October 9, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 31 – Chaos Theory and A fly in the Ointment – Happy Sukkot!

Shabbat shalom!
The most remarkable part of the VP debate for me was clearly the fly that nested on Pence’s head for about 2 glorious minutes while he nattered on about something to do with law and order. The craziness of 2020 just marches on into more madness. You really can’t make this shit up. I think the last 4 years represent a manifestation of the Chaos theory which in mechanics and mathematics is the study of apparently random or unpredictable behavior in systems governed by deterministic laws.  I pray this chaos will lead to order on November 3rd.  

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We welcome 2 new members to the weekly tribe, both long time friends of the family,  Barbara Kramer and Jeff Davis. Shalom!Note to you all, please feel free to recommend others, we are a free and open, but remarkably exclusive group. You are welcome to forward along to others as well. 

Before we get to the News of the Jews for the week, I thought i would share a Sukkoth mitzvah I was happy to be a part of this week. It happened of all places in the Shaws Cobbs Corner parking lot, where i was confronted by an unusual man asking an unusual question: “Are you Jewish? Would you like to do a mitzvah?” Of course I would! Here is a selfie depicting the event i took after saying a few prayers with the lulav and etrog with my new friends.

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Now, for the Jew News of the week, courtesy of The Forward:
– Flygate: Talmudic connections to insects annoying leaders? Titus never should have questioned the power of a gnat in the hands of the almighty

– A Jewish Poet gets the Nobel prize for Literature – Mazel Tov Louise Gluck!  Former Pulitzer Prize winner, and recognized poet/writer, it never ceases to amaze me how much Jews have accomplished and contributed to the general good despite being such a small portion of the population. 

– She survived two pandemics and at age 102, still a political activist!  An inspiring story of Beatrice Lumpkin, east European immigrant still fighting the good fight, now focusing her efforts on voter suppression: “Racism lives on, antisemitism lives on,” she said. “It’s always important for Jews to vote.”

– Year round Sukkahs: LA dealing with homeless – “If you won’t build us enough shelters, we will”. Pretty pathetic story of LA’s homeless taking matters into their own hands.

– Our maskless President violating Jewish medical ethics? Skip this one, pretty lame IMHO.

– On Culture: The NHL and Zayde wisdom? A new Flyers draftee has the improbable name, Zayde Wisdom, and no, I am not making that up. He is not Jewish, but he should be.

– A Hasidic reporter standing up for social distancing: hmmm, think it might catch on with the rest of the Jewish nut jobs in Brooklyn and elsewhere? Read all about this self-taught journalist making and writing headlines in Orthodox communities and beyond


All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/ShabbatNL-100920-2.pdf

October 3, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 30 – Get well Mr Orange Turd, but not soon

Don’t know about all of you, but I find myself conflicted in the “wish him well” or not department. My basic humanity instinctively prefers the former, but after almost 4 years of this horrible human showing no sympathy or empathy to anyone but himself, I lean toward the latter. I think David Frum said it best, “Wish him well, but recognize that his deformed spirit will never be well —— and that nothing can be well for the country under his leadership.” Nuf said, I hate even bringing him into the weekly conversation. 

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In 2015, this Studio Ya Ya-designed sukkah — one of four at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem — found inspiration in the atrium’s existing flowers and water fountain. (Courtesy of Yarok Yarok Events Design)

Brad and Sandy’s backyard Sukkah
Shabbat Shalom family and friends! I know you have all been very busy building and preparing your sukkahs for the holiday as Sandy and I have been (pictured above), but take a break when you get a chance and read this week’s compendium of Jew News for the week, provided of course by The Forward. So, here you go:
– Who is a Jew? We are the rainbow religion! – Interesting article about Jews of color (10-15% of us!) that raises some interesting questions and observations of the faith. 

– Jewish museums in NY re-opening under Phase 4: good news before winter starts, but still a little unsettling sharing public space – I am not rushing out to any museums quite yet.

– What to cook for Sukkot to celebrate the fall harvest? Ponder no longer, and check out a few suggestions. I am leaning toward the Sharon lower east side knish! (ask me for the recipe)

– Amy Coney Barrett may be a disaster for women, especially working mothers, but she is quite the example of how a working mom “can have it all” – Agree with her or not, you can try and admire her accomplishments. 

–  “Heil honey, I’m home!” How did this 1990’s Hitler with Jewish neighbors sitcom make it on the air? Spoiler alert: it only aired one episode!

– Proud Boys vs Antifa: There is no equivalence, but the media continues to frame it  that way – Read this debate

– “When i hear Trump speak, I hear Hitler again. When i see his rallies, it’s like what I saw in Nazi Germany” – The wise warnings of a 100 year old Holocaust survivor.

– Do the Proud Boys know their anthem was written by a Gay Jew? They probably aren’t reading The Forward, so they may not! Love the Irony here

.- Is it ok to throw a “Cat-Mitzvah” for a beloved pet if you are not Jewish? Hmmmm, or as my daughter-in-law suggests, a “Bark-Mitzvah”?


All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-100220.pdf

September 26, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 29 – A Jewish American Hero Laid to Rest

Shabbat Shalom.
I am saddened by the loss of RBG, but because of her work and humanity, we should all feel prouder as Jews and Americans. Like all of us, she was not without her faults, but she represented the possibilities and hopes of ourselves and our country. Yesterday, she became the first woman, and first Jewish American, to lie in state at our nation’s capital and most probably the first person to ever be honored with ceremonial push-ups. Today, the orange turd will officially nominate her replacement, essentially giving the finger to RBG’s dying wish, and apparently, most of the country. Please don’t let the republican ghouls stomp on our country and values any longer, and make sure you get everyone you know to vote them all off the planet. 
Culture tip of the week: Apple + begins streaming the new Israeli spy show, “Tehran”. Same head writer as Fauda, but without Noah. Decent reviews, and the trailer looks good!
Yom Kippur begins Sunday evening. May you be sealed in the book of life!
And now, without further ajieu, here is the Jew News in Review:
– Was RGB a new kind of Jew? Her style was more Brooklyn than Brandeis.

– Cancel culture strikes again; Zoom, Youtube other platforms shut down PLO terrorist Leila Khaled – Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in fighting for the right of an asshole to speak their mind.

– From the advice column – Dear Bintel: I forgot to call when his mother died, what should i do now? My advice: Pick up the phone you moron…

– Zoom high holiday services a hit, but not helping the temple coffers – Maybe they should consider pay per view?

– Book Review: “Finding my Father” – if you are looking for something new to read, this might be interesting

– Reach out to family and get them to vote! – A democrat decided to reach out to her republican cousin and talk politics. Good idea!

– From the recipe book: A story about home made lentils and noodles…yummy!


All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-092520-final.pdf

September 19, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 28 – What a sad way to start a new year

Shana Tovah.
Just as the echos of virtual shofars were fading around the country, so was the life of a true American hero. And while her body of flesh and bone could hold on no longer, her body of work and her life’s spirit will live on, and we can only pray that a President Biden will have the honor of naming her replacement. We must commit ourselves to that fight in order to honor her memory and her last dying request. As Michelle Goldman of the New York Times said so well, “It doesn’t matter how exhausted we are, or how difficult the odds. In this hell-spawned year, we can either give up, or give everything we can to stop some of America’s worst men from blotting out the legacy of one of our very best women.”
While I am truly saddened today, I am also hopeful a new year will bring some goodness and health and happiness to you all! So, in the spirit of the new year, here is the weekly Jew news for your review:
– Has rapper Professor Griff of Public Enemy atoned for his anti-semitic remarks? Frankly, I don’t care, but if you do, read more about it!

– High holiday swag? You bet! Synagogues getting creative by using gift boxes delivered to congregants to keep them in the fold.

– Where are the women diplomats in peace negotiations? A gender view on the art (or lack there of) of diplomacy. 

– After WWII, Jewish Warsaw crumbled. But not in this father’s life and memory. An interesting piece about indelible memories of Jewish life in Warsaw.

– From chicken plucker to soda jerk, a nostalgic piece on what kids did for money way back when – I was once a short order cook, so this one brought back some of my own cooking memories!

– Dear Bintel this week features a husband who is sick of his wife (a converted jew) slamming their Jewish life in front of the in-laws. What to do? My advice, forget whatever the Talmud says, and just dump her.

– On Life: Is God felt more easily through music? Well, the hills are alive with the sound of music, so maybe it’s true?


Th-th-th-that’s all folks!
And hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-091820.pdf

September 13, 2020 – Happy Sunday! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 27 – Yo! Semites!

Shalom tribe!
I know, based on the flood of emails I received,  I am late this week with the latest installment. Please forgive me, but each time I started I got distracted. One such distraction was the second Zoom funeral we attended during this pandemic for a good friend of the family. So sad, but a sweet and tender send off. Made me think about the impact that Zoom is having on our culture, and with so much negative news about tech companies these days, it was good to be reminded how technology can also provide some good in the world. I am also reminded that 9/11 fell on Shabbat this year, and as usual, we think fondly and warmly about our cousin Robin who was lost on that tragic day. Our continued sympathies to Fran, Eddie, and Mark.
Before i get to the news, I wanted to share this bit of musical comedy that Alan Tenenhouse shared with me this week.  Hopefully it will make you smile and cringe at the same time. https://youtu.be/6mxYPTzDEMM

Now, on with the show this is it….(think looney tunes music in your head) 
Covid spiking big time  in Israel has a silver lining: Jewish and Arab doctors united and working together to treat and contain the spread and motivating other institutions as well – Wow. I know from an interview I had last week with an Israeli company that the Knesset is voting today on a dramatic shutdown of the whole country for 14 days! 

Haredi herd immunity? This Jewish sect in New York is conducting indoor weddings, no masks, no social distancing – I thought Jews were suppose to be smart?

– A Persian Jew in LA looking to make a difference – Friend of the Shah?

– Jew be nimble, Jew be quick, should this Jew throw out her Shabbat candlesticks? I would if i were her. What do you think?

– Kamala’s cooking: she can talk and baste turkey while formulating policy – Do women relate to her dancing between poultry and policy?

– Does God love us? Oy, not sure i can handle anything as deep as that on a football Sunday.

– Keeping the Holocaust real: Students interview survivors – Reminds me of the project my nephew Nathan did a few years back when he interviewed and wrote about a survivor. Keep it up kids!

Jewish art in Scotland pubs? The impact of Covid on this cultural institution – This is one i need to read more about!


Th-th-th-that’s all folks! And hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out. https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-091120.pdf

September 5, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 26 – Scooby-Jew2!

Shabbat shalom, and a Scoobie-Doo to all of you!
Well fellow hebrews, family and friends, it’s been a glorious weather week here in the greater Boston area. For me, that meant plenty of time in the garden, so i tackled a rather large project of moving a few larger plants around for better placement and ascetic purposes. During this effort, I hit a roadblock in the form of a very large boulder (see pic), and although i always feel gardening is a labor of love, moving this rock was more like the punishment of sisyphus. Rather than give up, I asked my landscaper to help, so 3 of his guys labored for about a half hour and eventually moved the giant rock out of the way. Why am i boring you with this gardening story? I couldn’t help but making the analogy of moving this boulder to removing from office the huge pile of orange excrement that is our current President. That analogy was partially aided by my mother’s practically daily venting of what new horrors the a-hole has committed. Lesson here is that we need to make every effort to cajole, bribe, extort, whatever, all of our friends and relatives and acquaintances, or anyone you see on the street that is of voting age, to move this awful boulder and blight out of office and into jail, which is where he belongs. Nuf said.

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Now for what you have all been constantly annoying me for (the emails never end!), the news of the jews for the week:
Israel secretly funding American PACS that support anti Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel. – I don’t like secrets, but i also don’t like the BDS movement.

A 600 page tome on Jewish laws around the Corona virus? Only Jews could pull that off, and this rabbi of rabbi’s started the process. What does Halacha have to say about a Zoom prayer meeting? Does it meet the minion requirements of Jewish Law? For those itching for an answer to this vital question, read all about here.

What to do about Rosh? Why not a virtual seder? Daniel and Ruth, this one’s for you. New Shofar blast: Zoom-iah!

– QAnon and anti-Semitism? Shocking. George Soros must have made that up

.- “Radical Amazement”, what is it, and why do we miss it? No, it’s not how Sandy feels about me.

– The role of Soup in Jewish History. Matzah ball molotov cocktails? I didn’t make this up, but the story came to light due to the orange turd’s baseless assertion of Campbell soup cans being weaponized by social justice protesters. Interesting read. 

– How my dear friend Scoobie became a friend of the Jewish people. Sadly, mourners kaddish begins here. 

Dear Bintel: Can i skip school even if i don’t go to shul? Will i insult my orthodox cousins if i have a photographer at my wedding rehearsal dinner on shabbat? My answer on the latter: if they are ugly, just don’t take their picture! Problem solved!


That’s all for now. And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-090420.pdf

August 29, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 25 – Scooby-Jew!

Sadly, we ended the week on some news that shook me to the core. Scooby is dead. Scooby’s creator, Joe Ruby, died this week at the age of 87. Ruby, who was bar-mitzvah’d at the age of 39, left an indelible mark on our childhood and adult lives, or at least on mine. While there are subtle Jewish references throughout the comic and animated series, I will always remember the whimsical great dane as the super sleuth dog, saving the day by solving great mysteries. I recall also, with much warmth and humor, sitting around my brother’s back yard and having a “Scooby-doo” contest, where each of us would do our best to mimic Scooby’s iconic cry (I won, hands down!). Rest in peace Scooby and Joe, your legend will live on in our hearts and minds (and the new movie will be streaming in October).
Now, to the rest of the Jew news, what you have all been waiting for:
– “Night far deer gedacht” (“it shouldn’t happen to you”) – A funny essay from the makers of “Mr. President” tv show about the Trump presidency, where you really can’t make this shit up.

– Florida Jews sticking with Trump?!! WTF? While about 80% of us feel differently, there are always those on the fringes of sanity that drink bad kool-aide. Try not to barf if you have the nerve to read this. It’s the usual blubber about supporting Israel, and regurgitating Fox news propaganda.

– Why is George Soros the “boogey man” of the right? I have always wondered what the hell this guy did to attract so many haters. Read about it here.

– The McCloskey bully article repeated here – Gee, another horrible representation of the good ole US of A, featured of course, at the Republican National Convention.

– A Forward editor decides to leave Journalism for another shrinking profession: becoming a Rabbi! His motives: “I love Jews, I love learning, and I want to use what I learn to serve the community I love”. Mazel tov to you Aiden Pink. 

– The biggest, queerest wedding ever, and you’re invited! It’s today, via facebook. A weird but interesting love story.

– 18 questions about God that you were afraid to ask, answered in a new book by Abigail Pogrebin, followed by an interview with the author – I can’t help but remember the old Woody Allen joke, “not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends!”


That’s all for now. 
And hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-082820.pdf

August 25, 2020 – Shalom! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 24

So, here I am on Tuesday morning, finally getting a quick note out to the Jew Crew and friends. Apologies for the tardiness, but we had a very hectic schedule this weekend visiting new friends and family in Virginia. Great to see Mumsy and Phyllis and the rest of the Virginian cousins, and to meet new friends. Shout out to Hinda and Bob, who we got to meet in person as well. Hinda shared a great story about her Grandfather who had a newspaper route in the Philadelphia area, delivering none other than The Forward to the Jews of the area! 
I have attached this weeks summary from the The Forward, but am just forwarding along to everyone without my normal commentary, as i have not had a chance to read it yet myself. We will pick up again next Saturday with our normal communication. But, i thought i would also share this story from Today’s daily edition about the McCloskeys, the lovely horrible couple from St Louis that brandished their guns at the peaceful BLM protesters and then ended up of course speaking at the first night of the Republican National Convention. Turns out they are not so nice neighbors with the Rabbi from the local congregation, and the Rabbi felt the need to speak out about the character of these hate mongers. 
https://forward.com/news/national/453183/the-rabbi-who-is-neighbor-to-mark-and-patricia-mccloskey-speaks-out-they/?utm_source=Email Article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email Article

And here is the full weekly review. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-082120.pdf

That’s all for now. Full report coming next weekend.
And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

August 15, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 23

Hey there Shabbaters! I know I am a little late this week, but guess what? No Shabbat Newsletter this week from The Forward!  The editors were so overwhelmed by the news of Kamala Harris VP selection (she is married to a Jew!), they forgot to send me something. But fear not, I have copied below a story from the Schmooze i thought would be a little more lighthearted than the usual columns on anti-semitism and race relations. 
Now, some may say, “who cares what Mort Klein thinks”, and they would have a point, but nevertheless, I thought the topic was an interesting one given the increasing number of Jews marrying outside the faith.
That’s all for now. Next week I hope to be back to a normal weekly list.
And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://forward.com/schmooze/452652/mort-klein-said-serious-jews-dont-marry-non-jewish-women-heres-a-list/

August 8, 2020 – Shabbat Shalom! The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 22

From the shameless self-promotion department, I am pictured below wearing my new t-shirt, a gift from my thoughtful cousin Karen from Virginia. Big thanks and shout out to her and the rest of the Virginians! The martini is a summer delight combining Arizona green tea, dry saki, and vodka. I might have had a few too many.
Now, on to the Jew News you have all been clamoring for:
– What it’s like to be a working jewish mom during the pandemic – Oy

– A professional photographer gives an intimate view of Hasidic weddings – A revealing essay and photos

– Beyond BLM: Blacks and Jews in Baltimore suburbs coming together via a bowling alley – Forest Park is Baltimore’s version of Mattapan, a once Black and Jewish integrated neighborhood

– On the internet, no-one knows you are a dog, or if you are praying – Musings on what to do for the high holidays during the pandemic

– Jews on horses? Read about this horse tale from a Jewish woman in love with horses

– On Culture: Yo, Semites! A nifty twist on a Trumpism; and a few recipes from Seth Rogan’s “American Pickle” 

– Can a former Obama advisor save Manny’s Deli in Chicago? An institution in the windy city since 1942, locals will surely miss the corned beef if he fails!

–  Dear Bintel: A brisket thief, an orthodox kiss and tell, a troubled best man, and an outdoor shabbat dinner proposal – All good advice from Bintel!

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All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out. https://assets.forward.com/pdfs/ShabbatNL-080720.pdf