Vot do you mean “gay” . . . like “happy”?

Tel Aviv’s eleventh annual Gay Pride Parade took place this afternoon.

Whilst I have nothing against gays – some of my best friends are homosexual . . . well, not really, but I do have gay friends – what exactly do they have to be so damn “proud” about? That they broke the hearts of their poor Yiddishe mamas (only partially repaired by subsequent qualification as a doctor or accountant)? That they are attracted to their own sex? After all, surely my desire to nail most members of the opposite sex in Tel Aviv should not constitute a source of “pride”?

In fact, a Straight Pride Parade would be more appropriate as, in the central area of Tel Aviv where I live, we heterosexuals – yes, mother, I am (she gets a lot of questions “already”) – if not (yet) in the minority, often feel like we are . . . being rather more “in the closet” than our “out there” gay neighbours.

I should, of course, be grateful to every gay man, for freeing up another potential woman . . . or, to quote Blackadder II, for “leav[ing] more rampant totty for us real men” (even though, recently, it hasn’t seemed quite that simple).

Gay Pride Parade, Tel Aviv

I bumped into a gay friend, Ido, on Rothschild Boulevard yesterday evening, whilst we were walking our dogs. His standard greeting or, rather, announcement – “The handsome Englishman!” – always rather embarrasses me. So, too, do his habits of sharing with me which passer-by he would like to f*ck – seemingly every one – and of tapping my stomach with the back of his hand whilst enquiring whether I have yet switched sides.

“Ido,” I keep reminding him, “I don’t.”

In spite of my insistence, Ido always remains strangely optimistic that I will.

I do assure him, however, that, should the unexpected occur, he will be the first to know . . . or, at least, well before my mother.

The only straight ex-Hasmo in the village: (from left) Jonny Rose, me & Mark Goldman (Tel Aviv, 15.4.11)

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125 responses to “Vot do you mean “gay” . . . like “happy”?

  1. Very amusing Mike, you made me chuckle out loud this morning!!! you obviously have the wonderful Reiss dry wit to go alongside the devilishly good looks!!!…..from your recently discovered cousin back in Blighty!! xxx

  2. darren reiss

    did you see lawrence there?

  3. Michael Benjamin

    Hi
    As I watch you over time. There is no doubt that you are developing.
    Is there a book bubbling on the back burner — if not there will be — or should be.
    Well done.

  4. No, Darren, but apparently the “talk of the Parade” was about a “lovely new boy” spotted on Rothschild a few Saturdays ago!

  5. Mark Goldman

    Mike, not that complex. Pride more to do with feeling comfortable in your own skin, perhaps similar to an orthodox Jewish person wearing a kippa in a mostly non Jewish environment.

  6. Come on Mike, you told me you were a muncher way back!!

    Nice one mate.

  7. A good “(carpet) munch” would be a fine thing, Gav! I think you rather mean a “(pillow) biter”. Could you be losing your (filthy) touch?!

  8. Well, finally. I read it. How suitable 🙂

  9. Michael, let them parade and feel loved and accepted, it’s what we all seek in life.

    They’ve had discrimination and a bum deal from a lot of people (pardon the pun).

  10. Spot anyone you know, Tamar?

    From what I can see, Stevey boy, the “bum deal[ing]” going on in Tel Aviv is quite in“discriminate”!

  11. good one Mike….I feel sorry for them…they are just ILL!!!

  12. Before you start writing “good one”, Shuli . . . whilst I don’t particularly understand gay “pride”, I understand knuckle-dragging religious bigotry even less.

  13. David J Cohen

    well said

  14. Mark Goldman

    Ditto to that.
    Another fine example of our Hasmo ‘Jewish’ education gone unchecked without reason, balance, or empathy.
    No bitterness here though ‘I just feel sorry for them’ 🙂

  15. “tapping my stomach with the back of his hand whilst enquiring whether I have yet switched sides.”

    Does that experience not provide an indication of the irritation or discomfort members of the ‘unfairer’ sex must feel when they are leered at, groped and told by alpha males to ‘fetch your coat luv, you’ve pulled?!

  16. Daniel Marks

    If we are discussing gay pride, and I really have nothing other than halachah against homosexuality, what exactly are they proud about?

    I don’t believe that homosexuals really talk, dress or behave any differently to straights except in the single area of their sexual preferences, but since when has sexual preference been a reason to be either proud or ashamed. I have a good friend who claims that his fantasy is to stand in a large bowl of fruit salad – probably not everyone’s cup of tea but I say that if it’s consenting etc then why not? I just don’t see that it’s anything to be either proud or ashamed of.

    To widen the scope of the question we could ask whether preference in general need be a source of pride or shame. My wife drinks her coffee without sugar and I prefer with one. Yossi San-Nes, with whom I study, prefers three. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of my preference. Neither is it a secret, nor do I attend “ONE SUGAR” parades, it’s just me.

    I, therefore, suggest that in a society where homosexuality were completely normative there would be no real place or need for gay parades any more that there are today parades for people preferring the missionary or any other position or methodology. The author of this excellent blog has hinted at his jealousy towards those who fornicate in Tel Aviv lavatories. I say that at our time of life making it to the loo and back successfully is achievement enough and we should not be overly ambitious. In this context I recommend half an avocado pear every morning which I’ve found keeps me quite regular.

    Back to the Gay Pride Parade, it always seems that these events are a kind of reaction to those or protest against them who are repulsed by homosexuality. As if to say, “You want us to be ashamed, well, we’ll show you we’re not”.

    For all these reasons and more I long for the day when nobody will have to hide who they really are, or organize extravagant colorful underwear parades to flaunt their sexual identity, both of which are, to my mind, basically two sides to the same coin.

    As a footnote I would add that the aforementioned fruit salad fetishist is a regular contributor to this blog and I would urge him too to come out of his closet, or wherever the fruit is kept.

  17. Nick Kopaloff

    A lesser writer might have avoided delving into the latest gay parade for fear of being branded homophobic, homosexual, vice versa or both. But more in line with Homosimpson, intrepid Mike “throws ice-cubes down the vest of fear” (Mr.B.Adder). I was kind of hoping that before the riff-raff bombard us with cheap unflattering bum puns, brown hatter, poo pusher and other sordid analogies, you would somehow manage to work in that time-honored hackneyed cliché “Some of my best friends are ….” Reliable as clockwork, and as Marks’s bowel movements, you did not disappoint.

  18. “I really have nothing other than halachah against homosexuality.”

    So, merely the collective corpus of Jewish law, custom and tradition then, Daniel?!

    “I don’t believe that homosexuals really talk, dress or behave any differently to straights.”

    You want to get your ass down to Rothschild one evening! (Bring a cork, too, just to be on the safe side.)

    “The author of this excellent blog has hinted at his jealousy towards those who fornicate in Tel Aviv lavatories.”

    Is that what you read into “I am also not used to Jewish women having sex on the first date, or in nightclub toilets” (Feeling a Lemon in the Big Orange)?!

  19. Daniel Marks

    It’s difficult to reliably estimate the percentage of the population who are homosexual. The number 10% is often brandished; some researchers claim that it’s as many as 20% and others that it’s as few as 2-3%. Assuming that we take 10% as a mean number, I would repeat my claim that “I don’t believe that homosexuals really talk, dress or behave any differently to straights.” Mike answers that I should get my “ass down to Rothschild one evening”. I answer that were I to do so I do not believe that I’d meet 10% of the Israeli population or even a cross-section of Israeli homosexuals. I would meet the same tiny percentage of the Israeli homosexual population who choose, legitimately, to flaunt it.

    I apologize in advance for the comparison but you might compare it to someone claiming that all anti-Semites shave their heads and wear Nazi outfits because he was once in a Neo-Nazi pub. I would argue again that a much larger percentage of the non-Jewish population is anti-Semitic and the crazies with the swastikas are just the ones who like to make a noise. In a similar way an unknowing goy in New York may think that all Jews have beards and wear chassidic garb.

    The main issue that Mike lucidly raises is:
    “I really have nothing other than halachah against homosexuality.”
    “So, merely the collective corpus of Jewish law, custom and tradition then, Daniel?”

    This is a weighty point and it is hard to argue as the Torah itself says: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    That is exactly the reason why I acknowledged the halachah in question.

    I would, however, say that homosexuality is not the only sin punishable by death in the Torah. So are breaking Shabbath, eating chametz on Pessach, adultery and cursing a parent. Were I a homosexual, I would quote a famous Jew and say, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” In other words if you’re going to wave the banner of Jewish law, be careful it doesn’t bite you back in your ass (excuse the mixed metaphor).

  20. For the avoidance of doubt, I should clarify that Ido’s “tapping [of] my stomach with the back of his hand” was from the outside. 😉

  21. Mark Goldman

    “I really have nothing other than halachah against homosexuality”

    Daniel, if a smart, thinking person like you concludes that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with homosexuality other than Halacha, doesn’t that beg the question of whether Halacha itself is wrong? Wouldn’t it be fair to say, for this reason as well as a host of other either illogical or prejudicial laws, that the Torah is simply wrong and therefore not attributable to God?

    “dress[ing] . . . differently to straights”

    I would say better maybe . . . although I’m constantly reminded that I’m an exception to this particular stereotype!

  22. Daniel Marks

    Hi Mark,

    How wonderful to hear from you after all these years! I hear marvelous things about your accomplishments both in the field of commerce and also in area of music from my brother. I still remember your brother paying you a weekly stipend not to sing – who got the last laugh?

    Your questions are important and deep and deserve serious attention which I cannot afford them at this moment as my wife is nagging me to make a curry. Please G-d I’ll write tonight.

    In the meantime carry on as normal.

    Daniel

  23. Daniel Marks

    Okay, the curry is made.

    My first point is this. At the risk of getting into semantics, I said that “I have nothing other than halachah against homosexuality” not “there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with homosexuality other than halachah.” The difference is, in my opinion, vast. The first is the personal statement of a Jew who accepts upon himself the yoke of heaven but says that if G-d hadn’t commanded me, I wouldn’t have made up the law myself.

    There are many commandments that if G-d hadn’t given us we wouldn’t have thought of or considered. The midrash about King Solomon seems to imply that had the law of the Red Heffer not been given to Moses, Solomon wouldn’t have invented it. He couldn’t even understand it after it had been given, but his priests kept the law because it was God-given. Maybe the Torah was given just for that reason, because what seemed to us to obviously be right and wrong or our good old common sense just wasn’t enough to build a nation with.

    You ask whether the Torah is “simply wrong and not attributable to G-d”. Here I have to answer that to me that’s an impossibility. When the king of the Kuzaris asked the rabbi in Yehudah Halevi’s monumental work in what he believes, he answers:

    “I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, who led the children of Israel out of Egypt with signs and miracles; who fed them in the desert and gave them the land, after having made them traverse the sea and the Jordan in a miraculous way; who sent Moses with His law, and subsequently thousands of prophets, who confirmed His law by promises to the observant and threats to the disobedient. Our belief is comprised in the Torah — a very large domain.”

    That is my G-d, the one who took me out of Egypt and gave me the Torah. That is my definition of him. Any G-d that did not give the Torah is not mine. I do not believe that there can be a liquid that is not wet nor heat that is not hot – these are truisms. Similarly, my G-d is the G-d who chose me from the nations and gave me the Torah. Therefore as I said in an earlier posting I have nothing against homosexuality besides halacha.

    I believe that in a truly Jewish state homosexuality should be against the law but the law should remain completely unenforced. It should be against the law because a Jewish government cannot recognize homosexuality as an equally legitimate life choice, the law should remain unenforced as are many other Jewish laws, eating chametz on Pessach, not fasting on Yom Kippur etc. When the mashiach comes, maybe he’ll decide to change the status quo and either legalize it or enforce the law against it, that’s his call.

    As far as what happens outside Israel, I care not a jot.

  24. Daniel, whilst I respect and commend your sensitivity to your friend’s brother (if that is what it is) – which is preferable by far to the gross insensitivity, not to say stupidity, of his former classmate and friend – I don’t buy your explanation at all. It reminds me of all those others we grew up with, which attempted to explain away the indefensible (e.g. homophobia) or just plain nonsense (e.g. creationism) in the Torah.

    Isn’t stating that “homosexuality should be against the law but the law should remain completely unenforced” (by “a Jewish government”) rather disingenuous, when you believe that homosexuals are going to burn in hell (or whatever the prescribed punishment is in the Torah)?!

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think it is helpful to talk about the Torah in simplistic terms of right or “wrong”. Is it a literal, factual account? In my opinion, most definitely not. Are there lessons and truths to be learned from its legends? Most definitely.

    I would, however, state my confident belief that it is “not attributable to God” . . . but to human beings.

    Bring me my hard hat. Preparing to be stoned. 😉

  25. Q: Since when has G-d been a he?

    A: A Biblical analogy comparing the Jews to a cheating wife, married to a forgiving G-d who keeps on taking his wife back.

    The added twist to the tale is that the wife bats for the other team from time to time.

  26. Daniel Marks

    No, I don’t think it’s disingenuous.

    First, let me say that I expressed my opinion not out of sensitivity, and certainly not because I’ve known Mark since he was born. It’s my opinion for everyone – friend and enemy alike.

    Second, I did not say that I believe that anyone is going to burn in hell. I have no complete knowledge of all the good or bad anyone does, I don’t know what the punishments and rewards are and frankly the whole concept of “Homosexuals burning in hell” sounds more like some kind of Southern Christian Fundamentalist. It’s surprising how people often seem to attribute barmy Christian views to Judaism.

    Finally, as I’m sure you know, there is no Sanhedrin in Israel to deal with such cases and there won’t be until the end of days. Therefore I do strongly recommend leaving the final decision until then.

    In the meantime, if I want my neighbors to tolerate me even when they think I’m wrong, I will do the same to them. Many people including all of us commit many sins both against G-d and man and we don’t persecute them. Why pick on homosexuals? Incidentally, and I know that those who made all the gay jokes assumed they weren’t offending anyone, I didn’t find any of them funny enough to run that risk.

    As far as Kopaloff accusing the editor of this excellent blog of using clichés, I think he should check himself first. We all know that, unlike myself, Kopaloff can talk in clichés till the cows come home.

  27. Brilliant last line, Daniel . . . in fact, melchett mike Line of the Month to you! (The prize is a personal tour of TA’s “sex in the lavatory” nightlife. Let me know when you are free, and I will find some lucky bastard who is familiar with it!)

    Re “burning in hell”, I just used that as an example. My Yeshiva Stream days are too distant for me to recall the prescribed punishment for buggery.

    And, even though that is one sin I will not be punished for, I pray that there is never a “Sanhedrin in Israel to deal with such cases”.

  28. Mark Goldman

    Hi Daniel,

    Great to hear from you too and others after so long.

    “There are many commandments that if G-d hadn’t given us we wouldn’t have thought of or considered…the law of the Red Heffer”

    So if I understand you correctly, bottom line: We’re mere mortals, don’t really get the big picture, so we should follow everything that is in the Torah, whether it appears to make sense or not.

    How far does your “faith” (since all evidence points to the Torah as a compellation of documents from independent sources) allow you to go?

    The ashes of a red heffer mixed with water as a means for purification of sin, feels more than a little archaic and tribal. But perhaps one could accept this as God’s word, and move on.

    Other laws pertaining to the treatment of women, are repulsive and inhuman, no matter which way one might try to justify them. For instance, a man who suspects his wife of cheating on him (no witnesses), takes her to the Temple where she’s forced to drink a misture of water and ink. If she survives the ordeal, she was innocent. The same is not true for a man suspected of adultery. This and a host of other laws clearly indicate that a woman is a man’s property.

    Daniel, if this or a host of other pronouncements aren’t barmy (you wrote: “It’s surprising how people often seem to attribute barmy Christian views to Judaism”) I dont know what is.

    p.s. Mike, how do I get a cute little picture next to my entries? 🙂

  29. Daniel Marks

    I’m reminded of the story of the doubting Jew who says to the old rabbi, “It’s just hard for me to believe that there’s a great being who looks like an old man and sits in heaven. When I do good things he writes them down in the good book and when I sin he punishes me.

    The rabbi answers, “You know what. If that’s G-d, I don’t believe in him either.”

    By the grace of G-d I have completed masechet sotah 3 times and if what you just described were written there, I wouldn’t want to be a Jew.

    It’s a great gemara and really recommended. Your basic mistakes are:

    a man who suspects his wife of cheating on him (no witnesses), takes her to the Temple where she’s forced to drink a misture of water and ink.

    1. There are witnesses who saw them going somewhere alone for enough time to have sex.

    2. He has to warn her not to be alone with the other guy again.

    3. If she admits adultery, she is divorced with no Kettuba.

    4. She only goes to Jerusalem if she insists on her fidelity.

    5. Once she gets there the priest does everything he can to persuade her not to go ahead with the ceremony but to just go.

    6. The purpose of the ceremony is to provide a tool for a LOYAL wife to prove to her husband that she wasn’t cheating.

    7. If the husband was cheating too, the water has no effect on the wife.

    Please G-d we should both speedily see the temple rebuilt in our days. Amen.

    http://www.come-and-hear.com/sotah/sotah_0.html

  30. Mark Goldman

    So to summarize:

    A woman seen alone with a man (after a warning by her husband ), must either admit adultery immediately or after meeting the priest or she may decide to drink the ashen potion.
    (The same is not true if the roles are reversed)

    …not barmy or offensive at all?

    How about the following directly from the Torah:

    Deut. 21:10-14:

    When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God has delivered them into your hands, and you have taken them captive,
    And you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her, and take her for a wife –
    Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and do her nails,
    And she shall remove the garment of her captivity from her, and remain in your house and weep for her father and mother a for month, and after that you may approach her and have intercourse with her, and she shall be your wife.
    And if you do not want her, you shall send her out on her own; you shall not sell her at all for money, you shall not treat her as a slave, because you “violated” her.

    Why do people who are thoughtful, reasoning, and rational in every part of their life, accept and try to rationalize what is clearly absurd?

  31. Mark, so according to what you have written, when you are praying (should probably write singing) as cantor of your congregation on The High Holy Days, the words which are coming out of your mouth have no meaning to you and are absurd.

    Probably just doing it for the money, or because you get to poke the Menora up your….

  32. People like absurdity, it sells well.

    Is the Good book not the biggest seller of all time?

  33. Daniel Marks

    Having partially understood the case of the Sotah we now move on to the Yefat Toar.

    I don’t intend to go through the whole Torah and I think this O Level Religious Knowledge falls well out of the scope of this blog.

    Suffice it to say that the law that you quote is an attempt by the Torah to protect enemy women of a defeated foe from the kind of random rape and pillaging that has existed since the beginning of time and still does.

    It says to the soldier that you can’t just rape a woman who you find and then dump her or worse. If you want her, wait a whole month, calm down, see her not made up and if it’s really love not just lust then take her for a wife with all the implications thereof.

    That was, of course, an enormous revolution then and judging by the kind of things we still read in newspapers, it is still revolutionary today.

    Mark – There are some illogical sounding laws in the Torah, but these are not them.

    In general the Sefer Hachinuch is a pretty good book for explaining some possible reasons for mitzvot. You could also try Essential Essays on Judaism by Eliezer Berkiovits (in English) and if you really feel up to it try Guide for the Perplexed.

    Good luck and don’t forget to keep an open mind. William James said, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” I’m sure you’re not among them.

  34. Nick Kopaloff

    No jokes this time Mike. There should simply be no room for the type of filth and trash submitted by a very sad and little person called Shuli and I earnestly implore you to remove his last posting immediately.

  35. Mike, no jokes, that last post by nick is racist. Can you please remove it. If gays stuff their parades down my throat, then what’s wrong with me stuffing my views down their throat.

  36. I am not going to remove Shuli’s post, because its gross insensitivity (to a former friend), bigotry and ignorance shows up only one person . . . and it is not Mark.

    Shuli, how many thieves and adulterers, masquerading as Orthodox Jews, sit in your shul? I am aware of at least two, without even having been there!

    Knowing Mark as I do, he is no doubt a better Jew than most of them. And your puerile comment about the “Menorah” shows that you yourself have little respect for the religion.

    Your knuckle-dragging views on homosexuality are one thing, but personal insults are unacceptable. You could start by apologising to Mark . . .

  37. David J Cohen

    Shuli should change his name to “Silly” 🙂

  38. Nick Kopaloff

    Mike,
    Your reborn liberalism in prefering not to invoke your censorship/editing prerogative (ref. About this Blog) lies somewhere between praiseworthy and plain folly. Leaning heavily towards the latter, I am genuinely surprised you see fit to air that type of incendiary garbage and given half the chance it would be more than Shuli’s posting that I would remove. Just give me five minutes with him, that’s all I ask.
    I also respectfully feel that you go askew in thinking he can relate to your charge of bigotry and ignorance – since these are denominators not common to this most common of sorts.
    In calling for him to apologize, do you really think he will suddenly march to the tune of reason? Basil Fawlty once did that and began to punish himself. But he was unbelievably funny whereas Shuli is pathetic.
    Beyond obviously trying to humiliate and hurt the kindest of guys, Shuli has also disrespected an emblematic Judaican artifact, and its insertion to where the sun don’t shine is not in keeping with its recommended use as postulated by Maimonides (the text of which he actually wrote in Arabic, hence perhaps Shuli’s misunderstanding).
    Shuli could do no better than label me a “racist” so I shall retort with “guttersnipe” which has more oomph and is a much better insult.
    But perhaps king of the one liners, D.J. Cohen hit it spot on in his casual and simplistic style, reminiscent of Chancy Gardner in “Being There”, when he suggests Shuli should change his name to “Silly”.

  39. Nick – anytime, anyplace.

  40. David J Cohen

    Now it’s Shuli the bully.

  41. Daniel Marks

    Shuli – I don’t know you but since you seem to consider yourself to be an orthodox Jew I’m sure the last thing you meant to do was to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    I suggest you apologize to Mark and anyone else you may have upset and try in future to use whatever communicative talents that you have to sanctify G-d’s name not to desecrate it.

    There are so many wonderful things to say, why would you want to lower the level of this page?

    Go on Shuli – Apologize!

  42. Chaim Goodman

    He’s right Shuli. You ought to aplogise and do teshuvah. I’m sure that Mark will forgive you.

  43. U guys are right – I should apologise

    For descerating the menora – and for that I sincerely apologise

    As for goldman – I would never apologise to someone who halachicly she be put to death

  44. Mark Goldman

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the great discussion. You’re right, it falls well beyond the scope of this blog, and is probably starting to get tiring for some. So, I’ll continue to keep an open mind, challenge my Reform belief system with my Yeshiva as well as Jews college degree education.
    btw, I read a great book recently “Who Wrote the Bible?” by Richard Elliott Friedman.
    Say the word and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.

    Thanks also for your (and others) response to the recent “postings”. Knowing the source made me laugh more than anything else.

  45. Daniel Marks

    I read it when it came out. I thought it was a great book too. It was translated to Hebrew too.

    I have a friend here in Maale Adumim, you may know him, I can tell you his name off blog. He used to believe in the theory that G-d was an alien from another planet. One Shabbat in shul I lent him the book and it really changed his life. Next time I’ll be more careful.

    I think that the area of Biblical Criticism is fascinating, but I waited till my kids were 11 or 12 to discuss it with them as I didn’t want them to misunderstand it. Yosef Moshe is only 9 but has a wisdom that belies his years.

    Take care

    Daniel

  46. Daniel Marks

    After pondering the matter, over an uninspiring early shacharit, I have come to the conclusion that we’ve all been had and that this Shuli character doesn’t really exist, I think he may even be Kopaloff’s or Mike’s literary invention – a kind of Jewish cross between Alf Garnet and Ali Gee.

    Firstly, no orthodox Jew who goes regularly to shul and even only occasionally hears a drasha could remain so ignorant to the most basic tenets of Judaism. The example are innumerable but for kick-off he thinks that a “menorah” is used on the high holidays, has absolutely no understanding of Jewish Jurisprudence and deems he should be apologizing to an inanimate object not to someone insulted in such a filthy way.

    There is nothing in his writing style or general frame of reference to suggest any more than some kind of one-dimensional shoddily constructed internet bigot whose role is to promote discussion and generally play the devil’s advocate. I took him seriously at first, somebody sussed me out to him I metaphorically take off my hat.

    If I am wrong and Shuli really does exist, I apologize to him in advance and send my commiserations to his family and loved ones – also friends if he has any.

  47. Michael Goldman

    Mark how goes?
    As you know after endless discussions (often lubricated by ouf father’s z”l scotch) I find myself in agreement with Daniel rather than yourself. The Reform Movement seem to delight in taking their beliefs and then reaching the conclusion that if they think it’s right then obviously it is what G-d intended, making G-d a little redundant. Though I do tend to agree with you concerining being better dressed.
    For the record, to the best of my memory I have never seen my brother prancing around in underwear, but I assure one and all it would certainly be a less shocking sight than either myself Marks or Kopaloff.

    Shuli you ignorant sanctimonious fuck!
    The fact that my brother doesn’t believe in the truth of the Torah does not mean that he doesn’t believe in G-d which I know for a fact he does.
    I know also that his prayers are said (sung) with Kavana that many would envy.

    Mike
    You black listed me for much less
    I urge you to get rid of the turd

  48. Sadly, Shuli most definitely does exist, as Mark could confirm. We were all in the same year at Hasmo. Mark and Shuli were good friends, and hung out a lot while they were at Uni (Mark was at Jews’ College).

    I actually believe (and have told Shuli) that this is what stands behind his horribly hurtful words. It is as if he feels that Mark made a fool of him (he hadn’t “come out” yet). Pathetic, I know . . . but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Michael, I understand your request. But why let Shuli off the hook so easily, when his illiterate drivel is so wonderfully self-incriminating?! And I actually believe that Mark – who has acted with unbelievable dignity throughout (and has shown himself to be more genuinely “religious” than Shuli, with all his hatred, ever could be) – will agree . . .

  49. Dearest Mike

    Before I start – this is going to be my last comment on this subject.

    If I rember correctly you, Mike, were the first to tell me about Goldman and all I can say you were far from complimentary about his lifestyle describing him with a colourful array of adjectives.

    I understand, you being the creator of this blog, and not wanting to upset some of your listers, and being a Politics Major, you are now acting as his saviour and going with the flow

  50. A predictably cowardly and dishonest response.

    Whilst openly non-PC – I will jest about nearly anything – I have never been homophobic, and never will be.

    And I won’t even give your lies the credit of a denial.

    You have shown your true colours here, for all to see.

    The most amazing thing to me is that you are not ashamed of your words. Most normal people would have apologised to the offended person – or, rather, people – and begged to have such shameful and ignorant rubbish removed from the blog.

    But not you.

    Your words will always remain on melchett mike, as proof that we, too, have our fundamentalist bigots.

    And these are my views, nobody else’s.

  51. Mike

    I said I wasn’t going to comment again…you can call me anything you want – facist, bigot etc etc – I won’t argue with that but when it comes t0 calling me a liar that is one thing I am not.

    You and I know both know the truth and what you said then. That is enough for me.

    Anyway Mike lets leave it that because I do not want to have a personal argument on such an insignifact subject, with someone I have been friendly with since we were in nappies

  52. Nick Kopaloff

    Hit him

  53. Shuli, we won’t fall out over it. As you say, we have been friends for too long.

    But this is not “an insignificant subject”. You have insulted Mark in the most awful fashion, merely because of his sexuality/life choice, and indeed all gay people.

    Whilst I have never considered you a liar, you are lying on this occasion, and in a most cowardly manner, to divert attention from your own stupidity (it doesn’t, however, and an apology to Mark would have been so much easier and more honest).

    Indeed, so confident am I that I have never been homophobic that I invite you to continue spinning your web of lies by telling all readers of melchett mike what it is that you allege that I said (and when . . . seeing as your memory is so great).

    The stage is yours . . .

  54. Michael Goldman

    Mike
    I bow to your judgement.
    Not that I have much choice as the blog is (as you have many times reminded us) yours.
    I must however give credit to Shuli as he has managed to bind the rest of us together in our outrage.
    Where does Shuli live?

  55. Daniel Marks

    As I said I would in the, what I then considered unlikely, event that Shuli did exist I wish to apologize to him for portraying him in an earlier posting as Kopaloff’s or Mike’s literary invention – “a kind of Jewish cross between Alf Garnet and Ali Gee.”

    I honestly could not conceive the possibility that anyone calling himself a religious Jew could be so ignorant and boorish but Shuli proved me wrong and reminded me of the words of a great Jew and physicist, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

    The fact that the author of this excellent blog, who Shuli considers a friend, could write, “Sadly, Shuli most definitely does exist”, really says it all. One shudders to think what his enemies have to say.

    Anyway Shuli, once again I apologize.

  56. Nick Kopaloff

    I believe Michael Goldman, Daniel Marks and myself have done enough in our fervent defense of alternative sexual orientations to warrant an active front row slot at the next gay pride march. We have taken the lead in promoting tolerance and wiping out bigotry and although virtue is its own reward, recognition of our services would not go unnoticed. Recent, as yet unsubstantiated accusations about MM’s homophobia which sadly blot an otherwise untarnished record in this respect, render us unable to extend to him an invitation to join us. And so it is that we plan to take to the streets with our fellow marchers.
    But whether tight clad underwear is mandatory or optional, as Marks would state, is beyond the scope of this blog.
    Needless to say I have recently acquired several rather complimentary, even if I say so myself, pairs of Calvin Klein tight-fitting boxers which I plan to wear with uncompromising pride. If my memory serves me well, and please correct me if I am wrong, Michael Goldman’s flavor of lingerie is the traditional white “Y” fronts. Though Marks’s preference remains a mystery to me and one I am sure we are all eager to unravel, I have no doubt he would look resplendent in frilled panties.
    I would advise my fellow would-be marchers to take along a cardigan and track-suit bottoms just in case it gets a bit nippy. Let us pray in shul this Shabbat that the weather remains clement.

  57. Daniel Marks

    While Kopaloff is sporting his new undies but I have not forgotten the imortal words of the great Helen Nielsen who was heard to utter:

    “Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows”

    So being a decent chap, I will be in my multicolored kippah and pink tea-shirt, which together have convinced many students and several German journalists that I am affiliated too, which I’m not, not that I’ve got anything against homosexuality, other than halacha.

    For the record I favor traditional Y fronts too and have always found that boxers do not afford me the support I require.

  58. David J Cohen

    There was a tosser called Shuli
    Who aspired to be a coolie

    He insulted a gay
    Which just didn’t pay

    Coz Goldman kicked his head in.

    Oh S***t. It didn’t rhyme.

  59. Michael Goldman

    I will neither affirm nor deny the Y fronts claim.

    Mike
    Can you respond to the rumour that you wear none in the hope that your long time fantasy of fornicating in Tel Aviv lavatories may be fullfilled with as little fuss as possible?

  60. Daniel Marks

    The years have been a faithful friend to Goldman but now his newfound good looks and virility mock them. I’m sure but was it not Ralph Emerson who was reported to say, “The years teach much which the days never knew”?

    Goldman is 47, but looks not a day over 45.
    Goldman allows himself during idol moments to relive old surreptitious rendezvous and like ghosts, his old valentines visit him at night in Givat Zeev in the most unlikely of dreams.
    In his ill-spent youth Michael learnt Romeo and Juliet by heart but only now when it is surely too late does he find such meaning in those immortal words, “For you and I are past our dancing days”.

    Goldman shall do battle once more but this time it will be against the bitterest of all foes. Not the evil Shamash who awaits him by the sandpit nor even Shuli who he will find one day and avenge his brother’s honor, but it is the white hairs in his own head this time who deride him. Alas, he knows he must pluck lest they pluck all that is left of his last salad days.

    Gird your loins oh Goldman, our champion, and fight the good fight. It is not only yours, it is the battle of a generation.

  61. Michael Goldman

    Marks
    How pathetic to put up a posting and phone me in order to get a response
    Where to start?
    Why is Shamash “Evil”?
    What a load of drivel
    Well here’s some more

    I wage no such wars
    I allow old age to slowly envelop me with no fear and few regrets
    I pluck not at my white hairs and neither to I colour them (unlike Kopaloff ) but allow nature to take it’s course
    No longer do I dream of removing *******’s knickers but rather of being able to pull up my own without my back giving out
    I would happily gird my loins but I don’t know how
    If anyone reading this does please put up a response

  62. Daniel Marks

    Brian: I’m not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!

    Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.

  63. I was intending to ignore the enquiry into my choice of underwear as impertinent. Not wishing to be a spoilsport, however, I attach a link to them here . . . just for readers of melchett mike.

  64. Mark (Goldman) . . . am I just imagining it, or didn’t you once tell me that – on your Saturday nights out together way back when – you regularly used to catch Shuli staring at your arse?

  65. Mark Goldman

    Can’t comment on that, but interesting to note Freud’s description of homophobia as “unconscious feelings of repressed homosexuality”.

  66. Mark, I think I can only take your failure to comment – together with Shuli’s failure to deny (and even if he did, “he would say that, wouldn’t he?!”) – as confirmation of my recollection.

  67. Daniel Marks

    J’accuse

    Since the Goldman brothers have been featuring so prominently on this page it is only natural and right that a few lines be devoted to the pronunciation of their venerable family name.

    The obvious issue, raised as long ago as the late 80s or early 90s by no lesser an authority than Fibi of Friends fame is as to whether it should be pronounced Gold Man similarly to Superman or Batman or whether the “man” should be pronounced with a weak mun on the weight of the “tion” of station or nation.

    The matter is clearly not merely academic but its implications are far reaching and possibly existential in their nature. In the latter case Michael and Mark are merely two middle aged Jewish men, admittedly with differing understandings of what it means to be middle-aged, what it means to be Jewish and indeed what it means to be a man, but otherwise little different to you or I.

    In the former case they may be super heroes as yet unrecorded by any comic book or Hollywood movie but with the ability to fight crime and save the world when the necessity arises. This possibility could go a long way to explaining Michael’s self effacing utterances, such as:

    “No longer do I dream of removing *******’s knickers but rather of being able to pull up my own without my back giving out”

    Would not the guise of an inarticulate, impotent geriatric be a superlative secret identity for a superhero who organizes peoples’ accounts by day, but by night, in the Y fronts that he will neither confirm nor deny the existence of, fights unmentionable enemies of mankind settling the accounts of the human race?

    Once again it is natural and understandable that the Goldman brothers deny or even ridicule such a theory, but would we expect any less of the likes of Bruce Wayne or Clerk Kent.

    I challenge Michael to either acknowledge the truth of what I have proposed or to prove conclusively that it is not the case.

    In the case of Hitler’s chicken legs he pleaded ignorance deferring the question to those more learned than him. This time “The buck stops here”.

  68. Jonathan Rose

    One of the original questions to this very long and drawn out thread was why the LGBT community feels the necessity to have Pride events in the first place. The answer to that question is of course already here. Apart from being an amazingly fun day out for all involved (participants, supporters and spectators alike) it’s about taking home the message of tolerance.

    When I was growing up in North London we would often have JW’s knocking on the door to welcome us into their community should we be of that persuasion. We would politely decline and continue with our Shabbas lunch. Live and let live I say. Just because I’m a tonsil tickler does not mean that I think it’s the right thing for everyone and wouldn’t try to preach it either. It’s who I am, in the same way that my brother is a very devout religious family man. He is who he is and I’m very tolerant of that.

    What can I say? I could pass the buck and say that religion has a lot to answer for, but in reality each and every one of us is responsible. You have to be tolerant of others if you have a chance of expecting the same in return.

    It’s the Shulies of the world that keep Pride alive 😉

  69. Daniel Marks

    I can only assume that Jonathan Rose, like Alfred the butler, is in cahoots with the Gold-Man brothers, the intention of his somewhat longwinded and obvious observations being to sidetrack the readers’ attention from the serious issue that I have raised. 😦

  70. If I may add to Daniel’s description of Jonathan’s “observations”: “actually relevant to the blog”!

  71. Michael Goldman

    As is our custom when confronted by rumors of our superpowers the Goldman clan “denies any knowledge ” and also “refuses to comment”
    I can only ask that the victory over the “Evil Shamash” so many years ago in the Hasmonean playground is not mentioned again on this blog

  72. Daniel Marks

    Oh Mike! Sweet naive Mike – relevance, relevance! Is that all we now aspire to?

    Was it any less of a man than Craig Bruce who was oft to prescribe:

    “Never question the relevance of truth, but always question the truth of relevance.”

  73. As the peerless blogger, melchett mike, was once heard to query, “Are not endless, tedious quotations only for those who have nothing interesting or original to say themselves?”

  74. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1104506.html

    Terribly sad. The center is just two minutes’ walk away from my apartment. The ambulances woke me up.

    The dangers of halacha? Or just of some (many?) peoples’ warped interpretations of it (as seen in comments above)?

    When will we learn?

  75. I swear it wasn’t me ….. I have an alibi…. I was in shul davening!!!!!
    Shuli

  76. I swear it was not me, I swear…I have an alibi….I was in Shul….my Rabbi will testify !!!!

  77. Methinks he doth protest too much.

  78. Daniel Marks

    Mike wrote today, “The dangers of halacha? Or just of some (many?) peoples’ warped interpretations of it (as seen in comments above)?”

    Since I did comment above about homosexuality and halachah, I consider it possible that Mike is either referring to what I wrote or may be construed to be doing so.

    1. Up until this point I have no knowledge as to who committed the murders or what their motivations were. I have no reason to believe it was motivated by a warped interpretation of halachah. It could have been, but there are several other equally, or more plausible possibilities. I shall not go into examples, but I can if you wish.

    2. On the chance that it was motivated by a warped interpretation of halachah the criminals are those who are ignorant of halachah and write nonsense, like one regular contributor to this blog and lifelong friend of its author on the one hand, and to a far lesser extent those who publish their disgusting views even though they were literally begged by many to remove the postings.

    3. I stand behind every word I wrote and ask anyone to read all that I wrote again. I believe my way is one of tolerance and love.

    Without any “however”s or “but”s I join together with every other decent Jew in mourning the victims of the terrible murder together with the others who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.

  79. I didn’t actually have your comments in mind, Daniel (though I will take another look at them now!) I was thinking more of those of my “lifelong friend”.

    In relation to your assertion that I was “literally begged by many to remove the postings”, I was asked by Nick Kopaloff and Michael Goldman. And I explained (above) why I decided not to.

  80. Mark Goldman

    On August 2 09, Daniel wrote “I believe my way is one of tolerance & love.”

    On June 15 09, Daniel wrote “…and it is hard to argue as the Torah itself says: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.””

    Daniel, it’s crystal clear how this verse would allow any Torah following person to ridicule, demonize, and dehumanize gay, lesbian, or transgender human beings.

    I understand your rationalization – other sins are also punishable by death, punishment isn’t enforceable at the current time, etc. However, I fear that many don’t share your breadth of knowledge, wisdom, or sophistication.

    That’s plain to see by the plethora of orthodox rabbis who claim earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural calamities to the sins of homosexuals and people of color, as well as others.

    When will you and other like minded orthodox Jews speak out against this kind of idiocy and hate?

  81. Daniel Marks

    I really didn’t intend to raise again the question of homosexuality and halachah, especially not at a time when WE are still burying OUR dead.

    And yup Mark my friend. I really do believe my way is one of tolerance & love and I also believe that the Torah was G-d-given and I don’t second guess my maker.

    I’m not going to change my views because others lack “knowledge, wisdom, or sophistication” – yup it’s a complicated world and I don’t choose to oversimplify it just so I can’t be quoted out of context:
    “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,”

    Furthermore, while not taking it personally, I do take offense at your final rhetorical question. Did you for a moment think that I wouldn’t speak out against the murder of innocent people?

    By the way, I just saw the news and the impression I got was that the police are not assuming that it was a religious bigot or even necessarily a hate crime and that all possibilities are being investigated. I do not believe that the murder was the result of a haredi misunderstanding halachah. I may be wrong, often am, but:

    1. A haredi is recognizable with or without a mask. Beard, peyot, clothes, etc.

    2. Most haredim neither have automatic rifles nor know how to use them.

    3. Motzei shabbat seems an “unlikely” time for a haredi to act.

    4. Where did he get the intelligence?

    Nor do I care if I’m right or wrong. I say now, whoever it is, religious or secular, gay or straight, left or right. No more psychiatric evaluations. Chuck him/her in prison (after trial) and throw away the key! Is that clear enough for you?

  82. Mark Goldman

    Daniel the rhetorical question (plea) was with regards to speaking out against “the plethora of orthodox rabbis who claim earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural calamities to the sins of homosexuals and people of color, as well as others.”

    It’s that kind of venomous hate that the less sophisticated, misinformed, and mentally challenged with a chip on their shoulder (we know who we’re talking about on this blog!) take as justification to spew out their pent up prejudice and hostility.

    I meant no offense or assertion with regards to the event in question. Indeed, you already wrote “Without any “however”s or “but”s I join together with every other decent Jew in mourning the victims of the terrible murder together with the others who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

  83. Daniel Marks

    Mark,

    I was hoping to avoid the question you raised as I may be misunderstood, but I’ll try anyway.

    You seem to be quite well informed and indeed we do occasionally hear rabbis and other religious leaders who seek to offer a cause and effect relationship between the sins of man and the acts of G-d (as they perceive them). I can’t remember all the cases but sometimes we hear that terrorist attacks are the result of immodesty etc. Neither can I claim that these are a fringe of unknown rabbis. Such statements have been made by those who are considered Gedolei Hador or the greatest of our generation too.

    I would, however, say two things. Firstly, the rabbis and leaders who make these statements are for the most part haredim. They are neither my rabbis nor my leaders and there were those of their predecessors who, a generation ago, made similar connections between the advent of modern Zionism and the holocaust. On Tisha Ba’av at minchah we all read, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Of course we also believe that there is reward and punishment in this world and the next world, we just don’t claim to be able to understand all of G-d’s thoughts and ways.

    Secondly, we ought to be intellectually consistent here. Some people are quick to condemn those who claim to explain G-d’s punishments, but have no similar problems when it comes to His rewards. I recently heard the story told of a woman who couldn’t have children and then began to look after other people’s children for free. The storyteller smiled and concluded by telling us that G-d rewarded her with a son of her own. It was a heartwarming tale but if we are to be consistent we should condemn that judgment no less.

    On a wholly unrelated note, I happened to be chatting with an ex-madricha of yours this morning. She said that she remembers you as being very good looking (and sweet too). I know that you don’t “swing that way” these days but I figured that after the age of 40 you take your compliments where you find them.

    Regards

    DM

  84. You write w/ the blinders & smugness of the oppressive so-called majority. Gay Pride arises as a response to all too many years of repression, derision — which you continue to do — & outright violence. You claim to be supportive, but when it comes to outright displays of just being who we are, you only mock us. “Straight” society is offended by gay expressions of love & affection, let alone lust, but when “straight” people do it, it’s OK. I worked w/ a Methodist minister who thought nothing of & often said “I’m in lust w/ her.” Were I to say something like that in your presence — as your “friend” did — you would blast us & hold open the closet door for us to reenter. At least your friend is honest about his prurient interests. You seem not to have that courage. That — honesty — is something of which to be proud.

  85. Daniel Marks

    Hi gcantory!

    Wow you’re simultaneously attacking me on two different pages. We’ll have to stop meeting like this.

    You say that I claim to be supportive (of gays) but in fact mock you. This is not true nor do you have any evidence for saying this unless you’re confusing me with the lusty methodist minister with whom you worked. If you knew me I’m sure you’d find many justifiable reasons to dislike me, but mocking gays is not one of them.

    As far as finding it hard to tolerate gay expressions of love and affection, guess we’re talking about public snogging, you’re right but here I do not discriminate and find seeing straight couples “going at it” in public equally distasteful. Before any old Hasmos call me a hypocrite, you’re right and I guess it’s connected to getting older.

    Have a great day gcantory!

    DM

  86. who should we hate tomorrow?

    bernie madoff should be released and praised for raping stupid people of their money.

    anyone know where to forward funds to help bernie buy cigarettes while incarcerated?

  87. Forward them to me. I can promise you a 20% annual return (if you can find me at the end of the year).

  88. Every day is straight pride day.
    Is it asking for much for just one day to celebrate being gay?
    You might not see the importance of it but that’s because you’re not gay,it’s easy to say when you’re on the other side looking in, for instance I found/find it so easy to tell my gay friends to be proud of who they are and that they should openly tell others they are gay and yet it’s something I struggle with myself everyday.To me gay pride was an important stage in accepting myself for who I am,it had nothing to do with other people it was a personal development for myself,who as a teenage girl was struggling to find myself in a world I’d never planned,was struggling to come to terms with the fact that the life I had planned was now near impossible.Gay pride helped me to rebuild the structure of my life so please I urge you not to slander something you obviously have no understanding of.

  89. I hope that neither the rampant homosexuals nor the rancid homophobes amongst my readership – not to mention the Daniel Marks types, who are somewhere in between – will have any objection to me lightening the atmosphere of these dark days with this article I came across in the Canadian National Post.

    Whilst I would advocate that members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid be wogered woughly by a member of the opposite sex, I can’t help but feel that the article’s author, Jonathan Kay, was being a little bit mischievous when he wrote that “activists . . . festooned themselves with fliers”.

    Is it possible for a straight person to “festoon” himself? Or is “festooning” strictly the preserve of the Queer?

    Goldman, Marks and Shuli, please step forward . . .

    PS I have also e-mailed Mr. Kay for clarification.

  90. Daniel Marks

    If anyone saw the (awful) Simpsons episode when they visit Israel, Krusty the clown goes to a “Gaza Strip Club” too. Interestingly the name Simpson features prominently in the article too. I wonder what the connection is.

    It seems strange for a group to choose a name with a derogatory word as queer. I’m pretty sure if a straight used that term he’d rightly be condemned. Any thoughts Greg? Mark?

  91. The 13th (homosexuals apparently have a different numbering system to the rest of us – last year was supposedly the 11th) annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade is now underway.

    Walking our dogs down Rothschild, yesterday evening, my gay friend Doron informed me that he wouldn’t be going on the main Parade – there are, apparently, two breakaways – as it has become, he says, too “commercialised” and “mainstream”. Doron elaborated that he disapproves of gays seeking the straight pubic’s affection – which he sees as the tone of the main Parade – instead of focusing on hard core political issues, which he believes should be at the root of them (shades of Life of Brian methinks).

    Anyway, I still don’t get it (see my main post above), and unlike the many straight people who have joined the Parade – for the crack, apparently – I will be keeping my bum firmly on my seat.

    But how ironic is this?!

  92. Mark Goldman

    Daniel wrote:

    “It seems strange for a group to choose a name with a derogatory word as queer. I’m pretty sure if a straight used that term he’d rightly be condemned. Any thoughts Greg? Mark?”

    I can’t remember the last time I heard the word “queer”. For me, it evokes an almost colloquial quality. I think it depends on the context of how the word is being used, as well as inflection, rather than who is using the term.
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  93. “There’s nowt as queer as Marks”, that’s for sure!

  94. Gamil Elias

    “I think it depends on the context of how the word is being used, as well as inflection..” Quite right Marks.

    Here are some possible contexts:

    1. Ooh this avocado looks a bit queer. Maybe we should throw it away.

    2. You pinched my bottom, you queer! I shall call the police.

    As far as inflections are concerned:

    1. Kwe-er (derogatory)

    2. Kw-ir (complimentary)

    3. Kew-woo-eer (queer)

  95. Daniel Marks

    Gamil is a fraud.

    In one week he has gone from an ignorant Palestinian dung dealer to an expert on every topic including English inflections and homosexuality.

    A week ago he couldn’t spell or string a sentence together, today he’s bleedin William Shakespeare.

    The man is a charlatan and should be ignored.

    Shabbat shalom

  96. Daniel Marks

    According to one excellent, if self-hating, Israeli newspaper our Israeli gay delegates are angry over being banned from Madrid’s gay pride parade in protest. Our gays say that the Spanish gay federation should not mix politics with gay pride.

    However, Antonio Poveda, of Spain’s Federation of Lesbians said, “After what has happened, and as human rights campaigners, it seemed barbaric to us to have them taking part.” Truthfully, one can understand both points of view.

    While commiserating with our own homosexuals and lesbians, who I’m sure had been looking forward to the trip, we should console ourselves that with there will at least be less mingling between ours and theirs, less inter-homo-lesbian-marriages etc.

    Please G-d, next year!

  97. “One can understand both points of view.”

    I presume this is an attempt at humour, Daniel.

    Anyway, what have we come to . . . when even our poofs (“queers” is offensive, apparently) are discriminated against by other poofters?

  98. Daniel Marks

    No, I was being serious. Up until the last paragraph.

    I didn’t mean to reincarnate the argument about who was right. I assume that they think we were in the wrong.

    Then I can understand see a Spanish gay saying that politics are part of the gay rights parade and he doesn’t want ours.

    The question, in my opinion, is not about who was right in the Flotilla or the legitimacy of a gay life-style, but simply whether politics and gay pride should be mixed. I can see both points of view.

    By the way, I’m not certain that “poofters” is anymore PC than “queers”.

    I am mainly worried about the children of single-sexed-mixed (inter-racial) marriages.

  99. Daniel, do you seriously believe that there is an argument for banning the participation of Israeli homosexuals – and not just those from the West Bank 😉 – because of the political situation here, flotilla fiasco, etc?

    If so, I “festoon” you with my contempt!

    Could you imagine them banning a Zimbabwean gay (because of Mugabe), or an Iranian one (because of Ivelostmydinnerjacket)?

    I think not.

  100. Daniel Marks

    Yup, I do. I regret their decision deeply, but I do understand, if not agree with, their logic.

    Let’s imagine that you were organizing some kind of International Wankers Solidarity March (IWSM 2010) in Tel Aviv and a Hamas delegation announced that they were planning to come. Now co-organizer Michael Goldman has suggested to you that because of their terrorism etc the Gazans shouldn’t be invited.

    I’m not saying that you’d agree with him. That’s a decision that the two of you would have to make, perhaps after consulting Shuli, Gert etc.

    I’m sure, however, that you would acknowledge that it Michael’s viewpoint is legitimate and worthy of consideration.

    You’d be arguing that your auto-gratification should not be mixed with politics while Goldman would say that you may both be wankers, but you must not forget that you are first and foremost Jewish ones.

    I do hope that after this simple explanation there will be no more talk of contempt.

  101. Brilliant analogy, Daniel. 😉

    Sleep easily, though . . . if we do organise one, we’ll be sure to have you as our standard-bearer!

  102. Daniel Marks

    I will be honored to grace you guys with my support.

  103. Just come back (alone) from a lovely dinner with Mark Goldman, who I haven’t seen for twenty-odd years, and who confirmed my suspicion that it was no less than Shuli (who, ironically, is currently at Pride Park) who was key in helping him realise that he was gay.

    Anyway, Shuli, Mark says “thanks.”

  104. Following my above comment, just met Chazan Goldman again for brekkers, together with another reformed ex-Hasmo, Jonny Rose – see photo beneath post and above comments (above).

  105. Jonathan Rose

    It really was great to meet up with Mike and Mark over breakfast in Tel Aviv yesterday, however the unexpected reminder of what Hasmo gave or didn’t give me (mostly negatives on both sides) was a surprising and unfamilar feeling. It explained why I wasn’t or probably never will be at any reunion the school has, except perhaps in a perverse way to stick a finger at the establishment for making me feel that I was just a thick puff that would never amount to anything.

    My only comment in reply to you Mike is how you end up ever going home alone is beyond me. Reckon you’re quite a catch for either sex tbh! A real down to earth mensch!

  106. Thank you, Jonny. Was good seeing you, too . . . and, as I told Mark (he didn’t take it well), if I were to “swap sides,” you’d be far more my cuppa than him!

    PS However “thick,” you should still be able to correctly spell poof by now! 😉

  107. Jonathan Rose

    Good to know that even as a str8 boy you still have immaculate taste in men!! Never have spelt the word puff as poof. Maybe it’s a northern thing. Either spelling still makes me cringe… The funny thing is that I’m almost sure today that some of the name callers back in those days are themselves gay today….naming no names of course 😉

  108. Anyway, I’ve got Goldman by the short and curlies – he was stupid enough to reveal to the “Hasmo blogger” the id of the boy in our year (after Shuli of course!) who he fancied throughout our entire 7 years at the madhouse. He’d better behave now . . . 😉

    PS Talking gay, a friend just sent me this, which I found amusing: http://gprime.net/video.php/lesbianspeeddating

  109. A groyse gut voch to the commendably progressive mayor of Ra’anana, Nahum Hofri, who is helping his city’s gay community come out of the closet . . . and go into the carpark:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/no-pride-parade-for-raanana/

    You see, Shuli, Ra’anana’s right up your alley (so to speak).

  110. John Fisher

    “The municipality said the parade could hurt the feelings of a high proportion of the city’s residents and organizers agreed to the smaller event.”

    For “feelings of a high proportion of the city’s residents” read “Mayor Hofri’s re-election chances.

    He had to suggest a Car Park because Raanana doesn’t have any Public Toilets.

  111. Jonathan Rose

    My first admission will have to be that I lost the will to read the responses after the first dozen or so. The initial ‘what to they have to be so proud about’ issue got lost between the fudge packers on Rothschild and the ‘I feel sorry for them…they are just ILL!!!’ comments. I can assure you that a vast majority don’t fall into either category, but then again these issues tend to be voiced in extremes to both extents.

    Religion, sexuality, yada yada…. Just as Mike gets sexually attentive towards the female population of TA, I would be the same towards the male population. Why does society give Mike a pat on the back with a ‘get in there mate!’, the opposite sex gets a ‘opens her legs for anyone’ reaction and I get a ‘that’s just sick’ back-hander? LABELING!! Women like sex just as much as men, some more, some less. So why are they ‘slags’? TBH, I’d rather be complimented with being a ‘slag’ than being ‘sick’. Str8s get turned on by being intimate with the opposite sex and I have absolutely no issue with that. Religious Jews get satisfaction from being devout G-d fearing individuals and I have absolutely no issue with that. The problem with society is that it lacks tolerance and acceptance of one another.

    As voiced on a recent C5 Big Brother episode (not the best source I admit, but stay with me on this one….) ‘It’s all down to labeling. I’m neither hetro, bi or gay. If I’m attracted to a man enough to want to have sex with him then I will do so in the same way as I would with a woman. Creating a label that makes it right or wrong is the issue – not the persons choice as an individual’.

    Getting back to the original link, if there was complete tolerance and equality within society the meaning behind where Pride came from would become void. The reasons why there are still Pride events is as much for the LGBT community to come together and enjoy themselves together with friends and family, as much as it is to point out to society that tolerance and equality do not exists.

    Memorial days are set aside ‘lest we forget’ events that have happened in our history so that we remember and ‘never let it happen again’ (I won’t even mention the circumcision issue in Germany this week!) so who gets to remember the Pink Triangle, or the hangings, beatings and jail sentences of today? We show the world every year that Hitler’s Final Solution failed and we are proud Jews (religious or otherwise) to prove it. Our disgust of hearing that the Holocaust is either not taught or written out of history books in certain parts of the world is evident. Why can we remember the lost Jews and not the lost Gays? Pride is our way of saying that against all discrimination in the world we are still here (ok, and still queer!) and our voice will be heard.

    Oh, and on another note, although you may not like the fact, Tel Aviv has been voted the number one gay destination in the world. It has great beaches, hotels, bars and clubs and whether you are part of that or not it raises the profile of a democratic and tolerant Israel via the LGBT communities around the world, not to mention tapping into an extremely large account of Pink Pounds.

    What people do behind closed doors is their business, so suck it up and stop ramming your opinions down their throat 😉

  112. Well said, Jonny. I almost wish I was gay or, better still, bi: I’d certainly be a lot “busier” than I currently am!

  113. Jonathan Rose

    Mike, you know that both you and I agree on your last statement 😉

  114. By Hasmonean’s most famous gay chazan . . .

    http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/09/16/op-ed-its-time-rethink-religion

    Kol hakavod, Mark . . . and extremely decent of you not to “out” Shuli (re the “flirtatious homosexual behavior and activity . . . commonplace at the school”).

  115. http://www.timesofisrael.com/16-year-old-girl-stabbed-at-pride-parade-succumbs-to-wounds/

    “As for goldman – I would never apologise to someone who halachicly she be put to death” (shuli, June 17, 2009 at 1:23 am)

  116. The murderer of the 16 year old girl cannot halachically be put to death as the death penalty was abolished around the time of the destruction of the Second Temple but he can halachically be killed by the girl’s relatives as a revenge killing (goel hadam) which law is still current.

  117. Either you have missed the point, Pinchos, or you have performed a neat sidestepping of it . . . the question – raised here, somewhat ignominiously, by our former classmate, some years back – was rather whether a gay male should (even if just in theory) be “halachically put to death”.

  118. Pinchos Chalk

    Side-stepping is my speciality, the answer to your question is no. Since being gay is socially acceptable, there is no social contract (which is the basis of social law) to exclude this form of living.

    In halachical terms this is called tinok shenishba.

  119. I am not sure that Mark would wish to be considered – or, indeed, that it is accurate to consider him – a tinok shenishba, “a Talmudical term that refers to a Jewish individual who sins inadvertently as a result of having been raised without an appreciation for the thought and practices of Judaism” (Wikipedia).

    Mark?

  120. Pinchos Chalk

    The Jewish definition of the soul is deeper than a person’s sexual affinity. Therefore just as it does not make sense to condense the entirety of a person by describing them as a taxi-driver, so too it does not make sense to define the entirety of a person as a gay man.

    It would be demeaning to do so and limits the person’s ability to feel intimacy and to experience spontaneity.

    No-one should ever be seen to have ctystallized into a state that locks them into a limited range of choice.

  121. And perhaps thats the crux of the issue. Pinchos and other members of the Orthodox Jewish community feel bound by halachah, regardless of the demeaning and degrading implications of these laws and descriptions (tinok shenishba – really?)

    Time to speak out in favor of social justice, awareness, and equality.

  122. Pinchos Chalk

    If a system is not able to contain waves of a certain frequency then the waveform will bounce back and be inverted at the periphery of the system.

    Similarly if emotion is expressed by someone outside a system to someone inside a system which cannot contain the complexity of emotional wavelength of the original message then the person inside the system will perceive the opposite intention of the original message.

    The purpose of Judaism is not to promulgate murderous sexual guilt, any more than the purpose of community structure is to cripple members of the community into conformity.

  123. You took the words out of my mouth, Pinchos.

    😉

  124. …and the commas out of the sentence.

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