Friday, December 31, 2004


If you don't hate Star Wars this will change your mind. Believe it or not, there exists a Star Wars music albulm that makes Episodes I and II seem Oscar-worthy. Which says something.

The mockery and snark about the albulm to which this link directs you is A-1, though.

This other link will take you directly to the horror that is Star Wars Christmas allowing you to listen in for as long as you can stand, but I warn you: I haven't been to a mikva in three years; after 20 seconds of this albulm I am running for a dunk. I'm also going to burn my ears off. You'll be looking for an ice pick to jam into your skull in less time than that.

It will make your ears bleed.

There's not much else I can say to prepare you for the musically-induced nausea and horrible lyrics that await you, so I close with this apology: if you love Star Wars, I'm really sorry about this. You and C3-PO won't ever be the same.


Saw it on SatireWire

Money quotes (the rest of it sucks)
Jews, whose troubled, 10,000-year term as God's "chosen people" finally expired last night, woke up this morning to find that they had once again been hand-picked by the Almighty. Synagogues across the globe declared a day of mourning....Americans, meanwhile, expressed outrage at the decision, saying they had assumed they were God's chosen people. However, explained [the] Archbishop, "It only seems that way because so many people don't like you."


It's been a while since we fisked someone. Thankfully, Bill's end of the year column provides the perfect opportunity.

Back home, we are coming off of a Christmas season where the federal holiday was bruised and battered by secular forces that see any Christian public display as an affront

Did I miss a news story about Christmas being canceled? Certainly, there were enough lights twinkling on my block to land a jet plane. Now, it is true I offered to phone bank for the "Campaign Against Christmas" and I even sent a handsome donation, but no one got back to me. Come to think of it, I haven't gotten my membership tote bag yet, either. We think this means the campaign didn't get off the ground. Too bad. Maybe next year secular forces!

If you are offended by the image of a baby in a manger displayed in front of public building, you don't need reassurance by a PC columnist, you need therapy. The heroic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian minister whom we will honor with a federal holiday on January 17th. Should we not see pictures of Dr. King displayed on public property?

How many Jews have been killed in Martin Luther King Jr.'s name? How much damage have Dr. King's followers done to the interests of science and medicine? How much superstition surrounds Dr. King’s legend? What did Jesus do to spread the cause of freedom in the world? You may be too stupid to understand this, Bill, but you've created a false analogy. Anyway, moron, it’s not the baby in the manger that offends me. It’s the ideas it represents.

The defamation pipeline that extends from libelous liberal internet sites to carefully selected newspaper columnists to radio and television talk shows is designed to defame and destroy any high profile person who dares fight the progressives.

Oh, if only Bill's side had Internet sites, newspaper columnists, and radio and TV shows!!!

Of course, intimidation tactics also extend to the right, which often smears liberal politicians and commentators. The big difference, however, is that conservatives don't have access to the elite media, and progressives do.

You heard it here first, folks: FOX News, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, and those rediculous cable shows featuring dimbulbs like Tucker Carlson, and Pat Buchananl are not elite media. Neither, apparently, is O'Reilly's own show. But we knew that already.

Unfortunately, I am a warrior in this take-no-prisoners culture war, and it is a brutal occupation. As you may know, I have been slimed every which way for taking a traditionalist stand.

It's hard work being a culture warrior. Damned hard work. And slimy too. Hard, slimy, brutal work -- but it pays pretty well (BusinessWeek: Bill O'Reilly Generates $60 Million a Year).

But back to Christmas:

When I defended public displays of Christmas, I was branded an anti-Semite. When I pointed out the deleterious effect "gangsta rap" has on children, I was called a racist. After arguing for border controls, I was labeled anti-Hispanic. But the topper was an accusation that I "despised the Pope" because I criticized him for not being proactive enough during the priest scandals.

And when he pointed out the cool things you can do with falalfal to Andrea Mackis, he was labeled a "sexual harasser."

Anyway you weren't branded an anti-Semitie for defending Christmas. You were branded an anti-Semite for saying it was Jews who were destroying it.

You know, it's a crying shame the way that old Bill is constantly being martyred -- especially since Bill has stood up for Jesus numerous times, and yet Jesus never returns the favor. You think that Jesus is mad at the way Bill always upstages him?


For the last several days, I've been promising to post about the Tiferes Yisroel and the age of the universe. I've also been promising to take it to Simcha.

So here goes.

As regular readers of DovBear and Yonatan Schreiber know, the Tiferes Yisroel has a view of this subject, and it is one we did not learn in Cheder. Even the more modern hebrew acadamy I attended for high school kept it a secret. Our rabonim insisted the world was 5740+ years old, and openly mocked paleontology and geology ("It is not true, by our definition.") The science faculty was too timid to protest.

I have a few theories as to the reason the Tiferes Yisroel's view of the subject is not taught in our schools, and now that I know Dave is awarding a prize for best series I may spread it out over a few posts, so let's start with the Tiferes Yisroel himself.

In short, he suggests that the world was "created" many times before Adam. This isn't his own idea. The essay in which he puts it forward, the Derush Or ha-Hayyim, is based on important sources including Bahya, Ramban and the Ibn Ezra, rishonim who agree that the universe is very old.

Money quotes from the Derush Or ha-Hayyim:

Age of the Universe
In the year 1807... they found in Siberia... a great elephant... whose skelteon now stands in the Zoological Museum in Petersburg... We already know of a giant creature found in... the city of Baltimore... bones of this creature have been found in Europe, too. This creature had been named mammoth... they have found... iguanodon... whose height was 15 feet, and whose length was as much as 90 feet...there is yet another creature called megalosaurus... from all this it is clear... [citing kabbbalists, Gemarahs, RAbaynu B'chaya, the Ramban, and Ibn Ezra's] that the world has been destroyed and renewed over and over again as many as four times...
One of the kabbalists he cites has a formula, using this idea of cycles, that suggests the universe is several billion years old. His own writing suggest he thought each of those 4 cycles was at least 7000 years, and perhaps as many as 49,000 years. More on that later.

Early Man / Cave Men
Those humans who lived in the primordial world, known as "Pre-Adamites" in the vernacular, that is the humans who lived in the world before Adam was created are identical to the 974 generations mentioned in Shabbat [88b] and Hagigah [14A]
Many Orthodox Jews feel they must challenge every scientific statment regarding paleontology or geology. However, the Tiferes Yisroel, a prominent achron, saw such discoveries as supporting longstanding Torah ideas. He didn't run from what his own eyes told him; rather he saw that new discoveries were not hostile to the traditions he received from those who came before him.

[Related: Taking it to Simcha]


Some comedian was having fun in my comment section last night. His remarks are on the last several posts, and they are so manly, so bold, and so Torah True, they make my off-the-derech-brother YitzhakEyezik seem like a vegan, tree-hugging, eater of pork.

But I do think it's a joke. Maybe.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Angry right wingers want to lock-up USA Today founder Al Neuharth. His crime? A column arguing that it is time to bring the troops home.

This act of treason did not go unnoticed. Patriots from all across the blood-red states sprung into action and bombarded the trecherous fiend with a blitzkreig of threatening letters. Atrios showed me a collection and I am astounded.

Some samples:

“Neuharth should be tried for treason along with a lot of other blowhards who should be spending their energies condemning the barbarism of our enemies, the same people who destroyed the Twin Towers.“ -- Duggan Flanakin, Austin, Texas

Wow! There are still people in this country who think Iraq brought down the towers? Even the president no longer makes such claims.

"Mr. Neuharth, thanks to you and your ignorance the terrorists are probably booking their flights to the U.S. now! If we pull out of Iraq with the job unfinished the terrorists will be bombing McDonalds, and blowing up malls and schools here, killing our innocent men, women and children"--Joe McBride, Fort Dodge, Iowa

Yes. The terrorists hate us because we have hamburgers. And having read the Arabic language translation of Neuwarth's column in USAToday they've dropped the insurgancy in Iraq, evaded American troops, found a functioning airport, bought plane tickets, and are at this moment on there way to the nearest food court to make their displeasure known. Excellent analysis, Mr. McBride!

"Apparently it's easier to run with jackals than to stand up for your country when it needs support." --Frank Butash, West Hartford, CT

So what you're saying is, there's no such thing as a loyal opposition. You either start goose-stepping behind the president, or you are a traitor. Mr. Burashm, isn't it boring living in a black and white world?

And the final word, goes to this thoughtful man, who (surprise!) self-identifies as a god-fearing Christian.

The Patriot Act will put... you.. on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you ... Your families should be put in prison with you, then be made to leave and move to the Middle East ...This is a great Christian nation and god wants us to lead the world out of darkness with great leaders like President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney... We own America and all the rights, you people are trash, go back to Russia and Africa.. before we put you on death row...” -- Mel Gibbs

Russia? And Africa? As in only Jews and Blacks would dare question the president's boldly resolute plans? Wow. And you thought the left had bad manners?


Wikipedia provides a list of famous Jews, though bizzarrly the page itself says this is a "List of Jews."


Everyone's favorite anono-hasid, The Shaigetz, has a post today about Shabbat meals.

The menu:

Egg avec onions
(this is nasty, and served in Jewish homes everywhere where tradition is allowed to trump taste.)

Says the shaigetz, these same four foods are served every shabbos, with almost no variation. It's the culinary equivlant of their clothing, I suppose. Change is forbidden and all.

Anyway, Shaigy also tells us that Chaisdim never invite unrealted families over for Shabbat lunch. In the tradition of our ancestor Avraham, they are unwilling to share their tables with strange women. (Yes, I know Sarah stayed in the tent.) Yet, Shaigy's ends his post describing a mysogonistic moment the Shaigetz family suffered during a meal when they were invited out.

If it isn't done, how did the Shaigetz family get a lunch invite?


Watch Ali.G / Borat singing an anti-Semitic song to the enthusisatic cheers of customers at a country-western bar.

Of course, the patrons began singing along and the horn-like hand motions one god-fearing woman made are special, too. How'd they get so many stupid people in one room?

UPDATE: Ali G and Patrick Buchanan discuss Iraq and the BLTs Sadaam used on the Kurds.



Slate reveals one of the web's biggest secrets.


Fragrances for various New York City neighborhoods


College Republicans fundraising criticized

Money quote:
During the 2004 campaign, the group sent out direct-mail solicitations under such letterheads as "Republican Headquarters 2004" and "Republican Election Committee."

One four-page letter asked prospects to send $1,000 together with an American flag pin for President Bush to wear to "Republican Headquarters" to ensure that Bush knows "there are millions who are giving him the shield of God to protect him in the difficult days ahead."
Let's hope those punks get the New Year they deserve.



New York Times Obituary

Shonda alert: The anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, anti-American Times, anti-Orbach Times gives scant mention to Orbach's portrayal of Dr. Jake Housman, the overprotective father in Dirty Dancing who thought his daughter, Baby, was too young to understand her own feelings.

Side Question: Their vacation resort was modeled after Grossingers, obm, right?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Ann Coulter, that sweet but crazy lady who resembles a vampire and writes shrill and insulting books, apparently has a sideline as a missionary. Her website carries the following heartfelt, yet insane, religious appeal:

To The People Of Islam:
Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders and converted you to Christianity YOU'D ALL BE OPENING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
Merry Christmas
In the trade, we call that a killer argument. I'll be safe in Israel (hopefully) before she and her friends ever get the nerve to try a similar approach with the universe's other large group of Christ-denying infidels.

What's that you say, Mr. Right-winger? It's only Muslims she hates? She won't ever direct that vititrol at the Jews?

Famous last words.

Note to Coulter: Pay attention to the president. The people of Islam don't want presents, they want freedom. We invaded to bring them freedom, not presents. Don't you get the White House talking points?


Are you?

After all $14 million for disaster relief and $30 million for the innaguaration sounds fair to me.

UPDATE: Pres interrupts vacation, promises more money:
President Bush said Wednesday said that the aid pledged by the United States toaid victims of the earthquake-spawned tsunamis that battered southern Asia is"only the beginning" and announced the formation of an international coalition to coordinate relief efforts.Saying that he and his wife, Laura, were “saddened by the terrible loss of life” in the disaster, Bush pledged a multifaceted response from the United States that goes far beyond the initial pledge [...]The news conference was Bush’s first public statement since the tsunami struck on Sunday, and came after critics faulted the president for not interrupting his vacation at his Crawford ranch to talk in person about the disaster.He had previously issued several statements expressing his condolences and promising to help the affected nations.
I don't know why the people of South East Asia couldn't just hold on until after the vacation was over. I mean, your know Prez has got all that brush to clear.


How do people who believe in a loving God deal with natural disasters?

Various intelligent folks wrestle with the issue.

[Stolen from Andrew Sullivan Note: Some of the links are different here]


Once upon a time, there was a rabbinic sage, whose name I forget. Using a hebrew phrase I also forget, he told his adherents that it was wrong to express disgust toward nonkosher food.

He advised them instead to say, "I want it! I want it! But the Holy One has declared it off-limits."

This public service message was inspired by Masa, New York City's newest four-star restaurant.

Money quote from the today's review in the New York Time
I could reach deep into a heady broth of adjectives to describe the magic of the sushi at Masa. I could pull up every workable synonym for delicious. Or I could do this: tell you about watching a friend bite into one of Masa's toro-stuffed maki rolls.

His eyes grew instantly bigger as his lips twitched into a coyly restrained grin. Then the full taste of the toro, which is the buttery belly of a bluefin tuna, took visible hold. Forget restraint: he was suddenly smiling as widely as a person with a mouthful of food and a modicum of manners can. His eyes even rolled slightly backward.

This play of emotion mirrored my own toro-induced bliss. It also explains why Masa, despite its chosen peculiarities and pitiless expense, belongs in the thinly populated pantheon of New York's most stellar restaurants. Simply put, Masa engineers discrete moments of pure elation that few if any other restaurants can match. If you appreciate sushi, Masa will take you to the frontier of how expansively good a single (and singular) bite of it can make you feel.
Move over Daniel. You're no longer my first stop after I'm reincarnated as a non-Jew.


to a gun fight.

Charles Johnson of LGF is picking a fight with Wonkette. "Gotta love it. Wonkette, sleazy exposer of hookers and partisan purveyor of bogus exit poll results, gets the nod as a “reputable, credible professional.”

I hope Wonkette takes the bait. And doesn't Chalres look nice in green?

UPDATE: See the thoughts of Surah Malka, my new favorite writer of comments. (Sorry Esther, but this is like three times in a row she made me LOL. Starting with this one.)


More on the guy, Yaron Brook, who disgusted O'Reilly last week.

And no, this isn't about falafel.


A very odd Bush moment at one his rare press conferences. (12/20/04)

At first, he is on a roll, blathering about how the bombings are working (hey, wasn't freedom supposed to be on the march?) when all of a sudden he stops, begins mumbling at the podium, then immidiately looks up and continues speaking.

Was this this a moment of prayer? Is he bowing to Satan? Is it a senior moment? Or just a muffled belch?

You decide: Video


was your bonus?

I don't work on Wall Street, so for a year-end bonus I received the monetary equivlant of a bag of peanuts and some chochlate chips.

But I can tell from the IP adddresses that some of you work on Wall Street. So perhaps you are in a diiferent parsha:
Lloyd S. Blankfein, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs made $20.1 million, of that only $600,000 was salary; and E. Stanley O'Neal, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch, received a bonus of $13.5 million and restricted stock worth $11.2 million on top of his $500,000 salary. At the other end of the compensation spectrum, an investment banking analyst right out of college would have made a $65,000 salary and a $35,000 bonus last year. An associate just out of business school might have made $85,000 in salary and a $115,000 bonus.
Man, greed is good.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Said Allison:The biggest question is whether Dave can acheive his goal of keeping it fun and not nasty or back-bitey. After all we are Jews AND bloggers -- neither one a group known for great harmony and non-competitive spirit....

Oh, Allison, its going to a war. That's half the fun.

Let the recriminations and dirty dealing begin!



And why is he hosting Hirhurim?

Simcha, if you've been, um, downsized, you're welcome to guest blog here. I've been thinking of continuing my series on the parsha, and it seems to me, that you're an ideal candidate to manage it. Someone who knows what he's talking about could really do some great things in that format. In fact, we could even call it DovBear on the Parsha, reported by Simcha Yesairah. (only in the title your name would be a little much smaller)

UPDATE: Ohhhhh! Simcha is Gil Student. It was sort of a Mark Twain thing. We still don't know who Gil Student is, but now that Hirhurim (which we think means "dirty thoughts") has gone all-serious and un-anonymous we can bet we won't be getting any more links from those quarters.

Simcha/Gil is verrrrry serious. And we're not.

But you know what? It doesn't matter: Beacuase effective immediately, DovBear is competing with Simcha/Gil directly. He’s Coke. We’re Pepsi. He’s Hertz. We try harder.

So folks, remember this: Shop DovBear for your pedantic, oh-so-very-serious, on-line Torah needs.

You won't be disapointed.


Mochassid is mad (I know: what a shock) that people talk about the Jets amd the stock market when he says kaddish. He's right, of course, but at the hasidic holes-in-the-wall I haunt, there is a more insidious problem. Kiddush starts before davening is over, and because the food is served and eaten in the davening room, the mourners and their prayers for the dead must compete with a shul-sponsored distraction.

Why can't those black-robed, holy-rollers wait till davening is done before they start gobbeling up the herring? And why do they disregard the pages and pages of rabbinical writings that urge us not to eat in the davening room?

I've, from time to time, asked the presiding rabbi. A shrug is the typical response, so your guess is as good as mine.

[Side note: Facinating]


Elsewhere, a commentator asked: Where do I find the Ramban on Hashgacha Klalit?

This is a customer-service oriented blog, so here's an example: Know further that miracles for good or for bad are performed only for the perfectly righteous or utterly wicked people. For average people, however, He visits good or evil upon them in a natural manner according to their ways, and by their doings.

Ramban. Duet 11:13


Wow! Was that Bill O'Reily trying to talk sense into a right wing nutjob last week? My god. Yes, it was.
Yaron Brook: I would like to see the United States turn Fallujah into dust, and tell them: if you are going to support the insurgents, you will not have schools, you will not have Mosques....

Bill: But then we would be Nazis...
If I'm fortunate enough to find the transcript for this exchange, I'll be sure to post it so that everyone else can enjoy (somewhat vicariously) the rare and unfamiliar thrill of Saint Bill being in the right.

Meantime, enjoy the video


There isn't much I can say about the 50,000 plus who perished in South East Asia this week. It's been pointed out that this mabul [lit: the biblical flood] was more devestating than the original mabul. Do you imagine 50,000 people lost their life in that one?

I rather doubt it.

Also, I predict that the word of the week will be licentious, as in:

The people of South East Asia were licentious, thus the deluge

I hope that paragons of virtue like Bill "Slot Machine" Bennet, or William "Anal Sex" Donohue, or Bill "Falafel" O'Rielly are true to form, and among those blaming the victims.

Otherwise it might be a slow week for blogging.

UPDATE: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, is collecting mony for relief in South East Asia.You can read the article on their web site at, or you can just skip to the donation form at

"...the Founding Fathers of America are greatly enshrined in dollar bills..."

Ahmad Al-Qloushi, of Foothill College, wrote an essay on the Constitution, and after reading it, his professor, allegedly, told Ahmed to go see a shrink. Mr. Al-Qloushi and his friends are using the incident to suggest that there is something rotton and dare we say it, anti-American, in academia. As Town Hall puts it: "The Foothill College Republicans are using this opportunity to make sure that intellectual diversity is respected on campus, by lobbying to have the “Academic Bill of Rights” as an official Foothill College policy."

The professor and the shrink, to my knowledge, have refused to comment, though the professor has filed a grievance.

Two things about the story that are funny, if not hysterical:

1 - Ahmad wrote a press release describing the suffering and mental anguish he endured at the hands of his nasty old commie professor in which Ahmed neglected to mention that he (Ahmed) is president of the Foothill College Republicans.

We're sure Ahmed was just being modest. Or iit was an oversight. Or "mistakes were made." Whatever. It's just a happy coincidence that the organization's president has become embroiled in a politically convinient case. Right? A credible and god-fearing organization like the College Republicans would never orchastrate an attention-seeking stunt. [snort]

2 - The essay itself is good for an inadvertant laugh or three. You can read it here. It's an amazing piece of work and I can't understand why the professor had problems with it.

It's exactly what I'd expect from a College Republican.

Monday, December 27, 2004


Whatever it is, I'm glad Google has the resources for this.


That was the episode in which Jerry obsessed over the position of his phone number on his girlfriend's speed-dial.

Now, I don't have a girlfriend who blogs, and I never even use the telephone anymore. Let alone speed dial.

I only mention Jerry and the Millenium because I've noticed DovBear has dropped in priority on the blogroll of a very prominent Israeli journalist. I really don't care. I am so totally not the type to obsess over a thing like that.


Begins today. Discuss strategies.

Hey now: Blaming the decline of Easter on the Jews should be a lay-up Mr. Conservative, Anti-Semitic, Jewish, Columnist, sir.

Yes, yes, I am still talking about Burt Prelutsky.


[Stolen from Eschaton]


Robert Novak, a born-Jew who converted in 1998 to the faith of William Donohue, had something stupid to say last week: "I was just kind of stunned at the end of his press conference, when President Bush, who is a believing Christian and a very sincere one, deeply religious man, said "happy holidays." Well, what's the happy holidays? Is it Fourth of July, or Memorial Day, or Veteran's Day? No, it's Christmas."

Um, did you forget Chanuka? Yes, you probably did. But what about New Years? Thanksgiving? Those are all holidays, aren't they? And we're in their season, aren't we?

And Bobby, though you've left Judaism behind, don't you remember how your great-grampa used to say gut yom tov or chag sameach [Translation: Happy holiday]

Did that stun you, too?


Dave at IsreallyCool is trying to introduce an award for Jewish blogs

For reasons known only to himself, he's making a distinction between Israeli and Disapora blogs. Why? Isn't a Jewish blog, a Jewish blog?

What's gained by splitting the Jewish blogosphere in two? That's a dumb idea.

Though Dave invites you to comment on his site, this is impossible unless you go through the bother of registering. If this proves to be too much of hassle, make your comments here.

Dave reads me.

My choices for categories:
- Best Blog
- Best Writing
- Best Post
- Best Series: Sarah's shabatone, for example
- Best Single Issue Blog: Shtreimal is an example. His blog is about himself, nothing more, nothing less.
-Best Group Blog: A group blog like JewSchool should not be competing with a one man show.
- Most Humorous Blog
- Most Humorous Post
- Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: For the undiscovered gem
- Best Expert Blog: This is Simcha's category. No other's need apply.
- Best New Blog: Blogs would not be eligible for both this and the Wider Recognition Award
- Best Commenter: Steve Brizel would be my choice. There is no one more consistantly irritating.

UPDATE: He's changed the categories. Much better Dave!


Read about Prez's "Healthy Forest" and "Clear Skies" initiatives.

At the innaguration, perhaps the GOP will deliver a fitting tribute to these bold and resolute policies by chopping down and burning every tree in the national mall.

Because it's about character.


You really should not miss William Donahue's ignorant and hateful remarks about the Jewish people. For those not in the know, William Donohue is one of those oh-so-moral cultural ayatollahs, who are trusted to protect America from spiritual and moral decline. Bill's exact position is President, Catholic League, but he could just as easilly be a drunk Irishman in a Boston bar.

Sure, Bill pretends that it's only the secular Jews he abhors, but we aren't buiying it: an anti-Semitic bigot is an anti-Semitic bigot.


More bigotry masquerading as religious values...

"Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. [...] Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes."

William Donahue, The Catholic League
Scarborough Country, MSNBC
Dec 8th, 2004

[See the Video]

Friday, December 24, 2004


Two movies symptomatic of the temper of the times were 'The Passion of the Christ' and 'The Passions of the Faculty Clubs' (a.k.a. 'Fahrenheit 9/11')

Ho, ho, ho

As if every preacher didn't tell his congregation it was their God-demanded duty to go see Mel's movie. By Will's reasoning, "Passion of the Snake Handlers" is a fair characterization.


Major General Elazar Stern, head of the Israel Defense Forces Manpower Division said: "Settlers who wear an orange star are Holocaust deniers, because if what was done in the Holocaust resembles what we are doing to them, it means the Holocaust was not so terrible or unique."

Gush Katif resident Sara Tzwieg, who wore the orange star, said, "I think the media went a bit too far when it started wondering which people in particular we were comparing to the Nazis. We never intended to do that. What we wanted to show was that the deportation of Jews from their homes is similar to what the Nazis did."

[Does the first part of her statement agree with the second part? I don't think so.]


Struggling to prevent their increasingly contentious anti-disengagement campaign from alienating the Israeli public, the settlement lobby [Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip] on Wednesday evening unveiled what it called its "three nos" policy: no to violence; no to refusal of military service; and no to the orange Star of David badges.

Now that the settler organization has finally articulated this view, I hope the newspaper coverage will begin making a distinction between this official viewpoint, and rouge attitudes.


Orthodox Judaism does not seek converts, and Orthodox Jews are supposed to discourage non-Jews who wish to join the religion. Over on his blog, Mitzvah Man Ms-Nagid is doing the Lord's work - with extreme prejudice.


Decor and service, though, are less glorious.

The Zagat 2005 Survey of New York City Restaurants acknowledges 20 kosher places to eat in the city.*

Receiving the highest rating for food, among the places Zagat calls kosher, was the Second Ave. Deli, with a 23. Prime Grill, stomping ground of kosher bankers and lawyers, took a 22, as did Pongal and Chennai Garden. Le Marias took the bronze with a 21.

Though all 5 of these places scored very well for their food, they did not do very well at all in Zagat's two other categories. Pongal's "unreliable service" earns a 13; their "minimal decor" takes a 15. Channai's "no decor decor" gets a 12; LeMarias' interior receives a 14, and their service a 16. Even Prime Grill, gets hit for "spotty service" and can only muster a 17, to go with the 18 it received for decor.

Now let's be fair: I presume a deli doesn't try to compete on decor and service, so I am not surprised the Second Avenue took a 10 for decor and a 15 for service. And I've never been to Channai or Pongel, so perhaps they, too, aren't trying to be top-flight restaurants. I don't know. But Prime and Le Marias are thought, by Jews, to be among the better restaurants in the city. Their food, despite the kosher restrictions, is within spitting distance of the very best in the city. So isn't it a little sad that their decor and service, comparatively, is so poor?

The best non-kosher restaurants in the city score high 20s in all three of Zagat's categories. Daniel, my first stop after I am reincarnated as a non-Jew, is typical with a 28, for food, 27 for decor and 27 for service. I understand Prime Grill's 22 for food: They can't serve shellfish, or pork or rabbit. They can't mix milk and meat. Those are real limitations. But what's limiting the decor and service at kosher places? I can't pin Prime's 18 for decor and a 17 for service on the kosher laws. And it isn't the prices, either. Though Daniel is much more expensive than Prime, plenty of restaurants in Prime's price range take mid and high 20s on decor and service. Meanwhile, Darna, is the only kosher restaurunt I saw that cracked 20 in either of the two non-food categories, with a 21 for decor.

So what is it? Why don't kosher restaurants compete on decor and service?

* I don't know how Zagat defines kosher. I am not certifying any of the establishments under discussion here as kosher. Then again if you rely on an anonymous blogger to tell you what's kosher, you probably don't really care.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


In the comments to this post "Surah Malkah" wrote:

Look: Here's another picture of the Rabbi and his family...

But she had trouble posting the photo.

So as a public service, here it is:


Reports the hard-hitting Westport Minutemnan:"No doubt, Christmas is the king of winter holidays, which certainly gets it due of attention. But once the gift wrapping, ribbon and hoopla settles, there are plenty of other holidays to celebrate throughout the winter..." including Purim.

Purim? Which falls this year on March 25th? Five days after the first day of Spring? Is a winter holiday?


Silow-Carroll blogs about evolution, writing: Modern Orthodox educators have long understood that the apparent “contradictions” between Torah and science are based on faulty comparisons.

Modern-Orthodox? What about the Tiferes Yisroel, who 200 years ago said that human like creatures lived before Adam? He also wrote that the discovery of dinosuars proved that the universe had existed for millions of years before Adam, and he said this drawing on the Ibn Ezra, the Ramban, and the early kabbalists.

Age of the Universe: Yet another point where Jews and christians disagree.




Teen, Denied Admittance to Prom, Sues Over Confederate Flag Dress

"I was standing up for my Southern heritage," she said. In a dress too tacky for RuPaul? Also take note of the cute watermelon-muncher behind them. Good thing this wasn't about rasicim.

Finally, does that dude have a clue how fruity he looks in those boots? Why is he taking a cow to his prom?!?

[End Nasty Comments]
Correction: The comment section is overflowing with nasty comments. They rock. Add your own!


The latest ditsy celebrity to express an interest in the Kabballah cult is Lindsay Lohan

How'd this get started? She made a guest appearance on That 70s Show, where Aston Kushner, Kabbalah preacher extraordinaire, warmed her up to the faith.

Seriously, he's a modern-day Maggid.

Anyone know many notches this makes on Ashton’s belt?. Not counting the tweens who run to buy red bracelets whenever the paparazzi snaps a shot of one on Ashton’s wrist.


Wise words:
"It is touching that the Right has managed to transform the holiday season into another hate fest. But, let me say this -- when the occasion arises, I tend to say 'happy holidays.' Not because I'm worried about offending people. Not because I'm trying to be overly inclusive to people of all faiths. It's because it really feels ** stupid saying 'Merry Christmas' on December 1 when Christmas is over 3 weeks away.

The 'holiday season' is that period from Thanksgiving until New Years. If we count Thanksgiving, which we should given the ever-lengthening advertising campaign which seems to define the season, that includes 3 federal holidays, one of which falls on December 25. Now, some people may like wishing others a 'Merry Christmas' over a 40 or so day period which encompasses the 'holiday season,' and good for them, but I personally like wishing people a 'Merry Christmas' on or about the actual day. I even think it may be what the baby Jesus would want, though I'll have to check with Pope O'Reilly the first."
[Taken from Atrios]


The family of Russia's chief rabbi Berl Lazar has grown even larger: his wife, Hanna Lazar, gave birth to a baby girl, the rabbi's press service told Interfax on Tuesday. This is already the 12th child of the 40-year-old Lazar and his wife, and they hope to have even more.

Russia has a chief Rabbi? And he has a press service? Let's play a game: which world-wide religious Jewish movment do you think employs Rabbi Lazar? As usual, Shmarya can't play.

This family photo can be your hint:


I find it terrifying that the most cloistered society in the history of the world can't raise children with enough sense and self-discipline to use a cell-phone responsibly. If the yeshivas are worried that their boys are using cell phones to download porn - or even if they worry that learning sessions will be irreversibly shattered if news from the outside world filters in- something is seriously amiss in those four amot.

Still, they can do, as they like. If cell phones can be banned in gym lockers, they can be banned in the yeshivot.

DOWNSIDE: There will be no more snapping and sending erotic bes medrash pics via photo-phone for me, I guess.


...if not the decade.


--ZEV CHAFETS. New York Daily News. Dec 5, 2004


Dear Miriam:

I can get behind what you wrote in the Forward. If you choose to enjoy the secular joys of the season kol hakovod. This is very different from insisting that Jews ought to enjoy Christmas - and the religious side of Christams, too - which is an idea that's been gaining traction in Conservative Jewish circles.

As readers of dovbear know, Conservative columnists are promoting the absurd idea that Christmas in America is under seige, and the Jews are to blame. This sentiment has appeared in at least 6 town hall columns this season, and I've had the accute mispleasure of addressing them all.



Jack beats me to the punch.... Cara weighs in on my current obsession.... and Ben Chorin agrees with me.

Also, we've added FrumActress and STX to the blogroll. This is because they both make smart-sounding comments on many other blogs, and we'd like to have some more of that here, too.

(A special thank you to FrumActress for helping me see how bad my template really was. If you've been avoiding DovBear, because of eyestrain, now it your chance to ctach up)

[related 1 2 3]

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Christmas is in trouble and Burt Preluitsky like us to believe it is the fault of the Jews.
I blame my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront.
Let me see if I have this straight: The Jews were able to maintain the sanctity of Yom Kippur and half-a-dozen other holidays in Europe, where there was organized oppressions and persecution, yet in America, where Christians own the Presidency and the Congress, they can't keep Christmas holy, and it's our fault?

Wow, doesn't this sounds familiar? Scapegoating the Jews, just like old times, chadaysh yomaynu k'kedem.

What are we going to do? I suppose there will always be whiny self-righteous fools who (1) control the government, (2) insist they are under siege, and (3) blame the Jews for it with (4) the support of lowlife Jews like Burt Prelutsky. That's golus.

It's just a double tragedy when good men don't see the writing on the wall.


In a piece now circulating on the Internet, Irwin N. Graulich, a Jewish ethicist says if not for the marketing of Christian holidays, "Chanukah would probably have gone the way of Shavuot, a more significant Jewish holiday which few Jews celebrate because there is no popular Christian holiday surrounding it."

We're supposed to be pleased that Chanuka's gotten all confused and mixed up with Christmas to the point that 99 percent of the Jews in this country think that it is "our Christmas?"

And this Jewish genius is sad the same thing didn't happen to Shavuot?

Perhaps a fisking tomorrow, if I have the strength.


Newsweek also found time, this week, to chat with, our hero, Conan's sock puppet, Triumph the Insult Dog.

This was the year of the puppet "Avenue Q" won a Tony, "Team America: World Police" was a big success and you have a Grammy nomination:

You forgot to mention George Bush getting re-elected....

You got a lot of press after you mocked Canadians this winter. Yes, Canada was having a slow news century.

Look, I love Canada. I only pooped on Canada so the worms in my stool could get free heath care.

You had that run in with Eminem at the VMAs a while back. Now he's written a song about you. What's your move?

It's two years later! The guy needs to work on his timing. OK, I kid. I wish him luck with that anti-Milosevic song he's working on.


Amber McClenny and 22 other members of her squad were threatened with mutiny and court martial, last October, when they refused to go on amission, citing unsafe equipment.

Newsweek interviews her.


It's the old story. One message for the sympathetic masses, and another for the big English-language paper. Only this time the writer is our friend Jonathan Rosenblum:

" The latest haredi ban... provoked... curiosity in the secular media... a certain note of satisfaction... a certain amusement"
--by Jonathan Rosenblum, in THE JERUSALEM POST, Dec. 16, 2004

"Predictably, the ban was widely ridiculed ..."
--by Jonathan Rosenblum, in THE JEWISH TIMES, Dec. 17, 2004

Rosy's Jewish Times article, by the way, is, by my count, the 563rd in the past decade to completely misappropriate and misinterpret the Chanuka story. Unless Mr. Rosenblum is saying that the ban is likely to fail, and that he expects all of Haredi society to be openly flaunting it within two generations, he should not say: The yeshivas' ban on cell phones coincided, appropriately, with the beginning of Chanukah.


Arafat invested in Village bowling alley: report

Money quote:
The just-deceased Palestinian leader and his money managers made such investments through Ramallah-based Palestine Commercial Services Co., which was taken over in 2002 by the Palestine Investment Fund.
"Just-deceased Palestinian leader?" Did he die again? Or has Our Leader GWB resurrected him along with the peace process?


First a grilled cheese sandwich with Che Guevara on it sells for $28,000

Now Velvel is hawking a coffee cup with some foam on it that look like pre-Mexican war United States. Perhaps as proof of God's displeasure with the infidel blue states, Califonia is missing. Velvel is planning an e-bay auction.

We wish the boy luck, but doubt he'll be successful. The marks won't line up to buy food apparitions unless you attribute mystical significance to it.

So Velvel, here’s a back-story you’re free to use, with my blessings:

I was an unknown blogger, who professed a burning love for the United States, which was one day rewarded when the Lord Almighty made his spirit known to me through the miracle of the coffee cup. Since the day our great country appeared in my coffee cup, my blog has enjoyed endless hits, most coming through the loving attention of God's agent, Dovbear.

Buy this cup, and through your simple faith you too will enjoy love, popularity and fantastic weight loss.

Can I get an amen!


Over at Town Hall most of the natives are playing the victim game. American Christians are the most mistreated people in the world -- or so you might guess from the tone of the columns currently appearing there. Apparently you can own the Presidency and Congress, and live where Christianity is the national religion, and still be under seige. Life sucks. Before you know it they'll be wearing orange stars, like Gaza settlers, I'll bet.

Suzanne Fields is an excpetion. She's writing about Jenna Bush's new job:
The first daughter rides to the rescue of fourth graders. That's good news, because they need all the help they can get. Jenna Bush can dress Texas-style in cowboy boots, belts and buckles, but it's what's under her Stetson that will make the difference
And what is under Jenna's Stetson? A bottle of Vodka, is my guess.

Question: if Jenna is the First Daughter, does that mean that her sister is out of the family? Do you think she was disowned for saying "Happy Holidays?"

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg, also from Town Hall, also refuses to sip the Kool-Aid:
Christians — or at least the politically organized ones — don’t do themselves any favors when they start talking like just another identity politics group. Christians seem to be complaining more this year than usual about the war on Christmas, even as they are finding more success. Arnold Schwarzenegger renamed the governor’s “holiday tree” a Christmas tree. George Bush is the first president ever to include a quote from scripture on his Christmas card. Besides, once “Merry Christmas” becomes a political statement, everyone loses.
Finally, a Jew at Town Hall with some sense!


Pause with me, true beleivers, as we honor the memory of the brave conservative Christian martyrs, slain by pitchfork-wielding secularist for saying the words, "Merry Christmas."


If your brain has turned to mush, you may wish to stand up for Jesus, and stomp on our ancestors, by signing this petition


Dennis Prager, who recently urged all mankind, Jews and non-Jews alike, to deck their halls with lights and decorations, has joined my side, and gone insidious:

In defense of the 'commercialism' of Christmas
Spending one's money on presents for people is one of the nicest traditions in society and ought to be cultivated, not discouraged.... Christmas is greatly honored by all the gift keep many businesses alive, and most of all, you honor the holiday. It is incredible that all this is not obvious to everyone who cares about Christmas and about American society
Because if Jesus' life and ministry were about anything, they were about supporting local merchants.

Ah, that sneaky Jew. First, he lowers their guard, with a lot of Conservative clap-trap, then he moves in for the kill, urging us to turn the ultimate Christian feast into an orgy of commercialism. He's sucking the christ right out of Christmas, and I love it!


Zman Biur, although Jewish, supports our fundamentalist Christian overlords, and would like to remind them that he has done his part to speed the rapture by moving to Israel.

Ok, that's a joke.

Actually, he wrote a non-stupid, (though long and boring) response to my recent Christmas blogging, in which he agrees with most all of my central points, and stops far short of planting a warm, wet kiss on Jesus's rump like Prager or Krauthammer might.

For example, ZB, writes:
Unlike Charles Krauthammer, I do not feel "enlarged" by the public celebration of Christmas. Unlike Dennis Prager, I feel no poorer in the absence of garish Christmas displays
Christianity is false and heretical. It is incompatible with Judaism - by definition
We have a right, and indeed a responsibility, to be skeptical towards them...
You have no obligation to forgive Christians for centuries of persecution
Sure he and I disagree on the nature of political Christianity. Like Sampsom Raphael Hirsch, who in the late 19th century though high German culture could guarantee his security, Biur’s forgotten the fable of the scorpion. He also makes some ignorant comments about the nature of political Liberalism, and forgets he believes that absolute values matter when he suggests dealing with the devil is a-ok if it's politically expediant.

But overall we aren't so far apart.

So why'd he take time out from his busy workday (and why does he always remind us he works for a living?) to answer me?


Update: Read the long article I pasted into his comment section. Then let's never speak of this subject again. Or until next year, anyway.


from Fox News

(Unblushing employer of Saint Bill "Defender of Christmas" O'Rielly. We hope they haven't made the baby Jesus cry.)


A few days ago, I went to my very first Tish. Here's my review:

Music: C
It was certainly loud, and energentic, but my tastes in Jewish music run here; not here.

Aethetics: F
The room was done in a style I could only call "no taste." There were peeling ceilings and worn-our rugs. The lighting was bad, and it was cold. Woman, obviously, aren't ever permitted in that clubhouse.

Drasha: A
Fast, and incomprehensible. My translator said it was ok, though.

Food: N/A
I don't eat food that's hand-delivered. Especially when the waiter picks his nose.

Overall: B
The whole experience was very catholic. When the presiding Rabbi entered, we rose and sung, much in the way a cardinal is welcomed into the cathedral for mass. We sang hymms, and ate an offering of kugel. Though we weren't asked to fall to our knees, and accept the instrument of Godly salvation on our tounges, the food was passed by hand, and the hasidim fought for a morsel as if they thought it offered the blessings of God himself

Perhaps if I'd permitted myself a taste, the whole carnival might have made some sense.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


George W. Bush, Commander In Chief


Merry Christmas!


We think.


Israelis Compare Pullout Plan to Holocaust

Yay left-wing style demongaugury!

Now, I have a new joke: What do Israeli settlers, Palestenians, the far left side of European Union and Noam Chomsky all have in common.

They think Ariel Sharon is Hitler re-incarnated!

Ok it is not that funny, but why don't these mopes learn? The last time they made a show of suggesting an Israeli Prime minister had Hitlerian tendancies, he ended up dead.

Or is that the point?

Look, folks, I can understand that when you live on the Gaza Strip, you start to think that every nacht is Kristelnacht, but still, if The Incredibles taught us anything it was this: If everything is the holocuast, nothing is the holocaust.

Attention settlers: In the future please villify your enemies with more care.


Been listening to the most popular radio station in the world. They are based in London.

From time to time, American guests - Leonardo DeCaprio, was one - appear for short interviews. When it ends, the British host, in the manner of the UK, bids his guest a "Happy Christmas," and without fail the American returns with an overly-assertive Merry Christmas.

I suppose it is very much like when MoChassid friends wish him a "Shabbat Shalom," and he raises his voice, arches his eyebrow, and answers, a gut shabus.

Or when Adam weilds his lulav like a spear in the general direction of people who wave their's according to other customs.

Glad to see that the non-Jews have their stupid hang-ups, too.


Out of Step Jew has been in Israel too long:
I have always agreed with the notion that we Jews (in the US and abroad) have more to fear from a post-Christian America than from a Christian America
First, his alarm, though quaint, is premature. Quoting Frank Rich: A poll found that 84 percent of American adults call themselves Christian, 82 percent see Jesus as the son of God, and 79 percent believe in the Virgin Birth. Though by a far slimmer margin, the presidential election reinstalled a chief executive who ostentatiously invokes a Christian Almighty.

Second, his alarm, though quaint, is stupid. OOSJ seems to think that if American Christianity disappears, the constitution will go with it. Is it American Christianity protecting our rights and privileges? Or is it the US Constitution? Moreover, have you ever met a mainstream American liberal or secularist who opposes the Constitution? Yet, American Christians inveigh against it all the time. No, friend. It isn’t American liberals you should fear.

But wait, there's still more alarmist nonsense:
It can even be argued that Nazi Germany was the first post-Christian European country.
Nazi Germany? The only thing separating the US from becoming just like Nazi Germany are the Christians? Has he gone mad?

Nazi Germany's Christians did nothing to prevent Hitler's rise. Catholics, in particular, were complicit in his ascension. Moreover, Christian Europe, weaned on the Passion story and 2000 years of anti-Jewish teachings, was perfectly receptive of his anti-Semitic policies. Hitler, and Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitism were not produced in a vacuum, nor did they emerge in secular environments.

I wouldn't argue that "Nazi Germany was the first post-Christian European country."

I would argue that Nazi Germany would have been impossible without Christianity having prepared the soil. I would argue that Nazi Germany is Christianity taken to one of its logical conclusions.

Aushwitz, please remember, was not a town in Saudi Arabia.

[Hat tip: Atlas, who agrees with me]


A home run from the J-Blogasphere's chief Rabbi.

As I've been arguing from the day this blog began, Jews should not be breaking political bread with Christians.

Will Yehupitz, the J-blogasphere's number one Christian appeaser, reply?

And what would Shmuley "I love evangelicals more than Jews" Boteach say?


We're happy for Sarah, but we wish she didn't have to share the page with a pro-assimilationist moron like Burt Prelutsky


Sorah Malka from Toronto writes:

Those Jewish commentators who want us to respect and honor Christianity don't really care about Jesus or Christianity. They are only trying to advance the repressive GOP agenda, and to do that they must first weaken the ACLU and our other traditional guardians of freedom. This is why Krauthhammer [sic] and his friends won't criticize the president for using the work "holiday." It's only evidence of a plot against America when the ACLU is behind the religiously-neutral language.



The trailer for Revenge of the Sith, the next and last(?) Star Wars episode is on the official site.

We're pretty sure George Lucas has nothing to do with the trailers. They are always so much better than the movies.


Miriam Bloghead points to "a rather heated row" in the comments section of Maariv regarding the laws of sexual separation.

A bold and masculine scholar of Jewish law calling himself "Dude" made a comment on Miriam's post. I replied. He answered. And now a "rather heated row" is about to break out in Miriam’s comment section. Here's what we have said so far:
Dude: From what I've learned, it would be impossible to revoke and the Rabbis have no say in the matter. When the entire Klal Yisroel adopts a minhag it would probably take a (real) Sanhedrin to abolish.

DovBear: I think [the] kallah teacher [who wrote the original Maariv post] must have slept through the moment in her Yahadut Course when the teacher explained that in our day no Rabbi has the guts, excuse me, the permission, to roll back a previous Rabbi's ruling.

Dude: DovBear - Your Leftist looniness is showing. Plese go review Mesechet Horius, as well as the Rambam on the issue. A case like this with a universal minhag which is codified first in the Gemara is basically irrevocable. Of course Lefties like you would love to blame the Rabbis. I think you should blame your own lack of scholarship before jewrking that knee again.
Excuse me? How is my comment substantively different from Dude’s first remark? He says the Rabbi’s have “no say in the matter;” I say they don’t have permission to change things. Did we disagree?

I think this time it was the other guy’s knee that jerked.

The truth is Rabbis do not have permission to change the laws of sexual seperation. But it is also true that, traditionally, Orthodox Rabbis managed to get things done when they thought it was important. Pruzbal, heter ishka, the takanot of Rabaynu Yochanan ben Zackai, the takanot of Rabaynu Gershon, even some of the modifications intriduced by the first hasidim are examples.

Today it is, without doubt, a principle of belief among us that halakha never changes. It was not always thus.

Monday, December 20, 2004


The London Telegraph tells us what GWB has in mind for Round II:
President George W Bush yesterday predicted that he would bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians during his second term in office, making a strikingly bold assessment of his foreign-policy goals for the next four years. "I want you to know that I am going to invest a lot of time and a lot of creative thinking so that there will finally be peace between Israel and the Palestinians,' Mr Bush told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth. "I am convinced that, during this term, I will manage to bring peace."
Wow. A bold predicition from the Bush-man. What do you think he has planned? I'm actually a little nervous. At least when Clinton was interfering we knew it was a Rhodes Scholar doing the creative thinking. And he got good results. But Bush? What could he be thinking? His gerbil-powered brain works works on exactly two tracks. War and lowering taxes. He has shown us too many times before that he believes these are the answer to every complicated question.

I hope the good Jews Bush deceived into voting Republican last November are having second-thoughts.


Throughout the world, the holiday season is greeted by joyful music that brightens hearts and evokes wonderful memories. This year’s theme brings to the White House the magic of holiday songs that have been favorites for generations of Americans. ---

Holiday songs? Holiday season? In Karl Rove's America?

We are appalled. Steak-eating American Conservatives patriots like me know that the word "holiday" is verbotem. It's Christmas or nothing. The Kabal of Konservative Kolumnists has decreed it.

So, how did Frenchmen, and their friends, the liberals, cynics, and/or atheists, manage to break into Our Leader's website, and change the wording to something godless and unnatural?

In the name of Prager, Krauthammer, Prelutsky, and, of course, the holy ghost Yehupitz, I hereby declare that whoever infiltrated Our Leader's website and posted that vile un-American message is an enemy of God and the State.

If we can find out who the French traitors are, I expect all right-thinking, Republican Americans will (1) defame their good names, (2) boycott their businesses, and (3) spit in their Cokes when you bring over their fast-food orders.



David "Trepenwitz" Bogner may wear a gun when he chops liver in his own kitchen (The cow had friends, and they want revenge.) but he's a spokesman for settlers I'd accept.

PsychoToddler's been busted, and now he's sucking up. He should take a lesson from MoChassid. Everyone and their uncle knows MoChassid's secret identity, yet he is uncowed and continues to blog recklessly about his shul and its members. Soon Mo will be directly insulting his neighbors. If I gave out DovBear Achievment Awards (TM) Mo would get three.

Noa popped her Star Wars cherry. And, speaking of the Dark Side of The Force, Chabad is moving west. The rabanit is also feeling the strange, yet compelling lure of black coated men who daven at the wrong time, and speak an imperfect English. I hope this works out. I'm a huge fan of the Hasidim and their ability to make perfectly good Jews feel insecure in their Judaism.

Why can't you trust Chabad slaughter?
They have trouble recognizing it when something is dead.

Life in the Ghetto is ten of the most boring blogs I read. (But I read it.)

Aidel is back; Adam is not. And has anyone seen Burry?

The soccer dad is hip to my idea, and Dilbert has acknowledged me. So did Reb Yudel. Simcha: take note.


First the Bark Mitzvah, now Festivus.

Doesn't the New York Times have any real news to report?

To keep things in the proper spirit, please pause to remember the Seinfeld episodes, The Pick, where Elaine's Christmas card is a bit nippy and The Strike, where Festivus is unveiled.


A good part of the last week was dedicated to blogging about Jews who like Christmas, and think other Jews should like it, too. The fruits of my labor are here: I II III and IV

An angry exchange on the same topic with the Yehupitz Rav, which has since been taken offline, began here. (Keep those email flames coming Rabbi!)

Now Miriam is getting into the act, too.

To my mind, there are two issues here, and they should not be confused. First, I agree with Miriam that it's absurd to pretend that Christmas celebrations are "holiday parties." There's no reason to lie. This is their holiday time; not ours. One of my annual irritations is being wished a Happy Holiday in late December when Hanukah is already over. Christmas parties and Christmas trees should be called just that. It you mean Christmas, say Christmas. Mealy-mouthed euphamisms are not necessary.

But I strongly disagree with Yehuppy and the Conservative clan of columnists who seem to think that all religons must be venerated and protected because the alternative is liberalism, atheisim, cynicm, and mandatory French education in the public schools. The real alternative to the Christian agenda is freedom, ie: the right to choose any religion and any lifestyle you like. Anything the marginlizes the pious frauds of the American heartland advances the cause of freedom, and freedom is what minority Judaism must have if it is to flourish.

I am not suggesting that their private celebrations be prevented: They can do what they like in private (and I'd fight to the death for their right to do as they choose in private) but when those cultural ayatollahs bring their religion into the public square those of us who think and believe differently are put at risk.

Furthermore, Christianity is false. Though it occasionally overlaps with Judaism, at bottom it is idol worship, and much of it is incongruous with Torah Judaism - including its teachings on abortion and homosexuality. The sages have for 2000 years warned against lowering our guard around Christians. We're forbidden to eat their bread, or drink their wine, or enter their churches. The Jew (Prager) who urges us to admire their decorations, or the Jew (Krauthammer) who suggests that Christmas "enlarges" us is only a small half-step behind the Jew (Prelutsky) who revealed his hunger for faster and easier assimilation, writing:
Although it seems a long time ago, it really wasn't, that people who came here from other places made every attempt to fit in. Assimilation wasn't a threat to anyone – it was what the Statue of Liberty represented.
Finally, the flip-flopping logic of many of these conservative columnists is facinating. The same Conservative columnists who cackle with the glee of Ken Lay whenever the Government relaxes regulations and restrictions on corporations sit shiva when private companies decide that it is in their own best interest to tone down Christmas in their stores. What happened to the free market? What happened to Capitalism? Why is it in the "best interest of business" when Walmart employs people for six cents an hour, but a cause for public moaning and shirt tearing when Macy's decides to post a sign reading Happy Holidays, or when a mall nixes the nativity scenes?

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Bill tops himself


The one sad and lonely person who has been following the recent series of posts writes to complain:

The Yehupitzer Rav isn't advocating Christinity[sic]! He's advocating a position of public policy that sees nothing good coming from public criticism of xianity when the alternative is not yiddishkeit but total atheist cynicism

That's ridiculous. Not to mention stupid. The alternative, if American Christinity is weakened, is not "atheist cynicism." The alternative is choice. Freedom.

No liberal wants to take God away from you. That's a conservative lie. The liberal objective has always been freedom. Choice. Worship God as you see fit. Live your life as you like. So long as you aren't hurting anyone, it isn't the state's business.

It's the Christians who are busy trying to shove something down our throats, ie: their religion. And though some of it might be compatible with Judaism, overwhelmingly it isn't.

The idea that "atheist cynicism" is our alternative should something marginalize the Christians sets up a false choice. Yehupy and his friends in the media and the ministry want us to think the choice is Religion or Atheism. But they are wrong.

In reality, the choice is Christianity or Freedom.

And smart Jews choose freedom every time.


Midway through his offensive, yet idiotic pro-Christmas column, Charles Krauthammer commits a howler of the first order:
I'm struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas crèche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public. They are enlarged by it.
Two problems:

1 - Orthodox Jews, generally, don't complain about Christmas, not because they feel secure in their religion, but because they feel insecure in their American citizenship. The more towards the right you go on the religious Jewish spectrum, the more often you encounter Jews who imagine themselves to be barely tolerated guests in America. This isn't our country, they mistakenly reason, so why complain about a display honoring the man who inspired the death of millions and millions of Jews? It won't matter: The goyim hate us anyway. That is the thought behind their silence. Not feelings of religious self-confidence.

2 - "Enlarged" by it? Christmas "enlarges" Jews?

Don't take Chuck's word for it. Let's hear from some Orthodox Jewish bloggers: Do you find that Christmas celebrations "enlarge" you? Tell us the truth, Orthodox Jewish bloggers *: Would your life be less rich, and less joyous if public displays of Christianity suddenly disappeared?

If right wing Jews think Christmas is a good thing, as Chuck argues, tell me this: why do right-wing Jews say Av Harachamim? Why is Nittel Nacht observed by Chasidim? Who does Chuck think Alaynu, with it intolerant and lacking in sensititivty call for ho-ellilim koros yikoraysu etc. is about?

Chuck is just another one of those oh-so-moral morons on the right, who thinks anything calling itself religious deserves uncritical praise -- so long as it isn't Islamic, of course.

NEWSFLASH Yehupy agrees with DovBear! Yet, inexplicitly, the "rabbi" still can't bring himself to criticize Chuck for urging Jews to just relax and let Christmas "enlarge" them. Makes me wonder if Yehupy, like Prager, puts up decoration, maybe?


Yet another Jewish columnist is calling on Jews to "Just Leave Christmas Alone."

First we had Dennis Prager asking Jews to put up and/or enjoy Christmas decorations. Next, Burt Preltsky complained that carping about Christmas slows assimilation. Now Charles Krauthammer thinks that any Jew who dislikes Christmas is motivated by "petty defensiveness."

"Petty defensiveness?" Chuck, aren't you the guy who wrote a searing criticism of Mel Gibson's Passion movie, charging Christianity with "countless Christian massacres of Jews" and preparing "Europe for the ultimate massacre -- 6 million Jews systematically murdered in six years -- in the heart, alas, of a Christian continent."

And now you think any Jew who objects to the ultimate Christian feast is motivated by "petty defensiveness?" I am a Jew, an Orthodox Jew, who does not, your condescending suggestion aside, feel "threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public."

Rather, I have a very long memory. And I am slow to forgive.

Side question: Could someone from the Conservative wing of our little blog party explain to me why the same Jewish, but conservative, columnists who go on and on about absolute truth are now urging Jews to tolerate - and even enjoy - Christmas? Do absolute values matter? Does morality matter? Is it worth fighting about? If so, why are so many conservative columnists urging us to be tolerant and sensitive toward Christmas? Have they all gone PC? If Chrstianity is false, it is immoral and it offends God every bit as much as a late term-abortion.

You can't tolerate one, and abhor the other and call yourself moraly consistant.


This is a good recipe, and good writing, besides. The author is Vladimir Nabokov.
Boil water in a saucepan (bubbles mean it is boiling!). Take two eggs (for one person) out of the refrigerator. Hold them under the hot tap water to make them ready for what awaits them.

"Place each in a pan, one after the other, and let them slip soundlessly into the (boiling) water. Consult your wristwatch. Stand over them with a spoon preventing them (they are apt to roll) from knocking against the damned side of the pan.

If, however, an egg cracks in the water (now bubbling like mad) and starts to disgorge a cloud of white stuff like a medium in an oldfashioned seance, fish it out and throw it away. Take another and be more careful.

After 200 seconds have passed, or, say, 240 (taking interruptions into account), start scooping the eggs out. Place them, round end up, in two egg cups. With a small spoon tap-tap in a circle and hen pry open the lid of the shell. Have some salt and buttered bread (white) ready. Eat.


Shaigetz gives himself a pat on the back for helping to create the "Shaigetzphere" and though he takes note of all of the other blogging shegotzim in creation, he neglects to include yours truly.

This is good, because it suggest that not all bloggers are as stupid as Yehupy. Shaigetz, it seems, can see through the shtick, and recognize that I am commited to all things Jewish, despite the frequest outburts of sarcasm and frustration.

This is bad, because I bet if Shaigy had mentioned me in the article I would have gotten, like, maybe 15 hits.

Or more.

(If you go visit Yehupy via the link above, tell him DovBear says hey)


Worst perfromance by a Jewish music group, 2004

Is the dancing worse than the music? Or is it the lyrics that make this special? Hard to decide.

[Via: JewSchool]


Sarah Jessica Parker is in trouble in Tel Aviv, after showing too much of herself on a billboard for Unilever Lux shower gel.

After complaints and the threat of a boycott, the billboard was changed. "We're dressing Jessica for Winter," said a company spokesman.

Though I hate the sight of a woman's body as much as the next Torah True Jew, I have to wonder if this was the very best use of the Haredi community's muscle. It seems a shame to waste all that political capital on a billboard located in a city few of them visit, when there are poor and hungry people in their own towns and neighborhoods.



[Saw it first here]

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Friday, December 17, 2004


I havn't been following the Apprentice Part II, Trump's Revenge, but Esther's movie treatment roused my interest.

And I am so glad it did. Because now I have been introduced to Chris Russo. I am going to ask Chris to handle the earnings from my lucrative sidebar ad business. How can you distrust a guy who's financial management website is covered with pictures of himself?


In a column entitled "The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas" Burt Prelutsky, a Jew himself he says, complains about other Jews who don't treat Christmas with the proper respect and adoration it deserves.

What follows is the fisking Prelutsky deserves:

I never thought I'd live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word.

Probably because you don't daven. The rest of us, in the Alaynu, and elsewhere, pray three times daily, for Christmas and Christianity to disapear.

You think it hasn't? Then why is it that people are being prevented from saying it in polite society for fear it will offend?

Being prevented? Let's look at your examples:

Schools are being forced to replace "Christmas vacation" with "winter break" in their printed schedules.

Yes, because schools are public institutions. Why should a school that belongs to everyone, exclude students who don't celebrate Christmas?

At Macy's, the word is verboten even though they've made untold millions of dollars from their sympathetic portrayal in the Christmas classic, "Miracle on 34th Street."

Macy's does anything it wants. Macy's is a private company. I thought you uber-Conservative types believed in the free market?

A major postal delivery service has not only made their drivers doff their Santa caps, but ordered them not to decorate their trucks with Christmas wreaths.

Private postal delivery services also get to do whatever they like. Remember: you're a Conservative. You're supposed to like it when private companies proceed with little or no interference from the government.

Although it seems a long time ago, it really wasn't, that people who came here from other places made every attempt to fit in. Assimilation wasn't a threat to anyone – it was what the Statue of Liberty represented.

Are you arguing that Jews ought to assimilate? Is that why you think Christmas is so neat? Because it encourages Jews to lose their distinctivness? Earth to frum Jews: Liberals are our enemy??

That has changed, you may have noticed. And I blame my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront.

Gee whiz, Burt. If you were a liberal, it would be ok for me to call you a self-hating Jew, right? So what's the convention when the person dissing Jews is a conservative? Is it still ok to hurl the "self-hating Jew" epitaph, or is there another phrase, I should use instead? Oh, and the "anti-Christian agenda" is right there in the Torah.

Being Jewish, I should report, Christmas was never celebrated by my family. But what was there not to like about the holiday?

Um... it celebrates a lie? It glorifies a faith and a culture that's caused untold Jewish suffering? The music sucks?

The Jews voice no concern when a Bill Clinton or a John Kerry makes a big production out of showing up at black Baptist churches or posing with Rev. Jesse Jackson because they understand that's just politics. They only object to politicians attending church for religious reasons.

Well, this Jew only objects when politicians utter inanities in the name of religion. That happens very often when the religion is false, as in the case of Christianity, but what can you do?

My fellow Jews, who often have the survival of Israel heading the list of their concerns when it comes to electing a president, only gave 26 percent of their vote to Bush, even though he is clearly the most pro-Israel president we've ever had in the Oval Office.


You may have noticed, though, that the ACLU is highly selective when it comes to religious intolerance. The same group of self-righteous shysters who, at the drop of a "Merry Christmas" will slap you with an injunction, will fight for the right of an American Indian to ingest peyote and a devout Islamic woman to be veiled on her driver's license.

Apples and oranges. And, because you know better, it is a dishonest argument besides. The ACLU only objects when it is government sponsoring the Merry Christmas, and you can be sure injunctions would follow if government were sponsoring the peyote or the veil. Private people can say Merry Christmas all they want. In fact, you just wrote a whole column about it. Did you receive a summons? Get slapped with an injunction? I doubt it.

I am getting the idea that too many Jews won't be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.

Well, yes. That's the Jewish view, though we're content to let Moshiach handle the dirty details.

I should point out that many of these people abhor Judaism every bit as much as they do Christianity.

Not me. I adore Judaism. I daven three times daily, and am kovea itim, etc. That's why I object to Christianity. Not because I am a multi-culturtalist, but because I pay attention to the prayers and to the Torah subjects I study.

I say it behooves those of us who don't accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours.

It is not in me to respect falsehoods. Sorry. Can't do it. If you had an ounce of intellectual integrity, you'd stop apologizing for Christianity, too.


"I can say without equivocation: This president has been pretty heavily influenced by economic theory." --Glenn Hubbard, quoted in The Washington Post, December 3

[Via: The New Republic Online]


Ala. judge wears Ten Commandments on Robe

Is there something wrong with the water in Alabama? This is why I set my watch back 200 years whenever I visit there.


Dennis Prager, writing at Town Hall, offers the facinating suggestion that "Those who [recognize an imaginary God, and] put up [Christmas] decorations make society better." How do they make society better? Well, um, by showing everybody that we like Christmas and that we really like Jesus. As Prager says, it's like giving your wife a birthday present, or flying the flag:
Ask your wife if she would feel equally loved and appreciated if you never gave her a card or gift on her birthday, your wedding anniversary or Mother's Day. After all, if you really believe that feelings need not be manifested in any formal, ritualistic way, why bother with a card or gift on her birthday? Presumably you love her just as much on that day as any other, so why engage in card waving?
Do I have this straight? If you don't put up Christmas decorations, Jesus won't know that you love him, and it will hurt his feelings, which hurts society. Even if you're Jewish (like Dennis says he is) and have believed for 2000 years that society has no use for Jesus?

One wonders if Dennis does his duty for society by putting up Christmas decorations, you know, to trick Jesus into thinking the Prager family loves him. That Jesus. He's so gullible.