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WouldJew Believe #23

WouldJew Believe #23

Outrageous, odd and interesting Jewish facts, like… a 14 year old rabbi?!



We Jews have known it for years! What we eat matters. Those “Essen” jokes about “brisket”-burn, sinkers, and Tums? Feh! Everyone’s looking for the ‘Kosher’ label these day! “Kosher” is now the hot foodie trend, and a bigger package-draw than “All Natural” and “No Additives or Preservatives” in the $12.5 billion U.S. market. And 85% are “goyim going kosher” – and not because they understand the importance of “never mixing meat and dairy.” They’re looking for quality! (And yes, our diet appeals to certain other religious groups and Vegans.) Thanks to our Higher Authority, “kosher,” with its rigorous inspection and monitoring, has become the platinum standard for health, safety, freshness, taste, and yes, humane farming.

Tootsie Rolls and Gatorade have “Gone Kosher!”

And food producers aim to please:

Tootsie Rolls and Gatorade have “Gone Kosher.”

You can even “go kosher” at the Super Bowl.

And it’s “Ai! Ai! Ay! Och ay” for the potent potable Glenmorangie Original, since Scotland’s favorite single malt whiskey has received kosher certification! The OU now rigorously examines the raw ingredients, and distilling and bottling facilities to make sure the hooch meets its standards.


Talk about “tyranny” and taxes! New Yorkers have recently been hit with a “sliced-bagel” tax, or, more precisely, the enforcement of an eight-cent tax law on all sliced or prepared bagels. (Lox on top doesn’t count.) It seems the mishegoss started over the summer, when New York “cracked down” on “cracking open” our quintessential delight, starting with 33 Bruegger’s franchises.

Jewish mayor Bloomberg vows to rid us of this abomination – sometime during his term. If not, will we be forced to “dump” our stale goodies in the East River? Never! “No taxation without cream cheese and scallionization!”


Some things are just so mind-blowingly insane, inane, outrageous, egregious, and any other “eous” they need no further explanation. O, the horror when I saw this headline on an Israeli news site. Sit down.

In October: “Nazi Collaborator Hits Nazi Hunter with Libel Charges”

Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff is on trial in Hungary over charges filed by twice convicted mass murderer, Sandor Kepiro, who has accused Zuroff of libel, saying Zuroff should have spoken of his war crimes as opinion, instead of “fact.”

The “Opinion?” In 1944, Kepiro was convicted of participating in the Novi Sad massacre, where an estimated 1,246 people – Jews, Serbs, and Roma – were murdered. His sentence was overturned and he was promoted after the Nazi army invaded Hungary.

Kepiro was tried by Hungary in 1946 and convicted a second time. But he wasn’t there. He was down in Argentina, where all those “innocent” Nazis fled to work on their tans. He returned to Budapest in 1996, and remains free.

But, as this murderer’s amazing chutzpah, has shined a spotlight on his evil history, the dummkopf may well have “hunted” -- himself!


Fannie Buten, the world’s verified oldest Jewish person, died recently in suburban Philly. She was 111!

For the Austrian-born Fanny who came through Ellis Island as a toddler of two, the number “1"was to be significant. At age 111, she was No. 1 on the Jewish gerontology list, she scored a hole-in-one in her seventies on Green Valley Country Club’s greens, but she was also numero uno to her family.

Active in Jewish charities throughout her life (along with her late husband, Mottie), she was also well-known for her humor, her milk sponge birthday cakes, her love of cooking, and making family number 1.

The supercentenarian witnessed the invention of the telephone, two world wars, television, flight, cars -- and the Internet.


He’s brilliant. A prodigy. Religious! His fondest wish? To become a rabbi!

He’s also 14.

The Israeli teen, Moshe Raziel Sharify of Natanya, wishes to become Israel’s -- and the world’s youngest rov.

At age 10, Sharify won the Netanya Bible Quiz. At age 11, he took first place in the Central Region Bible Quiz. And for the past year, Sharify has undergone 10 grueling examinations by respected rabbis who were impressed by Sharify’s knowledge and intellect. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Rav Yona Metzger initially supported Sharify’s bid to take the ordination exam, but was overruled by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Rav Shlomo Amar.

It seems that a few years ago, the rabbinate unofficially made 22 the minimum age for a student to take the ordination exam.

Sharify took it anyway this past August, but the rabbinate refuses to grade his exam. And papa Sharify stands ready to support his son – in court. Meanwhile Sharify the younger, continues his studies in the Yishuv Hadassah Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, and still finds some time to play soccer with his friends.

Should the gifted teen be given Semichah? That is the question.

On the one hand, many historical figures changed the world at tender ages! Weren’t Abraham, Rebecca, Joseph, Miriam and David all spectacular kinder?

On the other hand, it’s 5771! Does one so young have the rachmones, the sachel for such a role?

Nu, so what do you think?

November 28, 2010

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Visitor Comments: 17

(17) Kosher Kim, April 8, 2011 10:25 PM

Kosher is a Hit

It really is true that eous kosher has become popular, but who can resist it? Really, the humane treatment of the animals alone is appealing. Plus, there is a lot less adrenaline content in the food when the animals are treated well like that.

(16) Phillip Segall, January 11, 2011 9:08 AM

A rabbi at 14? To do spiritually what?

A Rabbi is expected to be a spiritual leader. Spirituality, compassion and human understanding are molded over time. I went to war at the age of 16 and as much as war "experienced" and "aged" me,it couldn't give me the instruments to understand greater humankind. What good is quoting by rote if there is no true understanding of what is being quoted? And what can a 14 year old do in any regard for a person of greater age who seks spiritual guidance? Like cheese and wine, that comes with aging.

(15) sharon, January 7, 2011 3:13 AM

too young at 14

a child of 14 may have knowledge but does not have the life experience or the empathy (rachmanus) to judge others in their pursuit of bettering themselves. he could perhaps get a pre-smicha or modified smicha, much like a resident is before becoming a doctor, but he should always remain in training status until he has emotional maturity and experience to be able to counsel those older than he. our patriarchs and matriarchs were influential at young ages, perhaps, but life was simpler then; they did not need to know about fusing the work world with the religious (like when a husband must balance time at work in order to pay a mortgage and pay for yeshiva with learning)

(14) Howard Rubin, January 2, 2011 3:55 PM

Wisdom has two major components: learning and experience. Learning can achieved at almost any age while erxperience takes time. The two Rebbes are right in setting a minimum age for ordination and I'm sure that they arrived at this decision based on THEIR experience.

(13) JanineLauraBronson, December 11, 2010 7:06 AM

Age is a chronological figure, some seem older while some are younger

Genearlly speaking, what is true in one case may not apply in another... After all, weren't some rules ever modified because of the odd exception to the rule? Age is a chronological figure, some seem older while some are younger... I had quite an interesting question for this bright individual, which is about his views for Tikkun Olam and whether he himself considered a vegan approach? Blessings Janine

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