Shabbat shalom JNR peeps!
Yesterday I participated (virtually of course) in our annual Fantasy Baseball draft in which we bid on major league baseball players and put together our teams that compete statistically for a cash prize. This morning I am regretting drinking too many beers and taking my eye off the draft-day ball but what I won’t do is run out and buy myself a gun and go on a rampage murdering my many Asian-American neighbors because I “had a bad day”. Now, maybe we should cut some slack for the knuckle-headed police captain that made that regrettable statement, but what I will never understand is why we allow people to buy guns without a waiting period, but the same state legally requires a waiting period for women seeking an abortion. That is some fucked up logic. Lord only knows why the sick sack of shit did what he did, but here we are once again bemoaning another mass shooting and doing nothing to change the laws and challenge the right wing nut jobs that believe the second amendment requires the country to suspend rational thinking and ignore placing appropriate regulations around that right.
Meanwhile, our new President is getting kudos on the vaccine front, but facing another tough humanitarian crisis on our southern border. And across the pond, there is another Covid surge in Europe due to new variants, and here in Florida, college kids are storming the sunshine state, without any precautions, to celebrate spring break. I worry that new variants, new freedoms, and relaxing our precautions might spur another surge here in the US. Stay vigilant people!
On the good news front, Sandy and I are getting our first Covid vaccination on Monday! Woohoo! I hope all of you have received your jab or are scheduled to do so soon. It’s such an uplifting feeling knowing that after we get the shot, we can breathe a little easier and look forward to getting our family together again, especially in time to hold our first grandchild due at the end of April. And the timing is perfectly aligned with the Passover holiday, as it is another symbol of freedom for all of us, to put this awful pandemic behind us and get back to whatever the new normal might be.
Speaking of Passover, I have been going crazy ridding the place of chametz. Not sure why this custom requires a feather and a candle, but I am sure there is a logical explanation. I did a quick google search and also discovered there are now websites available where you can sell your chametz, as long as a rabbi acts as the brokering agent and the chametz is sold to a non-Jew. I do not kid. For the orthodox among us, we have until two hours before midday of the 27th to eat up that babka and challah bread before the matzah needs to take over. Lately I have been fielding a lot of questions regarding the addition of an orange on the Seder plate. I am not sure when we started the practice, but one source claims it was inspired by Prof. Susannah Heschel, daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who came up with the idea after some curmudgeon dismissed the idea of women rabbis by saying, “A woman on the bimah is like an orange on the Seder plate!”
So, what about the news for the Jews this week, courtesy of The Forward? Here you go, without further ajieu:
- Dating and Israel: Is the topic a high stakes litmus test for dating Jewish couples? First of all, finding dating Jewish couples is hard enough, we need to add a litmus test? This one ranks high on the nerd scale, but does beg the question about going deep on politics before going deep in a relationship. If Sandy were a supporter of the orange turd, would I have married her? Stay tuned for next week’s JNR to find out!
- Kosher Dog Food? Not! – Unless you want Fido to get sick from consuming something mushy and inconsistent with it’s normal diet, stay clear of the kosher for Passover dog food. The craziness surrounding some of the measures followed by those adhering to strict kosher rules are compiled in a book, considered the bible on such matters, by Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz. The section on pet food spans four pages. The bottom line is this: Most dry dog food contains some sort of chametz – wheat, oats or grain – which makes the standard fare verboten. If a dog’s main diet is dry food, and you suddenly switch him to canned meat, well you can kind of guess what happens next.
- A statue of RBG in a mall? The author makes a point, that perhaps placing this statue honoring the late supreme court justice inside a shopping mall, might not have been the best location. Despite the obvious traffic it is getting (20 minute waiting lines for a selfie), a more suitable spot would have been gracing some public outdoor space rather than a tawdry, indoor shopping mall.
- An American version of “Shtisel” on the way, courtesy of CBS – We love the Israeli show for it’s unromantic depiction of the Heredi community and the characters with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies. Will the American version stay true to this structure? Read this for one point of view.
- Remembering Yaphet Kotto – Who you may ask? This charismatic actor and proud Jew passed away last week. Better known for his acting in Alien, and Live and Let Die among others, he was also a black Jew, with an interesting backstory. Worth a read.
- Borat 2 vs Nomadland, which should get the Oscar? You be the judge. The fact that Borat 2 is even on the list is quite incredulous, and says a lot about the state of Cinema in the USA.
- Rank choice voting in NYC and it’s impact on Jewish influence? – I am a little hung over this morning, so this is one I couldn’t even wrap my head around. Skip over this one.
That’s all this week, but, hey, be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/shabbat-0319-2.pdf