melchett mike’s Rosh Hashanah Message

Dear Friends (well, that’s how “Sacksy” starts),

Dalia, one of the Rothschild kiosk quarter-to-seven crew – and the most balanced and normal of the natives who drink their morning coffee there (the competition, it has to be said, is not all that fierce) – recently surprised her husband, for his birthday, with a long weekend in Budapest.

On the morning following their return, she was simply gushing about the Pearl of the Danube, and especially the Marriott Hotel, on its banks, at which they stayed. The food. The rooms. The service. All superb. “And the best thing of all,” declared Dalia, without even a hint of jest, “we were the only Israelis.”

Now, you will never hear the Englishman – on his return to Blighty from the Costa del Sozzled (or whichever other destination he decided to grace with his civilising presence) – revel in the fact that he didn’t come across any other Englishmen during his sojourn.

Far from it. The Englishman delights in being amongst his own (and is even somewhat lost without them). Indeed, it is the “Kraut” and the “Frog”, the “Itie” and the “Spic” – in short, “Johnny Foreigner” – whom the Englishman does not wish to rub shoulders with on his hols.

I have been pondering this difference in attitude between the Englishman and the Israeli towards their own. It is not hard to fathom what it tells us about the Englishman . . . but what does it say about the Israeli?

The Israeli revels in one-upmanship. Everything he does or has must be better, less obtainable, more expensive – or, in the case of an identical product or service, cheaper – than what his friend does or has. So, for Dalia, the absence of other Israelis in the Marriott perhaps gave it an air of exclusivity.

The Israeli also believes that the Gentile – or at least the European, or white, English-speaking one – must necessarily have more class and/or culture than the native of the Middle East (said Israeli has obviously not spent a Friday evening in your average English city centre). Even I, a naturalised Israeli, receive looks of reverence when I – or, rather, my dreadful Hebrew-speaking accent – reveal my English roots. And I listen in puzzlement as awe-filled locals rave about aspects of London and England that I always took for granted. So, perhaps Dalia just didn’t want the Middle East interfering with her European weekend.

The Israeli also exhibits his own variant of what comedian Jackie Mason describes as “too Jewish” syndrome, relating to the Hebrew’s lack of comfort in his own skin. So, escaping her fellow Israeli for a few days perhaps provided Dalia with a welcome break from that uncomfortable ‘mirror’.

Jewish self-deprecation, our numerous complexes, and especially Groucho Marx’s not wanting “to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”, all play their part here too.

Or perhaps I am just over-analysing. Anyone who has been on a flight, in a hotel, or anywhere for that matter, with a group of Israelis will know that there are politer, more decorous and rule-obeying breeds. Dalia’s continental breakfasts would not have been quite the same if dozens of her compatriots had been fighting over, and smuggling vast quantities of food out of, the Marriott buffet.

But – and I am getting to the Rosh Hashanah Message bit now (I think you will find the transition quite seamless!) – whilst neither Israelis nor life in Israel are perfect (both far from it), I strongly believe that those of you who are still living in the Diaspora are really missing out. You are just not “in the game”.

And when I hear of the ‘problems’ and concerns of friends visiting from the UK, of their interests, and those of their kids – not to mention Britain’s (and Europe’s) creeping Islamisation (about which I have blogged) – it just serves to reaffirm my decision to live here. Apologies for getting all existential on you, but, in the large scheme of things, the plushest of homes, flashest of cars, most extravagant of holidays, and even the best of schools, surely mean and count for little.

Diaspora Jewry . . . the shofar calls!

Diaspora Jewry . . . the shofar calls!

To return to the “footie” analogy (they tend to be the best, I find), the intensive training, expensive boots and fancy strip mean nothing . . . if you can’t even get on the pitch. And having the privilege to live during a rare period of Jewish self-determination – with sovereignty in the Land of Israel – has given all of us the opportunity to get on that “pitch”. It is totally incomprehensible to me how Jews, and self-declared Zionists to boot (pun intended), choose instead to watch from the touchline. (Whilst this may come across as preachy, my intention is not to patronise. And if just one or two readers think about the “Israel option” while bored sh*tless in shul this weekend . . . then pissing the rest of you off will have been worth it!)

So, a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to readers of melchett mike and to all of Am Yisroel (the Jewish people) . . . but especially to the State of Israel and its citizens, who – in spite of their many faults – are the vanguard of our people, bringing their Diaspora brothers the standing, credibility, and thus security, to continue what I believe to be their relatively meaningless (in a Jewish sense) and increasingly precarious existence.

And, whilst Dalia may not be so pleased to see you during her next European “weekend of culture” . . . she would be delighted to have you here!

melchett mike,
Rosh Hashanah 5770


48 responses to “melchett mike’s Rosh Hashanah Message

  1. David Kornbluth

    Nice blog! Just back from a few days in London and as always more than happy to be home in Jerusalem.

    Shana tova to you and all the readers.

  2. I really don’t have a comment on your statements because I cannot know Israel from your perspective. However, it strikes me that this would have read just as well (& perhaps be even more successful) had you left out the despicably racist words in paragraph 4. At this time of cheshbon hanefesh, it is, at least for me, far too jarring. At least now you have something to atone for on YK.

  3. Shana tova to you too. It is a shame many other diaspora Jews don’t read your penultimate paragraph. They don’t realise how much they owe Israel just for its being there.

  4. Very well said, Mike. Shana Tova.

  5. Mike,

    Pay no attention to GCantory’s comment. He is the type of cretin who piously writes about “Cheshbon Nefesh” while apparently using his computer on Rosh Hashana.

    He obviously missed the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ writing style of that paragraph. I guess he’s writing to the AA in outrage at the word “Scunthorpe” on his Road Atlas.

    PS. It it still Loshon Hora to write semi-anonymously, attacking someone who also is semi-anonymous?

  6. What?! Native Israelis invariably stick together abroad. Obviously you have never been to Main Bazaar in Delhi, Kawasan in Thailand, various neighbourhoods and eateries in Brooklyn, LA etc. Much as we like to think we are so different from other people, we aren’t all that much. Your friend Dalia is a snob and a untypical Israeli (I like her). Happy new year.

  7. Now that I’ve recovered from the shock of seeing such terribly offensive racist comments above, I feel obligated to commit my first sin of the New Year by calling gcantory a sanctimonious c*nt.
    I know it’s not racist, but hopefully he will have such an attack of the vapours over this verbal onslaught, that the sanctimonious tosser will spend HIS YK reflecting on what a small-minded prick he really is.

  8. OK, you/I have a name. Let that be my new year’s resolution.

    Hurtful language hurts — both the innocent victim & the one who chooses to use it. (& whether you use a “u” in c*nt or not makes no difference.)

    If we can’t have a discussion w/o using disparaging language, then it is impossible to have a civilized conversation. If we can’t do it, how can you expect diametrically opposed national forces to do so.

    Sorry, but tongue-in-cheek is not an acceptable excuse for abusive language. Just because YOU find it funny does not make it so. Just because someone says “some of my best friends are …’s” does not excuse the later use of derogatory speech.

    Al cheit shechatanu: b’vitu’i s’fatayim, … b’dibur peh, … b’tum’at s’fatayim, … b’tifshut peh, …

    If that makes me a small-minded prick then so be it.

    As for using a computer on yuntif … do you sit in darkness or do you turn on lights? Do you drive your car or ride the bus? … I could go on, but none of these things are anywhere near as evil & self destructive as demeaning another human being.

    The rabbis considered the tongue to be a terrible weapon. They equated slander w/ murder. I dare say they would be more concerned about what we say & how we speak & write than when we do it.

    (At the risk of opening an old discussion, that’s the difference between orthodoxy & Reform. While the orthodox get all fahitzt over the timing of the use of a computer but not what spews out of it, Reform is concerned w/ the content & choice of one’s words.)

    Kol Nidrei cannot be effective unless & until you make things right w/ other people — even those you don’t know. What insults “them” insults me — AND you.

    That’s what t’shuvah is all about — NOT what happens between us & God — it’s what happens between us & our fellow humans.

    V’al kulam Elo’ah s’lichot, s’lach lanu, m’chal lanu, kapeir lanu.

    G’mar chatimah tovah.

  9. A couple of points Greg Regarding the Orthodox v Reform argument.

    Firstly from the viewpoint that I’m not particularly orthodox. I belong to the United, although I also spend time worshipping at White Hart Lane.

    I recognise and accept that I am a sinner. That’s my choice and I’ll live with the consequences.

    What I’m not is a hypocrite. I don’t ‘change’ the rules to suit myself or my lifestyle. I either obey them or not. But to re-write the rules and then claim that this is a valid replacement of the original is just cheating.

    So you pontificating about the differences between reform & orthodoxy are invalid.

    You seem to be a religious man Greg, just not my religion.

  10. Knowing Mike, and having grown up in the UK, Mike’s statement didn’t strike me as offensive and appeared, to me at least, as Mike’s commentary on the perception of “the other” by your typical Englishman.

    Greg doesn’t know Mike, and isn’t as familiar with the British sense of humor as many others who follow and comment to this blog. Having lived in the USA, for close to 20 years, and being a proud member of the Reform Jewish community, I very much see where Greg is coming from.

    There’s definitely a greater sensitivity to what’s appropriate to say or not, and I think that’s a good thing.

    Honestly, I was more shocked by Daniel’s and Henri’s “kneejerk'” reactions, than Mike’s initial message.

  11. Greg,

    Throwing around a few transliterated Jewish concepts is never a good idea, especially in the same post as assuming that one can’t get through Yom Tov without turning on lights or taking a bus.

    Your post reminds me of the “do not say Jehovah” sketch of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. I seem to recall a fair amount of other language you’d object to there as well.

    But that’s still the way many English people use language (Mike included), and we find it offensive to be told that certain words should not be mentioned, irrelevant of context.

    s someone who would not put himself in the “highly religious” camp,

  12. Just to be sure, and in the hope of avoiding misunderstandings, the Daniel who described Gcantory (now Greg) as a cretin was not me.

    I am, however, quite grateful to my namesake as his use of the term afforded me the excuse to discover that “Cretinism is a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth”. I do not know Greg personally and cannot determine whether he is a cretin or not from a medical point of view. An urban dictionary defines a cretin as “A Person that is: brainless, stupid, child-like, and full of pointless information that makes no sense and appeals only to other cretins.” Here again the jury is still out but the reader can survey Greg’s (then Gcantory) postings and decide for himself.

    Mike recently published a partial polemic with OYB: “If you wish to appeal via the blog, feel free to do so. They are not all “foulmouthed cretins”.”

    From which we may deduce that the GOM has also made use of the term. Maybe with the coming of the new year we have a fashion in the making.

    I have done my best to avoid “bad-mouthing”, though exceptions have been made especially in the case of people with histories of violent behavior. When you can’t smack them in the mouth ridiculing verbally can provide some partial satisfaction. Greg should check his earlier postings before sobbing that “Hurtful language hurts.” I for one was profoundly offended that he, a self-declared religious leader, should refer to Moshe Rabbeinu, the greatest of all our prophets, as “Moe”. I said nothing as I knew that Greg’s intention was to hurt and thus chose not to afford him the satisfaction. Maybe he should consider a similar course of action when being referred to as brainless or as a female primary sexual organ by Daniel and Henri Berest respectively.

  13. I’m sorry if I offend your entrenched linguistic prejudices, but “that’s the way we’ve always done it” or “that’s still the way many English people use language” does not excuse the continued use of abusive & oppressive language. Are you saying you are incapable of change? Or are you saying that regardless of the reasons for change you refuse to do so? That is the stoicism of orthodoxy — refusing to change even in the face of its necessity.

    Yes, it IS necessary to change our way of speaking in order to free people from the oppression of our speech. We — the people who have been most oppressed throughout history — know (or should know) all too well the oppression which abusive speech brings.

    Are we not taught the Jewish version of the Golden Rule in which we say “That which is hateful to you, do not do unto your neighbor.”

    I hope you’re not saying that you don’t mind being called the “K” word or any of the many words that others use to stereotype us negatively. Because if you find those words hurtful, it behooves you to change your speech patterns.

    Yes, change is hard, as is abandoning time-honored traditions. But when those conventions become tools of self-oppression, they must be abandoned.

    The same thing is happening here in the US. Finally there are black voices that are calling to their brothers to stop calling each other “nigga.” Using the “er” ending is definitely racist, but all too many black Americans fail to see the self-oppressive nature of using the other “familiar” appellation. Finally, some leaders w/in that community are beginning to speak out. Finally there are those, respected in the black community, who are calling for the rappers to stop using filthy, demeaning words.

    Especially at this inward-looking time of year, I ask, challenge & pray for you to reconsider this long-standing abuse of language & the destructive objectifying of “the other.” I firmly believe changing our speech patterns to acknowledge & respect the humanity of others, verbally, will go a long way toward improving the human condition.

  14. A cretin – “A Person that is: brainless, stupid, child-like, and full of pointless information that makes no sense and appeals only to other cretins.” I’m beginning to see the other Daniel’s point of view.

  15. Greg,

    I’ve been called more than my fair share of names, justified and not. I’ve been attacked both verbally and physically for being Jewish, for standing up for Israel, or for simply standing up for what’s right.

    I thank the other Daniel for finding the definition of ‘Cretin’. Life is tough (as you unfortunately probably come across often as a communal leader), and sanitizing the use of the English language – especially when it was merely used to highlight Bigotry, rather than to offend – is mere window dressing.

    To get back to your original post, you probably can’t appreciate Mike’s angle on the New Year, in the vibrant place that is Eretz Yisrael. Maybe you or many of your congregants rarely visit here “because it’s dangerous”.

    You are free to wrap yourselves up in cotton wool and to pontificate on which words must be excised from the lexicon… but you are simply living in a pseudo-intellectual shtetl, that insists on making new measuring sticks (“hate-free speech”) rather than truly advancing the Jewish people.

    In any case – may we all have a good new year!

  16. Nothing like a few cuss words – as I believe the Yanks (hope you don’t find that derogatory, Greg) call them – to get people going . . .

    Greg, how come it is okay for you to refer to black people calling each other “nigga” . . . but not for me to to write about the Englishman’s attitude towards “the Kraut, Frog, Itie and Spic”? If it is because you replace the final “er” with an “a”, does that make it okay for me to call you a “c*nt” without the “u”?! Surely, it is the intention, rather than the spelling, that is relevant.

    Apart from anything else, I thought it was obvious that the words in my post were used to highlight the xenophobia of “the Englishman”. Surely, a newspaper can still report – or a court hear evidence – that a racist called a black man a “nigger”, or a Jew a “yid”?

    Daniel’s “pseudo-intellectual shtetl” really knocks the nail on the head.

    In relation to swear words generally, I consider them an appropriate and legitimate form of self-expression (for myself at least). And I will continue to use them, in spite of gc*ntory (couldn’t resist) . . . and even in spite of my dear mother, who claims it is damaging her reputation on Shderot Nitza 😉 (I employ asterisks to soften the blow somewhat for the religious and/or faint of heart).

    Changing the subject (or rather getting back to it) . . . Saul Davis’s point that “Native Israelis invariably stick together abroad” is true in relation to post-army backpackers and those who live abroad – i.e., thsoe who have no other choice (who else is going to mix with them?!) – but not in relation to the shorter (especially European city) vacation/getaway, for which period the class/culture-conscious Israeli can reasonably hope to escape and assimilate.

    And, for the record, Dalia is sephardic and the least “snob[bish]” Israeli you could hope to meet . . .

  17. The point is that you did refer to those groups of non-British foreigners using abusive language. I simply wrote about what others say, in fact, what all too many black people say about each other, something I find distasteful. Surely there must be some way to expose xenophobia w/o resorting to the very language that promotes it. But if you choose to violate a bible principle by ignoring the good teaching of your mother, there is nothing else I can say or do. What a shame. 😦

  18. Greg, you are in the minority (of one it seems) in not understanding what I wrote. My intention was to use “Kraut, Frog, Itie and Spic” in precisely the same way that you used “nigga” . . . as representing the attitude/words of others. Surely even George W. Bush would have understood . . . 😉

  19. Greg, It’s alright to say you misunderstood. I certainly won’t think any the worse of you. 🙂

  20. You weren’t really offended by “Moe” . . . were you, Daniel?!

  21. Well, yes. In an idiotic kind of way. It makes one the of the most important characters in Judaism sound like the guy who sells the lox in a deli.

    I knew that our friend was trying to side-track the argument to a childish exchange of insults so I ignored it.

    I just thought it was a bit rich for him to then start crying about “hurtful language” so I said what I said. Does that make sense?

  22. You never know . . . according to Reform, Moses might very well have been a “guy who [sold] lox in a deli”! 😉

    For a man with such a lavatorial sense of humour, however, Daniel, I would have thought it would take more than a mere “Moe” to offend you.

  23. Okay let’s not get carried away. I didn’t lose any sleep over it, but I did remember it, so I guess it made an impression.

    To me Moshe Rabeinu is not some kind of comic book character, or a guy with a long beard who I learned about at Heder.

    He is the man who took us out of Egypt from slavery and led us for 40 years. I imagine if Greg were to call my father (Z”L) Gez (his name was Gerald) in a mocking tone I’d feel the same.

    I’m sure that if I was a black talking about Martin Luther King or an Indian talking about Gandhi we would all understand. I’m always saddened that we seem to have less respect for our own synagogues than for “their” churches. It’s as if every ignoramous who doesn’t know the difference between an alef and a swastika sees himself as a major share holder in our heritage and it is his to do with as he sees fit.

    Like I said, I’m not going to lose any sleep over the matter – not that I’ve had much to lose of late.

    I forgive Greg in advance of him asking, and ask his forgiveness for all the nasty things I’ve said about him both on blog and off.

    May he have a shanah tova.

  24. Why? What have you said about Greg off blog?

    We’re all friends here. And now’s the time, before YK, to share it with us all.

    Come onnnnn . . . !

  25. Mike

    Look, I’m not shy but I’m not sure that slagging a retired Reform hazan off is exactly in the spirit of the 10 days of repentance.

    I’m sure he’s a lovely guy once you get to know him. He appeared a couple of months ago as a kind of “hired gun” apparently brought in by someone who had gotten sick of arguing against others alone. I don’t know who the kind soul was but judging by his former profession, his geographical location and his Reform sympathies I could hazard a guess.

    Moshe Goldman (and myself initially) tried to engage him in discussion, basically asking him what he believed. First, he tried to get out of it by answering different questions, then by attacking Orthodox Judaism and finally by claiming that he had already answered the questions. His answers were, in my opinion, irrelevant and long-winded and because of frequent incorrect use of transliterations hard to read or understand. Seeing him as an honored guest you seemed to be doing your best to defend him even when you were less than totally convinced about what he was saying. Your efforts were heroic and frankly worthy of a better cause.

    The tragic point being that he claims to be a religious leader and though he wouldn’t say who he leads or to where, I do suspect that somewhere in this crazy world there might be people who see themselves as his followers, perhaps the Gregesha Hassidim.

    Damn you! Now I have to apologize again.

    Sorry Greg mate.

  26. Daniel, I was only joking with my incitement. I am sure you wouldn’t talk “losh” about a fellow “Yeed” – even a misguided Reform one – so close to the “Big YK”.

    Going back to a far more interesting subject than gc*ntory – Hasmonean Grammar School for Boys – my incitement causes me to recall a boy in our class, Abraham (“Abie”) Cohen . . .

    Apart from Abie’s startling ability to blast a football over the playground’s 10-metre high rear fence when only 2 yards from goal (he was a classic “goal-hanger”), Abie was also notable for being Hasmo’s very own Don King, skilfully promoting fights between other boys.

    Abie could incite a fight from the most innocuous of incidents (for example, one boy accidentally brushing against another’s desk and knocking his pencil onto the floor). Abie’s standard line in such circumstances – always directed to the boy whom he knew had a shorter fuse – was:

    “Come on . . . don’t stand for that!”

    And, within seconds, a fight would inevitably ensue.

    Sorry, Abie, but anyway about time that you broke your melchett mike ‘virginity’. Come on . . . don’t stand for that!

  27. In the spirit of the season, all apologies are accepted & if I have said anything that hurt or offended you, I, too, sincerely apologize.

    FYI the transliterations I use are now what are considered to be standard practice. They are what we use in the Cantors Assembly’s Journal of Synagogue Music as well as the CA’s Convention Proceedings which I edit. (Many of the previous volumes are available on the CA website: — click the Journal link for both JSM & Proceedings.)

    I am a graduate of the (then) Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary (now the HL Miller School) & am a member of both the Cantors Assembly (Conservative) & the American Conference of Cantors (ACC – Reform). I am happy to share what little information I possess.

    [The last paragraph is in reply to Dovid Maslin’s “Has Greg gone through Cantorial school or had training in that area of study? If so, may Greg impart here his knowledge of Jewish musical history please?” which I saw fit to delete. Mike]

  28. Mike. As always you put it all so eloquently. Thanks for yet another insight into what most of us already know, but can’t put our finger on. Shana Tova to you, and Kol Am Yisrael, wherever we may be.

    Greg. I have no idea who you are, but it’s Mike’s blog, and my logic is if you don’t like his terminology, don’t read the blog. It’s a great blog, in every sense. Half of what Mike writes about I have no interest in, ie: cricket, but I still enjoy reading it. If you’re gonna start censoring it it will loose it’s flavor. Mike, keep up the good, no, great work.

  29. “It is totally incomprehensible to me how Jews, and self-declared Zionists to boot (pun intended), choose instead to watch from the touchline”

    They (myself included) just have different priorities than you. I’m sure materialism, family, and level of comfort all play a role as well as a lack of identity with many Israelis and perhaps even the day to day stress that is just part and parcel of living in Israel.

    The above, I guess also accounts for the large number of Israeli citizens who choose to live abroad.

  30. Mark,

    I’ll try to break this to you gently. Self-declared or not, unless you are actively doing things to help Israel (rallies, major charity, education), you are, like all those Israelis living abroad, at best a “Zionist Supporter”.

    Nothing wrong with that. I defined myself in the same way for years, until I made Aliyah.

    Like a football supporter, you make a contribution. Just don’t go confusing yourself for a player.

  31. Michael Goldman

    I think we should all agree not to call Greg a c*nt anymore.
    Calling him a c*nt or indeed a cretin is both insulting and hurtful.
    I for one promise that I will try very hard not call him a c*nt either off blog or on, no matter how c*ntlike he is.
    I’m actually a little worried that as soon as I say anything against Greg, Mike will come galloping up on his white horse to defend him.
    So I’m just gonna keep shtum.
    Daniel, how about a family name to avoid confusion?!

  32. I originally deleted the above ‘contribution’, from Michael Goldman, late yesterday evening, because I considered it offensive to Greg.

    But, thinking about it on the drive into work this morning, I smiled, reasoning that Michael must have been the boy in the (Hasmo) class who – when all the other boys were playing around . . . but within the broad bounds of what might have been considered acceptable/tolerable mischief – always took things too far, suddenly going mental, throwing something at (or hitting) the teacher and/or calling him a “c*nt”.

    I hope you will forgive me, Greg, for publishing Michael’s latest work of ‘art’ . . . but I have a duty to encourage the “difficult” boys too. 😉

    Mark, Michael’s far calmer younger brother – who I had the pleasure to go through Hasmo with, as well as our first year in Manchester – suggests valid possible reasons for Jews remaining in the Diaspora. But . . .

    The Diaspora vs. Israel = Safe Sex vs. Great Sex

    Why did I write a thousand words . . . when I could have made my point far more clearly in just seven?!

  33. I meant to ask a serious question after looking up the Academy for Jewish Religion, California on google.

    It offers Cantorial training, a five year full time intensive training course which covers the history of Jewish music. Jewish music has a long history which dates back to the leveim during Temple times. Psalms are used in many musical genres.

    Personally, I like the reform and conservative movements, they’re not really for me but have plenty of positives which the Orthodox movement can learn from. Elmer Bernstein who composed the film score for the Great Escape, among others was influenced by the Conservative Jewish movement. Live and learn.

  34. Apologies, Dovid. I thought it was a continuation of the Settlers’ witch-hunt.

  35. I have never referred to Greg as a female primary sexual organ (I shall not use the C word). I, furthermore, have no reason to imagine that he resembles one physically. Were he to resemble one physically I’m sure he would have found gainful employment as a Californian circus freak and not as a former Californian cantor now general religious leader.

    I believe that the source of the misunderstanding was Greg’s early adoption of the nom de plume “Gcantory”. Later on, he game out of the closet and revealed that his first name was Greg.

    Logically, many people then chopped the G from the name Gcantory and were left with cantory.

    The plot thickened when we remember that the word “cantor” is rarely used in Israel or by orthodox Jews in general, who generally prefer the term chazan or chazen. Not knowing the term cantor but knowing the C word only too well from less reputable internet sites than this excellent blog, it seems that many reached the logical but incorrect conclusion that Gcantory stood for “Greg the C” or something of the like.

    Now that the misunderstanding has been resolved I see no further reason to imagine that Greg has any connection to the female genitalia (other than the obvious one).

    Finally, it is interesting to note that in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, David Herbert Lawrence uses the C word as a synonym for the sexual act. I leave our reader with a charming excerpt from the masterpiece in the hope they will know to distinguish between literature and filth:

    “All on’t,” she teased. “Cunt! It’s like fuck then.”

    “Nay nay! Fuck’s only what you do. Animals fuck. But cunt’s a lot more than that. It’s thee, dost see: an’ th’art a lot besides an animal, aren’t ter—even ter fuck? Cunt! Eh, that’s the beauty o’ thee, lass!”

    Gmar Hatima Tova.

  36. The filth . . . err, sorry, literature . . . that comes out of those Settlements . . . 😉

  37. Michael Goldman

    I once again urge everybody else on the blog to please desist from using the terms c*nt, gc*ntory or any other derivatives.

    Mike, though Daniel is going to great lengths to explain your usage of the term as a simple mistake I think the truth is obvious.

    Such behaviour doesn’t become a man of your stature.

  38. Michael Goldman, for the last time, sit down and be quiet . . . or you’ll get a sore bottom.

    Greg, you see the filth and despair that you’ve driven the two so-called “Orthodox” Jews to . . . just by virtue of being Reform?! Why didn’t you answer their questions? Then all of this unpleasantness could have been avoided.

    Mincha, anyone?

  39. Michael Goldman


    1. I have never claimed to be orthodox.

    2. Due to certain medical procedures which my bottom has undergone of late, I do not believe it could get much sorer.

  40. Anthony Mammon

    And a good year was had by all….. The End

  41. “Greg, you see the filth and despair that you’ve driven the two so-called “Orthodox” Jews to . . . just by virtue of being Reform?!”

    You hit the nail on the head Mike.

    Greg has responded to questions about Reform Judaism with tremendous clarity, modesty, and respect, even when the questions were more like an inquisition. One time, he misunderstood your (British) humor, and it was an instant case of “got ya”. He was pounced on, ridiculed, and targeted. Some of the comments might have been funny when we were adolescent Hasmo schemers, but as you’re keen to point out, this isn’t a Hasmo blog, and more to the point, subscribers to your blog are for the most part well into their 40’s, and older.

  42. Mark,

    Tremendous clarity? Respect?

    “While the orthodox get all fahitzt over the timing of the use of a computer but not what spews out of it, Reform is concerned w/ the content & choice of one’s words.”

    There’s probably a few “Al Chets” in there. Nothing that can’t be addressed before Yom Kipppur.

    As for me – I apologize for not realizing that Greg simply didn’t get Mike’s writing style, and will be more careful to identify similar problems in the future. Shana Tova.

  43. It’s not that I don’t “get” Mike’s style or British humor in general, I’m saying that just because it’s traditional to use derogatory appellations does not make it right. Some traditions beg to be eliminated. Hmm … just like Reform & Reconstructionism know when the time is ripe for change.

  44. Michael Goldman

    Yes Mark you are right, we have been driven to despair and are in fact unable to function any longer.
    More important… what are you doing up at 1:51 am?
    I must however bid farewell to you all as I have decided to follow in the great Nick Kopaloff’s footsteps and leave writing to more talented bloggers than myself.
    Too many of my postings have been removed, seemingly arbitrarily (yes you can remove this one too Mike!) and I have no wish to continue discussions when I don’t know what will be left on and what will be taken off.
    I bid you all farewell and hold no grudge against anyone.
    I admit that I sometimes go too far as my father z”l used to tell me, “A fool doesn’t know his limitations”.
    I apologise if I have upset anybody and request mechila from any body I may have insulted.
    Gmar Vehatima Tova.

  45. Greg, it is unbefitting a man of your obvious intelligence to continue to pretend that you don’t understand that those words were put in the mouth of “the Englishman” who utters them. In fact, it is as disingenuous as Michael claiming that he has “never claimed to be orthodox”.

    Michael, I did occasionally delete your comments, usually (as was the case yesterday) when you merely repeated what you had written previously. I actually consider my editorial policy to be most liberal, as I believe is evidenced by the continuing appearance above of yesterday’s risque posts from you and your sidekick, Mr. Marks. I also edited your appalling Hasmonean spelling! Should you decide to end your self-imposed exile, we will be glad to have your “classroom” unpredictability back.

  46. Moshe Goldman,

    May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.

    May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.

    And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

    Lots of love,

    Daniel, Greg, Mark, Mike, the other Daniel and many many others.

  47. Daniel, I trust that your wish that “the wind be ever at [MG’s] back” is not a reference to the recent “medical procedures” on his botty (see his penultimate post above) . . .

  48. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Gmar Chatima Tova, to one and all.
    I join Daniel in the use of the traditional Irish greeting at this time, Caede Mille Failte.
    By the way, DM and MG, we have much to learn from Nick, Shtika Sayag le’Chochma (silence is comparable to wisdom), as well as the various regulations pertaining to Hocheiach Tochiach et Amitecha (you shall surely rebuke your friend).
    It might be nice to define for yourself whether you actually think of the reform movement as Amit or not, and then go on the rampage.
    My 2 cents Erev Yom Kippur 5770.
    P.S> Proof of my apikorsus and how much my parents spent on my education can obviously be derived from the above.

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