Shabbat shalom one and all.
Earlier this week I sold my Facebook stock. I am a big believer in high tech, and have made a good living from it for almost 40 years. I also believe there is some goodness in social media platforms in their ability to enable and build connective community tissue and make the world a flatter place. But the morons running and ruining Facebook have been revealed as unethical, greedy, immoral and uncaring. After the revelations this week from the whistleblower testifying before a congressional committee that the platform knew about the harm their product was causing to teenage girls and others, but did nothing to stop it, well, that was the last straw for me. Unfortunately, I don’t think their behavior will change until someone from Facebook does a perp walk, and that won’t happen as long as they can hide behind Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Hence, a strong “Sell” recommendation from yours truly. What really gets my goat is the fact that both Zuck and his suck-up COO sidekick, Sheryl Sandberg, are both Jews. I don’t care how much Zuck donates to Jewish charities, his lack of a moral compass to guide the good ship Facebook is deplorable. When I worked at Arthur Andersen many moons ago, I was required to take an ethics in business course (talk about irony!) and I still recall one of the major take-aways from the course was a simple rule: when faced with an ethical or moral decision, be guided by the question: “What would your mother think?”
Well, I know what my mother thinks about the Jew News Review (I don’t think she has sold her stock yet), and by now I am sure she is probably wondering “when the hell is he going to get to the news of the Jews this week”. But this week The Forward decided to dedicate their weekly to questions you may have about God. Some interesting stuff, but not that interesting. Besides, to steal a joke from Woody Allen, “not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on Sundays”. So mom, you are stuck once again with my own selections.
- Baseball’s 12 greatest Jewish playoff moments – It’s playoff time for America’s favorite past time (Go Red Sox!). Of course, when we think of Jewish baseball heroics in October, we immediately (and understandably) think of Sandy Koufax. But while the “Left Arm of God” certainly ranks high on any list of incredible World Series performances, Koufax is hardly the only member of the tribe to make a memorable mark in the postseason. After all, Ken Holtzman (not Koufax) is the winningest Jewish pitcher of all time. But he wasn’t the first Jewish pitcher to appear in a World Series. That was … well, you’ll have to read the story > to find out.
- Yiddish in Guatemala? Oy! – A group of former Christians and descendants from the Central American Maya people have converted to Judaism – and are speaking Yiddish (potential JNR subscribers?). Jewish activists from Brooklyn discovered the community, known as Ohr Chadash and affiliated with the Hasidic Satmar sect, on the outskirts of Guatemala City while on a mission to save members of the radical Lev Tahor sect who were hiding out in that country. (Mishpacha)
- Rembrandt’s “The Great Jewish Bride” lands in a Montreal museum – Supposedly Rembrandt used his wife as the model for this masterpiece, now hanging in the Montreal Museum of Modern Art courtesy of the Brown family. Geesh, if this lovely lady is the best we can do, I am surprised the tribe has made it this far! Read more here.
- Raiders of the lost Crapper – A 2,700-year-old toilet from the days of the First Temple in Jerusalem has been discovered by Israel’s Antiquities Authority. Built as a private stall at a time when few could afford such a luxury, the toilet was unveiled to the public this week at an archaeology conference, though for viewing only. Read the story >
- On this week in history: “The Jazz Singer,” the first prominent “talkie” movie, premiered on Oct. 6, 1927. The film depicts the fictional story of Jakie Rabinowitz, a young man who defies the traditions of his devout family (his dad is a cantor) to become an entertainer. Underscoring the film’s tug of war between the secular and the divine, the premiere took place at Warner Bros.’ flagship theater in New York City on the evening of Yom Kippur.
- Ending with an A-hole – Fox News’ Tucker Carlson announced he has an hourlong special coming in December on how Jewish billionaire George Soros is “harming civilizations around the world.” The Hungarian-born Soros, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, has long been a Carlson target: “If you’re wondering why so many people are being robbed, raped and killed in American cities right now,” he remarked on an episode last year, “George Soros is part of the reason for that.” Meanwhile, Tucker A-hole and is campaign of virus misinformation, is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands. I would honestly cold cock his stupid face if I ever met him in person. ” (Twitter)
That’s all I have this week. And hey, please remember to be careful out there.