Shabbat shalom! And a big shoutout and tip of the kipah to JNR friends Sophie and Eric, who, no fooling, will tie the knot under a hoopah on this April Fool’s day! Mazel Tov Sophie and Eric!
I might have said this once or twice before, but what a crazy f-ing week! Hard to wrap my addled brain around so much happening on so many fronts, but let’s dive head first into the shallow end and deal with a certain orange turd that has left an indelible stain on our country’s soul. I heard someone say the other day that in the last 30 years, there have been three major catastrophic self-imposed mistakes that are still damaging the country: The Iraq war, The Roe decision, and the election of you know who. Couldn’t agree more. But the orange stain doesn’t want to fade away, and unless the a-hole drops dead from eating too many cheeseburgers, his dark shadow will continue to be a gloomy, divisive presence on our collective psyche, as if someone had taken a black sharpie and scrawled “schmuck” on the country’s forehead. Maybe it will fade away, but what an embarrassment in the meantime. And despite two impeachments, an insurrection, and now an indictment, the Republican party is still solidly behind him, and his polling and fund raising is only getting better. Makes me want to puke. I just did.
So, how do I feel about his indictment? Ugh. I would love to see him in an orange jump suit, cuffed, and doing a perp walk, followed by an indictment party, as Sandy has mentioned more than a few times. But, I have an awful feeling about opening this Trumpian box, even though I think he needs to be accountable for flaunting and breaking the law and for being a total a-hole. To paraphrase Dylan “even the president of the United States, Sometimes must have, To stand naked.” Sorry for the Dylan reference, as the mental image of a naked Trump is a bit frightening, but you get my point.
For those of you old enough to remember, in 1987 there was a supreme court justice fight over the nomination by Ronald Reagan of Robert Bork to replace a moderate on the Supreme Court. Bork’s nomination was fought hard by Democrats and an ugly liberal anti-Bork campaign, which ultimately led to the rejection of Bork and the travesty of a process we have now in confirming SJC nominees in which nominees do not answer any substantive questions to avoid being “borked”. My point is, indicting the orange turd is the right thing to do, but it will fester in the vengeful minds of Republicans, who will use the precedent to indict Democratic Presidents for stupid stuff. And that brings me full circle: we wouldn’t even be having this conversation but for one, narcissistic, horrible human being, so, the best outcome is still one that sees him drop dead from eating too many cheeseburgers.
Speaking of beef, can we talk about the elephant in the dining room? There is a new manufactured meat on the market making headlines. Some marketing geniuses in Australia decided to use the DNA from a woolly mammoth to grow a giant meatball! No April Fool’s joke! See the picture below, and tell me you wouldn’t want to have that baby tucked between a crusty french bread and smothered with provolone cheese and marinara sauce! Looking for something new to serve at your Seder? Maybe add it to your (already cluttered with woke symbols) Seder plate to symbolize scientific progress? News of the mastodon meatball sent Sandy scurrying through our collection of children’s books to unearth one of our kid’s favorites, “Your Mother was a Neanderthal”, by Jon Scieszka, which included a plucky woolly mammoth with an odd sense of humor that delighted our kids.
The other elephant in the room is yet another mass shooting and kids being killed. I still don’t understand why the right thinks the price of freedom to buy military grade weapons is worth a single child’s death, never mind being the leading cause of deaths among children in this gun loving land of the free. Why are we the only country with this problem? Easy access to guns. Period.
Pretty brutal news week. So, let’s get to the good stuff. Freedom! Exodus! Plagues! Passover is in the air! I have been diligently de-crumbing the house, and will even wash the garage floor later today! Even more exciting than the garage floor….this is the first year that Govermans will outnumber Hirshs at the Seder table! Mom, Bill, Phyllis and Carrie are all coming to Sharon to break matzah and celebrate Passover. Life is Tov. But, what about some real news of the Jews you may be asking? What about Nut-and-Yahoo hitting the “Pause” button on gutting democracy, aka “judicial reform”? Well, ask, and you shall receive:
- Negotiations for compromise “Dead in the water” before they even began – Things are not off to a good start. The Nut-and-Yahoo Coalition is insisting it take control of the Judicial Selection Committee, a non-starter for the opposition, killing any chance of an agreement before negotiations even get off the ground. Netanyahu on March 27 agreed to suspend the legislation — notably including the bill to change the Judicial Selection Committee, which was to have been approved by the Knesset within days — until the Knesset returns on April 30. The overhaul would end up passing “one way or another,” and the “lost balance” between the branches of government would be restored, he said. “We will not give up on the path for which we were elected,” he vowed. Read the story.
- LA synagogue hosts ‘Mitzvah Mania’ with Jewish pro wrestlers – Yes, you read the right, Jewish Pro wrestlers. What Jewish mother would let her kid become a pro wrestler? Apparently Mrs. Colton. Colt Cabana, real name Scott Colton, is used to walking out to crowds of hundreds of fans as a member of All Elite Wrestling, a popular show that airs on channels such as TBS and TNT. On Sunday, he’ll be wrestling at a synagogue. Temple Beth Am, located in Los Angeles’ heavily Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson, is putting on “Mitzvah Mania,” a one-off show with mostly Jewish wrestlers. It’s pegged to another event taking place this weekend: “WrestleMania,” the annual marquee event for the WWE, the country’s largest professional wrestling series. In addition to Cabana, attendees will see former Jewish WWE stars Lisa Marie Varon (or Victoria, as she was known in the ring) and Chris Mordetzky (a two-time National Wrestling Alliance champion known as Chris Masters and later Chris Adonis). Who knew?
- On Culture: It’s a date: Netflix’s ‘Jewish Matchmaking’ debuts May 3 – (JTA) — A matchmaker who says she has successfully paired 200 Jewish couples is the star of “Jewish Matchmaking,” a Netflix series that is set to start streaming May 3.Netflix announced the series, a spinoff of its wildly successful “Indian Matchmaking” show, nearly a year ago. Now, new details that the streaming giant released on Thursday reveal that it will take place in both the United States and Israel, and will feature people from a variety of Jewish backgrounds. Their guide will be Aleeza Ben Shalom, an Orthodox Jewish dating coach with a decade of experience who was based in the Philadelphia area and moved to Israel two years ago. Read the story.
- Civil War Passover Seder memorialized in West Virginia: Twenty Jewish Union soldiers under the command of future President Rutherford B. Hayes built an area for services, held Seders, and recalled the exodus from Egypt. They lacked charoset, but their “Yankee ingenuity prevailed,” wrote one participant. It was a “bright spot and peaceful moment” during a period marked by carnage, said Drew Gruber, executive director of Civil War Trails, a group that is unveiling a sign Monday at the site of that 1862 Seder. Read the story ➤
- 🤦 Trump goes whacko in Waco – Moments after former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday, he appeared to blame George Soros, the Democratic donor and Holocaust survivor. “Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace,” Trump said of the prosecutor who brought the charges in emails to reporters and social media posts. Bragg is among a number of liberal prosecutors backed by Color of Change, a political action committee where Soros is the largest funder. (JTA) 💰 Invoking Soros is a go-to for right-wing politicians and activists that many see as rooted in the antisemitic trope of a moneyed Jewish puppet master. But Alan Dershowitz, the celebrity lawyer who was Trump’s counsel during his first impeachment, recently said it’s fine to criticize Soros because “he’s not much of a Jew.”(Forward)
- 🇷🇺 Russia detained a Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich and accused him of spying. It’s the first such allegation against an American journalist since the Cold War, and comes a week after the U.S. arrested Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a Johns Hopkins University graduate student, accusing him of spying for Russia. (CNN)
- ⚽ FIFA, soccer’s governing body, canceled Indonesia as host of the men’s Under-20 World Cup because of protests over Israel’s participation. This is the first year Israel has qualified for the tournament, which is scheduled to start May 20. The governor of Bali asked that Israel not play in his province, and conservative Muslims staged an anti-Israel march in Jakarta on Monday. FIFA has said it will find a new host city. (AFP, New York Times)
- ⚖️ Who is the bigger a-hole? An Israeli judge ordered Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to pay roughly $19,500 to Stav Shaffir, a leftist member of Knesset, who sued him for libel over his Tweets about her.(Haaretz, Times of Israel)
I will be taking next week off to focus on family and holiday fun! I hope you all have a great Passover Seder! Chag sameach! And hey, let’s remember to be careful out there!