May 23, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 11

Shabbat Shalom shlemiels and shlimazels! (today’s yiddish lesson)
Well gang, we are OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!!!
While it’s clearly debatable whether it’s the right move or not, some of our neighbors are clearly confused about how we are managing the whole pandemic thing. 

Now, onto the Jewish headlines for the week:
– Will Jewish denominations survive the pandemic? A rake of Rabbi’s weigh in (tip: some good stuff, but skimmable)

– Will the newly formed Israeli government choke off hopes for middle east peace? Is Joe Biden right? Could his position cause a schism in Jewish support?

– On Culture: Mandy Patinkin’s son takes over his twitter account

– Dear Abbys: When the vacuum becomes your new best friend and other life challenges answered

– Tefillin or Not Tefillin – One man’s journey to combine the spiritual and the religious

All for now! Enjoy the long weekend everyone!
And hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out

May 16, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 10

Shabbat Shalom from Massajewsetts!
Welcome to Quarantine week 10 (yikes! Double digits!). Thought i would add a bit of New Yorker humor to help chill the stress levels.

“Hey, the experts are saying it’s safe to go out again…”Instead of going out, may I suggest a  Quarantine tip of the week? Power washing. It’s the greatest thing ever invented. Mindless, therapeutic, instant gratification only a millennial could enjoy as much as i do. I am power washing the entire neighborhood, but keeping an appropriate social distancing in the process. 
Now for the headlines this week, the stories I know keep you constantly refreshing your email:
– Reform jewish movement going broke! Layoffs imminent. Existential threat? Is there Jewish life after Covid? Don’t worry, the Jew News Review finances are in tip top shape. 

– Social distancing arrests in New York being questioned. Are Jews and other minority communities being singled out? Oh, 6 feet! I thought you said 6 inches…

 “A Jew and a Pastor walk into a food pantry ” No joke, this pastor is feeding and caring for a lot of folks with the help of Jewish volunteers from a nearby temple

– A virtual Jewish Food Festival drawing big names in Jewish cooking May 19-28!! Sing up now! Joan Nathan, Leah Koenig and others! Breakout sessions include: “The great Shabbat cook along” and the ever popular, “A Spicy Havdalah”

– On Culture: Little Richard’s Jewish connections. Was he really Jewish? 

– Danny Pearl’s parents are fighting to keep his Pakistani killers in jail. The Wall Street Journal reported was beheaded by terrorists 18 years ago. Their sentences were reduced to kidnapping and time served. Bastards. The Pearls have turned their grief into action for positive change.

All for now, Brad out. Enjoy the weekend!
And hey, let’s be careful out there.

May 8, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom – The Jew News Review – Mother’s Day Edition – Quarantine Week 9

To all our mothers out there, a special shabbat shalom! I love you mom!
And to the rest of you, a gutn, vi azoy zent ir! (check your yiddish dictionary, which I know you keep nearby)
Quarantine tip of the week: Stoli Doli’s. A simple infused vodka drink, easy to make. Buy a fresh pineapple, cut it up into chunks, dump into a large container, add a fifth of your favorite vodka, put a lid on it, then let sit for 12 days, minimum. On the twelfth day, serve with abandon. Shake with ice, then pour into a martini glass. Bliss. Drink responsibly, but if you want to supersize it, go with 2 pineapples and use a handle of your favorite vodka.
Now, onto the week’s headlines:
Recalling a mother’s love: 16 stories from Forward readers. Now what could be more satisfying than reading about Jewish mothers? And, given our quarantine, avoiding the battle of brunch reservations at the same time!

How do you tell your special needs child there is no summer camp this year? There are over 165 Jewish summer camps in the US and over 100 of those offer programs for special needs kids.

– Remembering Freddie Pressman – Do you know a Freddie in your life or community?

– The post-pandemic Synagogue: will this transform Jewish ritual life? Should it? With 32% of Jewish millennials describing themselves as having no religion or only affiliated by ancestry, the future was already pretty bleak. This poses some interesting questions for post-pandemic Jewish life.

– Love and marriage in the time of Corona Virus: A Zoom wedding at Holmby Park, LA kicks off an article about creative ways to channel traditions in non-traditional settings

The heart-ache and profound humanity of being a Rabbi during this pandemic: a Rabbis story of dealing with exponential deaths – Starts with a wonderful anecdote from a Jimmy Breslin column about the last person to serve John Kennedy. Pretty gripping stuff.

– Hype Posts: The latest dating craze in the AC period (After Corona) – All i can say is, thank god i am not dating anymore. But if anyone needs a wingman, I am available for a small fee.

On Culture: Another story from the Lox Bar – This time it’s Yitzchak Perlman, not Woody Allen’s mother

That’s it! Enjoy!
And Hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out

May 1, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 8

Hello Heebs! Comment allez-Jew?
Quarantine tip of the week: Tree and plant nurseries are open! So, grab your masks and buy a few shrubberies, and get outdoors and do some planting! Good time to start that cannabis garden you have been thinking about for years.
And, coming to you as usual, your weekly inoculation of News for Jews:
– Jewish Summer camps cancelled: oh no, what do we do with these kids now? And how about those out of work counselors and withering camp finances? Read all about it

.- How to look good on Zoom (hint: dont go to the bathroom in the middle of a meeting) That gem, and 9 others to surely make you look good on camera. Believe me, you need it

.- deBlasio, NYPD and that Orthodox funeral. Oy, what a mess.

– On Culture: Unorthodox a “dangerous, misleading fairy tale of transitioning from the secular world”? The criticisms continue to pile up, but at least it’s getting talked about.

– On Culture: Is Doron from Fauda sexy and hot? Inquiring minds want to know, but as for me, i think he’s a bit of a shlub.

– The great debate: Should American Jews celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut? (Isreali independence) Honestly, Jews could debate just about anything.

And hey, let’s be safe out there.
Brad out

April 24, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 7

Hey Heebs. Shabbat Shalom!
By now, many of us dealing with this plague and its consequent isolation are going a little mechuganah, which for you yiddishly uninformed, means batshit crazy. But, alas, Jew News Review comes this week, as it does every week, to bring a little light, and hopefully a little levity, to the end of your week, as well as usher in Shabbat. So, here are a few stories worth your attention, maybe:
– Orthodox jews in new york rally to organize a blood anti-body donor program from post Covid-19 patients– Fauda, the TV program about Israeli-Palestinian life and death security threats, gets an interesting review from a Palestinian-American. BTW, the show is written by Noah Stollman, Seth’s brother, who we met with at Smadar’s house before the 3rd season aired. Great writing makes a great show! But of course, lots of controversy on both sides.

– Social distancing for the Dead Sea Scrolls? say it aint so! But alas, the famous scrolls found in the Qumram caves in the 50’s and 60’s have gone into hermetically sealed hiding during the pandemic as they prepare the museum for a thorough cleaning. Despite Google creating a digital version using NASA technology, millions flock to visit the museum to be physically near them. Interesting stuff, read all about it.

– A parent prays for summer camps to be held despite the virus. Of course, its all about the experience for the child

.- One participant in the ‘March of the Living”, an adult tour of the death camps in Poland, describes her experience, and says the virtual version can’t replace the real one. – A cute fish story with a twist ending….worth it.

– A story of radical kindness, before and after pandemic. Always nice to read about our better angels when we get a daily dose of the opposite from the orange Turd. 

– Trump’s use of the phrase “Invisible Enemy” has ugly connotations for jews.- Corona virus makes flaunting wealth on social media taboo. I know i’m just a troglodyte for not having a twitter account, but for god’s sake, who really pays attention to high fashion mirror selfies and other  such “influencers” on social media? I want to join anti-social media platforms from now on. 

Added two newbies to the distribution this week, Jack Kane and brother Bill. Shabbat Shalom!
Hey, let’s stay healthy out there!
Brad out.

April 17, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom from Jew News Review!

Hello fellow Heebs, and no, i didn’t forget about last week. Jew News Review took a much needed break in order to prepare for the Passover Seder. I hope all my fellow Heebs on this email had a great Passover Seder, virtual or otherwise! And going into our 6th week of the Big Q, i hope it finds you all safe and healthy. Now for the (yawn) headlines:

– A synagogue communications director informs us about his role has evolved into a full time TV producer, and has some interesting speculation on the new normal. Could virtual connections increase interest in Jews who don’t feel Judaism “in the building” is not their cup of tea? 

– One New York writer wastes too much print on why he is missing his daily commute to and from the Bronx. Only a New Yorker would think that way.

– Satire: while others may be bragging about new found hobbies (reading all of Proust! High on my list too) and past times, this writer says phooey! Mostly what he is doing is going on social media and reading about what others are doing.

– A short essay describing a virtual bris turned baby naming

– Jewish teens sound off about anti-semitism

– Wearing a mask is a mitzvah – in case you needed the talmudic and biblical permissions, here you go.

– Why on this night do we dance? Really good question. An expression of freedom? A unification of spirituality? Read on to get your answer to this troubling spiritual question

.- And Finally: Readers share their Seder stories for this Pandemic Passover.

If you are old enough to remember the hit TV show, “Hill Street Blues”, I say, “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”

Brad out.

April 3, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom from Jew News Review!

Another week of batshit craziness. As we shelter in place, masked and gloved, let’s not forget to celebrate our Freedom this week as Passover begins on Wednesday evening (Erev Pesach). Seder planning is in full swing, and here at 91 Aspen, we have already started removing Chametz from the house with the help of Nox, the family dog.
This week’s stories are all about Passover during Coronavirus, with 20 influencers writing about the 11th plague, as if you needed to read more about it. But, here you go:
Stay safe everyone!

March 28, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! Another virtual update from your weekly purveyor of Jew News

Stay healthy everyone, and heed the advice on social distancing and good hygiene. Let’s flatten that curve!  Now, onto the news:

– Holocaust survivors use grit and humor to deal with this new affliction (on toilet paper: “Oh, no, do i have to go back using newspaper? On social distancing: ‘God saved me once, he’ll save me again, but maybe I can give him a little help this time’.” 

– Israeli EMS leader intubated from Covid 19 in Miami, only 46 years old

– Dear Abbys column returns to dish out more advice on Covid-19. one sample: “Yes, you should keep paying the cleaning lady.”

– The Haggadah in the times of Covid 19: you can bet i will be reading this one carefully

– Opinion: A journalist/professors angry vent on the orange turd we call President

– Hasidic virus hot spots in new york

– On Culture: well known curator of the art world, Maurice Berger, succumbs to Covid 19

March 21, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! Please Doven in place

Yes peeps, Jew News continues unabated and undaunted. Virus shmirus! But please, take this seriously and don’t take any unnecessary risks. 
Top items for the week:
– Doven in place! You thought i was kidding you? He that shall remain nameless is everywhere you let him in, so read all about the virtues of virtual dovening! And heed some of these great tips! (eg, dress the part , no pajamas!)

– Bar Mitzvah planned? You might need to cancel the party, but the spirit of the show must go on! 

– Dating during a pandemic: don’t kiss but do tell!

– Are millennials now the adults in the room trying to convince the older boomers to take the virus seriously? OK Millennials! About time you did something useful!

 – Diary of a day school mom: “my kid doesn’t think she needs pants”? Has she talked to my son who keeps losing his?

– A man on the street interview from 1918 during the Influenza epidemic. Interesting!

– On culture: The Plot Against America: Truer than you probably think.

March 14, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! Are we living through the eleventh plague?

Well, we have placed a mask over the mezuzah on the front door, just in case. I know, I know, masks don’t help, but we need to be sure Moses hasn’t decided we need an eleventh plague. Consider this move the modern version of lamb’s blood on the doorpost.

So, what’s new with Jew News this week you ask? Here are some of this weeks gems:
– Corona impacts: Shut down Shul? Say it aint so! Tough call for the Rabbis as usually during times of crisis, we want to pray together even more than usual!

– Finally, a consensus on what defines anti-semitism. Like we needed it. 

– Corona a Jewish plot? Anything can be used for anti-semitic purposes i guess.

– The scoop from Ground Zero: Inside New Rochelle’s Corona Containment Zone

– Opinion: someone has a problem with Bernie, but at this point, who cares?

– The Schmooze: Behind the scenes with the Rabbi on “The Plot Against America”, the new series based on Philip Roth’s novel. 

– On Culture: The photography of Arthur Rothstein: a focus on social justice.
Shabbat Shalom everyone! Stay healthy!