Shabbat shalom! And happy Juneteenth! And happy Fathers Day!
First, Sandra and I wish to thank you all for your kind expressions of sympathy. As the Rabbi said to me recently, life quickly pulls you back into the ebbs and flows of daily routines, and hence, I sit here in our lovely back yard, moving on from the sad events of last week by ginning up another edition of the Jew News Review. Life is Tov, and it’s good to be back in the saddle. Life can also throw you curve balls, and this week, The Forward hurled one at me in the form of a glitch on their website that prevents me from downloading this weeks pdf version of the weekly edition. I will, however, provide a link to their website where you can drill down deeper into this week’s stories, as I am sure you are all deeply committed to do.
What a week. While Uncle Joe was gallivanting about the world stage, playing footsie with Putin, the Delta Covid-19 variant spiked new virus concerns abroad, and raised concerns it could end up here as well. The Republican party continues its spiraling descent into depravity and lunacy, with a new poll showing 65% of them think that Biden’s win was solely the result of election fraud, and 29% have indicated they will never accept Biden as their President. Makes me want to puke. But, what you may ask, of the news for Jews this week? Well, one story I will not revisit is Marjorie Taylor Wackjobs visit to the Holocaust Museum. Thankfully she apologized for comparing Capital Hill mask wearing rules to the Holocaust, but this nut job needs to disappear. And, now, on with the show we go:
- Juneteenth and the analogies to The Exodus – It was Juneteenth, and not the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that marked the end of slavery in this country, and will now be recognized as a Federal holiday. The story draws the obvious parallels to The Exodus. Kind of a meh story, as clearly the more interesting story around Juneteenth was the effort by a 96 year old black woman, Opal Lee, who lobbied for several years to make it happen. When she was 89 she walked from Texas to Washington DC to raise money and awareness around establishing the holiday. But for her, this new Federal holiday would not be.
- Geek on the run: A Black Jewish Ivy Leaguer trying to make the Olympics – Raised by a mixed race Jewish couple in Illinois, this former Brown student and avid comic book fan is running 93 miles a week in an attempt to make it to Tokyo for the Steeple Chase event. I am always impressed by the many ways Jews find to excel in our culture and society, and this story about Jordan Gershon Mann offers another such example.
- Using God to get laid – You read that right. This Dear Bintel letter is from a guy who once lied about his belief in God in order to have a reverential evening with a young lady. Don’t get me wrong, who hasn’t spun a tale or two in order to schmooze their way into the hearts, minds and private parts of a potential mate? For example, I recollect with a self-satisfied smile the time I asked a Jewish college friend to check out my Torah etchings in my dorm room. Sound familiar? As for this letter writing schmuck, why he is feeling guilty about it after so many years, one can only guess. But there is a reason if you care to read about it.
- Jews in Ballet – Again, you read that right. Another epic entry in the “did you know Jews did that?” book, this time on the role Jews played throughout the history of this boring dance/art. Ok, other than the obvious Guglielmo Ebreo (William the Jew, who eventually converted to Christianity), name a few other Jewish Ballet dancers. Coming up short? Follow Beatrice Waterhouse’s Jewish Ballet blog if you want to learn about more of them.
- Kosher Ham? – Again, you read that right. Your really can’t make this stuff up. Paul Finkelman of Albany, NY was shopping at his local Price Chopper and ran across the Kosher symbol clearly labelled on some processed ham offering. He started sharing the picture with some friends, it went viral, and then the OU authorities reached out to him and admitted it was a mistake. The company pulled the items from the shelf. So, for those of you keeping kosher, don’t go using that non-kosher ham in your ham and cheese sandwich!
There were a few other items this week, but that’s all I can handle for one week.
And hey, now that you have been warned about fake kosher ham, let’s be very careful out there!