Recently, in an unprecedented move, the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which accredits foreign journalists granted the Jewish Daily Forward a very short-term (a week) reporting visa. According to the Forward, the deal was two years in the making. As for the whys, as The Forward is one of the most highly read Jewish papers in the United States, the decision was no doubt an effort to influence American Jewish opinion on the Iranian nuclear agreement, by showing “good faith.” Oy Vey! “Short-term?” What will the Iranians do once they get hooked on the Bintel Brief (The Forward’s one time Yiddish advice column)?

Breaking news: more Yiddish words added to the “Official Scrabble Players” Dictionary”!


Should you be in Africa and wish to hear the Talmud tractate Pirke Avot, known as Ethics of the Fathers, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to South African Rabbi Eliezer Auerbach who is also a composer, and lyricist Thuli Mazibuko, the holy words are now a song in Zulu! In fact, the Rabbi along with African singers in the Wits University Choir have delivered Jewish theology with the song: “I Langa Lifisha Uyaqugquzela” to the masses and it turned out that Zulu and the melody were a perfect fit. In Avot (2:20) it is written: Hayom katzer v'hamlacha meruba

(The day is short, and the work is much.) And now … rev up your vocal cords and sing in “Jewlu!”

I langa I langa I langa lifisha. Nomsebenzi benzi moningi. Basebenzi baya vilapa iholo labo lilingi.

I langs lifisha nomsebenzi muingi basebenzi baya vilapa iholo labo liliningi umphati uyaqugquzela

(For more information about the song click here)


Jewish Scrabblophiles got even more of a break in the fifth edition of the “Official Scrabble Players” Dictionary.” “Schmutz,” and “schtum” are now among “acceptable” Yiddish words. These new words, added to the 2005 edition, give Scrabble players even more YP (Yiddish Power). In the earlier edition one could find all transliterated letters in the Hebrew aleph bet (but strangely not “alephbet” itself). It also allows for a variety of spellings for words including “shadchan,” “tallis,” “aliyah,” and “mitzvah.” More, it’s chock full of “sh’s” (with and without the “c”) as in shlep and shlub. One word you won’t find is “jew.” Of course the proper use of the word takes a capital “J” and the lower case … let’s say it’s not complimentary. Terrific for We Jews, but a little less so if you’re stuck with a “j” and “w.”


It’s finally here. A high tech way to track our children! Not only should mamas breather easier, but the device, from the Israeli company, Trackimo, can be a life-saver. In July, Israelis in the community of Beit Aryeh became part of a pilot program in which 150, mostly teens and young adults, were equipped with a new GPS tracking device to insure they can be quickly located in an emergency. This was done following the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. The search took officials days to discover the tragic outcome. The device connects to a cellular network using a SIM card to immediately inform emergency services, providing the location of potential victims, who only have to press a button to send out the SOS. This amazing device is essential during emergencies. Trackimo made its official North American debut during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The company already has distribution deals in Latin America, Europe and Israel. The new distribution partnership in North America will offer its product to the mass market.

“We are very excited to be able to provide Trackimo’s cutting-edge technology at an entirely new price point that virtually sets a new mass market segment for tracking devices,” said Shai Bar-Lavi, CEO and Chairman of Trackimo, Inc. Warning: For those in say, New York or Los Angeles, an “emergency” doesn’t include “I’m still shopping, DWBH!”


Remember when a cup of coffee was a nickel and came in only caffeine – or not? Those days are long gone, as java has become the new “caviar” in coffee places throughout the world. Just as we thought of mortgaging our home for a cup, yet another ripple is upon us that may have us going into our IRA. It’s called, “The Ripple Maker” a product of SteamCC, whose CEO is Israeli, Yossi Meshulam. Now, instead of reading your paper or Smartphone while “javaning,” you can read the java! The Ripple Maker is a foam printer so your latte can now “say”: “Ai! Ai! Ai! Do I love you!” or even: “You know you’re wrong! Admit it” – in any language. (OK, I exaggerate.) One can choose a design from among the hundreds available on a touchscreen. It’s then printed via tiny openings that spray the coffee extract through a nozzle, and voila! The coffee “becomes” you through latte art. The branding and use in advertising is huge. In fact, the company recently announced an agreement with Lufthansa. The Ripple Maker will be used in the German airlines’ first-class and business lounges. Of course, depending upon the message, Meshulam still has to invent a Ripple Repellent should the recipient decide to fling the foam onto the messenger.