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For Whom the Yarzheit the Glows June 8, 2018

Posted by voolavex in Jesus, Jews, Jews, Social Issues, Tributes, Yarhzeits.
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Yesterday a friend posted this moving tribute and memory of his late sister Jill who died one year ago June 7th. breast cancer.  

Our tribe lights candles called yarzheits every year to remember, with love, those who have passed on. He told me I could share it and so I have done here.  This stopped my heart for its shining light and the love he felt for his sister.  Here is his memory of  Jill Kogen Arons, from the heart of her brother Jay Kogen. 

‘It’s been a year since, my sister, Jill Arons died of breast cancer. And, now, with 12 months to reflect on what she meant to our lives, it can be boiled down to one thing: Jill was weird.

Growing up in an upper-middle-class Jewish house our parents exposed us to what you’d expect — sophisticated movies, literature, TV shows, the great American songbook, and the higher end of culture. Occasionally they liked to dress up and go to fancy restaurants in Beverly Hills and socialize with funny comedy friends. They liked trips to New York and Europe. As a kid, Jill liked none of those things. She liked Chocolate Frosted Pop-Tarts, Monopoly, KROQ, needlepoint, symmetrical rainbow art, and boys with long hair. She liked bowling and bingo and the Saugus Speedway to see stock car races and the Demolition Derby. My parents were shocked and baffled. Instead of a Jewish American Princess, they were raising a Hillbilly and I hated having her for my big sister.

How could someone so different and be a Kogen?  Jill preferred Disneyland to New York. McDonald’s to Chasens. Las Vegas to, well, anywhere. When the rest of the family was into “A Chorus Line,” Jill loved “Jesus Christ Superstar” about the death and resurrection of Jesus. My parents were concerned that she wasn’t getting the Jewish cultural indoctrination they hoped. But it wasn’t Christianity she loved. I think she thought Ted Nealy was hot. Still, she wasn’t that into being Jewish either. That was clear the year she begged for and got my parents to put up a Christmas Tree.  Jews didn’t have Christmas Trees but we did. Jill insisted. We put an odd spiral cone at the top instead of a star but everyone knew it was not a Hanukah Bush. People don’t put presents under the “bush” and open them on Christmas morning.

Jill was big on presents. Giving and getting. She liked them wrapped and plentiful. This may have stemmed from her birthday is three days before Christmas and she often got one gift for both days from people. She wanted two like everyone else. She didn’t care about big-ticket items. She just wanted the present to reflect her. The best thing I ever got her was a case of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when she was 13 because that is all she ever ate for years. She LOVED that gift because that’s who she was. Her all-pasta and fake cheese diet was a deficit to others, but she wore the badge of picky eater proudly. If she got Jewelry or a fancy sweater she’d smile politely but we all knew that wasn’t really for Jill. That was for another imaginary Kogen daughter who didn’t exist. Jill didn’t like shopping or designer clothes. She liked the LA Kings and Magic Mountain and dating a guy who was almost 30 when she was 16. Some people march to the beat of their own drum.  Jill River-danced to the whine of her own bagpipe.

Jill was fearless, and unstoppably her own person. She dropped out of Cal-Arts, got married and had a kid at a ridiculously young age, ran a typesetting business and eventually went to work at the Bingo Bugle. That was a life path attempted by no one else from Encino, ever. I, of course, took the safe and pre-approved path of going to UCLA and then getting a job in show business. While I was bending to the mold my parents unconsciously created for me, my sister was breaking the mold. She was a pioneer. And if you knew Jill, you’d know she didn’t make a big deal about doing her thing. She just did it, stubbornly moving forward. Jill’s dreams just happened like they were inevitable. And on the few occasions when they didn’t work out, like her first marriage, she dusted herself off and moved forward.

Jill was goofy. Little things made her happy. Literally. She collected tiny bottles of ketchup and other miniature stuff. She also loved items that had “AS SEEN ON TV!” on the box. Snuggies and Hallmark Collector Sets and knickknacks were her jam. I think she also collected small bottles of jam. Admittedly she wasn’t the most motherly of mothers but somehow she managed to raise one of the best people of all time, her daughter Samantha. This may have to do with one of her greatest super powers. Jill was honest… very very honest. If I gained weight she’d asked why I gained so much weight. If I lost out on a Job she’d never beat around the bush. She’d asked if I was sad I didn’t get the job. Good or bad, Jill called it like it was. It was never said with malice or jealousy, always with love in her eyes, but she wasn’t putting up with anyone’s bullshit. If you had a zit or a divorce it was going to get talked about. If you had a victory, that was going to get some airtime too. And in her honesty, she was one of the funniest people I ever met.

Comedy in my family is highly prized. It’s a big deal. It was so big I went into the business and my style was formal and calculated. Jill was naturally funny because she saw the truth and talked about it. She knew it was a little crazy so she laughed and that made the rest of us laugh. She had hope and joy.

She moved to Canyon Country because that deep suburban world was the good life to her. She met and married her amazing husband Rich on J-Date, (maybe the only time she identified as Jewish) and it was a great match. How could it not be? Rich knew exactly who he was getting from the first date. Maybe this is why he fell in love. Jill was always Jill. She had the clear-eyed authenticity I was never brave enough to employ.

Our relationship had twists and turns. When I was a baby, Jill adored me. She loved my little fingers and toes. She liked to dress me up in weird outfits. She liked to play games with me. She thought I was a cute toy. I was kind of shy and didn’t speak much. I was kind of like a cute toy to her. But then, at some point, maybe around 5, I started talking. And from that point on we started fighting and didn’t stop until she moved out when she was around 18. I know why we were at odds. I was the goody-goody to my parents, which made her seem more out of step. I made it harder for Jill to be Jill and part of me knew what I was doing. She liked to claim I was secretly bad. She said I pushed her out of a moving car on the way to Camp Fun Time. She did fall out of the car but I didn’t push. My bad was more covert. I might tell on her or act out in ways that were just short of the line where I could get in trouble. She always compared me to Tad Martin on “All My Children.” If you know the show, he wasn’t a nice guy. One day when I was 16 she chased me out of the house with a steak knife in her hand, which I’m sure was a fight I started. I thought we’d always be like prisoners in a family chain gang, uncomfortably forced together for our entire lives. But then once she moved out we suddenly became friends. I’m not sure how it happened. Our differences seemed to melt away. I finally saw Jill for the fearless warrior she was and she liked me because I still had stubby fingers.

She finally took an interest in show business when I went into it. We took a few excursions together. Went to concerts. We watched our hometown hockey team, the Kings, finally win the Stanley Cup. (Jill was a fan since she was 10. And one year, my parents arranged to have some of the Kings including Butch Goring sing her happy birthday and bring out a cake at the Forum Club.) We rented a boat on July 4th a few times to watch fireworks. We talked about taking other trips together in recent years but it never happened because I couldn’t find the time and part of me didn’t want to spend a week at “The Biggest Loser” camp.

In the last half of her life, this rebel was the rock of our family. Jill took care of all of us, especially my mom and dad. She would find tricks and coupons and the best life hacks for all situations. If you were going to Istanbul she’d tell you where to go even though she’d never have been there. She’d find a website or forum and get you the coolest tour for the Hagia Sophia that includes snacks. There was nothing she couldn’t become an expert on fairly quickly. She became the keeper of technology and finance for my parents. She knew all the passwords and had trackers on everyone’s phones. When she wanted to learn something new, she took charge and did it. One year, she decided she hated paying someone to do her taxes so she took classes on doing taxes and did it herself. (I think she was even a notary.) And she took pleasure in the things she loved: her family, husband, Samantha’s dog, and online coupons. And she did all this with clear-eyed Joy. One of her greatest qualities was being able to see the good in the simple fun things in life. She didn’t need to exaggerate what was happening to make anything seems cooler or more impactful to make it worth doing. No drama. Just reality. Real sorrow when things sucked and real joy when things were good. Mostly there was joy.

Even when the breast cancer came, she kept her spirits up. She did what the doctors said and waited for good news, which ultimately never arrived, but she plowed ahead anyway. Through painful surgeries and chemo and radiation that ravaged her body she somehow got through it hoping for new treatments to save her but the disease beat the cure. The day she decided to start hospice she met it with the usual combination of complete honesty, humor, and a determination to get on with the journey. She talked about hoping there was a heaven and joked about how embarrassing it will be to see some of the relatives we didn’t like but how great it would be to see the people we loved and missed. In those last days, we watched movies and game shows when she wasn’t sleeping or trying to move to a position that wasn’t painful. She didn’t go out of her way to be anything more than what she was, a person who loved us who was dying. She was honest about that too.

So it’s been exactly a year since Jill left us. The hole in my heart is as big as ever. We all miss her. But her legacy remains. She’s a beacon of truth and joy and beauty that I will forever hold up as a role model for how to live — free and daring and authentic. She became one of my best friends. I could never ask for a better big sister.

This is a week of yahrzeits for me too.  I wish I had the eloquence of Jay Kogen to say how I feel about those I have lost  But he allowed me to share this and it is exquisite.  As the Boston Irish say – “Gawd love ya”.

And I must add – Jill,  your brother is one of my favorite people.  Rest in peace, look down from the cosmos and know he is still being loved as he loved you and Gawd, this is starting to sound Jesusy.  Thank you, Jay.

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My Own Personal Holocaust Denier July 9, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Anti-Semitism, Holocaust deniers, Israel, Jews, Jews, Nazis, Social Issues.
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Recently, I learned that a person, married into my family ( and we are all very estranged) is a Holocaust denier.  At the time I found out (quite by accident) I actually thought I would vomit.  I shook.  I knew this person was opinionated and narrow-minded but this is one  that never even occurred to me.  Coincidentally, I had just recently seen “Denial” (read the book quite a few years ago) and “Remember”; both of which impressed me and both of which presented aspects of this hideous event in detail. Each was excellent.  I should add I am a Jew. although quite secular and I am very pro-Israel – but this is not really the point when it comes to this event.  Is it?

Holocaust denial is a crime in many countries – for its ugliness but also for its enormous lie.   It did happen and it has been proven to have happened and continues to be written about and substantiated repeatedly as fact. I have read extensively on subject from my teens.

It is a felony in many countries to express Holocaust denial and people go to jail.  I imagine this is a case for many who run into one. They can try to call them out to those in authority and it is very tempting.  I shall leave it at that.

It actually doesn’t make much sense for Jew Haters to deny it.  In the process of their hate, it should be something they cherish.  After all if you hate Jews, the death of millions should fill you with delight.  For some reason those bigots don’t express this.  They have decided that the Jews made it up for sympathy?  Profit?  Publicity?  I have no idea what they think. But when it hits close to ones own life – in any way – it baffles and disgusts.  Not enough to debate or argue the point with the bigot -that’s a losing proposition.  Deniers are cemented to the denial.  And I find them sickening.  Period.  I don’t want to know them. But it is important to know who they are.

But here is a far more provoking question.  How would one even go about creating such  a hoax?  The Nazis who created the factual Holocaust eventually got what they deserved at the war’s end. Those who tried to deny it or escape the legal system hid.  And what a life that must have been!   Determined men, like Wiesenthal and his dedicated seekers pursued them relentlessly.  They routed out so many  and were so diligent – a Nazi criminal on the lam must have been a nervous wreck (just like the Jews and others they sought, found and murdered).  But think about the idea of a hoax itself.  What would have inspired anyone to imagine this horror and supply specious evidence to prove it?   How could be done?  There was no social media or iPhones to create rumors or photoshopped evidence and who would have volunteered to take on the role of a skeletal, tortured victim or a corpse? The denier’s  usual comeback is that the numbers were inflated.  That it was not possible for such a thing to have been carried out on anything  (that sort of insults their heroes) but a small scale and it was therefore okay for something of this nature to take place – but not the way the attention starved bleeding hearts claimed.  But the facts betray the denial.  Not just anguished survivors told their stories; educated, erudite and relentless men – not wanting to simply take a survivors word did the research. They made it their business to dig deeply into the material that existed and supported the facts.

David Irving was one notorious man who insisted it was a hoax.  He was revealed in British court to be a liar and a bigot.   Neo Nazis, who should be proud of their clever and inspiring German  forebears , should embrace it as a stellar accomplishment.  Which makes the deniers an even more deluded crowd.  They can’t have it both ways. On the one hand these race-pure monsters did a very substantial job of making the Reich Judenfrei and at the same time, the deniers want it be a mythic hoax created by Jews to exaggerate exactly what?  Do they think the Reich did a monumental job or did they get blindsided by the Jews who made it up; this very act they love the Nazis for doing.  Which is it?

My recently discovered denier insists that the latter is true and the “Jews” made it much worse than it was – but how could even one murdered person, murdered for their race alone be okay?  A town of Jews or the starvation of a Jew (or a homosexual, or Rom or impaired person?) is okay?  What they would like us to believe is that it was an okay thing to murder Jews, but the ones who survived spun it to be a crime against humanity.  That damaged humans who escaped, invented their own history to match that of other survivors.  That Jews share a cosmic consciousness that  psychically collaborated  to tell the same story when questioned?  Seriously?  That we all think alike and remember the same things that, in their minds, didn’t happen?

This apparently is what my own personal denier believes.  This is what made me shake and fight nausea.

No, I did not say the name or the relationship. It is enough for me to know and it is enough for that person to know I know.  And now you know.  If you know me you may wonder and may even realize.  But I now know and that is more than I ever wanted.

For the Bereaved of Borough Park July 14, 2011

Posted by voolavex in chasids, despicable, Jews, Politics & Religion, Social Issues.
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I have been lazy and busy for the last few month – wasting perhaps valuable and pithy thoughts on FB.  But today my heart is broken and I am in mourning for a little boy I do not know.  His name is Leiby Kletzky and he would have been 9 years old next week.  Now he is dead.  Like most of this country I paid some attention to the trial of Casey Anthony – an ordeal almost 6 years old and one that resulted in an acquittal based on lack of a case.  The DA in Orlando screwed up.    Whatever we learn now about this matter will always be fraught with doubts but Casey Anthony is protected by double jeopardy so she may be a pariah – but she will go on her way.  I don’t much care to be very honest.

Today I got an email from a list I am on called Hatzolah – a volunteer Jewish ER service and this one caught my eye.  It told of a little boy walking home from day camp in borough Park Brooklyn who was kidnapped, murdered and dismembered by a member of the same neighborhood.  This happened yesterday – not three years ago.  Leiby was a little Orthodox Jewish lad with glasses, a yarmulke and sidelocks  and sneakers coming back from day camp.  A little boy.   The family’s only son. His mother was on her way to meet him but he got lost and a man with a similar look drove by and we imagine Leiby asked for directions.  Leiby got into the car.  We will never  know what he said but tonight he will be mourned and buried.

The man presumed innocent until proven guilty Levi Aron is a quiet, religious loner who lived in his parent’s home.  He was not married and he worked full time. He only known crime was pishing in public.  I suspect most men have done this.   One can only assume that there were very dark parts in his head and where his soul might have once been.  He has supposedly admitted to what he did to Leiby.  What he did was so heinous and ugly you can read the tabloids to get the details.  A parent should never know such things can happen to children.  Such things should never happen.

While I write this I am waiting for the real press to tell  us about Leiby and his short but beloved life.  The sisters who must have adored him, the mother who treasured him; the father who planned in his heart for the 13th birthday on which he would become a man.  I am waiting for the outrage and the anger and the fury that accompanied the death of Caylee Anthony.  A child no more or less precious than this little boy.  I am waiting for the outcry, the keeners, the wailers, the sign carriers who will demonstrate for Leiby and I know I will be even sadder because none of that will happen.  And I would ask you who have loved any child to make sure it does.  Because it matters just as much.

The Right Stuff: 13 Reasons “WE” Won Back the House November 6, 2010

Posted by voolavex in freedom, health care, Jesus, Jews, Nobel Peace Prize, Politics, Politics & Religion, Social Issues.
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Barack Hussein Obama is the downfall of the United States of America.  That what they say.  That is why the GOP haunts the House.  But their justification for this is so clear and simple I felt I should share what I call the more correct views of the Loyal Opposition
 
  
1.  Wrong name.  Gall, nerve and audacity my ass.  That is
an UnAmerican name.
 
2.  Hawaii?  Maybe – but some reps have never even been to Hawaii
Elitist place to born.
 
3.  The Color.  Time to say it strong and say it proud.  He and his entire
Negro family are living in our President’s home.  Even the damn dog is not
only black but some kind of Kennedy gift.
 
4.  Harvard.  Get real.  Only welfare children and foreigners go to
Harvard now.  He is probably both. This is an elitist feel good charity college.
 
5. Law Review?  Never even heard of it.
 
6. Smoked the rope and inhaled the dope.  A typical n-word hobby.  Inner city-
that is straight outta Compton.  The GOP does not roll in Compton.
 
7.  Healthcare reform.  So now we are grouped into the same category as places like Argentina, Brazil Canada Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico Panama, Peru Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela , Greenland AND  Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,[61] Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine[62], Belarus[63], Moldova[64], the United Kingdom.[65] . and Ireland.  Also Israel and that figures doesn’t it.  If you get sick in the US it is NOT our problem.  If you die broke.  We do not care.  If you have a baby and do not want it – leave it by the side of road.  You should not have opened your legs.
 
8.  Diplomatic dinners.  Not on our dime – go to Shakee’s or Henry’s Soul Cafe.  They are both in areas where you will not stand out.
 
9.  Trips.  Quite the globe trotter unlike previous presidents from our party.  Get real MISTER Obama – no country with values really wants people like you in their midst.  Read some real history and believe it.
 
10.  Queen Elizabeth.  The Queen is never to be touched.  Your wife had the kind of nerve reserved for Royal Families.  You do not know your place.
 
11. THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.  Alfred Nobel invented dynamite.  Those folks in Norway should have blowed you up real good.  The committee that awards that stupid prize is clearly paid off by someone in the  commie shadows.  They keep giving it to Other Side Presidents.  That will change.
 
12.  Rahm Emanuel.  The Jew.  George Lincoln Rockwell – the assassinated founder of the American Nazi Party said it right when he created the term “N****r Jew Jazz” to describe that funky music.  Rahm Emmanuel had no business telling  anyone what to do.  He clearly did not know his place either.  You people take much more than we want you to have.  That will end soon.
 
13.  Basketball.  Next you will try to bring back the Negro League.
 
These are but a few of the egregious wrongs Mr. Obama has done to OUR country and now we will see just who buys their suits at Hart Shaffner and Marx, who sends their kids to private school and whose seditty (yes she is) wife AND mother-in-law shop at J.Crew.
 
Additions to these wrong acts and the harm to OUR country may be posted in the comments section.  If anyone from their side reads this – share it.  In fact share it with anyone you like.  Unlike much of  GOP info  it has been fact checked for facts when getting caught in a lie would require additional lies and money to fix.  We intend to bring in American values, Christian prayer and if we do not do another thing in the next two years, a new name for Jim Crow that we can pass as an earmark and then enforce.

Guerrilla Flotillas June 4, 2010

Posted by voolavex in common sense, freedom, Gaza, IDF, illegal, Israel, Jews, Politics, Social Issues, solutions, war.
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Part 1.  A little background
 
 
It is hard not to hate Israel.  Here is a little country that just won’t go away.  And it’s got an army of willing soldiers – no burnt out prison drop outs recruits – the IDF loves Israel.  They know how to do their jobs and more than that – they know why they are doing them.  Sitting on a piece of spiritually important land that has been under siege since time immemorial – they cover their borders and do what they must to protect their country. 
 
 
Israel’s larger problem – one of many – is that it is full of Jews.  Nobody likes Jews – a case in point was the nastiness in WW2 that Hitler didn’t solve, to his regret.  But Hitler’s idea had a huge family tree and Jew hating, Jew-berating and Jew-baiting has been an historical pastime since easily 93 CE.  Well a game that can last that long isn’t gonna disappear quickly.
 
 
Israel became Israel a long time ago and before other newer religions co-opted the area – Jews held the stewardship of Israel and they held it seriously.  The West Wall of the Temple – in size alone – is an indication of just what the Israelis were able to create a long time ago. Smitten, smited, smote – they soldiered on moving like a tribe of outcasts throughout their Diaspora.  In Arab lands they became “dhimmies”.  “Dhimmies can never be citizens but they do have to pay and they pay and pay and pay at the whim of whomever is in charge. The do NOT have equal rights.  They serve a purpose because they know how to work and take care of their own.  The image of a Jewish dhimmi laying around sucking on a hookah, out of work,  may have happened – but I haven’t found any reference to it. SO  the fact they contribute – despite Draconian code and laws – is just another reason to hate them.  Fact is that Judaism follows so many holy observances that it’s hard to have time to work and pray and plot.
 
 
Israel is a productive country. What?  Jews aren’t farmers or factory workers. It has scientific and manufacturing sectors, garment trades, agriculture and all the talents the Diaspora brought together in 1948 (and of course before). And Jews are a creative and talented people.  In the 101 year history of Alfred Nobel’s Prize – 180 of the winners have been Jews – from various countries – but Jews.  People hate that.  For the record nine Muslims have won the Nobel Prize; five of which have been for Peace*.  (*There is an interesting argument about this which is too long to discuss here.) Mostly they figure some huge Jewish conspiracy rigged it all and so the prizes aren’t all that important.  But ask someone casually if they were to win the Nobel Prize  for anything – how would they feel?  The answer is usually the same.  The time for the International Zionist New World Order speech never goes away but you all know what it is.
I won’t bore you.
 
 
Part 2  A little foreground.
 
 
And now it comes to Gaza.  Gaza is a political and ideological and religious mess.  There are so many sanctions related to it that I would never get them all in order and/or I would bore you to tears.  Let’s just say that Israel relinquished the Gaza Strip by accord and let it go.  When a terror group (Hamas) won the elections in Gaza – the surrounding countries seemed to have a problem with that, including Israel.  Israel built a big wall.  Not very neighborly but ghetto mentality creates ghetto ingenuity.  Gazans went south to their brother in faith and purpose – Egypt – Egypt built a wall.  Draw your own conclusions.
 
 
Into the picture comes the Guerilla Flotillas.  “Humanitarian” ships that have been offered docking and offloading in two countries – Egypt and Israel.  The offering countries also agreed to get the goods to Gaza right away. Cyprus refused to allow to dock.  How rude. I can see not trusting Israel – but Egypt.  What’s the problem?  Israel told the ships not to approach an embargoed Gaza.  The Guerilla Flotillas did it anyway.  Israel went to stop them and all hell broke loose.   People were shot, people were injured and people are mad.  Now some idiot Irish ship is chugging to where it doesn’t belong to try the same thing.  Turkey (who thinks someone recently died and put them in charge) has issued stern warnings to “dem Jews”.
 Part 3  My own observation
In my opinion there is not a two state resolution – a simple look at the map of the area will show a first grader you cannot accept a country in pieces in another country you hate.  Illogical, a waste of effort, time and money.   Humanitarian aid is abundantly available from dozens on non-allied agencies – their books are clean and show no ties to Jihadis.  (Oops – forgot Jihad – the engine that drives all this).
 
 
The received wisdom is that Gaza is a peace seeking, failed and barren state under siege with clean hands.  This happened because Israel set it free and then Hamas took over.  I would say it speaks more to the ability of  Hamas to oversee a country than it does Israel letting it go.  From the pix I have seen recently Gaza has a lot of food, people drinking coffee at cafes and plenty of potatoes.  Smart Jews probably photo shopped them – but they look real to me.
 
 
So I can see why so many people hate Israel.  And those crafty, clever, money making, smart productive Jews.  What I cannot see is the rationale.  Just as the QED in the Guerilla Flotillas. They sound more like a stupid, provocative act designed to force Israel’s hand and bring in things other than food and medicine.  After the last 9 years – Why is this so hard for people to imagine.  Or shall I dust off my burqua?
Comments are invited.  Try to be civil.

“Hanzelschaft iz nit keyn brudershaften” Livelihood is not brotherhood March 6, 2009

Posted by voolavex in common sense, despicable, guilt, immigration, Jews, kosher, Pets, Social Issues, talmud, torah.
1 comment so far

 I was recently writing an email to a family member regarding the Middle East War in Israel and as I wrote some cold thoughts came to mind that I had not addressed before. Troubled times call for fierce examination. Troubled times make people point fingers and assign blame. Sometimes I think the simplest truth can explain the most complex problem. I kept getting a zetz* from some annoying truths that begged for air. As a humane gesture to my kishkes** I started letting them out. They are my own truths – but they may zetz you too. They are not very likeable – but they do ring true. See what you think.

 

Bernard Madoff and Aaron Rubashkin are two of the worst things that have happened to the Jews since Pharoah’s armies got grounded. The two of them feed into the worst depths of Anti-Semitism and serve that end as examples of what people who (check one) mistrust, hate, avoid, slur and or revile the Jews, see as a benchmark of the entire Jewish tribe (except the one you know and he/she is a really nice person). And why wouldn’t they? The name for what Bernie Madoff did is affinity scam. Taking advantage of your own to establish credibility and then keeping at it until you are either caught or die. Underlying the entire con is the knowledge you personally know it’s is wrong, illegal, lies and misery for your victims. You know this when you start and you it know when you give it up, die or get caught. I would say that essentially it is driven by greed no matter how you slice it. This is the man for whom the term Greedy Jew was created. And in this troubled time this is the man who may have slowed; maybe even stalled the engine of the world. And because he used his Jewishness to this end he merits every bad name one can call him. Bernie Madoff is NOT good for the Jews. His money is treyf*** and so is every penny that may have been touched by him. Think of Bernie as a pig disguised as a lobster pretending to be a matzo ball.. Before you even work your way through to the “others” who got shafted all 163 pp of them (which I have read) find the Jews. The ones who lost big. These are what “others” will label “Stupid Jews”. Bernie Madoff is not good for the Jews. By the time one gets to the others it hardly matters who they are in terms of ethnicity. The blood libel has been revived and some stupid, greedy Jew did it. This makes me livid and is going to take a long time to fix . Why isn’t every Jew vocally enraged by this man and what he has done? Not content to go in head again first at the deep end let’s move along to the next question. What does Aaron Rubashkin have in common with Bernie Madoff? Greed.

 

 Aaron Rubashkin and Agriprocessors ignored Jewish law and screwed the Jews. Aaron and his family deny every single allegation and for this he is even more of a problem for the Jews. He exemplifies the slur “Those lousy Jews will do anything to make a buck”. Because that is precisely what he did and would have kept on doing if he had not been caught. Close friends of mine excuse him and tell me he has done so much good that he cannot have done what the law says he did but I don’t think prior good acts exonerate him. It’s like saying some Jew hater loves dogs. I love my friends and therefore I won’t argue with them but we disagree. Rubashkin is guilty of another kind of exploitation that was so specific to the Jews that it is disgusting. It’s not bad enough he exploited illegal and underage workers to work in his kosher meat factory. He is accused of breaking federal laws and religious law by his slaughtering methods and factory conditions and by doing so has made questionable every mouthful of kosher meat every observant Jew has bought under his aegis. This meat has been chewed and swallowed. Is it treyf? Part of the problem as I see it is in the entire behavior of Rubashkin and his cohorts. As with Madoff – they knew and they did it anyway. If you cut corners on one thing – where do you stop? And he did it in violation of Jewish law. He violated a mitzvah. He is a goniff, a hypocrite and betrayer. This makes me livid and is going to take a long time to fix . Why isn’t every Jew vocally enraged by this man and what he has done?

 

I don’t care if my meat is kosher and I am not observant but those who are deserve better than this. You might ask what happens if these folks ate the meat. Nothing except it is morally indefensible and therefore causes mental anguish among ****landsmen who have placed enormous trust in this product. If you recall how outraged we were in this country about the tainted dog food and baby formula – there is no difference. And the first tainted food was PET food. Think about it and get angry and let people know you’re an angry Jew.

 

Giving bigots a reason to use ethnic slurs is not good for the Jews. I think it is okay to be angry and vocal about both these men and what they have done. I think Jews should be outraged and say so. Nothing excuses them . Finding Bernie and Aaron outside the pale doesn’t do anything but say that you find this behavior unconscionable for everyone and especially the people that were targeted. Bernie Madoff is not good for the Jews. Aaron Rubashkin is not good for the Jews. We should all be much angrier than we appear to be.

 

* zetz = poke ** treyf/treif = not kosher ***kishkes = your gut ****landsmen = your co-religionists.

 

 Comments are welcome but I will delete anyone using the term – self-hating Jew – just so we are clear.

Baby Shopping with Leviticus November 11, 2007

Posted by voolavex in baby gifts, chasids, evil eye, Jews, kosher, leviticus, Lubavitch, talmud, teddy bears, torah.
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I have very close friends who are Lubavitch Chasids.  I have known them for years and this year they welcomed their first grandchild – a lovely little girl. Usually when one goes to visit a new baby it’s fairly simple.  Pink or blue, high end or tacky?  Toys or clothes? Stocks or bonds?   Usually. 

To start, most Jewish folks do not have baby showers.  It is considered bad luck to purchase anything for the baby before it is safely delivered from the womb.  I tend to agree with this idea.  By extension, however, Chasidic Jews do not even discuss names or gender.  The basis for this is called kinahora – although it is spelled many ways.  Ritualwell.org has this to say: “Jews have long believed that to call attention to a good thing-like overpraising a child-is to tempt the evil eye, a faux pas that demands the immediate recitation of “keyn eyn harah”, or kinahora, meaning “no evil eye” in Yiddish.  This is also, in part, the basis for the little red string or bead that many observant Jews wear.  Having this in mind I prepared to visit the new baby and her ecstatic family laden with gifts. But this was not just any baby; she was a Chasidic babe and if you want to do to the right thing for your friends’ joyous occasion (called a simcha), respecting their faith and tradition is the right thing to do and righter still if it’s your own  faith as well. 

Let me say this right away, shopping for babies is better than being pregnant and for little little girls it’s even better.  Nowadays there are so many wonderful things to buy and knit and look for, that it boggles the mind. There seem to be endless sources of clothes and toys in every price range for boys and girls.  Pale pastels, bright primaries and a world of amazing animals and soft things that shout “buy me!”.  Except for the very observant. This is not to say that the very observant don’t go wild over their babies – they just don’t go hog-wild. Fortunately as I was tucking lions and tigers and bears, oh my, into my gift bags, I realized that these stuffies might not work for this little girl and her family.  Now is when the concept of Tum’ah enters the picture.  Tum’ah is a form of ritual impurity which can be expressed in several ways.  For my purposes the most important consideration was in the representation of the stuffed animals.  Wikipedia tells me that one may become tum’ah by coming in contact with certain animals; including some insects and lizards (enumerated in Leviticus, Chapter 11, verses 29 – 32).   Leviticus is where we get the list of what’s kosher and what’s not and this includes animals. (I am still monumentally confused about Noah and the Ark – but that is another whole story.)  And come on, who gets a baby bugs or lizards anway? I had also thought this restriction meant animals one ate – not house pets certainly, but apparently I was incorrect.  I called my friend, the Bubbe (grandmother) who told me that ” you think a teddy bear is just a teddy bear – but it’s not”.  I gather it’s a big, unkosher maneater.  I started to point out that most Jews in Brooklyn don’t go out  and run into bears but before I could mention this,  she started to include other warm, fuzzy creatures that were treif (this is Yiddish for unclean) while I started to toss the poor, hapless stuffies from the bags.  Pigs were out – no Olivia for this baby; no cats, no dogs, nothing with scales, no shellfish (Spongebob’s friends were totally a no-no – but the Sponge himself – not sure – isn’t he a kitchen sponge?), no crocodiles or alligators,  no bunnies and presumably no mice or squirrels.  The list is sort of narrow but I saw it as a challenge and one that I welcomed because domestic fowl are okay as are cows and goats and lambs.  Ducklings!!! Chicks!!! And what could be more wonderful than a fuzzy, woolly little lamb? Could it be that simple? Not so fast.  Nothing is wrong with a lamb unless the sheep wool is mixed with linen (and with things as they are in China you really cannot know).  This is called “sha’atnez”. And is also covered in Leviticus and in the Talmud.  Companies exist only to examine garments to guard against this admixture.  So, in the end, the bags that went to visit this lovely little sheina maidele (beautiful girl) were filled with cotton onesies, little cotton tights, smocked cotton dresses, a Got Milk outfit in pink and androgynous little dolls that turned out to be perfect.  I think I even worked in a little lamb too.  Next time, though,  I will go for duckies. The baby herself was adorable and just as sweet as she could be and the entire event was made even better because everything was, well, kosher.  And when the next one arrives, I will be way ahead of the game.  As soon as I know the gender I may even knit something – but not with sheep wool or spun flax; no, no, no – more likely it will be cashmere or cotton. Pareve, in kosher speak,   neutral.   Not that there’s anything wrong with that.