As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

I once had playtime with an Ashkenaz family in the American South. They were rude, condescending and absolute Talmud trash. This may seem harsh as they hid behind anti Semitism, but in reality the father was Mosaad and he had his teaching degree for university, as they worked in a hide and seek operation of cover.
When in Texas, they laughed and mocked the Christians there who showed up with a welcome basket to the neighborhood, and the one informed me that he “would take me out of this world”.

They were typical “jew” in the meathead motza balls of kosher and deluding themselves how important the Israeli state was to them, as they hid in America, living the good life, and being as Jewish as John Kerry or Maddy Albright, in just being a festering sore in the west.

There are Jewish faithful, but there are far more of these frauds hiding in Jewry, who in their Babylonian mystery religion of the Talmud in their goy defintions of “other people” who gave Ashkenaz Hitler in his Catholic admiration, all the ammunition he needed to wipe out poor Jews and any other lesser peoples, in exactly the same way the Imperialist of Japan or China advocate, or, the Islamists of this era.
They all believe it is kosher to misuse and abuse  any human who is not of your sect, exactly as the Birther Hussein Obama clique does to blacks or whoever else is on their target list.

The “jew” is not some apple or light of God’s eye, as nowhere does the Torah teach to misuse those who are not like you, and, when God divorced both Israel and Judah for rejecting Him, He certainly has no orchard eyes for a “jew” who denies the Messiah in Jesus the Christ and who pretends the part of High Days as some show of righteousness.
There is only one Righteousness acceptable by God and that is Faith in all God teaches, exactly as Abraham was made Right Standing with God by Faith.

The “jew” has no Conduit or Adoption in Christ to become Spiritual by the Holy Ghost. The “jew” is as anti God as the priest Uzzah in daring to touch the Ark of the Lord, even to steady it, for to touch God requires being Spiritual in nature and not of flesh.

“And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.”
II Samuel 6:7

In that reality, fully intending to burst the Jewish bubble, as much as the mocking Islamists who taunted against the Trinity of thee God they do not know, nor ever will until Judgment, as much as any Buddhist or Hindu or witchcraft, for full repentance of all, the Jew has one purpose and that is all, and it is the same purpose from the Ezra and Nehemiah exile return from Babylon, and that is to build Ezekiel’s 3rd Temple.

The Jews were brought back, not out of favor or any other reason from Babylon, except to as Sephardic Jews, as there were not Ashkenaz Jewry then, to have a Jewish state to which Jesus could be born into in they year 0, in the year of our Lord’s Nativity from the Virgin Mary.
That is all the Jews has purpose for in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, had to be born in a Jewish State to fulfill God’s Redemption plan, because he promised David the Messiah would come from David’s family lines.
After the Jews murdered Christ, in a most cowardly way, where Jesus had to provide them with the evidence after a night of torturing Him, the nation of Judah was again wiped from the map as was the Temple in 70 AD by the Romans.

I can place all sorts of Prophecy and all kinds of fill in the future events involving world events, but there is one waymark in this which has to be accomplished before Christ’s Second Coming and that is Ezekiel’s 3rd Temple must be built.
Jesus in Matthew 24 specifically notes, “the abomination which makes desolate”, as a sign. Jesus told the Disciples the signs of His coming and the end of the age, one of them was the “abomination which makes desolate”.

For those who do not comprehend what that means, it is in reference to an event which was before Jesus advent when the Syrian Greeks led by Antiochos Epiphanes, the first anti Christ, sacrificed pigs on the altar of the Lord to satan. That made the Temple defiled and desolate as it was unclean.
It had to be re dedicated and that is what Hannakah is. Jesus, Himself, observed this High Day, as it is one of the lower High Days, with the upper High Days, being Passover, First Fruits and Tabernacles.

Christ has fulfilled the first two and at His Second Coming will fulfill the last High Day, of the major observances, and He will be the High Priest Who re dedicates the Temple in December of that year, after it has been made desolate by the coming anti Christ which will offer to satan again on that altar.

So there is not any way of getting around any of this Ezekiel 3rd Temple. The anti Christ makes it desolate, so therefore it must be built.

I would advocate that Jewry get this Temple built in the same way the Rothschilds in the work Jerry Golden exposed, built the Israeli Supreme Court as a pagan temple. These ‘jews’ are such a weasel lot of all mouth and no work, as much as the Jews of the return were all busy sexing and counting change, instead of restoring the Temple. The modern “jew” has one purpose and that is to build a Temple which their Rothschild sect of Ashkenaz will dedicate to their illuminated one in satan on an Easter by the son of perdition, also known as the ant Christ.
That is what this is all about in what John Kerry and Brither Jinn are up to. A bunch of moneychangers dividing the land, and none of them man enough to clear Temple Mount and build that Temple.

It is pure cowardice in Jews who have nuclear bombs and biological bombs, in not having the balls or ovaries to just take the land King David purchased from the “arab” and still holds title too, and just build the Temple.
It will of course happen in their being forced to, but these “jews” in the Israeli state are the same apostates which Nehemia and Ezra were burdened by. They are Jews in name only and more infidel than the infidels.

How the hell hard is it, to give some Philistine a big damn missile in Gaza, have them fire it off and miss Jewland and hit the Dome of the Rock. The “jews” that I mentioned above do this clandestine stuff every day in herding Jews into bunches to keep up the power base until the Rothschilds get their apostate state. So where is the advocacy from one Jew in this for the Temple? Sure you got some fringe, but when you have Ezekiel being shown this Temple and it has to be built, why is it the Jew is only interested in being led around by Jon Stewart and Mark Levin, along with their pound of flesh, a sacrifice of Andrew Breitbart on the asphalt altar and all those Obama Geithner trillions looted from the US Treasury?

Where is one inclination of these convert Ashkenaz of Asia into Jewry to come to ejaculation, instead of saving it up for something which never comes?

Jews have the worst caste in the planet next to Indians. You have your Jewish state Jews who dictate in being more “holy” than other Jews. Then you got your Ashkenaz royals on top doing the conjuring. Then you got the European Jew which is rich, as they killed off the poor ones for the Jewish state, then you got the American Jew as they got the money yet, and then you got those Sephardic contenders, and then there are those also rans of darkies and whatever at the bottom that they experiment on. The Russian Jew is like the darkie Jews, in the Russian Jew is just good for Marxism or using a baton to beat the hell out of the other Jews to keep them in line.

Lamb and unleavened bread.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread………..yeah there are rites involved in this which do not motza balls or whatever was in Egypt or in Israelite rites handed down by God. Jesus was not eating Yiddish nor was the Sanhedrin. Just mention that as these converts brought in all kinds of things which are not Torah or Tanakh……….including little Jew caps and head bobble doll head praying.

All I demand is that Jews fulfill their purpose. Their purpose is not to own banks, the media, screw European royals, genetic test Americans, start wars for profit or to attach themselves to Christianity in trying to be a part of founding America in Judeo Christian “religion”.
Sorry that does not fly as that is literally stating, the denying Christ and advocating Christ religion.

I just demand that Jews get off their asses and build the 3rd Temple. Machs nichts ouse, how they get it done, but it is cowardice and  mammonry in their not getting it done, as I could have got it done without Jews having a radioactive glow.
I really do not care if their elite stage another holocaust. I do not care if they create another 9 11 and sacrifice New York City. I do not care, because their waiting around is going to crop billions, so what difference does it make in numbers now or numbers 7 years from now.

Just build the Temple. The Pater Pope lusts for it. The anti Christ wants it. The Ashkenaz want it. Jews apparently want it if someone else does the work and it has to get done, so it requires doing.

Obama sends out Occupy Wall Street, he sends out Occupy Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine……so why not send out Occupy Temple Mount as this is about killing off religious Jews, so get it done.

Even a bad jew could get that done, as Soros blew up Georgia, Albright blew up Kosovo and Kerry blew up Sudan, Afghanistan, Ukraine ………and I do not see why it is this cartel just can not get the match lit to rubblefy Temple Mount so something which is supposed to be built there will be built.

It is just bothersome, because with all these foreign agents in control of America, that if Americans were in control, the Temple would be built just like Christopher Columbus was saving up gold to do.

One Jew movie by Steven Spielberg about OTM, Occupy Temple Mount, with lots of naked Jews like in Schindler’s List and beating up that Army of Darkness chic for being hot, as that is what rich Ashkenaz get off on apparently, and next thing you know, there will be Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, John Kerry having Benjamin Netanyahu waving the flag so they do not get shot and Mark Levin and Michael Savage can………well lament over the cost of it all in human life, but how necessary all those corpses were like in all the murderous events they cheer until, they figure out how bad it looks in public.

I once read a Jew who wrote that the only “good Christian was a dead Christian”, but I do not think there are good or bad Jews. There are only merchants like that Shakespeare Venician who was astute in the value of pounds of flesh. Jewry likes talking alot about homeland and having other Jews die for the fiction of it all, but it is all theater for them as they view it from their lives of luxury, just like the Jews of the exile returning.
The “jew” likes power, likes money, likes manipulating others, and as there is not any of that on Temple Mount, the Temple does not get built.

If American Christians had been given the job of the Temple, it would have been built around 1794, that would be the 1776 Revolution and war, with the founding of America at Philadelphia, and 7 years to get the anti Christ stoked up………Napoleon would have filled that bill with Obama Jefferson worshipping the little tyrant.

So much wasted time, and yeah I know I would not have been here if that had taken place, but I consider that small waste of space as what I would not know, I would not know. I just am ready for this Temple and to get things accomplished efficiently

I mean if Herod a Turk Edomite could get a Temple built by Rome, how hard could it be for Ashkenaz bankers who control the Vatican cash flow, and control the cartel system in the Muslim’s money?

It could all be done in 6 weeks and then I could be off as some Prophetess in the wilderness, speaking some elder things to keep the ignorant folk from being completely witless.

Waiting for shiftless folk to do things is the worst kind of watching a pot not boil.




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Jewish Top 10s: Simpsons Cameos

After 25 seasons, The Simpsons has remained as one of the most cultural, topical and popular shows on television, and naturally, has hosted celebrity cameos of a very high caliber; here’s a look at some of our favourites

Welcome to Jewish Top 10s, where we compile lists that highlight the best and the brightest of everything yehudi, from delicious recipes to funniest actors, to most obnoxious Jewish wedding songs.

By now, The Simpsons has become one of the most important shows in existence, a comedic institution in its own right. The show has had its ups and downs, negotiated changing comedy trends, and been on the verge of cancellation more times than we would all like to admit. By now, it is a staple of any upbringing, whether you were allowed or forbade to watch it, and phrases like “D’oh!” and “Eat my shorts!” are part of our speech and even in the dictionary.

But while the Simpsons family is nearly and necessarily the quintessential WASP family, they are surrounded by a myriad of Jewish people and celebrities. For being such a small town in whatever state, Springfield sees plenty of celebrities. Here’s our favourite Jewish cameos and appearances in The Simpsons, our favourite people all done up in yellow.


Thomas Pynchon

Episodes: “Diatribe of a Mad Housewife” and “All’s Fair in Oven War”

While Pynchon’s relationship to his own Jewish heritage is as dense and complex as any one of his novels, his cameo was absolute brilliance. The well known recluse writer took a page from J.D. Salinger and has kept completely off the public’s radio. Rumour has it that only one person actually knows where he lives, his agent, and that is so they can send him his cheques. His Simpsons cameos have played off his recluse status, with one seeing him standing in front of a well lit sign with a bag over his head. He spoke some lines for his other appearance, but they were recorded over the phone.


Stephen Jay Gould

Episode: “Lisa the Skeptic”

One of the great things about cameos in The Simpsons is they are not limited to celebrities in popular culture; they branch out beyond the usual recognizable film, television, and musical stars. One in particular was Stephen Jay Gould, the paleontologist and evolutionary biologist. He appears in “Lisa the Skeptic,” where a skeleton convinces the town they are headed for the apocalypse. Gould loved the script and apparently opposed just one line, describing himself as the “world’s most brilliant paleontologist.” The show dedicated their 13th season finale to him just a couple of days after his death in 2002.


The Cast of Cheers

Episode: “Fear of Flying”

Yes, we know the entire cast of Cheers is not Jewish, but a few of them are and their appearance is unforgettable. In “Fear of Flying,” Homer is on a quest for a new bar after being kicked out of Moe’s Tavern. He visits plenty of bars, including a lesbian bar, but also wanders into Cheers, where the cast is waiting for him. The sequence is absolutely amazing, start to finish, and uses cameos in the best way: surprisingly and irreverently.


The Ramones

Episode: “Rosebud”

The Ramones showed up in Springfield to play for Mr. Burns’ birthday. They appear for only a minute to play “Happy Birthday” for a clueless Mr. Burns (he orders the Rolling Stones killed after the performance), but deliver some great jokes. Oh, and they have some excellent crowd interactions, including “Up yours, Springfield!” and “Go to hell, you old bastard!” The rest of the episode plays off Citizen Kane in the most brilliant ways, but it’s The Ramones making fun of Springfield that everyone remembers.


Jon Lovitz

Episodes: Plenty!

Sure, Jon Lovitz isn’t so much a cameo as a guest star, playing all sorts of memorable characters, but his impact on the show is paramount. His best recurring role is as Artie Ziff, the man Marge almost married, which adds a great history to Homer and Marge’s relationship. Something The Simpsonsused to always do was show that, as dysfunctional as their family is, the marriage is surprisingly strong, and having Jon Lovitz’ Ziff come in to show just how great Homer can be is always endearing. The story of Homer and Marge has changed throughout the years, the show isn’t exactly a stickler for continuity, but Ziff always comes into play. Homer isn’t the ideal guy, but his opposite is almost as awful, and we’re glad Marge made the right decision, time and time again.

After 25 seasons, The Simpsons has remained as one of the most cultural, topical and popular shows on television, and naturally, has hosted celebrity cameos of a very high caliber; here’s a look at some of our favourites



Jackie Mason

Episodes: Plenty!

Legendary comedian Jackie Mason appeared on the show multiple times, but one in particular made television history. His work on “Like Father, Like Clown” won him the Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. In the episode, Krusty the Clown meets his father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski and explores his Jewish heritage. The episode is considered one of the series’ best, and one of the most endearing. Jackie Moore has reprised his role a few times, most recently in “At Long Last Leave” in 2012.


Bette Midler

Episode: “Krusty Gets Kancelled”

Bette Midler’s appearance had a couple of very Jewish things happen as well. It was a Krusty-centric episode, but also guest starred Elizabeth Taylor and marked the first appearance of Old Man Jewish, an unnamed character who pops up every once in awhile on the show. Midler was part of a group of celebrities that band together for a Krusty special after his show is cancelled. The episode is that perfect blend of desperation and glam that has come to define Krusty the Clown, and ends with Midler serenading Krusty with “The Wind Beneath my Wings,” just like she did for Johnny Carson (who also appeared in the episode). Apparently Midler only agreed to the role if the show promoted her anti-littering campaign.


Larry King

Episodes: “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” and “Sideshow Bob Roberts”

Larry King has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” and “Sideshow Bob Roberts.” King read part of the Bible on audio book in his first appearance, and was integral to Sideshow Bob winning the mayoral election in his second. But the best cameo involving Larry King and The Simpsons didn’t even happen on their show, it happened on his. Larry King interviewed Bart in 1990, where Bart tried to convince King to help him with his poetry homework. King even does a dramatic reading of William Blake’s “The Tygre.”


Stan Lee

Episodes: “I am Furious (Yellow)” and “Married to the Blob”

There could be no one more happy to have Stan Lee walk into his store than Comic Book Guy, until Stan “The Man” turns out to be a little crazy. Stan Lee’s Simpson’s appearance has him obsessed over comics just as much as the show’s resident nerd, but having a little time distinguishing between fiction and reality. And when he tries to turn into the Hulk? Classic Simpsons. Stan Lee came back this year to help Comic Book Guy again, but this time as a figment of the character’s imagination.


Leonard Nimoy

Episodes: “Marge vs. the Monorail” and “The Springfield Files”

Spock himself has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, episodes usually considered some of the best of the series: “Marge vs. the Monorail” and “The Springfield Files.” In both appearances, Nimoy’s distinctive voice played off his most famous character and, much to the delight of fans, sent some tender homages to Star Trek and science fiction in general.


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‘British Indy Jones’ on quest to find Jewish history

AFTER tangling with snakes and dodging gunfire while venturing into remote and dangerous regions, he’s become known as the British Indiana Jones.

But instead of trying to find the Holy Grail, Tudor Parfitt’s passion is tracing the ancestral history of the Jewish people. His latest quest: Examine their migration at the time of Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean, Central America and South Florida.

“There is always the question of whether Christopher Columbus himself was a Jew,” said Parfitt, a distinguished professor of religious studies at Florida International University in Miami. “In any event, there were five or six Jews on his first voyage.”

Parfitt plans to write a book — his 27th — about how Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition 500 years ago initially settled in places like Cuba, Panama and the Dominican Republic. But they soon fled to Miami to escape even more religious persecution. “Things got a bit sticky on those islands, so Miami is where they came,” he said.

Parfitt thinks when the latest book is finished, probably next year, South Floridians will have a better understanding of Jewish roots in this region.

“There’s a 500-year history of Jewish involvement in Miami that’s been told to an extent, but not very well,” he said. “Their roles in the trades, in local industries, in agriculture and in politics has been absolutely mega.”

Born in England, Oxford-educated and fluent in several languages, Parfitt is an Anglican who regularly attends church. He developed an interest in Jewish history as a young child during World War II. His parents took in a Jewish refugee who had escaped the Nazis in Europe.

“He was an old man with a beard,” Parfitt said. “He looked after the house and took care of me.”

Like the fictional Indiana Jones, Parfitt, who prefers not to reveal his age — “I’m not 21, I’ll tell you that” — has faced death on more than one occasion. Last year, he went to Papua New Guinea, and found that the Gogodala tribe — at one time cannibals — could be traced back to the original tribes of Israel. While in a canoe on a river with the tribesmen, a highly poisonous snake dropped from a tree into the boat.

“A Gogodala tribesman cut the snake in half before it could do any damage,” he said.

In the course of linking a group of people in Zimbabwe, Africa, to ancient Israel in the mid-1990s, he apparently rubbed someone the wrong way. While driving through the countryside, he saw barrels had been placed in the roadway ahead. He drove around them, only to have his back window shot out.

“I could see this was an ambush,” he said. “If I had stopped, I wouldn’t be here.”

It was after this adventure that the European press dubbed him the “British Indiana Jones”.

He also has been shot at twice while doing research in Yemen the 1990s. He thinks it likely was religious extremists in one case and terrorists in the other, based on a report that an al-Qaeda unit was in the vicinity.

Also like the fictional Indy, he has searched for treasured historical objects, such as the Lost Ark of the Covenant, which was thought to hold the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. After years of searching, he found an ancient replica in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. It was such an amazing find he wrote a book about it.

Today he regularly gives academic lectures at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU and is sometimes introduced while the theme music from the Indiana Jones movies plays in the background.

“At one of these talks, someone stood up and said, ‘You’re not as good looking as Harrison Ford,’” Parfitt said. “I said, ‘I do my best.’”

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Praying on the side with their chosen gender is a quiet political statement

Praying on the side with their chosen gender is a quiet political statement for some, and a personal milestone for others

Surat Knan and Broch Bender at the Wall, 2013.(Courtesy A Wider Bridge)

By Daniella Peled 

Transgender activist Surat Knan, who is currently transitioning from a female to male identity, visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall last November to pray on the men’s side. “I was very nervous, but elated,” said the London-based founder of the LGBT group Rainbow Jews, who was prepared for a fight.

“You hear a lot of stories about ultra-religious people who can get very aggressive when it comes to these things,” Knan added, referring to protests such as those against Women of the Wall, a group campaigning for the rights of women praying at the Kotel. “Would they kick me out, call the police, throw stones, spit at me?”

Knowing the visit would be as much a political action as a religious pilgrimage, Knan decided to document it on video. But the anxiously awaited fight never came. “It was obvious people on the male side didn’t realize that I was a non-cismale, but that’s not the point,” Knan told me. “The achievement of the action was to raise awareness and open a discussion, which shouldn’t stop with: Can you pass as a woman or as a man?”

As Knan explains in the video: “I want to show that gender separation ‘by biology’ doesn’t make any sense.”

Knan visited as part of a trip with A Wider Bridge, a California-based group that builds links between the Jewish LGBT community in Israel and the Diaspora. The 23 participants from the United States and Britain included five female-to-male transgender people as well as those, like Knan, who describe themselves asgender-queer—an umbrella term for people who don’t feel their gender identity fits in with the norms associated with their biological sex. There were no slogans, placards, or overt demonstrations during the visit, but nonetheless, “it was a very meaningful moment,” said A Wider Bridge’s Executive Director Arthur Slepian, who accompanied the group. “The Kotel is very binary, but all the trans people got to pray at the side of the wall they wanted to.”

For Knan, the point of the action was to document a momentous, personal event while simultaneously making a quietly political statement: that gender segregation is merely a matter of perception and interpretation: “You should be able to pray where your soul wants to be. I respect halakha, but I don’t intrude on others and tell them what to do, and so I don’t want to be told either. If there are separate sections [for men and women], I want to be on the side where I am drawn to spiritually.”

As Knan says in the video, while standing on the men’s side, touching the wall: “This is actually where I belong.”


Women of the Wall has drawn muchmedia attention with its struggle for female prayer services to be held at the Kotel with women permitted to pray out loud and wear kippot and tefillin, currently banned by local regulations.

But a small group of transgender and gender-queer Jews are fighting a different, less publicized battle at the Wall. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the body overseeing the site, did not respond to requests for comment on its policy regarding transgender visitors, but some transgender activists believe the authorities are either wary of confronting the issue or ignorant of its existence.

“I don’t look like the butchest thing around, I get ‘ma’amed’ on the phone all the time,” said Melvin Marsh, 32, a transgender student from Georgia who was on the same trip as Knan. But, as with Knan, Marsh encountered no problems while he prayed on the men’s side of the Kotel in November. In fact, he recalled being high-fived by a Chabad emissary who asked if he wanted to put on tefillin before praying. Marsh was able to assure him that he’d already done so that morning.

And, Marsh noted, “all the trans people who definitely look female—because they haven’t transitioned yet—davened in the men’s section.”

The likelihood that the Orthodox Jews worshipping alongside the group were oblivious to the fact they were sharing sacred space with transgender people does not detract from the participants’ sense of achievement. “I feel my Kotel action was a victory—there was no need at this stage to produce a banner or placard,” explained Knan. “My action was a documentation, a piece of unstaged evidence: to enter a gender-segregated place in the physical body of the supposedly opposite sex without causing a stir. The action was to show that all the ‘aggro’ around sex segregation is unnecessary. Nothing happened. Nothing was supposed to happen. This was my point. Nobody was hurt.”

Indeed, many transgender people venturing to the Kotel are facing a personal rather than a public battle. Becky Silverstein, a rabbinical student from Boston, has blogged about his experiences at the Kotel. On his first visit, as a chaperone on an LGBT Birthright trip in 2011, Silverstein was asked to accompany a girl in the group to the women’s section. He went along, even though he was wearing long shorts, a polo shirt, and akippa. “My guess is that it was tznius[modest] enough to get by,” he recalled, adding that while no one stopped him from entering the women’s side, “I felt like an impostor.”

During a subsequent extended stay in Israel, Silverstein returned to the Kotel, in a very different way. “I thought people were looking for gender markers, so I wore kippa and tzitzit, which put you firmly in that place,” he told me. “I walked down to the men’s side, my heart was pounding. I got close to the wall and said the fastest mincha ever, thinking at any moment someone is going to decide that I don’t belong here. From then on, I would go to the men’s side.”

“I have never experienced straight-up harassment at the Kotel—no one says you don’t belong here,” said Silverstein. But, he said, the discomfort “is more internal.”

Veteran Israeli transgender activist Nora Grinberg says she has known people who have been openly challenged by officials at the Wall, but that it nonetheless it is a uniquely symbolic place for transgender Jews. “It is a symbolic place and so sharply gendered it is very appealing to people who’ve just transitioned,” she explained. “The first time is extraordinarily important for a person who has just transitioned. It is a validation of your identity.”

For secular Jews like Knan, the Kotel has a historical symbolism, but for others like Marsh, who describes himself as “the most frum person in my synagogue,” praying at the Wall was of paramount importance.

In years of accompanying LGBT groups to Israel, noted Slepian, “no matter what stream of Judaism they belong to, one of the most profound experiences was at the Kotel.”

That’s something that American academicJoy Ladin, the first transgender professor at an Orthodox college, identifies with. In her memoirThrough the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, she documents two separate visits to the Kotel, “one for each side of the mechitza.”

The first was in spring 2002, years before her transition, when she went to the men’s side with her son while her then-wife went to the women’s section with their infant daughter. “I didn’t let myself hesitate to make these normative gender associations but it surprised me when it was so emotionally difficult. I felt terrible about it. It was excruciating,” Ladin recalled in a recent phone call.

The second visit, however, in 2008—nine months after “I had begun to live as myself,” Ladin said—“was an amazing experience,” when she visited the women’s side: “In early transition it’s just miraculous to walk around as yourself instead of pretending. I went back to the Wall, just me and my gender.”

But once there, she felt as if she risked violating the sacred space of the mostly ultra-Orthodox women in the female section. “Neither they nor the men would have wanted me on their side. I was going there as an expression of my Jewish identity, now I had to choose between respecting their sacred space or cutting myself off from the Jewish people.”

Ladin says she began weeping, overwhelmed with a sense of loss and pain. “Then I looked up and met the eyes of a Haredi woman. She was weeping, too. I felt we were the same gender—people with a broken heart. I didn’t end up feeling cut off, my gender was irrelevant. I had an authentic sense of community, that we had more in common as human beings than our differences.”


While transgender activists have started documenting their experiences, this has yet to become a full-fledged political issue the way Women of the Wall has. Shira Pruce, spokeswoman for WoW, stressed that her organization does not have an official position on the issue and would have to take a board vote to decide one. “In order to work together with all spectrums and politics, we only focus on our issue, the segregation of women in the public sphere,” she said, while emphasizing that they are LGBT-friendly and support “complete pluralism.”

For now, the Kotel seems to resonate most with transgender activists from outside Israel. Israeli transgender activists say they have more pressing battles with the country’s religious establishment: For instance, transgender people are excluded from marriage due to the Orthodox rabbinate’s refusal to recognize a change of gender, and they have to provide proof of surgery in order to change their status on their ID cards. “This is not the state’s business, and there is an international consensus that the state should not require proof of genital surgery to change someone’s legal gender,” said Grinberg.

“Transgender people are in a very powerless situation, and personally I don’t believe in these off-the-cuff acts of politics,” she continued. “The Kotel is not the issue. It’s Orthodox Judaism that’s very hostile to LGBT and trans people.”

Knan disagrees, arguing that gender segregation at the Kotel needs to be put to the test, and the fears of transgender people that they face bullying or harassment unless they “pass” must be addressed. The Wall has immense personal resonance for people who don’t conform to gender norms; but in the future, there is a public battle to be fought, too.

“Awareness work needs to be done,” Knan concluded. “Everyone, regardless of sex, gender, and physical appearance should feel welcome and safe in places of worship.”


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Are there “Dog Jews” and “Cat Jews”?

Yet another difficult internal and ancient debate that modern Jews are unlikely to resolve

By Joshua Schwartz 

Are there “Dog Jews” and “Cat Jews”? Do Jews love their dogs and cats? Have they always loved them? If so, did they love them as pets? I shall briefly try and discuss the attitudes toward dogs and cats in ancient Jewish society, based on academic research undertaken during the last 15 years. In the interests of full disclosure I should point out I am not totally objective. I did, after all, dedicate an academic study on “Jewish” dogs to my grandchildren’s vizsla, Lupa.

For the most part, and in spite of some recent scholarly attempts at rehabilitation, dogs were held in contempt in Israelite society due to their penchant for dining on blood and carcasses (I Kings 14:11; 16:4, 21:19, 24, and 22:38). They were regarded as urban predators roaming about at night, barking and howling, in search for food (Psalms 59:7, 15), and such dogs could easily attack anybody who got too close (Psalms 22:17, 21) or bite those who foolishly tried to show them affection (Proverbs 26:17). Outside of the city there were wild dogs, busy devouring carrion and licking blood (II Kings 9:35-36; Exodus 22:30). Very few people would have wanted anything to do with them. The only hint of any positive role for the biblical dog is found in Job 30:1, which makes reference to “dogs of my flock,” perhaps indicating that in biblical times there were dogs who served as sheep dogs or herders.

The basically negative and at best ambivalent attitude of biblical Israelites was not that different from prevalent attitudes in general in the ancient Near East, which often stressed the impurity of the dog and its contemptible status. True, there were exceptions to the rule; some dogs did occasionally enjoy somewhat of a higher status, some Canaanite cults may have sanctified canines, the Hittites liked to use them in purification and healing rites, and the odd dog may actually have been kept as a pet—and if it lived in Phoenician Ashkelon might have been buried in the dog cemetery. However, these were exceptions to the generally negative stereotypes that existed in both ancient Israel and in neighboring lands.

Cats are not mentioned at all in the Bible. A figurine carving of a cat from Lachish in the Shefelah dates to c. 1700, the Middle Bronze period, but has nothing to do with Jews or Israelites in any form. The statue might have come from Egypt, and there was a good reason for that: Egypt was rich in grain and had many silos and these undoubtedly attracted mice and other vermin. The vermin attracted feral cats and later semi-domesticated ones who feasted on mice and vermin as well as on deadly snakes that were also found in Egypt. The cats were so successful that the Egyptians began to see them as embodiments of divine power. But none of this had any influence on the Jews, even though the land of Israel was under Egyptian rule for a good period of the time. If there were cats in ancient biblical Israel serving as mousers, we do not have any proof of their existence.

As we have just seen, Jewish or so far Israelite attitudes to dogs or cats were not divorced from their surroundings, especially during the Second Temple and Mishnah and Talmud period times. Greeks, Romans, and Persians loved dogs. Dogs were functional: They served as hunting dogs, sheep dogs, and guard dogs. Dogs could pull carts, and there were even performing dogs. Some dogs were said to be able to heal with a lick of their tongues. They were popular pets and companions for men and women of all ages: A “boy and his dog” and even a “girl and her dog” were quite common, and many women had a small lap dog as a pet. In Persia, dogs did all of the above-mentioned tasks and were popular, but they were also revered, taking on the status given to cats in Egypt—in part because the Persians mistakenly identified the spiny hedgehog as a dog, and this animal was instrumental in ridding houses of poisonous snakes.

Cats were a lot less popular, although as mousers and enemies of vermin they fulfilled an important function. Yet keeping them as pets indoors or even in the barnyard could be problematic since, in addition to mice, they had a tendency to attack or eat other pets in the home or chickens or fowl in the barnyard. Not only were they not “guard” animals like dogs, but it was often necessary to guard against their feral nature, even when supposedly domesticated: They were necessary but not loved. In Persia, though, they werekhrafstra, noxious creatures, the same as the mice and the rats that they ate.

Did any of this influence Jewish attitudes? As we shall see, it was hard for the Jews to shake off negative attitudes about the dog common in the biblical period, while the lack of reference to the cat in biblical times might possibly imply a greater level of ambivalence. Jewish attitudes were functional, and the basic ambivalence remained, more so in the case of cats than of dogs. There might have been good dogs and bad dogs, but cats at best were merely suffered.


Jewish tradition in Second Temple and Mishnah and Talmud period times was well aware of the important functions of the dog as herding and a guard animal, and these were generally described in a positive manner, even though guard dogs by nature were supposed to be aggressive, and herders could be rather “pushy.” Some rabbinic sages therefore preferred to limit the use of guard dogs to cases of real potential danger such as border towns (Tosefta Bava Kama 8:17). Some sages could not rid themselves of an animus toward canines and could not be convinced that the functions dogs might fulfill were important; they even compared the raising of dogs “to one who raises pigs” (ibid.), anathema in ancient Jewish society.

Talmudic literature describes the tasks of sheep dogs and herding dogs in great detail. They protected the flocks, fighting against wolves who would steal or kill sheep (Sifrei Numbers #157), and they protected their masters, saving their lives sometimes even at the cost of their own (Yerushalmi Terumot 8:7, 46a). Rabbinic literature even mentions “the dog’s tombstone,” a monument erected in memory of such a heroic dog (Peskikta de-Rav Kahana, Vayehi Beshalah 1). Guard dogs, in official capacity or not, could offer great service to their masters, as in the case of the dog that protected the wife of a sage (Yerushalmi Terumot 8:7, 46a). It is not surprising then that the rabbis mandated that “working” dogs receive proper care and diet (Mishnah Hallah 1:8; Tosefta Hallah 1:7).

Were “Jewish” dogs pets, household or otherwise? There is little indication that they became household pets as was common in Roman society, although the emotional bonds that might have been forged between dog (usually sheep dogs or guard dogs) and master might have turned the dog into a quasi-pet, albeit one that would have been kept outside in the courtyard, not indoors. The Second Temple period book of Tobit in the Apocrypha tells of Tobit sending his son Tobias on a long trip to Media, and his dog goes with him and returns with him (6:2, 11:4). Was this dog a pet, or did he accompany his master specifically to protect him against the dangerous great fish or crocodile depicted in the book? Whether the dog was a pet or a companion, this book of the biblical Apocrypha does portray the dog in a much more positive light than was common in the earlier biblical period.

Although the attitude to dogs in rabbinical Jewish society might have become somewhat more positive than that in biblical times, the rabbis never forgot that a dog was after all still a dog and that even trusted and loyal ones could cause damage (Mishnah Bava Kama 2:3) or become dangerous and attack. Wild dogs, some rabid (Mishnah Yoma8:6), bloodthirsty (Pesikta de-Rav Kahana, Zekhor 8), and lustful (Bavli Sanhedrin 108b) continued to roam through the streets of towns and villages; such animals might attack livestock (Tosefta Hullin 3[4]:19) or even children (Pesikta de-Rav Kahana, Zekhor, MS Safed).

If there was any ill feeling toward dogs, though, it was not usually directed against wild dogs, but against those who raised them and those who did not properly supervise them. Precautions had to be taken, such as chaining guard dogs who were, after all, supposed to be vicious (Mishnah Bava Kama 7:7). Accidents happened: A domestic dog caused a woman to miscarry a fetus whose birth would have completed the number of souls necessary in Israel for the Divine Presence to rest upon it (Bavli Bava Kama 83a). Another time a barking dog caused a woman to miscarry; unfortunately for her the attempts of its master to calm her by telling her that the dog had its teeth removed came too late (ibid).

The dog’s characteristics were used as symbols, and even if the attitude to dogs had improved the symbols were usually negative. The image of the hungry dog describes a ravenous hunger that could drive one mad (Josephus, War 6.196). Eating in a marketplace was acting like a dog (Bavli Kiddushin 40b). Unruly women and wives were compared to dogs (Sirach 26:25). The rabbis lament that after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple “the face of this generation is as the face of a dog” (Mishnah Sotah 9:15), a comparison that was clearly not intended as a compliment. All in all, in ancient Jewish society the dog might have been a dependable “friend” and a functional “friend,” but it was still a dog and acted like one.

As we saw above, except for Egypt, cats were less popular than dogs most everywhere, whether in the Graeco-Roman world or in the Persian world in which they were reviled. This was certainly true also for the ancient Jewish world.

Ironically, it was the very contribution of the cat to society that made it so unpopular. A Talmudic tradition in Bavli Horayot 13a-b tells of students who asked their master Rabbi Eliezer why dogs recognize God (!) and cats do not; dogs are believers, cats seem to be atheists, but not on principle or because they are intelligent. The answer boiled down to the fact that cats eat mice and rats, and eating these vermin causes, for some reason, forgetfulness: Cats could not even remember to believe in God. It would be a long time before anybody figured out that, by eating vermin, cats also rid the world of the infected fleas that lived on them and caused disease and decimating plague.

It was not that this service was totally unappreciated. Because cats rid houses of vermin, it was permissible to raise them and even sell them to non-Jews, something that was not normally allowed in the case of dangerous animals (Tosefta Bava Kama 8:17). House vermin were apparently a serious problem in Babylonia or Persia. Non-Jews dealt with it by bringing the spiny hedgehog into their homes, thinking it was a dog: The rabbis also seemed to think so (Kufri dog), but not being limited by the constraints of Zoroastrianism and its anti-cat teachings, they logically thought that it was better to bring a cat into one’s house than the dangerously non-domesticated and not overly friendly spiny hedgehog. Thus, the Jews in Babylonia, not having to deal there with religious restrictions regarding cats, but just with the general animus against cats, brought them into their homes, apparently not as pets, but as mousers.

Jews who did not have cats might even borrow one from a neighbor. It was not unheard of for a mouser to be killed “in the line of duty” by hearty vermin or for a cat to die through overindulgence in their feasts of vermin (Bavli Bava Mezia 97a). Jews in Babylonia also brought cats into their homes to attack and eat poisonous snakes.

It seems that part of the problem regarding cats was that they did not make do with eating vermin but tended to supplement their diets with domestic fowl or other small domestic animals. It was assumed that cats would attack other household animals, and steps had to be taken to prevent this (Mekhilta Mishpatim 16). If one left a henhouse unattended for any period of time, it was considered a “miracle” if the hens were found still alive (Yerushalmi Peah 3:7; 17d). Hens were safe nowhere, and a hungry cat might even try to break down or claw its way into the door of a room into which a frightened hen had fled (Bavli Hullin 52b). An even greater irony was that if a domestic animal was found clawed or attacked, the rabbis realized that dogs were more prone to violence and that the culprit was probably a dog (Bavli Hullin 53b), but they just disliked cats more.

More extreme anti-cat attitudes remained prominent in certain Jewish circles as well. Three Babylonian Talmudic-period rabbis, Rav, Samuel, and Rav Assi, were invited to a circumcision. Before it could take place, however, a cat—wild? stray? renegade house mouser?—attacked the infant and tore off its arm. Rav was so upset that he stated that all cats should be killed (Bavli Bava Kama 801-b). A Byzantine period midrash listed cats among animals that are of no benefit to mankind at all and either bite, sting, or wound their masters.

Not all rabbinic authorities concurred with the prejudices of their colleagues against cats. Some medieval Talmudic commentators were so upset by the anti-cat feelings of Talmud times that they pointed out that their cats were nicer (R. Solomon b. Aderet cited in Tur Yoreh deah #57). The third century C.E. Tiberian Rabbi Johanan stated that if the Torah had not been given, modesty could have been learned from cats. Unfortunately Rabbi Johanan did not elaborate or explain. The 11th-century French commentator Rashi attributed this to the fact that cats cover their droppings, which is apparently quite true; in this sense they are quite modest. The 11th-century North African commentator Rabbi Hananel ben Hushiel claimed that cats are modest because they do not copulate in public places, which is apparently not true at all. The classical world vividly documented, for whatever reasons, the active and often public sex lives of cats. Perhaps Rabbi Johanan just meant to say that cats remained modest in spite of their prowess as hunters. Perhaps, for some reason, he just liked cats.

Would anybody actually have kept a cat as a pet? One tradition in Bavli Shabbat 51b does mention a cord or leash of a cat that allowed the cat to be taken outside the house on the Shabbat while wearing this cord or leash. One would hardly put such a leash on a semi-wild violence-prone mouser. Could this single reference hint at the possibility of having a cat as a pet? Perhaps.

What seems clear is that the Jewish attitude toward both dog and cat is ambivalent. A basically negative attitude to dogs in biblical times underwent some rehabilitation after changes in the non-Jewish world helped the dog become popular due to their increased use and functionality, though Jews were not enamored with their dogs and never forgot that there could be both good dogs and bad dogs: The good dog was treated well and respected and perhaps even occasionally loved. The relationship to the cat was almost entirely functional. Few people liked them, even if they liked vermin less.


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Chocolate Shwarma — Is This Necessary?

By Danielle Ziri

New food crazes pop up every few months in Israel: chocolate-filled syringes, the cupcake, the kurtosh (a Hungarian cylinder shaped cake which comes in many flavors), and even the cronut made its debut in Tel Aviv this year. So it was only a matter of time until someone created a gimmicky dessert with Israeli sugar addicts in mind. Introducing: the Chocolate Shwarma.

The concept is simple: replace the rotating meat pole with a chocolate one. The chocolate is simply shaved off the pole the way shawarma meat is and put inside a crepe which stands in for pita.

Like any good shwarma sandwich in Israel, toppings are abundant at ChocoKebab in Jerusalem. Here you can choose from halva, marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts. If you’re looking for a creamy base, you can add a schmear of maple syrup, whipped cream or even dulce de leche to the crepe.

There is definitely something appealing about creating a sweet version of a savory dish. Many have done it before, like Max Brenner’s Chocolate Pizza. But to be honest, the ChocoKebab is nothing more than a crepe, and crepes are not new around here. They have been sold in stands in almost every mall in Israel for years. So the only new thing about the chocolate shawarma the preparation and the packaging.

Although it “screams Israel”, the Choco-Kebab was not actually invented in the country: it was brought to the holy land by Oded Cohen, a newbie to the food industry who came across a similar concept during a trip to Sicily.

The first branch opened in Jerusalem a few months ago. Today, there are choco-shawarma stands in Hod HaSharon, Modi’in, and Ness Ziona. More branches are expected to open across the country, including in Tel Aviv.

But Israel’s love for ever-changing trends means they usually don’t last very long — the average life expectancy of a Tel Aviv bar is approximately one year. After that, they usually close, make a few upgrades in decoration and re-open under a new name. Only time will tell the fate of the Choco-shawarma, but be assured: chocolate and crepe connoisseurs will not be fooled.

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Collectible matzo boxes to feature Jewish Americans

Ann Landers, Estee Lauder and Sandy Koufax are some of the notable Jewish Americans Manischewitz will honor during Jewish American Heritage Month, just in time for Passover.

Pictures of the three, along with those of Irving Berlin, the inventors of the Barbie Doll, Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and the creator of Reddi-wip, will adorn the five matzo boxes inside Manischewitz’s five-pound packages.

Accompanying the pictures will be facts about the figures. The runs will be limited.

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Holy Kosher BBQ Truck Rolls on L.A. Streets

By Merrill Shindler

Photo: Facebook

More than 2 million hot dogs are sold every year at Dodger Stadium — more than at any other stadium in America. Which comes as a pretty big surprise in a city known for its obsession with hamburgers and tacos. But here in Los Angeles, we do love our hot dogs. And these days, we love our kosher hot dogs as well — especially those served from a food truck grandly named Holy Kosher BBQ.

The truck offers glatt kosher dog in three sizes — Regular, Holy and Jumbo, along with chips and a salad if you want, and beef “bacon,” if you feel the need to pretend your kosher meal istreyf. The dogs are tasty, with a proper snap when you bite into them, and lots of good juices that will run over your hand and onto your clothing if you’re not careful. (Food truck dining involves a certain degree of cautious juggling.) You can add on grilled onions, ketchup, mustard — and the beef bacon, of course. If you want it crispier, all you have to do is ask.

The truck’s run by Rudy Ellenborgen, a civil engineer from Lima, Peru. Ellenborgen grew up on the edge of the Andes, in a city with a small Jewish community of about 3000 people. Along with his Israeli wife Rachel, he realized there was a need in the madcap world of Los Angeles food trucks for a kosher hot dog vendor. And so, in late January, he launched his Holy Kosher BBQ Truck.

So far, he’s found his biggest following at the colleges of Los Angeles, alternating days between USC and UCLA. He also parks Downtown where LA’s Persian Orthodox flock to his truck. And what do his customers ask for the most? They want the big one, with the works. Which means lots of Aaron’s Beef Fry. “It’s crunchy,” says Ellenborgen. “It makes the dog that much better.”

But what about the BBQ in “Holy Kosher BBQ”? Ellenborgen chose the name so he can grow his concept, he says. But as a first-time food service guy, Ellenborgen is taking baby steps. Or whatever you call baby steps in a truck.

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Extraterrestrial Jew


The Talmud says, quoting Rav:

“Adam, the first man, reached from one end of the world to the other. . . . When he sinned, Hashem placed His hand on him and shrank him. . . . “ What is this? Poetry? Metaphor?

What does it mean, on any level? This Talmudic statement is actually paired with another one, equally enigmatic, in the name of R. Elazar: “Adam, the first man, reached from the earth to the heavens. . . . When he sinned, G-d placed his hands on him and shrank him. . . . ”

The idea of reaching from one end of the world to the other is no longer farfetched. If I wish to witness a scene in China, I no longer need to travel for months on the back of an animal or for weeks on a boat. I do not even need to travel one day on an airplane. I can simply switch on my computer. Poof. I can see the streets of Beijing or close a business deal in Shanghai. I can pick up the phone and speak to people almost anywhere on the globe. “One end of the world to the other?” It’s in my living room, right now. Just flip a switch.

And the heavens?

These I can reach in the rituals of the Tabernacle, whose construction is the theme of this week’s Torah portion; or in its successor the Temple, or its succesor the synagogue. This is very different from calling China, but if I am a spiritual person, I can reach way beyond myself just the same.

What is the meaning of all this? Why must I stretch beyond myself, to the ends of the earth no less, or to the heavens? What is the significance of these great powers attributed to the progenitor of humanity; and what does it mean that G-d shrunk him?

RABBI Samson D. Pincus offers this observation: There is something about the original state of man that cannot be suppressed. The human being is naturally expansive, questing, averse to limitations placed on him. Why does he conquer space? “Because it’s there.” Humanity is extraterrestrial by nature, at least in aspiration. Human beings must reach across the world, horizontally; or reach toward the heavens, vertically. It’s in their DNA.

“Man,” writes R. Pincus, “has a very interesting characteristic: He hates to be imprisoned. We might wonder what’s so terrible about being in prison. Nowadays the prisons are almost like hotels . . . Why is it such a terrible punishment? The answer is that being imprisoned is the opposite of man’s nature.”


Shim’i ben Gera cursed and attacked King David, a grave sin, but David did not want to punish Shim’i in his lifetime. As David’s death approached, he asked his son Solomon to use his reputed wisdom to find a way to put Shim’i, head of the Sanhedrin, to death.

King Solomon ordered Shim’i to remain in Jerusalem and not leave the city. That’s it. No other punishment. Shim’i was a free man in every way; he just couldn’t leave the city. After three years, Shim’i traveled by donkey to the city of Gat. He returned, and for two acts of rebellion, one against King David and one against his son, King Solomon had Shim’i put to death.

For our purposes, we shall leave aside a concept millennia removed from Jewish consciousness: kingship as an extension of Divine sovereignty.

Simply working within the parameters of the Biblical narrative, R. Chaim Shmuelevitz asked: How did Solomon know that by ordering Shim’i to stay in Jerusalem this would lead to his death? Perhaps Shim’i would stay in the city and Solomon’s plan would come to naught. So how did this plan express Solomon’s great wisdom?

R. Shmuelevitz said:

“As long as a person isn’t limited by others, as long as he has the freedom to come and go as he wishes, he might very well decide to stay where he is. But as soon as limits are imposed on a person, he will need to defy them. Being forever forbidden to leave one’s place goes against man’s nature. Solomon knew that if he ordered Shim’i to stay in Jerusalem, Shim’i would break out of his boundaries. Man’s nature is to want to break out of his boundaries.”

THUS, we have a metaphor about Adam, the first man, that is not a metaphor. Man needs to reach from one end of the world to another.

If man can’t do it now, he will strive for it. If man cannot fly, he will learn to fly. If only some have the opportunity to fly, man will invent a computer. If bound to his city or home by economic necessity, by demands of work or by health, man will see the world on his screen. If he can’t visit the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, he can treat himself to a tour right in his own living room; just Google “Hermitage.”

And if a person is very spiritual and has little interest in what computers have to offer, he will break his boundaries vertically. Instead of reaching across the globe, he will reach up to G-d, to the heavens, through prayer or Torah study. One way or another, a human being, no matter who he is, hates to be imprisoned.

I read much of this in and quoted some of it from R. Pincus’ book, Shabbos Kodesh: Making the Most of Shabbos (Feldheim; chapter 15), which leaves us with two final thoughts:

First, the spiritual history of humanity has shifted. Once upon a time, man was satisfied to break his boundaries spiritually. G-d had no need to guide history to the great technological epic in which we live. When humanity as a whole could no longer reach beyond itself through communication with the Divine,

G-d made it possible for man to transcend his limitations just by sitting in his chair, in front of a computer.

Either way, the human being’s desire to transcend limitations have remained unquenchable.

Put differently, ever since G-d shrank Adam, humanity has continually striven to reverse the curse, to recover humanity’s original power and dimension. And so it is. Millennia later, the human physique expands (a century ago, were there seven-foot basketball players?); human life expands (a century ago, did women give birth in their early fifties or commonly live past a century?); the human mind expands (wondering how humanity marveled at such simplicities as 40 mph cars and Morse code a century ago).

Second, no matter how enraptured the human being is with touching the ends of the earth via technology, every Jew has both the need and the opportunity to touch the heavens. The ultimate reach of humanity is that of R. Elazar. Man’s thirst cannot be fully realized horizontally. He always needs the vertical, spiritually sympathetic vibration: that of G-d, Who, in the absence of the sanctuary in Jerusalem, remains uniquely accessible on Shabbos.

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The unsung Jewish roots of punk

Punk was ‘the next generation of Jews who went around putting sticks in the eyes of the older Jews in the music business.’

ohn Lydon of Public Image Ltd. performs at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California in this

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd. performs in Indio, California in this April 16, 2010 file photo. / Photo by Reuters
By Haaretz
The Jewish roots of punk music is the subject of a roundtable discussion that will wrap up Jewish Book Week in London on Saturday.Punk veterans, including independent label bosses Geoff Travis of Rough Trade and Mute’s Daniel Miller and journalist Charles Shaar Murray, will join so-called “professor of punk” Vivien Goldman in pondering how and why punk and Jewishness intersected.

The Independent newspaper quotes Norman Lebrecht, whose series “Music and the Jews” begins on BBC Radio 3 next month, saying: “There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that pop music begins in a conversation on a hot day in New York between the sons of people who fled the pogroms in Russia, and the sons of others who’d fled from the horrors of the slave field in the Deep South, and this common affinity that young Jewish people and black people find for certain rhythms and blue notes, and a legacy of oppression. And commercially, the American music business was founded by Jews, working with black musicians.”

According to the Independent, “punk rock’s transatlantic fuse was lit” when Sex Pistols founder Malcolm McLaren saw musician and punk fashion icon Richard Hell in New York in 1975. At the time, McLaren, from a Jewish background in the East End rag trade, was running the King’s Road boutique, Sex.

Hell, whose original name was Richard Lester Meyers, was wearing a black leather jacket, torn, safety-pinned T-shirts and short spiky hair. With his former band, Television, Hell had recently opened at CBGB. the punk hothouse in the Bowery , which was run by Hilly Kristal, another Jew.

Unmentioned Jewish roots

In both London and New York, punk had substantial, if rarely remarked, Jewish roots.

The Clash’s Mick Jones and the band’s manager Bernie Rhodes, original Clash and PiL guitarist Keith Levene, Joey and Tommy Ramone and their manager Danny Fields; Blondie’s Chris Stein, the Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye and most of The Dictators – all were members of the tribe.

Punk, says Lebrecht, maintained several long Jewish traditions. “It was McLaren and the next generation of Jews who went around putting sticks in the eyes of the older Jews in the music business,” he says. “McLaren was taught by his family that it is good to rebel. It was a combination of the iconoclastic outsiderhood which is innate in the culture of the Jewish minority, and wanting to be a little bit more cool than just making shirts.”

The use of swastikas by Siouxsie Sioux, the Ramones (two of whose members were Jewish) and even Johnny Rotten provokes different reactions among Jewish punks. “I thought it was dumb and infantile,” says Charles Shaar Murray, one of the panelists in Saturday’s discussion.

Daniel Miller, whose Mute label helped forge synthpop and the careers of Nick Cave and Depeche Mode in punk’s aftermath, begs to differ. “I thought the use of the swastika was a positive thing, completely depending on the context,” he says. “I knew the difference between Siouxsie Sioux and a member of the NF with a swastika tattoo.”

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