Jews on the Verge of Giving Their Mothers Nervous Breakdowns

amywinehouseWhen I saw a flyer for a local Savannah band called Jewop, I pictured a clean-cut quartet of Fonzie types snapping their fingers and combing back their ducktails, singing “Dayenu” in four-part harmony. Turns out it’s a guitarless Jewish-Italian death metal duo whose current album’s cover art features a bloody scapel and is aptly called Stab/Operate. Not really my scene, but maybe you’re into it.

Also on the causing-parental-chest-pain radar is British songstress Amy Winehouse, whose drunken escapades have made her the darling of the tabloids across the pond, especially with the folks at Jewtastic. I downloaded her second album Back to Black, and well, wow. Amy might be a potty-mouthed, “dickhead drunk” (her words), but the girl can sing. But maybe my UK friends can help me out: What exactly does “fuckery” mean?

Then there’s nice Jewish punk princess porn star Joanna Angel, whose Jewcy interview I will be happy to link, but you’ll have to find the really dirty stuff on your own.

None of these kids incorporate their Judaism into their professional work (and just what would that look like anyway, Ms. Angel?) yet all identify as Jewish in interviews and such. So do we consider them “Jewish artists” or not? I don’t know, I’m not sure I care. I suppose I only wanted to show my mother how I could have turned out so much worse.

isaac cohenStick a fork in this tawdry affair; it’s as overdone as a microwaved baked potato (can you tell what I had for lunch?)

Apparently her instant conversion last week freaked Isaac out, or perhaps it was that she left him on chihuahua-sitting detail while she was in New York. (Which reminds me; um, has anyone seen her kids lately? If she left her dog with her boyfriend, did she leave her boys in a crate with a bowl of kibble?)

Anyhoo, OK! reports that he dumped her — by phone. Not so menschsy, Isie, but you’re still young. At least you finally listened to your mother.

Now go fill out your dating profile already. Next time we see you, you’d better have a decent script in your hand and a J-girl on your arm.

The Care and Feeding of Marriage

drlauraHave you heard about the New York Orthodox couple who built a wall down the middle of their house as a solution to their marital issues?

Neither Chana Taub nor her husband Simon will give up their three-story Borough Park house as part of a divorce settlement that can’t quite get settled — the Taubs have been in court for almost two years trying to dissolve their 20-year marriage. A judge with a creative sense of justice has ordered them to put up a drywall partition that gives Chana the top floor and the kitchen; Simon gets the livingroom and the diningroom. Mom has three of the kids, Daddy lives with one. No word on how Simon and the last kid eat with the kitchen barricaded; it’s a good thing Brooklyn has killer takeout.

When I first read about the Taubs I thought “What a fabulous idea! During the ten days out of the month when the mere smell of my husband’s socks can push me into a psychotic tirade, I will simply erect a wall between my side of the closet and his. I will nail the door shut to the downstairs and he can sleep and cook on the grill in the garage. He’ll pee outside, which he does anyway and thinks the neighbors don’t notice. Since the laundry’s down there, he can do that, too. We can alternate between the two children, depending on which one’s behaving the worst.”

Unfortunately, this is not a real solution, since I cannot possibly trust him to wash my delicates. But it got me thinking about marriage, and what a crazy myth this “happily ever after” bollywash is. Now, listen, I love El Yenta Man with all my heart and soul. I know a spaz like me is blessed to have a found a virile Jewish prince to help propagate the Chosen people. It’s just that living with him drives me batsh*t sometimes, especially around that time of the month when I am feeling particularly sensitive about having all the dishes put away and absolutely no lintballs floating down the hallway, and he is just not being empathetic enough to my need to have order and silence and tends to mock me instead. Continue reading

You Could Screw Your Real Estate Agent, But SHOULD You?

The Yenta family has been looking for a suitable house within the Savannah area for six months now, and in spite of all the nonsense I hear about “buyer’s market” and “appreciation value,” I still can’t find a place that feels like home.

jerryseinfeldOur extremely patient realtor sends us emails twice a day, calls my cell when she sees anything like a 3 bedroom, 2 bath within 10 miles of our kid’s school, and pretends not to hear when El Yenta Man and I start sniping at each other about whether putting our daughter’s bedroom in the garage is a fair trade-off for a gourmet kitchen. She’s shown us probably 60 houses so far, and she’s always smiling when she takes off the lockbox on the latest vinyl-sided monstrosity/mouse-sized brick bungalow/mold-infested ranch style. Her optimism far surpasses mine.

(I could write a whole other post about how guilty I feel for being so goshdarn picky. But it’s my first house. I’m not trying to be difficult, and my demands aren’t that outrageous — all the bedrooms on the same floor? A kitchen that doesn’t need all the plumbing and electrical ripped out and replaced prior to moving in? No daily drive-by shootings? All I can say is I know what I looking for, and I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll know it when I walk in the door.)

The ladies at the weekly senior lunch (aka The Yentas) are growing impatient. Ethel, who moved to Savannah from Brooklyn last year to be near her grandchildren, puts her hand on my arm the minute I arrive on Thursdays. “Nu? Any news?” When I shake my head she pats me and says “Ach, it’s a good thing your in-laws are so generous. I’d have put you out on the street by now.”

Beezy, the spriteliest 82 year-old in Hadassah history (she flattered my father-in-law into $150 towards the latest fundaraiser) is convinced that my realtor is to blame for our chronic houselessness. “Girls, don’t you think she should change agents? Someone from the community could find you a house like that.” She snaps her bejeweled fingers. By “community” she means “of our kind.” As in “Ditch that goyish Yankee already and employ someone Jewish who’s from here, schmuck.”

I try to explain to the Yentas that all realtors have access to the same listings, unless there’s a secret Jewish real estate cabal to which I am not privy. I say El Yenta Man has been working with this woman since before we made the cross country shlep and that if we change agents, she won’t earn a penny for all the time she’s spent with us. The Yentas all wave their hands and make “bosh!” and “pish” noises at me.

Maybe there is an underground Jewish real estate mafia hawking fabulous homes with rose bushes and front porches and endless closets and built-in bookshelves, but I cannot in good conscience dump someone who has tried so hard to help me find a home. At this point when when we finally do find a place, the math breaks down such that with her commision divided by the hours she’s put in, she’ll be lucky if she breaks minimum wage, anyway.

Even though I’m too much of a pansy fuzzyheart to do it, I guess I can forgive the Yentas for thinking it’s fine to screw over my realtor in favor of “my own kind.” But what the deal with Jewish a**hat who f*cks over his observant Jewish realtor?

When I heard that Jerry Seinfeld duped his Orthodox realtor out of her commission by purchasing his $3.95 million Manhattan townhouse on the Sabbath, I have to say I experienced something like moral superiority, bordering on howling righteousness. Sure, a judge has ordered Jerry and his wife, Jessica, to pay something like $100,000 (far below the standard 5%, by the way) to poor Tamara Cohen, who made it clear to the Seinfelds that she was unavailable from sundown on Friday ’til three stars out on Saturday. So maybe the Seinfelds could care less about Shabbat, but showing such disprespect to one of one’s own is shanda. Cohen’s loyalty to the Sabbath was merely an inconvenience to them; they couldn’t wait another minute to spend their millions and do the right thing?

Obviously my sympathies lie with Tamara, who likely spent Sunday morning to Friday afternoon for months showing the Seinfelds every piece of real estate form Staten Island to Park Avenue, trying to keep a positive attitude while gelt-digger-turned-socialite Jessica rejected brownstone after penthouse because she hated the crown molding. (Okay, so maybe that was me, but I refuse to see any similarity between us beyond our first names. Besides, I know I’m an idiot, whereas I suspect Jessica Seinfeld thrives on asserting her role as a bitch.)

Maybe Jerry and Michael Richards should get together and pitch a new show: “So it’s your basic ad-lib about this entitled jerk who has no social conscience but makes pithy observations that are supposed to apply to everyone, right? And he has this friend who’s prone to yelling racist things, but he’s not really racist, he just has some form of Tourette’s…”

*Photo care of USAToday. Are Jerry and Jessica giggling over their power to dis’ the little people and the religion of their ancestors?

Are Men Obsolete?

rachelsarahPerhaps only a woman raising a child on her own is qualified to answer that one.

Single Mom Seeking author and proudly unmarried Jewish mama Rachel Sarah responds on camera to a new study that shows a surge in out-of-wedlock births.

The reporter interviews a couple of other shlumpy moms who extol the importance of marriage to a child’s well-being, but Rachel ought to be the sassy single mother poster girl with her tall boots and confident grin. Girlfriend plays it calm and cool, and damn if I don’t kinda believe her not having a partner doesn’t mean not having a life.

‘Specially after having pulled off an entire Thanksgiving dinner — including pecan pie from scratch — for 11 all by myself.

Kvell Alert

momYes, it’s still Jewish Book Month, friends, and the Arizona Literary Contest has chosen a Jewish-themed story for first place in its as-yet-unpublished novel category: Beginning a few months after Spain’s edict that expelled all the Jews, The Blind Eye weaves the tale of conversos in 15th century Portugal with a modern-day Cuban-American women in search of her identity.

Author Marcia Fine explores the dark history of the Spanish Inquisition and the miracle of Jewish survival while creating unforgettably courageous female characters in her fourth book. Her previous novel, Paper Children, chronicled three generations of Jewish women in the context of the Holocaust and a new life in America. The publication date for The Blind Eye has not yet been determined, though this distinguished award will likely motivate its widespread availability. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Injustice For Jackie

jmasonPoor Jackie Mason — the deluded icksters of Jews 4 Jesus use his status as a Jewish icon to promote their evil cult in one of their design-challenged flyers and now a New York court says it’s actually legal.

Distinguished University of Toledo Professor of Law Emeritus Howard M. Friedman reports on his blog Religious Clause that Mason has lost his case against J4J:

The court held that a reasonable reader of the pamphlet would not have thought that Mason endorses the views of Jews for Jesus. It held that newsworthy events or matters of public interest are not covered by the privacy statute, and that the distribution of the pamphlets was constitutionally protected speech.

I’m no lawyer (much to mother’s disappointment,) but it’s not the “reasonable readers” that we’re worried about here. Anybody who accepts a pamphlet from J4J rather than shrieking “Back off, beeotch!” and then actually reads it instead of depositing in the closest garbage can is already a compromised individual.

And though Mason’s case was based upon privacy rather than copyright laws, a celebrity should be able to protect his/her own brand from hideous misappropriations implying that they endorse they don’t — especially something as seriously screwed as J4J. If Jimmy Dean sausage had used his picture in their advertisments, he would have won the case, right? That judge is either whacked on Oxycontin, an anti-Semite, or a Jesus freak.

Don’t take my windbag word for it — download the original pamphlet and decide whether Jackie got shafted. But beware if your hard drive starts getting glassy-eyed and quoting Scripture.

Hat tip: Jewschool.

Boobie Q&A

taniaAlthough I’ve already hyped her hilarious book, I gotta direct you to a recent Phoenix Jewish News interview with Tania Katan, humor maven, breast cancer survivor and shirtless marathon wonder.

My favorite excerpt:

JN: You talk in the book about the genetic predisposition to breast cancer fround in many Jewish women. How has that knowledge affected your Jewish identity?

TK: … Haven’t Jews had to endure enough? I grew up in Tempe [AZ], where I felt like I was the only Jew anywhere. So culturally and religiously, I felt sort of different from lots of folks. And then having this genetic mutation that only affects a small number of people and, guess what, they happen to be Jews, I’m like “enough already.” We’ve suffered enough, we’ve walked through the desert, we’re exhausted.

The woman slays me, always.

Being a Yenta-come-lately I apologize for posting nary a thing about Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. But like many others, I did go ahead and have my usual Manic Panic red locks streaked pink in support.

Jewish Miss France Takes The Whole Continent

miss europeI don’t know how I missed the coronation of a Jewish Miss France last December, but Alexandra Rosenfeld’s sparkling tiara is all over the place since she was crowned Miss Europe last Friday in Kiev.

Could this mean the anti-Semitic fever in Europe, especially in incident-studded France, is breaking?

Don’t rush to the passport office yet, amies. According to a Belarus blogger (I can’t translate the Russian name, sorry, public school education) lovely Alexandra began drawing ugly anti-Semitic comments on the Web the minute the crown touched her head. Most beauty queens pay lip service during their reigns for some worthy cause or another, but it looks like Mademoiselle Rosenfeld may have to become a true Jewish diplomat and the ADL‘s poster girl before she passes on her title next year.

Jewish As A Matzoh Ball, And Don’t You Forget It

jackie masonJewish comedy icon Jackie Mason is suing Jews for Jesus for using his name, a cartoon likeness of him and a riff on his famous “Jews vs. Gentiles” schtick in one of their propaganda tools.

Jews for Jesus denies that the pamphlet implies that Mason is a Jew for Jesus, but take a look at it and decide. Personally, I think Mason’s got an open/shut copyright case and I hope he bankrupts the life out of them.

Jews for Jesus responds to the hoopla with typical J4J unblinking ignorance and denial. Executive director David Brickner: “Jackie may be as Jewish as a matzoh ball, but Jesus is as Jewish as chicken soup.” Spokesperson Susan Perlman: “Shame on him for getting so upset about this.”

Shame on him? Why not just call yourself a cult Christian and get over yourself? The predatorial nature of an organization that uses mind control and scapegoating to retain members is the only shanda here, beeotch.

Check out ExJewsForJesus to find out just what a sinister group J4J is…