ONLY IN L.A.
Now that the High Holy Days are well behind us, at least 20 Rabbis were ready for their close-ups. You think it’s easy for most Rabbis to write inspiring, wow-factor speeches week after week?
Our covenant is saved, mohels are sharpening – and delis are making platters!
So, this year, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California turned their annual seminar over to comedy writers to give the rabbis a bissel “high profile” Hollywood-speak. In early September, some 20 rabbis received “comedic instruction” from writers who’ve penned shows such as Mad Men and 3rd Rock from the Sun in a workshop titled (Ready?) "Punching Up Your Holiday Sermons."
The workshop was so popular that the Board may continue offering comedic wisdom in the future! So don’t be surprised if your Rabbi’s next speech opens with, “So a Rabbi and a Priest walk into a bar…”
“KIPPAH” YOUR YARMULKE TO YOURSELFA?
Our innocent yarmulke made strange news when one Ciro Roselli filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against McKinsey & Co. this summer; because the executive assistant claimed he was the victim of discrimination for wearing one. Aha! An example of anti-Semitism?
Not exactly. You see, Roselli … isn’t Jewish. He claimed he wore the head covering as a proponent of "theosophy," an obscure philosophy that’s into “truth.”
Anyway, he said his boss compared him to Madonna, while another scolded that he wasn’t a “real Jew.” Some demanded he “take it off” as they were “creeped out.”
And so we have probably the first yarmulke suit, filed by a non-Jew yet, for damages inflicted upon him for kippah-ing.
In his defense, non-Jews wear yarmulkes all the time in synagogues. And then there’s the Pope, right?
AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT …
The kippah has now joined the ranks of pop culture. Actors are now wearing yarmulkes all over the tube and in film. (For example: Jewish actors Jeffrey Tambor on Arrested Development, Jeremy Piven on Entourage, Ben Stiller in "Keeping the Faith," or the Catholic Owen Wilson in Meet the Parents). Apparently the yarmulke is to “cue” the audience: “Hey, the guy’s a Jew.”
THE MOHELS HAVE IT! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
In the on-going nonsense tsimmis over circumcision, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in early October prohibiting all local bans on circumcision! The background: Anti-circumcision activists gathered 12,000 signatures to place the issue on the ballot in San Francisco. Voters would then decide if infant circumcision should be banned as an “unnecessary genital mutilation,” a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A coalition of religious, medical and civil liberties groups sued to stop the proposal; a judge blocked the initiative in July, and this new statewide law prevents further banning efforts by localities. So, our covenant is saved, mohels are sharpening – and delis are making platters!
COCO: HEELS OR “HEILS?” A THINK PIECE:
How many of us were appalled at “buying German?” or listening to Wagner? Well, the next time you don your “classic” little Chanel black dress, douse yourself in No. 5, or pay a fortune for those shoes with the Interlocking double-C, you may want to think twice – or not. In a new book, Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War, journalist Hal Vaughan claims that the designer, born Gabrielle, was not only a rabid anti-Semite and “companion” to German intelligence analyst Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage during WWll (which is generally known), but more: she was a numbered Nazi agent ( number F-7124) and spy with the code name: “Westminster” who went on missions to Madrid and Berlin. Despite her well-documented Nazi collaboration, and questioning by a French judge, Chanel, using her typical flair, got through it unscathed after the war. The Chanel fashion house poured some weak doubt on the allegations. But the question remains, should persons of conscience, especially We Jews, 70 years after the war, “forgive” and “forget” the evils of its founder? How long after their death should their beliefs be tied to the art they created?
ON THE LIGHTEST SIDE ……
Picture it! You’re a speaker of Hebrew only, and you’re trying to get to Manhattan from Great Neck on the Long Island Railroad. So, you go to the Hebrew menus on ticket machines and whoa! You wind up buying a ticket … to Great Neck? Ok, so I exaggerate, slightly. But this past summer, either a glitch or ignorance took over when the letters on the ticket machines went from left to right instead of right to left. One article offered “GnidaeR sdrawkcab si drah” for example. See if you can figure that one out…