Friday, May 22, 2015

Shavuot - The Scandalous Backstory of Ruth and Boaz


The holiday of Shavuot starts this Saturday night. Although the two day holiday (one day in Israel) commemorates the giving and receiving of the Torah, it is the least well known and the least observed of the three pilgrimage festivals.

Shavuot doesn't have the vibrant visual symbolism of Pesach and Sukkot. Besides the festive meals that are part of every Jewish holiday, there is an emphasis on all night study and the reading of the Megillah of Ruth in the synagogue.

Today we came across an explanation of the Megillah of Ruth that we hadn't seen before, describing it as a tale of seduction that has links to similar stories about Lot and his daughters and Judah and Tamar.

The story is told by Rabbi David Fohrman, founder of Aleph Beta Academy, on the Orthodox Union website with the use of animation. It's an interesting take on a story that we thought we knew well.

We'll be spending the two days of Shavuot on Sunday and Monday attending classes at night, eating cheesecake, and reading the Megillah of Ruth with new insight. We'll be back on Tuesday with our usual mix.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Jewish Home at Rockleigh Residents Perform Songs From Tony Award Winning Musicals


The Tony awards for Broadway shows will be presented on June 7. The residents of The Jewish Home at Rockleigh are already in the mood, having just performed a concert titled A Century of Song.


The concert took place last Thursday, May 14, and included many songs from award-winning musicals from 42nd Street to Les Miserables.

Many decades were represented in excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees, The King and I, Annie, Man of La Mancha, Cats, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. 

The Jewish Home at Rockleigh, Russ Berrie Home for Jewish Living, is a state-of-the-art, kosher, skilled nursing facility. Situated on a breathtaking 16 acre park-like setting, the 180 resident facility offers exceptional care to its long-term care residents, those suffering from dementia, and those in need of respite care, hospice care, sub-acute care, speech, physical and occupational inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation.

Below is a video clip from the concert, with the residents singing Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King. Here is a link to the playlist if you would like to hear all of the songs.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Bissel of Romance From the Jewish Home in Australia



The word bissel means "a little bit" in Yiddish. "A Bissel Of..." is a new series of short videos featuring residents of Jewish Care of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, who give us their answers to a range of questions.

This Bissel of Romance is the fifth video in the series. We previously posted "Bissel" videos with the seniors' answers to questions about Chanukah, Shabbat, food, technology, and Pesach.
In this video the seniors tackle these questions:

1. Do you remember your first kiss?
2. Did you ever date someone your parents didn't like?

You asked for more of this series, so here goes! Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Orthodox Jewish Graduate Finds a Kosher Way to Give His Speech on Shabbat


Don Greenberg, a triple major in computer science, finance and math at Binghamton University, was scheduled to speak at the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science graduation ceremony on Saturday.

But there was one problem. The ceremony was scheduled on Shabbat, and Don is an Orthodox Jew whose use of the school's microphone and sound system with lights illuminating a sound board would be a violation of Shabbat.
  
The solution? The school allowed him to videotape his speech three days earlier. So on graduation day Don stood at the podium and watched the video of himself delivering the speech on the jumbo screens on both sides of the podium.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)




Monday, May 18, 2015

A Joke to Start the Week: "The Guru"



Today's joke to start the week is connected to yesterday's post about connections between Judaism and Buddhism. 

It's a very old joke that can stand on its own but makes a lot more sense when you're aware of the Jewish Buddhists and Buddhist Jews who flourished, especially in the fields of arts and entertainment, in the 1960s and 1970s.

Here's the setup: Mrs. Bernstein, an elderly Jewish lady from New York, bounces into her travel agent's office and announces: "I vant to go to India." And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Unexpected Traces in Jewish Places: Judaism and Buddhist Meditation


In its series of Yiddish videos, the Jewish Daily Forward reported on elements of Buddhism appearing in some Jewish communities. (There's an old joke about this, but we'll save it for tomorrow's Joke to Start the Week.)

Today we're not joking, but just sharing reporter Shmuel Perlin's observations as a Jew in China. Speaking in Yiddish with English subtitles, Perlin says that in the 1960s and 1970s many Jews were attracted to Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. 

There was a lama from Tibet that remarked that most of his followers were Jews and that they should be called the Oy Vey school of Buddhism. Today there are a few lamas who were born Jews, such as Surya Das, who was born in Long Island as Jeff Miller. He is close to the Dalai Lama and travels, teaches, and leads meditation retreats around the world.

In today's video, Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, author of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen, and Yael Shy, Co-Director of the NYU Center for Spiritual Life, discuss connections between Judaism and Buddhism.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)




Friday, May 15, 2015

A Beatles Shabbat at Temple Avodah in Oceanside NY

 
Last November, the rabbi and cantorial soloist of Temple Avodah, a Reform congregation in Oceanside, New York, led a Shabbat service utilizing the words and music of The Beatles in a very creative and meaningful way.

Sure, there have been many services set to popular music and to songs from Broadway shows, and this wasn't the first use of Beatles songs in a synagogue service. 

But Rabbi Uri Goren, the Chilean-born and educated spiritual leader,went a step further and delivered an eight-minute-long sermon called "Speaking Words of Wisdom" that creatively incorporated lyrics from eleven Beatles songs.

Cantorial soloist Jessica Gubenko sang the Friday night service to seven Beatles songs.
Shalom Aleichem - A Little Help From My Friends
Lecha Dodi - Eight Days a Week
Borchu - Hey Jude
Mi Kamocha - Obladi Oblada
V'Shomru - And I Love Her
Shalom Rav - When I'm 64
Oseh Shalom (Kaddish) - Imagine

Rabbi Goren took key excerpts from the lyrics of Let It Be, All You Need Is Love, Can't Buy Me Love, Help, Love Me Do, Nowhere Man, Yellow Submarine, Here Comes the Sun, From Me to You, Eight Days a Week, and The Long and Winding Road and turned them into a sermon on how to be happy and find God.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

Friday Night Shabbat Service With 7 Beatles Songs





Beatles Shabbat Sermon - "Speaking Words of Wisdom"


Thursday, May 14, 2015

When You Don't Know the Difference Between a Jacuzzi and a Mikveh


Under-Dos is the name of an Israeli Orthodox comedy group which specializes in irreverent sketches on aspects of Jewish life that are hilariously and immediately recognizable to "insiders", that is, religious Jews.  "Dos" is an Israeli slang term for someone who is religiously observant. 

As Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski reported in Arutz Sheva,
“Our sketches are religiously oriented,” group member Yair Ya’akobi told Arutz Sheva. “This means we take every day situations from the typical religious milieu, we try to take them to extremes and see what happens.”
Ya’akobi emphasized that while many comedy groups essentially make fun of religion, Under-Dos makes sure not to push the limit and not to make fun of the values in which its members and religious viewers believe, but just of the situations that can arise in their lives.
“What we try to do is to be 100% kosher, because it’s easy to push the limits and then you find yourself making fun of the values that you stand for, and we really don’t want that,” he said. “We just look at things from different angles and with a wink.”
Most of the sketches are in Hebrew, spoken so fast that they have Hebrew subtitles. 

We posted one of their sketches in October 2013. Here's another one that needs a little explanation, so please bear with us. 

The scene takes place in a Jacuzzi next to an indoor swimming pool where one guy is enjoying the bubbling warm waters. Along comes an Orthodox Jew with a bunch of kitchen utensils that he wants to immerse in the Jacuzzi, never having seen a Jacuzzi and thinking that it's a mikveh for dishes. (Orthodox practice calls for immersion of new dishes before their first use.) A brief dialogue ensues in which the guy in the Jacuzzi explains it to the guy with the dishes, who asks why the bather would want to bathe in a mikveh for dishes. The bather explains that the Jacuzzi is for pleasure, something the guy with the dishes doesn't seem to have a clue about. But he gets it pretty fast and very quickly jumps into the bubbling waters. 

So now he's an expert on Jacuzzis and when a black-hatted Haredi Jew arrives to dunk his pots in the water, he gets a quick education from the newcomer to the Jacuzzi, whereupon the Haredi joins the other two and exclaims: "Ah Jacuzzi, where have you been all my life?"

That sets the stage for yet another dish dunker who is told by the black-hatter to go away because there's no more room for him in the Jacuzzi. Frustrated, he throws his dish into the big pool.

Enjoy! 

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Comedy Spotlight: Benji Lovitt on the Shuk, Israel's Open-Air Markets


Benji Lovitt, a native Texan who moved to Israel about eight years ago, has brought his comedy impressions of Jewish life in Israel and America to audiences of all ages in both countries.

Last year he addressed a group of students attending the MASA Israel Leadership summit. MASA Israel connects Jewish young adults (ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. We previously published his funny recollections of learning Hebrew at a Jewish American summer camp, and the mismatch of the Hebrew taught in camp and the everyday Hebrew spoken in Israel.

In today's video clip, Benji focuses on the Shuk, the open-air fruit, vegetable, and everything market (both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have big ones), and goes through an imaginary interview to find qualified applicants to sell products at the shuk.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults
(ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs. - See more at: http://www.masaisrael.org/#sthash.jBUT7d8d.dpuf


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Ultimate Chasidic Food Taste Test


There seems to be a surge of videos showing reactions of non-Jews to eating Jewish food for the first time. 

We've already run a few of them in previous months, but we keep seeing new attempts by different posters to introduce these dishes to people who haven't a clue as to what they are and what they taste like.

Here's one of the latest videos called The Ultimate Chasidic Food Taste Test. We wouldn't categorize schmaltz herring, p'tcha (which they call gala), gribenes (which they call grieven), cholent (which they call yapchik), Yerushalmi kugel, and kishke as Chasidic, but simply as Jewish food from the old country. But if they want to call these delights Chasidic food, it's OK with us.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)