Shabbat shalom everyone!
On this hot and humid morning, I can’t help but think about my grandson. Not because I haven’t seen him in over a week (hint, hint) but, despite my “No Negative Energy” commitment, I can’t help but think about his future on our beautiful, but over-carbonized planet Earth. I am not a climate alarmist, but the “code red for humanity” warning just issued by the UN’s IPCC on the dire state of our planet’s ability to continue absorbing carbon emissions was the cherry on top of a pretty shitty news week. That news, combined with the report of July being the hottest month in the history of the planet, and the book I just completed (Under a White Sky) about humans making mistakes on trying to correct environmental mistakes made by humans, got me thinking too much about the grim climate situation, and what it might mean to Max and his grand children. However dire the predictions, I am a believer that technology, market forces, and our genetic wiring to survive and evolve will drive a solution, or multiple solutions to our current carbon catastrophe. So, just try and be chill over this climate crap, and try to keep all your emissions to net-zero, please.
And what about Cuomo? What a shit-head. This is a guy with three daughters, who of course he invoked in a lame non-apology apology, and one of his daughters, Michela, was/is very active in the #MeToo movement. Apparently, at Brown, she was a sexual assault peer educator! And there is an image of her online showing her with “STILL NOT ASKING 4 IT” written in black marker on her upper chest, a declaration that women’s clothing choices are never an invitation for unwanted advances! You really can’t make this shit up.
On the good news front, I am finishing up my radiation therapy treatments on Monday (yeah technology!) and my sister Phyllis will be in for a visit this week as well. So, much to look forward to, including this week’s review of the news for Jews, courtesy of The Forward. So, without further ajieu, here you go:
- 5 Things Jews can do to help stop climate change – I kid you not, there is a Jewish spin on climate change. And of course, The Forward is on top of it. And no, it’s not about reducing CO2 emissions from more efficient shofar blowing, or using matzo dust particles dropped into the stratosphere to absorb sunlight. Suggestions such as taking it seriously, sermonizing about it at Shul, eating faux meat, and other cockamamie ideas are offered up by this wise Jewish climate sage.
- Jewish wisdom and Cuomo – WTF? This is actually a decent piece on how shitty his apology really was, and what he might have actually done to make it real. As the book of Proverbs puts it, “When arrogance appears, disgrace follows; wisdom is with those who are unassuming”.
- Who is the “most-watched Jew in television history”? Ah, I have often pondered that precise question. And now I have an answer! This was my favorite story of the week. The answer is, Don Francisco, host of Univision’s “Sabado Gigante” which signed off after 53 years broadcasting – a Guinness World Record. His real name is Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, originally a German Jew whose family fled to Chile after Kristallnacht. This is an interview with him that originally appeared in Forbes. Fun read and great George Bush anecdote.
- Disney star Raviv Ullman wants to be your rabbi – Who the hell is Raviv Ullman? I never heard of him or the show he starred in, but kudos to him for carrying on his Judaism via hosting Shabbat dinners at college and now via his podcast that tries to bring Torah to life.
- Shabbat sermons a casualty of the pandemic? So, another silver lining to the pandemic? Apparently Orthodox rabbis have gotten the hint that less is more when it comes to sermons. God bless them! They should remind themselves that the average attention span of an American Jew is about as long as a tweet.
- Holy Land theme park being replaced by a medical building – Just down the street from “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” museum in the Orlando area, this kitschy theme park was originally built by a Jew who converted to Christianity and became a Baptist minister. However, not surprisingly, the theme park has not done so well, and was recently sold to a Seventh-Day Adventist health system for $32 million. Reverend Marvin Rosenthal, raised Jewish in Philadelphia, sought to use the museum to educate Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, and to proselytize Jews to abandon their faith. The latter goal clearly not a good business model.
- Yiddish theater and rock and roll! The Fillmore East, long known as “The Church of Rock and Roll”, celebrated the 50th year of its closing in 2021. However, before it became known for launching famous rock groups, it began life as the Commodore Theater, a mixed use 2,200 seat entertainment complex for movies, vaudeville, and Jewish night school. Built by Jewish entertainment entrepreneurs, Elias Meyer and Louis Schneider, the architect was known for building oriental and Deco styled theaters. With the rise of talking pictures and the fall of live entertainment, the Commodore became a mecca for local talent, including many yiddish speaking performers. Yawn.
- California gives $15M to a synagogue – The money will be used to restore this historic synagogue in east LA, and hopefully spur collaboration among the Jewish, Latino and other minority communities in the Boyle Heights section of the city. Good to see some of the historic budget surplus in California going to a Jewish cause. This Shul used to be the largest west of Chicago, and this 18,000 square foot Byzantine revival structure with a Jewish star above its main entrance is a remnant of a bygone time when Eastern European Jewish immigrants populated the area alongside Latino, Japanese, and Black working-class neighbors.
That’s all for the week! And hey, let’s not forget Delta madness, so mask up out there, and be safe!
Brad out. https://pdfhost.io/v/PZBQvKPU8_ForwardYourWeekendReads081321.pdf?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_2720451