Shabbat shalom everyone! I hope you have been shaking your Lulav and Etrogs and having a swell Sukkot! And don’t forget to stock up your Sukkot with extra toilet paper as disrupted supply chains once again wreak havoc on some basics. And how many of you celebrated the little-known American Jewish holiday, National Fried Rice day last week?
Before I dive into the Jewish end of today’s story-pool, indulge me in a trip in the wayback machine. The date is September 2, 2004, and I was on a business trip staying at a very upgraded room on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel on 6th Ave, NYC. I was there on business, but coincidentally, the Republican National Convention was taking place that same week in Madison Square Garden where the delegates were scheduled to confirm the Bush-Cheney ticket. Turns out that Dick Cheney was staying on my floor, which explained the crazy amount of security present in the hallway. Walking into the normally sparsely occupied executive lounge for breakfast, I am greeted by an overflow crowd and nowhere to sit for my morning coffee and buffet breakfast. Seeing my plight, a few kind folks at a crowded table of about 6 invite me to take an empty chair, and me being the friendly type, accept their kind offer. Normally the Hilton TV’s are set to CNN, but that week, for obvious reasons they were all tuned to Fox News. Pleasant conversations ensue, and I discover my new breakfast friends are delegates representing various states at the convention. “Am I a Republican?” one of them politely asks. They seem harmless, and although I was not a huge fan of John Kerry, that year’s Democrat choice, I am ready to engage, so I tell them no, I am a Dem. The response blew me away: “You know that Teresa Heinz (Kerry’s wife and heir to the Ketchup fortune) is a terrorist and financed the terrorist organization that launched 9/11?” Ok, had I been staying near a convention for the National Lunatic Association, maybe that comment would not have been so alarming, but these were delegates to the Republican National Convention!
The point of this story from the wayback machine is this: there has always been a fringe group of whack jobs in the Republican party, but until the orange turd, they were always on the fringe, not running the show. So, when the fringe is allowed to become the mainstream, we end up in a country where as Heather Cox Richardson so aptly put it, “leaders of the Republican Party have embraced authoritarianism, and their once-grand party—the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party that saved the United States in the 1860s, the party that removed racial enslavement from our fundamental law—has become an existential threat to our nation.”
Given the latest news revealing the orange turd’s plans and intentions to perform a coup, I can’t fathom why they haven’t yet arrested the A-hole for sedition and treason, but, let’s change swim lanes and talk Jew News. This week, The Forward is once again, NOT providing the usual weekly roundup of Jew news in the form of a tidy pdf. Hence, for another week, you will be subjected to my own selections, with links to read more if you like. Enjoy.
- Tucker Carlson is worse than an A-hole – The Anti Defamation League (ADL) has renewed its call for Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson after Carlson again promoted the racist “great replacement” theory and embraced other white-nationalist talking points this week. “To use his platform as a megaphone to spread the toxic, antisemitic, and xenophobic ‘great replacement theory’ is a repugnant and dangerous abuse of his platform,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Tucker is not just an A-hole, he is an angry, raw, stinking cyst on an A-hole that needs to be lanced. Click this for more
- Playing the “Mom Matchmaker” card – Having trouble finding your bashert? Tapping into a longstanding Jewish tradition, this new Jewish dating site, JustKibbitz, puts parents in charge. They can make accounts for adult kids and, through digital gift cards, even pay for the dates at places like Starbucks, AMC theaters and Chili’s. Baby back ribs and your mom? Who said romance was dead. Better than mom cat-fishing for you? Click this for more
- Israeli Government Coalition: Holding strong at 100 days – The good news is that so far, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to keep the coalition together. But, lurking in the shadows, former PM Benjamin Nutjobyahoo is scheming for a comeback. Will Ganz take the bait of the PM position and swing his way? Time will tell, but my Israeli friends remain encouraged at a period of normalcy and less lying. Sound familiar? Click this for more
- Iron Dome funding debacle – A part of me admires AOC for her youth, strong opinions and her appeal as a role model to the younger generations. But she really pulled a knuckle-headed move last week by leading 8 of her progressive friends to force leadership to pull $1B in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system from the latest stop-gap funding bill snaking its way through congress. With Bibi gone and a new more moderate coalition in place (one that includes support of the Arab-Israeli party), the move was dumb and was replaced immediately with a separate measure that got overwhelming bi-partisan support, which is not easy to do these days. AOC changed her vote on the later bill from “No” to “Present”, and wept on the House floor. Please spare us the crocodile tears AOC and Click this for more.
- Spending Sukkoth at A Queer Jewish Chicken Farm – There aren’t many headlines I get to write, or that I have seen, that include the words “queer”, “Jewish”, and “chicken farm” all in one headline. So, I felt compelled to include this story about a group that set up a farming cooperative called “Linke Fligl” (yiddish for left wing) nestled at the base of the Taconic Mountain Range outside Millerton, New York that purports to create a “land-based” Jewish observance through Adamah. “What we’re hoping to do,” said Ollie Schwartz, a co-director on the farm, “is give people one version of what it means to live Jewishly in connection to the land.” In a normal, non-pandemic year, the farm plays host to visitors and volunteers all year long. Queer college students host retreats on its premises. Local neighbors show up for garden work days followed by text learning. For years, the farm has hosted one of its biggest events on Sukkot, when dozens of guests come to camp and celebrate for several nights. Last year, of course, that didn’t happen. But now, the crew at Linke Fligl is ready to (cautiously) party. So there you go, a queer Jewish chicken farm. For more, Click here.
That’s all I have for this week. So, remember to be careful out there!