Break It Down, Yo

chagall chanukahFriday afternoon — it happens.

The Yenta has had quite a 2005. Since there’s still a pile of holidays cards to send to El Yenta Man’s clients (it’s just so weird how the knee surgery affected his handwriting), a daughter’s second birthday to plan and yes, still a motherf*n’ Santa snake to find, there will be a Yo, Yenta! hibernation in effect until early 2006.

Please feel free to peruse the archives or Yo, Yenta! advice columns of old.

Wishing you all a warm, food- and fun-filled Chanukah, however you choose to spell it.

*Detail of “The Three Candles” by Marc Chagall.

Top Ten Signs You’re At A Lame Chanukah Party

chanukah comicTop Ten Signs You’re At A Lame Chanukah Party, courtesy of (cartoon, too!):

10. The Sfuganiot are filled with something, but it sure ain’t jelly

9. You get there and it’s just you, a plate of latkes, and a guy dressed up as Santa.

8. The music stops until Joe Lieberman rehits the Demo button on the Casio keyboard

7. Menorah looks alot like a bunch of flash lights duck-taped to a car bumper

6. Host generously offers his cigarette as a shamash

5. Party is dubbed “Saddam Hussein’s Rockin’ Eve”

4. Immediately after the candlelighting party breaks into a 2 hour awkward silence

3. Latkes are served in a soup bowl with a ladle

2. The guys in the room have enough grease in their hair to keep a menorah burning all year round.

1. Alas, there was not enough alcohol to last for even one night.

A few more, courtesy of the Yenta:

* There’s a giant inflatable Winnie the Pooh hovering in the corner — wearing a Santa hat

* You ask for something to wash down the latkes — and someone hands you a mug of eggnog

* The shumash sets the Chrismukkah tree on fire

Feel free to come up with more — double the points if they’re based on true life experiences (as two out of the three above are).

T-Shirt of the Week: Kung Fu You!

chan shirtThat’s right – if O’Reilly wants to get his panties in a wad about keepin’ the Christ in Christmas, we all about puttin’ the Chan back in Chanukah! From — the same folks responsible for last year’s filthy “spin my dreidel” shirt. The site’s also sporting a “Santa Hates Jewish Kids” number this year — maybe someone wants to buy one for O’Reilly?

Video Is SO Not ‘Da Bomb’

chutzpahY’all know how I feel about bad Jewish parody rap; I somehow feel it is my divine duty to help you distinguish between “crap rap” and honest-to-Hashem Jewish hip-hop.

These dudes, going by the moniker Chutzpah, have been receiving huge press lately as part of the latter category. Upon viewing their video of the song “Chanukah Is Da Bomb,” which features skankily-clad women and dorky guys in warm-ups and fake bling, I must warn you that Chutzpah has a lot of chutzpah to try and present themselves as anything but 50 Shekel’s bee-otches. You know, before he got all Jesusy and just plain sucked.

Not to be hatin’ on anyone promoting Jew pride, but please, listen for yourself and tell me it’s not embarassing.

Elf-Tossing on Capitol Hill?

steve israelProps and nachas to New York representative Steve Israel and other Jewish members of the House, who countered Virginia representative Jo Ann Davis’ resolution to “save Christmas” with demands that she include Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Ramadan in H. Res. 579, which “strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas and expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions.”

Davis’ symbolic attempt to “save Christmas” passed with a majority vote, but not before some Jewish congressfolks had their say:

When Davis posited that “any sign or even mention of Christmas in public can lead to complaints, litigation, protest and threats” and “America’s favorite holiday is being twisted beyond recognition,” Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) responded with “Did something happen when I was not looking? Did somebody mug Santa Claus? Is somebody engaging in elf tossing?”

It wasn’t just the Jews on Capitol Hill complaining, either: Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C. politely pointed out that Davis’ concern that Christmas was losing its identity was a load of crapola: “Our country has come simply to be tolerant of the fact that we are from many faiths, and we do not want to insult anybody … I say to you that, far from references to Christmas needing to be supported, they are glorified, and we all know it.” Full story.

Rep. Davis did not amend her resolution to include similar respect for the rest of our holidays — let’s let her know we disapprove by bombing her inbox writing her a short email, shall we?

At Least They’re The Clean Pair

chanukah pantiesIt’s customary in our religion to leave small rocks on a tombstone when we visit the ancestors, but hundreds of single women have left something else at a rabbi’s tomb in northern Israel: Their undies.

According to one of the more arcane superstitions of our faith, unmarried Jews who visit the grave of Rabbi Yenothan Ben Uziel will meet their beshert and marry within the year.

Rabbi Israel Deri, who is in charge of protecting holy sites in the north, told Ma’ariv that women’s prayers will go unanswered and said, “Having consulted with the chief rabbis, I can say with certainty that not only are these women guilty of a profanity but they will also never gain benediction.”

This story begs so many questions: Do these girls’ mothers knew they are leaving their panties around a graveyard? Have they not filled out a free Jmerica profile? How does one choose between the “Tuesday” cotton hipsters and the lace thong? Is Rabbi Uziel smiling?

*These “A Great Miracle Happened Here” panties don’t seem to be available anymore at, but they have other really inappropriate ones, just in case you feel like visiting the cemetery tonight.

Chanukah Music Round-up

Last year I had to scrounge for appropriate holiday music, but this year there’s a CD for every slot in the carousel:

hanukkah loungeHannukah Lounge: CraigNCo has a hit with this groovy, mellow collection of spacey instrumentals. Call it Jew-age jazz without the Kenny G. Test out the atmosphere for yourself while sipping a Chanukah-tini at the new Flash Lounge.

Hannukah Rocks: I’m not sure if “Applesauce Vs. Sour Cream” can be considered a debate worthy of a rock n’ roll label, but the LeeVees manage to pack in some truly rockin’ riffs with very silly lyrics. The music has the ironic indie flavors of They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Naked Ladies (the Leevees are actually on tour with the Ladies right now) but the words are farpitzed with references to gelt, Maccabees and Jewish singles parties.

Hannukah Swings: Clear the livingroom! Macher Kenny Ellis has infused your favorite classics with horns and a Big Band beat that will have every generation jitterbugging (careful, don’t knock the menorah or there’ll be wax in the carpet.) Ellis, whose Sinatra-like crooning is a delight, also reaches deep to bring out some non-clichéd culture: There’s even asong in Ladino called “Ocho Kandelikas” that may inspire a bissel Chanukah mambo.

Kosher Christmas Carols: Look, I said there was new Chanukah music, but I didn’t say it was all worth listening to. Frankly, any Chanukah album with “Christmas” in the title is a clue that “bad parodies happen here.” According to Joe Eskenazi of the j., this one’s a real farshtinkener.

I Saw Hannukah Harry Beat Up Santa Claus: It seems bad parodies are just inevitable, so you might as well download one that’s actually funny. (Click here to listen and scroll down.) But forget the rest of Hal L. Singer’s album; it’s STFG.

Happy Tunes, all!

A Bowl Of Blog Doesn’t Have Quite The Same Healing Properties

kneeApologies for the slow posting this week; it’s one of those times when my duties as a Jewish wife and mother mean more than combing down my kids’ cowlicks and kvetching about towels on the floor (not that tending to severe bedhead isn’t a full-time job in itself.)

Besides teaching my son’s kindergarten class the token Chanukah song for the year (20 years in early childhood education and the teacher can’t be bothered to learn one freakin’ song about dreidels? Shanda!), I need to get my heinie in the kitchen and start cooking up a big pot of Matzoh Ball Medicine, heavy on the schmaltz:

My dear husband (let’s call him El Yenta Man; he’ll like that) is scheduled for reconstructive surgery of his anterior cruciate ligament early tomorrow morning. That’s fancy doctor-speak for El Yenta Man is gettin’ his messed-up knee fixed.

I depend on El Yenta Man to have strong legs; they come in useful for carrying groceries, and should we ever need to be evacuated from one side of a river to the other, he’ll need them for swimming. Not to mention that they’re very fine to look at. So I’m taking the rest of the week off to drive him to the hospital and sit in the waiting room while the orthopedic surgeon replaces his old, stretchy ACL with a new, strong one (well, new to him, anyway. God bless the cadaver from whom it was culled.)

That’s all I’m going to be doing: sitting. Maybe finish reading “The Modern Jewish Girls Guide to Guilt,” but mostly sitting. And praying, for sure. I mean, it’s not open heart surgery or anything, but when a loved one goes under general anesthesia, it can’t hurt to keep a spiritual line open, just in case. So I’m shutting down the computer, ’cause I can’t hold that kind of open, nurturing space in my mind if I’m distracted by my favorite celebrity fashion disaster blog or the latest Chanukah doll.

Besides, the hospital doesn’t have WiFi.

Puttin’ the “Craig” in Craig’s List

craigAt last count, I’ve used Craigslist to sell a crib, a VW van, a dishwasher and a rusted-out old stove. I’ve bought toys and books, found jobs and places to live, enjoyed the “Best of” list immensely. I’ve met some super kind people. But I have never, ever used it for its “hook-up” properties, although apparently, that’s what it’s famous for. I mean, I’ll go to a stranger’s house to buy a dog-eared, vintage 70’s edition of “The Joy of Sex” to give as a gag gift to my husband, but beyond that, I can’t imagine.

They’ve recently added a bajillion more towns, so even if you’re nowhere near its Bay Area birthplace or any other major city, you too can enjoy the modern miracle of posting anything you want to sell/buy/meet for midnight nookie.

I’m telling you this because not only is “Craig” in Jewish (along with being brilliant and humble), he says Leonard Cohen is his rabbi. And even though he’s an eligible bachelor, he’s never used his list for a sordid rendez-vous, either.

Check out the whole interview with Craig Newmark at SomethingJewishUK!

Borat Censored!

boratMSNBC reports that authorities in Kazakhstan have shut down, the “official Web site of Borat,” presumably because Borat has responded to their legal threats for insulting the country’s honor with more earnestly-delivered, left-handed insults about women riding on the inside of the bus and what not.

Borat’s dominant personality, Sacha Baron Cohen, cleverly set up the Kazakh domain name to give his character some authentic dog-like flavor, but he’s been found out — in spite of Borat’s admonition that he has nothing whatsoever to do with Cohen and that he supports the efforts of his government to “sue this Jew.”

Says Nurlan Isin, President of the Association of Kazakh IT Companies: “We’ve done this so he can’t badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name…He can go and do whatever he wants at other domains.”

And you can be sure he will

Hat tip to Jewish Blogmeister.