A group of Jews endeavors towards total domination of the blogosphere.

Saturday, August 02, 2003  

Archaeologists Find 'Supreme' Zeus Temple:

DION, Greece - Archaeologists working on a river bed near the mythological home of the ancient gods uncovered remains of the first temple known to be dedicated to the 'supreme' Zeus, the team leader said.
The 2,400-year-old headless marble statue was found along with 14 columns depicting eagles, one of the symbols of the chief deity of ancient Greece, archaeologist Dimitris Pantermalis said Friday.
The find is significant because it offers a sense of how Zeus was represented during an important period of transition in ancient worship. Experts believe the Hypsistos - or 'supreme' - Zeus emerged as a more dominant figure as Greeks moved away from the many gods and cults that included dozens of variations of Zeus.
Its interesting how even in pagan culture there was a move from lots of random gods and cults to specific heirarchies where there was a supreme god and lots of lower-level gods, spirits, and whatnot.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:57 PM |

Friday, August 01, 2003  

I got a second email that clears up a bit of the mystery surrounding the first email. This one says:

I thought it would really be interesting if people posted objective comments about their schools on Wikipedia, especially the black hat ones, where info isn't readily available. And getting people to see it- like Protocols did, thank you- is an important part of this information dissemination process. I really don't feel comfortable identifying my name with this project, because this school takes very harshly to anyone who exposes it to the public view (see ). Keep up the good work, and "Let information flow throughout the land).
Well, there you have it. All of you with black-hat backgrounds, head over to Wikipedia and describe them to the world.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 5:43 PM |

Ooh, a celebrity Jew's blog, from Bill Maher. (via Jarvis)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:09 PM |

With more on the kosher surfing phenomenon, EJJY links to not only the website of the surfing rabbi, but finds a Christian surfers' club, as well.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 3:35 PM |

Parsha Senryu -- Parshas Devarim
And now it’s time for:
Deu, Deu, Deuteronomy!
Come on, get ready!

Moses speaks these words.
From the side that’s opposite
From the other side. (1:1)

Moses clarifies:
“This land, that, and that, as well.”
That’s the Torah? (1: 5-9)

“Like stars in heaven.”
But not like in Hollywood;
Those are too skinny. (1:11)

How can I help you?
With your troubles and burdens,
You’d need twelve of me. (1:12-13)

Martha Stewart grins:
“That which you have said to do,
It is a good thing.” (1:14)

“Be fair in judgement.”
Fear God, not the defendant?
This guy’s got a shiv! (1: 17)

Ah, the spy story;
Do you remember that one?
Really screwed up there. (1:22-40)

We circled the mount –
“Enough of your going ‘round”
So we turned northward. (2:1-3)

Believe me, I know:
You have abundant livestock;
Gotta leave them here. (3:19)

Write your own parsha senryu! They are three-line poems that have a 5-7-5 syllabic structure. Write for next week's parsha, Matos, and send thim in by Thursday night; the best will be included.
Senryu are also posted in the Live Poetry Forum at Mimaamakim.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 3:10 PM |

A Reuters Headline Reads: Israel Shuts Pro-Palestinian Summer Camp. The story writes:

...television Wednesday showed children marching to pro-Palestinian chants such as "don't want flour, don't want sardines -- we want bombs,"... "This is all Palestine, from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea," Kabul camp instructor Hadi Sreyr told Channel Ten. "We will continue the struggle to victory in liberating Palestine." ... Teen-ager Samha Wakim said Jewish Israelis should leave the country, going back to "where they came from, Poland, Russia."
Morally and Politically: The complete indoctrination of children with the single-minded obsession of destroying the Jewish people and the State of Israel is simply awesome. Reuters' misleading headline is unjustifiable – in any circumstance other than Arab-Israeli conflict, that headline would have read Pro-Terror Summer Camp.

Conclusion: There may just be some merit to the class-action lawsuit filed against Reuters alleging widespread racism...

posted by Pinchas | 1:26 PM |

Van Titillates the Senses, Kosher Style

As if Tony Blair was not incentive enough, here is another reason to hop across the pond and take up residence with those jolly ‘ol blokes:

THE world’s first kosher ice cream van has hit the streets of Golders Green – and become a massive hit with the area’s Jewish community.
Prediction 1: In one week, such vans will be spotted in Boro Park, Flatbush and Monroe.

Prediction 2: In two weeks, the Council of Torah Sages will ban these mobile pizza shops from spreading their evil ways on the holy streets of Torah Communities.

posted by Pinchas | 12:19 PM |

By the way, since the polls on the Frumster Bachelor vote are closing today, what do you think we should do with the winner? Sponsor a date? Let him post an official "Protocols Seal of Approval" on his profile? Any ideas out there?
The hottie thinks we should buy him a ticket to France, but that's a bit beyond our budget (though she notes "you should raise funds... if every hit gives one dollar...") -- what are your thoughts?
Update: It appears that Bachelor A's friends have come around -- somewhere in the range of 30 votes in the past 24 hours alone, giving him more than 50% of the total votes. It's heating up -- get your votes in now!
THIS JUST IN: Hottie has an identical twin

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:05 PM |

Someone e-mailed this in:

Black Box Entertainment, Inc. - "the professional shomer Shabbat theater
production company" - has been chosen by Crystal Field, Executive Director of
Pulitzer Prize Winning Theater for the New City, to premiere its latest show in
her finest 99-seat space in New York's East Village, December 10 through early
January, with plans to produce short-term regional engagements in Los Angeles,
Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami, London, and Tel Aviv soon thereafter.
Black Box Entertainment, Inc. is currently meeting with potential financiers
and Associate Producers for this current project, and welcomes hearing from
all interested individuals and groups. Additionally, BBE is currently
accepting inquiries from performers, musicians, and production staff members (stage
managers, technical experts, house managers, etc.) to work on this and future
productions and tours. Paid positions, as well as internships for those just
entering the field, are available.
Black Box Entertainment, Inc. is responsible for the successful touring shows
Twist Of Faith, Second Chances, and the new Destinations -- this third show
is currently booking tour dates starting in January '04, and its premiere
touring performance will take place for an audience of over 800 in Coral Springs,
Florida. Both Second Chances and Destinations received their NY stage debuts
last season, as well as critical acclaim from critic Martin Denton of
Interested parties should email, call (201) 567-6664,
or write to: Black Box Entertainment, 240 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:53 AM |

Going on right now:

11 a.m. -- Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly promotes Assistant Chief Joanne Jaffe to Chief of Housing Bureau, making her the highest-ranking female officer in Department history; First-Floor Auditorium, One Police Plaza.
Sounds like it could be a Jewish name -- anybody know?
11:30 a.m. -- Norman Rosenbaum, brother of Crown Heights riot victim Yankel Rosenbaum, holds media availability regarding the filing of a legal brief in Brooklyn Federal Court urging the Judge to sentence Lemrick Nelson to life in prison; outside the Federal Court Building, 225 Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn.
In all seriousness, it's a civil rights violation they've tried him on -- shouldn't the max on such a crime be far less than life?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:06 AM |

Move over Kabbalah Center, Surfing is the new Black!

"Surfing is the most spiritual thing that you can do," said Rabbi Nachum Shifren, who lectures on the surf-soul connection. "You're out in the water, you're by yourself, you're out there in God's creation. It's like being in the womb."

Such messages of spirituality in the surf have given the search for the perfect wave new meaning.

Each week, dozens of Bible study groups made up entirely of surfers assemble around the country. They are organizing mission trips in the Caribbean and Kosher surf camps in Costa Rica. They've even seen the introduction of their own Bible, including a full-color cover with shots of big waves and profiles of surfers inside...
I can't wait to get my Torah-Portion Surfer-of-the-Month Calendar!

posted by Pinchas | 10:43 AM |

I just got a mysterious email from someone named "Yeshiva Research" with the subject line "Link to Mesivta Tiferes Yisroel". The body of the email was empty, but for a link. So I'm linking. Mesivta Tiferes Yisroel - Wikipedia. Somehow, I'm getting the faint impression that this is part of a really weird inside practical joke.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:33 AM |

Shosh finds an interesting parallel in Hinduism vs. Judaism regarding the Nine Days/Month of Av:

Sameer, who is in my department, mentioned that today is the first of the holy month of shiva-the indian 'destroyer' god. (as opposed to vishnu, who's the 'creator' god). There's apparently some formation of her in the Himalayas that appears on the first of the month... I'll have to look up more about it online... I just find it interesting that while in some ways the religions are so far apart (ok, maybe major ones like one G-d in Judaism vs. many thousands in Hinduism), there are always little coincidences across religions that make you stop and ponder. Things that make you go hmmm....

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:28 AM |

Perhaps one of our more intelligent readers can explain to me what Jihad Al Khazen (I think that is the author’s name) meant to say in this column, “What Does the Jewish Institute Want?” published today.

The one thing that I did note was that he seems to have no animosity for America, its values or its citizenry. His anger and contept is targeted only at the “filthiest gatherings of neo-conservatives… the Israeli gang… the Nazi-occupying country in the Middle East… Zionist Likudnik… the Jewish Institute… the Likudnik Daily Telegraph… Conrad Black, fourth husband of senile Likudnik Barbara… dogs… murderer Ariel Sharon's government… and the intellectual terrorism of Likudist groups." He diatribe concludes:

Once again, terrorism, like blasphemy, are one, and Al Qaeda's terrorism, as well as that of murderer Ariel Sharon's government and the intellectual terrorism of Likudist groups inside and around the U.S. administration nourish one another, and we pay the price along with the regular Americans and the entire world.
So, as you see, Arabs, Americans and the rest of the world suffer because of Jews, I wonder what Jihad Al Khazen’s soltution is…

posted by Pinchas | 10:04 AM |

Checkout Anti-Semitism

The Fairway supermarket in Manhattan failed to live up to its egalitarian name when an Israeli-born woman complained of anti-Semitic harassment from co-workers... "You [expletive] Jew. Go back to your country," one employee allegedly yelled at the woman...

posted by Pinchas | 9:44 AM |

Pat Robertson and crew continue to write about the connection between The Peace Process and weather-related disasters in America. You'd think that, if anything, God would be really angry at the Palestinians, but it seems He's taking out His wrath on America instead.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:23 AM |

Israeli art dealer arrested for allegedly forging James Ossuary inscription.(via ArtsJournal)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:14 AM |

Thursday, July 31, 2003  

Probably the most indecipherable comment we've received so far, from Glenn, responding to Pinky's Gillerman post. What do you think he means?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:46 PM |

It seems that the Charedi world has become aware of the latest subverse attempt at introducing their kids to secular knowledge. In response, they're reprinting all the old letters on the subject. Here's a sample:

"BS'D, Yom Chamishi leseder Ki Siso, 5755
I was profoundly shocked by the evil tidings that I heard, that people are about to make a breach and open an institution for youngsters called . . . that will be ordered differently from the yeshivos hakedoshos, adding and mixing the holy and the profane, studying and being engaged in secular and worthless studies R'l. They entice the students' parents by telling them that by engaging in these studies, they will have a more comfortable life. Naturally, this later leads them to engage in more and more secular studies. It is obligatory to realize that comfort and success in life come only from Hakodosh Boruch Hu, who is the sole Source of blessing and success, not from secular studies, chas vesholom.
I hereby declare, choliloh, choliloh that one should be a pupil at that place, where they alter the accepted method of Torah transmission, that we have received from our righteous teachers zy'a, who transmitted Torah from generation to generation [in the way that] has been instituted in the yeshivos kedoshos that are our legacy. Chas vesholom that other studies be incorporated in the yeshivos hakedoshos. All who introduce changes and who wreak damage and all those who abet them, are in a weak position and will be called to account in the future; their fate is stated by the Torah explicitly in parshas Re'ei.
In fact, now is the most auspicious time for opening yeshivos ketanos and gedolos that are [dedicated to] untainted [Torah study], without any admixture.
Elozor Menachem Man Shach"
I wonder what they think of the Rambam...

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:15 PM |

Check out the Voice’s interesting piece on ‘trans’ and ‘post humans.’ Here is what Yeshiva University Chancellor Rabbi Dr. Normal Lamm had to say:

I would say if a creature is both sentient and intelligent, and has a moral sense, then that creature should be considered a human being irrespective of the genesis of that person.
Lamm’s position beckons the obvious question: Does the absence of either sentiency, intelligence and morality render a being inhuman regardless of that person’s genesis? If so, then YU has got quite a few blobs of genetic mass on its payroll…

posted by Pinchas | 10:14 PM |

Retreats Help Rabbis, Cantors Reclaim Their Spirituality

Read how this group takes rabbis away from it all so they can recharge their spiritual batteries... and please, limit the criticism and be nice.

posted by Pinchas | 9:55 PM |

New Protocols Contest!!! Which of the Three Hundred Proofs of God’s Existence does it for you? Winner gets immunity from having his/her frumster profile plastered on protocols by Elder I.
[In keeping with the Frumster theme, we've been working on matching these proofs with the five categories in Frumster. Here's what we've got so far:

Modern Orthodox - Liberal:
Winner: 48
(1) God is everywhere.
(2) We haven't been everywhere to prove he's not there.
(3) Therefore, God exists.
Modern Orthodox - Machmir:
Winner: 68
(1) Atheists say that God doesn't exist.
(2) But they only say that because they want to look cool and intellectual in front of their peers.
(3) They don't fool me!
(4) Therefore, God exists.
Runners-Up: 51, 60, 61
Yeshivish/Black Hat:
(1) My mommy and daddy told me that God exists.
(2) Therefore, God exists.
Winner: 53
(1) Proof of God's existence will be available when you rise bodily from your grave.
(2) Therefore, God exists.
Runner-Up: 62
Winner: 42
(1) See that person spazzing on the church floor babbling incoherently?
(2) That's how infinite wisdom reveals itself.
(3) Therefore, God exists.
Runner-Up: 55

Nominate your own! And I think we're going to close the Frumster Bachelor polls tomorrow; don't let there be a tie! -- SIW]

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 8:54 PM |

Is Harry Potter a "Jewish" Book? Jewsweek has a pretty bland article on the issue, with the exception of this great line:

"Some say Harry's story is rife with odd Kabbalistic symbolism ('As in Jewish tradition, all power derives from the number three'), while others, citing the Prophets, think he is simply divine ('But now, O Lord, you are our Father; We are the clay, and You are the Potter.' -- Isaiah 64:7").
Come on, you have to smile. I did.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 7:10 PM |

Bob Hope helped demonstrate in America to raise awareness of the Holocaust during the war years. One more reason he was a Great Man.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 7:00 PM |

Apparently responding to Protocols Pressure, the Jewish Press letters are up and posted. This week, we see the resolution of the Good Shabbas and Infertility issues in back-to-back letters (moral equivalence?) and discussions about early Zionism with Memachem Porush which contained the hilarious line:

I believe The Jewish Press has earned and maintained its high credibility over many years because you do not report unsupportable rumors as fact, even as you courageously advocate your opinions(!)
The Stupid Letter Of The Week goes to Ettie Krumbein, who wrote in not only to tell us all that she wrote a Letter To The President, but she felt the need to provide running commentary so we'd be able to follow:
I recently sent a letter to President Bush in which I condemned what I called his “U-turn” regarding terror in Israel.
“You insist upon searching for Bin Laden,” I wrote. “You want him dead or alive. You declared that Iraq could not be free unless Saddam was killed, or at the very least removed from the scene.”
But at the same time, I pointed out, Mr. Bush ignores or overlooks the fact that Arafat remains in Israel firmly in control of his terrorists. “You recognize and invite Abu Mazen to the White House,” I continued. “Abu Mazen is a Holocaust denier, and a terrorist in his own right. He was appointed by Arafat, and takes his orders from him.”
Concerning the road map, I asked the president why he would “reward the Muslim terrorists in Israel with a state of their own. This Judenrein, Christian-free state will be carved out of Jewish biblical land. The red lines that Sharon has requested for the road map are ignored. The demands of the terrorists, which are not in your road map, are recognized. The release of prisoners with blood on their hands, and the halt of all building of Israeli homes in Israeli towns, are added to your demands.”
I concluded with the suggestion that “by buckling down to and rewarding the terrorists in Israel, you are undermining your courageous fight against terror,” and voiced the hope that Mr. Bush “will again be the president with high resolve for whom we voted."
I wonder if she assumes that the State Department will be able to adequetly comprehend her letter and be able to impart its deep and original meaning to Bush without her explanatory notes. The substance is just boring, but the style is something to blog over.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 6:44 PM |

VT GOP Chair Calls on Dean to Open Record To Public

"If Howard Dean plans to run on his record in Vermont, he needs to share that record with the public" said [Vermont Republican Party Chairman Jim] Barnett. "The American people should not just have to take his word for it."
Really? I am glad you feel that way because as an American people myself I have been wondering about George Bush’s gubernatorial record which has remained out of hand since he became president. I quote the Times from January 3 (via nexis):
Mr. Bush, as governor, was also reluctant to make government records public… When he left office, he sent his papers not to the Texas State Library in Austin, but to his father's presidential library at College Station. That library was unable to cope with demands for access…
Wait, there's more, Roanoke Times, March 10, 2002 (via nexis):
After six years as Texas governor, Bush cleared the mansion of all official papers, which could have provided some interesting insights into the influences - corporate and otherwise - on his gubernatorial stewardship… Rather than place the papers with the state archives, where they would be subject to the Texas Freedom of Information Act, Bush shipped them to daddy's presidential library at Texas A&M, where public access will be much harder to obtain…
Back to Vermont GOP:
"If Howard Dean is serious about straight talk, he can start by being upfront with the American people about his tenure as Governor of Vermont. If he doesn't open his record, it obviously means there's something he wants to hide from us," said Barnett.
You mean “Don’t mess with Vermont” is not a good enough answer? Hypocrisy and tunnel-vision seem to be traits of Bush’s automaton loyalist.

Lastly, for the record, Houston Chronicle April 9, 2003 (via nexis):
Bush, as president, signed an executive order allowing himself and future presidents to withhold documents of previous presidents. The order cripples the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which was passed after Nixon tried to block access to his own incriminating papers and tape recordings.
What rings most fascinating about this bit of ironical political hypocrisy is that someone in the GOP has decided that Howard Dean is a big enough threat to start taking shots at him... very interesting.

posted by Pinchas | 6:19 PM |

Josh Marshall needs a Web-design intern.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:24 PM |

"Middle East Gawker" (via Gawker)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:18 PM |

Reader HK sends in another link to an essay on The Passion, this one in the Forward. All you need are two paragraphs near the end to know the author's an idiot:

It's hard to believe that Gibson's movie could be as searing as the Gospels. These words are still read by Christians of all descriptions. If they are nowhere near rioting against Jews now, I don't suppose they are going to get suddenly whipped up to do so. Fredriksen cites some e-mails she has received from Christians who don't like Jews. But if any religious group is genuinely out to do us harm, it's not Christians — as the example of France, with its Muslim mobs, illustrates.
But the second reason we Jews need to learn some deep-breathing and other relaxation techniques is the one that always gets lost when others less meticulous than Fredriksen publicly humiliate a Christian for espousing his beliefs. If we are empowered to edit their doctrine, then why are they not empowered to edit ours?
Done and done.
I should note: I haven't really weighed on in The Passion thus far, primarily because I haven't seen it. That most of the critics also haven't makes a lot of the criticism unjustified -- but even more unjustified is the support of it by those who haven't viewed it. Already, in response to a post by Elder Avraham about how the trailer portrays Jesus being nailed in the palms (not the wrists), a message board poster called Elder Avraham's words "tribal mutterings". And then the next post on the board wrote:
Mel went with what they found on the Shroud of Turin, which shows the nail wounds in the wrists, which severed the median nerves and make the thumbs invisible on the Shroud.
Not surprising that this person didn't know that. A lot of people say falacious things about Christianity in their complete and total ignorance.
Well, according to the trailer, Gibson didn't go with what they found on the Shroud of Turin.
When someone challenges the way they've been described, the acceptable way for them to respond is by providing specific details that run counter to the description. Gibson hasn't done that, so the onus remains on him. Showing the film to a bunch of people who wouldn't know better and continuing to refuse a seat to those who've criticized the original script only digs him deeper; if he doesn't know that, too bad. But from what we've seen so far, he's already wrong.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:45 PM |

I think this is the first link to Little Green Footballs from here...but this one really is a doozy:

International Solidarity Movement activists try to tear down a gate, part of a separation fence built by Israel, during a demonstration against the construction of the fence near the northern West Bank village of Anin Monday, July 28, 2003. Five protesters were wounded when Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas to disperse the group of Palestinian and foreign protesters along the fence. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
(via Solomonia)
In other places, apparently, they're resorting to graffiti instead.
On a linguistic note, does the AP not differentiate between "protesters" and, say, "vandals" at the least or "violent aggresors" in a more appropriate terminology? Truly, the ISM is not a non-violent movement.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:56 PM |

BBC NEWS: Chicago Bank apologizes for praising Hitler:

In defending Hitler, Glenview was seeking to make a serious economic point.
During the 1930s, Germany poured money into capital projects - town-planning, road-building, armaments production and so on - which contributed to a huge economic upswing and the near-disappearance of unemployment.
In his report, Mr Raub argued that Hitler infused confidence into German workers, making them 'work harder than anyone else in Europe'.
This performance, he said, was in sharp contrast to the dramatic slumps endured by Germany's adversaries, especially the United States.
The Anti-Defamation League, however, thoroughly demolished the pro-Hitler argument.
Much of the hard work of Nazi Germany, it pointed out, was at the hands of unpaid slave labourers.
And the perceived upswing was at least partly produced by manipulating the economy: Jews and other persecuted groups were not counted in the unemployment statistics, and women were encouraged to marry and leave the workforce.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 1:51 PM |

Reader HK sends in a link to David Horowitz on The Passion. Nut grafs come at the end:

It is not anti-Semitic, as the film-burners charge. Two illustrative: Jesus is referred to in the film as "rabbi," and there is never any distancing of Jesus or his disciples from their Jewishness. (One point missed by ignorant bigots like Frederickson whose only familiarity with The Passion is with a stolen script) is that while the film is in Aramaic -- a brilliant effect that enhances the symbolic resonance of the story -- it has subtitles. Second detail: A Jew carries Jesus' cross along the terrible route to Golgotha and shares his miseries. But yes the film is also faithful to the Gospels and therefore the Pharisees are Jesus' enemies and they and their flock do call for Jesus' death (and why wouldn't they since Jesus was a threat to their authority and their beliefs?).
But all this is to miss the point. This is a Christian parable. The cruelty, intolerance and lack of compassion of human beings is limitless -- and we who have lived through the Twentieth Century know this all too well. The moral of this Christian story -- of Mel Gibson's film -- is that we all killed Jesus -- Jew and Gentile alike -- and tortured him, and we do so every day. But if you believe the vision that Gibson has rendered so searingly and so well, Jesus forgives us for that very act. Whosoever will give up cruelty and love his brother will enter paradise. That is the message that Gibson has framed in his extraordinary work. The effort to shut down his film before it opens is just another station of the cross.
So, basically, all that these complainants are having trouble getting their mind around is the idea that the Jews are wholly responsible for Jesus' death (except in the flaky "we all do it every day sense") and that this was a tragic act that scarred humanity forever. If only the murderous Jews had realized then, as Horowitz does now, that Jesus has made us who we are in every valuable way. Hmmm.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:47 PM |

Last week, I did some research to figure out the identity of Naomi Chana, and sent an e-mail to the person with the subject line "Naomi Chana?" and the body "Just Wondering." I thought that my not receiving a response might mean I was wrong, but notice this in her latest:

Did not check email except at MPC #4. Was too busy to search for Internet cafes in London. Have just triaged several hundred new messages as result. Will be subscribing to Europe-wide wireless Internet access for future long-term research trips.
The Elders must know.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:25 PM |

Senate Majority Leader Daschle to Become a Blogger

Perhaps Elder I. can convince him to submit a note or two to Protocols. Thinking persons must consider just how many ways the internet will change the face of politics.

posted by Pinchas | 1:22 PM |

Random Jottings notes Verizon's efforts to roll out fiber-optic cable. I don't give a hoot what kind of stuff they're doing outside my apartment so long as I keep getting disconnected every time the phone rings. Blah Blah on them.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:19 PM |

Move over Dr. Ruth, Kosher Sex Hits the Airwaves

As though giving the world over 1,000,000 copies of his book in 27 languages was not enough, the Sex Rabbi will begin appearing in two weeks on WLIW 21... that’s a PBS station?! I am going to write those producers a letter and send back my tote bag and coffee mug!

posted by Pinchas | 11:47 AM |

As Elder Pinky just linked to, the new issue of the Jewish Press seems to be online. However, the Letters section seems not to have made it onto the web this week. I'm going to call "foul" and assume that somehow we had something to do with that...

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:42 AM |

The Rebbetzin on Intermarriage in LA

posted by Pinchas | 11:41 AM |

DATELINE, July 31, 2003, 11:30 am (sorry for the delay I was stuck on a conference call):

--Youth beaten in anti-Semitic attack
--Tel Aviv grants gay rights
--Community Head: France No More Antisemitic Than U.S.
--Saudi Press: Devil in the Middle East is certainly Israel
--Moscow Targets Another Russian Jewish Oligarch
--Multi-Denominational Shul hopes to attract members
--This Date in 1776: First Jew Dies in War For Independence
--Israeli Researchers: Sun may offer cheap way to treat cancer
--And the young shall inherit the newspapers
--Studies Show Women Likely to Become Problem Gamblers
--Israel OKs new construction in Gaza
--Mideast peace talks end in disagreement
--British Police Raid Radical Islamic Group
--Anti-Semitic, White Supremacist Literature Found After Crash
--Pilots begin training for guns in cockpits
--Saudi Press: Bush Blesses Sharon Wall
--Faith-based Initiative is a Trojan Horse
--Jewish Museum Launches New Web Site
--King Mohammed VI warns Islamists
--Family meets relative lost during Holocaust
--This Date in 1941: Nazi Goering orders “Final Solution”
--Israeli Chief Rabbi Meets with King Mohammed VI

posted by Pinchas | 11:29 AM |

Since the published version of Witness Iraq is very different from what I put together, I've posted my version here. Basically, the assignment was to come up with a cool way of narrating the war and have it fit in nine pages for the book.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:21 AM |

Just in case you haven't been following, Bryan's been continuing his discussion of the book "The Jew in the Lotus", which is a series of conversations that various Jewish thinkers had once with the Dalai Lama (click here for the most recent such post). In my usual spirit of reverence, I present this Dalai Lama article, which I think proves that he could well be one of the most honest people ever to have lived.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:55 AM |

Received this message on Frumster from "Earl":

A few days ago i found your protocols website, and i must say that i find all the attention you pay to the frumster website to be quite amusing. I, however, think it was in poor taste for you to post those people's profiles and ridicule them, especially if they had pictures. Its was a bit much.
I dont think they were any worse than your profile. While you obviously were trying to convey the message that you dont take this site seriously, it is also clear that you were trying to be clever and witty, and at this you failed miserably. Also, your political views are no different from any young idealistic college student who feels he needs to set himself apart.
Who knows, maybe you will find that girl who is "holding out for an elder." But from what i hear, elders go about getting girls in a different manner (i.e. off the rebound, while the girl is still devistated because the guy who she really wanted to marry just dumped her. Hey, whatever works)
Sounds like somebody's jealous. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, and so forth.
In the meantime, polls in the Frumster Bachelor vote are still open!

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:28 AM |

Hashkafa Discussion:

ChaniMirelHirsh: Ladies, Elders I and Avraham are still single . . .
Nechama: They are smart, opinionated, and snarky. And use Pert-Plus shampoo. No wonder we like them.
Well...I don't know if Elder Avraham uses Pert Plus. This all leads to the question: What does Elder Pinchas get from our female fans? Role models for his daughter?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:21 AM |

Making of a Godol sale. Four new, autographed copies on auction. Alternatively, you can purchase it there straight for $2,000.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:07 AM |

From the makers of Girlhock (that would be Meredith) comes ReJew. Check it out.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:17 AM |

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  

When I woke up this morning, it felt like a 2,000 hit today; sure enough, it was. Cool.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:34 PM |

DATELINE: July 30, 2003 10:00 PM

-DeLay, I'm "an Israeli at heart"
-Jews in the World Media; A Scary Trend
-Palestinians Cry Foul Over Wall
-IDF Protects Palestinian Land From Settlers' Bulldozer
-Palestinian Baby Boom Affects Peace Process
-Annan Chides Israel for Building Security Fence
-Arab News on Why There Will Never Be Peace in Israel
-WJC President Edgar Bronfman Urges President Bush to Ensure Momentum in Peace Process
-"Covering" or "Covering Up" a Palestinian Solidarity Rally?
-44 percent of Americans believe God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people
-In Paraguay Too, Kids Go to Camp Gan Israel
-Hamas to Brief Arabs on "Zionist Defiance of the Palestinian Truce"
-Israel May Pull Out of Two More West Bank Towns
-Palestinians Complain about Security Fence

posted by Pinchas | 9:58 PM |

I don't know how to respond to I won't. See the reference to Protocols and "tribal mutterings" and make of it what you will.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:31 PM |

Bizzaro Blog: Professor Of The Elders Dr. Brill points us to CatholicAnalysis, which is sort of a Catholic version of protocols, complete with booktalks, run by Oswald Sobrino, a graduate student in theology. He seems a bit more, well, reverent, than we usually are, but its an interesting view at a parallel universe. An example: on biblical scholarship:

Initially, the non-expert reader gets the real benefit of historical and linguistic allusions and facts that open up new vistas on the biblical text as we try to transport our modern minds to the ancient social and historical context of the writers. At this point, as the Pontifical Biblical Commission has stated, the "historical-critical method" and redaction history is indeed indispensable. By researching the background of the biblical text, we derive important information, albeit of varying degrees of certainty and utility, that can correct the natural tendency to impose our modern assumptions on the world of the biblical writer.
Yet, at some point, even the most historically and critically minded of commentators will decide on the ultimate interpretation of a passage. At this point, it is surprising to find an arbitrariness that borders on the superficial.
Granted, I would've tried to say all that with a single somewhat sarcastic snipe, but I agree completely, and I don't even know what the Pontifical Biblical Commission is.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 8:50 PM |

Interestingly enough, in the parallel universe of Christianity, Rushkoff-ism is alive and well. Professor Of The Elders Dr. Brill points us to, which is dedicated to much the same sort of discussions that Rushkoff's own Open Source Judaism is into. One crucial difference -- this from one of their earliest posts:

We are not here to encourage arrogance and elitism. Open-source theology is not superior to other ways of doing theology. In many respects it is dependent on the more traditional methods and must be willing to listen both to progressive and conservative voices. But it has some important advantages: it makes theological reflection a community activity; it is directly responsive to the circumstances of ordinary believers; it is contextualized; and it fits the emerging-culture grid.
Quite a different tone from Rushkoff wanting to educate us about the "Truth About Judaism" (henceforth, TAJ for short), you know? Also, they (founded in 2002) link to Rushkoff's site (founded in 2003), but I couldn't find a return link.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 8:36 PM |

The Jesus Seminar and The Public by Robert J. Miller. Basically, this is/was a group of scholars that sat around a table voting on how likely the historical Jesus was to have said any of the lines attributed to him in the Christian Bible. Obviously, they knew that they couldn't reach anything definitive, but the exercise is an interesting one just in terms of its fundamental assumptions about how the Gospels were put together. A good illustration: could you imagine the outcry in the Jewish community if a bunch of biblical scholars called for a Moses Seminar?

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 8:28 PM |

It's interestingly ironic that the one post that generated probably half or more of our hits today -- Pinchas' post on Murdoch & Gillerman -- didn't receive a single comment until around 3:00 PM. And none since. But the comment was a hearty one, by Catherine, saying:

Yay, Fox!
Well, with a twinkle in our eye and smile upon our collective lips, we say:
Yay, Catherine!

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 6:13 PM |

David (my bother's a bigshot, so I get to write columns) Limbaugh on The Passion:

Some Christian 'scholars' are panning the movie, without having seen it and based on a purloined and now obsolete movie script, because of its dubious historicity and theology.
Well, makes sense to me. Or are we all suddenly in favor of dubious historicity and theology? Hmmm...that might explain a lot....

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 6:09 PM |

Finally, Elder Avraham and I have completede our Jewsweek piece on Rushkoff. Here's a sneak preview; if there are any final edits we should be aware of, please contact us by AIM or e-mail. Enjoy.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:29 PM |

LAT on the fight over Pryor's nomination. The argument has been circulating in conservative circles that turning down an anti-abortion judge who is also Catholic could amount to de facto descrimination against Catholics:

Last week, Pryor's supporters ran newspaper ads in Maine and Rhode Island that showed a courthouse door and included the words: 'Catholics need not apply.'
The ads were sponsored by the Committee for Justice, a group founded by former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray to support Bush's besieged judicial nominees.
Orrin Hatch had this to say:
"While I, the people of Alabama and especially Alabamans who know him best agree that Gen. Pryor is an excellent, well-qualified nominee, the radical left and its Beltway sympathizers believe he has already disqualified himself," Hatch said. "Why? Because the left is trying to enforce an anti-religious litmus test. It appears that nominees who openly adhere to Catholic and Baptist doctrines, as a matter of personal faith, are unqualified for the federal bench in the eyes of the liberal Washington interest groups. Period. No exceptions for Carolyn Kuhl or Leon Holmes, and certainly not for Gen. Pryor."
I've been wondering about this for awhile as I've seen it continually hammered home in the WSJ and elsewhere. Dahlia Lithwick tackled a similar issue in regard to Scalia, the Church, and the death penalty. Back in February of last year, Scalia said, "any Catholic jurists (with such concerns) [about the death penalty]... would have to resign." Lithwick went on to note how convenient it is that Scalia finds his own religious beliefs within the Constitution and resorts to a faith-based originalism that he justifies largely by the fact that he is a co-religionist with the long-dead authors of our founding document.
I believe I've seen more documentation regarding Pryor's statement, though off-hand I don't know where, wherein he justified his decision on strict Constitutional grounds (maybe it was based on the idea that abortion isn't related to inter-state commerce...I'm not sure). But, basically, that's the appropriate litmus test: whether they're making decisions based on law or on faith.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:26 PM |

USA Aims to Reduce Air Marshalls

The Transportation Security Administration wants to reduce the number of air marshals to save money, even as the government is warning about the possibility al-Qaida may try more suicide hijackings.
Why does this not seem like one the administration’s brighter ideas?

posted by Pinchas | 4:48 PM |

Before it disappears, just wanted to note the piece by Reuven Koret on The Matrix: Reloaded. It's not really worth reading, because he's actually trying to make an argument out of it, instead of playing with the concept, like we did. This has all the subtlety, nuance and genius of, say, claiming that "For Jews, Right is Wrong".
Jackasses of the left and right, unite. By your powers combined...

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 3:55 PM |

To all our visitors from Gawker and The Corner, don't forget to vote for your favorite Frumster Bachelor.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 3:44 PM |

Debra Nussbaum Cohen at the Jewish Week has a piece she calls "Tweaking Tradition" on how gay and lesbian Jews alter tradition to fit their lifestyles.

Most Jewish worship and practice is the same for gay and lesbian Jews as it is for any other. But there are places where the needs of gays and lesbians are not addressed by the tradition, and so rituals and liturgies are invented...

According to Rabbi Ayelet Cohen of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the [coming out] rituals may involve immersion in the ritual bath known as mikveh, or a private ceremony, conducted with friends, around Havdalah...

“There are not a lot of reflections of same-sex love in biblical love poetry, for example. Some of the images in our siddur, like ‘Lecha Dodi,’ speak of the groom and bride rejoicing,” she said. “That reflects one kind of loving relationship. I personally change the words to ‘as the heart rejoices in love,’ which fits in the syllables and uses the same image of lovers rejoicing but doesn’t limit to one love relationship.”

Rabbi Cohen also penned a gay pride “Al HaNissim” piece that celebrates the freedom of gay and lesbian Jews... A growing number of “regular” synagogues — not those catering to homosexuals — are using it on Gay Pride Shabbat in June, she noted. religious rituals a person is identified by his or her Jewish name — traditionally, the person’s first name, and then “daughter of” or “son of” the father or father and mother. For someone with two mothers or two fathers, that is changed.

For the brit milah of a boy with two mothers, mohel Cantor Phil Sherman suggests that they name a man — an uncle or good friend — to be the baby’s “hamegadlo,” someone who will be involved in raising him when a male presence is desired.
Ahead of this week's JP Letters feature, absolutely fascinating.

PS For more on this interesting issue, please see Ms. Cohen’s other article in this week’s Jewish Week on Gays Rituals Going Mainstream.

One wonders about two so similar articles written by the same person in the same issue.

posted by Pinchas | 3:27 PM |

New York City Pulls Back From Fiscal Brink

...a startling turnaround that is a result of a budget formula consisting of higher taxes, service cuts, extra aid and greater government efficiency...
Okay, let's see here so its higher taxes, service cuts, extra aid, greater government efficiency, hey wait a minute no trillion dollar tax cut?

posted by Pinchas | 3:05 PM |

Bone marrow appeal to Jewish community

An Australian is appealing to the Jewish community in Britain to help find a bone marrow donor for his mother. Mr Yuri Frenklah is searching for a match after his mother, Olga, was diagnosed with acute leukaemia last year.
French synagogue ransacked, death slogan on wall
A synagogue in a Paris suburb has been ransacked in what French Jewish leaders said on Wednesday was the first such anti-Semitic attack in France since the end of the Iraq war.

Prayer books were found thrown onto the floor, the Torah scrolls -- sacred to Jews -- opened, and cash stolen after the break-in last Friday night at the synagogue, its administrator Jean-Claude Myara said.

Written on an outside wall was "juif=mort" (Jew=death).

posted by Pinchas | 2:39 PM |

The level of discourse that we've meticulously maintained in our comments sections seems to have spilled over into the (until now) most aloof, academic reaches of the blogosphere. The spat in question began when I posted a link to Professor Jim Davila's (aka paleojudaica) most recent conference paper. Commenter Meredith responded:

It’s things like this that remind me why I’ll never again live with a Bible critic.
From the ivory tower of academia, Davila shot back:
Don't flatter yourself, Meredith
Protocols -- dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of blog-related discourse .

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 2:28 PM |

Immigration to Israel down 39% to 9,200 in first half of year

posted by Pinchas | 2:21 PM |

AUCKLAND July 18 - Some 200 poets, writers and academics - all living in exile around the world - are to gather for a conference in Auckland this week to explore the link between exile and creativity.
If there is a strong connection, then we should be the world's most creative people. Elder I., did you attend said conference?

posted by Pinchas | 2:17 PM |

Reader Menachem points to Scott McClellan's briefing yesterday which had this fierce question:

Q Scott, while the President said that Israel's border wall or fence, which is now 85 miles long, is "unhelpful," U.S. Border Patrol said yesterday that there are 68 miles of our Mexican border that are also fenced or walled. My question, first of two: Will the President, as an example to Israel, order that the Mexican border walls be removed? Or does he recognize a deep concern of Texans, New Mexicans, Arizonans, and Californians about the millions of illegal aliens that keep crossing there?
And you're thinking "Wow, that's a toughie." But Scott McClellan turned on the after-burners for his response:
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first, let me speak to the issue of the Texas-Mexico border. Because when the President was governor, he made it very clear that he was opposed to building a wall along that border, that walls tend to separate people. And he made his views very clear on that issue as governor. And so that was a view he expressed as governor.
In terms of the security fence in Israel, he's also made concerns known about how, over the long-term, that he hopes that that can end, as well, that terrorism will no longer be there and that the security fence will no longer be needed. But he has continued to make his views known in the meeting earlier today.
Again, Bush comes off as an honest broker of peace; the man's invincible.
The next question seemed an even tougher hit:
Q Page one of the Washington Times reports "U.S. reverses its position on Hamas. Powell says nonviolence key to new role." And my question: If this is done, despite Abbas, total violation of the road map's requirement that Hamas be disarmed, why should al Qaeda not be extended the same olive branch?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the first part of your question. But the road map makes very clear that terrorist organizations need to be dismantled. And that's --
Q He has to disarm Hamas. He has not disarmed Hamas.
MR. McCLELLAN: That is the President's position. But he also made it very clear that Prime Minister Abbas is someone who is committed to peace, someone who is committed to --
Q -- when?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- committed to addressing security situations. They had a good visit about some of these issues.
But the questioner is actually pretty off on the facts. As the WT story actually revealed, Powell was calling for Hamas to jettison its terrorist activities.
"If an organization that has a terrorist component to it, a terrorist wing to it, totally abandons that, gives it up, and there is no question in anyone's mind that is part of its past, then that is a different organization."
Reminds me of Bush's call late last year for Saddam to reform,
President Bush said today that the United States was trying diplomacy ''one more time'' to disarm Saddam Hussein ''peacefully'' and suggested that if the Iraqi leader complied with every United Nations mandate it would ''signal the regime has changed.''

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:00 PM |

Synopsis of President Bush’s eighth official press conference (at the same time in their presidency’s Clinton had held 33 and Bush the elder – not to be confused with Elder – had held 61): Me good, Saddam bad. Condi good, gay marriage bad. Economy good, unemployment bad. WMDs bad, not finding them not so bad. Raising lots of campaign money good, Gray Davis funny. Deficit okay, North Korea sorta bad. Secrecy good, al Qaeda bad. War on terror good, Iran bad. And not one mention of a lockbox.

posted by Pinchas | 1:51 PM |

Security tape shows boxes' removal from Brentwood offices

A slightly fuzzy, black and white surveillance video played Tuesday in a darkened U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip showed five men, three of them in Hasidic garb, carting boxes through the doors of the Brentwood offices of Allou Healthcare Inc. in the middle of the night...

Congress Financial has charged that the Jacobses, who are Hasidic Jews, surreptitiously removed records from Allou. The lender also claims that Allou's inventories and income statements were inflated and that money was diverted from the public company to other Jacobs family businesses.
[Maybe it was really just a heist based on Snatch -- SIW]

posted by Pinchas | 1:39 PM |

There is something about Kansas City’s Menorah Hospital opening a kosher section in their cafeteria that just sounds right.

...a closer look at the cold selections reveals that these aren't just ordinary eats. Nickel-sized seals proclaim the deli-meat sandwiches to be certified kosher meat products. A sign suspended from the ceiling identifies this as "Kosher Korner" and a framed certificate on the outside of the cold case states that the food served in the line has been certified kosher by Vaad Hakashruth of Kansas City.

posted by Pinchas | 1:26 PM |

LAT on a religious Christian gym. It plays Christian rock, has a dress code, daily prayers and is closed on Sunday. Not noted in the article, there are some Orthodox Jewish gyms out there, too. There is this Jewish bit, though:

But certain fitness routines can conflict with one's strict adherence to a particular faith. Take yoga, for example, the ancient meditative practice providing the basis for Vishnaic religions. For many Jews who want to practice yoga, chanting Sanskrit during a sun salutation and then skipping off to a rabbi's house for dinner is a dramatic conflict of faith.
Yoga Garden, which opened in 1987 in Ida Unger's backyard in Santa Monica, is a place where Jews can relax, meditate and get their bodies in shape while honoring the commandments of the Torah.
Still, Unger is careful not to imply that yoga is Judaism. "I would hate to see Jewish people only want to practice yoga in a Jewish environment," she says. "Yoga came to us from another culture, and it's a mandate within Judaism to be a light unto other nations. You can't be a light unto anyone unless you're open to them as well."
See, that's why I haven't gotten involved in yoga -- I'm torn between religious environments and secular endeavors; it has nothing to do with laziness...

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:26 PM |

Bush's press conference comments on Israel:

Q: spoke about a Palestinian state in 2005. Do you think that goal is still realistic, or is it likely to slide just because it's so hard to make headway?
THE PRESIDENT: I do think it's realistic. I also know when we start sliding goals, it makes progress less realistic. Absolutely, I think it's realistic. And I think we're making pretty good progress in a short period of time.
I'm impressed by Prime Minister Abbas' vision of a peaceful Palestinian state. I believe him when he says that we must rout out terror in order for a Palestinian state to exist. I believe he's true. I think Mr. Dahlan, his Security Chief, also recognizes that.
And we've got to help those two leaders in a couple of ways to realize that vision of a peaceful Palestinian state. One is to provide help and strategy to Mr. Dahlan so that he can lead Palestinian security forces to the dismantlement of bomb-making factories, rocket-making factories, inside Gaza and the West Bank. That's going to be a very important part of earning the confidence of the world, for that matter. We've also got to recognize that there are things that can happen on the ground that will strengthen Mr. Abbas' hand, relative to the competition, moving -- for example, movement throughout the country.
Again, this sounds very, very different from what Tom DeLay is saying.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:09 PM |

AKS writes about a project of hers, Israel21c, that just got picked up as a source by Google News. It's kind of like a Jewsweek for Israel. Nifty.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:57 PM |

Crying Wolf

Those of you who remember when Yeshiva instituted a hiring freeze because they were running a deficit will be amused to know that Yeshiva has over $1.5 billion in total assets and their revenues were over $69 million better than their liabilities in their most recent financial reports… Courtesy of Guide Star.

For a complete look at YU’s financials, click here.

posted by Pinchas | 12:49 PM |


Actor Christopher Reeve told an Israeli audience yesterday he thinks there is a good chance he will walk again - provided "politics and religion" don't interfere with scientific research.
It's an interesting approach, to come to Israel and lay blame on politics and religion, the two cornerstones of Israeli culture and society.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:05 PM |

It seems that protocols is the first result for any msn searches for "WHERES MY ADVANCE CHILD TAX CREDIT FORM". That's us -- we at protocols are known far and wide for being serious when it comes to advance child tax credit forms.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:04 PM |

Attention Joel Administration: This is how a school with vision behaves.

posted by Pinchas | 11:36 AM |

Gore May Enter Race

Let me hear you all say, "Lockbox."

posted by Pinchas | 10:51 AM |

Something to think about over The Nine Days:

A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.
Dioxins are a group of chemicals known to increase the likelihood of cancer.
The figures were based on grilling four large steaks, four turkey cuts and eight large sausages.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:41 AM |

Archeology Magazine takes the new Tomb Raider movie way too seriously:

For all its entertainment value, there's nothing here of any redeeming value in terms of archaeology. It's unfortunate; I don't think it has to be that way, even with a character based on a video game. Oh well, maybe they'll do a third movie in which we'll see Lara Croft at a scholarly meeting presenting a paper on long-distance trade and kinship ties in Assyria based on her trace element analysis of metal artifacts (maybe ancient knives?) and newly translated cuneiform tablets. I can see it a distinguished professor in a tweed jacket and bow tie raises his hand to object to her conclusion, Croft reaches for her cutlery.... Hmmm. Maybe it's better to not worry about archaeology if you go to this movie.
Indeed. (via paleojudaica)

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:36 AM |

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  

Meredith's big smackdown. Many of us have watched Meredith progress and grow, from Reader Meredith to Blogger Meredith, but have been waiting for the true potential of Commenter Meredith to bloom. It's been a struggle, an uphill climb -- but we think she's done it. It started off with a simple post about the hottie, to which Meredith put up her catty best:

With spelling like that, it's a good thing she's not aspiring any higher than kollel-wife status.
And then "Kettle" tried to steal her thunder:
Quick Merideth, the corner store has a sale on stereoypes, perhaps you can buy into a few more!
The most capable and talented women that I know happen to be professionals supporting their husbands in kollel.
I wonder what they could have become had they only brushed up on their spelling and aspired to really do something with their lives?!
Like author a blog.
Note, for the record, that he didn't say "articulate." And then, like Daniel San in the Crane Position, Meredith took him out:
Kettle Called Black ---
Great idea but sadly no can do. In the off-time, when I’m not blogging, I work three jobs to support myself and various family members. Additionally I’m spearheading three different tzedaka/chessed campaigns. This sadly leaves me with neither the financial nor the scheduling liberties necessary for purchasing an empire in stereotypes.
And while we’re on the topic of spelling being sociologically indicative, please note my name’s correct spelling. I’m quite sensitive on that point.
Booyakasha, and so forth. Meredith, you have now earned your claws. Congratulations!

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:00 PM |

There's currently a three-way tie in Frumster Bachelor voting.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:01 PM |

The Elders Enter The Halls Of Power: according to the (not really very) trusty hit counters, we got a number of hits from today. I hope Bloomberg liked what he saw...

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:16 PM |

I asked the Head Heeb for his thoughts on the Tom DeLay/Logan Act question, and boy did he produce. It's a great post and I'm still parsing through it. I'll have more later.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:38 PM |

An Obsession With Stupidity

In response to major intelligence failures highlighted by the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon was set to open up an online betting parlor that would use futures speculators to predict terrorist activity. Under this plan, terrorists would be able to profit from their dastardly work by betting on someone’s assassination or some cataclysmic event and then carrying it out.

Thankfully, this incredibly stupid idea was scuttled today in yet another act of contrition by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Not yet reported widely enough is the role of famed Reagan National Security Advisor, Admiral John M. Poindexter in this fiasco. For those readers who did not study ‘history’ or were too young at the time, Poindexter was convicted of lying to Congress about weapons sales to Iran and illegal aid to Nicaraguan rebels. Ya, this guy is working with the Bush administration now.

posted by Pinchas | 4:06 PM |

An Obsession With Secrecy

Not that it is much of a surprise to anyone, but President Bush has stated that he would not release the classified sections of the bi-partisan report on September 11. CNN reports:

“It makes no sense to declassify when we've got an ongoing investigation. That could jeopardize that investigation… And it makes no sense to declassify during the war on terrorism, because it would help the enemy if they knew our sources and methods.”

Not included in the report were portions of the National Security Estimate and records of the daily briefings.
Exactly, so why would there be classified information in the 9/11 report, if the administration did not give the commission classified information (the President’s daily intel briefings and portions of the NSE)? Did the administration originally make available some classified material or was the information on those blank pages classified only after the fact?

I guess it all depends on what your definition of classified is is.

posted by Pinchas | 3:24 PM |

Check out TNR’s piece on Mel Gibson’s film. For those interested in the quick skinny the lead-in reads:

An inside look at Mel Gibson's anti-historical, anti-intellectual, anti-Semitic film about the crucifixion.

posted by Pinchas | 1:53 PM |

Jesus Christ was a Jew... The Jewish people were God's chosen people. He has a covenant with them. We ought to appreciate that.
More on Tom DeLay’s trip to Israel and his political influence.

posted by Pinchas | 1:28 PM |

The Gateshead Rabbi who challenged UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks last year over portions of Saks’ book has died at age 75.

posted by Pinchas | 1:22 PM |

So, what do you do if you’re a white-power neo-Nazi and you get drummed out of the movement because you’re Jewish? You become a spammer…

posted by Pinchas | 1:13 PM |

In the world of self-centered self-help, Kabbal is King

Oh man, is all I have to say after reading Steven Kotler’s piece in Salon on the famed Rabbi Berg and his motivational, inspiration, love your life program branded as Kabbalah.

posted by Pinchas | 1:07 PM |

Jews Object to 'Animal Holocaust' Exhibit

I guess some places are a little bit slower to react than others… Bet you didn’t know there was a JCRC in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

posted by Pinchas | 12:49 PM |

Survey: Jews support gay marriage, 69 to 28 percent.

Elder I., why wait until Thursday to comment on the Vatican campaign? The same poll said Catholics support gay marriage, 57 to 39 percent. Surprising to me, Sixty-one percent of African Americans are against same-sex unions.

posted by Pinchas | 12:43 PM |

Yesterday, I had the privilege of lunching with Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman. He repeated the common refrain of his tenure at the U.N., which began eight months ago that the Israeli Mission would no longer be a one-issue mission (not just the Mid-east conflict) and a one-mission mission (having friends at the U.N. beyond the U.S.).

On the lighter side though, he told me that he recently had dinner with Rupert Murdoch and that he turned to the billionaire TV mogul and said,

DG: You know, I don’t think I am going to agree to be interview on Fox News anymore.

RM: For heavens sake, why not?

DG: Because every time I am on Fox your reporters embarrass me.

RM: They embarrass you?

DG: Yes, they always come off as being more pro-Israel than I, how am I supposed to compete?

For those who are interested DG was on Fox this morning at 9:30 and will be on CNN this afternoon at 3.

posted by Pinchas | 12:12 PM |

AP: Vatican gathering opposition against gay marriage.

The Vatican hopes to rally public opposition to gay marriages in a worldwide campaign spurred by its alarm over growing legal acceptance of same-sex unions in Europe and North America.
Instructions to be released this week outline a course of action for politicians and other lay people to oppose moves to extend rights to gay couples, Vatican officials said.
The document - 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons' - was prepared by the church's guardian of orthodoxy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and is to be released Thursday, the officials said.
We'll assumedly have lots to say come Thursday.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:02 PM |

The hottie writes in! But don't get your hopes up:

As u assumed i got some msg from ur readers! sorry but i don't think it will match at all..i want a bochur yeshiva and they r defenitly not!
Surely, someone here must meet her demanding standards (maybe she's holding out for an Elder?).
Guys, go get her. And report back to us.
And ladies, don't forget to vote for a Frumster Bachelor.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:32 AM |

Y'know how when the Web started taking off, you'd see all these articles about how, in the future, when babies were born they'd get their own webpages? Well, this kid got her own blog.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:28 AM |

Yuter's been busy recently trying to figure out which historical catastrophes actually happened on 9 Av and which didn't. There were some hits, some near misses, some inconclusives, and some way offs. He claims that this is somehow of great importance. Me, I'm not so sure, but I'll hear him out.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:40 AM |

Shidduch Crisis hits the mainstream: via NY1 News

A New York Post study of the 2000 Census found that just over 300,000 women [in NYC] ages 35 to 44 have a traditional marriage, while nearly 400,000 are single. There are three times as many divorced women in the city as men.

[This is why the Frumster crusade is so important. "Protocols -- fixing the shidduch crisis one bachelor vote at a time." -- SIW]

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:31 AM |

A Growing Number of Americans Say Islam Encourages Violence Among Followers

"A poll released today by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that there has been an important shift in public perceptions of Islam. Fully 44 percent of the American public now believes that Islam is more likely than other religions 'to encourage violence among its believers.' As recently as March 2002, just 25 percent expressed this view
Interesting. I would've thought that the polls would have been higher the closer to 9/11. This deserves some thought.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:14 AM |

Monday, July 28, 2003 runs an article on the Kabbalah Center, otherwise known as The Church of Scientology Done Jewish.

One of the first things they figured out is that no one really cares about forbidden fruit if they can't use it to bake a pie. So instead of having classes about God, the center has classes about the much more practical task of finding your soul mate. Along the way, what they teach might show you a thing or two about God, but their version offers some serious personal change without putting in all that time on the hard cold floors of the monastery. No fasting, no thorny path. According to Berg, all you need for change is a bit of prayer and a bit of meditation.
If this sounds a little ethereal, well, it is. This is mysticism after all -- served quick and easy: You sign up, take a few classes, and suddenly, shazam: happiness, true love, career fulfillment -- whatever you want on the menu is yours courtesy of a beneficent creator. Welcome one and all to the McDonald's of Jewish mysticism.
McDonald's indeed.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:51 PM |

Israel recognizes the Black Hebrew community: Who are these Black Hebrews, anyway?

Favoring stark black robes with elaborate inlaid designs, Black Hebrews constitute one of Israel's most unusual groups. They practice polygamy, shun birth control, and refrain from eating meat, dairy products, eggs and sugar.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:44 PM |

Adi Neuman survives a frontal assault on his new Frumness - a night out with his secular cousin.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:31 PM |

AKS' tales of the goldfish. Reminds me of the fish we had as a kid for awhile. One day, one of the fish wasn't in the bowl anymore, and when I got upstairs to breakfast, I couldn't believe the atrocity my father had carried out by flushing it down the toilet. It wasn't until some time later that I realized the fish was dead first...and then forgave the Pops.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:14 PM |

the talking dog:

When asked if he was going to release the Palestinian prisoners to the direct custody of the Palestinian Authority, Sharon responded-- 'What? Am I meshugeh? Those mamzers are terrorists!'

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:39 PM |

Best Google hit ever middle east Hebrew erotica. Sorry to disappoint, but we don't have any here; though, if anybody sends some over, I'll gladly link to it.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:32 PM |

Kesher Talk links to Jarvis' description of a run-in with Alterman over the latter's comments on French anti-Semitism. I was there for the tail-end of the conversation (see my other posts about the conference here and here), and it really didn't look pretty from Alterman's end.
I came to the conversation at about the time that Alterman was making his mosquitoes comparison (which seemed to be responding to Jarvis' allegation that studying attackers' motivations is worthless, since the motivation is anti-Semitism), which was a pretty stupid comparison to make -- because we kill mosquitoes by spraying; only wackos propose going genocidal on Arabs or Palestinians as a whole. So then Alterman says something along the lines of "if you end the occupation, you end the attacks against Israelis," to which I replied "but they're not only attacking Israelis, they're attacking the French," to which he responded, "So they're inaccurate." I don't know precisely how far Paris is from the West Bank, but that's pretty fucking inaccurate.
Later, during the after-party at Lotus, Alterman said something to me like "You disagreed with me earlier." So I said, "I just don't think you'd feel the same way if they were attacking New Yorkers instead of French Jews." So he lets out the typical "I don't talk about this stuff with people, it's an endless argument" type of saying.
One thing about Jarvis' description that is a bit inaccurate:

A TV crew was getting ready to interview him and had its camera turned pointed in our direction. Alterman pushed the microphone away and snapped, "I'm not talking to you."
To be fair to Eric, the TV crew had focused its camera on him and was holding the microphone in front of his face, and by all appearances was looking to film the argument, when Eric said "I'm not talking to the camera." As I recall, the camera crew walked away and there was a bit more conversation before Eric did.
I have two additional points to make:
1) There is a need to study the cause of attacks especially when the root is anti-Semitism. Attacks by people who take the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as fact can be prevented through education and discourse; a lot of these anti-Semites don't know any better -- if they did, there's every reason to believe they'd quit violence based on their sentiments.
2) Eric only made the comment as a tangential last-sentence statement. It's obvious he didn't put much thought into it, and it's likewise obvious that he's wrong, so why dig in his heels? No one will think he's an idiot for retracting it, but a lot of people will think he's stupid for sticking with it.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:06 PM |

I missed this, but it apparently happened a few weeks ago. Amiri Baraka got dumped by Jersey, which couldn't fire him -- so legislators just removed the job altogether. Here're some examples of different coverage.
Last October, I argued that Baraka wasn't being anti-Semitic.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:07 PM |

The guys' profiles at Frumster really are pretty hilarious. This guy is about as smart as he looks:

I am starting my Jr. year at YU in Sept. as a Political Science major. I went to OJ for my year in Israel and that's when I really became religious in my own right and not just because I am FFB. I am a kippa srugah guy but I wear a hat on shabbos because it's the minhag of my yeshiva. I enjoy rollerblading and wrestling (I've been varsity since I went to Frisch but I am not sure if I'm rejoining the team next year at YU). I have a good sense of humor, very dry and sarcastic. I am a big zionist and a fan of Rav Kook's hashkafa. I live on the upper west side. Go Dougies!
Now, really, how can any guy beat that? He also apparently can't spell "Manhattan," despite having grown up there. Go Dougies, indeed.
Meantime, I'm rooting for this fellow:

He's the kind of guy who needs to loosen his tie after a hard day's work, he's got an education and is getting more, and he's divorced -- probably from some devilish woman who didn't understand a man's needs. Anyway, while he's going into psychoanalysis, his self-description could use some psychoanalyzing
am five foot seven that's not a short description? I am conventional, practical, emotional,..what other vague adjectives? Educated, aculturated, big zionist and very modern orthodox. I live in Brooklyn, work as a psychotherapist in Brooklyn Heights. Ideally I wish I lived in Manhattan.
A guy who needs to use question marks to describe himself is obviously lacking in confidence -- probably because some mean woman took it away from him. And now, ladies, prepare to go "Awwww,"
This is what I am looking for in a mate:
Smart, Savy, who has a sense of independance and doesn't require a man to define who she is. A nice person is a big plus, and one who doesn't WANT the red carpet. (I will want to give it to her).
BTW: If any reader goes on a date with a personal linked here, you're legally bound to write in your story.
Also, here's one for those who like a man in uniform. And ladies, vote on the best-looking: Bachelor A, B, C or D.
UPDATE: Looks like the guy on top has deleted his profile in the couple hours since I posted it -- that can't be a coincidence; wacky! Also, due to the overwhelming weight of the vote to the Elders, let me request that everyone who votes for the Elders also vote for one of the Bachelors. Maybe we'll do something where we contact the winner and, I don't know, auction him off for charity or what have you.

 Frumster Bachelors

Who's the best looking of the bunch?

Bachelor A

Bachelor B

Bachelor C

Bachelor D

Forget them all, I'm holding out for an Elder.

Get your Jewish men here.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:52 PM |

Protocols marches on in the fight against anti-Semitism. The first, to my recollection, hit from someone searching for Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We made the first page of Google hits.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:23 PM |

This took place tonight:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Reception honoring Israeli and 9/11 terrorist victims and their families; participants include former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, surviving FDNY spouses and Israeli terrorist victims; The Bnai Zion House, 136 East 39th St., between Third and Lexington avenues.
Any readers in attendance?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:05 PM |

An interview with a YU musmach and Rabbi of a synogogue in Houston.

posted by Pinchas | 5:45 PM |

Finally! A good idea for what to do with 'High'bridge Park - the clientele already exists, the cheap labor is there, we just need three or four guys to run the operation... any thoughts?

posted by Pinchas | 11:14 AM |

Interested in abstract legal fulminating? Bored of the same acharonim, over and over again? Check out Yuter's discussion of Islamic divorce-via-text-messaging.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:54 AM |

Bob Hope, RIP. Representative Hope quip:

"I bumped into Gerald Ford the other day. I said, 'Pardon me.' He said, 'I don't do that anymore.' "

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:28 AM |
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