Friday, March 5, 2021

Welcoming Shabbat with Temple Avodah Adult Choir Singing Lecha Dodi to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

With Purim in the rear view mirror and Pesach coming up on the horizon, we're getting ready for our weekly holiday, Shabbat. Every Friday we select a song from the Shabbat services to put us in the right mood, and this week is no exception.

Today we're sharing another version of Lecha Dodi from the Kabbalat Shabbat evening service, as performed by the Adult Choir of Temple Avodah in Oceanside, New York. This one is sung to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Temple Avodah is the center of Reform Judaism in Oceanside and the surrounding communities. Its congregants come from all over the South Shore of Long Island including Oceanside, Freeport, Baldwin, East Rockaway, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Island Park, Hewlett, Woodmere, Long Beach and all surrounding areas. 

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in "Chinese Dinner"

It's Throwback Thursday again and today we get another chance to go back to the 1950s and another episode of The Hickenloopers on Your Show of Shows.

Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca starred in many episodes of the hilarious marital tribulations of Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper. In this sketch, Sid Caesar plays a husband who picks up a Chinese dinner on the way home from work, unaware that his wife has spent the whole day in the kitchen cooking a steak dinner for them.

Carl Reiner joins in the fun as their neighbor, who performs some impressive sleight-of-mouth with Chinese food. 

No date is available for this sketch, which has only been released on very rare out of print VHS/Betamax tapes. We're grateful to a Sid Caesar super fan who found these tapes, had them transferred digitally, and shared them with a poster who made them available on YouTube.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Chinese Hava Nagila at the Hong Kong Spring Lantern Festival

The most widely celebrated festival in China as well as Hong Kong, the Spring Lantern Festival is on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. The festival is also known as the Yuan Xiao Festival, because of the popular Rice Ball that is eaten during the festival. 

The event is marked by lighting the iconic Chinese Red Lanterns and this year by the singing of Hava Nagila in Chinese.

This year's festival for the Year of the Ox was celebrated in February. Among the many performances was a Chinese version of Hava Nagila by the Yang Ming Cantonese Opera featuring Hong Kong Red Actress Liu Huiming as lead singer.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Comedy Special: Secretary of Simcha Yoely Gives Update on Vaccine Distribution

Former presidential candidate Yoely, played by comedian Modi Rosenfeld, recently appointed Secretary of Simcha, has released an update on the state of vaccine distribution. 

Always speaking in character, Yoely addresses two questions on everybody's mind: What should we do about new coronavirus strains arising from England, South Africa, and wherever, and how can we get our hands (or arms) on a vaccine? 

Yoely reassures us that different strains aren't any different from different strains of Chasidim -- one comes from Monsey, one from Monroe, one from Boro Park, one comes from Williamsburg, but it's just a chasid at the end of the day.

When it comes to vaccine distribution, he says it's hefker -- like there's nobody in charge, so we need a Chassidishe organization to take over.

Maybe he should run for president again the next time around.

Enjoy!

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Monday, March 1, 2021

A Joke to Start the Week - "War of Words"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today Mickey Greenblatt is back with another good one.

Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt received degrees from Columbia (BA and BS in Flight Sciences), a DC from Von Karman Institute (1963) and his PhD from Princeton in Aerospace Sciences. He worked as a researcher for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. 

With four other scientists, he founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which invented microwave-powered UV lamps for drying coatings. He founded and served on the boards of technology companies and is active in volunteer work. He served on the executive committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington for many years.

Mickey also loves Jewish jokes and sent us this one to share with you. Here's the setup: A man is reading a newspaper with his wife. He comes across a study and he says "Honey, you know this article says that women use twice as many words a day as men." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Shushan Purim: It's a Weekend of 3 Days of Purim in Jerusalem

If you're like us, you probably have had your fill of hamantashen and Purim is over. But if you live in Jerusalem, you're celebrating Purim today, the 15th of Adar.
 
The battles fought between the Jews and their enemies throughout the Persian empire took place on 13 Adar. Around the world, the Jews rested and celebrated on the following day—14 Adar. In the capital city of Shushan, however, where there were a greater number of Jew-haters, the fighting continued for two days, 13 and 14 Adar. The victory celebrations in Shushan were thus held on the 15th.
 
When the holiday of Purim was set for the 14th of Adar, the sages instituted that Shushan residents perpetually observe Purim on the 15th of Adar—the day when the Shushanite Jews celebrated. The 15th of Adar is hence known as Shushan Purim.
 
 Along with Shushan (which is located in modern-day southwestern Iran), all cities that were walled at the time when the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, entered Canaan, observe Purim on the 15th.

 
Today, the only city that we are certain had walls in Joshua’s times is Jerusalem. And indeed, in the holy city, Purim is festively celebrated one day after all other cities. There are a number of other ancient cities in Israel, such as Jaffa and Tiberias, regarding which there is a reasonable doubt whether they were walled in Joshua’s times. These cities observe two days of Purim.

Let's pay a visit to a Shushan Purim street celebration in Jerusalem. This looks like a pre-coronavirus celebration.

Chag Sameach!

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Friday, February 26, 2021

Yiddish Word of the Day: Purim

As people continue to spend their days and evenings at home, due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the Forverts has launched a series of short informal video clips called Yiddish Word of the Day.

The series, written and narrated by Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter, aims to give non-Yiddish speakers an introduction to familiar Yiddish words and phrases and how they might be used in everyday situations. 

Schaechter, who was appointed the new editor of the Forverts in 2016, is the first woman to helm the paper in its 119-year history, its first editor to have been born in the United States, and likely its first editor who is shomeret Shabbat.

We posted the first of this series last May. Now that the Forverts is continuing the series, we'll be sharing some of the words and phrases as a regular feature of Jewish Humor Central.

Purim is actually a Hebrew word, but it found its way with many other Hebrew words into the Yiddish language, albeit with altered pronunciations. Many Yiddish speakers pronounce the word as "Peerim".

Because today is actually Purim day, let's listen to Rukhl give us some Yiddish terms for baked goods we eat on Purim and some proverbs based on the holiday.

Enjoy! Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom!

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Six13 and 22 a Cappella Groups Sing "Al Hanissim" as Purim Starts Tonight

No collection of Jewish holiday music videos would be complete without an entry from Six13, an a cappella group that has produced videos for Chanukah, Rosh Hashana, and Passover. In previous years we posted many of their Jewish music videos.

Miracles never cease! Al Hanissim is a text sung on Purim and Chanukah, two of the many holidays on which we thank God for the miracles performed for us. 

In this video, Six13 is joined by over 300 a cappella singers from 22 ensembles around the world singing an updated version of one of their signature songs. The ensembles are listed below the video.

Enjoy! Chag Purim Sameach!

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Featuring: 
The Alef Beats | Brown University 
Ani V'ata | NYU 
The Chaimonics | Muhlenberg College 
Flatbush Chamber Choir | Yeshivah of Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY 
The Golden Ochtaves | Golda Och Academy, West Orange, NJ 
The Heschel Half Notes | The Heschel School, New York, NY 
The Heschel Harmonizers | The Heschel School, New York, NY 
Jewkebox | Temple University 
Kaskeset | Binghamton University 
Ketzev | Johns Hopkins University 
Kol Halayla | Rutgers University 
KOLture Shock | Jerusalem, Israel 
The Maccabeats | New York, NY 
Manginah | Brandeis University 
The Mazel Tones | Wesleyan University 
Oy Cappella | Syracuse University 
Ramaz Chamber Choir | The Ramaz School, New York, NY 
The Shabbatones | University of Pennsylvania 
Shir Appeal | Tufts University 
Shir Rhythm | Temple Israel, Sharon, MA 
Tizmoret | Queens College 
Varsity Jews | Toronto, ON

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Rabbis Extend Talmud Americani to Include New Tractates Related to Coronavirus (A Purim Spoof)

This year Purim starts with the reading of Megillat Esther Thursday night. It is read again Friday morning, February 26. We wish a Happy Purim to all of our Jewish Humor Central readers. We hope you enjoy this special Purim spoof from the Purim 2021 issue of The Kustanowitz Kronikle. Print it and share it at your Purim Seudah.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Countdown to Purim: With 2 Days to Go, It's a Mamma Mia Purim Shpiel!

With the reading of Megillat Esther only two days away, we only have time to share one Purim Shpiel. We're sharing  the production just posted by Congregation Tifereth Israel of Glen Cove, New York. 

On Friday we posted their Blowin' in the Wind version of Adon Olam featuring their chazzan and rabbi. Now we find that their congregants are also talented actors and singers, if a bit off-key.

They managed to pull off a rather accurate version of the story of Purim, although they seem to have a distaste for capital punishment. What makes the play unique is the lyrics, which are the rewritten words of the songs of ABBA as sung in the play and movie Mamma Mia.

Enjoy!

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