I’m sure you’re aware of the recent Cologne Germany court ruling that non-medical circumcision of a minor is a criminal act. While it doesn’t apply to other districts, Berlin hospitals have been turning away parents until legal clarity has been reached

Now mamalas, if you’ve ever read my columns you know I’m a sucker for irony. However, this particular irony isn’t in the least bit funny. The uber irony takes chutzpah to the 100th “Power.”

The nudnik handling German PR should be switched to sausage stuffing.

Germany’s reasons? Holm Putzke, a professor of criminal law at the University of Passau who has argued for the ban said that he hoped the ruling would prompt a discussion about "what should be given more weight -- religious freedom or the right of children not to have their genitals mutilated." Officials have also pointed to a young boy who had some bleeding after being circumsized. The chairman of the Secular Medical Forum, Dr. Antony Lempert, said "We urge you not to let such emotional blackmail (petitions in opposition have been circulated worldwide, along with truly rotten press) persuade you to change the law or criticise the court's decision.” Still others have pointed to the psychic “trauma and harm to the child” of the ritual, and claim this is not anti-Semitism.

Fortunately, due the outcry (and yes, more than a few references to the Holocaust) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany could become a laughing stock if it fails to overturn the ban.

The ban probably won’t win, but the nudnik handling their PR should be switched to sausage stuffing.


Infamous Nazi “alleged” war criminal, Laszlo Csatary, who served during World War II as a senior Hungarian police officer in Kosice, then under Hungarian rule, is accused of being complicit in deporting almost 16,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in early 1944

to Auschwitz, which cost them their lives. In 1948, a Czech court condemned him to death after a trial held in his absence, as he had fled to Canada, working as an art dealer using a false identity before being unmasked in 1995 and forced to flee. Yet, hiding out in Budapest, the 97-year-old eluded justice for 70 years, and was finally “unmasked” by The Sun, acting on information released last September by the Weisenthal Centre. When its reporters confronted him on his doorstep, he denied any crimes and slammed the door in their faces, the paper reported.

A Hungarian prosecutor said that investigating an aged Nazi war criminal found “alive and well” in Budapest was problematic because the events took place so long ago and in a different country.

To the Sun reporter, however, time did not diminish Csatary’s guilt.


Hear “let’s go for coffee” and what you think of? Starbucks! It’s the mega-java miracle idea that’s turned what was once a humble brew into a five-star gourmet libation. But like good Jews the first question that we have to ask is “Is it kosher?” Well the leading amateur anywhere on the subject of Kosher Kaffeination (my term) is Uri Ort, a 26-year-old Orthodox Jew who lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and runs kosherstarbucks.com. His site tells us what products Jews may consume at Starbucks without risking a treif mistake.

Coffee beans and hot water are kosher. The kink here is that Starbucks offers other items, such as breakfast sandwiches with ham, and flavored coffees. So we have the “treif tainting” problem as kosher laws dictate that dishes can also obtain the status of non-kosher.

To sort these complicated matters, Ort started a Web site to guide us through “treif vs. kosher” at America’s favorite coffee house by marking Starbucks products with a green or red light. The Frappuccinos-- red lights. The Tazo teas -- green lights. Hot chocolate -- green light (but white hot chocolate, red light.) The Vivanno smoothie? It depends on the flavor. Mocha drizzle on top — yes! Caramel drizzle, no. Yes to whipped cream.

Surprisingly, the Eggnog Latte is okay, (though he recommends checking the eggnog certification).

So caffeine addicts go, enjoy! But remember, Frappucinos are frum forbidden.


Recently, Haifa played host to a controversial beauty pageant, the "Miss Holocaust Survivor" contest, featuring 14 Jewish women survivors (age 74-97) who were finalists out of 300 competitors. About 600 spectators attended, including two Israeli Cabinet ministers.

The event, while billed as a "celebration of life," drew criticism.

Colette Avital, chairperson of Israel's leading Holocaust survivors' umbrella group and a former Member of Parliament thought it was “macabre." She said: “I am in favor of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading (survivors) with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful." She also took issue with the contest sponsor, a cosmetics company pushing its products. Other naysayers wondered what sort of precedent was being set by the pageant. "This is one step short of 'Survivor-Holocaust' or 'Big Brother Auschwitz'," wrote an influential Israeli blogger. Organizer Shimon Sabag, who heads a charity that helps Holocaust survivors in need, disagrees, pointing out that appearance was only about 10 percent of the overall score when compared with their stories of survival. Naysayers said “beauty” shouldn't have been considered at all.

The finalists did share their survival stories as they were judged by of three former beauty queens and a geriatric psychiatrist. Taking home the tiara was 78-year-old Hava Hershkovitz, who suffered three years of severe hardship at a Soviet detention camp. “It puts us at the centre of attention so people will care," she said. "It's not easy at this age to be in a beauty contest, but we're all doing it to show that we're still here."

Uplifting or Upsetting? You Be the Judge.


Aly Raisman, captain of The Fab Five in U.S. gymnastics, was the last competitor in the floor exercise, the final obstacle between them and gold!

American and particularly Jewish Americans held their collective breath as Jewish gymnast, Raisman nailed it, with 75 seconds of an almost flawless performance that brought her team in first place for the all-around women’s gymnastics at the 2012 London Olympics.

More, she won it to the tune of “Hava Nagila!” A song she chose because of its excitement and to show her Jewish pride. Said Raisman, “It’s a huge honor to be the first Jewish gold medalist of the 2012 London Games.” Her victory continued the Jewish Midas Touch established by Kerri Strug in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

When I interviewed Kerri’s mom, Melanie, in my book “Yiddishe Mamas: The Truth About the Jewish Mother” (shameful promotion), she strongly emphasized the fact that you can’t be an athlete your whole life: “School was always number one with us. Gymnastics was not going to be her future.” Kerri went on to get her MS Degree from Stanford. A Jewish kid who can run, jump, leap … and beat a strange horse with no head?

So much for stereotypes!