Shabbat Shalom to all my JNR friends!
Uncle Joe signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law this week which is supported by approximately 75% of the country but was unable to garner a single Republican vote. So much for bi-partisanship. But, as vaccines continue to jab their way into more arms around the country at an escalating pace, Uncle Joe is indicating we may be in for a special July 4th, one that celebrates our independence from Britain as well as from the tyranny of Covid. So, hugs all around (thank you CDC) and start planning that family backyard BBQ! Hence, Sandy and I will be making our annual trek to New Hampshire for fireworks earlier this year in order to beat the rush and avoid the potential stockout situation. Let’s go America!
Make no mistake about it, Biden’s ARP is a big-ass, audacious and historic piece of legislation that hopefully will bring much needed relief to millions of people and set the nation on a path to normalcy. But it’s also much more than that. It is the antithesis of the only significant piece of legislation passed by the orange turd – that being the tax relief bill that transferred billions to the richest folks in the land and added trillions to our deficit. The ARP on the other hand, directs most of it’s funds to those that need it most, and hopefully, much of this largesse will find it’s way back into the economy, unlike the trickle-down nonsense that has proven over and over again to be a false, misleading hope. JFK talked about a rising tide “lifting all boats”, and I believe the ARP has a chance to do just that. And assuming it works, (most economists think it is likely to overheat the economy and enable growth greater than China’s!), hopefully, along with the success of the federal drive for vaccination, it will symbolize that our government can function and do great things on behalf of our people. Now if we could just get a change to the filibuster rules, institute term limits, make sure our citizens can easily exercise their right to vote……
So, what’s going on in news about Jews this week you may be asking? Well, here is your answer, courtesy of The Forward:
- You’ve read about Pandemic Puppies, how about Pandemic Babies? – The expected baby boom turned into a baby bust during the pandemic. Read about a few couples experience coping and dealing with pregnancy during the pandemic. Based on a data point of one, I’d say it’s a mixed bag, but mostly a royal pain.
- An interview with the NYT’s Maggie Haberman – A nice Jewish girl had to stomach covering an orange turd for 4 years. Stockholm syndrome? What’s next? When does the book come out?
- Why you should know about Leonard Cohen’s Cantor – Frankly, not sure you should, but interesting nevertheless. Cantor Zelermyer provides back up vocals on Cohen’s grammy winning single “You Want It Darker” from the album of the same name. Cohen was pretty sick when this was released, and the song is deeply religious and riffs on the Mourner’s Kaddish.
- Why are Jews in Georgia happy about eliminating Daylight Savings Time? For the orthodox that translates into it being light outside when walking to services on a winter Saturday morning, summer Shabbats that don’t stretch past 9 p.m. and the ability to start the Passover Seder while young children are still wide awake. But it’s also a good sign that the Georgia legislature is actually listening to the needs of the Jewish community.
- The origins of the “Kike” slur – The slur was recently surfaced by an NBA player during an intense game moment. But, where did this term come from? Most dictionaries will say “origin unknown” but this article provides a few alternative origins. Whatever the origin, never good to hear it.
- The Hitler Haggadah? You must be joking! – No joke. Penned around 1943 by someone with the pseudonym, “Simon Coiffeur”, it’s a Passover story that equates Hitler with Pharaoh, and the allied forces delivering plagues upon the Axis of evil. Those plagues included the “Flying Fortress” (Boeing B-17s), flamethrowers and the Royal Air Force. Interesting bit of history around a part of the Jewish world we don’t know much about.
- Israel’s new ambassador to the US a die hard Republican learning to love the Democrats – Gilad Erdan says “not every disagreement should lead to a crisis”. Sounds diplomatic for sure. Yawn.
Well, that’s all folks! And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/shabbat-0312.pdf