Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This You Call a Profession?
by: Schvach Yid

‘Every person is nervous when he starts a new job’. He knew the year (Moslem calendar) he started ‘work’ as an executioner, but not his age at the time. Let it never be said there’s no comedy in cruelty - ‘Three, four, five, six, there’s nothing to it’. It sort of gives a ring to the Koranic phrase ‘Allah, the merciful, the compassionate’.

Thanks to Ziva for the link; here’s the URL:

by: Schvach Yid

I grew up in a German-speaking home; my father is German, my mother is from Vienna.
Thank G-d they managed to escape.

During my youth here in America the adults of my family conversed in German. I managed to learn only a few German words and expressions at the dinner table, as examples, ja, nein, shut up (oops, that’s English).

Today, I learned a new German word, a misanthropism – Schadenfreude. It means to take pleasure from another person’s misery. It’s not a very nice sentiment.

I have Si Frumkin to thank for this language lesson; you can read about it at:

Mr. Frumkin has more on Arutz Sheva at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8664.

Schadenfreude is what the Jew haters derive from the misery they hurl upon us. They laugh with gusto. We slink. The Jewish State of Israel capitulates.

Have you ever heard anyone at the UN refer to Israel as ‘The Jewish State of Israel’? Have you ever heard Israel’s representatives at the UN introduced, as speakers, as the representatives of The Jewish State of Israel? The Islamic Republic of Iran I’ve heard, but never The Jewish State of Israel. Am I wrong?

Like everything else, Schadenfreude can be turned around. When the Moslem Jew haters yell ‘you need a big oven’ at us, it’s just as easy for us to derive satisfaction by replying in kind. Another German ditty, Schweinerei (pig wash) will do nicely.

I know, I know, shouting contests are juvenile and pointless, except that it might provide some Schadenfreude for us at the expense of them. ‘It doesn’t pay’, one might assert. Well, it might – just remember the ditty, ‘make ‘em pay’.

It’s trite, silly. Well, maybe, but The Jewish State of Israel can use the same lesson. Forget the criticisms, just make the bastards pay. The name of the country is The Jewish State of Israel. Its flag has tallis stripes and a Magen David for a reason, and those will stay, just as the flag of South Korea, the country of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, displays the Yin Yang symbol. I’ve never heard any objections to the name, flag, language, official state religion, or national anthem of any member nation of the UN, except you know who.

I must thank Si Frumkin for introducing me to this most telling and appropriate word, Schadenfreude, a virtual synonym for Jew hatred, because that’s all Jew hatred is about – it makes no other sense.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Evangelists of Chelm
by: Schvach Yid

By now it’s widely known among those who surf the ‘Jewish internet’ (sorry) that various book sellers now offer for sale, and in preparation for Passover, a ‘Passover Family Pack’. Well…, that’s its title. The Amazon.com web page for this ditty describes it as Passover Family Pack: Everything You Need to Enjoy a Passover Seder Dinner (Boxed Set: 2 Haggadahs, Preparation Guide, Music & Blessings Cassette, Seder Plate, Kiddush Cup, and Passover Curriculum) (Paperback).

That’s right jadies and jents, a ‘Passover curriculum’. And Rashi thought he had a commentary on the Pesach Haggadah (it used to be available from Kehot, and it was immense). Perhaps it’s a curriculum fit for the Tierra Del Fuego Community College, but undoubtedly, no Jewish home should be with one.

My local Bible Belt Barnes and Noble bookstore has a skinny book stack labeled ‘Judaism’; it’s preceded by a book stack labeled ‘Religious Fiction’, and followed by a stack that displays books on Hinduism and Buddhism. The Borders Bookstore across the road has its Judaism book offerings sandwiched between a book stack labeled ‘Atheism’ and one on Islam. Nice!

Each of these bookstores has several aisles ‘devoted’ to Christian literature, arranged under several different headings. There is, after all, a considerable customer demand for such literature in the geographic location where I reside, but my fellow local Yiddin don’t appear to spend much cash on Jewish-oriented literature in these stores, so in one sense we’re asking for this short shrift (but not for the rudeness appended to it).

But what gets my goad is the appearance of books on Christianity, and books about Christian-oriented Jewish subjects, that are found interspersed among the books about ‘legitimate’ Jewish topics. The message is clear. It’s called proselytizing; after all, ‘they’ think Judaism is next to religious fiction and atheism.

Oh yeah, a nearby church has recently erected a 150 foot-tall cross (thank G-d there's no body
displayed on it). It's white; at night it's illuminated with floodlamps, and it's surrounded by a
pedestrian path garnished with water fountains. It's situated next to an interstate highway.
It's tough to miss. I prefer to daven to HaShem - in private.

Perhaps this very public monument has been established as a reply to the recent influx of hijab-wearing Moslem women (the Moslem men seem to travel incognito) who now populate the local stores.

I'm dizzy; I think I'll take a nap now. Bye.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to Darwin
by: Schvach Yid

It’s an argument that just won’t die – Darwin vs G-d. It really ain’t so, but theology types like to believe this is the case, and so they proceed.

A most recent attempt at this old physic has been offered by Rabbi Avi Shafran, in an article posted on the on-line version of Israel National News, Arutz 7. It can be accessed at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8633.

Old, dull, enough already.

I’m one of those freaks who has actually read Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life) – twice, once in high school (but not for high school), and a second time just a few years ago.

Back in college I learned a valuable lesson from my college professors, a lesson that has been bolstered by graduate school and my experiences in working as a lab technician for university faculty members. It goes something like this: stick to your subject of expertise.

So, if you’re a rabbi, stick with rabbinics. No Ph.D. biologist or physician has ever strayed into the subject of theological evolution (not the evolution of theology) in my experience (except for one paper by the late and great evolutionary geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky), and so I suggest that rabbis stay clear of Biology.

The account of creation given in the Chumash is brief, to say the least; rabbinical speculation notwithstanding, torah is not about Biology, it’s all about HaShem, and aside from ascribing Biology to HaShem, nothing else about the subject is given.

Darwin, the naturalist, invokes G-d as ‘the Creator’, and ascribes all of life’s ‘wondrous productions’ to the Aybischter. Nowhere, in my non-theologically trained opinion, can one ascribe atheism to his writing. Darwin’s point is simple and straightforward: what we humans do in our gardens, and on our farms and ranches, HaShem does with all life on earth (Remember Jacob under the service of Laban, his mother’s cousin. Do you recall how Jacob manipulated the breeding of sheep?). This is the entire message of his first chapter. The remainder of On the Origin of Species serves as an abstract for an intended much lengthier work which he never produced, and which provides a brief introduction to his collection of data, intended to argue in favor of a theory first propounded by Alfred Russell Wallace, a Darwin contemporary and colleague.

Darwin terms this magnum opus of his ‘an abstract’, and as ‘one long argument’, and for good reason. There is no proof, nor does he claim any, throughout the entire length of the work. It’s an idea backed up by lots of field observation.

If you’re into the philosophy of ‘Darwinian evolution’, and I’m not, you can read Ernst Mayer’s One Long Argument. While you’re at it, one can access, on line, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution.
As for Rabbi Shafran’s various other assertions, such as Modern Physics’ displacement of classical Newtonian mechanics, just ponder the validity of that notion the next time you cross a bridge, sit in a chair, observe water fall, or observe a Katyusha rocket headed your way. Modern Physics has added to our understanding of the way the universe is put together – information that I have never found in Tanakh – rather than having negated classical mechanics.

Science and theology answer different questions. Science strives to tell us how, when, and where about the various natural events we observe and experience. It even provides a small modicum of an ability to predict, as a consequence of which we can design structures and machines that do the things they are intended to achieve (bridges, computers, jet fighters), not to mention chemistry and medicine. Theology answers the last great question – why. As an undergraduate and graduate school Biology major I was taught that science never even considers to answer the question of why, nor does it claim to. That simply is not science’s turf.

Chag Purim Sameach!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Upcoming Event
by: Schvach Yid

Every Jew knows (hah!) that Purim is next week, so I won’t say anything more about it,
except this: conversion to Judaism is one of my favored topics – I’m a big fan of it, although I oppose proselytizing.

So,? So this: near the conclusion of the Book of Esther, we are told that many Persians joined the Jewish People (close of chapter 8).

No wonder my maternal grandparent’s apartment was covered in Persian rugs (ta da dum).

But here’s something else. On the morning of erev Pesach we are to recite a once in a 28 year cycle blessing, Birkat Hachamah . You can read about it at:
http://forum.kahane.org/index.php?topic=3532.0 and at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkat_HaHammah.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Davening at the Coattails
by: Schvach Yid

America’s new president has been in office less than two months, a period of time too
brief to allow any development of opinion concerning his public service.

But why worry (What! Me worry?)? All the pre-election speculation about his competence to hold office was for naught; after all, when have we ever had a competent

The Obama wave is disturbing, however. Hype is hype, and emunah is another thing altogether, and when the two are merged…

I’m not a political person, my concerns about the safety and longevity of the Jewish State of Israel aside. I know nothing about politics, public administration, bureaucracy, foreign relations, etc. These matters have never held an interest for me. But the goings on in the American workplace disturbs me greatly, and I’m not referring to the economy.

The federal government after all, at least in one sense, is a workplace.

Perhaps I’ve just signed my death warrant at the hands of the Blogger Gestapo; if not, then the following interview may accomplish just that.

And so, jadies and jents, I offer you the very first, and one time only, interview with Schvach, conducted by Schvach, and may HaShem have rachmonas on us all.

Interviewer: Well Schvach, with all the enthusiasm spawned by the recent election of President Obama, what’s your view of this historic event?

Schvach: I just gave it.

I: The 1983 movie Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy has been invoked by some as a sort of battle cry for the very up and coming, and successful Black middle class in America. What’s your take?

S: Trading places? Perhaps in the forthcoming meeting between Pres. Obama and Britian’s Prime Minister Brown, but that’s about all.

I: Don’t be so cute Schvach! And don’t be so brazen with your answers, lest you receive an unwelcome knock on your door in the middle of the night. Do you have any kind words for the First Lady, Michelle Obama?

S: Well, I don’t know (is that sufficiently contrite?). At a televised meeting with school children she referred to her hubby as ‘this guy’. After having had virtual non-stop indoctrination that such informal expressions of speech are unacceptable, I was surprised to hear her use one with her husband, the new president, especially before a group of school kids. I was glad he didn’t respond by hopping up and down in his chair shouting ‘I am a Black maaannnnn’.

I: What do you think of Michelle?

S: I don’t. But I am curious about the possibility of the First Lady conducting a televised tour of the White House, much as did Jackie Kennedy when she was First Lady.

I: How so?

S: I’d like to see how she redecorates the place. So far, Mr. and Mrs. Prez have trashed a bust of Winston Churchill. But they just moved in so let’s see how things progress. Perhaps they’ll get rid of the bowling alley too; I can’t imagine what will be selected as a replacement.

I: Surely you must have some other views on the First Lady.

S: No, not really; however, I take no small quantity of amusement considering the monikers that some rappers may have already applied to her.

I: Oh shut up!

S: Okay, but it’s your interview.

I: Can’t you muster any respect at all?

S: Respect? Baloney! I’ve been laid off. I have the freedom to hang myself if I choose, so bug off with respect.

I: How about your view of America’s prospect for our first female president. What about Hilary Clinton sometime in the future?

S: Forget Hilary. I’ll vote for Gwen Iffel. She’s smart, and she has lots of personality.

I: There, you see, you are capable of at least a modicum of diplomacy after all.

S: No shit! See here, diplomacy is the profession of dishonesty, and so, honest as I am, it’s a rare moment when anything diplomatic works its way out of my mouth.

I: What about Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives?

S: Nope! I love her décolletage, but did you see her jump up and give the President a premature standing ovation when he addressed a joint meeting of Congress? She’s too eager; she looked had. Perhaps she should be renamed Marionette.

I: What is your opinion of the persistent accusation by some that President Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore constitutionally unqualified to serve as president?

S: Uhhh, well, I suppose given the speculation over a more vigorous (a JFK term) effort to pass through Congress a bill to provide reparations for Black Americans, it might be wise to have a counterweight to perch over the President’s head. What do you think?

I: You’re a schmuck! What’s your opinion about the economy?

S: I’m unemployed – f*ck off!

I: If you could give the President and First Lady a welcoming gift – a house warming gift – for their new move into the White House, what would you choose?

S: A four to eight year supply of Beehive Brand toilet paper.

I: That’s just like you, you juvenile jerk, and you just missed a great opportunity by not saying WASP Nest Brand toilet paper. It would be (bee) a mutual thing.

S: Oh yeah, Mr. Sophisticate?

I: Earlier in this interview you said America has yet to have a competent president. How so?

S: Dwight Eisenhower was president when I was born. Republican that I’m not, I feel safe in stating that he may have been the only competent president to serve during the course of my life to date.

I: Eisenhower; how’s that?

S: He proposed and initiated the building of the Interstate Highway system, albeit for military purposes. It’s useful for the general public, you know. But easily, the president I most favor is Richard Nixon, nolo contendre.

I: That was Agnew. You really are a schmuck. Why Nixon.

S: Are you kidding? Nixon was humor exhibit number one among Chief Executives. The guy (it’s okay, Michelle…) provided a laugh a minute. He was hysterical. Too bad Spiro was his V.P. It should have been Mohammud Ali; he was at least as entertaining, if not more so. And how things would have gotten done with Vice President Mo dropping by the Oval Office. Howard Cosell could have been the White House Press Secretary, and Woody Allen could have run the U.S. Public Health Service and directed the U.S. Marital Relations Board. Just think, the Waif of Jerusalem could have been named Director of the National Parks Service. Agnew was a humorless insult artist. More better Mo Ali as Nixon’s V.P.

I: Anything else?

S: Yes. You know all about the American workplace? The domination, coercion routines that go on, and the White House – in fact all of government – is undoubtedly the same, just a collection of American workplaces, so it’s easy to imagine the baloney buffet that will be served in the current White House. Remember, regardless of who ascends to the number one position in Washington, he/she didn’t get there by being a nice guy. They’re conniving, manipulating mamzerim, the whole pack.

I: Are there any specific events concerning the new president that you anticipate or to which you look forward?

S: Yes, I’d like to see the Chabad Lubavitch delegation show up at the White House to collect their annual Proclamation from the President. Wouldn’t it be nice (Beach Boys tune) if Al Sharpton were there as a doorman to let them in? I can just picture the scene.
Two Marines open the door, and there stands Al Sharpton to greet the Lubavitchers, clad in a combo three piece suit and doorman’s uniform, complete with cap, and a sticky name label on his chest that reads: Hello, my name is Mud. What a victory lap for Obama!

I: What? You’ve got to be kidding. Look, I’m trying to conduct a serious interview here, and all you can do is crack these insipid jokes? Why don’t you get yourself to Walmart already and buy yourself a brain?

S: Okay, okay, I’ll behave.

I: Fine, I’ll give you one last shot. I’m sorry Schvach, but I think you have that wrong. The door men at the White House are military; some may be Secret Service.

S: Well, perhaps in the case of the new President, they’ll be Fruit of Islam.

I: Are you nuts? Leave Farrakhan out of this, will you? You go from bad to worse.

S: No! I can’t wait for Spike Lee to make a movie about all this. The Obamafication of Washington. And why not? We had the Vietnamization of the Vietnam War; now we’re
having the Iraqi-ization of the Iraq war, so why not the Obamafication of Washington?

I: Because Obama isn’t waging war on Washington; he’s the President you dope! We’re not at war with our own president.

S: Who said we are? I’m saying that Spike makes great films.

I: Yeah. Perhaps we can get back to Mrs. Obama. Do you have anything to add?

S: Michelle? Boring, boring, boring. Didn’t she, as an undergraduate, write a thesis on the topic of Black women at an Ivy League University?

I: You should only live so long as to see the inside of an Ivy League University.

S: What a narcissist, and how unimaginative. Why not do a dissertation on an imagined shoe shopping spree with Imelda Marcos? That surely would have been worth some academic credit with some Political Science department, somewhere.

I: Shoe shopping spree?

S: Don’t complain, I could have said celiac sprue.

I: Huh? If you keep this up I’m going to get Julian Bond after you. Do you remember how he handled Gene Hackman in an interview years ago?

S: Don’t you mean James Bond?

I: You doltaholic, get a brain already! No, it wasn’t James Bond, it was Popeye Doyle of ‘The French Connection’ fame.

S: Wasn’t Hackman a Marine?

I: So?

S: So, have you ever seen the Marine Corps flick Boys in Company C, with Stan Shaw, without Gene Hackman? Shaw’s role became a bit of Black civil rights heroics and served as the paradigm, I think, of much of what goes on in the American workplace today.

I: That again? Is that bad?

S: That depends on what you mean by the word ‘is’. Okay, I’ll cut it out. That depends on what you like about work. One man’s heroics is another man’s harassment. How do you feel about the American workplace?

I: Hey, I’m asking the questions around here.

S: What’s the matter, don’t you like playing trading places games? Really, how do you feel at work? Harassed? Coerced? Subjugated? Do you like going to work?

I: No way! If I answer that one I’ll never work again.

S: You too?

I: To conclude, how would you sum up your general philosophy of the state of the world, life, etc?

S: Life stinks, then one dies.

I: Is that the best you can do?

S: Alright, but just for you: Buy low, sell high.

I: Laid off my ass. You're fired!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Gallows Humor from Mr. Mark
by: SchvachYid

That’s Jonathon Mark, author of the Route 17 blog of The New York Jewish Week,

Jerry meets Yehuda on a kibbutz. Working alongside each other, Jerry notices Yehuda’s numbers — 7416, memorable because they were the last four digits of Jerry’s social security number. Years later, Jerry is a tour guide for Americans in Israel. He meets a particularly difficult client who breaks down and explains his sorry life, “everyone was killed except for me.” He rolls up his sleeve — 7417. The American whispers, “number 7416 is very much alive and I know where he can be found.”

I didn’t say it’s funny, just humor.