The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 57 – The new normal, DMX and the ramblings of an old fart

Shalom everyone! And disregard my first email for the JNR this week as I mistakenly pushed the send button before I even had my first cup of coffee! Sorry about that.


Yesterday I spoke with my Brazilian colleagues and got an earful about how horrible their Covid situation is right now, and it reminded me of the moronic approach our previous administration had taken to managing the crisis. And that in turn led to more thoughts about how different things are now, that despite Republican attempts to continue disrupting progress with divisive culture wars, I feel much more positive about the direction of the country and am starting to get a sense that, outside the beltway, we are starting to pull together as a country! Go USA! Don’t get me wrong, we have many a crisis brewing on multiple fronts, but at least we don’t have a president insulting and picking fights with friends and foes alike. We are making our way back to “normal”, i think. 


One more sign of normality was that I ventured out to Newbury comics and picked up a few new albums, Bruce Springsteen’s latest “ Letter to You”, and an iconic classic from Bob Dylan “Blood on the Tracks”, which I already own on CD, but wanted to add it to my vinyl collection as well. While both albums present deeply brooding tones and reflections of loss, they also present an interesting contrast to sounds of the recently departed DMX, a famous rapper who the NYT dubbed “Snarly and Soulful”. I am not a huge fan of rap and hip hop, (call me an old fart if you wish), but I made an effort to listen to DMX’s greatest hits on Amazon Music, and can honestly say, I was not impressed, and did not hear much in the way of “soulful”. My rap to the younger generations on this has always been wether any of his music, or any rap music for that matter, will be played 200 years from now? Will it last the test of time? I will stick with Dylan, Bruce and the Beatles on that front. 


Now, many of you are by now thinking, enough of this drivel, and let’s get to the good stuff! What of the news for the Jews this week, you ponder? Well, ponder no longer, here you go, courtesy of The Forward”

  1. In search of the perfect Bagel – Brooklyn’s finest bagel spots are reviewed with a very anti-hipster and discerning eye. Is it really the NYC water that makes them so special? Can our former Brooklyners weigh in here? Molly? Ben?
  2. Will Evangelicals be allowed to visit Israel? Evangelicals have consistently made pilgrimage to Israel for religious and other reasons. Israel has strict requirements around proof of vaccine to enter, and the Evangelicals in general (45%) have said they will not take the vaccine. Should make for some interesting dynamics as Israel will need to decide on letting them in or not. Stay tuned.
  3. The Hatfields vs McCoysteins? Crazy and idiotic behavior in a predominantly Jewish and wealthy gated community in west Del Ray beach, Florida, pitting one christian family against the Jews. You really can’t make this shit up. But, it is Florida….
  4. Shtizel and it’s presentation of issues around reproductive rights – An interesting look at how the 3rd (and very good!) season of Shtizel deals with abortion, and other reproductive issues within the orthodox community. Spoiler alert: The Torah sides on the side of the health of the mother. 
  5. Hunter Biden’s book and what it says about his Jewish wife, Melissa Cohen – Love at first sight apparently. They were engaged about 3 days after they met and share a tattoo of “Shalom”.  Interesting story.
  6. Paul Simon a historical footnote? – No way says this music critic and fan of the singer/song writer. I happen to agree with the writer, Paul will get more than a footnote, maybe an entry in the bibliography.
  7. The Rabbi bringing Judaism to Saudi Arabia? First of all, i thought it was against the religion to proselytize? Originally from Greenwich Village, Rabbi Yaakov Herzog is helping the Saudi’s frame what religious community life will look like in the new Egypt-bridging city being built there, specifically working with the many Jewish expats, tourists, and business people that will be living and working there. 

Well, that does it for the week. And hey, it never goes without saying, be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/shabbat-0409.pdf

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