Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

A satire?

On July 27, 2016, America witnessed an unusual piece of political theater.  It was not that a member of a competing political party addressed a convention.  It was the thrust of the argument made on the national stage by a respected politician that there’s nothing wrong with marrying a prostitute.

Let me say at the outset that I have long believed that prostitution should be legalized.  How do our laws state that pornography and massages are legal but prostitution is not?  Why do we allow people to marry for money? Why do women’s rights groups fight for women to be able to control their bodies when it comes to abortion, but ignore the call when it comes to call girls?  Lastly, nothing would better protect women in the profession than legalizing the act.

But put all of that to the side.  I’m talking about selling your vote.  About paying for favors.  About quid (the British know it means money) pro quo. About Hillary Clinton.

hillary and bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton
(Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg addressed the Democratic National Convention in July to appeal to those who dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  His reasoning for backing Hillary Clinton for president was… well, you read it:

I know what it’s like to have neither party fully represent my views or values. Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence. Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction.

There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

In other words, she’s far from ideal, but the alternative is unacceptable.  She may have a bad track record, but at least she’s experienced.  You may not love her, but she’ll get the job done.

Sort of like marrying a prostitute.

Of course, you can hold out and wait to marry for love, but the wedding is scheduled for November 8.  The Bachelor has two finalists (actually three, including Libertarian Gary Johnson that the press never discusses).  Will you marry the person who skates on the edge of the law, has spent a lifetime in her craft, and works the angles to line her pockets, that you severely dislike?  Or the novice whose voice agitates you, who’s so new to the street that he doesn’t even know how all of the equipment works?

Bloomberg declared that this election was not about love, but getting the job done.  By a professional with a rate card.

Hillary got paid huge fees for speaking to Wall Street.  Fine.  Speaking fees are legal.  Pay-for-play is the Democrats way.

Look at the recent ransom payment that the Obama Administration made to Iran to release hostages.  The administration may say it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists – except for all of the times that it does.  And who’s worse off?  The Americans are free, and all we had to do was pay blackmail money. (Hey, the terrorism the Iranians will fund will likely be against Israel and Europe, so America should be OK, so chill.)

And just like the perfected sales pitch “But wait! There’s more!”

Search the leaked DNC emails and review the long laundry list of payoffs that Democrats made for influence.  So what?  It’s an ATM Democracy.

The farce of this election is that Trump was one of Clinton’s johns.  He paid in. He knows she’s worth it. Why don’t you get that?

A prostitute and a john walk into an election cycle…and the former mayor of New York made it clear that you back the service-provider.

Hooray!

It was long past time that someone stood on a national stage and said it’s time to decriminalize prostitution.  Thank you Michael Bloomberg.  You made your point clearly: There’s no love to be found in this election, so ignore your heart.  Pay for the Pro.  At least you can be sure you’ll get what you ordered.

And if you don’t have money, see if Obama can get a pallet of bills over to your house before he leaves office.  The Iranians say he’s a pro too.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Liar, Liar! Hillary’s Pant Suit’s on Fire!

Hillary’s Transparency

ObamaCar to Address Garage Inequality

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

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New Group, ZOFLAT, Takes on Shift in Modern Orthodoxy

A Satire

Several leading rabbis and lay leaders in the Modern Orthodox community have started a new group called, ZOFLAT, Zionist Orthodoxy For Living in America Today. The group is advocating for more American Jews to remain in the United States and not move to Israel.

“There has been a dramatic shift eastward,” noted staunch American leader Madison Lipshitz. “When I grew up, no one made aliyah (moved to Israel).  Today, almost all of my old friends live in Israel.  Those that have remained are almost exclusively not religious.”

The movement of American Jews to Israel is made predominantly by the Orthodox community according to recent surveys.  Very few Jews with Reform backgrounds make aliyah.

Queens College professor Lawrence Cohen noted that the trend of Orthodox aliyah gained momentum over the past 30 years, when American high school graduates from Modern Orthodox yeshivas began to spend their “gap” year before college in Israel.  Many of those students ultimately moved to Israel as adults.  “We’re losing kids, and it’s our own fault,” he noted.

The impact is being felt throughout the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area. Many families have left their homes and followed their children to Israel.  They can now be found in “Anglo” communities including Ra’anana, Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem.  “We needed to do something to combat this trend,” explained Lipshitz.

IMG_2052
Young and old Americans at the Kotel
(photo: First.One.Through)

About a year ago, a group of Modern Orthodox rabbis, community leaders and educators formed the core of the new organization. The mission of the group was to show how religious Jews could live within the secular culture in America. “American Orthodox Jews are being silenced by the rise of Orthodox Jews living in Israel.  We needed to show that we are committed to the American way of life,” said founding Rabbi Freedom Lover, of Beautiful Beach Synagogue.  ZOFLAT’s stated goal is to flatline aliyah in Modern Orthodox America.

The first programs for ZOFLAT are being held in Manhattan near Washington Square Park this weekend.  American flags will be affixed to everyone’s nametag. Various prominent Jewish politicians will be speaking about Jews in American society.  Food will include hot dogs and baked beans and will specifically not feature shwarma and hummus.  An afternoon game of baseball is planned, depending on weather.  “We couldn’t wait for Memorial Day,” said Rabbi Lover, “the issue is now.”

“Too many people have been coerced into making aliyah or believing that living in Israel is the only way to live a meaningful life.  This group is dedicated towards showing that people should not be shamed or pushed aside because they don’t want to live in Israel,” added Rabbi Lover.

“I’m excited to come to ZOFLAT,” said Amy Schlessinger, a teacher in New York City, toting a Tony Burch bag.  “We need an organization that validates my lifestyle. America is the greatest country in the world, and just because of the Zionist shift of today’s youth, I shouldn’t be made to feel bad about my life choices.”

Rabbi Kenny Silverson, a principal of a local yeshiva, described the tension within the Modern Orthodox communities today. “The Judaism that is being lived today in Israel would be unrecognizable to my grandparents.  My own son moved to Israel and changed his last name. Our family name!” Rabbi Silverson, visibly upset, continued “still, we will try to be open-minded and have an open tent to those Orthodox Jews that move to Israel, but our raison d’être is to proudly defend those people that wish to remain in America and live the exact same lives that their parents and grandparents did.”

Rabbi Lover noted that he thought about developing this group after listening to various members of the Israeli Knesset describe there being no future for Jews living outside of Israel, which he found offensive.  Those comments by the Israeli leaders were made after terrorist attacks in Europe and the rise of anti-Semitism.

In 2008, Israel surpassed the United States as the largest Jewish community in the world.

“Modern Orthodoxy is facing a serious challenge,” Lover said. “The boundaries of the community cannot be dictated geographically.  We want to have flourishing communities throughout America without any guilt.  Having an organization with a great acronym should allay any feelings of self-doubt, ideally, cemented with a small donation and dues to our events.”

Hand-in-Pocket is co-sponsoring the ZOFLAT event. “HIP” considers itself the “anti- Nefesh b’Nefesh” and helps people dealing with American bureaucracy such as passport renewals, traffic tickets and the like.

Other First.One.Through Satires:

Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

Snack-Pack Inspections

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

ObamaCar to Address Garage Inequality

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

A Satire

In honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a declaration that the “Nakba was a terrible tragedy for the Palestinian Arabs.” The New York Times, BBC and various media outlets proclaimed in their headlines that Netanyahu had turned a corner from some of his prior comments belittling the “Nakba,” the term that Arabs use to describe their “disaster” when Arabs left their homes and were unable to return after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9.

Netanyahu continued about the Nakba that “Israelis understand the pain of being expelled from their homes. Jews were ethnically cleansed from their holiest city, Jerusalem, by Jordanian Arabs. Jews were evicted from their second holiest city, Hebron, after Arabs massacred them in 1929. And the Jewish people were evicted from their ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria, and barred from re-entry, by the Jordanians in 1949. Is there a people on the planet that understands the pain of losing their homes more than the Jewish people Jews have been targeted for death and eviction by Arabs for a century.

When Netanyahu was asked to comment not only about evictions, but about being banned from returning to their properties, Netanyahu reviewed how Palestinian Arabs effectively convinced the British to block Jewish immigration to Palestine at the beginning of the Holocaust in 1939, causing hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children in Europe to perish. “We Jews understand being excluded very well.

netanyahu-holocaust
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Holocaust survivors ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 26, 2016 (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

The comments acknowledging the Nakba were a sharp reversal from Netanyahu’s doctoral study in which he detailed many questions surrounding both the numbers and source of the Nakba. His study concluded that the Arabs in Palestine conspired with the major global parties to funnel billions of dollars in perpetuity to Palestinian Arabs via the United Nations.

Netanyahu’s thesis reviewed the many secret meetings between Arab leaders and the French, British, Americans and Russians that would set the Arabs as the aggrieved party by the UN.   The Arab plan pushed the UN to endorse the partition plan of 1947, which the Palestinians would then publicly reject. The UN would then create a unique stand-alone agency, UNRWA, designed to exist forever, as a means of transferring billions of dollars to Palestinian Arabs.

As part of the Arab plan, the United Nations inflated the number of Arab refugees from the 1948 war to 711,000 from the actual 100,000 figure. By inflating the number of refugees, the UN was able to funnel even greater sums of money to Palestinians.

The Arab plan had the further benefit of giving the entire Arab world a scapegoat for their corrupt regimes.

As it turned out, the joint Arab- global powers’ plan worked almost perfectly, aside from a few unexpected results.  The UN did not realize that the Arab leadership would ultimately double-cross the UN and steal most of the funds promised to the Palestinian people; and the corrupt financial structure ultimately made Palestinian Arab leadership completely incapable of governing.

The NY Times and BBC did not review the contents of Netanyahu’s doctoral thesis in their articles. However, the Times did have a lead editorial noting Netanyahu as “a man of empathy, and a true moderate who is Abbas’s best chance for a peace partner.

Abbas did not provide any statement.


Related First.One.Through article:

The NY Times on Abbas’s Change of heart about the Holocaust: Frightening New York Times 4/27/14 article on “Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust”

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Other Satires:

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

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Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

A sad satire

The United Nations took a special interest in the high unemployment rate of Palestinians, which has led to feelings of despair and hopelessness, leaving many to resort to violence against Israelis.  As such, the UN held a meeting in October 2015 in Vienna to listen to various leaders of the Palestinian community describe their occupations to see if the global community could help advance their livelihoods.

Here are some of the presenters:

Gaza exterminator
Pest Control

Pest Control: The UN was impressed with the first presenter, the owner of a pest control company.  According to the businessman, there was a large infestation in the region that guaranteed a significant amount of work for many unemployed people.

Gaza quarry owner
Stone Masons

Stone Masons: A cleric from the West Bank described the incredible blessings of the holy land to be filled with stones of many sizes. He described the various types of rocks in the region and how they could be used in different situations.  Qatar pledged $100 million for a new quarry on the spot.

Gaza gambling
Gambling

Casinos: The casino in Jericho was reported to be doing very well.  The owner described “making a killing” in various games of chance.  He was happy to report that the gaming industry was actively hiring more people.

Gaza butcher
Butcher

Butchers:  While the amount of available meat for food consumption declined since Hamas took over Gaza, butchers continued to hone their skills.  A cleric showed off tools of the trade and urged others to get involved.

Gaza cattle ranchers
Cattle Ranchers

Ranchers:  As described above, the meat business has not been great, but Palestinian leadership was confident in their ability to corral enough when the market improved.

Gaza outdoor backpacker
Outdoor Hiking

Outdoor Activities:  Gaza developed a range of sporting centers with special backpacks, belts and other gadgetry for time outside.  While repelling has been around for a few years, preachers were just starting to advocate the activity.

Gaza behead
Bowling and entertainment

Indoor Activities:  The owner of one of the few Middle Eastern bowling alleys discussed “spares and strikes” and hoped to educate the community about fun “date-night” activities.

Gaza hide and seek
Teachers

Teachers: The Palestinian schools always need new teachers with new methods to teach the young.  A teacher presented an innovative method of teaching religion and history via a game of hide-and-seek with the children.

Gaza cheerlreader
Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders and Sports:  The UN was impressed with the progressive nature of the Palestinian schools that had a very large percentage of male cheerleaders.

Gaza surgeon
Surgeons

Doctors: The healthcare industry was still in shambles, particularly in Gaza.  However, the United Nations was heartened to listen to Palestinian doctors promoting their profession to the young.

Gaza zookeeper
Veterinary Medicine

Vets and Zoo:  The UN heard Palestinian requests to refurbish their zoos and teach veterinary medicine.  Apes and pigs were the primary attractions.

Gaza arms dealer
Arms Dealer

Arms Dealer:  Well, it is the Middle East.  The UN blessed Iran’s nuclear weapons program, so Palestinians thought they would have an easy time advancing an arms dealership in the region.  Turkey pledged to send a boat right away.

gaza journalist
Journalist

Journalism: Palestinians have taken to social media like African bees to a sweaty field worker. The United Nations promised to not only promote their posts, but to pay Palestinians for the news stories as well.

Gaza charm school
Charm School

Vocational Schools:  This was a hot topic in Vienna.  By teaching older adults new skills, more people would be able to earn livelihoods.  The graduates of Palestinian Charm Schools have a reputation of being so endearing, that they get speaking engagements paying handsome sums, even when they have little to say. The University of California school system has speakers booked through May.

Gaza ghost costume
Retail: Kids clothing

Retail: Clothing was historically a tough business in the territories, as large family sizes ensured a good supply of hand-me-downs.  This year, the UN promoted celebrating Halloween and paid for advertisements selling ghost and other costumes to stimulate the economy.

Gaza shapeshifters
Shape-shifters

Shape-shifters:  This occupation stumped the members of the UN commission.  They had heard of Jews controlling animals and sharks with their minds, but they were unsure about the nature of changing physical form.  The panel agreed to meet again later to learn more about the phenomenon and how it could be used to help the Palestinian cause.

Gaza shoe shine
Shoe Repair

Shoe Repair: The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority spoke about the basic needs of shoe repair and foot hygiene. His display of humility left the committee speechless.  One member of the committee from Ecuador commented that Abbas reminded him of the new pope.

The United Nations concluded the day-long session with a statement of support from Fodé Seck (Senegal), the Committee Chairperson.  The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power remarked that the session showed a way forward for the Palestinian economy.  “As Obama says,” remarked Power, “once economic and political despair is overcome, peace will prevail.

In Middle East parlance, it is called putting the cart before the rocket launcher, a tried-and-true method of controlling the population.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Snack-Pack Inspections

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

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Snack-Pack Inspections

A Satire

Scene: A conference room with dozens of politicians, including the senior members of the P5+1 team and Iran, negotiating terms to the comprehensive nuclear agreement. The hour is late and people are agitated and sleepy. Each country team is mostly talking amongst themselves.

P5+1
(photo: Getty Images)

Sensing the moment is right to bring up a new deal point, US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to catch everyone’s attention.

US Secretary John Kerry (in a loud clear voice): “We have gone through the various points of this agreement and concluded that we cannot approve it without additional security precautions. As such, we insist on automatic ‘snapback sanctions’ if there is a material breach of the terms of the agreement.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “What are ‘snack-pack sanctions’?”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “’’Snack-pack inspections’. It is another excuse for the Americans to snoop around.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “I won’t agree to it. That is outrageous. Why must you Americans continue to compromise on our dignity?!”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “Mohammad, please. It is not that big a condition. Use the American request to push forward some of your own ideas.”

Zarif: “Why are Iranian snacks anyone’s concern? You have pushed too far!”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “The Americans are big snackers, they cannot help themselves! Eating all of that fast food and potato chips!”

Aide to Kerry blurts out: “Potato chips are just cold French fries!”

Fabius: “Your ‘French Fries’ are not from France, you idiot!”

Westerwelle (laughing while patting his stomach): “The Americans don’t just snack- they snack BIG. They turn warehouses into giant snack stores.  That’s why they have snacks in packs. Can you imagine!”

Kerry: “People! I said ‘snapback sanctions’ not ‘snack-pack inspections’. We need some teeth in this agreement.”

Fabius: “You Americans are real gluttons, sinking you teeth into everything. Why do you have to always focus on consuming so much garbage?”

Zarif: “I cannot agree!”

Lavrov (in a loud, condescending voice): “Hey, Mr. Ketchup, let’s say we agree with snack-pack inspections. But you would have to agree to import some of our snacks too. For example, some Beluga caviar. It would be a nice improvement for your abused tongues.”

Zarif: “We get to export our caviar to the Americans again? This would be excellent!”

Lavrov (in a hushed voice to Zarif): “You and I will discuss later where the caviar will actually come from.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague: “Does that satisfy your appetite, John?”

Yi: “Be careful Mohammad. Your country is about to be flooded with McDonalds!”

Zarif: “I’ll tell you, I will take up to 20 McDonalds, but America must agree to take our pistachios as well.”

Lavrov (out loud, but absent-mindedly): “But Russia doesn’t export pistachios.”

Hague: “Well, maybe Iran could also start to import our ‘Smarties’ now.”

Kerry: “People! This is not about exporting chocolate to Iran!”

Lavrov: “Hey Mr. Heinz! Did you marry a Hershey too? Keep quiet and we’ll handle the details of your new request.”

The conference room breaks down into lots of side conversations. After a minute, Kerry pushes away from the table disgusted, and leaves the room with some aides.


Scene: Outside the conference room, Secretary Kerry walks the halls with two assistants with a phone clutched in his hand.

Kerry (agitated): “Yes, Mr. President…. Yes, I brought it up…. How did it go?.. Well, let me sum it up this way. The other members of the P5+1 team are now renaming the streets in front of the American embassies in their cities ‘Hershey Highway’.”


Related First One Through article:

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

This is not a Satire (?)

The full text of the Iranian nuclear deal completed in Vienna on July 14, 2015 was a weighty 159 pages. The many members of the negotiating teams clearly used their time very productively as they worked through months of discussions and debates, even working past several deadlines on complicated scientific matters of nuclear fission.

The great citizens of the United States can thank the members of Secretary of State John Kerry’s team who negotiated endlessly on behalf of every American. His negotiating skills were clearly evident as he secured important points to benefit the country in these tense talks. In particular, Americans may not have caught a key clause buried inside the deal points. I offer one here (see page 67 of the agreement):

“Section 5.1.3 License the importation into the United States of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, including pistachios and caviar.”

kerry green tieThis was an important concession that Kerry’s team was able to secure.  Americans have grown tired of California pistachios and miss their Beluga Caviar from the Caspian Sea.  While the Iranian team was busy focused on centrifuges, missiles and fissile material, Kerry scored a big hit for US bellies.

Over the coming weeks, Obama will surely point out this key item in emphasizing that this is a “good deal” for the United States. The American people have suffered long enough from the sanction regime that has denied them these delectable treats from Iran.

pistachios

To paraphrase Robin Leach in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous to the Obama Administration trying to sell this “good deal” to Congress:  “Wishing you pistachio wishes and caviar dreams.”

Shavuot the Community Slept Late

A Short Comedy / Short on Comedy

This Shavuot, many synagogues in the metropolitan New York City area used a new approach for the old tradition of all-night learning. Rabbis told people the subject of their talk in advance and invited members of the community to follow the speech with their own thoughts on the same topic. It would appear that the membership did not hear the titles very clearly.

  • The Westhampton Beach Hampton Synagogue’s Rabbi Marc Schneier’s subject was “The pros and cons of being a rabbi’s son.
    A member of the shul misheard the rabbi and thought the talk was going to be about the “sun”, so delivered a talk entitled “Is using a tanning salon a sin?”
  • At Nishmat, the rabbi chose to discuss: “50 nights: the Second Day of Shavuot.”
    A member of the community’s topic was: “50 Shades of Grey: You Shouldn’t Do It.”
  • Rabbi Pruzansky from Teaneck had a long lecture with handouts on “My Views on Voyeurism.
    A member of the board discussed “Oy Vey: what you hear at shul boards.
  • The new rabbi at the “Bayit” in Riverdale spoke on how “Black and Jewish Lives Matter.
    A politically active member of the shul debated “Obama: Milcheg or Fleishig?
  • The Spanish and Portuguese’s Rabbi Soloveitchik’s topic was “Is Krusty the Clown a good Jew?”
    The president of the shul spoke about “Is a crusty old davening the only path for a good Jew?”
  • Rabbi Fink from New Rochelle addressed the community about “Ranking Mitzvot: The most important mitzvah is building a mikvah (after the other most important mitzvah of building a really big shul).
    A member of the shul discussed “Ranking Mitzvahs: Who gets the mitzvah when you guilt your friends into writing a check to your favorite charity while you get some exercise?
  • Rabbi Lookstein addressed “Did the Shavuot heroine Ruth wear tefillin?
    One of the Baal HaBatim at KJ was confused and discussed “On Shavuot, can you use Rangers tickets?
  • At the YIWP, Rabbi Greenberg discussed: “Bikur Cholim: Making Time in a community with a hospital; rehabilitation center, old age facility and psychiatric hospital.”
    The recipient of the shul dinner award gave his talk on “Bitter Chulent: Using lime in Mexican Chili.
  • A rabbi in Monsey talked about the hlichos of neighboring supermarkets.
    An older gentleman spoke about the hilchos of using your neighbor’s pool.
  • In Williamsburg a rabbi reviewed kashrut laws in “Shiksas in the Kitchen.”
    A local caterer gave a Shavuot talk: “Blintzes: It don’t taste like Chicken.
  • JOFA published a long piece “Why the best Megillahs are all about Women.”
    A man was invited to speak on “Why the best Megillahs are all about Women.”
  • In Flatbush, a rabbi had a lecture on “Kissing Cousins: Tefillin; Tzizit and Mezuzah.”
    A woman from the congregation spoke about “Marrying Cousins: When your Mother-in-Law is Your Aunt.”
  • The rabbi of a Syrian synagogue in Deal, NJ spoke on an important topic: “The Conversion of Ruth and Conversions in our Community Today.”
    No one else was allowed to address the subject.
  • The rabbi of Manhattan’s B’nai Jeshrun discussed “Ten things I love about the UN.”
    An old member who fought repeatedly with the rabbi and since left the synagogue was allowed to speak “How UNloving a hippie shul can be towards Israel.
  • Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Englewood, NJ subject was “Keep Love in Marriage alive.
    The youth director heard something else and spoke about “Kippa logos from Marvel comics.
  • A rabbi in Great Neck, NY had an interesting lecture on “Evolution of davening and korbanot.
    A member of the shul discussed “Etiquette of using a cellphone for davening on the golf course.
  • The chazan from the Belz School of Music discussed “Breshit: It’s all about the Bais
    One of the students took a different approach and stated “I really like the treble
  • West End Synagogue, a Reconstructionist synagogue came up with the idea of learning for one-third of the night, from 11PM until 1AM. The plan is to learn next year from 1AM until 3AM, and then finish the cycle of learning in two years with 3AM to 5AM studies.
  • A Conservative Temple from Long Beach Island noted the amazing coincidence of having Shavuot fall on Memorial Day, and sent an email to the community that Shavuot was cancelled, the Temple would be closed and everyone should enjoy Memorial Day at the beach.

Chag Kasher v. Sa’meach

Summary: For many people, the “v.” is for “versus”, not for “and”. In the ongoing battle between a Chag Kasher versus Sa’meach, Kasher seems to be winning again.

I am neither a cook nor a chef.

While I love to eat, my wife prohibits me from doing any food preparation for fear -not without reason or history- that should I venture into her holy sanctuary, the entire room – no, the house itself! – would become un-kosher.

Over time, my place has become confined to the kitchen table. It is there that I must sit and wait for my meals, not unlike our dog (which she prefers on most days) who waits before his bowl. Remarkably, I am afforded more table scraps than him. Score one for me.

This is not to say that I cannot approach the sink. My share of the household bargain falls on cleaning up after meals. My wife considers the dishwasher and garbage pail safe terrain, as I can usually deduce whether I just consumed a dairy or meat meal.

That all ends on Passover.

When I think of my wife on Passover, I am reminded of the final scene from the movie Gallipoli where manic soldiers charge an Ottoman trench, knowing of their certain death. A fury fills her eyes as the holiday approaches and I know that no cleaning I do could ever satisfy her Kashrut Compulsive Disorder (commonly referred to by Jewish psychiatrists as KCD). This non-silent killer has taken more husbands than latkes on Hanukah.

My wife, (let’s call her “Pharaoh” to protect her identity from the teachers in school who think of her as a sweet, mild-mannered parent,) despises Passover. Her venom is matched by her vigilance as she tries to square the invisible shmura matzah of Passover kashrut stringencies with her own KCD.

The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt had it easier than my modern Pharaoh. The ancient kings had teams of advisers and thousands of slaves to execute their commands. Today’s Pharaoh is left with a spouse who only gets to clean in the kitchen during most of the year because we have two dishwashers. More warriors are clearly needed for the task.

New York has an outsourced cleaning industry which features companies with jolly names like “Molly Maids” and “PIG” which stands for “Partners in Grime”. When these companies drop the non-kosher acronyms and become armed with blowtorches, perhaps Pharaoh will “let these people come.”

Well, in truth, they do come.  They come a few times in succession to make sure that one team picked up where the first team may have been sloppy. At $400 a pop, the twelve cleaning tours of duty make a not so subtle reminder that we could have gone to a Passover program in the sunshine somewhere.

The cleaning troupes do not absolve me of cleaning (nor the sin of making Passover at home). My tasks are to lift and move large objects around the house in case a morsel of bread was carried there by a microscopic antisemitic mouse.  Dishwashers are pulled from their moorings. Refrigerators are yanked from the walls.  I am ordered to lift the island in the kitchen, until my rabbi steps in on my behalf (only because he thought I was too weak). My dog snickers at my misery.  He and I are back to break-even.

After eighteen gallons of bleach have been pored over every inch of the kitchen, and the fleas on my dog would no longer consider smelling (let alone eating) anything in the house, my next task is assigned. Foiling.

Foiling on Pesach has nothing to do with fencing.  It involves rolling out aluminum foil over counter tops as a punishment for not giving one’s wife a new kitchen. For the hardcore, the foiling of tables, chairs, cushions is also warranted.  Our family is so famous for our foiling, that we get Happy Passover cards from Alcoa.

IMG_3295
Foiling at a bar

As the first seder arrives, Pharaoh starts to resemble my former wife again. The house is indeed clean enough that even Eliyahu would be impressed.  Family and friends gather around the table to recount the timeless story… of how no one in the shtetls had more than one pot and somehow made Passover.

As has become our tradition, before I recite the Kiddush to start the seder, my wife inverts the very order of the seder. She sings out in a loud, yet exhausted, teary voice “Hashana ha’ba’a b’Yerushayim” – Next year in Jerusalem. Everyone joins in.

Liar, Liar! Hillary’s Pant Suit’s on Fire!

A satire of Hillary Clinton’s deleted personal emails

To: [tailor]

Can you make me something a little less boxy? Bill says I look like a Lego-character. Nothing too hip; I don’t want to lose my New England fan base.

hillary pantsuit
A Hillaryous pant suit



To: Bill

Your JDate account just automatically renewed. Can you please cancel it? We’ve been over this before…



From: Bill

Good news. I spoke to your doctor about your concussion. She said you hit the part of the brain that handles the function distinguishing between good and evil, so there’s really nowhere to go but up.



To: Bill

Can you believe that arrogant pr*ck? He named his new dog after himself, “BO.” What kind of idiot calls his dog “Junior”?



To: Bill

Just heard Michelle has a staff of over 40! I knew someone would come along and have a larger first spouse-staff than I did.  I just assumed it would be you!


From: Bill

When you see the Sultan [of Brunei] next week, please tell him he’s behind on his contributions to both my library and CGI [Clinton Global Initiative].  Give him a month [to pay up] before you attack his human rights abuses.



To: Bill

That b*tch Oprah took my spotlight on The View. I barely got to push my book. I need to find a new generation of journalists to field me softball questions and raise millions of dollars and Big O was sopping up all of the sun.


From: Bill

While I know the blue dress and black wig is your Halloween costume, would you mind wearing it on Valentine’s Day?


From: Chelsea

Mom, why don’t you ask Nancy [Pelosi] who does her face?  It’s not like you’d be wearing the same dress.


From: Bill

Hill, you tell your mother-f**in boss to stop walking around like he’s the messiah; that’s our f**in office he’s in.


To: Bill

I feel like I live in a 48 hour per day-world since I work 24/7 and still spend half of my day on personal emails.


To: Bill

I’ve been doing a lot of spying on world leaders lately. How can we make sure that no one spies on us? Do we control all of our emails?



From: Egyptian President Mubarak

My dear Hillary, please bring over a few cartons of those amazing US cigarettes on your next visit. They are the only things that “boost” my libido.



To Bill

Can you believe it? I almost lost “Most Admired Woman” in the last Gallup poll to Palin. I hate this country. Why don’t they love me?


To: Chelsea

Don’t worry about marrying a Jew. You’ll see, one day the Gore girls will marry Jews too.


To: Huma [Abedin, married to Anthony Weiner, aid to Hillary]

I saw your husband’s picture – not bad, not bad at all. That’s what I call a shmuck!


To: Bill

I have to tell you- Beyoncé was right.  Libya is really nice.


From: Chelsea

Mom, I hope you don’t mind that I have termed you “TechnoMom” as you’ve been so cutting edge on social media.  I hope it doesn’t bite you in the ass one day.