The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 60 – The good, the bad, and the horrible

Shabbat shalom one and all!
We are all still glowing a bit from the arrival of Max, the world’s most brilliant and beautiful grandchild, who now has an entourage of followers and admirers fawning over every yawn and involuntary movement. To be honest, the kid is pretty cool, and handsome, and  it’s really amazing to think about the beginning of a new generation in the family and all the nachas ahead. I promise this will be the last baby picture posted, but i really couldn’t help myself. The advertising people at Gerber have already contacted Kalie and Michael who are seeking an agent to negotiate his first contract. 

Continuing with the good news, President Biden continues to maintain high approval ratings, vaccines continue to ramp up, the economy is humming, and the country continues to move steadily toward opening up again. Amazing that just 4 months ago the country was subjected to an insurrection led by an orange turd. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now, that the blue line has finally cracked, and at least one police officer will go to jail for murdering a person of color without cause. I am hopeful this may finally turn the tide toward meaningful police reform, and the use of murder as a deterrent will end. However, on the bad news front, all of this progress will come to an abrupt end if we let the knuckle headed Trumpian Republicans get away with voter suppression and gerrymandering as evidenced by recently passed laws in Georgia and now Florida. And lord almighty, has the world seen a bigger asshole than Tucker Carlson? I never condone violence, but when you see his face, don’t you want to just punch it?


On the Jew news front, the news out of Israel this week was horrible. While the picture below of the gathering Haredi on Mount Meron may seem like a different species of Jew from you and I, we are all cut from the same cloth (hopefully less black cloth for most of us) and this horrible news shook Israel, as many scrambled to find a missing son or daughter.  It reminded me of the equally horrible Muslim Hajj a few years ago that resulted in even more tragic deaths. I had to Google Lag B’Omer, the holiday being celebrated during this tragic event, to learn that it marks the end of a plague that killed thousands of disciples of Rabbi Akiva, who the Romans assassinated for defying their rules against teaching Torah. So my thoughts are with those lost and their families, as at least for this week, we are all Lag B’Omer.
Well, what of other Jew News this week you may ask? Here is your weekly dish, courtesy of The Forward:

  1. A hole in the wall music Shop in Greenwich maintains the link to the towns Jewish past – Often seen in episodes of Mrs Maisel, and with links to Bob Dylan, this funky shop and it’s even funkier owner ties the village to a Jewish past despite decades of gentrification. I would love to visit this place!
  2. What Ultimate Frisbee can teach us about John Ossof – Who knew? Apparently the Jewish Senator from Georgia, a gifted athlete who switched from baseball to ultimate frisbee in school, can “lay out” with the best of them. That particular move, and the sport in general, has some interesting metaphors to building character and promise in the world of politics. “Ultimate’s culture is centered on the ethical core of self officiation, but a large part of the spirit of the game is about being willing to truly play with your opponents.” 
  3. Pudu Pudu Pudding part of a Nazi plot? First of all, what the hell is Pudu Pudu pudding? And what in the world is its connection to Nazis? I made up the bit about a Nazi plot, but apparently pudding has become trendy in certain hipster sections of urban centers. The shop is apparently owned by a family with connections to the Nazi party, and use to provide everything from baking powder and hand grenades to the Nazis, but this fascinating piece goes into the larger issue of companies (Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz, eg), opening up their history and exposing their connections and collaborations with the Nazis. Good stuff and worth a read. 
  4. Farewell Bob Fass, radical radio rabbi – Say that 5 times fast. And who the hell is Bob Fass you may ask? The dope smoking, anarchist was a passionate Dylan fan, and led a wacky congregation called The Cabal, that mostly existed in the radio waves ether. Sounds like my kind of congregation actually. Big Bob passed away last week, but left behind an interesting and bazaar legacy that included everything from live performances by Tiny Tim and Joni Mitchell to conspiracy theorists proclaiming coups in San Francisco. I wish i knew about him sooner.
  5. The bingeing pleasures of Jewish Clergy? What TV shows do Rabbis watch? – A burning question on my mind for sure. And now we have the answer! Read about it here. And yes, Tiger King is among the list.

That’s all for now. And hey, it never goes without saying, be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/shabbat-0430.pdf

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