Sunday, May 13, 2007

I’m Glad Gaffe Isn’t Spelled Gaugh:

by: Schvach Yid

In a recent blog entitled ‘LA is Burning’, Tzvi Fishman, the writer of the ‘From Hollywood to the Holyland’ blog on Arutz Sheva (www.Israel National extolled his readers to ‘leave your shiksas and dogs’ and move to Israel. Why not hang a sign at the club that reads ‘Shiksas and dogs not welcome!’? Boo, Reb Fishman! The following day a woman calling herself ‘Shiksa’ and writing from LA responded in the comments section of the blog.

Now then, Moment Magazine, in its June 2006 issue, did a cover piece on the etymology

of this offensive term, which according to that article, derives from the Hebrew ‘shekketz’ meaning abomination (and perhaps taken from the same Hebrew root as ‘shikor’, meaning drunk, and as well as the Hebrew for ‘lie’). The lady who responded to Reb Fishman’s gaffe is no abomination, certainly not to the Jewish community. She stated in her comment that she is Christian and her husband Jewish, and that it is she who insists on providing their child with a Jewish upbringing, which includes a Jewish education and benching Shabbos candles. Evidently her Jewish husband has no appetite for Yiddishkeit. She has, and in light of her commitment to Judaism, she should probably be considered a ‘Daughter of Israel’, to use Reb Fishman’s phrase from his blog site. At least give her an award - and compliments , plenty of compliments. We Jews need all the friends we can get. This lady sounds precious - I hope she makes it official by converting to Judaism. A Jewel, I tell you. Maybe she'll take her Jewishly declining hubby to shul and arrange for the gabbai or rabbi to provide him with an aliyah. He’ll feel better about himself – emes! Let him toss out his beloved roll of duct tape and pick up a Chumash. Duct tape belongs around aluminum, not around a Yiddishe kopf. Kol hakavod, yasher koach, hazak v’brochot, and much more to this lady in LA.

I can’t say enough good things about her or wish her well enough. I could go on and on forever about this woman’s effort to bring Judaism into the life of her child – I mean it. Do you know how many Jews blow wind at our – their – religion. I knew a Jewish woman who, in the course of a conversation with me, piped in about Judaism as ‘that crap!’. No, I wasn’t selling; I never do. She would have nothing to do with it. She spoke and behaved like the recipient of the Shtetel Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. One could have sworn (oops, sorry!) that she had spent her life in the tracks of an IB Singer story. But no. Judaism – foy! The commentator to Reb Fishman’s blog is the other side of the coin, a non-Jewish Jew. I think we should start a Jewish Hall of Fame and induct her as the charter honoree, no kidding. I hope she converts. The Kabbalists have written plenty on the subject of ‘lost souls’ and on the transmigration of souls. The birth of a non-Jew who then acquires a Jewish neshama has long been taught by these sages. What, one might ask, has happened to the neshamot of all those Yiddin whose lives were lost to Jew-hating mass violence? Can’t one suppose there’s a good reason for the tendency of some non-Jews who insist on their pursuit of Yiddishkeit? This lady in LA should not be doubted, and certainly not rejected, by us.

Talk about gaffes, several weeks ago David Halberstam was killed in an auto accident. Halberstam is an honored name in Chassidic circles, but I doubt this Halberstam was a chassid. He was well known as a journalist and writer, and had appeared on TV discussions and Interviews on numerous occasions. I first learned about his death courtesy of C-SPAN. Brian Lamb, the founder of C-SPAN, memorialized his colleague with a retrospective of Halberstam’s life and work. It began with a video of him in a discussion with 2 or 3 other notables, the
author David McCullough among them. David Halberstam was shown having one of those silly, spontaneous, effusively giddy logorrheic moments that most of us, I suppose, commit, and through which all who are around us at that moment suffer. He talked about two baseball players (don’t ask me who they were – I know zilch about sports), and proceeded to do his impersonation of the rhetorical skill of one of the two who was Black. Shut up Halb! Like all such flights of good judgment, this one stank. I think every one of us has had these transient episodes of brain death. I have, and I’ve always emerged from them with regret. I listened to this retrospective TV spectacle, felt embarrassed, and flipped to another channel. Who had decided/induced/obligated C-SPAN to memorialize this otherwise significant news contributor and analyst by displaying this segment of his clothesline? I wondered if C-SPAN had been obligated to do this. Paranoia kicked in. Paranoia is what I do best – it’s my version of free association. I thought of the news coverage of the murder of Bill Cosby’s son, supposedly by a drug dealer, a Russian. I wondered if the culprit was Jewish. More paranoid ruminations quickly followed – the 1991 Crown Heights
riot. Black dignitaries congregated for the press sporting Malcolm X baseball caps including, if I recall correctly, the then serving mayor of New York, His Honor Mayor David Dinkins. The mayor of the city had ostensibly chosen sides. Also, if I recall correctly, at the time Bill Cosby showed up on an episode of Ted Koppel’s Nightline, wearing the same head gear. A Lubavitcher chassid had been reported killed in the riot, his young son was shown standing over his recumbent stricken father. Had the loss of Cosby’s son been an act of revenge? Was the decision to show this embarrassing film clip of Halberstam’s gaffe based on vengeance?


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