Lots going on this weekend!
But first, some sad news. One of our JNR crew, Mildred “Millie” Berman passed away a few days ago from liver cancer. Millie was our resident Yiddish expert, and all around wonderful human being. Many use the Yiddish word “Mensch” do describe a “stand up guy”, but the word is more aptly described by a Yiddish scholar as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” Putting a picture of Millie next to that definition would only begin to do her and her legacy justice. Many were touched by her acts of kindness and charity through her involvement with the Council on Aging, the Sharon Mens Club, Meals on Wheels and others. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies to all her family and many, many friends. “Ha’makom yenahem etkhem betokh she’ar avelei Tziyonvi’Yerushalayim. May God console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem”.
On a happier note, I am pleased to welcome a few new members to the JNR tribe. JNR policy, like the Jewish religion, does not believe in promotion or proselytizing. Hence, while new members are always welcome, we rely on word of mouth advertising to increase our readership even though the JNR is now available on multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Substack and or course the JNR website). So, a big welcome to a couple of new JNR members, Janet Frank, a long and dear friend of me mum’s, and Louann Carlan, David Hirsh’s significant other.
We are also pleased and excited about getting together today with the Millstone crew, who will make the long journey from the North Shore to JNR headquarters in Sharon in order to have a visit with me mum, a kibbitz, some BBQ, and a few laughs. And joining us all the way from New York, we are excited to welcome my first cousin, Beth Lilac, for a long overdue visit. We hope the weather will hold!
Now, on with the show.
Billionaires and rocket ships. Does anyone really think that the Branson, Musk, Bezos space ride is an attempt to “democratize space travel’? Who are they kidding? Such bullshit. Literally billions of us saw the Branson show and out of those billions there are 600 on the waiting list to spend $250k for 3 minutes of weightlessness and a glimpse of the Karman Line? Crigie! The money wasted on these vanity voyages could certainly be put to better use than wasting it on some billionaire space age ego trip. But, hold the fort. While the investor class has raised millions for these supposed “business ventures”, I am proposing we launch our own JNR rocket man venture. With the proceeds from our JNR swag sales, combined with a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) I am currently establishing, we can launch our own rocket and bring the JNR weekly to the outer limits of space. How cool would it be to see a JNR mug sitting on the window portal of a sleek new rocket ship with the JNR logo proudly emblazoned on it’s hull? Stay tuned for further investor details.
Today marks the Jewish holiday Tisha B’av, a holiday I don’t much recall in my early Jewish education. It is a day of fasting, to reflect on the destruction of the two temples way back when. So there’s that, but let’s put that aside for now and focus on other Jew News of the week, which I know is foremost in the minds of most. So here you go, courtesy of The Forward:
- Anne Frank revisited: Keeping the story alive – Ari Folman’s new film “Where is Anne Frank” premiered to acclaim at this year’s Cannes festival. Great idea to help keep the story alive for younger generations. Sounds like some weirdness interspersed with imaginative ways of capturing and engaging a younger audience. And Folman wraps a message around the film to honor the Holocaust memory by stopping deportations and not turning our backs on the millions of immigrants and refugees seeking to remain in wealthy European countries like Holland and Germany.
- TikTok and Antisemitism – I am no fan of these cat video inducing social media platforms, but TikTok quickly took hold and is growing rapidly. They apparently have one of the best algorithms on the platforms. They recently featured a few Jewish creators, and low and behold, lot’s of antisemitic comments flourished. Shocking. The question posed by this piece is whether this is more than the normal level, or has the reporting of a 900% increase by the media overblown the issue? How are they counting?
- Psychiatrist takes over this man’s life – now coming to a screen near you – And you thought Britney had it bad? Wait till you read this gem about a prominent psychiatrist that takes over the life and bank account of Martin Markowitz. Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd have made this story into a limited mini-series set to premier November 12 on Apple TV+. Looks like it could be interesting!
- Williamsburg’s first Hasidic Art Gallery – No, not that Williamsburg. Meet the husband and wife team behind the hasidic communities first art gallery. Portraits of eminent rabbis, scenes of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, sculptures of men kissing their tefillin…..what could be more compelling to get you to visit this community just off Flushing Avenue in New York?
- Angry professors make a statement about anti-Israel union – The professional staff union at CUNY passed a resolution last month condemning Israel. So, these professors decided to make their voices heard and resigned from the union. Good for them. I know Israel is not winning the hearts and minds of American Jews these days, but when a recent poll showed 25% of us American Jews believe Israel is running an Apartheid policy, there is much work to be done.
- How to be sad on Tisah B’av – I just learned how to spell it, never mind figure out how to be sad during it. The halachic rules of the holiday are straightforward: don’t eat or drink, bathe or have sex, sit or sleep in comfortable positions, wear leather shoes or put on makeup or lotion. Little did i realize that except for the eating and drinking part, I was already following the rules! That really is sad.
- How to follow Team Israel at the Olympics – There is a social media page dedicated to following the Israeli athletes, aptly named Follow Team Israel. Great idea conceived of by an Australian transplant and a few other passionate followers. When asked about which Israeli athletes to watch in Tokyo, one of the founders, David Wiseman responded, “It’s like asking which of your kids is your favorite. The answer is all 89 of them.”
- A Colorado shul at 9,000 feet – A real rocky mountain high, they have dubbed themselves the “Shul with Altitude”. Cool story, makes me want to join up with the crew! There is also a deep history of Jews in Colorado, dating back to the early 1800’s miners and trappers that settled the area back then. Of course the Jews were not the miners and trappers, but the business folk in the mining camps and towns who also spearheaded the fight against tuberculosis with the founding of the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver in 1899, leading Golda Meir to the city as a teen when her sister fell ill with the disease. So there you go.
Finally, Delta variant be damned, please be careful out there.