Shabbat shalom JNR community! And happy July 4th weekend! And a shout out to Beth and Michael Stone, whose daughter Samantha is getting married tomorrow in Chicago! We will miss you all!
This grey dreary morning, I begin with lyrics from Jefferson Airplane’s classic “White Rabbit” (from the 60’s, when music meant something)
“When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backward
And the red queen, she’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head, feed your head”
Despite what you may think, the mushrooms in my omelette this morning were not of the psilocybin variety. The song popped into my head after literally chasing rabbits out of my garden. The furry little bastards were making a meal of our vertical phlox! Shortly after my Elmer Fudd-like pursuit of these garden munching wabbits, I heard the news that Bill Cosby, the world’s most notorious sexual predator, had been freed by the courts on a technicality. Holy shit, what the F is going on in this country when a confessed sexual predator is allowed to roam free while Brittany Spears is confined as a ward of the state and demented father! Logic, at least in this matter, has clearly “fallen sloppy dead”.
So, in order to try and return my world order back to some semblance of sanity, I ran to Costco. Feeling somewhat guilty that I have not planned our usual display of fireworks to celebrate our nations birth, I elected to assuage that guilt with the purchase of some traditional garlic seasoned Costco chicken wings. Nothing better symbolizes and celebrates the birth of a nation than a finger food platform for blue cheese and other fine condiments. Somewhat shocking to me was the price I had to pay for those patriotic pleasures, apparently the result of supply chain issues impacting the entire chicken wing industry! Who could have predicted that chicken wings would become the new toilet paper in this post-pandemic time! The JNR investigative reporting team has determined that the shortage is the result of a combination of bad weather, higher demand, and labor shortages. But, fear not people, supply is slowly returning, and eventually, logic and the world order will return to normal. But until then, remember what the dormouse said, feed your head – with lots of high priced chicken wings.
Now, onto the news of the Jews, which I know is top of mind for most of you. Lots of coverage of the Surfside tragedy, and some other interesting tidbits, which are summarized thusly:
- Surfside Tragedy coverage – There are 3 stories about this horrible disaster in this week’s edition. The reason for the coverage is that the building is/was located within a fairly vibrant Jewish Community. I can’t imagine what the families are going through as it’s kind of a mini-9/11, only the cause appears to be negligence vs terrorism. One story is about a Rabbi who used to live in the building, and is now helping the families to grieve and heal. Another is an opinion piece likening the tragedy to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 that saw 148 people perish within 18 minutes due to structural flaws and lack of responsive emergency personnel. The writer raises questions why there is no outrage and mandate for regulatory change. Lastly, there is a short blurb from a kosher market in Surfside, somewhat a waste of space, but provides some insights about the growth of Jews (app 5,000) and latinos in the area and the kosher markets and restaurants that support them.
- The Jews of Japan – Why am I picturing kimonos with Jewish stars and Samurai mohels? But this is a pretty cool story about a small and somewhat remote Jewish community in this intensely homogeneous land. While the community, located near this year’s Olympic village was originally composed of mostly Russian Jews, the demographic has shifted to mostly Jewish men (many expats and Israelis) that have married Japanese women. Many of the women convert to Judaism since there is no inherent conflict with Buddhism, unlike Christianity.
- What to do about a boyfriend who admires someone that is anti-semitic? Dump the a-hole? It’s a bit more nuanced, as this “Dear Bintel” letter writer tries to grapple with her long term black boyfriend who has been getting active in a Black Lives Matter chapter with a leader that promotes anti-semitic opinions. Where should she draw the line? If you care, read all about it and Bintel’s response/recommendation.
- LGBT Synagogues confronting a changing landscape – To wrap up Pride month, this article explores the history of LGBT synagogues and gives a sense of the tremendous progress the Reform and Conservative movements have made in acceptance and integrating the community. Gay members in those synagogues look more toward advocacy vs acceptance, but the Orthodox still have a ways to go. While they have not yet sanctioned marriage equality, some at least are open to performing “commitment ceremonies”.
- A Jewish comic’s golf stunt gets attention — from the Feds – Jake Adams thought his idea to hit a golf ball at a park in every state was a good idea, until….Now it’s going to cost him $5,000 and up to six months in jail! And i thought my golf game needed a redo!
- Andrew Young, civil rights icon: A reflection on his relationship with the Jewish community – A nice look back by the son of an activist rabbi, (who claims his Dad was the most arrested and jailed rabbi during the civil rights movement) at Andy Young’s close ties and relationship to Jews. He is partly one himself (his maternal great grandmother married a Polish Jew) and Young’s father was a dentist and one of his patients was none other than Louis Armstrong, who wore a Star of David necklace as a tribute to the Jewish family that bought him his first cornet. This anecdote and others make for an interesting read.
- Can Shabbat be #selfcare? Are there ways to use Shabbat to unplug, be more mindful, and make it the centerpiece of Jewish self care? Lord only knows. As long as it includes the ritual reading of the Jew News Review, I am a big believer in promoting such self care. So read on, and feel better about yourself.
All for now folks, and I shouldn’t need to remind you, be careful out there.
Brad out. https://pdfhost.io/v/Qs1B9~HeW_ForwardYourWeekendReads070221pdf.pdf