Menorah of the Week: Stick it in the Spokes of a Consumer Economy

Oy, Black Friday, Cyber Monday…sounds like extra Passover plagues, nu?

I come from a long line of bargain hunters, but trampling each other at Wal-Mart might be an indicator that shopping has become a sickness in America.

Yes, sitting at home today with a cocktail and clicking until the credit card charges prompt a phone call from a VISA customer service agent inquiring whether you meant to purchase six inflatable aqua bars to be delivered to your children’s elementary school may also warrant a reign-in of spending superpowers.

I know, Chanukah and Christmas are coming up fast and your list is long. And Android tablets can be found for less than a pair of decent shoes (me, I’ll take the shoes.) But are you really saving if you’re buying buying endlessly buying cheap sh*t from China that will be obsolete by spring?

I’m not gonna begrudge your enthusiasm in keeping the economy going; Lord knows someone’s gotta. I’mma just sayin’ it would be so lovely to spread some of that dough to the artisans putting out lovingly handcrafted items like this supercool Bicycle Menorah from Susan Fillenbaum.

And whaddya know–shipping is free for Cyber Monday!

C’mon, Look At His Shlomo

Oh, you know I love me some Jewish parody, and it’s been a looong time since one has made me chortle like this spin-off from a bunch of hilarious Israeli Russians in Tel Aviv.

Then again, I laugh at Little Yenta Girl’s poop jokes every single time, so maybe my sense of humor is warped beyond repair.

Anyway, you should know that “I’m Jewish and You Know It” contains crude sexual references and a lot of offensive, blasphemous stuff for Jews and Christians and well, it just had me ROFLMAO.

Thanks to Jewlicious for this one—CK points out that the original video “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO has its own circumcised shlomo hanging around the background:

“That’s legendary porn star Ron Jeremy! Which makes this video at least a little bit Jewish – if you can use ‘little bit’ when referring to Ron Jeremy. If you know what I mean.”

Nice one, CK. Thanks for the tip—heheheheheh

Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon no! Well, maybe that one time.

Good Shabbos to all!

To Fur or Not to Fur?

Cozy? Or Crazy?

This week’s moral dilemma is brought to you by a bunch of bubbies: I don’t know how this happened, but suddenly my closet contains three fur coats.

Well, if you want to get all sartorially technical, two coats and a vest. But still, it’s a lot of animal to be hanging with my J. Crew peacoat and El Yenta Man’s plastic rain anorak.

Let me just say that I would never, EVER buy fur. Raising animals in hideous conditions only to kill them for their skins is a cruel and disgusting practice, and the fur industry people should all come back in their next lives as minks.

(This set off a Jewishly-minded thought process, though: Why aren’t there kosher laws governing the killing of animals for their fur like there are for food? Next time I see a rabbi wearing a streimel, I’m gonna ask.)

But when fur appears in your closet and the peacoat has a mysterious stain on it from wearing it to the county fair, you start thinking fur coats aren’t so bad. The Native Americans did fur without guilt, right? If the coat is at least 10 years old and the little fluffy animals would already be dead by now anyway, so what’s the harm? No one can tell the difference between real and fake anyway, so maybe I could just rock it and tell everyone it’s from Target?

I am struggling here. On one hand, the PETA people get to me every single time. On the other hand, I can see my breath and there are snoogly coats beckoning me from the hallway.

The first one is my favorite, a chestnut brown super-stylish sable number with three-quarter sleeves and a bell shape that hits right above my hips. It belonged to El Yenta Man’s maternal grandmother, who bequeathed it to my mother-in-law before moving into the nursing home. Great Grandma Ruth spent her entire life at the beach, but I guess in the 50s and 60s, every respectable Jewish lady had to have a fur.

The second one is a full-length, dark mink that still belongs to my mother-in-law, though she hadn’t worn it for a decade even before she got sick. I think it was an anniversary gift from my father-in-law, which was very old school of him. It is traditional to give fur on one’s 13th anniversary, though El Yenta Man will never officially give me this particular coat as he has claimed it as his very own. He wears it every year to the annual Tybee Island Polar Plunge over his bathing suit. Apparently fur coats at the beach appear to be in the DNA.

My third and most recent fur acquisition was snuck into my suitcase on my last trip to Scottsdale by my mother when I wasn’t looking. I thought TSA had stuffed a dead boar in there while they were searching as revenge for me leaving my dirty socks on top, but it turns out it was just a vest of my dear Bubbe Reggie’s (may she rest in peace) made of some unknown animal that I suspect may be a large rodent. Still, it looks awfully fierce with jeans.

So here I am, three furs and all a’flummoxed. What are the rules these days about fur? Sure, rich people who spend a year’s worth of college tuition on a coat should be paintballed in public, but is it OK if:

1. You didn’t buy it?
2. You feel bad, or at least hipsterishly ironic about it?
3. Send a donation to PETA while wearing it?
4. Chant a prayer for forgiveness from the souls of the animals who gave up their little lives for your warmth and extremely hot-looking ensemble?

Please hurry. There’s a cold front coming, and I don’t think I can go back to the peacoat.

Secrets of the Alter Kockers

What do a bunch of old Jews know about living forever?

That’s what Jesse Green asks the four siblings of the Kahn family, all of who sailed passed their 100th birthdays. His New York Magazine article is a fascinating, heart-tugging read that focuses on these centenarians and the scientists who are studying several hundred Ashkenazim to see if their DNA can reveal the secret to long life.

About a dozen genetic markers have been found, including the Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein gene, which indicates lower risk of heart disease and dementia, as well as the APOC3 gene that protects against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Also, being short seems to help. Read the whole article here.

All I know is that El Yenta Man is no giant and both his grandmothers are in their 90s, so God willing, I am looking forward to six more decades of picking up his dirty socks.

Savannah’s Mayor: The Yenta Endorsement

So at my day job, I’ve had to somewhat pussyfoot around Savannah’s mayoral race because apparently, politics are very political.

But here at Yo, Yenta!, loud opinions are very much allowed, because there’s no one else around to tell me I cain’t. If you’ve seen me in person, you already know I’ve been very vocal about where my vote is going. Since the election is tomorrow, I’m gonna make it official:

The Yenta happily and proudly endorses Jeff Felser for Savannah mayor.

I’ve attended multiple mayoral debates, and there’s a clear difference between Jeff and the other five candidates. Jeff is energetic, pro-business, forward-thinking and ready to implement change. Everyone else seem like they’re running on haggard, feel-good nonsense about “keepin’ the kids off the streets and out of trouble” and creating jobs out of thin air.

While I don’t agree with his stance on the harbor deepening and plan to rally against it if he’s elected, I still think he’s Savannah’s best bet by far. He also stays awake at city council meetings, which is more than I can say for a certain candidate who has been caught napping on numerous occasions via public access television.

But frankly, he had me at gay Jew.

That alone says progress. Savannah has been stumbling 15 years behind socially, environmentally and economically long enough. Having a gay Jewish mayor would make finally make both of those adjectives a non-issue in this town. It would also attract a higher class of tourist and socially-forward companies who dismiss Savannah as a backwards place to do business.

So where has Savannah’s Jewish community been? Not behind Felser. No endorsement from the Savannah Jewish News. No old schoolers calling with fundraiser invitations. No bigshots escorting him around last week’s Shalom Y’all Food Festival.

I wish I could chalk up the cold shoulder to the old Savannah Jewish tradition of sticking with the status quo, not rocking the Christian boat, as it were. Or that it’s Felser’s politics that have driven the money and support to other candidates.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard firsthand that certain people don’t want someone gay representing the Jewish community. Of course, it’s all been said behind closed doors and off the record, but I found it shocking, embarrassing and inexcusable when this came to my attention.

Tomorrow’s election is likely going to come down to a runoff between Edna Jackson and either Felser or Regina Thomas, according to the latest poll.

My favorite conservative blogger SavannahRed wonders, if ends between Felser and Jackson, whether Savannah will support a gay mayor.

I hope we get to find out. And I hope Savannah’s Jews step up.

In the meantime, you know where I stand.

UPDATE: After posting this, a dear friend and Felser supporter called me to ask whether it’s in the campaign’s best interest to “out” Felser. I want to say that Felser rightly hasn’t addressed his private life in public, but I wasn’t aware it was a secret, either.

Perhaps I’m remiss in thinking that the chilly “don’t ask, don’t tell” climate of gay people in Savannah politics has warmed. After last week’s post by SavannahRed, other news pieces and a discussion with one of his campaign volunteers, I assumed that Felser is fine with the public acknowledgement, since only by bringing it to the surface can we dismiss it for what it ultimately is: Irrelevant.

Yes, I know I wrote earlier that I find it a selling point, but that’s because I want the Savannah Pride Festival to have enough clout to bring in RuPaul next year.