*d’s gift and I’m just trying to get dinner on the table. But really, I’m just glad to be here.

Anyway, I linked some good educational resources in last year’s post, but I found out this year that a prayer for rain is included in the official liturgy.

But — and this is a just a suggestion, rabbis — I think the wet people of the Southeast would appreciate it if y’all skipped that prayer this year, ’cause frankly, there’s plenty, thanks.

Instead, a mighty blessing going out to the Florida Jmerica contigency, from whom I’ve heard very little this week. Hope all is well, dry and safe.

Gentlemen: Tie This One On

moses tieNothing says “power player” like Moses kneeling at the burning bush around your neck.

Even if it’s casual Friday all week long at your job, there’s a few times a year you wear a tie (at least to synagogue; right, mensch?) and these from are 100% silk, handpainted and a definite conversation starter. The company’s site is quite elegant, combining Biblical education with top-knotch marketing.

The ties come in holiday editions, so there’s no excuse not to dress like a grown-up next time your invited to dinner.

Sarah is a Sick Beeotch

sarah silverman

Hat tip to Jewlicious for directing us to this New Yorker article featuring Sarah Silverman; read it and weep.

Girl’s so whacked it’s hard to tell whether she’s the funniest, smartest sociopath ever or just the Jewish girl you’d never want your daughter to grow up to be:

I got in trouble for saying the word “Chink” on a talk show, a network talk show. It was in the context of a joke. Obviously. That’d be weird. That’d be a really bad career choice if it wasn’t. But, nevertheless, the president of an Asian-American watchdog group out here in Los Angeles, his name is Guy Aoki, and he was up in arms about it and he put my name in the papers calling me a racist, and it hurt. As a Jew—as a member of the Jewish community—I was really concerned that we were losing control of the media. Right? What kind of a world do we live in where a totally cute white girl can’t say “Chink” on network television? It’s like the fifties. It’s scary. There are only two Asian people that I know that I have any problem with, at all. One is, uh, Guy Aoki. The other is my friend Steve, who actually went pee-pee in my Coke. He’s all, ‘Me Chinese, me play joke.’ Uh, if you have to explain it, Steve, it’s not funny.

She’s a sick bitch and just so damned lovable. Waiting, oh waiting, for Jesus is Magic to arrive from Netflix.