Twatter

There has been a call, from certain dissident readers who have struggled with my editorial policy, that melchett mike feature:

“a page with no topic and absolutely no censorship or, just enough simple and strictly adhered to rules, just enough to prevent any legal problems.” (Anon, Ma’ale Adumim)

Twatter will, hopefully, operate as a kind of free discussion board, enabling readers to submit whatever comments/thoughts they wish, however arbitrary, capricious, or irrelevant, and irrespective of length, appropriateness, good taste, etc.

So, here it is! Let’s see how it goes . . .

NOTE:  About this Blog (the laws of defamation especially) applies to Twatter too, but more loosely than to comments/discussion following my posts. For anyone concerned, The Beasts have been relocated to About Me.

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548 responses to “Twatter

  1. To get the Twatter ball rolling . . .

    I just spoke to an Israeli friend, this erev Yom Kippur, who informed me – in all seriousness – that, while she would not be fasting, she was not such a bad Jew after all . . . because she would not be doing “al ha’eish” (a barbecue).

    That is what it has come to for your average chiloni in Tel Aviv . . .

  2. Kol Hakavod to you Mike for this brave initiative.
    Kopaloff – we await!

  3. Thank you, Daniel, but please note the “Let’s see how it goes . . .” 😉

  4. Mike,

    I respect your secular friend and would respect her even more if she just went to the beach. If you either don’t believe in G-d, or do but think that he doesn’t know or care whether you’re in shul, then why go? Just in case?

    I have a nephew who became secular ten years ago. He’s been living with his girlfriend for eight of them and recently they decided to get married. I begged him to be honest with himself and have a secular wedding in Cyprus – I said that I’d go. What is this nonsense about suddenly becoming religious when you have a simcha or when someone dies? Her disappointed me and had a rabbi, 7-brachot and all that nonsense.

    Before someone says that tradition is good, I say that if it’s based on a lie it’s not. I don’t take my kids out to march once a year on the first of May just in case Karl Marx was right, nor do I celebrate Easter, just in case, or any other customs that I don’t believe in.

    What goes through the minds of all those who don’t believe in Orthodox Judaism as you say Neilah on Yom Kippur?

  5. Michael Goldman

    Yep Nice one Mike !

    Waiting for Nick ( often described as the best writer on the blog ) and for Dan’s friend Greg (possibly the most underrated religious of our time) to make appearances.

    To make things perfectly clear “Twatter” in no way absolves Mike from the task of correcting my spelling.

    Dan !
    What a load of bollocks !

    Since when has tradition been based on absolute truth ?
    Almost by definition Tradition is just Tradition.

    Suddenly you demand consistency from chilonim which you probably wouldn’t find amongst the religious.

    But let me get the whole thing straight.
    You are proposing that all chilonim get married in Cyprus (Where do they divorce?) , never enter a shul or dare to have any connection with religion including the circumcision their sons etc etc …

    The most absurd part of your proposal is that you yourself made a 7 brachot celebration for the aforementioned nephew who you tried to convince not to have any.

    Talk about inconsistency !

  6. Quite, Michael. My “Delete” finger is already twitching.

    Why stop at rubbishing Reform Jews, I say . . . when you can just rubbish all of those who don’t believe in exactly what you do?

    And stop adding spaces before exclamation marks . . . it is f*cking annoying !

  7. I’m not rubbishing anyone. Nor am I saying that my belief is the only true belief.

    I’m saying that in my opinion there should be a cause and effect relationship between belief and practice. Truthfully, I didn’t particularly want to do the sheva brachot, but I’d already done three for his religious siblings and he asked so I didn’t want to be a bastard.

    I tried to design a dvar torah with no mention of G-d so it might be relevant for them and you’re right it was beserk. Hey, I even invited Mike to show them I have am haaretz friends too.

  8. Michael wrote
    “Dan ! What a load of bollocks !”

    I couldn’t agree more with my brother. So what if your secular nephew (Daniel) wanted to invoke some Jewish practice/tradition at his wedding. There are times when we’re all inconsistent. It’s human nature. I guess you were less than consistent when you agreed to be part of his ‘facade’ in your recitation of the sheva brachot.

    More intriguing was your comment
    “Nor am I saying that my belief is the only true belief”.

    Can you clarify? I was under the impression that Orthodox Jews believed that there is only one truth.

  9. Michael Goldman

    Ok Dan
    Now it’s getting nasty!
    (Mike what’s your problem with spaces ?)
    How come I was only invited to one of the other 3 sheva brachot ????

    “I’m saying that in my opinion there should be a cause and effect relationship between belief and practice.”
    Why ?
    Surely as one who believes that all Jews should keep the Torah , going to shul on Yom Kippur is a good thing even if it inconsistent with his life style.
    (I’m actually a bit afraid to put in exclamation marks – I’m not sure about the spaces)
    Mark
    Finally we join forces.
    When Daniel wrote
    “Nor am I saying that my belief is the only true belief”
    I don’t think he was refering to his religious beliefs but more to his other beliefs ,for example I for one know he believes that he believes chocolate cake is better than apple shtrudel, but he accepts that his belief is not the only true one.

  10. The “Twatter” may be one small step for Mike but it is one giant leap for twats. I salute you for your benevolence and commend your choice of name. You have restored honour to the previously besmirched House of Issacson.
    However, anyone posting herein, admits de facto to being a self-confessed twat by definition. Still, like a colony of lepers, I suppose it is a safe haven where twats can come together, fearful not of Mike’s ominous Billy Bowden delete finger.
    I made some tasteless references to imaginary carnal relationships between a certain editor of an excellent blog who shall remain unnamed, and his four-legged friends. (they were made in jest from the mouth of a religious fanatic– in exactly the same way that Mike had offended Greg by wittily showing the xenophobic side of the English). Mine was understandably removed for fear it would have made for uncomfortable raised-eyebrow Matriarchal reading, and would further not have flattered Stuey and Dexxy. Ooops.

    Eye-brows, don’t talk to me about eye-brows. Goldman has let his eye-brows grow out of control. They are spiraling chaotically in all directions yet he just poo-poos my advice to trim them. If he thinks he is going to score with the girlies looking like that then he has one more “loose screw” than I thought – or is that his cunning plan.

    The multi-dimensional Daniel claims that no one respects Greg more than him. I think my respect for Greg marginally surpasses that of Daniel’s. On a scale of 1 – 10 I would score about a 9.7 where Daniel would score a 9.5 at best and that is being well over generous. Daniel Kornbluth is miserably way out of the running with less than 1.
    Mike would like to think himself as a frontrunner because he continually refers to Greg’s “obvious intelligence,” while in truth he is just fattening the Turkey before the Xmas slaughter. My respect is real and my doubting of Greg’s “obvious intelligence” in no way undermines the immense level of respect I have for him. In fact I have got so much respect it is coming out of my ears and I don’t know what to do with it.

    Mark Goldman could be a problem, and a truer rival in the Greg respect table of merit would be hard to find.

    Maybe if Greg would get to know me, he would respect me too. (Maybe he could respect me a 10!! That would be so cool).

    Greg Respect League Standings

    Postings – Respectful – Disrespectful – Respect Quotient/Aggregate
    Nick K: 0 – 0 – 0 – 9.7
    Mark G: 20 – 20 – 0 – 9.6
    Daniel M: 5,757 – 1 – 5,756 – 9.4
    Mike I: 3,568 – 2,568 – 1,000 – 9.1
    Ellis: 50 – 25 – 25 – 2.5
    Michael G : 96 – 0 – 96 – 1.2
    David K: 85 – 0 – 85 – 0.4

  11. While Mike may not be in full agreement with my tabulated methodology and statistical findings I would be grateful if he could straighten out my skewed table.
    Thx

  12. That’s the best I can do, Nicholas (would you kindly return the favour by giving the bushy eyebrowed one a short lesson in punctuation).

    I did toy with “Witter”, “Twaddle”, “Shitter”, and even “Cholent”, “Bupkes” and “Tashlich” . . . but, in the end, settled for my original choice.

  13. Daniel

    When something is done SheLo Lishmo, (such as your nephews wedding) it can ultimately lead to the right intenions. An example I know someone who recently celebrated both their 15th and 23rd Wedding anniversary, he initially got married civily, then his life moved and he and his wife decided it was time for a religous ceremony (no kids to worry about getting into schools) since then he has slowly undertaken many things and today he lives a religous life in NW London.
    I think it is actually admirable that your nephew appreciated the significance of Jewish life cycle events, all the more so for the fact that he came from a religous home and has left the fold.

    How I wish someone close to me had those sensatives instead of marrying a Shiksa a couple of days after Yom Kippur a couple of years ago. The hell that did for his parents (Kibud Av VEim is a moral code as well) is indecribable.

    One wuick point on Reform- the Sassover Rebbe of GG always said thet he has no problem with the poor Yidden that associate themselve with Reform, it is their clergy that has distotred religion that the issue is with.

  14. The return of the Ex hasmo . . . And on Twatter . . . And worse spelling than Michael G (in spite of English A-level) . . . The zechus is all ours!

  15. Michael Goldman

    Ahhh Back to Reform Bashing
    And Gregory nowhere to be seen

    Mike
    In order not to offend you with my punctuation I have decided not to punctuate at all
    Nick
    I demand a re-count and an explanation of the
    Respect Quotient/Aggregate
    EH
    Do you really think that hurting sombody elses feelings (even parents) should be a deciding factor when getting married
    Just look at Rabbi Akivas wife exclamation mark without space

  16. Michael- sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to that is the way of the world, I can’t think anything that leaves a worse taste on the pallet than hurting those that raised you and nurtured you.
    The only people that should be taken into consideration about deciding to get ( byw this reminds me of a Reb Shlomo Wolbe comment and perhaps the use of the word Get next to married is quite amusing, he said when in English we say we a re getting something we are really divoricing ourselves from the gift of G-d, I got these kids, no I ws blessed with them and looking after them) married are the two getting married. However the trappings that come with it the religous ceremony the caterer, music, speeches etc are not the sole domain of those getting married (especially if they themselves are not paying for it). We need responsibilty to enable us to be responisble.

    With Rabbi Akiva’s wife, Rochel, she saw something in him that her father didn’t and she polished the diamond and was ultimately proved right. But they also stayed in her fathers house initially as well. I t was only whilst he sat at the well and watched the water did he have his awakening.

    Nad I vhea rtied ot ipmover ym slpelign

  17. Michael Goldman

    I’m almost beginning to regret Mike’s policy of not editing here.

    As requested by Mike I will try my best to punctuate.

  18. Michael Goldman

    Mike,
    You say
    ” My “Delete” finger is already twitching.”
    Does that mean you have a specific “Delete” finger and moreover have you given different jobs to different fingers ?
    This is my “nose picking” finger
    This is my “scratch card” finger
    The mind boggles
    What do you do when you have more than 10 different tasks ?

  19. After two hours of scandalously expensive torture at the dentist I turn to twatter for comfort. Here I find one intelligent question by Mark G, a humorous column by Nick that I received a preview of on the way here, M Goldman’s usual crap and something by Ex-Hasmo that I am unable to understand.

    So Mark, what did I mean when I acknowledged that my belief is not the only true belief.

    1. Theologically, I think that Judaism is a supermarket and there are 70 faces to the Torah. That doesn’t mean that anything goes or that any Jew can think anything and it becomes Jewish thought but it does mean that there is plenty of room for varying views.

    I, for example, am not really into Kabala, gematrias or on the other hand Mussar. I don’t agree with many assumptions of Hassidut either. However, I think that all these and concepts are well represented by Jews far more clever than I and acknowledge that to Kabbalists, Mussar men, Hassidim etc they are true, just as ny beliefs are true to me.

    2. Halachically, there are different opinions and rulings on many questions. Again this doesn’t mean that anyone who says anything about halachah is a halachist but there can definitely be more than one correct answer to any given question. Books of halachah acknowledge this often giving various rulings.

    3. Politically, I’m pretty sure that I’m right but again I acknowledge other, no less clever than I, are equally sure that they’re right. I’m not prophet so I might be wrong.

    4. Other areas like taste, culture, educational philosophy, even chess openings, I have y own opinions but that’s all they are my opinions. No more or less important than anyone else’s.

    Where’s Ellis?

  20. Nick Kopaloff

    I would like to hear more from ex-hasmo whose hidden credentials belie a man of substance and indubitable pedigree who hits the nail on the head with every posting. He seems to endorse everything that Mark Goldman says but manages to deliver that message in a clever theological veil. Kudos and Chag Samayach to you!

    And as for Greg, I think we can take his sudden reticence as a “yes”.

  21. Nick Kopaloff

    During the Rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon, I spontaneously burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter to the obvious displeasure of the entire congregation. I cleverly redeemed myself by having the good sense to employ the old Hasmo trick of turning the laughter into a tickly cough in mid-chuckle.

    You see the Rabbi was saying that if the High Priest was unworthy, he would just die while performing his Temple duties in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur (or if he was lucky, he would not live out the year). This highly sought after position was only too often secured through patronage and bribery from the Greek or Roman governors to some Johnny come lately upstart Priest who did not deserve to hold that coveted title. So, since all were forbidden entry into the Holy of Holies, the High Priest would have to be tied to a rope which could then be tugged to extricate the corpse if that would be his sad Judgment Day fate.

    So my mind wondered and while I am saying nothing original and I can almost see Michael’s condescending grimace and Daniel’s disconcerting nod, I suddenly wondered what would happen if the rope suddenly snapped or broke loose while retrieving the corpse? The Gemara likes to deal with all kinds of scenarios so why not this one?

    Had the Temple Rope Tier, been negligent in his duties? I imagined the poor sod denying guilt in Pythonesque style and stating, “He is not dead, he’s just taking a nap.”

    Having established that the Cohen was Dead how do you get him out? I was picturing a priest with a lasso, another with a harpoon, powerful magnets trying to attract to the breastplate, which might have had some magnetic stone embedded. Or a giant mechanical vacuum cleaner which could be used on Yom Kippur because it did not run on electricity. Then if dangling from a rope in mid-air did not constitute entry into the forbidden Holy of Holies then some athletic priests could be lowered from a window in a harness and trapeze like James Bond and then proceed to hoist up the corpse as long as they did not touch the floor.

    But at the end I resolved the issue by deciding the best way would be with a very long stick with a hook at the end of it. And that is probably the Halacha.

    It reminded me of Marty Feldman’s classic “Bishop of no Fixed Abode” sketch, in which the Bishop sings “Hymn no 42, Holy Holy Holy – all he Holies, 42.”
    Obligatory watching – click here.

  22. Daniel Marks

    How admirable it is that while the author of this excellent blog ponders Leonard Cohen the evergreen Nick Kopaloff is drawn to musings of other Cohens. He raises the crucial question about the rope with which the high priest was tied.

    I recently finished Yoma. I was reminded of the words of Niles Frasier when learning to dance, “This is boring, yet difficult.” However, I had no recollection of the rope tying that Kopaloff mentions.

    Like most people I learned about it many times, but I can’t site its source. According to Rav Uri Amos Sharki , it is mentioned neither in the gemara nor by Rambam.

    http://ravsharki.org/content/view/2112/741/
    Could it be a bubber-meisser?

    Kopaloff asks how a dead Cohen would be taken from the HOH. I guess that would consist of the next high priest sanctifying himself, going in, schlepping out his friend (hopefully not dying too) and then re-purifying himself. I can’t imagine they’d be lining up for that job.

    “So Mrs. Cohen, what’s your son up to?”

    “Dental school didn’t work out, he became a high priest and died on his first day of work.”

    “Such a shame. And he had sounded so nice when he sang Hallelujah”

    “No, that’s my other son Lenny.”

    There are other problems to consider like the desecration of the tent (Tumat Ohel ) and I’m pretty sure that the whole area and anyone in it, not just the HOH, would become impure too.

    That’s probably another good reason why, as Kopaloff’s rabbi said, the death sentence was usually delayed, similar to that of the sotah, the bloke who brings the scapegoat etc – much more convenient.

    Talking of scapegoats does anybody know where Ellis is?

  23. Daniel Marks

    After publication I was delighted to discover that Christian scholars pondered the same problem, as to whether there was a rope or not and reached similar conclusions.

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/anklerope.html
    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Bible-Studies-1654/rope-high-priest-legend.htm
    http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2009/01/that-rope-around-high-priests-ankle.html

  24. Daniel Marks

    I raised Kopaloff’s question with the 5:50 minyan and was not surprised to discover that he, his rabbi and I were not the only ones to take the kabalistic story about the high priest’s rope as “gospel truth”. The point as to whether the Cohen Gadol had a rope tied to him or not may appear to the readers of Twatter in 2009 to be somewhat mute, but I propose that on the contrary, it may be one of the greatest tragedy of ours and maybe our children’s (Goldman’s and El’s grandchildren’s) generations.

    Over and over again over the past two decades I have been forced to come to terms with the fact that many events of Jewish history that I was taught about as a child and in some cases relatd to my children were, in fact, midrashim, one opinion of many, later kabala – probably never really meant to be taken literally. This has led to an absurd situation where many adults, perhaps most adults can no longer distinguish fact from folklore and often reach the logical but incorrect conclusion that there is a lot of nonsense in the Torah. For some reason this rarely happens in secular studies and I believe that few adults still believe that the story of Cinderella or the three bears are meant to be taken literally.

    Examples of these misconceptions are so numerous that it’s hard to know where to begin so I’ll just throw out a few of my favorites:

    1. The erev rav (mixed multitudes) large numbers of Egyptians who left Egypt together with the children of Israel and who were later to be the cause of many problems in the wilderness.

    2. Avrahams father Terach had an idol factory/shop and one day Abram broke them.

    3. When Jacob met Esau, Esau tried to bite his neck, which turned to marble and he lost his teeth.

    The list goes on and on. In many cases these were midrashim, often one of many, often contradictory and were never meant to be mistaken for the Torah itself.

    Over the course of years, bad teachers made a big salad of authentic sources, legends, opinions, interpretations – never teaching us to distinguish between them. An extreme example is Moshe Goldman’s unwillingness to categorically say that Adolf Hitler did not have chicken legs. He feels that the onus is on us to prove that he (Hitler) had real feet.

    Every time I get together with Kopaloff, which is never often enough, he stands me in the dock and makes me answer for the sins of what some “Rabbi” he met, heard or has read about said or did. I think I may have finally found the original sin.

    Finally, you might well say, “Why blame Kopaloff’s rabbi? You also thought the high priest had a rope until 24 hours ago.” That is true, but I’ve never given a Yom Kippur drasha about it and if I had I’d like to believe I would have done my homework.

  25. Michael Goldman

    OK
    So you want chicken feet ?
    I’ll give you chicken feet.. with brass knobs on !!

    It is apparantly written in the Zohar Hakadosh , one of the main Kabalistic sources, that demons have chicken feet.
    I don’t have the source but hope to get it soon, whereupon I will of course pass it on to the loyal twatter reders.
    “What a load of bollocks !”
    I hear you cry
    I’ve had similar discourses with Nick,( certainly the best writer amongst us).
    I always point out that for a religion which believes that the universe was created in six days,that seas were parted,women were turned into pillars of salt (a useful trick especially when there’s someting good on the telly you want to watch in peace) , suns stood still etc etc,chicken feet is really not such a big deal.
    “Yes ” he invariably replies “But that’s also a load of bollocks !”

    The question all this leads to is when a gadol says something , at what point can believers cry “Bollocks !” ?

    I have on pupose left myself open to ridicule by the Mark Goldmans of the world and of course the Gregs so lets see what you’ve got !

    Hag Sameach to all

  26. Nick Kopaloff

    Greg,
    Some may argue that Twatter is much like Gibralter, a tiny rock of editorial purity, surrounded by hostile neighbours, and guarding the straights to offer safe passage for free speech. Others would say, that is a stupid comparison, and I guess I would have to agree with them.

    I hope you did not take offence at my “Greg Respect Table” several comments above. Although it was meant to be a mild dig at your good self, the principal target was Daniel whose comment about respecting you the most, needed to come under closer scrutiny. I have known Daniel for many years and deeply value his friendship, and know what does, and does not, offend him. He took that posting on the chin like the man he is, and I hope you took it in the same way.

    I feel that in Mike’s brilliant earlier posting, when referring to the Kaufmanns and the Sayles etc, he uses the same type of incendiary and disparaging language of which he accuses Daniel in reference to you. Mike calls them self-hating Jews, a charge he dare not level against Greg to whom I feel he has a tendency to sprinkle with angel dust. How much are you paying him for that privilege? To your credit you have an elevated debating culture, but then again so do many of the self-haters that Mike cites, and that has not diminished the vitriol that has been shot forth in their direction from our editor’s mouth.

    And just as I do not like to hear belligerent Diaspora Jews telling us who Israel should bomb next, I feel just as uncomfortable when the compassionate Diaspora left go on one of their moral crusades by stating Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace. My wife can say it, but I am not sure if you can. In any event, enough already with the transliterations, they are irksome and irritating.
    And one more criticism for good measure. I think you made a right song and dance routine when trying to answer those theological questions posed mainly by Michael and Daniel even though they were repetitive and annoying. It is not that you supplied answers inconsistent with what I wanted to hear (in fact I am closer to you than you imagine on the ethics V ritual debate) but you simply failed to address the questions at all.

    I am the Bullshit King and can spot another artist a mile away blindfolded and ear-plugged. You see, a trick of the trade, it’s all in the smell.

    You can talk about God in terms of forces of nature, cosmological ebbs and flows, the source of all inspiration, compassion and all that is good – but you cannot get rid of that smell.

  27. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Nick,
    I think the smell is the dead parrott. the real question here is what was the weight of the breast plate and could we use the electro magnetic feild produced by the metal covering the wood of the ark to generate enough force to extract the poor cohen.
    Talking of discrepencies between fact and fiction, the Torah tells us exactly how much gold was used to cover the Ark and for the ornaments, I think it is Rashi that goes on to explain that we are given this reconing in order that no one should say the gold was used to line Moshe Rbbeinu`s own pocket.
    All well and good until you actually do the calculation and discover that there was about half a tonne of gold unaccounted for. Now it is possible tht this is the gold that they were orced to drink after the golden calf business, but lets be serious 500 kilos at 1000 dolars an ounce thats 16 million dollars.
    So i reckon all that money was actualy hidden in the HOH with a booby trap any Cohen Gadol tried to nick it got zapped.
    Chag Sameach kids.

  28. Nick Kopaloff

    Ellis
    If the Tabernacle celebrations were not the last word in joyfulness, as depicted by our sages in many a Holy book, then the reemergence of Ellis to the pages of this excellent blog, certainly is.

    However, the timing of Ellis’s posting on Yom Tov, raises some very awkward questions.

    Could the full black Haredi clobber which your wore with effortless and convincing distinction at your son’s wedding in Bnei Brak, just be a front for something not quite as sacred?

    And are you suggesting that Moshe Rabbenu was on the take. I never thought of him as being bent, but you should know.

    I will be in Petach Tikva, Sun, Mon and Tues for the chess chmps, so let me know if we can get together.

  29. Ellis Feigenbaum

    I never said Moshe Rabbeinu was on the take, all I said was the accounting procedures used in the year of our lord 2000 were not as robust as those handed down by the sec.

  30. Is it okay to suggest that Moshe Rabbeinu was on the take . . . but unacceptable to refer to him as “Moe”?

    But, even more intriguingly, is it possible for someone who doesn’t like Jews and Israel not to be an anti-Semite? (See September’s Mook of the Month, just posted.)

    Discuss.

  31. Ellis Feigenbaum

    I quite like the concept of calling Moses Moe, it would suggest a personal and deep relationship with our sages of old.
    And lets get serious of course its possible to not like jews or Israel and not be an anti semite. Have you read anything by Chomsky recently?
    and what about that lunatic from Ben Gurion university that has single handedly managed to kill off donations to his own institution .
    To be honest there are quite a few jews I dont like.

  32. I think you’re missing the point there, Ellis – the question refers to all Jews and Israel (see the lovely mayor under September’s Mook of the Month).

    And be careful with that “Moe” thing – your mate, Daniel, seems to think that it is a “chayav miso” offence . . . for Greg, at any rate. 😉

  33. Ellis Feigenbaum

    I would imagine how you define jew would be at the crux of this debate.
    However I would suggest that Chomsky hates all Jews , I think he even hates people that agree with him, just because they agree with him.

  34. Nick Kopaloff

    Mike, the timing of your last excellent posting about Ahmadinejad and Mrs. P was unfortunate, as the Daily Telegraph has just revealed the Iranian despot’s Jewish roots. More than just rumours the evidence seems damning. Had you have known this remarkable fact you could have woven it into the plot and worked it into your Mook of the Month.

    If your mum is still your number one fan as indeed she should be, then perhaps “Get yer arse over here, girl . . . and now! And NO undies!” and the references to Mrs. Palmer and her five lovely daughters, is not the type of literature she would like to show off to her Nitze neighbours.

    And can someone tell Greg he is eagerly awaited in Twatter.

  35. Daniel Marks

    Do Jews who choose not to live in Israel have a right to criticize Israeli goverments?

    I used get very angry whenever I heard a Galut Jew criticizing Israeli foreign or even domestic policy.

    If you would have asked me why I would have, first and foremost, because he tells us what to do but then does not have to take responsibility for the advice he gives. If he tells us to take risks, which we hadn’t planned to, we listen to him, and then the risks lead to danger, terrorism or war, he won’t be with us to clean up afterwards. Our children will have to endanger themselves, not his, so better he keeps his advice to himself.

    Secondly, I would have said, “What does he know about war and peace anyway?” I remember as a 17-year-old arguing with the head of British Hashomer Hazair about the return of territories. There came a point when I really could not understand which part of the “West Bank” he wanted to “return” so I showed him a map. He pointed to a land mass between Ashkelon and Haifa (I assume because it was on the west side). That is not to say that every Israeli is an expert on geopolitics, I certainly am not, but again at least if we make a mistake it’s our mistake and we have only ourselves to blame.

    Finally, I would have argued that the motivations of a Jew living in the galut are not always solely based on what he thinks is best for Israel. Without a doubt he loves Israel and wants what is best for her but, rightly so, he must also consider what is in the best interests of the country in which he lives, and also what is best for his own Jewish community. While these interests often do not conflict, sometimes they do.

    Then in 1992 Yitzhak Rabin was elected prime minister and for the first time in my adult life I found myself very much opposed to the policies of a democratically elected Israeli government. Suddenly it was our galut Jews who were publicly attacking the policies of Israel abroad and many of my friends seemed to consider it
    wholly legitimate.

    I was in London in 1994 or 1995 and remember hearing a gabay announcing that they’d be a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy by the Friends of Moezet Yesha. I was furious! Who were they to lecture to Rabin? Who were they to preach to Peres? Maybe I thought that they were quislings, but they were our quislings not theirs. I can say what I want about my kids; if a stranger says the same thing I might hit him.

    However, I think I’m a lone voice and most seem to think that if a galut Jew agrees with me, his view is quite legitimate. It is for that reason that today I am more tolerant when left wing galut Jews attack us.

    In conclusion, I do think that their support and criticism of Israel really is very important to them and does more good for their Jewish identity than any harm it does to us.
    As an old father and teacher I believe noticed that when a child or student is strong and self-confident criticism does him little harm. It’s only the weak ones who are unsure of themselves that we must be careful not to censure. I believe that in 2009, the State of Israel is strong and sufficiently sure of herself to handle it.

  36. Daniel Marks

    Ellis Feigenbaum,

    You carry on calling Moshe rabeinu Moe and I’ll begin to publish a few of your long forgotten nicknames – “and that’s not a promise, it’s a threat” (Mitch Taylor Z”L)!

  37. Ellis Feigenbaum

    A well made point, and without a doubt it is the right of Jews outside Israel to express opinions.
    However it must also be the right of People in Israel to oppsse those opinions and point out the dangers in them if they exist.
    Having or voicing an opinion is not problematic, having an opinion that is detremental to my health and should come with government warning is.
    there is also the problem of People abroad being manipulated by Israeli political parties in order to generate funding for internal politics in Israel, this is a problem on both sides of the political divide. And one that threatens to split what was once across the board support for Israel regardless of who won the last election.
    We are a strong country and we can take much criticism, but the diaspora is still part of the jewish nation and as such we should at least attempt to make sure it doesnt emplode.

  38. Nick Kopaloff

    Ellis

    Are you ruling out Moses as a suspect in this biblical gold heist about which you seem to be expertly informed?

    Alternatively, do you feel that Moses, who was arguably the greatest leader ever of the Jews, whom Greg lovingly and familiarly refers to as Moe, was bent as a boomerang, cash-strapped, possibly on the take and getting some kind of whopping backhander. Was he fiddling the books on his own or was Aaron also in on it?

    But let’s be fair to Ellis. He is not directly pointing an accusatory finger at Moses. He is rather noting that a lot of gold went missing, he is questioning the dubious auditing procedures which fell short of what we would expect from a nation of bookkeepers, and he is pointing out that Moses was nevertheless still in charge. He then leaves readers to draw their own conclusions.

    So who nicked it? Don’t look at Ellis, he had not even be born.

  39. Ellis Feigenbaum

    My opinion is that it was an early form of VAT fraud.
    Moses would have to bare ultimate responsibility, but it is possible that there was a familial cover up, or that possibly Korach was behind this heist under an assumed name.

  40. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel
    I quake in fear and dread and my knees give way at the very thought of publication of my previous Nicknames.
    However as I obviouly subscribe to both the scorched earthist monthly digest and the zero sum game periodical aspects of your former life
    may also appear in bold face.
    May the Lord cause sun to shine on your Succah and may all your etrogs be kosher.

  41. Michael Goldman

    Ellis
    As our resident expert on VAT frauds and probably any other frauds, we all bow to your superior knowledge on these matters.
    However, would it be stretching the imagination too far by toying with the possibility that you are in fact the reincarnation of the original perpetrator of this hideous crime.
    Are there any referances in the Torah to two wheeled carriages being stolen or post boxes being set aflaim?
    If anybody has any knowledge of similar crimes in the time of Moses, we might be able to solve this puzzle once and for all.

  42. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Michael ,
    the fact that you have freedom of speach does not mean you should always use it.
    As a pennance I suggest you write out 500 times
    I will always assume my fellow man has superior zchus avos.
    In this case its probably true.

  43. Nick Kopaloff

    Gentlemen the time has come to bash Goldman.

    A man more blinded by absolutism than Michael “Hitler’s got chicken feet” Goldman, you will not meet in a month of Sundays. Serve up any old shite on a plate of Halacha, give it to Goldman, and it will go down a treat. Misrepresent the fairy-tale as Mishna, and Goldman will swallow it up like a whale swallows plankton, not that Goldman can swim like a whale or particularly likes the taste of plankton, but the physical proportions are not too dissimilar. (Editorial note – the comparison refers to Whale V Goldman, rather than Plankton V Goldman, as Goldman to the best of my knowledge looks nothing like plankton).

    A man who can look you in the eye, not dismiss, and even entertain the notion that Hitler conceivably had the feet of a chicken, is borderline certifiable, not that I would like to have him committed, but the grounds are sufficient and the evidence is overwhelming. And I can categorically state that having volunteered in a psychiatric hospital for the past 7 years, there are more than a few patients who have been hospitalized for far less than having taken on board the chicken feet delusion.

    Yet to his credit and defense, Goldman maintains that if your lunacy genes are sufficiently active for you to buy into, for example, the Mrs. Lot pillar of salt stunt, then the chicken-footed Nazi is not such a far cackle away.

    And on this moot point I find myself in full agreement with him.

    So I earnestly ask my devout orthodox brethren, Shauli, ex-Hasmo, Daniel, Bernstein, Souester – do you really believe Lot’s missus was turned into a pillar of salt for having taken a sneak peak, (longingly or otherwise), at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Is this, and other Biblical Magic stories, supposed to be taken literally, or is the voice of reason the sole domain of Greg and his ilk?

    And Michael, if your Rabbi told you to put your head into the red-hot oven; that same head that until recently had been swinging chickens … no doubt we would be feasting on Goldman’s brain for Succot dinner. Meager portions I fear.

    And here the barrage on Goldman, still a true friend till the end, must end.

  44. Still reluctant to categorically state that Hitler did not have chicken feet Goldman with his usual depth of research says:

    “It is apparantly written in the Zohar Hakadosh , one of the main Kabalistic sources, that demons have chicken feet.
    I don’t have the source but hope to get it soon..”

    Certain questions beg themselves:

    1. On what basis are you sure that Hitler was a demon in the Kabalistic sense?

    2. Isn’t it a little strange that this fact never came to light during the course of his life?
    It’s hard to imagine that anybody at any time during his life suddenly discovering that he had chicken feet would not have passed on this information.

    I read “Hitler: A Study in Tyranny” by Alan Bullock several years ago. I remember his medical condition being quite thoroughly discussed. I’m pretty sure that were he to have had chicken feet, I would have remembered it.

    3. Theodor Gilbert Morell (July 22, 1886 – May 26, 1948) was Hitler’s doctor and was apprehended and thoroughly interrogated after the war. There is no record of his mentioning Hitler’s chicken feet.

    4. Heinz Linge (23 March 1913 – 9 March 1980) was the valet of Adolf Hitler. He was in charge of dressing Hitler and his clothes. He wrote extensive memoirs and was also interrogated by the Red Army. He made no mention of Hitler having chicken feet.

    Goldman says:

    “The question all this leads to is when a gadol says something , at what point can believers cry “Bollocks !” ?”

    I’m not sure that that’s the question, but if it is, which “gadol” exactly was it that said that Adolf Hitler had chicken feet?

    And if that gadol exists and another “gadol” says that he didn’t have chicken feet, what exactly will you do?

    • Look for a third “gadol” to decide.

    • Check which “gadol” is bigger.

    • Actually use your common sense

  45. Michael Goldman

    Nick
    As always your postings are hilarious even when your razor sharp wit is directed at myself.

    Ellis
    I’ll deal with you tomorrow.I’m going to bed.

  46. Ellis Feigenbaum

    first of all Daniel , there is such adisease as chicken leg syndrome.
    I direct you to this informative website http://fitfiend.com/people/blog/chicken-legs-syndrome
    Secondly it is possible that devils suffer from this complaint, and it is entirely possible given Hitlers other medical problems that this was a cause of at least the pain in his upper thighs diagnosed by doctor Morell.
    Not being a physician myself I shall have to discuss this with my erstwhile son in law and see if this theory has any legs to stand on.
    It is quite possible that ater this discusiion there are certain gedolim that would indeed cry bollocks.

  47. Nick Kopaloff

    Another barking mad advocate of the chicken footed Nazi theory whose name for good reason I prefer to withhold, brought conclusive proof to support his contention by noting that Hitler always wore his boots in all his photo sessions. This same line of defense could be used to support the notion that the Queen has the udders of a cow.

    In an effort to discredit the psychosis behind the chicken-footed Nazi theory, Daniel Marks researched the matter in depth. On a quest for sanity in an ocean of madness, he once supplied photographic evidence of barefooted baby Hitler that would under normal circumstances, refute such a screwball theory.

    But the thing about religious fanatics is that they always have answers, however nonsensical, because that is the nature of religion; it is not supposed to make sense. So they can argue that the chicken legs develop only after the age of innocence, and only when the Yetze Hara has had time to get a hold. And if pictures of adult Hitler with Homo Sapien feet are ever discovered, I am sure they will concoct some feasible explanations for them as well.

    But Daniel, I really want to know, – do you believe that Mrs. Lot turned into a pillar of salt?

  48. Ellis Feigenbaum

    nick Mrs Lot had a name. it was Ildeth, mind you if my name was ill death and I had become a pillar of salt, i think I too would rather be known as Mrs Lot.

  49. Yes, I do from the perspective of historiosophy.

    I’m no geologist but I live quite near there and it is well known that there are many great deposits of rock salt in the region, probably formed by enormous precipitation from thermal brines upwelling from the earth’s mantle during the great Flood.

    On the one hand, it could be she was buried in a shower of these salt deposits blown upwards by the explosions.

    On the other hand, there is the possibility that she was buried in a spray of volcanic ash, with her body gradually being converted into “salt” over the years following through the process of petrifaction. You may remember Mr paley teaching us about similar occurrences that were experienced on Mount Vesuvius and I think that something similar happened to the population of Pompeii.

    I’m sure there are other plausible scientific explanations.

  50. Nick Kopaloff

    Daniel,

    “formed by enormous precipitation from thermal brines upwelling from the earth’s mantle during the great Flood.”

    And you claim you are no geologist!

    But joking aside, if miracles do exist then this surely is one because you have coincidentally borrowed the exact same words (verbatim) from Henry Morris, a Christian apologist whose biblical exegesis was shallow and his findings discredited by the mainstream scientific community. What were the chances of that happening? (You could have at least put the quote in quotation marks if not out of humility to yourself then as a mark of respect to Henry).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Morris

    I must be honest and without any disrespect I can unambiguously state that I do not believe in (conjuring trick) miracles. Once we try to answer them with rational scientific answers (such as heavenly manner was actually snow) then in my book they are no longer miracles.

    So I will make the question a little easier and would like to push you a little closer to the edge and ask you to answer directly in the way we all wanted Greg to answer.

    “Do you (and other contributors) believe that God turned Moses staff into a snake?”

  51. I should start by saying that the Rambam (also a gadol, Goldman) assumed that any miracles he was unable to “scientifically” were, in fact dreams. These include the burning bush etc. I could have used that to avoid the whole question. However, I find the Guide for the Perplexed problematic as there are so many things that the Rambam could not explain scientifically but modern day scientists can, that it put the truth of the Torah onto a kind of relative and sliding scale which is dependent on the pace of research. I have a feeling that were Maimonides alive today seeing the pace of progress, he’d find it hard to say that anything he couldn’t explain must be a dream.

    Therefore, I’ll answer the question and say that assuming the Rambam was wrong then the answer is again yes.

    So, you might ask, “What is the difference between a staff that becomes a snake and a human who has the feet of a chicken?”

    The difference is here. If something is written in the Torah (chumash) I am obliged to believe in its truth. The truth may not be literal truth but it is there all the same. That might not always mean historical truth but religious truth, definitely.

    When it comes to midrashim, stories from the Talmud, Kabala, general legends, Feldheim books we are not required to believe that they are true in any sense other than the Halachic conclusions of the gemara as interpreted by poskim are binding and midrashim like most folklore often/usually have truthful or meaningful morals.
    When we read the midrash of all the mountains of the world arguing as to which will receive the Torah, I don’t think even Goldman believes that this is a historical fact or that we are required or expected to believe so.

    In masechet Brachot page 6 (vav:alef) there is discussion of mezikin and various rabbis tell humorous stories about them. For example they wear out rabbis clothes because rabbis don’t do strenuous work, yet their clothes get worn out. The gemara says that if you want to see mezikin, sprinkle flour before going to bed and you’ll find the prints if chicken feet in the morning.
    If that is the source to which Goldman is referring, it nowhere claims that Hitler had chicken feet.

  52. david kornbluth

    I do believe that the staff was turned into a snake.
    Do you not believe in the ten pplagues, and if not then why believe in the creation of the world, perhaps it was always here?
    If you have been to Israel you have seen the Western Wall and perhaps the cave of the Patriachs, well there were ten miracles in the Temple all the time that have no scientific explanation like a tree that gives GOLD appples solid not delicious.

    What a sad life it must be to not believe in the supernatural!

    There said and done!

  53. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Strangely and however difficult this is for me to admit I find myself agreeing with Daniel. Another angel must have died in Heaven, but I digress.
    We tend to read the torah and other scriptures in a very slipshod way. This may have something to do with the fact that in our youth we learned to translate the words but not the true import of the words, and it may be to do with the fact that our teachers never gave us any background notes to what we were translating.
    If Jeremiah and Isaiah were taught to us in the same way that Shakespeare was instead of the King James English translation we may have a very different take on the true meaning of the words, and the beauty of the prose.
    Imagine if you will a destroyed city, something like New Orleans after Katrina hit, what was once a centre of culture and celebration now in total ruin, and along comes a man in a flowing robe with a long beard and stands on a street corner on a box and proclaims.
    Be comforted my People, in the name of god, Speak to the people of Jerusalem and tell them there time of mourning and exile is over, and you have paid twice over for any sin you may have committed against god.

    Imagine Jeremiah, in a similar situation of unrest requesting the people to have faith. Reminding them that the lord said to them, I have remembered the beauty of your youth, the love of your wedding follow me into a desolate and unsown land .

    Imagine if you will, a people vanquished sent into exile marching in rows 4 and 5 across to an unknown fate. And on the outskirts of Bethlehem a leader arises and says to his people. A voice is heard in Ramah, it is the sound of Rachel crying inconsolably for her children, and the lord said to her desist from crying and dry your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, and they shall return from the enemies land, there is hope for your future and your children shall return to their borders.
    Can you imagine the power of this speech and the strength of the man who got up to give it at a time when all else seemed to be collapsing all around him.
    Do I believe Rachel was crying when the children of Israel were exiled, possibly but I doubt they could have heard it given that Ramah is about 15 miles away. But do I believe Jeremiah said those words and I believe in the powerful and overwhelmingly beautiful context in which they were said. If this was a Hollywood movie it would be a tear jerking moment .

  54. Daniel Marks

    When Ariel Yosef Moshe was young I would tell him stories. Like most infants he would invariably ask:

    “Is the story true?”

    Although it sounds better in Hebrew, I’d answer:
    “It’s truly a story.”

    That’s the whole point. For something to be true it must have a truth. I don’t know if historically there ever was a boy who cried, “Wolf, wolf.” but who will say it is not a true story?

  55. Michael Goldman

    El
    I’m really not going to get into a discussion about whose zchut avot is superior or how it could even be measured.
    As I was discussing reincarnation (Gilul Neshamot), I don’t really see the connection.
    But if zchut avot is the subject then all I can say is that I remember your father z”l always softly spoken and with a smile on his face.
    If my memory serves me, the only time I remember him angry was when you burnt a hole in the seat of his car and swore that Alex your brother did it.
    If for any reason I don’t recall the incident as was, please correct the relevant facts.

  56. Mark Goldman

    Daniel, you wrote

    “If something is written in the Torah (chumash) I am obliged to believe in its truth. The truth may not be literal truth but it is there all the same. That might not always mean historical truth but religious truth, definitely”.

    and…

    “For something to be true it must have a truth. I don’t know if historically there ever was a boy who cried, “Wolf, wolf.” but who will say it is not a true story?”

    Please clarify. How can something (e.g. 10 plagues) be religious truth but not literal (actual) truth. Sounds like you’re espousing a similar kind of Reform theology that Greg has noted. i.e. it’s the lesson that’s important, not necessarily whether the event actually happened.

    As Greg wrote…

    “For me, the Bible does not have to be literally true to be valid”

  57. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Thank you for the kind memories of my father.
    I remember your dad as having a free hand with the whisky bottle and i seem to remember him being in the garden a lot I dont know why.
    It wasnt the seat it wa the steering wheel, it wasnt alex it was someone else, anyone else as long as i didnt get nicked for it.

  58. Daniel Marks

    Michael,

    “If my memory serves me, the only time I remember him angry was when you burnt a hole in the seat of his car and swore that Alex your brother did it.”

    I know the incident that you’re referring to, I was there, and without going into any details I can tell you that your facts are pretty much all wrong.

    So, if any readers give a shit, 40 years ago the aforementioned incident, as described, did not take place.

    More importantly, why are you writing about the incident?

    You know things I did as a kid or as an adult that I’m ashamed of and I know such stories about you. You’re the one person in the world who needs teaching nothing about friendship, but friends aren’t supposed to betray confidences.

    For the first time ever I’m beginning to see the dangers of unbridled free speech on this or any blog.

    Mark,

    I’m very cautious about answering your question for two reasons:

    1. You asked me how my views differ from another contributor to the blog, but I’ve committed myself to not mentioning him because every time I do, I’m called a bigot and worse.

    2. I have a feeling that what I say will sound condescending, which is something I’m really trying not to do.

    If you really want my answer and your question is in the name of Heaven (leshem Shamayim) it might be better to discuss the subject off-blog.

    If, which I don’t think, you just asked what the difference is as debating point, then we can leave it at that.

    Regards to all the Gold Men

  59. Michael Goldman

    Dan
    I’m happy to see that after happily discussing El’s escapades for the last few months, you have made full “hazara betshuva”, even if it is on my account.
    More to the point.Stop behaving like a wanker!

    El
    If you were in any way upset by my posting I apologize and will ask Mike to remove it and any others that make reference to your auspicious past.

  60. Daniel, I fear that you may be reverting to dipstickism. You have never been “called a bigot”, or indeed “worse”, for “mentioning” Greg . . . only for abusing him (if you don’t recall, refresh your memory here).

    Answering Mark’s questions on-blog without being abusive or “condescending” may be a good exercise for you. I am sure you can manage it.

  61. “If you really want my answer and your question is in the name of Heaven (leshem Shamayim) it might be better to discuss the subject off-blog.

    If, which I don’t think, you just asked what the difference is as debating point, then we can leave it at that.”

    Daniel,

    Why, part b in your response? It’s that kind of “Oh I don’t think you’re such and such” (but I’ll mention it anyway), that’s so obviously condescending and uncalled for.

    You’re a smart guy. I’m sure you can answer my question in a straightforward, and non contentious way.

  62. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Mark,
    now there is a subject for discussion, Is DANIEL A SMART GUY? or Is he just masquarading as a smart guy with judicious use of google.
    Answers on a post card to Ann Robinson at the BBC.
    The winner in the grand prize draw will win an all expenses paid trip to the toilet.

  63. Nick Kopaloff

    Compare and contrast the satirical allegation that Moses was on the take, with calling him Moe.

    This thought-provoking challenge was posed by Mike and I relish the opportunity of giving it a go.

    Personally, I feel that the sacrilege versus familiarity contest is not a foregone conclusion and I am going to root for the outsider. The former, though a tad disrespectful, opens up the doors to a closed mind; while the other simply breeds contempt. (But then again, the former might also breed a lot of contempt as well).

  64. I was asked a question which for reasons that I have already explained answering would be problematic. Instead, I’ll answer a slightly different question which I believe is related.

    On seder night we read about the four sons. The wise son asks:

    “What are the testimonies, the statutes and the laws which the L-rd, our G-d, has commanded you?”

    While the wicked son asks:

    “What is this service to you?!”

    We patiently answer the wise son’s question, however, in the case of the wicked son we are instructed:

    You, therefore, blunt his teeth and say to him: “It is because of this that the L-rd did for me when I left Egypt”; `for me’ – but not for him! If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed!”

    It seems a pretty nasty thing to do. He asks a question and you tell him that If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed. Who are we to judge?

    Nor is the explanation we read in the haggadah wholly convincing:

    “By thus excluding himself from the community he has denied that which is fundamental.”

    It seems like we’re angry because he said, “..to you” but the wise son also said, “has commanded you?”

    And one is wise, but one wicked. One gets a patient answer, the other gets his teeth blunted.

    Looking more carefully the wise son by saying, “What are the testimonies, the statutes and the laws which the L-rd, our G-d, has commanded you?” acknowledges that there is a G-d in heaven and that he commands us. He, furthermore, accepts that he is bound by these commandments. His question now is, “What are they?” and he is answered:

    `one is not to eat any dessert after the Passover-lamb.’

    The wicked son accepts nothing. He doesn’t accept that he is bound by halachah or even acknowledge that there is a G-d in heaven who gave Torah to Moshe. He stands on the outside looking at this “service” or ceremony. His questions are not those of the G-d-fearing wishing to grow. They are those of the Rasha who knows a little and wishes to use his ignorance to expose what he sees as the flaws or mistakes. He asks rhetorical questions not to learn but to mock.

    A rhetorical question by definition requires no answer. Instead you explain to him that his ignorance is not new to Judaism. There were those among the Children of Israel who mocked Moshe back then too. They were the multitudes, some say majority, who stayed behind when their brothers left.

    To him you say:

    “It is because of this that the L-rd did for me when I left Egypt”; `for me’ – but not for him! If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed!”

  65. Nick Kopaloff

    Dan,
    Your analogical denunciation of the “Rasha” seems to paint me, more than anybody, with his own sacrilegious brush.

  66. Daniel Marks

    Obviously, my intent was neither to judge nor, heaven forbid, to accuse anybody – other than the character from the Haggadah.

    People change, evolve and react differently in different situations. It also depends on who you’re with and what you’re doing.

    The optimistic message may be that you’re defined by what you do not who you are. If you behave like a rasha, you become one, but the ability to change is there.

    It’s not who you are Nick, or even what you’ve done. It’s what you do today!

  67. Don’t worry, Nick . . . I’m “Rotter-in-Chief”. Osher said so!

  68. Nick Kopaloff

    Over a plentiful luncheon only this week, Ellis admitted to me that he had been bored one day and decided to compare the amount of gold mentioned in the bible, before and after the Golden Calf story. “Nick, the numbers just don’t add up, innit!”

    And so I am proud to bring to you a snippet from the King El abridged version of the Bible.

    1) And lo, Moses, (allegedly) bent as an Uri Geller spoon, was on the take, because the numbers just don’t add up.
    2) And God said unto Moses “Keep shtum.” So Moses invented a stutter, and got his brother Aaron in on it, as a front man to do the chatter.
    3) Korach and his cronies got wind of the scam, and threatened to rat on him up unless Moses cut him a slice of the action.
    4) And Lo Moses said unto Korach “How is your mum? I do hope she is well, we wouldn’t want anything happening to her!”
    5) But Korach was ready to spill the beans.
    6) So Moses cased the joint, and staged the quasi-rebellion as a smokescreen so he could waste super-grass Korach for messing with the family. “You don’t mess with the family.”
    7) With no South River and concrete overcoats available, a timely earthquake was the perfect opportunity to lose the stiff and his mobsters”.

    8) And Moses went up the mountain to meet his dealer. He done the business and scored a couple of tabs, with a street value almost in the amount of the crooked gold.
    9) So to balance the books, Moses damaged the goods, then nipped back up to get another two tabs on account under sale or return, thus managing to launder the dodgy dosh.
    10) And Lo, Moses spoke thus unto the Children of Israel. “You don’t mess with the family.”

  69. It now transpires that the aforementioned rendezvous between Kopaloff and Feigenbaum was covertly recorded and we offer our readers the scene of their arrival for the meeting.

    Click here.

    Kopaloff is wearing the suit; Feigenbaum is the better looking of the pair.

  70. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Oy, you leave me mate Arfur out of it alwight?
    In any case the real meeting was held under cloak and dagger in Peckham under the not so judicious protection of one Derek “Del Boy” Trotter.

  71. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Nick it does occur to me that moses scoring a couple of tabs, is nearly as bad as calling the greatest leader of our people Moe

  72. Michael Goldman

    I’m also trying to understand why El and Nick’s comments about Moshe Rabeinu don’t upset me whereas Greg’s do.

    I think it’s to do with Greg claiming to be a “Religious leader” so that when he calls Moshe Rbeinu “Mo” he’s showing disdain.

    It’s as if he’s saying
    “See how I behave to these people to whom you show such respect and reverance!”
    “They’re not Avraham Avinu and Moshe Rabeinu.They’re just Mo and Abe”.

    El and Nick on the other hand are just being the same tossers they have always been.

  73. Ermm, because El and Nick are your mates . . . oh yeh, and because they are not Reform?!

  74. Michael Goldman

    No Mike.
    Nothing to do with being my friends or not being Reform?
    They’re just a pair of tossers.
    I don’t really know why.

  75. Nick Kopaloff

    David Kornbluth, or may I call you Dave.

    Thank you for giving such a direct and honest answer. And sorry for the delay in my acknowledgement.

    You don’t have to be bonkers to write on Twatter, but it certainly helps, and I see by your unreserved endorsement of the staff-turning-to-snake trick, that you indeed fit the bill.

    I probably don’t really believe in the 10 plagues of Egypt in the same way as you do, although it is a fascinating story especially the bit about the frogs.

    I live in Israel and the cave you refer to is brilliant, and one of my favorites, although there is arguably an even better one in Slovenia well worth visiting which is home to a remarkable creature called the Human Fish (Proteus Anguinus – give it a google).

    No one loves a miracle more than I do, with the possible exception of some Habad fruitcakes and an army of evangelical nutters. So if I ever see one I will be the first to applaud and tip my hat to my maker.

    I know not of the 10 permanent temple miracles to which you allure. And was the Golden Apple miracle one of the 10 or just brought in as an allegory? Either way; it was probably just one of those dry ornament efforts shoved in a vase, that some priest picked up in the Temple market between the moneychangers and the myrrh merchants. And whatever happened to all the apples? Could you supply more details as to the overall yield, weight and carat, so that Ellis can get busy on the numbers.

    I prefer to privately omit all miracle and sacrifice references when in Shul. I also feel uncomfortable telling god how great he is, so I hurdle over those bits as well. I neither thank him for choosing us, nor tell him how sinful we are. Because any god who would choose such a bunch of sinners, cannot really be all that great in the first place. And if he is not really all that great, then his ability to perform miracles seriously diminishes. See, it all stands to reason.

    So today’s davening consisted of: “Can we have some rain please?”

    I perform amateur magic tricks as part of a class in creative thinking.
    Invariably all the kids tug at my shirt relentlessly “How did you do it? How did you do it?”
    I reckon the children of Israel, or whoever he was performing to at the time, were all tugging at Moses robe after he bamboozled them with his amazing snake trick. “Moses, how did you do it? Moses, how did you do it?”
    “Hands off the garment, and go and get me an apple.”

    And Dave, you are so correct when you say “what a sad life it is not to believe in the supernatural,” because I get very sad sometimes.

  76. Michael Goldman

    Nick
    Shavua Tov
    You write to Dave:
    “I probably don’t really believe in the 10 plagues of Egypt in the same way as you do”

    In which way do you believe in them?

  77. Michael Goldman, Mazal Tov on the birth of your newest grand-daughter.

    To your credit, you have taken a welcome break from uttering cheap obscenities, and have uncharacteristically asked an intelligent question. I shall try to answer without sounding condescending!

    You got your miracles that can be explained in terms of natural phenomena and occurrences, (which perhaps are no less miraculous to the believer), and you got your miracles that cannot, and hence require a supernatural, deistic, or dream-like explanation.
    The ten plagues can easily be explained in plausible scientific terms – (just google it), whereas the staff-into-snake trick, or the Hitler chicken feet mystery, cannot. But I admit I have a problem with both varieties.

    As for the two examples of the second category, a snake that looks like a snake, can become a snake that resembles a stick, and then you can take that same stick-lookalike snake, et voila, turn him back into a snake-looking snake. But not for one second has he ceased being what he is – a snake.

    Maybe in time, physical laws of nature will explain chicken-footed Homo Sapiens, but until that unlikely day, I honestly believe it is borderline psychosis legitimized as faith.

    I can make my dog lie on his back and wiggle his hind leg incessantly. Call it a miracle if you like, but you just have to know where to tickle the hot-spot on his belly.

    Every day, the wonderful cycle of nature produces countless extraordinary events, each unique and exclusive in its own way. The flowers and the bees defy insurmountable odds, such that many would call them your everyday miracles.

    So how statistically improbable does an event, (and its timing), have to be for it to be classed as a miracle in your book?

    In our childhood, we witnessed the end of the plague-like Polio epidemic, Thalidomide, Foot and Mouth Disease, Dutch Elm Disease, Myxomatosis, the Biafra famine. Later Aids and Swine Flu made unwelcomed appearances and Greece somehow managed to win the European Cup. Any miracles in that list?

    Was the Holocaust a miracle, or is it only a miracle when bad things happen to other people? Do events have to be beneficial to Jews to merit them being labeled a miracle? Relatively few Jews perished from the Black Death Plague in Europe – was that a miracle? Or do you need a long-bearded Rabbi to declare it as a miracle for you to acclaim it as such?

    The chances of a Polish refugee marrying a Liverpudlian lass and spawning Michael Goldman are pretty slim. Does that make you a miracle? And if yes, and all these incredible daily occurrences are miracles, why then have the Ten Plagues become the benchmark for miracles? Are they simply your quintessential miracles or perhaps the hardest miracles that God has ever performed?

    If Luxembourg can draw with Greece and we can beat Switzerland, I still won’t believe in miracles, but I will buy you a beer.

    And so to answer your question unambiguously, “I probably don’t really believe in the 10 plagues of Egypt in the same way as you do.”

  78. A Gut vinter to one and all

    I think the whole question of beleiving in miracles etc can be summed up in one sentance. If you believe in HaShem then you would know that anything is possible, therefore all these events could happen.
    If you don’t beleive then you can’t understand them.

    What are the chances of me turning a rod into a snake or bringing any plague? fairly remote.

    what are the chances of winning the top prize on the UK national, 14m to 1 that is fairly remtote, but possible.

    When we reach the realms of supernatural we do not want to beleive it because it does not seem possible, but when something like winning the lottery has been done by other humans its remoteness does not seem so distant and people beleive that they can win it.

  79. Other than the dog-tickling one that Nick refers to (I swear, I’ve seen it with my own eyes), I’ll tell you when I’ll start believing in miracles: when Ex hasmo can get through just one comment without any bleeding spelling mistakes . . . although he has now at least managed one without any hassidic/rabbinic parables!

  80. Michael Goldman

    Nick
    Thanks for clarifying.
    I would however like to request that you either put up your postings or read me them over the phone.
    Doing both is redundant.

    E.H you write :
    “If you don’t beleive then you can’t understand them”
    Anyone can understand them, they just don’t believe they were miracles or that they happened at all.
    But what really bothers me about your comment is how a good Jewish boy like you knows so much about gambling odds.
    Please explain

  81. Michael

    Gambling odds- come on I was ex hasmo.
    I was also one of those good Jewish boys that preferred Maths over humanities and wanted a carear in demographic statistics, though it appears I was the only one as LSE had only one candidate accepted for that course, me, so they pulled it.

  82. Mike

    141 words, 6 (not counting Gut Vinter) spelling mistakes, (of which I mispelled the same word 4 times) statistically pretty good.

  83. Nick Kopaloff

    The pages of this fine blog seem naked, and the content even nuder, as the self-imposed exclusion of Daniel Marks enters into its second week.

    Following in the footsteps of the great Winnie, Marks has magnanimously chosen absence ahead of insult and abstinence ahead of confrontation.

    But was it not Marks who was said to have uttered “I am never one to shy away from controversy and I embrace confrontation with the honing eye of an eagle and the thick skin of a rhino?” I ask you, was it not?

    In an effort to entice the blog’s most prolific, yet scathed writer, to make a “U” turn back to Twatter, I implore you all to enter your respective Daniel Marks tributes below.

  84. I even had him in mind when naming this page. What greater tribute could there be?

  85. My grandfather Papa Moshe was a terrible chess player but an excellent atheist. He was a terrible chess player because he only discovered the game when he was nearing 70 and though he read many books and practiced all day he remained very weak. I knew little about chess but beat him almost every time.

    He was, however, an excellent atheist and took his atheism very seriously. Moshe Mendel was born at the end of the 19th century when atheism was much more fashionable, saw The Origin of the Species as being his Bible and kept absolutely nothing. He went to shul (synagogue) for his wedding, my mother’s wedding and three more times for his grandsons’ bar mitzvahs.

    He held on to his faith until the end. A few days before he died I visited him in Edgware General (hospital) and he made my mother write his name and address on a piece of paper and put it in his pajama pocket. He was scared that when he got “there” nobody would know who he was. As a child I thought this wonderful, today I’m inclined to link it to the pain killers he was being given.

    Those were the days when an atheist was an atheist. They didn’t sit on the fence going to shul, praying, and then denying they really meant it.

    Kopaloff, on the other hand, is an excellent chess player but a lousy atheist. When it comes to his accomplishments at the Game of Kings there isn’t enough room in cyberspace to describe his talent, enthusiasm and achievements. However, when it comes to his atheism it’s like watching papa Moshe playing chess. He clearly reached apikorsiut at too late an age to really be any good at it.

    Basically, he’s prepared to believe that G-d can do stuff, as long as it’s the same kind of stuff that men can do too. A miracle can be a miracle as long as I can understand and explain it in human terms. All this seems to rather defeat the purpose of being a god.

    There are myriad explanations and definitions of what a god is, but if we leave out some of the more primitive Pagan faiths, then we can say that common to most forms of belief is then idea that G-d is not a man, does not behave in the way we behave and is not limited by all our limitations. Therefore, it seems strange to say that because human magicians can’t turn sticks into snakes, G-d can’t either. Isn’t the whole point of being a G-d that you can do stuff that Nick Kopaloff can’t do?

    Therefore, I say, that if, for the purpose of this discussion. we define a miracle as being stuff that Nick Koplaoff can neither do himself nor explain how it could be done, and we define G-d as someone who does stuff that Nick Kopaloff can’t do or explain, then almost by definition Nick Koplaloff shouldn’t be able to perform, understand or explain a miracle. If he can, it’s a pretty crummy miracle.

    Furthermore, a real miracle can’t always just be stuff that Nick Kopaloff can do only better. Let’s say Nick can run 100 meters in 15 seconds and Usain Bolt can run them in 9.8. Michael Goldman running them in 9.6 could hardly be described as a miracle worthy of a G-d. After all we all know that somebody will probably bolt faster than Usain one day. The miracle would be for someone to run 100 kilometers in one second. That is something that Nick can neither do himself, nor explain how to Goldman or even Danny Amini how to do.

    For Papa Moshe it was simple. There was no G-d and the heavens were empty. Religion were the opium of the masses (I forgot to mention he was a bit of a Socialist too) and he didn’t hedge his bets by beating his heart on Yom Kippur only to explain the next day that he was only kidding. He thought that Man’s belief in G-d had held back human development for too long and caused countless wars and untold world suffering. He said that faith in G-d is the cop-out of the stupid or lazy who can’t figure things out for themselves and so are just content to believe that He moves in mysterious ways. He didn’t believe in a G-d, but only on the condition that G-d was basically a bigger, better form of Nick Kopaloff, who knew much better magic tricks. Those were the days when an atheist was an atheist and you knew where you were.

    As an afterthought many years after he passed away (died) I told my mother I was giving a shiur (Torah lesson) for him in shul (synagogue). She laughed and said that she was sure he wouldn’t have wanted that. I replied that I agreed, however, I also said that I had a feeling that from where he is now he’s discovered a few home truths and is quite thankful for such things.

  86. Nick Kopaloff

    Inundated would perhaps not be the best word to describe the response to the “Daniel Marks tribute campaign” launched earlier in the day, to help reinstate the blog’s most fruitful contributor.

    In fact the sole response, in which Mike called Daniel a Twatter, was apparently tribute enough, to coax him out of semi-retirement.

    Some might think that Daniel would have preferred to test the waters and get back in slowly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, he bombastically plunges in with a posting of inordinate length and shallow ramblings. And when you plunge into shallow waters headfirst you run the risk of doing irreparable damage to the brain contained within.

  87. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel,
    Would you define your grandfather as a good man?
    Because at the end of the day whether you believe or not is irrelevant. If God exists and you arrive at the heavenly court for your day of judgement, who is to say what is more important or less important, whether you davened three times a day and said 100 brachot, or whether you helped your fellow man or whether you lived an honest and upright life?
    If God doesn’t exist, all that is relevant is how people remember you and whether you lived your life in accordance with the morals of the times you live in.
    How we live our lives every day can be the only determining factor to be judged by man. Everything else is in the realm of heaven and somehow I doubt we have the ability to either judge or understand the ways of heaven, even if we could prove its empirical existence.

  88. Ellis

    “Would you define your grandfather as a good man?”

    What a breath of fresh air to read your thoughtful posting after Koplaloff’s uncharacteristically infantile attempt to entertain.

    I respectfully think you may have missed the point. What I wrote was not about my grandfather or even about Nick Kopaloff, but about the demise of the intellectually honest atheist who had the courage to not only “talk the talk” but to also “walk the walk”.

    In answer to your question, I don’t think that “define” is the best choice of word, but let’s say that like everyone else who loves their family, I loved my grandfather and was sure he was one of the two best grandfathers in the world.

    Was he a good man? I don’t know. Almost everyone will tell you that their grandfathers were good men, most people end off having grandchildren, but not everyone is really good. Therefore, I’d conclude that grandchildren may not be the most reliable judges of their grandfather’s characters. Like I said, I loved him.

    However, within the dialectic you developed it seemed that your real question might have been, “Was your grandfather a good Jew?” Here I’ll agree with you that it’s not our job to judge. You wrote:

    “who is to say what is more important or less important, whether you davened three times a day and said 100 brachot, or whether you helped your fellow man or whether you lived an honest and upright life.”

    It’s interesting to ponder whether you’d reverse the argument and question whether a person who davens three times a day and says a hundred brachot could be as important as someone who helps his fellow man. In other words are “good men” or “good Jews” to be determined solely on the basis of relations between man and man?

  89. Ellis Feigenbaum

    If you are an atheist, then surely you ought to be judged based on your relationships with your fellow man and society at large. Being a good Jew and a good person are however mutually exclusive, the concept of “There is no Torah without Derech Eretz” is, although not particularly a Jewish concept, pretty central to our faith.
    So the outcome must be that an atheist need not be a good person to be a good atheist whereas a Jew needs to be a good person to be a good Jew.

  90. “If you are an atheist, then surely you ought to be judged based on your relationships with your fellow man and society at large.”

    No, here I don’t agree. Firstly, let’s go through the formalities of reminding ourselves that it is not our job to judge our fellow men etc.

    However, as for want of a better term an Orthodox Jew, I believe that people are judged by G-d on the basis of His expectations of them and not on the basis of how they choose to define themselves.

    In a similar way, if a policeman stops me for speeding or driving while drunk I can’t argue that since I’m an Anarchist I wish to be judges according to my own rules. Society does not judge us on the basis of our own values but of its values and so, I believe, does G-d.

    Sometimes secular friends and family visit on Shabbat. When my kids have asked whether they were allowed to drive on shabbat because they were not religious, I have always said, “No, they received the Torah together we us and they too said, ‘We will do and we will listen’ “.

    Incidentally, I’ll reverse what you said again and ask whether it’s legitimate for a person to say that he doesn’t wish to be judged on based on his relations with his fellow man, but solely on the basis of how well he prays etc.

    “Being a good Jew and a good person are however mutually exclusive”

    I think you meant to say the opposite. I hope you did.

    “…an atheist need not be a good person to be a good atheist whereas a Jew needs to be a good person to be a good Jew.”

    I agree with the first bit. The second bit, while I agree with it in principle, I suspect that many Religious Jews define “being a good person” slightly differently to many irreligious Jews.

    Maybe Ex-Hasmo and Mike could each say what to their mind constitutes a “good person” and you might see what I mean.

  91. Being a good person and religous person is separate but so intertwined.
    Someone can lead a life free of Averios, having not stolen, killed, been jealous or not going against any of the 365 negative Mitzvos. (Leaving aside the whole concept of Lishmo)

    Though how absurd it would be for someone to only keep the 248 positive commandments, he puts on Tzitziz but murders, he wears Tefilin but is a thief.

    From a Jewish perspective both go hand in hand and define the person as a good person.

    However someone that does not believe in Hashem ( Hashem Yrachem) can be a good person, lead a good life, have a good family, have a good job, have a good car, have a good bank balance, but has he done good in the eyes of G-d in terms of what G-d asks from him? From a purely human perspective which is all we can judge a “good” but not religious observant person is “good”, however he has not fulfilled his religious obligation and will have to answer those questions upstairs.

    In our live we get a myriad of unknown protection from HaShem for a whole variety of events we don’t even know about is it not our duty to give thanks for these.

  92. Hey Daniel Marks,

    Why are you having secular friends around on Shabbos and telling your kids that your friends aren’t allowed to do what they do?

    If that’s what you believe then stop practicing hypocrisy and don’t have them round during that time period!

  93. Dovid

    Many a Rov involved in Kiruv have said that when people work in Kiruv and by default that means every practicing Jew, they should offer a person who drives to them on Shabbos to stay with them from the onset of Shabbos, if they refuse they are still permitted to come. (this is in know way a Halachic ruling that appplies to all circumstances and obviously each person should ask their Rav first).

    Many people first link into the frum world comes through the Shabbos table and in order to get there they have been Mechalel Shabbos or whilst there have turned on the hot water or something else- we can not say that they can no longer come to our houses.

  94. Ex Hasmo, I don’t understand this kiruv business. On the one hand Jewish law authorities are excommunicating Orthodox Jews (or at least the work of Orthodox Jews) for writing educational books on the natural world. On the other hand the breaking of Shabbos is being condoned seemingly for the purposes of kiruv. Has Judaism taken a leaf from the book of Christian missionaries and does one arm know what the other arm is doing?

  95. Dear Dovid,

    As I am not a rabbi and do not make halachic rulings, I offer you a selection of articles on the regarding the question that you ask:

    http://www.otniel.org/show.asp?id=23894
    http://www.kipa.co.il/ask/show/119563
    http://www.fxp.co.il/showthread.php?t=4611914

    Common to them all and to the best of my knowledge most rulings that have been made on the subject is that if you do invite an irreligious Jew for a meal on Shabbat you should prepare ahead of time food, accomodation etc to enable the guest to stay for the whole of Shabbat should he so wish.

    Incidentally,Ex Hasmo, I’ve never heard the “kiruv” factor being taken into consideration as a factor, though I don’t doubt it could be.

    Just out of interest, Dovid, had you in any way researched the question or consulted with any scholar before accusing me of “practicing hypocrisy”? It might be a good idea next time.

  96. Nick Kopaloff

    More often than not, religious rants in general and this one on Twatter in particular, become ever so self-righteous and tiresomely heavy. Thank you Dovid Maslin for putting the humor back into the debate.

    But calling Daniel Marks a hypocrite?
    I hope you are well padded and can take a punch or two. He can come at you from any angle and at any time. Roll up your sleeves, the fight begins.

  97. Dovid

    I assume you refer to Rabbi Slifkin’s book in which he ages the world to be millions of years old and thus was asked to stop its circulation, closer to home in the UK we had a similar event with “We have Reason to Believe” by Rabbi Sacks. There is a huge difference when an action is done by someone that professes to be Orthodox and one that is done by someone that doesn’t.

    Imagine if you saw an outwardly looking orthodox person sitting in MacDonalds eating a double cheese burger, you would be horrified, however if that same person were to sit there without any outwards sign of his orthodoxy this would not leave you perplexed in the slightest.

    I knew someone who grew up in SH, with the benefits both materialistically and spiritually, finding the need to drive up to Tottenham Hale for the drive thru chicken at the KFC this was whilst on Bein HazManim from Ponevizh Yeshiva- he erred he made a mistake, one he probably really regrets.

    The person breaking Shabbos, would have anyway, in fact by him being in your house he will probably break less of Shabbos either out of respect or because the situations he is in just naturally leads to less Mechalel Shabbos, you’d have to really know what you are doing to be able to break Shabbos sitting in an armchair.
    The Chofetz Chaim incidently said the easiest way to make sure you are not Ovier any Issurim on Shabbos is to sit all day with your arms folded, however he ruled out this idea as it had none of the Oneg side of Shabbos.

  98. As the last comment was posted I assume that previous comments were held up beacuse they included l;inks.

    Therefore, I’ll just say that I know of no modern orthodox, Israeli, halachic authority who agrees with Dovid.

    Rabbanim from Rabbi Shlomo Aviner (Ateret Cohanim) to Re’em Hacohen (Otniel) Rav Malamed (Bet El) have all ruled that you can invite a irreligious Jew for a meal on Shabbat, you should prepare ahead of time food, accommodation etc to enable the guest to stay for the whole of Shabbat should he so wish.

    Just out of interest, Dovid, had you in any way researched the question or consulted with any scholar before accusing me of “practicing hypocrisy”? It might be a good idea next time.

  99. Ex Hasmo, Rashi’s comment on the first Posuk of this week’s Sedra is to read it as ‘In the beginning of the Almighty’s creating.’ This statement implies that there might have been something before the world’s creation. Rabbi Slifkin writes a book about it and so what?

    Incidentally, Rabbi Slifkin and his family continue to Mekarev people to Yiddishkeit as much as anyone else who spends their time reading this stuff. Don’t knock them!

    Daniel, you bragged about being a hypocrite on blog in a previous discussion. To an irreligious Jew it sounds pretty hypocritical to say one thing while inviting others to do the opposite.

  100. Dovid

    Chas VShlom I should criticize him on 2 counts
    1. not my place
    2. never read the book

    This Rashi, if I understand it correctly implies that Hashem may not have created Semayim V HaAretz initially and that the orders of the days may not be a strict chronological order as implied by the words later in the same Posuk that says Vruach Elokim Merchepes Al Penie Hamyim.

  101. “Daniel, you bragged about being a hypocrite on blog in a previous discussion. To an irreligious Jew it sounds pretty hypocritical to say one thing while inviting others to do the opposite.”

    Dovid,
    I recall no such brag. I may have acknowledged that I too am a hypocrite sometimes. Aren’t we all? The now tedious question about inviting secular Jews for shabbat is not an example of the said hypocrisy.

    Whenever you say “to an irreligious Jew it sounds..” you are evidently talking about yourself because this incorrect line of reasoning, rejected by all poskim I know, was what you have been arguing all day.

    First you say that inviting secular Jews is forbidden, and then when that is refuted you fall back on how it might “sound” to a secular Jew.

    I don’t know you, but I have a hunch that you’re some kind of Haredi. How do you guys manage to go to so many shiurim and yet stay so unknowledgable?

    I was talking to Kopaloff today and even he had heard of the halachah. My neighbor’s wife (Faith) just walked by and I told her what I was writing, she’d heard it too. What’s your secret Dovid?

  102. Michael Goldman

    It should be pointed out that when inviting for Shabat, there must be a possibility that the guest can accept the invitation and not desecrate shabbat.
    Thus, asuming he does not live within walking distance, he should be invited to arrive before Shabbat begins, and be asked to stay for the whole of shabbat.

  103. Michael Goldman

    EH You wirte
    “I assume you refer to Rabbi Slifkin’s book in which he ages the world to be millions of years old and thus was asked to stop its circulation”

    There is no contradition with the world being only 6000 years old and also being billions of years old.
    I know it sounds ridiculous, but is based on Einstien’s laws of relativity and is explained in a book called “Genesis and the Big Bang” by Gerald L.Schroeder phD.

  104. Nick Kopaloff

    Michael Goldman and ex-Hasmo seem to have sadly made spelling mistakes and punctuation errors their chosen area of expertise.

    I was raised to believe that the Theory of Evolution was poppycock and that dinosaurs did not really exist. They were contrived in some kind of conspiracy theory against traditional religious doctrine.

    I was taught by a certain Osher Baddiel in Yeshiva Stream, that when a piece of wood is dried after having been submerged for some time in water, as in the story of Noah, then it will appear to be much older than its true age. But Baddiel was not alone in debasing the fiction of Dinosaurs as it was espoused by several of his devout teaching colleagues.

    But when the scientific evidence became too overwhelming and incontrovertible they cleverly readapted their position in the same way as Chabad dealt with the impossible passing of their Rebbe or how they explained the “miraculously” low death count in Israel from Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War.

    So in a noble attempt to resolve this cognitive dissonance, contemporary scientific theories and our religious dogma had to be brought in line in the same way that Ricky Gervais interlocks his fingers.

    Michael Goldman has reminded us of “Genesis and the Big Bang” which I know impressed him greatly.
    I was also taught two other less complicated explanations.
    1) The Torah literally opens with “In a beginning” and not as is commonly mistranslated “In the beginning.”
    2) The first letter of the Torah is a “Bet” and not an “Aleph” suggesting a previous age in which dinosaurs may well have roamed.

    By the way, can anyone save me the trouble and tell me what is the last letter of the Torah because if it is “Taf” then we aint going nowhere from here. But it would be so cool, and offer me some hope, if it was the penultimate “Shin,” I am going to post this first then check it out.

  105. In response to the discusion as to whether the world is 5770 years old or billions of years old, I see nothing that necessarily causes friction between the Torah description or the scientists’ theories, and this is for 2 reasons (and there are probably more):
    1. The story of Bereishit speaks about “days” of creation, before it speaks of the creation of the sun, etc – so how exactly was a “day” measured? It may well have been aeons.
    2. Things were created with a ready-made history and age. For example, trees were created. Presumably they were created as ready-made trees not seeds. Animals were created as mature beings (chicken vs. egg debate), Adam was created as an adult. So following through from that, oil and diamonds too were created in a ready state, despite the fact that it takes millions of years to produce them. Given that, why couldn’t a pre-history (that never necessarily actually happened) also be created by G-d, for examples fossils and dinosaurs? The bigger question is why Hashem should do this, but an answer to this is beyond the ability of human intelligence to understand, certainly for someone who had a Hasmo education!

  106. last letter is Lamed

  107. I could certainly do with a “big bang”, this weekend. Suggestions, anyone?

  108. Nick Kopaloff

    Thank you ex-Hasmo.
    I also looked for the last letter of the bible to see if my theory of the penultimate “Shin” might be correct, which would support the tempting notion of an afterlife.
    My Tenach downstairs indeed ends with a “Lamed” but in my online Torah I was amazed to discover that for some reason there is a bracketed “Shin” after the “Lamed.”

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0534.htm

    Like getting laid in my promiscuous youth, I immediately called Daniel Marks to tell him about it. It touched a dormant memory cell but he could not put his finger on it. Perhaps the more learned gentry could throw some light on this mystery.

  109. Yitzchak Landau

    Nick,

    you might be interested to note that the first letter of Rashi on the Torah is an “aleph” and the last is a “taf”. I feel certain that you will be able to put this information to some beneficial use and eagerly anticpate your next d’var Torah!

    As to the whole dinosaur issue, at the risk of being accused of heresy I have never understood why there is a problem in believing they existed. The Torah as elucidated by Rashi is quite explicit in describing how the behaviour of not only humans but also of animals was corrupt at the time of the great flood and that is why they were destroyed. Could the dinosaurs not have suffered just such a fate, thereby causingtheir extinction?

    When linked to the “thousands versus millions of years” debate, which my recently re-discovered cousin David Prager has eloquently attempted to resolve, not to mention Einstein and the theory of relativity as described by Michael Goldman, I would interested to know why the acceptance of dinosaur fossils is so problematic?

  110. Before the author of this excellent blog had used attempted to use the creation of his own hands to solicit:

    “I could certainly do with a “big bang”, this weekend. Suggestions, anyone?”

    I was quite convinced that we’ve really scraped the very bottom of the barrel with the Bnei Akiva oneg-shabbat-like discussion of creation-evolution.

    I would like to raise the level of discussion at this point and ask the ever articulate Goldman whether it is the world that should be feeling ancient or is it just us. Is that really the only big bang that is left to discuss? What about Mikes’s fantasies about Tel Aviv lavatorification? What about Goldman’s dreams about AH’s chicken feet? What about Kopaloff’s feelings for “ze Jewish pigs? Come on people let’s focus on the bigger picture.

  111. Michael Goldman

    Mike
    Have you tried an empty crisp bag?

  112. Another little known Goldman fetish.

  113. David Kornbluth

    Hi all,

    There was some discussion as to the “truth” of some stories from our written and oral tradition, and this made me wonder about the tradition that the moon was shrunk for complaining to G-d.
    There is a custom to recite the blessing for the moon once a month, where we say that ultimately the moon will be revived to its full stature.

    Anyway being Shabbat Bereshit i read a very nice explanation of this for those that are interested, that can be viewed on..

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24067468479&topic=11290

    Shabbat Shalom to one and all.

    David

  114. Just contacted by the Nick Kopaloff who is currently negotiating an arduous 120 kilometer trans-Golan cycle. It should be noted that this is a high-risk adventure sport, but Nick is not deterred. Before Dov enquires, I have no idea if it finishes before shabbat, nor have I considered the possibility that were I to have refused, he may have been forced to cut the ride short.

    Kopaloff wishes to point out that the first commandment in the Torah is Pidyon Haben and the initials of Ben Rishon Acharei Shloshim Yom Tifde come out as Braishit (in Hebrew of course). This according to Nick go some way to explaining why the Torah began with a bet and not an alef.

    I (Daniel) hate these kind of vortim but and act here only as Nick’s mouthpiece.

    Shabbat shalom

  115. Yitzchak Landau

    Could it be that Mr Kopaloff is a secret fan or even a descendant of the famed Baal Huturim who “specialised” in the field of “Remez” (alllusion)?

    Interestingly and in a similar vein to Daniel’s transmitted Dvar Torah, the Baal Haturim amongst other comments on the first passuk of the Torah points out that the letters of Bereishis are the initials of “Borishona Ro’oh Elokim Sheykablu Yisrael Torah”.

    With the preponderance of Divrei Torah on “Twatter” and other postings, I would have suggested setting up a new posting devoted to this topic under the name “Frumster” were that name not already taken!

  116. In answer to your question Michael (re the “empty crisp bag”), the answer is no – I find salt and vinegar bags sting, while cheese and onion ones tend to leave a rather disagreeable odour.

  117. Which reminds one of the long forgotten occasion when Moshe Goldman was riding an elevator one morning in binyan klal and an elderly gentleman asked him:
    “Can I smell your balls?”
    Goldman was shocked and answered:
    “Certainly not!”
    “Oh,” replied the old man, “then it must be your feet!”

  118. Michael Goldman

    Mike
    Thanks for sharing with us the results of your experimentation.

  119. Okay, I have bee told about “a 43-year-old, kind, generous , caring, fun, very bright ,good-looking woman who has a stable job, income etc. She’s modern orthodox, the emphasis on the modern bit.”

    I’m told that she’s really a fantastic catch.
    Any takers?

    danielmarks@walla.com

    P.S. No married men need apply.

  120. Nick Kopaloff

    Oxbridge snobs have always looked down on LSE students as wannabees, nearly-boys, and not-quiters, for much less than reducing the Big Bang Theory into a sordid tale of getting laid. LSE is to English universities what the silver medal is to Seinfeld, the first of all the losers.

    Then Goldman takes the bait. If he could have only channeled his mathematical and statistical sharpness into intelligent debate beyond the scope of the virtues of the crisp bag, then we might have found ourselves on greener pastures, examining the incisive contributions of the erudite Yitzhak Landau, David Prager, et al. But no, sex does sell, and Goldman is always first in line to buy.

    But it was no other than Daniel Marks who was the prime culler and curtailer of our absorbing theological musings. Paving the road to hell with his good intentions, like his fellow pioneering settlers who dried the Hula valley, and created an ecological disaster of unimaginable proportions, he has created a literary drought. And gentlemen – the barren pages of Twatter are living testimony to your pitiful efforts.

  121. Yes, I admit it. I find the subject of evolution vs creation to be as boring as hearing Koplaloff relating the details of his twice referenced bicycle ride. Nick bemoans the silence on twatter of the last few days, I say that in comparison to hearing people with hardly an O level in biology or Jewish studies between them debating our origins, that hush was truly heavenly.

    Kopaloff criticises the author of this excellent blog for choosing sex over theology. Could this be the jealousy of us late middle aged married plus?

    Nick wants to hear nothing of Mike’s big bangs but could this be because they were his and not Nick’s. Nobody can recall him of being reticent to discuss such matters in those long forgotten days when he still had such matters to discuss.

    Finally, I would say that while some may maintain that we are here because of creation while others argue it was evolution, nobody can deny that each and every one of us owes both his origins and creation to someone’s big bang.

  122. Daniel, I am delighted that you feel sufficiently at home on melchett mike to use its pages for purposes of pimping.

    Would said lady be “kind” and “fun” enough to consider an interactive tour of TA’s privies?

    On such lavatorial a note, like all truly creative men (Nick, please explain to your friend), I am currently suffering from a spell of literary constipation (perhaps complicated by contemplated changes in my life).

    Suffice it to say, I will be out shortly . . .

  123. Mike,

    I have no idea what “change” you are currently undergoing. Nor do I have reason to imagine that you are contemplating batting for the other team. I assume this to be the case as you still seem to show a healthy interest in the fairer sex, albeit lavatorial in nature.

    However, if you are planning to make the move, be assured that our support is solid and Ellis Feigenbaum in particular assures me that he will be right behind you, if the need arises.

  124. Re my “batting”, Daniel, I intend to carry on playing straight. And I certainly have no plans of sticking my forward short leg into anyone’s backward point, if that’s what you are getting at.

    Our Ellis can no doubt find plenty of that on his bridge trips to California. I believe San Francisco might be right up his alley.

  125. How appalling that Israel is not pressing charges against Mishmar HaGvul (border police) officers because they only hit Palestinian detainees with “light blows that did not cause real damage” (full story) . . .

    Punchline anyone?

  126. As long as my status as a settler extremist is not too severely compromised I should like it on record that I oppose hitting anyone who is being held in custody and believe that if this was what happened, then the border policemen should be punished.

    I have been quite consistent in this position and during the first intifada, not only did I refuse to hit defenseless Arabs but I even did what I could to prevent others from doing so. I believe that violence is a cancer and should have no place in Jewish or Western societies. Nor can it be controlled. During my first intifada reserves duty I saw two Jewish soldiers (a sergeant and a junior officer) exchanging blows while back at camp. You can’t act like an animal all day, and then go back to being a human being at night.

    My eyes saw the same elite units of the border police being used against Israeli children on the eve of disengagement and I also saw my students returning to school after having been brutally beaten by them at Amona – they were laughing but I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried. The problem with justifying police brutality for political reasons is that you never know who the next victim might be.

    Finally, I do not want my children to behave in such a way and if given an illegal order to beat defenseless Arabs or Jews, I expect them to refuse. Nor do I expect someone else’s son to do my dirty work.

    I think it was Golda Meyer who said (to Anwar Sadat): “We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours.”

  127. Oh come on, Daniel, you are living in la-la land. I’m afraid I’m with Osher on this one. There has to be a fear factor. And without the ability to dish out a good slap or kicking, Mishmar HaGvul might as well cease to exist!

  128. Fear does not come from the thought of being slapped or kicked by the border police. They’ve been doing it ever since we both can remember and our cousins grow braver and bolder by the day. We need a deterrent.

    A deterrent is when the son of Ishmael knows that there is a near certainty that he’ll be caught, and when he does he’ll go to prison for several decades without early releases or good-will gestures. A deterrent is when after every terrorist attack a new outpost is recognized and turned into a thriving settlement, named after the victim. A deterrent is when nobody is allowed into Israel to work, and any Jew who employs them illegally is sent to prison with them, in the same cell.

    A deterrent is when we look our neighbors in the eye, smile and clearly and calmly say that we have no intention of going anywhere at any time, and that it is now up to the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria to decide whether they want their lives to be a heaven or a hell.

    You’re right Mike that for us a good kicking or punching is a scary possibility. However, in some societies parents beat their children, husbands their wives, brothers murder their sisters etc etc. For you to imagine that a person who’s been brought up in such a violent world might be deterred by a bit of a slapping is, to my mind, uncharacteristically naïve.

  129. I’m not saying that a slap or a kick is all that is required, Daniel. But Mishmar HaGvul do a job. They are like the Stiles, the Battys, and the Gattusos. The first line of defence. No frills, no questions – and in many cases, I suspect, no brains! – enforcers.

    For someone using the word “naïve”, Daniel, I have to say that your second and third paragraphs don’t exactly smack of realpolitik! Have you been receiving cowboy lessons from George W Bush?!

    By the way, who is “the son of Ishmael”? Is he big? Could I ‘ave ‘im?!

  130. So, what I think you may be saying is that I may be right, but from a practical, realpolitik point of view, what I suggest is not practical today. Here, my young friend, I acknowledge that you may be right.

    Anyway, the topic has been raised and both our positions clearly stated. Now the time has come for others to weigh in and state their opinions.

    PS As regards to you “having a son of Ishmael” I would advise suitable precautions being taken, and a TA khazi may not be the most suitable venue for this one. Again, you may want to consult with Ellis.

  131. Yes, Daniel, that is what I am saying.

    If my mother asks me, tomorrow evening, whether I am gay . . . you’re for it! Kindly keep your “khazi” jibes in strict reference to totty!

    Re “others weighing in”, Twatter has been averaging 64 “hits” a day in the nearly 4 weeks since its inception. Hardly earth shattering, but not bad. Whilst it would be good to have more contributors to this ‘open’ forum, I think it will come.

    Anyway, as I believe you know only too well, Daniel, it is not size that counts.

  132. Mike,

    Hey, we agreed about something. I think we’ll both be doing some soul-searching tonight.

    Without daring to advise as to how to keep mum from thinking that you’re gay, you may want to consider that your implying that you know about my “size” may not be the best way to do it.

    Shabbat shalom

  133. Michael Goldman

    It doesn’t matter what’s being discussed, Mike always manges to subtley move the discussion to be about his sexual orientation.
    Whether Mike is gay or straight seems to be a bit academic.
    A little like the bloke in the Gemorrah who fell off the roof and managed to thus impregnate his brothers wife.
    You’d have to wait on the roof for a very long time before you got lucky.

  134. Yes, Goldman but your opinion about the use of violence as a political tool is awaited, see earlier postings of today.

    Come on Moshe! Leave your willy alone for a few minutes and focus on a bigger subject.

  135. Michael Goldman

    It is clear to me that D.M wishes me to reply that there is no bigger subject or something similar, but I refuse to take the bait.

    As you both seem to be in agreement, I will not on this occasion be the party pooper.
    I feel it must however be stated that the Cyril and co did a much better job than these particular Mishmar Hagvul.
    I was treated much more violently than that when during my misspent youth I was arrested in England.
    But yes, any use of violence on a captured enemy should be punished, simply because we strive to be better.

  136. All the power to you Goldman. You are completely right on all counts.

    It is my father’s yartzeit this Sunday and I made a little drinks and snacks at the 5:50 minyan. We finished Yoma and I thoroughly enjoyed sussing out Yossi Sa-Nes by setting him up to teach about wet dreams on Yom Kippur and their implications, to a large group of frummers.

    I gave short and tasteful Dvar Torah and concluded with the following story:

    An Arab goes into an American arms store and enquires about an M16:
    “I don’t sell M16s to Arabs” the patriotic salesman replies.

    He the enquires about the pistols but again the
    seller refuses to sell to an Arab. Finally he asks about hand granades:

    “No, I don’t sell grenades to Arabs” is the reply.

    He storms out and meets a liberal Jew. The Jew is shocked on hearing the story and marches into the shop to champion his new friend’s constitutional right.

    “Do you have something against Arabs?” he asks the salesman.

    “Yes, I do.” the salesman cooly replies.

    The Jew is shocked:

    “What do you have against Arabs!?”

    The salesman pauses and then replies, “Let me see. I have M16s, I have pistols, I have grenades….”

    If anyone wants the Dvar Torah, I can post it too.

    Shabbat shalom!

  137. Michael Goldman

    I once again find myself in awe of Daniel’s versatility.

    Thursday 9:44 am :
    Defending poor Arabs from aggresive Israeli soldiers.
    Thursday 8:43 pm :
    Giving advice to Mike on how to keep his sexual orientations a secret from his mum.
    Friday 5:50 am
    Morning minyan, but somehow managing to get wet dreams into the picture.
    Friday 6:30 am (estimate)
    Reverting back to the settler stereotype and telling an Anti Arab joke in shul.

    Daniel
    May I take this opportunity to wish you a long and full life.

    Your friend
    Michael

  138. Nick Kopaloff

    Inverted correlations throughout this blog, to which he replied to the question asked: “When serious subject matter wanes, then sexual innuendo content interwoven with a spattering of cricket terms and field placements, fill the vacuum.”

    Throw in some crevices and protrusions for good measure and then homosexual allusions will stereotypically waltz themselves in. “I am going to move my silly point closer to your crease.”

    And Mike, while Daniel’s talents are many and plenty, Stiles, Battey and Gattuso would neither be his specialist subject on Mastermind, nor characters with whom he would be shokelling shoulder-to-shoulder at his 5:30 morning minyan, (although one of Gattuso’s tattoos is said to translate from Italian “Yoma is a damned good Masechta.”)

    And when there is a dip in the discussion and a lull in the debate, interest is always revived with the mere mention of reliable Ellis. He is to MelchetMike what an emergency fuel tank is to someone who needs an emergency fuel tank.

    But was it not the same Ellis, who out of the kindness of his heart recently bought my son a West Ham United bed-linen set. And no, before you all start quizzing “Does it have “Her Majesty’s Prison Slade” stamped on it, then the answer is no. It was a genuine act of magnanimity from a reformed character of good standing, even though there is a fair chance he nicked it.

    And to end on a serious note, at first I thought Mike was correct both legally and morally when he rocked his head in disgust at the decision not to press charges at the Mishmar Hagvul police who only used light blows on their detainees. The settler section chipped in with their needless condemnation only to end with an inappropriate anti-Arab joke. It may well be a shambolic travesty – but then again, on second thoughts, it may not. If a light blow constitutes just a little push, then it reminds me of when Rodney Trotter put his hands out to steady a toppling drunk woman who then accused him “You touched me” and shouted “rape, rape” which lead to the biggest ever search for a South London serial rapist in the history of the Metropolitan Police.

    So Mike, notwithstanding the fact that Mishmar Hagvul are the Millwall of the IDF, is it not possible, that in these sensitive times of alleged human rights violations and crimes against humanity, that perhaps the military prosecution’s decision not to press charges against the border policeman’s improper behavior, was based on “You touched me?” – and supported by the fact, that the detainees do not even have the scars or scratches to prove it.

  139. Shavua Tov!

    The Gerald Marks memorial season continued with a kiddush at the Tiferet Banim Old Age Home in Jerusalem. Tomorrow is the visit to the grave followed by bagels, salmon and another DT, then back to the land of the living.

    I did wonder whether anybody would actually express an opinion over the issue of the use of police or army violence as a political tool in the State of Israel.

    Goldman wrote:
    “I was treated much more violently than that when during my misspent youth I was arrested in England.”

    If he is referring to the occasion when we shared a cell (until he was allowed out early because of his age) I recall little violence being directed against either of us. I’m not sure if it was on the same occasion, but during one arrest there was a bit of a scuffle in the police van because one copper thought someone had taken his dart board, but he quickly found it and the anger passed.

    We actually planned to dig a tunnel under Marlebone police station and escape, however, after MG’s early release I fell asleep and the scheme was abandoned.

    In his posting Nick treats us to a typical Kopaloffian associative trail of thought:

    Sexual innuendo – Daniel – Ellis – Nick’s son -Mishmar Hagvul – Rodney Trotter – Millwall

    As usual Nick’s scribblings were as sharp as they were relevant, as witty as they were forgettable.

    One can vividly picture him relaxing on a Freudian couch, as the bearded therapist tells him to call out the first thing that comes into his mind:

    sexual innuendo = Daniel

    Ellis = West Ham

    your son = a scarf

    Mishmar Hagvul = Rodney Trotter

    Millwall =

    “Oh, I’m sorry our time seems to be up. Let’s carry this on next week. I do think we’re making a lot of progress Micky….er ….Nick.”

    Love you all

    DM

  140. Nick Kopaloff

    It is sad that while the Mishmar Hagvul police officer was administering “light blows” and exposing the north end of the detainees buttocks, we had no audio track to complement the shameful act. Charges or no charges, this is what they do. And many on the left argue that the “occupation” is responsible for the decline in our moral values and Goldman on the right, candidly acknowledges this joyless fact too, but recognizes it as the lesser of two evils. And as for the missing audio track I can assure you that the policeman was only inquiring as to whether he likes to take it in the rear and then extolling the carnal pleasures of a secret rendezvous with the apprehended gentleman’s sister. That is another thing they always do.

    And is a guava worth the trouble? Despite all preemptive efforts, guava seeds always manage to get inextricably stuck in your teeth?

    I really do not know anymore.

  141. “Hi Nick. We’re going to do something different today. I’m going to say something; you’ll say what that makes you think about, then what that makes you think about and so on. Afterwards we’ll try and find the connections. Got it?”

    “Yes.”

    “Okay, here we go, Mishmar Hagvul.”

    “Oh, that’s easy, Mishmar Hagvul, buttocks. Buttocks…hm…Michael Goldman. Michael Goldman…..taking it in the rear. Taking it in the rear…that’s difficult…oh I know, the guava fruit! How am I doing?”

  142. Nick Kopaloff

    Daniel my friend,

    Were I to begin listing names of those victimized by your condescension, I fear the ink in my cartridge would not be up to the task.

    But I know you too well to get insulted, as the perpetual smirk on my face, as I type out these lines, will attest.

    The plethora (you remember that word – of course you do – you were called to order for its misuse) of contributors who have decried your snootiness begs disbelief.

    You want me to play your word association game. I have a better game. Let’s take an impartial objective observer to give you your own reality check. I propose a gentleman with whom I have not been properly introduced, a certain Mr. Sugar Babe Yossi SaNess, who is to sugar in coffee, what you are to condescension on this blog.

    The gauntlet has been dropped.

  143. I gladly accept your challenge. Incidentally I believe a gauntlet is usually thrown down with a dramatic chivalrous gesture, not dropped.

    The aforementioned gentleman’s email is:

    saness@zahav.net.il

    Details of his 5,000 man/woman strong family can be found at:

    http://www.myheritage.com/site-31550931/%D7%90%D7%AA%D7%A8-%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%A4%D7%97%D7%AA-%D7%A9%D7%90-%D7%A0%D7%A1

    Give us your worst, and we’ll give you our best.

  144. Michael Goldman

    So as our two gladiators prepare to do battle I would humbly like to draw attention to the real hero of the last few days.
    Yes its Mike himself.
    Though his masculinity has been constantly brought into question by the less reputible of our happy family here on twatter and his lack of success with the fairer sex ridiculed, he has kept shtum.
    Not once has he threatened to use his delete finger, much yet used it.
    Moreover he hasn’t even stooped to dignify these ridiculous claims with a reply.
    I would like to propose that we vote Mike “Man of the month” on Twatter for the month of Heshvan.

  145. Nick Kopaloff

    Daniel wrote me:
    “I gladly accept your challenge. Incidentally I believe a gauntlet is usually thrown down with a dramatic chivalrous gesture, not dropped.”

    I will give you one thing, at least you are consistent, you grammar is as flawed as your punctuation.

    “Incidentally” should of course be followed by a comma and in your poor choice of preposition, “with a dramatic chivalrous gesture” instead of “in a dramatic chivalrous gesture”, you failed to convey to the reader your true malicious intent.

    Nitpicking aside, I refer you to Anna Scott Graham’s classic book “Drop the Gauntlet,” which may have slipped your mind.
    http://drop-the-gauntlet.blogspot.com/
    A tale of love and fear, and of life and death. Set in North Yorkshire, England, it explores cross-cultural relationships, the inexplicable natures of baseball and cricket to those uninitiated, and the timeless appeal of a cuppa.

    And so while you may be hurling or throwing down your gauntlet in all directions to all and sundry, I, like the great Anna Scott Graham, prefer the subtlety of the drop.

  146. “Okay, ready to go Nick?”

    “No, I’m sick of your couch and I’m tired of the word association game.”

    “You seem a little upset today.”

    “Well, yes. My friend Daniel caught me on a mixed metaphor.”

    “Daniel….remind me. Is that the good looking, charismatic settler from Maale Adumim?”

    “Yes, I dropped my gauntlet.”

    “What’s wrong with that Nick?”

    “Oh, I don’t know. I guess that you usually drop things by accident. I should have said ‘throw down'”

    “I’m not sure about that Nick, ‘drop’ has many meanings. Why don’t you relax on the couch and we’ll talk about it.”

    “Oh, okay. I suppose so. I’m sure somebody else must have said ‘Drop the gauntlet.’ If only I could find him.”

    “Yes, maybe try Google. Now, are you ready to play?”

    “I guess.”

    “North Yorkshire.”

    “Buttocks!”

    “Excellent, I really feel that we’re getting somewhere.”

  147. Thank you for your nomination, Michael.

    However, not being the one with the gay (and very nice) brother – and with modern science suggesting homosexuality to be genetic – I wonder whether you might merely be deflecting attention away from your own “masculinity” and record “with the fairer sex”?!

  148. Firstly, Michael Goldman is not gay, not that there’s anything wrong with it (outside halachah).

    Secondly, he has an excellent record with the fairer sex, especially 1980-1983, it may not have reached the heights of Kopaloff at his peak, who shamelessly boasts on a parallel blog to waking up one morning with a tall blond Ivor Braff lookalike, but he certainly had his moments.

    Thirdly, and this is for Mike, who seems a little off form of late, by saying that MG is not gay I’ve set myself up for you to imply that I am, otherwise “How would I know?” etc. If you’re going to do so, I recommend moving quickly as Koplaloff is desperately short of material and will happily publish absolutely anything.

  149. That “halachah” thing, if my memory serves me correctly, also seemed to prohibit saving a dying non-Jew on a Saturday – not to mention pouring boiling water on yer bag of PG Tips – so I am not too concerned about its views on homosexuality.

    Re the anticipated “implication”, I wouldn’t take such a cheap shot, Daniel – I leave them to you and Michael – though I do have a theory about homophobes . . .

  150. Michael Goldman

    Mike
    Are you insinuating that my brother Mark is gay!??

  151. No (we know he is), just that you might be too . . . not that there’s anything wrong with it (and **** halachah).

  152. Michael Goldman

    It’s just a rebellious phase he’s going through.

  153. We all go through them . . . oops! 😉

  154. What is your theory about homophobes?

  155. That they hate, or fear, homosexuals. But it is more complicated than that.

  156. Michael Goldman

    Well here we go again. We have once again arrived at that time of year. All those who disagree with the Oslo accords (I don’t understand how, after the results of the Gush Katif/Gaza fiasco, anyone can support them) had better hide or be accused of tainting the great Rabin Heritage. We are all guilty. We all pulled the trigger.

  157. Actually everything seemed quite mild to me this year. Maybe because fourteen years have caused many to forget, maybe because to many Rabin has become history like Herzl or Moses, maybe because everyone’s a bit unsure about what the Rabin legacy was.

    My son began studying law in Bar Ilan and they had ceremonies and stuff yesterday. Apparently, one lecturer said he remembered Amir as a student and that he was a trouble maker back then too. I wonder what he’d have said if Amir had become the Minister of Education.

    I dislike Rabin intensely while he was alive and believe that the policies he was persuaded to pursue have caused much death and suffering. Neither can that camp say that nobody warned them as to what the result would be.

    He was, in my opinion, one of Israel’s worst prime minister’s and that’s really saying something. He was, however, my prime minister too and so when he was murdered something died in me too. Maybe the belief that such a thing could not happen here.

    On the day he was murdered we lost a lot of our innocence and, if nothing else, I mourn that.

  158. Yes, the anniversaries of Rabin’s assassination are also extremely difficult for all of those Israelis who didn’t buy into the Oslo Accords hook, line, and sinker.

    I dealt with my feelings on the subject in Using Yitzhak: The Rabin Trade.

    Because it was one of my first posts (the tenth to be precise) – before melchett mike became the celebrated blog that it now is 😉 – it has only ever had eight readers (compared to 14,626 for Hasmo Legends I!) and no comments, having become lost in melchett mike‘s distant archives.

    So perhaps it can now receive a belated read and some reactions. It is just as relevant now as it was a year ago . . . and, indeed, 13 years ago.

  159. Mike

    The dearth of responses to your Hendon piece in no way reflects its quality, which in my humble literary judgment, was beautifully crafted and nostalgically redolent. But if mass responses are what you truly want, then perhaps Melchett Mike is not the blog for you.

    Alternatively, you may consider catering more to the primal needs of some of the lower classes of your readership (who may live in the Givat Zeev or Maaleh Adumum areas), who seem to like cheap and snappy one-liners with homosexual innuendos interwoven into witless cricket references.

    Since when has popularity been the yardstick for quality?

    Were not Shakespeare and Dickens the objects of scorn and ridicule even after their deaths? Probably not, so I will retract that last bit.

  160. What can I tell you, Nick . . . the writer’s fragile ego!

    I don’t expect responses for some posts – for example, my next one, which is dating-related (most readers don’t seem to recall what that is!) – but I was hoping that the Hendon one might generate a mass reminiscence and storytelling.

    Still, I enjoy writing them . . . 😉

  161. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Nick , I am pleased you retracted the last part. Comparing one of our great writers and a literary genius to the likes of Dickens and Shakespeare is just not cricket.

  162. I take exception to Kopaloff writing about:

    “…the lower classes of your readership (who may live in the Givat Zeev or Maaleh Adumum areas), who seem to like cheap and snappy one-liners with homosexual innuendos interwoven into witless cricket references.”

    I have never mentioned cricket.

  163. I, too, have no idea what Kopaloff is referring to when he writes about “cheap and snappy one-liners with homosexual innuendos”.

    Changing the subject . . .

    Shuli – the would-be gay-killer – is going to be in Israel next week. I hope this does not ring hollow . . . but homophobia sucks, and the time has surely come to put an end to it; and, rather than sowing the seeds of disharmony, let us strive hard to enlarge the circle of human empathy.

    So, instead of cocking a snook at Shuli next week, come out to give him a blow by blow account of the errors of his ways. I’ll be there . . . with bells on.

    I believe I have mentioned cricket.

  164. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Homophobia sucks, has got to be the funniest thing you have written all week.
    Robin Williams could do a three hour monologue on those 2 words and their specific juxtoposition.
    The Hollow ringing of homophobic sucking, Wordsworth would regale us for hours, not to mention Oscar Wilde.
    Mike you have outdone yourself.

  165. I was excitedly anticipating Mike’s further elucidation of his new “theory” that: “homophobes hate, or fear, homosexuals..” Please tell us more, oh do!

    In an early posting Nick Kopaloff referenced Shuli and begged the author of this excellent blog: “….give me five minutes with him, that’s all I ask.”

    Shuli, never one to back down from a confrontation replied: “Nick – anytime, anyplace.”

    We are happy to announce to our readers and all fans of the Mixed Martial Arts that with Shuli’s planned visit to Israel the contest is finally feasible. Both fighters are training conscientiously, religiously in Shuli’s case and it promises to be the Fight of the Century.

    Melchett Mike will be given first refusal to host the event and for those partial to an occasional flutter, the legendary Ellis Feigenbaum will be happy to take your bets (“take” being the operative word).

    The date has yet to be set but please monitor chatter for further details as they become available.

  166. APARTMENT/STUEY & DEXXY OFFER!!!

    If any readers know of anyone who might want to stay in a great apartment bang in the middle of Tel Aviv (rent and bill free) – between 17th December and 10th January (whilst I am recovering in the Caribbean from the stress of having to deal with Marks and Kopaloff for the last year) – in exchange for merely sleeping in the apartment and walking my two lovely hounds morning and eve, please get in touch via the blog.

    The apartment comes with hot water, HOT TV (there’s a down side to everything), and even a wireless.

    Last time, I had someone who worked in Tel Aviv but who lived bleedin’ miles away, and who the arrangement suited down to the ground. Okay, the dogs missed the sex . . . but what can you do?! 😉

  167. Michael Goldman

    What about Goldman?
    You had to deal with Goldman too and his terrible spelling and punctuation!

  168. Your comment, Michael, is evidence of your vast improvement under my tutelage.

    You’ve gotta love these companies that send spam (in the hope of obtaining free advertising by getting their URLs through blogs’ anti-spam systems). The following – from a company selling “cheap generics without prescription” (yeh, that’s a good idea) – just landed in the melchett mike spam box:

    “Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.”

    You can just picture this bloke, sitting in a hut somewhere in Africa, thinking: “They’ll never think this is spam” . . . as he posts to Hasmo Legends XVI!

    PS I just did an IP search . . . his hut’s in Singapore.

  169. Nick Kopaloff

    Mike’s oxymoronic “homophobia sucks,” has received lavish praise from non other than Ellis. This would be the same Ellis who thinks a Pullitzer is something your wear in winter.

    Having said that, as editor of this excellent blog, Mike does enjoy the unfair advantage of being able to italicize his plethoric collection of gay puns, a privilege withheld to us regular posters whose occasional witticisms just get drowned in the default style and font.

    But the scales of inequality have been tipped even further. Mike also seems to have underlining rights as well, and can insert “Smileys” to his heart’s content when and where he chooses.

    Where is the level playing field of opportunity that you liberals preach day-in and day-out, when it is not on your own doorstep? Melchett Mike should be the people’s blog. I say it should be either nationalized, or floated in which case regular contributors would receive options and dividends.

    Of course these options should not be allocated based solely on the number of postings, lest Daniel Marks wrest total control and hold absolute power and change the blog’s name to Melchett Daniels Morning Minyan. The quality level of the postings should be the overriding factor to be judged and assessed by an independent panel of experts not including Goldstone or Ellis.

  170. Ellis Feigenbaum

    nick stop ranting and get yourself a wordpress account, there you can smily italicize and even have your mug put up with the posts.

  171. Yitzchak Landau

    Mike

    just occurred to me – if someone takes up your offer of an apartment in exchange for exercising the dogs, would a late night walk entitle them to call themselves “Dexxy’s Midnight Runner”?

  172. Nick –

    “Mike’s oxymoronic “homophobia sucks,” has received lavish praise from non other than Ellis.”

    No praise shall be lavished on your spelling.

    Ellis, thank for the advice. I was wondering how Mark Goldman and a certain bald gentleman with an inordinately large skull, were able to get both italics and also their own images up on the blog while Kopaloff appeared quite frustrated at his own inability to get anything up at all.

  173. Rosalie Goldman

    Daniel,
    I saw Michael on his computer as I am visiting his family and was shocked at the things you wrote about me.
    Michael tried boldly to hide your profanites from my eyes but in vain.
    I demand you retract all you have written about me lest there be feud between the Marks and Goldman clans.
    Your mum, Kitty, not to be confused with your cat Honey, would be devastated to read what you have written about me.
    Never have I pronounced the Yo in yogurt as one pronounces bow.
    Retract immediately or bear the consequences of your irresponsible actions.

  174. Virginia Dixon

    Daniel … your cat was called HONEY??? All these years and I never knew! And all these years I’ve co-existed and ex-existed with a dog called HONEY. Well knock me down with a feather!!It’s enough to get me on the blog, finally.. you a happy man now???

  175. Virginia Dixon,

    Yes, to “happy”. “Man”, the jury is still out. But wow! What an aphrodisiac. Virginia finally drops in to Twatter.

    Honey was a dear sweet cat who was born soon after my younger sibling Joel. She had a singular beauty, so rare among the felines found in Maale Adumim. Sadly, no pictures survive but Honey did win a competition for her loveliness when I was still a wee lad in Rosh Pinah.

    Many stories could be (and will) be related and few would argue Honey’s claim to a blog page of her own, is at least as deserving as a that of a certain Osher Baddiel, who hates dogs no less but is in every other way not in her league.

    Regarding the wannabe Rosalie Goldman, who mysteriously shares her older son’s abominable writing style, this charlatan must indisputably be the Plan B of the Goldman brothers in the event of their dairy cover-up being exposed. Readers of this excellent blog should not be surprised if Nana herself returns very soon from the dead to vouch for her off-springs’ lies. Do not be fooled she is up there eating yoe-gurts in a better place.

  176. Virginia Dixon

    hey! I “drop in” and it’s all gone quiet. Not a twittering or a twattering from anyone. Daniel … alone – at last!

  177. Readers of this fine blog should be advised that Mike does not always get rejected by the aesthetically challenged. And while my dry predictable wit would lead you to expect that he gets the thumbs down from the stunners as well, that is certainly not the case.

    In fact a common friend of ours, who shall remain nameless but who hails from County Durham, so you can’t get more common than that, told me that he saw Mike arm-in-arm with a South Hemispherical beauty that left him gasping for breath.

    I am sure I speak not only for Auntie Rosalie and Auntie Kitty, but for all your dedicated subscribers when I ask Mike to spill the beans and tell us more, but I would implore him to put discretion before valour and not repeat past unforgivable sins by divulging the maiden’s name.

  178. Michael Goldman

    Mike
    A word of advice may be of some help.
    Whatever the physical attributes of any maiden you may chance upon, they will only deteriorate with time,so that if chubby thighs doesn’t do it for you today, in twenty years time …….

  179. I must disagree here and ironically shall use Moshe Goldman himself as proof.

    For those who did know MG as a child he had big ears, an unbearable grin and absolutely no dress sense.

    Later when an adolescent, while never reaching the lofty heights of Nick Koplaloff or the hitherto unreferenced Malcolm Myers he could not have been described as unattractive and had his small but highly devoted female following.

    By middle age Goldman’s looks had, like a good wine, improved with time and his chubby thighs notwithstanding he can today sit by the pool in Ashkelon feeling inferior to no man.

    I believe it was Pope John XXIII who was accredited with saying:

    “Men are like wine. Some turn to vinegar,
    but the best improve with age.”

  180. Whilst showering last night it occured to me that I may be wrong about Auntie Rosalie’s pronounciation of the word yoghurt and that with the passing of years, I may have confused between her and Auntie Carol (Arkus).

    If this is the case I profusely apologize to Auntie Rosalie, to Michael and to any other friends, family or loved ones to whom embarassment might have been caused.

    I wish Auntie Rosalie and all the other Goldmans a long and blissful life.

  181. Michael Goldman

    As ever I find myself more confused than enlightened by Daniels enigmatic postings.
    Am I a vintage wine or do I have a fat bum as daniel claimed on the “suicide is painless” page?
    Perhaps I am a vintage wine with a fat bum.

    As of your apology.
    It will be forwarded it to my mum and let us hope that this will put an end to the whole sorry affair.

  182. “By middle age Goldman’s looks had, like a good wine, improved with time and his chubby thighs notwithstanding he can today sit by the pool in Ashkelon feeling inferior to no man.”

    I used the conjunction “notwithstanding” in layman’s terms:

    Even though he has a big bum, he’s like a vintage wine.

    I would like to take this opportunity to officially welcome Virginia Dixon to this blog.

  183. Michael Goldman

    Why is she using a pseudonym?

  184. I would guess:

    Either he/she doesn’t want to be identified.

    Or he/she wants to appear more mysterious.

  185. Daniel, I am delighted to see that you have finally grasped the logic of my “That they hate, or fear, homosexuals” reasoning!

  186. I thought your theory that homophobes “hate, or fear, homosexuals” was as original as it was brilliant. Kopaloff, no less enthusiastic than I, actually suggested trying to squeeze you in for a Nobel prize.

    Unfortunately, the Nobel people told us that Wikipedia had beaten you to it explaining homophobia as: “Homophobia (from Greek homós: one and the same; phóbos: fear, phobia) is defined as an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals”

    We argued that this could not be as: “That is the theory that Mike has and which is his and what it is, too.”

    The matter is still awaiting appeal.

  187. Had I not known any better, I would have thought that the good Lord invented gays so that at their mention, this fine blog could receive the adrenalin boost it so urgently needs. Like “Ellis”, they provide a lifeline to inactivity and lacklustre posts. Mike could spice things up a little with veiled details about his South-Hemispherical beauty who was seen to be clinging to his muscular physique, but our editor prefers the language of dignity and restraint.

    But I think I know where Shuli is coming from. The other day we were making our way down a short and particularly narrow escalator at the Ra’anana shopping mall, when a “gay” in a hurry moved my three-year-old son Liam out of the way so he could get past.

    He was obviously gay because he was as macho as Mr. Humphries, and he had the silly exaggerated hip-wiggling walk and the affected voice. I confronted him and we very nearly came to blows. So Shuli I hear what you are saying.

    And did I understand correctly that tall blonde Mike Braff lives in Barcelona? You referenced my opposition to hitting children and described me as “sensitive and caring” which in Israel sadly is often taken as a disparaging insult like “yafe nefesh” or “tov lev”. So call me progressive, and not reliant on a wishy-washy Halacha to defend a child’s inalienable right against physical abuse, but I consider any grown adult delivering uninhibited blows to defenseless infants or minors to be inherently wrong and I would not hesitate to flatten any adult who would dare lay a hand on my son. Pity few parents reacted in that manner in our day. I refer you to one exception from a previous post:

    “My brother Stephen recalls how Rabbi Pyscho Angel once totally lost it with Howard Freedman, and clenching the hair at the back of his head, repeatedly smashed his face onto the tabletop until he was bleeding profusely. The poor boy could have been killed. Howard’s father, a short man, came to the school and grabbed the tall Rabbi by his collar, lifted him in the air so that his lanky legs were dangling like a puppet and warned him in front of the whole class “If you ever fucking lay another hand on my son I will fucking kill you!”

    But I am intrigued at why so many members and non-members of the gay persuasion come to life at the mere mention of homosexuality. Daniel Marks used to stage an interesting exercise in self-perception comprising a series of concentric circles (or spiraling ones) representing layers of who we are and how we perceive ourselves to be. Would this blog have us believe that one’s core identity is defined primarily in terms of one’s sexuality? This seems the case for Mark Goldman and Shuli, who are different sides of the same coin as they only to come to life and stand up and be counted when homosexuality is mentioned.

    As to allegations that Shuli himself is gay, I have no doubt he tests positive, and as to Mark’s findings from the “Journal of Abnormal Psychology” (strange name??) about homophobes getting aroused by homosexual erotic stimuli, all contributors to the blog seem to have suddenly tempered their misgivings.

  188. Nick,

    Your references to the “South Hemispherical beauty” prompted me to inform said lady – whom I had not been in touch with for some time – of her newfound fame in the blogosphere, and reignited the dialogue between us. So thank you for that.

    T was, indeed, one of my finest conquests. I could post a link to an image of her, though I fear that to do so might encourage Onanistic transgressions amongst my innocent readers akin to murder and idolatry (Talmud Niddah 13a).

    As for the “adrenalin boost”, “inactivity” and “lacklustre posts” you refer to, may I remind you that lively debate has threatened to break out into cyberwarfare on melchett mike this past week, commencing with Noya’s brave defence of the generously thighed Tel Avivit and ending in Shuli’s cowardly attack on his “silly exaggerated hip-wiggling” brethren.

    If I may inherit the boldness displayed by Noya and Shuli – one noble, the other ignoble – it seems to me that your repeated calls for action are a conceited, if cunningly disguised, way of announcing:

    “Arise from thy slumber . . . Kopaloff is back!”

    Anyway, why aren’t you in shul?

  189. “This seems the case for Mark Goldman … only to come to life and stand up and be counted when homosexuality is mentioned”

    How ridiculous Nick. I comment on anything that I feel I can contribute to in a meaningful and informed way to Mike’s blog. Hence my postings with regards to being gay and being a member and leader of the Reform Jewish community. I don’t feel a need to comment on any and every posting.

    Thanks for the stereo type ‘gay’ and support of Shuli. At least the ‘gay’ only moved Liam out of his way. It’s not inconceivable that a few years from now, Shuli might threaten to remove Liam permanently or at least administer some of Shuli’s ‘medicine’. Whatever that is.

    Nice going Nick.

  190. Nick said:

    “This seems the case for Mark Goldman … only to come to life and stand up and be counted when homosexuality is mentioned”

    So amusingly, because homosexuality had been mentioned Mark “came to life” to argue that he has opinions about Reform Judaism too.

    I would, however, take issue with Koplaloff’s absurd attempt to characterize gays as being people who are prone to move three-year-olds out of the way on elevators. Does Koplaoff have any empirical evidence, other than the Ra’anana shopping mall fiasco, that homosexuals have a greater predisposition towards moving infants? I wasn’t at the mall and have no idea who was in the right, but what does all this to do with the perpetrator’s sexual preference? If it turns out that the guy was straight but enjoys the missionary position will Kopaloff make a similar judgement about such people.

    Then in, what I sincerely hope is not an attempt to curry favor with his adversary and thus avoid his highly publicized MMA bout with Shuli, Kopaloff suddenly understands where he’s coming from.

    I shall not even repeat the things Kopaloff had written attacking Shuli’s contention that gays are ill etc but after someone “…in a hurry moved his three-year-old son Liam out of the way so he could get past” he has now apparently made a 180 degree turn in his opinion regarding homosexuality.

    Finally, I have always encouraged by children to stand in single file on the left so that any heterosexuals, homosexuals, lesbians or bisexuals who are in in hurry can get by without interference. I’m sure the lovable Liam would quite quickly learn.

    As I wrote in an early posting he is indeed lucky to have such a sensitive father.

  191. “Thanks for the stereo type ‘gay’ and support of Shuli”

    You have totally missed my point Mark, and your oversensitivity reminds me of the gay doctor scene from Curb your Enthusiasm series 7:

    I would be interested to hear all readers’ views on its political correctness.

    My use of “gay” was again tongue-in-cheek and taken from Little Britain’s “Daffyd the only gay in the village” written by and starring English gay Jew Matt Lucas. Link below, parental guidance might be advised:

    As for Shuli, I do not know him, I do not like him, and I was his most clamorous combatant when he first came on blog with his homophobic death threats. Daniel is apparently staging a showdown between the two of us.

    Both you and Daniel may have uncharacteristically got the wrong end of the stick and I am surprised you could not read between the lines in my “support of Shuli.”

    Daniel’s single-file left-side escalator policy is commendable, but Liam was holding his mother’s hand at the time and the escalator was narrow. You do not deliberately move or nudge a three year old on a moving escalator, and were you to do so Daniel, as deep as our friendship is, and however great your predisposition to move infants, I would have to take you to task in no uncertain terms. And of course your infant-moving predisposition would not suddenly make me opposed to right-wing settlement policies, as you and Mark suggest.

  192. Mike "Ivor" Braff

    Hi Nick, hows it going? The episode I spoke about in an earlier post re Calek beating three friends and myself up individually really left an ugly taste regarding Jewish teachers. However much we had provoked the asshole Calek, he should never have resorted to physical violence. That is when he lost the higher ground. What will always stick with me is how the other Rabbis rallied around him. Does this not smack of what we see nowdays of the Catholic clergy and their paedophile ways? Hush Hush!
    Hard love can work on a one on one with your child, but always remember the kid´s needs.

  193. Yes, I did misunderstand what you were saying. And for jumping to conclusions I apologize on behalf of myself and I’m sure that Mark agrees wholeheartedly.

    Rather than giving you the benefit of the doubt, which you certainly deserved after all these years, we both got quite carried away. Be assured that we’ll be more fastidious in the future.

  194. Nick’s cruel stereotyping of homosexuals as “silly exaggerated hip-wiggl[ers]” is unforgivable . . . especially since, less than a week ago, he was scathing in his criticism of me for innocently pointing out that Eylat had missed her vocation in rugby league, and that Noya must have “had the painters in”.

  195. Mike "Ivor" Braff

    A long time gone CSNY, go ahead, take a beer and chill. Live and let live. You reminisce about the 70´s but you dont need your views to remain there.

  196. Michael Goldman

    Mike,
    The gentleman Nick described was obviously doing his best to flaunt his sexual preference and it would have been much more cruel of Nick not to have noticed.
    Moreover he was not stereotyping homosexuals, as having “silly exaggerated hip-wiggl[ers]” but rather describing one instance.

  197. Michael Goldman.

    When you say, “..one instance.” Did you mean:

    a. That he was just one homosexual who usually wiggles, but most don’t.
    b. That he was one homosexual who like all others occasionally wiggles
    c. That not all homosexual wiggle, he does, but he does it occasionally.

  198. Nick and all,

    Sorry that the humor of your posting escaped me. Of course, I should have realized it was “…tongue-in-cheek and taken from Little Britain’s “Daffyd the only gay in the village” :-).

    The question of P.C., generally and on this blog particularly interests me as well.

    For example, I understand from Daniel’s numerous postings that he has nothing against gay people (besides halacha), and even though I know his writing style to be sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending, I understand for the most part, he doesn’t intend any malice. Having said that, I still find his last attempt at school boy humor derisive and mocking.

    No different to when a friend (yes a gentile gay!) makes a Jewish joke, which I find to be equally objectionable.

    Perhaps refraining from these kinds of ‘jokes’, is in some way similar to creating ‘fences’ around the Torah. Something that I know my orthodox brethren are only too keen to do.

  199. Michael Goldman

    Daniel,
    None of the above.
    Try again.
    Go to minyan.

    Mark,
    Shavua Tov.
    After knowing Daniel for many years, even more than I have known you, I feel obliged to make claer that for Daniel, being “sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending” is not so much a writing style as it is an alternate lifestyle.
    I’m sure that everybody on the blog (excepting perhaps Shuli) respects his right to decide how he wishes to live his life.
    Having said this, I must point out that his friends, over the years have learned to love him for it and I am sure that in this instance I speak for one and all when I say “Daniel. We wouldn’t have you any other way.”
    I have no problem with Jewish jokes as long as they are funny.
    I think our difference has something to do with feeling secure in our Judaism.

  200. Daniel and Mark,

    Was it not Jay Leno who unselfishly said: “If God doesn’t destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”

    Yes I accept your joint apology, and have put it so far behind me that I do not even remember what it was about. Something maybe about wiggling, but I am not sure.

    The “thigh girl” and Noga (“Arsenal are playing at home!”) are weighing heavy on Mike’s fragile soul, but he is nevertheless jeopardizing our planned Tuesday luncheon by giving false testimony and deliberately misrepresenting my reference to the hip-wiggler. Thanks Michael Goldman for leaping to my defense by pointing out “he (Nick) was not stereotyping homosexuals….rather describing one instance.”

    In his inimitable way, Daniel totally took the “wiggle” to another level of debate, with his gemorra-like pilpulistic case study and his methodological research into its wider implications and inferences to contemporary society. PC or not, I admit to finding it very funny indeed.

    I share Mark Goldman’s interest in the question of P.C. and would like to jumpstart a discussion on the matter with yea or nay comments about my previously referenced Larry David sketch.

  201. This was the posting that I never wanted to write.

    How easy it is for the likes of Mark Goldman to criticize me for being sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending. This is the typical attitude of the modest and sincere people like himself who because they are the “majority” feel free to discriminate against us.

    Do they really think we chose this lifestyle? Was it of our picking? How easy it is for society to just say, “Well, don’t be cynical and condescending then.” The coin hasn’t dropped yet. This is us and this is how we were born! There are no medicines for it and no treatment. It is as Michael says a “lifestyle choice” but one not of our choosing.

    I can’t even remember when it first was that I realized that I was different. Already at primary school while others were happily playing soccer I would amuse myself at the thought of so many people running after a ball and when one of them finally catching it, kicking it in the other direction. My mother would say, “Why don’t you go to the park and play cricket like other boys and I’d question what was the point of a four day game that invariably seemed to end in a draw out of boredom.

    Socially being sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending is no walk in the park either. It was always, “Go on, tell us a joke Daniel!” I am convinced that many people who disliked me invited me anyway just to have me amuse their guests. Nor does it end. Today in three four hours a group of German journalists and politicians will arrive and the German Federal Government will pay me for arguing with them. As usual I’ll be sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending and as usual they’ll laugh and hate me all the more.

    There was a time when some religions saw this lifestyle as a vice and portrayed us as wicked or deviants. Later, psychiatrists psychologists replaced them trying to treat us. We are what we are and through our persecution we’ve learned to be proud of ourselves and our achievements. If I published a list of sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending people who have changed world history I think that many of you might be surprised. I choose not to do so as many of them have still not come out of the closet.

    I tell you know that sarcasm, arrogance, and condescension are not illnesses and they are certainly not contagious. Rather than stereotyping and stigmatizing us, learn to accept us for who we are. For we are you.

  202. Daniel,

    I wished you would have come out of the closet sooner.

    I’m loving the new you. I’m starting to get you!

    Let’s do lunch when I’m in town (glatt on me!!)

  203. Lunch on you?! Rewarding Marks for his sarcasm, arrogance and condescension?!

    I expect shabbes dinner, at the very least.

    Kopaloff gets a small hafuch. And not Arcaffe either!

  204. Michael Goldman

    Daniel,
    Be very careful.
    When Mark was here last, we went out for a meal and I ended up paying.

  205. True, Michael pulled the “get up to go to the bathroom” trick, paid the bill before I had a chance.

    Since I know from your abundant postings on the matter that going to the bathroom is no small achievement for you Daniel, I don’t foresee the same issue.

    PS As much as we disagree on so many important issues, I’d challenge anyone to measure up to my brother’s generosity, honestly, and genuine character.

  206. Michael Goldman

    What about good looks ?

  207. The whole discussion emanating from the “silly exaggerated hip-wiggling” escalating homosexual has missed the point . . . which is really why did Kopaloff name his son “Liam”?

    Is Nick an Irish wannabe? Or a Gooner who still produces nightly “emissions” dreaming about the great Brady? A fan of that Manc twat Gallagher perhaps? Or did he just get so swept away by Schindler’s List that he absent-mindedly called his son after the actor rather than the real hero?

    Anyway, it’s not a name for a yiddisher boy.

  208. Let’s not go there, or to what I can only imagine to be your ultimate ‘destination’ 🙂

  209. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel, I think I have just become a sarcaphobe.
    Or is that a closet sarcaphobe?

  210. The truth is that the day after coming out of the closet and admitting to myself who I am my main feeling is one of relief. I thank you all for your support and edible offers. I have no need for glatt and in that context was delighted to note that Rachmu from Machane Yehudah has abandoned his badatz and again has full (the bean) with his humus. Truthfully, if I have to choose between full (with or without insects) and a haredi mashkiach it’s not even a close call.

    The meeting with the Germans went excellently. I did mention the war once, but I think I got away with it. Had plenty of opportunities to be sarcastic, arrogant, and condescending – one being when I was asked whether in the absence of a meaningful peace process I would support the idea of Israel becoming a bi-national state. I answered that I thought it was an excellent idea, so good that I would recommend trying it out for the whole Middle East. I said that since there is only one Jewish state it might be better to do the pilots on some other countries and that Saudi Arabia, The Yemen, Kuwait, Syria, the UAE, Egypt and Iran could try it out first and after the bigger countries had it up and going successfully we could discuss the idea too.

    There were some other funny moments.

  211. Overheard the following (translated from the Hebrew) this morning, from a customer to the Moroccan owner of ‘my’ herring stall in Shuk Ha’Carmel (Carmel Market):

    “I am Ashkenazi. We taught you to read and write. You taught us how to eat charif (spicy sauce).”

    Funeral details to follow!

  212. This is a thorny issue, but did anyone see that miserable old Ukrainian in the Munich court yesterday and think, like I did, “Is this all worth it now?”

    When, in 1993, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned Demjanjuk’s 1988 conviction for war crimes – based on reasonable doubt as to whether he was indeed “Ivan the Terrible” – that should have been the end of the matter. We had our chance.

    I am sure Demjanjuk wasn’t picking flowers during WWII, but I can’t help feeling that this is all too much and too late . . .

  213. I think he should be hanged just for that atrocious acting yesterday. As he was groaning with pain his eyes were scanning his audience to see who was watching and what their reaction was.

    I could not but recall images of the legendary Ellis Feigenbaum trying to get out of sports and claiming that he was growing a tail. El was far more convincing.

    If he’s faking, hang him for that. If the pain is genuine, I say, “Put the poor beast out of his misery!”

  214. Quite. He’s no Olivier, is he?

    I am sure Ellis will be chuffed to hear that he bears favourable comparison with Demjanjuk (“Ivan the Terrible” or not). You are a friend indeed, Daniel!

  215. Must I remind you that Demjanjuk has never been convicted? Ellis cannot boast such a claim (:

  216. No, Daniel, you mustn’t! Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death here in 1988. The conviction was overturned in 1993.

  217. You got me there!
    A bit petty but you’re quite right.

  218. Yes, Daniel, the fact that Demjanjuk was found guilty of crimes against humanity hardly differs at all from your contention (that he never has been).

    “Petty” indeed! And apologies for interrupting your flow . . .

  219. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel,
    I pen this missive from sunny San Diego where the North American bridge currently in progress.
    Any comparison between myself and Demanjuk is merely cursory. It should be obvious to a person of your great though wasted intellect that crimes against HM customs and revenue are far more deserving of incarceration at one of her majesties one star establishments than any crimes against humanity committed by a balding fat guy 70 years ago.

  220. Ellis,

    As you correctly pointed out in an early posting, my intellect has been much exaggerated by too many well-meaning friends.

    I’m just a big bluffer who knows how to use Google.

    Good luck with your bridge my old chum.

    We all love you very much!

  221. I’m no lawyer but I would imagine that if you’re found guilty of crimes against humanity and then your conviction is overturned it means that your final status is the very much the same as someone who was not found guilty in the first place.

    For that reason I conceded that you what you were saying was quite correct, however, I considered you to be bing a little ” petty” of going to the bother of making the subtle distinction.

    PS I believe that to have been my most boring posting to date.

  222. And it’s had some pretty fierce competition!

  223. So Dmitriy Salita, the great Lubavitcher hope – in whom Daniel Marks, Nick Kopaloff and Michael Goldman are alleged to have invested £335 of their hard-earned cash (at 5-1) – turned out to be, at the risk of offending damp squibs, a bit of a damp squib.

    The referee stopped his fight with British Muslim, Amir Khan, after the grand total of 76 seconds, during which time the Chabadnik managed to do three “Allah hu akbar” impersonations on the canvas (with Khan not even having to resort to Semtex).

    And hot favourite for December’s Mook of the Month is now Mr. Kopaloff, who drove an hour and a half – from Kfar Yona to Givat Ze’ev – in order to witness the debacle. That’s 71 seconds of motoring for every second of boxing.

    Not that I like to gloat, you understand . . .

    Anyway, can someone get chucked out of Lubavitch?!

  224. There was also sushi, home-made pickes and banana cake.

    I think he is the worst boxer in the world. Goldman could have survived longer. It was like watching a Yeshiva Streamer first former being beaten up by a St Mary’s yok on the 240.

    On the positive side, I had been thinking of flying to the UK to see it so think how much money I saved.

  225. A shame for you boxing-starved boys that I didn’t come . . . with our history, Goldman and I would have given better pugilistic entertainment on his living room floor!

  226. Well, you’d certainly have been on the floor.

  227. So he’s harder than his brother? 😉

  228. As the word hard can refer either to being physically tough or to having an erection, and as I have no wish to revive the thankfully flagging topic of “homosexuality and halachah” I shall, on this occasion, break with precedent and not reply.

    Suffice it to say, that the presence of the author of this excellent blog was sorely missed, and in his absence, the task of making coffee fell on the broad shoulders of our esteemed host.

    Melchettmike was referenced during the evening together with topics of chess analysis, parashat hashavua, theology and moderately crude jokes were told to the amusement of many. During the latter Mike was especially conspicuous in his absence.

    At the risk of further wearying the cliché, a good time was had by one and all – though possibly less so by Iris Goldman and of course the hard-knocked hapless Habadnik Dmitriy Salita.

    Both Goldman and Koplaoff have reportedly vowed to finally break their silence and give their take on the evening.

  229. No (homo)sexual innuendo intended, Daniel, I assure you. I would have thought you would know me better than that by now.

    So, in spite of you all being English, none of you were in the Khan camp?

  230. I suspect an underhand attempt to revive the “Why I am not really an Englishman” page. However, my answer is linked to probability not nationalism.

    I, for one, have rarely backed odds-on favorites. I am a champion of the little man, the unfortunate, the one everyone mocks, the downtrodden. That, incidentally, is the secret of our friendship.

  231. Which reminds me of a story involving two old friends from Liverpool, and their visit to a “massage parlour” (i.e., knocking shop) in Thailand . . .

    On the lowering of the towels, one of the “masseuses” (i.e., hookers) started tittering uncontrollably.

    “You big man,” she said, pointing to her colleague’s client.

    And then, pointing to hers, “You little man.”

    Poor boy never lived it down.

    (Khan camp, Daniel! Khan camp!)

  232. Back to the boxing…the funny thing is had he won, we would have called him Jewish and as he turned out to be a muppet, we call him Russian !!

  233. It’s strange how all questions seem to end off being questions of identity.

    By the way, he was born in the Ukraine, not Russia.

  234. I think you will find that, other than by Ukrainian nationalists, it was considered Russia then (or am I merely being “petty” again?)

    Is Salita now as big a traitor to the Jewish people as Judge Richard Goldstone?

    Even if not, I think that, for his girlie display, he should be renamed “Lolita”.

    PS A dishevelled character matching the description of Kopaloff was seen busking in the Or Akiva mall, this morning, wailing “Salita, you c*nt!” between songs.

  235. 1. No, if anyone is petty in this case, it’s me but just as I dislike people who hear me talking in English assuming that I’m American, or Greg takes exception at being lumped together with Jews for Jesus – it does seem a relevant distinction.

    2. No, Salita is a Jewish hero. Given another 70 seconds he may have even become a Jewish martyr.

    3. Kopaloff like Goldman and myself has always been a good loser. I believe it was Moshe Goldman himself who first preached:

    “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity”

    I’m not sure if Kopaloff uttered the words you accredit him with, but if he did, there were no stars in his obscenities.

  236. Nick Kopaloff

    A crude attempt to lure me back into the virtual reams of this excellent blog has been made by its famed editor, by appointing me “Mook of the Month” for my unwavering support and commitment to a one Dimitry “Star Of David” Salita. It now comes as no post-fight surprise, that the acronym of his nickname is SOD, which just about sums up the whole evening.

    But what Mike fails to realize is that I got my bet in at 5/1, and Salita’s pre-fight s/p shortened to 4/1, meaning had the boy done the business, we would have won an extra 300 pounds for our bet, which would easily have covered my quadruple Jerusalem-Netanya trips with change to spare. So Mike, you’ve suddenly gone quiet, and who’s the Mook now?

    But as Marks has pointed out, there was more to the evening than boxing. Lavish home-rolled sushi and DIY pickles graced the immaculately laid table, and branded foreign export beers were served in tall chilled glasses. Goldman even had meatballs on-hand should the fight have lasted longer than a minute. I was looking forward to those meatballs.

    Chess games were studied and unpopular Midrashim were discussed. One such was Dina having been incarcerated by her father for shunning the advances of bad-boy Esav, since she could have done him a tikun by agreeing to let him get his leg over and then show him the error of his ways. Bad Midrash and rough justice, thinks Marks, butGoldman will buy into anything if its gift-wrapped by anyone who looks like a Rabbi.

    And from the anonymous mall-busking protest singer to Goldman’s heart-wrenching poem which in his absence from this fine blog, and as his proxy, I would like to share with the readers. Perhaps not poetry at its finest but at least Goldman made the effort.

    Not quite as fast as a Cheeta
    Cause he’s got lead in his feeta
    But overall a nicer geeza
    Than Dmitry Salita
    Your not likely to meeta

    Nabokov’s Lolita
    Is definitely sweeter
    But would not have gone-down
    Like that wretched creature
    Dmitry Salita

    Khan warned us not to blink
    But Salita did not think
    Just 10 seconds then the hook
    And now Nick is this month’s Mook

  237. To clarify the midrash:

    Dina was hidden by Jacob who didn’t want Esau to marry him and Jacob was punished by having his daughter raped. After not waning to give her to a circumcised (Esau that she might influence him) she was take by an uncircumcised.

    Was Dina the first rape victim in history to be blamed (by our commentators) for “asking for it”?

  238. Nicholas, welcome home! You were missed as sorely as Lolita’s bonce was feeling on Sunday morning. And the poem’s quoting of a certain AH Bloomberg makes up for its other shortcomings.

  239. During the post match interview, Salita couldn’t remember how many times he’d been put on the canvas. At least Salita managed to cut the apron strings away from his Yiddishe Mama, get in the ring and take it on the chin.

    Khan moaned about discrimination before the fight. Skin colour aside, the reason a fighter like say, Ricky Hatton gets more, support than Khan is because of the perception that Khan will just be fed fighters by his money chasing promoter’s until a true great knocks him out. The angry BNP voting white man identifies more with Hatton who, ‘went down on his shield!’

    It’s odd to see Jews do well in boxing. Wasn’t there once a Jewish world heavyweight champion? A people who value the head as an almost sacred thing, get in the ring to have it smashed in. Maybe it’s a legacy of living in the rougher parts of the world where people have to fight to get things.

  240. Perhaps unusual “to see Jews do well in boxing” these days . . . but not historically.

  241. I spoke to Goldman yesterday who denies having written the poem that Kopaloff accredits him with. He asked me to publish the following:

    A story of my old friend Nick.
    Decided to play a trick.

    With nothing to gain.

    Wrote lines in my name.
    And made me look like a dipstick.

  242. The World heavyweight champion with a paternal Jewish grandfather (so not really Jewish) was Max Baer.

    :-

    Abe Attell – World featherweight champion
    Judah Bergman AKA Jack Berg – World junior light welterweight champion
    Ted Lewis – World welterweight champion
    Maxie Rosenbloom – World light heavyweight champion
    Barney Lebrowitz AKA Battling Levinsky World light heavyweight champion

    Benjamin Leiner AKA Benny Leonard – Member of the international boxing hall of fame, Lightweight champion for a division record of over 7 years and didn’t lose a fight over a 20 year span.

    Quotes about Leonard:

    “the most famous Jew in America…beloved by thin-faced little Jewish boys, who, in their poverty, dreamed of themselves as champions of the world.”

    “He has done more to conquer anti-Semitism than a thousand textbooks.”

    Sid Terris
    Ruby Goldstein
    Harry Mizler – British lightweight champion
    Joe Samuels

    http://www.jewsinsports.org/

  243. And let’s not forget the legendary Isaac “Little Slapper” Abrahams.

    As well as persistent warnings for slapping, the wiry, pint-sized Abrahams was also known for muttering to opponents in the ring: “I don’t like it.”

    To his credit, however, Abrahams never got carried away with his fame, driving around for most of his career in a clapped out MkII Ford Escort.

  244. In my opinion Max Baer was one of the most interesting characters and had he taken boxing more seriously could have truly been one of the greats.

    Unfortunately, he spent too much time living it up and too little in training. Even when he was in the ring he would easily get distracted chatting to the audience rather than boxing. Much could be said about him but a lot can be summed up by his statement which was later wrongly accredited to Ellis Feigenbaum:

    “I have a million Dollar body but a ten cents brain”

  245. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel
    For two cents I’d give you a piece of my mind – and all of yours.

  246. El,

    How do you do it?

    Do you have some kind of blog monitoring program that SMSes you every time your name is mentioned?

    Where are you? Tell the readers about some of your adventures.

  247. Don’t ask me why I am reading about Diana Dors (on Wikipedia) . . . but, apparently, her real name was Diana Fluck. Prior to opening a fête in her home town of Swindon, she informed the local vicar of this. Totally unnerved about mispronouncing the name, the vicar introduced the actress as follows:

    “Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our star guest. We all love her, especially as she is our local girl. I therefore feel it right to introduce her by her real name . . . Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the very lovely Miss Diana Clunt.”

  248. Quote of the week by Dmitriy Salita – in this weekend’s Haaretz – following his 76 second capitulation to Amir Khan last Saturday night:

    “I feel almost like the fight never happened.”

    What “fight”, Dmitriy?!

  249. Yes, he also boasted that he didn’t even “break a sweat”.

  250. I consider myself to be very lucky for many reasons. Like almost everybody, I love my family and am convinced that they’re all very special. Like 13% of the population (Forbes) I like my job and like 89% of my countrymen (Ynet) I have no wish to leave Israel. I have my hobbies too. I enjoy, gemara, chess, losing money on boxing matches, arguing with Germans, cooking, and of course I have this excellent blog and its author. Could a man ask for more?

    In recent years things have gotten still better as almost daily I receive propositions by email to earn millions of Dollars without doing hardly anything. It transpires that there are literally hundreds of bank clerks, senior civil servants, orphans and widows who have huge sums of money which they wish to send to me for safekeeping and are willing to pay me millions for handling costs. At first I too was a little skeptical as to why I had been chosen, but the explanations are always extremely plausible, a recent one being that they wish to support my church. I haven’t actually gotten round to actually doing it yet but I have collected about 40 addresses all offering me 2-3 million Dollars, so I should have $100 million very soon, which I am assured is more than what many people earn in a year.

    Of late my fortunes have improved yet further as a certain young lady Yasmin Yanok who describes herself as very beautiful, athletic and no less important “horny” singled me out, from all the men on this planet to offer herself to. She was even thoughtful enough to mention that my marital status (“if you’re married”) would not present an obstacle; such is her lust for overweight old Dan.

    I wanted to reply when I got the chance and explain that, flattered though I am, I will be much too busy amassing the $100,000,000 in the near future, nor am I sure that my wife would be overly enthusiastic about the scheme. I also wanted to explain the halachah, dating back to the time of Ezra the scribe, about not taking non-Jewish women (horny or not) but, like a fool, I put it off, planning to deal with it over Hanukkah and now today I received a message that:

    “This member has been removed from the site for abuse/spam. You cannot reply to this message. Apologies for any inconvenience.”

    I feel sorry for Yasmin as spam or no spam, her heart must surely be broken. If anyone is in touch with the beautiful and athletic Miss Yanok please tell her that there will be other men. Tell her that however profound her pain is today, with the passing of years she will get over me.

    Tell Yasmin that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

  251. Daniel,
    Medical question – Did it hurt when they removed your member?

  252. Very touching, Daniel.

    I share your concern for poor Miss Yanok, and pray that the “abuse/sperm” that she was “removed from the site for” is not proving too hard to swallow.

    Sending Yasmin a picture of yourself, however, might alleviate her current sense of loss.

  253. Remiss as I have been of late by my failure to partake in the perennial blog discussions, I am nonetheless implored, at least thrice daily, by a certain anonymous and prolific contributor of whom it has been said that he considers the blog as his own, to get back on board and inject some substance and humour into the debate.

    My absence can largely be explained by my preoccupation with the junior pawn-pushers grand finale, which just finished yesterday, where I am proud to reveal my charges greatly excelled. But it all came way too close to the wire and was much like E.F’s premature ejaculation – touch and go. A thin line separates gory from glory – it is called an “El”, (just as a thin line separates obsessive and compulsive – a hyphen).

    It is so hard to get back into the swing of things on this fine blog. From Goldman’s feeble poetry to Shuli’s not so feeble wife, to E.F.’s hairy buttocks so vividly described by our editor that it leaves readers pondering whether he has first-hand knowledge of E.F’s bushy crack-sandwich, and to Adrian’s herculean exploits with Sveta and Tasha. However, informed sources have in fact told me that these Russian babes are not as promiscuous as their reputation suggests and that they have become hardened by stiff criticism for not swallowing – but they take this critijism on the chin!

  254. Is anyone watching the JFS Supreme Court Decision story unfold? There’s a good article by Melanie Philips and an interesting blog at the following link: http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5641976/an-illiberal-and-ignorant-judgment.thtml.
    The arguments about who is a Jew and how this will now affect Jewish School intakes will no doubt interest all ex-Hasmos.
    I personally reckon that this is the result of Chisios’ efforts to sneak in some decent goyische footballers into the Hasmo team!

  255. I’ve just made the mistake of reading this thread from start to finish without installing a crap-filter. May G-d avenge the blood of the wasted hours …
    The only two subjects I’d comment on are the Creation of the World and use of force during the Intifadah.

    HaRav Kook says regarding Darwin’s theory, that while it has never been proved to be true,
    should it so be proved it would not contradict Torah. He points out that since (in D’s theory)
    Man descended from apes, who in turn came from lower forms of life, it is seen that the process is an ascending one, which should place hope in Man. Also, since it appears to go according to a plan, if there is a plan – then there must be a Planner.

    There is also a Midrash in Bereshit Rabah stating that at one time peoples faces were turned into those of monkeys – which puts a totally new spin on Darwin: the apes are descended from Man?

    And talking of monkeys, I did four spells of miluim during the 1st Intifadah. There can be no doubt that the threat of use of force is the best deterrent. We learned quickly that if you act tough on the 1st day of duty, the rest of the tour is much quieter: the local population are like kids testing the limits of a new master.

    I found that (amongst our soldiers) the most anti-Arab were the leftists. The whole point of settlements near Arab populations is that settlers are willing to live with them, while the left hate Arabs fiercely. Guys in my unit manning a road-block once arrested a local suspect because he appeared on their ‘bingo’ list
    of wanted persons. A kibbutznik who saw this volunteered for an eight-hour road-block just so that he could ‘catch’ one as well. (As it so transpires, as Sidney Mincing would say, the ‘bingo’ list was so out-dated that the suspect had already been caught and sentenced, had served his time, and was now on the way home after being released from prison! BTW, anyone here old enough to remember Sidney Mincing?).

    On another occasion (Khan Yunis) I had to physically catch hold of the hand of a young seargeant, who had lifted it against an elderly female curfew-violater.

    A patrol I was on in Judea entered a large Arab village and was immediately stoned. One of our guys caught the ‘stoner’, but our Mem-Pay told us to release him because taking him to incarceration would void use of a patrol and vehicle for a lengthy time. (I left ‘Mem-Pay’ untranslated: I don’t know which hostile elements – apart from Daniel Marks – read this blog.) The result: massive stone-throwing, and
    general ‘barduk atomi’. Our entire plugah couldn’t quiet things down. In comes Mishmar HaGvul, just a few jeeps, a few shots were heard – and then – silence! Rebellion fully quelled!

    And since I’m talking about the Intifadah (1988-1989) I’ll just add this near-miss. I had volunteered to drive a jeep on patrols since I was getting bored to tears sitting in the back-seat. One night, at the start of a patrol between Halhul and Kiriat Arba, a Gruzini (Georgian) member of the patrol asked me if he could
    replace me driving, because he hadn’t driven for some time. I agreed, and at one point three terrorists opened fire on our jeep from the side of the road. 2 Bullets hit the jeep, and the 3rd hit the shoulder of the driver – who had kindly volunteered to replace me. I immediately radio’d the incident to xxx HQ, and knowing that in the army loss of a hand can also be considered ‘slightly wounded’, I thus reported that we had one casualty ‘slightly wounded’. He heard this, and screamed at me ‘No! No! Report that I am badly wounded!’.

    By the next morning I had been questioned by a Colonel, a Brigadier-General and a Major-General. I had the nerve to argue with the Major-General that the instruction to be armed with rubber bullets endangered my life, and I also invoked a political issue. My company second-in-command (an officer) was almost wetting himself with fright at my chuztpa to a Major-General, but my attitude was that in ten days or so I finish miliuim and go home, so what can happen to me? And nothing did happen to me, except that I met the M-General a few years later on a plane to London and reminded him of the incident.

    From then on, I refused to use rubber bullets. Force is the best deterrent.

    Anyway, by Rambam, Mored BeMalchut (opposing sovereignty) incurs the death sentence …

  256. I didn’t think most ex-Hasmos considered JFS a Jewish school anyway, David . . . most of its pupils made our “yoks” look like more like the pallid spawn of DJ!

    Nick, your “critijism on the chin” is a real pearl. I’ll have to stay more abreast of your comments from now on. By the way, what did you make of Daniel’s disappointment with Miss Yanok? Would you have been rather less forgiving, and given her a real mouthful?

  257. I welcome to Twatter Avraham Reiss, and applaud his insightful and carefully considered words. It is clear from his oh too brief posting that he is both a midrashic scholar of some repute and also a man of rich military experience. Your place is with us on Twatter – Salutations Avraham. I’m not certain why I am needed to translate מ.פ. but I believe that the term “platoon commander” is what you’re after.

    I’ll come back to monkey faces in a future (not to be confused with Hitler’s chicken feet – Goldman) but as the subject of reserves duty during the first intifada has been alluded to, I shall share with our readers a moment of Marks military folklore.

    Back in 1988 while Avraham was patrolling between Halhul and Kiryat Arba my unit found itself in the city of Rafiah. It was Friday noon and we were waiting for our cousins to exit their mosques. Strategically, our presence in the vicinity was crucial in order that they would have some Jews to throw stones at, were they to feel the urge. Only after the sons of Ishmael had had their fun could anyone take Sabbath leave.

    It was a pleasantly sunny day and someone had suggested we sit in a circle and go round, each of us describing their “first time”, a kind of do-it-yourself-pre-internet soft porn. I had carefully chosen my place that I would be last in line.

    Then out of the blue a Palestinian youth emerged from one of the Rafiah alleyways with a small stone in his hand. Maybe youth would be overstating it, he could not have been more than seven or eight.

    Up until then I had been lucky and had not been hit by stones. It was a matter of personal pride and I was oft to boast that anyone who wanted to be safe should keep away from yours truly, because though the stones often landed very near to me, they never found their target.
    However, now my winning streak had been broken and I was hit just under my knee. It didn’t particularly hurt (I would say about as much as a Rabbi Abrahams slap on the legs) but my pride was crushed. I may be the worst soldier in the world but on that day and without a moment’s thought, I began to give chase to the urchin; two comrades in arms followed me probably worried that I might characteristically get lost or lose my gun.

    As with many true stories the ending was an anti-climax. The wee Arab infant was a much better runner than I, certainly with all the crap I had to carry. In a few seconds he had lost me, so I returned to the circle.

    Then a strange thing happened. Over the course of years the tale seemed to acquire a life of its own. In my fellow-soldiers imaginations , the boy grew up and became a man. Then it turned out that there had been three of them with all kinds of weapons.

    I too grew in the yarn. From Charlie Chaplain I had become a regular Rambo. It it transpired that I had shouted “After me!” and of course had apprehended the dangerous terrorists. In one version I believe I had single-handedly killed the three of them, perhaps with my bare hands.

    Naturally, I would protest but his was interpreted as either modesty or fear of the consequences of fame. Soldiers left the unit and others joined but the tale was passed on from generation to generation.

    Then, years passed and came the day when I was sitting on a bus on the way to a maneuver and heard my accomplishments being discussed by two youngsters. And guess what. They didn’t even realize they were sitting behind a living legend.

  258. Daniel,
    thanks for the welcome – I accept it in the spirit in which it was extended.

    You are wrong about Mem-Pay – it’s Company Commander. Platoon Commander is Mem-Mem.

    To continue the miluim/Intifadah 1 thread, I was in Khan Yunis in 1989 patrolling one night with a religious (knitted kipah like mine) officer, and a very leftist kibbutznik.

    We saw a suspicious paper bag in the road, and the officer told me to stop one of the local yokels and request him that he move the bag to the curb-side.
    I did so, politely, of course, and then added a second instruction of my own” “Please tread on the bag”. Mr. Local Yokel kindly obliged, after which I officially informed him that he was free to continue wending his way to wherever his heart desired.

    When I got back to the jeep, the leftist kibbutznik started shouting at me: “you purposely made him tread on the bag to see if it would explode!”. I acknowledged this affirmatively, which resulted in a barrage lasting a minute or two of selected leftist curses and similar harangements.

    When aforesaid interlude finally unwounded, I was very surprised to hear the religious orthodox officer saying to me: “Reiss, you really are out of order!”. When I asked him why, he replied “as a military engineer, you should have remembered that the safety distance from a suspicious article of that size is 25 meters – you were standing much too close when you asked him to tread on the bag!”.

  259. Avraham Reiss

    “You are wrong about Mem-Pay – it’s Company Commander. Platoon Commander is Mem-Mem.” –

    I stand corrected. You see, a
    midrashic scholar of some repute a man of rich military experience and a linguist too. It just gets better and better.

    Any thought about Miss Yanok?

  260. Once they start, these stories, it’s in their nature to keep on coming …

    Some of my funniest military experiences were concerned with wireless operations.
    Being technically minded, and although I already possessed one miltary trade
    (mines, explosives), I was attracted to wireless operations and was sent to several courses,
    after which I became an official wireless operator.

    One Friday noon, as Daniel described earlier, we were waiting for the local yokels to
    finish davening musaph in the local mosque (I never did find out if it was United or
    Federation), so several manned jeeps were parked together. I asked the guy in the jeep
    adjacent to mine to call me over the radio. “But I’m talking to you now!” he said. I winked at him
    and said “OK, but call me anyway.” He did, and over the battalion wireless circuit the following
    conversation was heard:

    “XXX, this is yyyy, can you here me?”
    “This is XXX, I am momentarily unavailable, please leave a message after the beep, and I’ll
    get back to you when I can. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep”.
    – sudden silence.
    “Will you idiots stop messing around and leave the network free for operational material only!”
    – that last was from the battalion commander, who couldn’t see (because he was elsewhere) that our
    officers, together with everyone else, were killing themselves laughing.

    ========

    I was serving reserve duty on the Golan Heights when one day I hear over the wireless
    “Reiss, send regards to Smiley!”.
    It is normally totally unacceptable to use real names over military wireless, which indicates
    the general laxity prevailing at the time. (Our neighbour, Assad the father, was a murderous
    thugish dictator, so when he dicated that there should be no agressive activity from his side
    of the border, there was peace and quiet, which explains said laxity.)

    It didn’t bother me that some wireless operator at Battalion HQ recognized my voice, but how in hell
    did whoever it was happen to know that I was in the middle of reading a John Le Carre novel, whose
    hero was of course, George Smiley?

    It took about four days to get to the bottom of it. We had a new N.C.O., known to us only as David.
    He was of American origin. On one patrol with him I happened to mention the Smiley incident. He started
    laughing, and said “that message was for me! My surname is Smiley!”.

    ==============

    One story that had everyone in hearing distance in stitches, concerned an elderly wireless operator
    whose chief topic of conversation was how to cheat the National Lottery (Mifal HaPayis).
    In the following, I’m substituing Aleph, Bet and Gimmel for real wireless station names.
    This took place in the Jordan Valley, where occasionally a mountain range can prevent
    communication between two wireless stations.
    The cheat-the-lottery guy was manning a station named Bet.
    I broadcast as follows:
    “Gimmel, this is Aleph, do you read me?”. (Gimmel did NOT exist at all, so no answer.)
    Again…
    “Gimmel, this is Aleph, do you read me?”.
    Silence.
    “Bet, this is Aleph. Do you read me?”
    “Aleph, this is Bet, loud and clear.” (CTL – the cheat-the-lottery guy – replies.).
    “Bet from Aleph, please see if you have contact with Gimmel”.
    “Aleph, this is Bet, will try. Gimmel, this is Bet, do you read me?”
    “Bet, this is Gimmel, loud and clear”. (I answered, posing as Gimmel).
    “Aleph from Bet, I have contact with Gimmel”. (CTL)
    “Bet from Aleph, please ask Gimmel what time the big wheels are arriving?”
    “Aleph from Bet, OK. Gimmel from Bet, Aleph asks what time the big wheels are arriving?”
    – I answered again as Gimmel, but added a question which Bet then had to relay back to
    Aleph (me as well), to which there was a reply which CTL had to again relay to Gimmel.

    The above went on for about twenty minutes.

    That evening CTL – alias Bet – gets back to camp, and asks me “Who is Aleph?”.
    “Me”, I replied.
    “And who is Gimmel?” he asked.
    “Me as well”, I replied.

    He gave me a long stare, during which time I could hear a penny very slowly dropping.
    He considered but finally rejected violence as a retort, and walked away.

    ===================

    How grown men sometimes behave in miluim is also interesting.
    On an all-night exercise in the desert, every time the battalion commander
    finished a broadcast, throughout the night, a loud grepse – belch – immediately
    followed.

    Nobody ever identified the mystery belcher, except for me and a driver who were
    in the same jeep with him. He was a company commander, rank captain, who in
    civilian life is still one of the country’s leading industrialists. To this day he occasionally
    appears on TV concerning industrial matters, and whenever I see him I have difficulty
    reconciling his appearance with his belch.

  261. Daniel,

    As long as you are singing my praises, please at least get the words right …

    Mines and explosives expert, wireless operator, humorist, raconteur …

    I’ll leave you to finish with the modesty part.

  262. Mike,
    A short interlude from these heroic though lengthy war stories which perhaps belong in the hall of fame section of a military museum, alongside Ellis’s covert maritime operations in Beirut, rather than on the pages of this fine blog.

    It would be disingenuous to commend you on your discerning pearl-searching eye, as self-praise is the poorest of recommendations. Self-critijism, on the other hand, or whichever hand you prefer, is a lonely, and single-handed stand-up call for attention, though it dwarfs next to your gem “especially when I have company.”

    And as for Marks’s ridiculous contention that he was probably the worst soldier in IDF history, I seem to vaguely remember a French Hassid Oleh soldier who served under my tutelage who was a little worse.

  263. Once again, on behalf of all readers of Twatter, I find myself expressing the gratitude of all our regular readers to the silver-tongued Avraham Reiss, for another truly riveting posting.

    Please keep it coming.

    My problem is that I am not sure how exactly sure Avraham and Adrian Reiss are related. At first I had hypothesized that Avi and Adri were one and the same, and like their names’ sake The Almighty had recently changed their name:

    “No longer will you be called Adrian; your name will be Avraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.”

    However, the evergreen Kopaloff astutely pointed out that Avraham had only a few days ago written:

    “I’ve just made the mistake of reading this thread from start to finish..”

    This would appear to suggest he is new to the blog, and not the same Avraham who earlier last week had been enthusiastically extolling the virtues of group sex with large limbed ladies from the former Soviet Union.

    They do seem to have much in common, not only highly gifted writers , but both boasting expertise in a wide variety of topics ranging from military strategy to radical politics, from Jewish theology to dry English humor.

    I know that I am not the only person waiting in excited anticipation for a reply from either Avraham Reiss, Adrian Reiss or any other Reiss.

  264. Daniel,

    My official name is Avraham. When dealing with pseudo-yoks of the ilk of Nick and your good (I use the term loosely) self, I may occasionally revert to my English name, Adrian.

    The only person here “extolling the virtues of group sex with large limbed ladies from the former Soviet Union” is the Maaleh Adumim contributor to this blog (again, the term ‘contributor’ is used very, very loosely).

    Meanwhile, while you are “expressing the gratitude of all our regular readers to the silver-tongued Avraham Reiss”, your friend Kopaloff feels that I should sell my wares elsewhere (or elseware?) – not that I care a fig, having seen his style, but when at that level I prefer to preserve the sanctity of the Hebrew name and sign as Adrian.

    All clear?

  265. Though I have undivided loyalties to Daniel Marks, I feel I must utter a word or warning to all Reisses, joint and several. In what has been coined “seduce and rape” tactics, Marks has a penchant for luring the naïve contributor into his welcoming snare, and once comfortably ensconced , he will proceed to feast on his entrails and have his guts for garters. It is a recurring theme and one Reiss would be advised to enter into with the utmost of caution, lest he suffer a similar fate to that of about everyone else in living memory who has dared to cross swords with this most dexterous of adversaries.

    Having said that, I must say that I found Avraham Reiss’s wartime recollection (above) of randomly stopping an Arab passer-by and making him tread on a suspicious paper bag, which was suspected of being a bomb, to be truly shameful, sick and despicable. Count your lucky Chanuka candles that you are not languishing in a prison cell instead of proudly recalling your reprehensible crime.

  266. Nick,
    your opinion is identical to that leftist
    kibbutznik’s, that of supporters of the infamous Oslo Criminals who have caused the deaths of several hundreds of Israelis since the infamous Rabin era. I personally know at least 10 families who have had someone murdered by your Arab friends since the criminal Rabin/Peres Oslo “agreement”, under which we gave arms to terrorists so that they would “protect” us from other terrorists …

    You guys will never admit you were mistaken, and I wouldn’t waste an iota of breath trying to persuade you.

    Regarding “reprehensible crime”, (sic/sick), if you were a lawyer, your kids would probably go hungry. Israeli law, you certainly do NOT know.

    As for Daniel Marks, you didn’t reveal anything new about him. He’s just part of the fun.

  267. Adrian Avraham Reiss,

    Put a sock in it!
    You are a sad individual, who has gone far and beyond disgracing just yourself.

    You have the distinction of submitting what is without doubt the foulest posting on record and then you have the gall to continue spewing out that hackneyed rhetoric about my Arab friends and all them leftist criminals (yemach shemam – spit spit).

    Take a deep breath, chill out, try to remain focused, and please try to explain how making an Arab bystander tread on a possible bomb, can ever be justified under any legal system or under any moral code. The mind boggles at such depravity, motivated by your religious and political convictions, and lends the sane amongst us to draw over-sensitive comparisons from our recent past that we feel too uncomfortable to mention.

    Perhaps your learned cousin could weigh in with his professional legal opinion – but then again if he does not revel in the glory of blowing up an innocent pedestrian involuntarily picked at random for the hell of it, then he must also be an Oslo criminal as well.

  268. Nick,
    you stupid, sanctimoneous (sp?) ignorant, leftist shmock.

    It was obvious from the ease with which Mr. Arab picked up the paper bag that there was nothing in it. The whole act was to annoy the leftist (like yourself) kibbutznik who was sitting watching from a safe distance, as keftists tend to do. I certainly wouldn’t have stood by so near had I suspected a genuine threat. (I finished the military engineers explosives course with a mark of 100%, and at that time knew the subject very well.)

    Had I suspected a real threat, I would have blown the thing up with a large quantity of explosive, from a safe distance, which at 2am would have wrecked quite a few locals’ sleep.

    Twenty years later you have reacted in exactly the same way as that idiot kibutznik. You don’t give a damn about Jewish life, but are full of “justice” when it comes to the enemy.

    People like you are responsible for hundreds of deaths, and still justify this.

    Leave the military stuff for men, and stick to Feigenbaum’s bum – whoever he is; that seems to be your forte, that’s where you excel.

  269. Whenever the left rears its ugly head someone has to get up and push it back down again.
    I’m talking about the Israeli left, the one responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis
    because of their blind policies in believing that peace can be made with terrorists, their crocodile
    tears a la Nick whatisname, etc etc etc.

    Just one example: I studied in Yeshiva many years ago with a chavruta who was already married,
    so we studied in his house. So I got to know his family, in particular a lovely three year old girl name Efrat, whom I used to call “Efrochit” (“little chicken”).

    Efrat grew up, got married became a successful artist and had two small children. In 1996 she was murdered together with her husband while driving in their car, in the Gush Etzion – Hebron area, leaving the two babies alive. The murder was made possible because Rabin had already
    given part of that area over to Arafat and his thugs, thus enabling the murderous terrorist to escape beyond the reaches of the IDF. It is doubtful if the murder would have taken place otherwise, because before Rabin II there were few if any murders in that region. It was as if Rabin had pushed a hand out of his grave and shot the husband and wife himself.

    This was one of many fruits of the infamous Oslo agreement, for which Peres still has not the basic honesty to return his “well-earned” (and paid for many times in Israeli blood) Oslo “prize”. Even Obama has done more than Peres to earn _his_
    prize, which really is not saying much.

    Intellectual honesty in the left? It was Yossi Sarid, bastion of honesty, who first publicly spread the rumour concerning Rabin’s drinking habits. He did so in an article in HaAretz round about 1990, at the time of the targil hamasriach (HaTargil HaMasriach – see Wikipedia in Hebrew if you are unfamiliar with the subject). Sarid wanted to push Peres as PM because his opinions were more leftist than Rabin’s, so standard Bolshevik smear tactics were in order. (The left originates in Bolshevism: just see the rewriting of history every year during the Rabin Murder Carnival every year, where leftists try to out-due each other in attributing Rabin with super-human qualities. The same Rabin who fired on the Altalena).

    The same Yossi Sarid who had so smeared rabin, later wanted to enter his government as a minister. For a year or two Sarid now had to sing Rabin’s praises on every occasion, but only when Rabin had to fire Shulamit Aloni for talking too
    much (Time Magazine of that period: “Shula has a big mouth”) did Sarid finally become (a sad day for Israel) the Minister of education.

    So for the price of a ministerial post, Sarid was prepared to serve under a man he considered unfit to be a Prime Minister, drinking problem being only one of his reasons. That’s integrity, leftist style (the ends justify the means).

    Or take Shalom Achshav – the so-called “Peace Now” movement. A bastion of the left, who live and die for democracy.
    Did you ever hear of elections in the Peace Now movement?

    The Peace Now movement is daily involved in acts of treachery against Zionism, by reporting to the Americans every new building in Judea. The essence of Zionism is gathering Jews into Israel, and building Israel.

    Look at Arik Sharon (now known better as the “Zemach Zedek”, with apologies to Lubavitch). In 1984 the left called him a murderer – although they denied this later, I have a photo with such a sign. But when Sharon wanted to avoid trial for
    corruption, knowing that the Justice system in Israel is totally corrupted and controlled by the left, he bgean a leftist policy which he knew the left would love – of destroying 27 settelements, displacing 8-10,000 settlers, and giving the land to the fabatic Hamas terrorists . The left LOVED IT! Amnon Abromovich, Israeli columnist, said “Sharon must be guarded like an Etrog!” meaning that he shouldn’t be brought to trial before he’d done as much damage to Israel as possible.

    Of course, the earlier Sharon could be called a traitor openly. But when it came to Rabin – ah! – that’s a different story.

    And how about the “4 Mothers” who ran a campaign for military withdrawal from South Lebanon? A year or two later the subsequent left-supported withdrawal resulted in a war that took 160 lives, quite apart from all other damage. I never ever heard the leftist press ask these
    “4 Mothers” what they had to say – although I did see a report that one of the 4 intended to leave Israel for good.

    The lefty today have control over communications (Press, TV, Radio) and Justice – and both are corrupt.
    As for Justice, someone said before me: the High Court would never agree to an arrangement in a government-owned company wherein the sole criterion for selecting the senior official was the one who had been there the longest period of
    time. But that is exactly how Dorit Beinish got her current job. And speaking of Mrs. Beinish, I’m certainly no supporter of Chaim ramon, but what she did to him was pure … (supply your own word/s).

  270. This will be a very short posting.

    I belong, and have always belonged to the Israeli Right wing and am terribly ashamed and humiliated to hear words like those from somebody of my own camp.

    No jokes this time. No innuendos or double meanings, nothing tongue in cheek. I just feel very sad. I have no idea if this Avraham/Adrian thing is some kind of schizophrenia. I’m not a psychiatrist.

    Although I deeply believe in free speech and in everyone’s right to express their opinion, I’m very ashamed all the same. I reread it hoping maybe I could find some kind of clue to suggest that Adrian/Avraham was just kidding, but I found nothing.

    I find myself feeling a need to apologize to any readers for the views expressed above and to assure them that these are not the views of the Israeli Right Wing or any other sane being who was created in the image of Almighty G-d.

    Shavua Tov, and may we hear good tidings.

  271. Adrian Avraham Reiss,

    The late hours do little to dampen your senselessness.

    But if you will indulge me I have a number of points before I retire.

    1) I hereby retract all my badmouthing of your good self since only now do I know that you scored 100% in your military engineer’s explosives course. Well done! Do you have a certificate?
    2) When pressed, you cowardly watered down your original story about the suspicious bag. It turns out it wasn’t so suspicious after all. Did you just originally depict it as a possible bomb, which would possibly blow up an innocent bystander who was forced to tread on it, just for the drama and suspense value? You had me going.
    3) Was your story about your refusal to use rubber bullets also just a wind up?
    4) Ellis’s bum was first introduced to the blog by cousin Mike which I think he described as hairy. Out of deference and recognition of Mike’s creative writing talents, I made reference to the aforementioned bottom. I realize now that I was probably mistaken to do so since it upset you so much. But I think Mike should bear some of the blame and also apologize.
    5) I was 3 years in the paratroopers – is that man enough for you?
    6) I also worked for several years as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post where I had the notoriety of indisputably being the most right-wing staffer.
    7) And still you come up with a gem “People like you are responsible for hundreds of deaths.”
    Can you get any lower? I will have to sleep on it before I retort.

  272. 5) I was 3 years in the paratroopers – is that man enough for you?

    – certainly not – that hairy creep from Peace now – mussi raz – was a captain, ran cohen – the big-eared guy – was a colonel – so what? Those leftists hate Arabs more than anyone.

  273. Daniel,
    “I find myself feeling a need to apologize to any readers for the views expressed above and to assure them that these are not the views of the Israeli Right Wing or any other sane being who was created in the image of Almighty G-d.

    – I’ve already heard that you think you own this blog – you don’t, so please in future speak for yourself only. You certainly are NOT the representative of “the Israeli Right Wing or any other sane being who was created in the image of Almighty G-d” .

    Your use of the word ‘sane’ places you in the left camp – they are they only ones who use the word, dementedly thinking that they are the sane ones.

    Considering all the deaths they have caused so far, I am surprised that they have not yet taken over Chevra Kadisha as well (although Yael German of Herzlia is starting in this direction …)

  274. “Your use of the word ’sane’ places you in the left camp – they are they only ones who use the word, dementedly thinking that they are the sane ones.”

    Oh! That is the method? To find some way to turn everyone who disagrees with you into a leftist and then blame them for everyone who has been killed as a result of Oslo?

    On the contrary, I believe the Israeli Right Wing today to be at the sane side of Israeli politics. While the Left sees every belief they had blowing up in their faces but continue with irrational, near mystical arguments like, “Yes, but I still believe in peace.” the right have both history, logic and for the most part Israeli public opinion on their side.

    All this has nothing to do with your claim that you used an Arab to tread on a suspicious object. Incidentally, as Kopaloff points out, when understanding yourself that the incident is indefensible you wrote:

    “..it was obvious from the ease with which Mr. Arab picked up the paper bag that there was nothing in it. The whole act was to annoy the leftist”

    Which seems strange when earlier you had reported your officer as having said:

    “Reiss, you really are out of order!…..you were standing much too close when you asked him to tread on the bag!”.

    Hardly the words of someone who knew that there was obviously nothing in it!?

    Which return me to the question of sanity and personality disorders. Like I’ve stated my expertise, if any, is certainly not in the area of mental health, but my layman’s guess would be that we have two distinct Reisses:

    a. Avraham – Good Reiss. Named after our patriarch, the first Jew to make a covenant with G-d by way of circumcision etc.

    b. Adrian – Bad Reiss. Originally from Hadrian a leader as wicked as Abraham was righteous, incidentally responsible for prohibiting circumcision.

    I wonder if we cannot detect a conflict between the Adrian who tells old men to step on suspicious objects and then Avraham who cannot believe what he’s just says and so explains that it was only a joke.

    Anyway, like I said I’m no expert but recent posting lead me to think that someone who is may have a lot to say about Dr Avraham and Mr. Adrian. It’s worth checking out.

    My only advice would be that if you do have a split personality, make sure you don’t end off paying twice 🙂

    Okay, I’ll be away for a week which should give you both enough time to think up an interesting response.

    Have a great week,

    Daniel

  275. Before I take leave, I should say a few words about El’s bum.

    Though I have never referenced it directly, I do feel that I have some share in the blame for it having been mentioned originally. It’s played an important literary role in the postings regarding your suggestion of group sex with ex-Soviet females but has no, in my opinion, little bearing on the subject currently under discussion.

    Kopaloff suggested in an early blog that the author of this excellent blog’s characterization of the aforementioned derrière may suggest familiarity.

    On this occasion I find myself in categorical disagreement with Nick and having seen the extent of the hair on his head find it hard to believe that the other limb that is reputed to resemble it so faithfully is hairy.

    In short, unless definitive proof to the contrary is offered I shall maintain that Feigenbaums buttocks are as glabrous as his skull

  276. Daniel,
    1.
    [start quote]
    “Which seems strange when earlier you had reported your officer as having said:

    “Reiss, you really are out of order!…..you were standing much too close when you asked him to tread on the bag!”.

    Hardly the words of someone who knew that there was obviously nothing in it!?”
    [end quote]

    – the officer was about 30 yards away from me, sitting in the jeep. He couldn’t notice what I noticed.

    2. Regarding circumcision, when they did yours I think they threw away the wrong end …

    3. Why not make that week 3 or 4 weeks?

  277. That’s classy stuff Adrian/Avraham. A credit to the Reisses.

    Talk to you soon mate.

  278. Nick,
    you should be careful about accusing others of cowardice or dishonesty, it can occasionally come back and bite you in the ass …

    You claim:
    “I also worked for several years as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post where I had the notoriety of indisputably being the most right-wing staffer.
    “.

    After browsing both Google and the Jerusalem Post search facilities, one receives the distinct impression that all you wrote were very boring municipal notes about the very boring happenings in Natanya city council. That at least, is what is available to the public via above search facilities.
    Columnist? Not even 5th column …

    Also, the Daily Telegraph of year 2001 quotes you as a disgruntled Ehud Barak supporter. To quote directly:
    “It is not hard to find disaffected Barak supporters who will vote for Mr Sharon. “I cannot forgive Barak for continuing to negotiate with the Palestinians while we are under attack,” said London-born Nick Kopaloff, 40.” [end quote] .

    So you certainly were not “indisputably being the most right-wing staffer” (on the JP). Maybe in a one-room Natanya stringer’s office with 2 other Meretz supporters, but that is not the misleading impression you tried to give.

    We are used to leftist history rewrites, an old Bolshevik custom. We just uncover them when we can.

  279. Nick, perhaps your caution to Avraham/Adrian Reiss should have instead been offered to Daniel.

    Nick wrote:

    “Though I have undivided loyalties to Daniel Marks, I feel I must utter a word or warning to all Reisses, joint and several. In what has been coined “seduce and rape” tactics, Marks has a penchant for luring the naïve contributor into his welcoming snare, and once comfortably ensconced , he will proceed to feast on his entrails and have his guts for garters”.

    Where do the Reiss’s and Shuli’s of the world come from? So sad, that their pent up anger, arrogance, and fear of ‘the other’ are manifested in this way and in the name of ‘religion’.

  280. Adrian Avraham Reiss

    Thank you for doing your due diligence on me.

    However again you don’t allow facts to get in the way. As a card-paying Likud member in 1990 I was quoted in the Daily Telegraph voicing criticism at Ehud Barak.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1319717/Warrior-silent-as-he-scents-his-greatest-prize.html

    This was placed under Akiva Eldar’s comments about disaffected Barak supporters. And so, as is your twisted way, you seize another opportunity to embarrass yourself.

    Last night you ranted at me, “People like you are responsible for hundreds of deaths.”

    You also referred to me as a “pseudo yok” and proceeded with “you stupid, sanctimonious ignorant, leftist shmock.” I smugly corrected your misspelling of “sanctimoneous” to do justice to its meaning.

    In keeping with many of your warped ilk, you have an uncanny way of labeling anyone, even within the nationalist camp, who diverges by a notch from your hard line, as being leftists and criminals. More than being plain silly, it is self-defeating as it marginalizes you as a viable alternative and plays into the hands of our enemies. But you would not understand that.

    Menachem Begin wore your badge of shame for Camp David, Netanayahu for Wye and the subsequent Hebron divide, and Sharon for the Hitnatkut, and Hanegbi and all the Kadima hawks for their misguided “U”turns. Lieberman for selling out.
    Hershkovitch and the Mafdal are also guilty of some kind of betrayal of your core values, as is ironically settler leader Pinchas Wallerstein for acknowledging that settlers “could be partners to painful agreements….” I recall he was labeled a traitor for that.

    The left are all guilty by definition, the media are all leftist controlled, as are the courts, and even the shabak and the army are overloaded with 5th columnists.
    What remains on your glorious right are some ignorant thugs on the terraces of Betar Jerusalem chanting “Death to the Arabs” and a handful of oversized kippa sruga wearers bearing the torch of revolution in Kfar Tapuach.

    I noted I had served 3 years (pikudi kravi) in paratroopers. True to your style, you blurted out two prominent leftists who had served in the same unit, in a sad effort to denigrate thousands like myself who wear our wings with pride.

    And to end on a more serious note, when describing Ellis’s bottom, a lesser writer might have made do with a straightforward adjective such as hairless or bald, but Daniel had to throw in “glabrous.” Now is not just the kind of thing a leftist would do?

  281. Kopaloff ,
    even your pathetic Natanya Municipality attempts at reporting was better than the above crap.

    Lie and deny, try to wriggle out of it, but the Telegraph reported you as a “disaffected Barak supporter”.

    I’m joining David Marks and taking a week off.

    I suggest you go and arrange some chess-boards.

  282. I take a day off from this blog . . . and come back to World War bleeding Three!

    I’ll tell you where “the Reiss’s and Shuli’s of the world come from”, Mark . . . Hasmonean Grammar School for Boys, that’s where! (But why do you omit the surname “Goldman” from your list?!)

    Changing the subject somewhat, congratulations to England’s cricketers for at once livening up, and then avoiding defeat in, the First Test at Centurion.

    I can reassure readers of melchett mike that I am far more tolerant than my empty-bag-stamp-ordering cousin. And I salute Springbok batsman Hashim Amla – once idiotically labelled “the terrorist” (merely on account of his looking like one) – for his explosive batting, which prevented his team from committing suicide in its second innings, thus blowing up England’s chances of an unlikely victory.

  283. Adrian lovingly wrote me: “you stupid, sanctimonious ignorant, leftist shmock.” (sic – Mike please do not tone down as this unbridled assault must bear testament to the type of shite I have had to endure on this fine blog).

    To the best of my addled memory this is only the third time in my life that I have been called a leftist.

    The first time was a couple of years prior to the first Intiffada during active service in Shechem when I emulated Moshe Rabbenu by objecting to a couple of savage border policemen playing a game of who can whip harder on the back of a deformed and obviously retarded Arab youngster. The adjective of their choice to qualify their leftist slur to me was “masriach.” And so I had become a “stinking leftist.”

    The second time was quite recently when I took issue with a friend who is the son of a prominent history lecturer. In his impassioned drive to free Gilad Shalit, he advocates cordoning off all of Rafiah and starving the whole population, up until death, if need be. I questioned the impracticalities and repercussions of mass starvation techniques as a means to achieve the noble idea of “veshavu banim legvulam”, and stated that in the event of emaciated corpses strewn across the filthy Gaza streets, the UN would probably sanction the use of large-scale military force against Israel which would lay our Holy Land in total ruin like the fate dished out to Yugoslavia and Iraq. For these reservations I had to suffer the indignity of being charged a “leftist”, though the aromatic “masriach” was withheld.

    From whipping taskmasters, to starvation specialists, to your involuntary Arab bomb disposal dancer – you sure are in fine company. But no matter how you like to downgrade your original story, my legal counsel informs me you were clearly in violation of military law and could, and should, have had charges brought against you.

  284. And I bid you all goodnight with this . . .

    I am writing from a cafe on Rothschild.

    There are two guys sitting at the table directly behind me, kissing.

    The squelching sound is making me feel distinctly uncomfortable . . . okay, okay, I find it repellent!

    Does that make me a homophobe? I don’t think I am. But it doesn’t bother me when heteros smooch.

    Discuss.

  285. Mike wrote:

    “I’ll tell you where “the Reiss’s and Shuli’s of the world come from”, Mark . . . Hasmonean Grammar School for Boys, that’s where! (But why do you omit the surname “Goldman” from your list?!)”

    (Michael) Goldman couldn’t be MORE different from the likes of Reiss, Shuli, or Choirboy Levine for that matter.

    Reiss’s smugness, holier than thou attitude, coupled with his long, self serving ‘stories’ and desire to publicly humiliate another would be about as alien to (Michael) Goldman, as the thought of the two guys making out you mention in your last posting.

    Michael is usually the first to poke fun at himself, admit that he’s no better than his fellow, and apologize when he steps over the line.

    I don’t think your reaction to the sound of two guys making out makes you a homophobe, anymore than say another’s reaction to perhaps a senior couple doing the same thing, makes them ageist. “Live & Let Live” as Michael & my father (a.h) used to say.

  286. Okay, I break my silence already. That was no week.

    I shall not criticize or attack either Avraham or Adrian anymore. The bullying has gone on long enough!

    “Why?” You may ask.

    I have a friend who is in the process of outlaying exorbitant amounts on his dog’s health. When I asked him, shamefully, why not just put down the beast and buy a new one he reminded me of the importance of showing mercy to all animals in Judaism, no matter how lowly they be:

    The Talmud Moses was chosen for his mission because of his skill in caring for animals.

    “The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said ‘Since you are merciful to the flock of a human being, you shall be the shepherd of My flock..”

    I recommend others to do so to and in general I think it is time to raise the level of this blog again.

    I propose:

    “Porrnography in the global village. “

  287. Hi Mark,
    Hope you are well and thanks for your supportive comments vis a vis your opposition to force innocent passers-by to dance on possible land-mines, Hmm. I have read that posting dozens of times and I am still gob smacked and really cannot believe it.

    In true peacemaking style, Mike has attempted to put an end to World War Reiss by steering the combatants in the direction of homosexuality, homophobia and public smooching. If Obama had one ounce of integrity he would hand over his Peace Prize to Mike. At the risk of again being accused of leftism, I accept the terms of his peace brokerage. I trust this is also a cue for Ellis’s buttocks to make their timely return.

    I too am not a big fan of public intimacy in any of its forms, unless when I pay for it, in which case I expect it! (Adrian, that was called a joke so please do not cite me in the future as being a frequenter of places of ill repute).

    And at the risk of being below PC par, I admit to sharing Mike’s added discomfort when confronted by two men going at it. Having said that, I would not employ Shuli’s call to have them killed or have them dance on land mines, rather I would ask them to zip up and finish off in the toilet.

  288. Yes, yet truth be told, there is a difference. In almost every movie there is some kind of “love” scene and I do not look away. On the other hand, on the rare occasions when these scenes involve two men (though less so two women) I find myself either closing my eyes or turning off the box in anticipation of things to come.

    Does this mean I’m a homophobe? I know that I’m not, after all I’ve scrupulously read through all my postings on this excellent blog. So why does seeing the act revolt me?

    I acknowledge everyone’s right and indeed need to make occasional use of the bathroom, in my case much less occasional than once. I’ll go further and say that were I to be unable to perform either of the two bodily functions in question, I’d be quite distressed.

    However, on the rare occasions that I’ve chanced to see others relieving themselves I find myself looking away in a similar way. Even when I’ve been in a toilet with a mirror I try to avoid looking into it. I fully acknowledge the legitimacy and necessity of the act, but seeing it performed still revolts me.

    I have no doubt that this is largely a question of social conditioning and were I to be a care giver or toilet cleaner I’d soon get used to it.

    Furthermore, there is something annoying at my time of life at being in the presence of a couple who are snogging. I try to avoid looking at them, lest I be construed as a “dirty old man” and then when I inadvertently make eye-contact there seems to be giggling suggesting that either I’ve caught them necking or they’ve caught me peeping – I’m never sure which. I may be imagining this but it’s still quite vexing.

    Finally, I know that Kopaloff et al may accuse me of hypocrisy and, of course, they’d be right. I also know that I’ve made use of such expressions as, “… in anticipation of things to come.” setting myself up for more witty word puns by the author of this excellent blog, Worse A Reiss now has much ammunition in the form of “Why don’t you just stick to talking about poo-pooes and wee wees?” and the like. In event of the former I shall smile graciously and in event of the latter, I’ll be pleased for any fire that I was able to divert from our beleaguered paratrooper and Jerusalem Post right wing firebrand Nick Kopaloff.

  289. Hasmo Reunion

    A few of us (about a dozen so far & growing!)
    are getting together this Monday, December 28th, 8:00pm at “The Old Bull & Bush Pub”, near Golders Green Tube.
    Everyone Welcome.

    Daniel Kelly is organizing it
    dkelly1967@hotmail.co.uk

  290. Given the fact that Mark Goldman is organizing it,
    and given the recent content of this thread, I’d suggest that the participants meet in the lavatory of “The Old Bull & Bush Pub”.

  291. A heartless Swede
    Heartless indeed,
    Commissioned the theft of the iconic sign
    But it weren’t him that stole
    He commissioned a Pole
    In an attempt to mitigate the crime

    For the price of that Zloty
    Could have got Ellis’s botty
    Hoisted on top of a ridge
    El could have sent him a phota
    Of his bum in Dakota
    And earn more than he makes from his bridge

    Adrian prefers not to stare
    At El’s hairy dernier
    But he can shove it where the sun don’t shine
    Cause El’s got the Zloty
    While Adrian is dotty
    For making strangers dance on a mine.

  292. The above, Ladies and Gentlemen, was written by one claiming to have “worked for several years as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post”.

    Judge for yourselves …

  293. Mike "Ivor" Braff

    Adrian,Avraham whatever first (christian) name beginning with A you are deciding to answer to.I have a suggestion,which ends in e.Anyhow your recent comments have shown a person who has led a very sheltered life,non tolerant attitude towards others and has his head up his ass.When you said you were taking a week off ,why did you reappear 3 days later.I can only presume the hospital were short of beds.
    Nick ,i found your ditty to be very upbeat and funny,certainly to give cheer in these dark winter days.

  294. Parshat HaShavua …

    1. And Ehud Barak slept.
    2. And he did dream that before him stood seven healthy knesset members of his own party, and they were goodly in appearance.
    3. And Ehud Barak feared that they were about to devour him.
    4. And so Ehud Barak did verily seek seven other knesset members of his party, thin and of slovenly appearance.
    5. And he seeked seven such thin members of his party, that they would devour the seven healthy members of his party that would devour him.
    6. And lo!, he did not find seven such slovenly members of his party, because he had only thirteen mandates altogether.
    7. And Ehud Barak did awake, and it was as a nightmare in his eyes.
    8. And he did tell all his friends (both of them) and they did understand the meaning of the dream.
    9. And they did say to each other: what a shame it was only a dream!

    Haftarah: Nachamu, Nachamu, Ami.

  295. ivor brass – why do all you primitives have a kindergarten vocabulary of words such as “toilet, bum ..” and in your case – ass?

  296. Adrian,

    At the risk of causing a family falling-out, your above comment re the lavs at the Old Bull and Bush was no less “primitive” than any of the others on these pages.

    It may also cause some readers to wonder about your seeming familiarity with them.

  297. Mike,
    you are quite right – sometimes there are risks one has to take … no family fall-out.

    Shabat Shalom!

  298. Good old Rabbi Tropper. So strict is he on the “Who is a Jew?” debate that he has ruled that it can only be someone who feels the Jew inside them.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1137435.html

    But we mustn’t let the Reform corrupt our religion, must we now? 😉

  299. There’s an Ali Gee interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCYtOj3bZUg) when he asks a priest why so many nuns work part-time as strippers. Absurdly the clergyman doesn’t deny the claim off-hand but instead argues that one shouldn’t generalize. I feel a bit like him.

    I’m not going to try to defend a person who calls himself religious and commits crimes and immoral acts. Nor am I going to contend that there are more Reform Jewish perverts than “orthodox”, honestly I have no idea. I’m not even sure that statistics exist and anecdotal evidence never really proves anything other than the opinion of those using it.

    I don’t think that any sane religious Jew would claim that we are all moral beings or even on average more moral than Reform Jews, Conservative Jews or Secular Jews. We all have our weaknesses and we all sin.

    However, I would contend that since I see the Torah, both written and oral, as a reflection of the highest level of morality, a Jew who does keep the Torah is nearly always a more moral being than he would be if he didn’t.

    Now tell me that many men with big kippot and long beards are not moral, I’ll agree with you and say that despite their outward appearance, and despite the fact that many consider them to be on a higher moral plane, they’re not. My son had a Superman outfit. He wasn’t Superman, just someone dressed up as him.

  300. Whilst I am not sure I agree that the Torah represents “a reflection of the highest level of morality” – there is some pretty nasty stuff in there, and I think I’d go with someone like the Dalai Lama on that one – it is hard to disagree that “a Jew who does keep the Torah is nearly always a more moral being than he would be if he didn’t” . . . if only because most Jews who don’t keep the Torah won’t replace it with an alternative code (never mind an equally, or more, ethical one).

    It is natural, however, that Orthodox Jews – including Rabbis and Dayanim – who are dishonest in business, steal, don’t perform their duty to defend their country, and/or who can’t keep their willies in their trousers, are more likely to incur disdain than irreligious Jews who do the same.

    And, as for your last point, Daniel, I am confused . . . when I wear a dress, am I not a lady?

  301. “It is natural, however, that Orthodox Jews – including Rabbis and Dayanim – who …….are more likely to incur disdain than irreligious Jews who do the same.”

    I honestly wish this was true. Unfortunately, I think it’s the other way. Nobody is shocked anymore to hear about Rabbis’ and dayanim’s antics. Personally, If I were to hear that a high court judge had performed those kinds of acts I’d be much more shocked.

    We’ve become conditioned to it, though I would say that it’s nearly always haredi rabbis and I can’t remember any cases of Modern Orthodox Zionist rabbis being involved in sex scandals.

    As far as “…don’t perform their duty to defend their country” is concerned, that really is a separate subject and worthy of a page of its own.

    Regarding your last point, I’d have to see you in your frock in order to make a judgement. I’m sure you’d be quite divine.

  302. “I can’t remember any cases of Modern Orthodox Zionist rabbis being involved in sex scandals.”

    That’s cos their wives are fitter. When was the last time you saw a Haredi rabbi’s missus and thought to yourself “I wouldn’t mind giving that one”?!

    Oh, this blog is going downhill . . . 🙂

    On a more serious note – and having had a mentally ill brother, who also broke the law (if on a rather smaller scale) – I find the execution of Akmal Shaikh just so tragic.

    Celebrate Akmal’s life by clicking here . . . and turning up the volume!

    The dog-eating c*nts.

  303. “That’s cos their wives are fitter.”

    Here I disagree. No reflection on anyone’s wives but while haredi men are often of wormy or fat build, haredi women are, in my opinion, no less attractive than the average. Habad hassidim, who apparently believe that beautiful women are one of the signs that redemption is nearing, often have particularly attractive spouses.

    Furthermore, while in secular societies the more attractive men often find the more attractive women etc, in haredi society where marriages are often arranged, it is not unusual to see a fat ugly man with a slim beautiful woman.

    I trust the author of this excellent blog will not use the aforementioned observation as a reason to reconsider his religious convictions and to go black.

  304. So that’s what they mean by “Once you’ve gone black, you never go back”!

  305. Reminds me of the story of a shtetl Jewish farmer who bought a cow in Minsk for breeding purposes. But the cow wouldn’t let any bull go near her. At wits end, the farmer went to the rabbi and told him the problem.

    “Tell me one thing”, the rabbi said. “Where did you buy the cow?”

    “In Minsk”, the farmer replied.

    “Well, in that case”, said the rabbi, “you can forget about breeding, nothing will help”.

    “But how can you be so sure?” asked the farmer.

    “My wife is from Minsk” said the rabbi.

  306. Which reminds me of the Polish Jew who remarked to his friend, “I’m not sure, but I think my wife might be dead.”

    “Not sure?” replied his friend, “Either she is or she isn’t.”

    “Well,” answered the Jew, “the sex is still the same, but there are a lot of dishes in the sink.”

  307. Daniel,

    As you will know, I am not one to spread idle gossip – especially in so public a forum – but . . .

    Is there any truth to the rumour that you are recovering from being entered violently from behind, in the Ramot area of Jerusalem?

    If so, I trust that police have got to the bottom of the matter.

  308. Mike,
    did you really write that? If not, and before some hysterical leftist jerk starts screaming a quote from some german about burning people, let me state unequivocally: it wasn’t me!

  309. It is all true. Adrian may be interested to hear that this was a kind of a threesome too, though not of the type for which he has expressed a preference.

    The gentleman in front of me pulled out without indicating, I braked and the young haredi in the car behind tore into my bumper. I was already with the traditional Israeli question:

    “Who taught you to drive?”

    A question that somehow seems to imply that its asker is acquainted with every diving instructor in Israel.

    However, the young man was so apologetic that I decided to be the bigger man and after verifying that he had insurance, reassured him that I was not upset, which of course I was.

    Finally, I would ask Adrian to refine his language and capitalize his Germans. I know it wasn’t him because the aforementioned haredi was slim and quite good looking while, at least judging by Adrian’s photograph on Facebook, neither of those adjectives would accurately describe his excellent self.

  310. There are rumours about Marks’s bott,
    That it got taken from behind in Ramot.
    Was the violation invited, and Daniel excited?
    Or is that just a load of old rot?!

    Oh, the inspiration from the Mediterranean in the morning!

  311. germans should be decapitated, not capitalized.
    And my language is as refined as it will ever be, at least when discussing leftist jerks.

    I will, however, Daniel, continue to read your posts as part of my never-ending search for self-improvement; you have already taught me things I never knew about breasts and buttocks.

    Keep up the good work!

  312. “…you have already taught me things I never knew about breasts and buttocks.”-

    Hope Mrs. Reiss appreciates my educational endeavors.

  313. Maybe you could enlighten us on what marks Mrs. Marks bears?

  314. Almost three hours of thinking, pondering, wondering, sulking, Googling, you returned to the tired old “Marks” pun.

    Let’s hope your more imaginative when it comes to your handling of the old “breasts and buttocks.”

  315. Daniel,
    as on previous occasions, I bow my head before superior knowledge and/or experience.

    I will therefore leave the “handling of the old breasts and buttocks” to you.

    But maybe once, just once, you’ll spare us your future findings?

  316. Girls, behave!!

    Daniel is free to share with us whatever he likes (and I hope he does).

    Adrian, melchett mike is not a Reiss blog, official or unofficial.

  317. Actually, I’m coming round to Adrian/Avraham’s viewpoint.

    This discussion began with road accidents which for some reason immediately made Adrian think of B&B. He and his wife then thanked me for some belated sex education, after which I had a shower and gargled thoroughly.

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I don’t think that this page is a suitable forum for dealing with Reiss family matters. There are plenty of sites on the net and either Ellis Feigenbaum, or the author of this excellent blog would be happy to provide links.

    None of us are spring chickens so I’d just advise the Reisses to go slowly the first time and to keep it safe.

    Now, enough is enough. I’m definitely going to argue with Greg about Reform Judaism.

  318. I KNOW that; everyone thinks it’s a Daniel Marks blog, and you’re just the care-taker.

    If Daniel didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. I wonder if we have the technology?

  319. Adrian, love of my life,

    If I didn’t know you better I might think that you were trying your hand at a bit of the old shit-stirring. When you say “everyone thinks..” I assume you’re referring to both yourself and Avraham. That sounds pretty elitist and even bordering on Reissism.

    Either way have a great Shabbat and armed with your recently acquired knowledge regarding “breasts and buttocks” I imagine that Mrs. Reiss is eagerly anticipating Friday night frollicks. Like I said, go slowly and keep it simple the first time.

  320. Actually, the “everyone thinks” concerning your position on the blog was adopted and adapted – I don’t remember to what degree of accuracy – to something Mike wrote about you recently.

    I understand that you are physically limited to once a week (my consolations to Mrs. Marks) and thus perforce (nice word,that) take refuge in
    “Friday night is mitzva night”, but please don’t jugde others by your capabilities.

    And since tomorrow night is Friday night, I suggest you rest up well so as not to disappoint the anxious Mrs. Marks.

    (I object בכלל to involving wives et al in these sordid exchanges, but as long as you do, I will).

    If it helps any (I doubt it) – may the force be with you.

  321. Right, that’s it! No more wife insults. Unless of your own, in which case feel free (photos included) . . .

  322. Frank Taylor

    I ‘graduated’ from hasmo after spending 5 glorious five years within its hallowed walls (those that remained standing), in 1960.
    I also succeeded in getting expelled and then re-instated during my time in V classical.
    Does that qualify me for membership? If the answer is ‘no’, i can provide further information to help you with your enquiries.
    Does Nicky Kopaloff remember who his bar mitzvah teacher was?
    I could help provide the names (and nicknames (if printable)) of most of the ‘teachers’.
    Shavuah Tov
    Frank

  323. Nick Kopaloff

    I am posting from an undisclosed location as I am on the run and laying low for a while following the veiled threats to my life.

    “Booby trapped baklawa” dancing has nothing whatsoever to do with “Nohal Shachen” which involved having a family or friend of the suspected terrorist knock on his door to safeguard the lives of our arresting soldiers prior to apprehension. Rightly or wrongly, and I think the latter, it was deemed an illegal practice by the High Court in 2005. But for their burlesque version of the same, Avraham and his vigilantes, could and should have been put on trial.

    To what depths of immoral values, even those shrouded in a religious or political guise of justification, can a human being plummet? So impersonating a fellow contributor and claiming he has AIDS, and threatening to murder another, is not such a far fall for one such as he.

    And so was borne Reisswatch.

    http://www.Reisswatch.com is a non-profit site set up by a group of concerned citizens for the common good. As its name suggests, its mission statement is to monitor and seek to temper the postings of this blog’s most outlandish and roguish contributor who eclectically has advanced bomb dancing, identity fraud, AIDS slandering and the sex trafficking of amply thighed Eastern European ladies named Sveta and Natasha.

    (As a codicil following the threat to my life, I must add hit man or murderer to his sordid list of hobbies).

    Reisswatch examines how one so blessed with such breathtakingly boyish good-looks and a melting charm, as his Facebook profile will attest, and which was woo enough in his younger days to entice the would-be Mrs. Reiss, can descend to the gates of lunacy without a flinch of conscience to cushion the fall.

    The Reiss in question is not the legendary Leighton Rees, Welsh darts hall of famer and first World Professional Champion whose bulging midsection was as prominent as his spears.

    Neither does it refer to one Naftali Reiss, who briefly attended Hasmonean, but became unsettled when his easily-pronounced one-syllable surname became the mantra for Hasmo would-be ventriloquists who would surreptitiously chant under their breath “Reiss Reiss Reiss Reiss” until Mr. Roston exploded “Right, who said Reiss Reiss Reiss Reiss?” Naftali abruptly left Hasmo in a blaze of glory.

    Reisswatch refers of course to the double-Ay himself, Adrian Avraham Reiss.

    Pinup boy, pimp, assassin, fraudster, whatever you think of him, he is still my Man of the Year for 2009.

    PS Hi Frank Taylor, only just now have I stumbled across your kind words and good wishes, which I warmly reciprocate. Please appreciate it is hard to keep abreast of all postings when you are on the run avoiding assassination.

  324. 1. At the risk of sounding pedantic, you can’t be both “on the run” and “lying low”, unless you are either running in a horizontal position or perhaps lying about running altogether.

    2. I have checked out your http://www.Reisswatch.com and not to put too fine a point on it, the site can only, with some generosity be described as less than impressive.

    You describe Reisswatch as a non-profit site which seems somewhat superfluous as the reader of this excellent blogger would be hard pressed to imagine even the most enterprising of entrepreneurs being able to make a profit of the single line “Oops! This link appears to be broken.” which appeared on my screen when trying to access your site with Google Chrome.

    3. In an early posting I had called for a immediate cessation to the terrible Kopaloff-Reiss feud, which has plagued this blog for more than a fortnight and brought misery and heartbreak to members of both clans and their loved-ones.
    I will overlook the last posting, despite its unsavory nature, but insist for all our sakes that it is not repeated, by either party.

    4. Finally as a man who has had as many Reiss-hours of late as any on this blog I take harsh exception to your characterization of Avraham as “Pinup boy, pimp, assassin, fraudster,…” We know of no evidence of him ever having been in any pinups.

  325. I can’t believe that I grew up in England and have only just seen this for the first time. Pure genius!

    (Last 2 episodes of 4-part documentary, Monty Python: Almost the Truth, tonight and tomorrow on HOT Channel 8 at 9:35pm.)

  326. Avraham Reiss

    Fashion model Bar Raphaeli was criticized today for not serving in the IDF. I heard one radio commentator say that she got married in order to escape enlistment.

    But less than a year ago, she was thought something of a national heroine
    (or in her world maybe that should read ‘heroin’) because she was dating film start Dino de Laurentis.

    Laurentis is a goy. Nobody thought to criticize her because of this – no, it was ‘local girl makes good’.

    This is part of the corrupt chiloni weltaunschung: A Jew is someone who served
    in the army. Sounds better in Hebrew:
    M16-מי שנולד לאם יהודיה או ל

    If anyone here is old enough to remember, at the time of the 6 Day War, the British Foreign
    Minister was George Brown – a ‘prosta yok’. He was married to a Jewess. My mother knew
    her parents, from East London. When she ‘married out’, her parents sat shiva. It didn’t
    enamour Mr. Brown with the Jewish religion, but it was the Jewish way to behave.

    So now, a frecha fashion model can date a goy, no problem there, after all we are a pluralistic
    society (we have to be – no 2 chilonim are identical in their beliefs, so irreligious anarchy is
    the only way to coexist), but not serving in the IDF – that is going too far …

    Incidentally, Epharim Kishon was awarded the Israel Prize after he married a shiksa. I spoke about this to Professor Avi Ravitzki, himself an Israel Prize laureate, before his unfortunate accident, and he agreed that awarding the prize under such circumstances was ‘problematic’.

    We even have one such ‘person’ (I use the world loosely) here; Mr. Knockabollockoff, who goes by the pseudo-name Kopaloff, found his wife in a Soho brothel and was requested by his family to emigrate with her to Israel, to spare them the shame.

  327. Avraham Reiss

    Mike,

    I yesterday wrote:
    “2. Regarding Nick, if he keeps his mouth/pen shut, so will I.”

    He didn’t, so I won’t, and your fine blog is well on its way to …

    If in future you request each contributor to present in advance some form of psychiatric evaluation, it should weed out the sickos and obsessive perverts of Knockabollockoff’s ilk.
    And mark this well: the jerk IS obsessive.

  328. Far be it from me to adjudicate the above Kopaloff-Reiss exchange. I do possess a modicum of knowledge and experience in the area of literary criticism, but on this occasion find myself with no will or wish to make use of them. Our sages tell us that a man cannot enter a leather factory without acquiring some of its stench.

    In my misspent youth I visited the Soho area once, ostensibly as part of my search for tools of Japanese martial arts but I remember that I did see some of the infamous signs advertising “French Lessons” “Young Model” etc.

    I chose against it reasoning that with a French Professor as skilled as the likes of a Cyril Bloomberg, how could I want for more. I did later have a few French private lessons in the third or fourth form, but they were financed by my father and included nothing of the salacious delights that Avraham has made subtle reference to, in his exquisitely penned posting.

    About the same time, when I was about 12 or 13 we were acquainted with a somewhat large breasted lady, about a year our senior. Possibly because of her quite substantial mammaries, this unfortunate had gained the nickname “Prostitute”, although to the best of my knowledge she had done nothing to earn it. I too called her that and even after almost four decades I feel deeply ashamed of my conduct in her regard.

    It was wrong then and it goes without saying that such behavior is totally unacceptable among grown men. If anyone wants a simple test as to where to draw the line, I say gather your family and loved ones and read them your posting. If you feel ashamed to do so, ask yourself why.

    Finally, you’ve both said what you have to say. I trust that on this rare occasion the author of this excellent blog will not feel that I’m trespassing in his domain if I call on both sides to please exercise restraint.

  329. Daniel,

    I have already written twice:

    “Regarding Nick, if he keeps his mouth/pen shut, so will I.”

    And I would have stood by this. But he insists on fueling a stupid feud, and wants to keep things hot. I naturally reply, although I don’t enjoy this a tenth as much as kopaloff obviously does.

    Since between your good self and my good self there is currently no quarrel, I’m sure you’ll accept the honesty of my comment that you your good self first introduced the wife thing, and even suggested returning to it because ‘it was fun’ or something similar.

    I agree with your comment-of-repentance “It was wrong then and it goes without saying that such behavior is totally unacceptable among grown men”, but not being a Christian, I don’t turn the other cheek.

    Nothing I have written about kopaloff so far has been true, neither has anything he has written about me been true. I haven’t the foggiest idea who his wife is, or even if he has one, poor lady. But as long as he mentions my wife, I’ll keep on mentioning his, fictitious or real – together with a few other items I’ve gleaned so far from the web.

  330. In all fairness you said that I had taught you a lot about breasts and buttocks and I replied that I hoped your wife appreciated my educational endeavors.

    It really was crying out to be said and if we had been in a face to face conversation I would have been unable to have restrained myself from saying it either even if Mrs. Reiss had been present. Actually, I don’t even think it was particularly insulting. I’ve said worse things to rabbanim too.

    Anyway, I’ve urged Kopaloff not to post on the matter and while you calling him an “obsessive jerk” seems to me to be quite legitimate, albeit inaccurate, in the case of his wife you may want to consider saving yourself an erev Yom Kippur call and apologizing now.

    I’m proud to say that I do know Miri, Nick’s wife, and that she is a wonderful human being.

  331. Avraham Reiss

    “In all fairness you said that I had taught you a lot about ” – OK, I’ll accept that as what happened.

    “I’ve said worse things to rabbanim too” – now there’s an idea for a new thread, although I myself would have very little to contribute.

    “you may want to consider saving yourself an erev Yom Kippur call and apologizing now” – I think you’re confusing me with the deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Elon, who’s just gone into the apology business.

    Here in the Middle East, the idea of a cease-fire is to enable each side to gather new material for the next round. I’m there until provoked again.

  332. Nick Kopaloff

    Adrian Avraham’s sincere apology could not have come any sooner and was aired just as I was about to get nasty.

    Having said that, I accept his apology, and would ask Mike to kindly remove that offensive posting involving my wife.

    I must also admit to Adrian, and far be it from me to question his well-informed sources, that I had no idea that supermodel Bar Rafaeli had been dating (91 year old happily married) Dino de Laurentis, acclaimed Italian movie producer. It gives us all hope.

    I was also not unimpressed, by his use of the word “weltaunschung” and hope in future postings he slips in some other eye-raising German phrases, such as Leitmotif and Gemeinschaft.

  333. Avraham Reiss

    Aparently I need installation of a few MB of memory, since I don’t remember apologizing.
    I just said that nothing was true.

    However, if Nick leaves things there, so will I.

  334. Avraham Reiss

    Nick was right and I was wrong: the dated star was Leonardo DiCaprio and not what I’d said earlier. I’m not one of Hollywood’s greatest fans.

    I also agree that Mike remove any post of mine that Nick considers offensive.

  335. And with that cessation of hostilities between the Kopaloff and Reiss clans, Nick and Adrian begot a new era of peace and reconciliation.

    “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.” – A nice Jewish boy.

  336. In response to a request from one who is apparently an afficianado of the german (small ‘g’) tongue, here is an important announcement in that language:

    ACHTUNG!

    Alles touristen und non-technishen looken peepers! Das machine is nicht fur der fingerpoken und mittengrabben. Is easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und popencorken mit spitzen sparken. Das machine is diggen by experten only.

    Is nicht fur gerwerken by das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen das cottenpiken hands in das pockets. Relaxen und watchen das blinkenlights.

    I hope that quenches all tastes for further examples …

  337. Whilst we are all no doubt grateful for Avraham’s thoughtful and dispassionate treatise on the dangers of intermarriage – not to mention his classic Del Boyism, Dino de Laurentis (you couldn’t make it up!) – he fails to touch on the scenario of the Gentile woman in question having particularly large breasts . . . in such circumstances, would he still consider marrying out a bad thing?

    On a more serious note, it is extremely disappointing that melchett mike has once again descended into wife insults (and it is difficult to see how Daniel’s raising of the possibility that Avraham might pay Nick’s wife “an erev Yom Kippur call” would help matters). Indeed, it seems that Osher Baddiel was spot on about “overgrown babies”.

    Anyway, Kopaloff, Marks and Reiss . . . if any of your wives truly are engaged in the word’s oldest profession, then kindly let me know the addresses for posting my cheques.

  338. “he fails to touch on the scenario of the Gentile woman in question having particularly large breasts. In such circumstances, would he still consider marrying out a bad thing?”

    Halachically, that would be considered a ‘sfek sfeka’ – a doubt within a doubt.
    1.Really large?
    2. If so, genuine or silicon?

    Of course, one could look at things from the opposite side, and call it ‘marrying in’ …

  339. “Do you find it upsetting when someone tells you they’ve tried to kill their wife?”

    “No. If that’s what he wants, good luck to him.”

    A mate of mine has been nagging me for ages to watch this one-hour BBC Four documentary, The Hassidic Drug Dealer. The documentary (and indeed the YouTube comments) makes for interesting, if uncomfortable (for Jews), viewing:
    Part I
    Part II
    Part III
    Part IV
    Part V
    Part VI

    Most of the half-wit interviewees don’t seem to have had a “general education” past nine, never mind 14. And the poor victims of Samuel’s crimes are not mentioned even once. Meanwhile, I wonder how much the bad egg (no blood spots, of course) got paid for telling his story?

    The highlight for me is the Cheer-up Squad – “We spread laughter where needed most” – with each member of their audience looking more miserable than the next!

    Finally, I have a “kasher” (question) re the “double covering” – if a charedi woman puts a hat on top of her wig to let men know that it’s not really her hair, then why doesn’t she also put another hat on top of the hat . . . to let them know that it’s not really her hat?!

    Anyway, now we know why it’s best for charedim to stay media shy . . . their nonsense can only be understood from within.

  340. Since I have been on the receiving end of some grammatical criticism from Marks, here is some for Reiss (no logic there at all really):

    Firstly it’s “weltanschauung”, [welt-an-schau-ung], and secondly I have it on good authority from the Aliger Rebbe that it’s OK to marry a non Jew “…if she’s REALLY fit.”

    On a serious note, unless one is trying to be funny – in which case haha – I find the term shiksa truly revolting. Even when not intended perjoratively, it still has the root “sheketz” or creepy-crawly. Somehow I don’t understand why any right-minded Jew finds it acceptable to compare gentiles to insects, even casually.

  341. Avraham Reiss

    Jeremy,

    I suggest to Mike that from now on he puts you in charge of all german spelling.

    I really don’t care a pfennig how good german is wrote. (‘good german’? now THERE’s an oxymoron)!

    You are the second person I’ve met on the web who cares more about use of the
    word shiksa than about the fact that a Jew has married out.

    “Somehow I don’t understand why any right-minded Jew finds it acceptable to compare
    gentiles to insects, even casually.”

    You just don’t understand. Judaism has never compared non-Jews to ‘creepy-crawlies’.
    The ‘sheketz’ refers to to the act of inter-marriage, not to the person, and the one performing
    the act of ‘sheketz’ is the Jew/Jewess, not the non-Jew.

    A ‘shiksa’ does in fact describe a non-Jewess; this was/is an educational terminology to attempt to stem the rising tide of inter-marriage – which the Reform movement is still encouraging today.

    If anyone or anything should be called a sheketz, maybe it should be that movement, on this account.

    From here on you are absolved from use of the word ‘shiksa’. I – and many others – will continue
    to use it whenever the fitting context arises.

  342. Has Jeremy actually stated that he “cares more about use of the word shiksa than about the fact that a Jew has married out”? Or is that merely your surmisal, Avraham?

    Anyway, I agree with Jeremy – the word is ugly, and its use ignorant and narrow-minded.

    Sorry, cuz.

  343. Avraham Reiss

    I would certainly prefer to live in a world where such terminology was unneccessary; in Israel that is so, since most of any inter-marriage here is with Arabs, and T.G. that is rare.

    I’ve never heard of any Arab woman being termed a ‘shiksa’.

    My previous meeting with the opinion expressed by Jeremy was – quite by coincidence – with another Jeremy, Jeremy Rosen, (alias ‘Rooky’), ex-headmaster of Carmel College.
    I had said on his website something similar to what I’d written here – that Ephraim Kishon married a shiksa – and that Jeremy’s only comment was – similar to our ‘current’ Jeremy – to criticize use of the word ‘shiksa’. In that specific case it was obvious that he had ignored the fact of Kishon’s inter-marriage, and preferred to comment on what I considered a secondary aspect, i.e. use of the term ‘shiksa’.

    That is roughly what I felt from Jeremy’s last post. You can call it a surmise, until Jeremy says differently.

    Calling use of the word ‘narrow-minded’ indicates, IMHO, toleration of inter-marriage.

    It reminds me of the famous Abraham Lincoln joke:
    “Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

    =============

    On a completely different subject, since Mike doesn’t want 2 consecutive posts from the same person, some thoughts on the guy arrested last week for having 30 wives and 60 children:

    1. What punishment could be worse than what he’s had so far?

    2. Imagine – 30 mothers-in-law!

    3. Imagine visting day at the prison – 90 family members turn up to visit.

    4. I can’t help wondering if he didn’t arrange the arrest himself, for some peace and quiet …

  344. “The ’sheketz’ refers to to the act of inter-marriage, not to the person, and the one performing the act of ’sheketz’ is the Jew/Jewess, not the non-Jew.”

    I found Avraham’s posting about the origins of the term shiksa quite interesting and though I have absolutely no expertise in the area of Yiddish, I do have a few reservations:

    1. In the Ibn Shoshan dictionary the word “shiksa” is explained as term used in days of old to describe a non-Jewish girl (my rough translation). No mention is made of intermarriage at all.

    2. Similarly, the very excellent yiddishdictionaryonline.com gives simply, “non-Jewish girl; maiden”

    3. The term’s common usage usually has nothing to do with intermarriage. For example, non-Jewish maids were often described as shiksas, completely divorced from the context of assimilation.

    4. The male form is shaigetz is the male equivalent also derived from the aforementioned root. Clearly a shaigetz is a derogatory term for a non-Jew, again nothing to do with intermarriage.

    In short, I find Avraham’s contention that, ” The ’sheketz’ refers to to the act of inter-marriage, not to the person,” to be highly problematic at best and in the absence of some concrete sources, near to being untenable.

    Were I to have heedlessly used the term shiksa, and were I to decide against the obvious path of just saying that I had slipped up, I might have tried to make a case to the effect that the expression is no longer considered to be derogatory.

    Doubtlessly, I would have cited the Seinfeld bar-mitzvah episode, in which the Jerry explains to Elaine why Jewish men are attracted, because she is a shiksa.

    It’s a bit of a stretch, but an argument could be made that in 2010 the term is considered quite politically correct and that its origins are immaterial.

  345. “Calling use of the word ‘narrow-minded’ indicates, IMHO, toleration of inter-marriage.”

    So, Avraham, if an Orthodox Jew discourages his children from using the word “nigger”, is he, in effect, telling them that he couldn’t care less if they marry black people?

    Avraham, your posts/views get more outlandish by the day . . . keep it up! 😉

  346. “Has Jeremy actually stated that he “cares more about use of the word shiksa than about the fact that a Jew has married out”?” – No I did not say that. However…

    Jews are special, perhaps ‘chosen’, but not better. Everyone is special in their own way and everyone is different (no Life of Brian quotes please).

    When a man marries a non-Jewish woman, there is nothing lost. I fully support intermarriage of every kind and I have never heard an argument forbidding it that did not sound racist, or at the very least elitist.

    Anyone Jewish (and Ashkenazi) who has children will (probably) be aware of the multitude of tests for gut-wrenchingly nasty chromosomal diseases both partners must undergo before and during the pregnancy. We Jews and our disinclination to marry gentiles have brought these diseases on ourselves.

    I am not talking about the fact that most chassidische kids have to wear glasses (and look a bit nebbuchy – forgive me that is the best word for what I am describing) – I am talking about:

    Tay-Sachs
    Gaucher Disease
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Mucolipidosis
    Familial Dysautonomia

    The list goes on and on.

    All these diseases are truly horrible, and made all the more horrible by the fact that they usually affect tiny babies, who usually die within a few months if they are lucky. The parents are scarred for life.

    WAKE THE FUCK UP PEOPLE AND REASSESS YOUR PRIORITIES.

  347. Plus some of them is fitter. 😉

  348. Avraham Reiss

    Daniel,

    I’m surprised that you have merely skimmed off the top of the subject, and not asked relevant questions – something like our multitude of leftist ‘reporters’ who refrain from asking leftist politicians difficult questions.

    Specifically, you find dictionary sources for shiksa being a term for a non-jewish girl, but you refrain from asking WHY a derogatory term was used for this. As opposed, for example, to an Arab woman in Israel being termed merely an ‘Araviah’, which is in no way derogatory.

    I contend that the negatve term ‘shiksa’ – from ‘sheketz – abomination – originates in the need for Judaism-in-exile to combat intermarriage. There can’t possibly be any other reason for calling non-Jewish women in general ‘abominations’, since no small number are quite beautiful, intelligent, good mothers, good wives etc etc.

    To show that the dangers of intermarriage have not passed, here is a quote from the Encyclopedia Judaica
    (‘Marriage’):
    “Since 1990, more radical departures from halakhah have
    also become frequent. Within the Reform, Reconstructionist,
    and Humanist movements, these may include the use of specially
    written ketubbot at interfaith weddings and at gay and
    lesbian commitment ceremonies and marriages, where the
    couple often stands under a huppah and breaks a glass. Some
    of the interfaith ceremonies are syncretistic, which has elicited
    protests from the liberal and progressive denominations,
    as well as the more traditional movements.”
    (*Syncretistic: Wikipedia says: Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate or
    contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought – Avraham R.)

  349. Avraham Reiss

    Jeremy,
    “When a man marries a non-Jewish woman, there is nothing lost. I fully support intermarriage of every kind and I have never heard an argument forbidding it that did not sound racist, or at the very least elitist.”

    Rhubarb! All children of this marriage are non-Jewish, and thus lost to Judaism. At least keep to the truth.
    To some extent Judism is racist. The Israeli Law of return, for example syays that only Jews can have automatic Israeli citizenship.
    (OK, that’s the State, not the religion, but Judaism fully concurs).
    You can halachically marry a Jewish partner only if you are Jewish – that is not racist?

    Mike,
    “So, Avraham, if an Orthodox Jew discourages his children from using the word “nigger”, is he, in effect, telling them that he couldn’t care less if they marry black people?”

    – I do wish you would desist from use of the word “nigger”. If there are two things I can’t stand, they are racial prejudice and niggers. 🙂

    “Avraham, your posts/views get more outlandish by the day . . . keep it up! ”

    – You remind me of the guy visiting a psychiatrist. The psy. shows him a picture of a circle, and asks what it reminds him of. “Sex”, the guy replies. He is then shown a square, and replies to the same question “sex”. Then a triangle, and “sex”.
    “Well”, says the psychiatrist, “its obvious that you are obsessed with sex”.
    “Me”, says the guy, outraged. “Who’s been showing me all those dirty pictures?”

  350. Then why was the term shaygetz used for gentiles?

  351. for the queers amongst us, or for our women.

  352. Avraham

    First of all let me say I am pleasantly surprised that you are still talking to me.

    “…All children of this marriage are non-Jewish, and thus lost to Judaism. At least keep to the truth.”

    1) I believe that a Jewish child is in no way superior to a non-Jewish child, therefore nothing is lost by having non-Jewish children.
    2) Please do not accuse me of falsehood unless you think I am being deliberately deceitful. I am just saying there is no overall loss.

    “…To some extent Judism is racist…”
    So when you’re on a bus and you see a skinhead call an Indian man “filthy Paki scum”, your first thought is: “well Judaism’s racist, so I better not criticize”?

    Did you honestly think this was the way to convince me? Judaism is a bit racist, so it must be somewhat acceptable to be racist? From what you know of me, don’t you think I would say:

    “yes, Judaism is somewhat racist, and that is part of what is wrong with Judaism”?

    Well, that’s what I’m saying. And the Law of Return DOES seem racist unless:

    a) you agree that Jews are a people as well as a religion (immigration policy based on religion only really WOULD be racist.)
    b) you understand the context of the holocaust and the way Jews were treated in Europe for the preceding few hundred years.

    Jeremy

  353. Avraham Reiss

    “1) I believe that a Jewish child is in no way superior to a non-Jewish child, therefore nothing is lost by having non-Jewish children.
    2) Please do not accuse me of falsehood unless you think I am being deliberately deceitful. I am just saying there is no overall loss.”

    Nobody is talking about superiority. And you are saying that if its not superiority, there is no other difference.

    Rhubarb.

    I didn’t think you are being deceitfull.
    I think that you are totally lost, and I certainly have no interest in convincing you.

    Your kids or grandkids, by your way of thinking and place of domicile, have a good chance of marrying shiksas, and will end up out of our race.

    Its no loss to us, Israel is strong enough to withstand any such loss. Its called ‘culling’, its how we slowly attain pefection.

  354. Avraham

    “Nobody is talking about superiority. And you are saying that if its not superiority, there is no other difference.”
    If you agree that Jewish children are not superior to non-Jewish children, please would you articulate exactly what is lost by having non-Jewish children.

    “I think that you are totally lost”
    I certainly don’t feel I have all the answers and even the answers I do have don’t feel perfect. But I do not feel lost. I just think your beliefs are very different from mine. I also think it is the height of arrogance to decide that I am lost, simply because we disagree.

    “Your kids or grandkids, by your way of thinking and place of domicile, have a good chance of marrying shiksas”
    True – and a good job too. I only hope my daughter marries a good man (or woman) and they make each other very happy. Outside of being a good person I am not the least bit concerned over the ethnicity or religion of my daughter’s future spouse.

    I already told you I found the word shiksa revolting. Rather than pay any respect to that, you used it while directly addressing me and referring to my progeny. If you are trying to be nasty then it is entirely appropriate. But if not, then please stop it. We can maintain some standards of decency even during passionate argument.

    “Its no loss to us, Israel is strong enough to withstand any such loss”
    On my way to school one day, I lost nothing. When I got home my mum didn’t notice immediately. Later on when she went through my school bag, she still failed to notice that nothing was missing. Are you getting my point yet? You blatantly contradicted yourself.

    Let’s say it was just a turn of phrase, and you still believe that having non-Jewish children is a loss of some kind. If that is true, I am surprised to hear you say Israel can withstand any such loss. Everything you have written on the subject so far shows you are anything but complacent; you are worried about the survival of the Jewish people. (so I am btw, that’s why it’s important to rid ourselves of these genetic diseases)

  355. Mike,

    “The documentary (and indeed the YouTube comments) makes for interesting, if uncomfortable (for Jews), viewing:”

    I got up to the middle of the fifth clip and I’m still waiting for the “interesting if uncomfortable” bit. So far, I’ve found myself only slightly interested and comfortable enough to have fallen asleep three times. Maybe I slept through the good bits.

    So what do we have?

    1. Firstly, everyone is careful to point out that this is a unique case. If for that reason alone, I don’t think the program is likely to lead to too much soul searching among our beloved brethren in the greedy galut gutters of Golders Green and Stamford Hill.

    2. You quote the hero saying :

    “No. If that’s what he wants (to murder his wife), good luck to him.”

    But in the context of the program, it’s actually one his more profound utterances. Neither he nor his brother seem to be overly endowed in the brains department. While he was in prison for nine years, but has forgotten the expression cell mate, his brother explains on national TV that he (our hero) has relations with Brazilian women but has to keep them discreet.
    They both seemed to find the question of kosher dairy biscuits a concept far too perplexing to explain.

    3. Never at any point does the BBC interviewer ask him the most obvious question, how he reconciles his ultra-orthodoxy with selling drugs. One has to assume that there was either some legal reason, or that he just made it a precondition for participation.

    4. It’s mainly meant for goyim to have a chance to see how religious Jews live. Now they now that we’re very modest and we love cream cakes, Alsatian dogs, Brazilian women and hearing Sarit Hadad on the radio.

    If there’s anything that the author of this excellent blog could take from this “interesting if uncomfortable” documentary, my advice would be to prefer the cakes and the women to the dogs and Miss Hadad.

    Oh! And look out Golders Green galut gutter snipes, our hero may be relocating.

  356. Avraham,

    I think that Jeremy has a point about your use of the term shiksa. He told you that it offended him so you thoughtfully rewrote the Yiddish dictionary explaining that the word shiksa is in no way offensive to the subject of its use but in fact refers to the act of intermarriage.

    This would be the intellectual equivalent of my calling Adrian a fat pig, and when he objected, explaining that the expression fat pig does not refer to him, but to the late night high-calorie snacks of which he so enjoys partaking.

    Following this you made use of an unlikely and somewhat bizzare theory of Jude0-social Darwinism explaining that his Jeremy’s daughter’s marrying out was the way by which you “slowly attain pefection”. Ironically, even your perfection was imperfectly spelled.

    Could this Freudian slip be leading us to the inescapable conclusion that perfection, if attainable, must be achieved by self-improvement (plenty of healthy salads, English and Yiddish dictionaries etc), and not by slagging off someone else’s kids?

  357. “I only hope my daughter marries a good man (or woman) and they make each other very happy. Outside of being a good person I am not the least bit concerned over the ethnicity or religion of my daughter’s future spouse.”-

    I too was profoundly saddened when I read Jeremy’s sincere – but oh so modest, blessing for his daughter. I thought of Esau, of all people, broken-hearted after losing his birthright:

    “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father.” Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

    I know, Robert, that these are deeply personal matters but I gather that you do not object to them being discussed in cyberspace. Likewise, I assume that your daughter is still of the age that this is a hypothetical, rather than practical question. I don’t know either you or her, but it’s clear from your writing that she has an intelligent and thoughtful father .

    Maybe you should reconsider your blessing to her. I have two daughters Dina and Rachelle and every Friday night after kiddush I whisper my blessing, that G-d might make them like our mothers Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah.

    Dina and Rachelle are very different to each other as were Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah. There are no blue prints when it comes to raising children and no clearly defined goals. Times change and people change.

    However, for 3,000 Jewish fathers like us have placed our hands gently on our daughters’ heads and looked to Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah for inspiration and guidance.

    About Sara’s background we know little but assume it was idolatrous. Rivka, Rachel and Leah all grew up in the house of Laban the liar and cheat but were able to maintain themselves like Roses among thorns.

    I wish you and your family a long and happy life and hope that your daughter and mine find their intended love and together establish a loyal house in Israel.

    When the time is right, may they and their husbands, together, be privileged to rebuild another one of the sacred ruins of Jerusalem.

  358. Avraham Reiss

    Oh Daniel,

    What a wonderfully moving post!

    By the time I’d finished reading it, I had tears in my eyes. I think that even Robert was moved.

  359. “I only hope my daughter marries a good man (or woman) and they make each other very happy. Outside of being a good person I am not the least bit concerned over the ethnicity or religion of my daughter’s future spouse.”-

    I read and re-read my assertion many times and I think I overstated my case.

    It is not true that the religion of my daughter’s future spouse is of no consequence to me. I think it OUGHT to be of no consequence and intellectually I can think of nothing to justify a preference for a Jewish spouse but if I am honest, that’s what I’d prefer.

    I think I may be in need of some lessons in compartmentalization. Anyone?

    Jeremy

    P.S. Daniel , you can call me Robert if u want, but it’s a strange nickname for a bloke called Jeremy. Also (and without prejudice) thank you for the beautiful bracha.

  360. Jeremy,

    I apologize about confusing the names. It wasn’t a nickname, just early dementia. (:

    Have a great week

  361. See you at Beeston in a couple of weeks then.

    Honestly though Melchy, dyou reckon that was a penalty? The one in injury time I mean. I thought maybe Dawson got the ball.

  362. Yes, it was – he took Beckford’s legs first – and certainly more of a penalty than yours: a fifty-fifty, okay sixty-forty(!), collision after the ball had gone.

    And you know me . . . never biased!

    Love the commentary here.

    Yaaarkshire!!

  363. Leeds were definitely better than expected. Beckford looked v tasty; he obviously knows he’s in a shop window. Snodgrass was also impressive I thought.

    Doyle launched himself at Danny Rose in the box, Rose kicked the ball away and Doyle was unable to avoid smashing into him. That’s gonna be a pen every time. Defoe was disappointing, but Ankergren was great. In fact he was amazing the whole match.

    Then Crowe brought down Defoe in the box. Shoulda been a pen.

    Leeds goal was messy, we should have defended better though.

    Pavlyuchenko’s goal (and the EIGHT passes leading up to it) was superb.

    Credit to Leeds for never giving up. I watched Dawson/Beckford incident a few more times and I still don’t think it was a pen. There had been a couple of (clinical) tackles in the box by Dawson in the preceding minutes and I think the ref wanted to even things up a bit. The challenge would not have been penalized anywhere else on the pitch.

    Still, I shouldn’t complain about not winning or not getting decisions. I thought the ref was biased in our favour for most of the match (except the Crowe/Defoe penalty shout) but we missed too many opportunities (thanks Jermaine Jenas) so one dodgy pen at the end shouldn’t have made that much difference.

    Great Danish keeper – man of the match. Or maybe Becks. Hold on, you’re starting to sound like ManU! Hahahahaha.

  364. Ever sat at a table looking at the last slice of cake? Whilst the one before the last was no problem to eat, for some reason, to take the last would be indescribably greedy. You then consider the two logical possibilities that either someone else will take it and you’ll regret it, or worse still it might just get thrown away.

    You try and recall how many slices you’ve eaten and how many there were originally, and then after a brief head count your mental calculation leads you to the inevitable conclusion that you’ve already consumed the cake of two men.

    However, you then make allowances for the fact that women eat less and that somebody must be on a diet. After having taken females and the overweight out of your calculation it now appears that your claim for the last slice is legitimate.

    Then you consider the possibility of nimbly breaking the last slice in half and leaving some on the plate. You smile at the wisdom of your inspired idea, but then consider that the very act of being the first to halve a slice would make it clear to anyone watching how much you thought you’ve already given to the cake. You also consider the possibility that it might break up 60-40 or even 70-30 rather than the 50-50 that you would be hoping for. In which case, which sub-slice will you take? Under such circumstances you won’t have much time to think either.

    At this stage you wonder whether you’re the only person in the room having such thoughts. Why it is that as a teenager you couldn’t take your mind off sex and now you’re wasting all your valuable brain cells on the dilemma of the last slice of cake. The cake wasn’t even that good.

    This blog has been many of our slices of cake for the past few days, everyone looking at it and wondering whether they should post, “After all, nobody else has posted for days now. People will think I have no life.”

    Well, I’ve decided to eat the cake and the best news is that our gracious host, now seeing an empty plate, will go and cut up some more.

    Mike. it’s time for you to write a new posting. We need something to argue about.

  365. Literary constipation, I’m afraid, though there’s a new post steaming nicely and about to be discharged. But believe me, Daniel, you won’t want to digest it!

  366. Anyone know what’s happening to Moshe Katzav at the moment? The piece of excrement.

  367. Katzav . . . now there‘s a bloke who should have been told about the benefits of a wank! And in answer to your query, Dan, a couple of weeks ago he was about to begin his testimony in his rape trial – behind closed doors – then it all went quiet.

    Nice typo in yesterday’s Haaretz:

    “Peretz’s candidacy for the position of chief military rabbit was given all due consideration by the authorities of the IDF, and he was found suitable for the post.”

    I am sure that he is going to prefer the carrot to the stick!

  368. Regarding Katzav, he apparently wants to rejoin the army. His main motivation being:

    לעלות על א

    A hard joke to translate.

  369. All together now…

    We all love Leeds, We all love Leeds, We all love Leeds, We all love Leeds.

    Thanks Leeds

    YIDAAAAAARMEEEEE!!!!!!

  370. Yes, Jeremy, you must be so proud that your ‘team’ managed to squeeze past one two divisions below them!

    Anyway, what do you say about January’s Mook?

  371. Just heard about this.

    Though who can blame the lad? With the shenanigans at Pompey, it’s the only “scoring” he’s gonna be doing!

  372. Of course I’m proud. Leeds are always a potential banana skin.

    What do I say about Ferguson being this month’s Mook? I don’t have much of a problem with Fergie in general. He whinges a lot despite having resources other clubs can only dream about. A lot of it is designed to wind other managers up so they make bad decisions. If it works, he’s doing his job well.

    Re – Avram Grant…

    Hahaha. But really, who cares? When politicians cheat on their wives, it’s somewhat newsworthy, particularly if the politician in question is wont to bang on about morality etc. We also tend to elevate sportsmen in the public to “role model” status (without asking them) and then complain when they don’t meet the standards we decide role models ought to maintain.

    But who really gives a shit who Avram Grant shags? He’s not a role model and he’s not a politician. He’s not even an athlete.

  373. “Leeds are always a potential banana skin.”

    Little known fact, melchett mikers . . . “Ron Manager” was based on our very own Jeremy Cohen!

  374. I saw a boy cry today. Hardly an unusual event, you might say, but the story bears telling.

    My mother made a Kiddush at the WIZO synagogue in Bet Hakerem, a very Anglo-Saxon Neo-Conservative establishment. For Hagba’hah (the lifting of the Torah) a young man of about 17 was honored. I saw someone explaining to him how to lift the Torah, and he negotiated the task quite successfully.

    Afterwards, the easy bit for him was just to sit and wait for it to be taken.

    The haphtarah began but was suddenly disturbed, a few minutes later, when the lad slipped and almost dropped the Torah. I’m not sure whether he dozed off or what, but that was what happened. It wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t reach the floor, hardly reaching the chair next to him. He caught it quite nimbly and the service continued. Neither did he seem particularly upset.

    But then a remarkable thing happened. A few minutes later the cantor took the Torah from him and the boy began to cry. It was quite uncontrollable, so he ran to the bathroom to avoid further embarrassment.

    Little Ariel, who was with me, asked me why he was crying. At first, I wasn’t sure but then said, “If a Jew has to cry, let it be over that.” I tried to console the lad telling him, that according to many commentators the same thing happened to Moshe Rabeinu too. He smiled but was still upset.

    Be happy Israel, that these are your sons!

  375. Thank you Daniel for a beautiful story. It brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t realize your condition was contagious 😉

    Jeremy

  376. I don’t like to abuse Twatter by bringing up topics other than homosexuality or Reform, but . . .

    I will be in Blighty for the last 10 days or so of March, and am looking for a responsible housesitter for Stuey and Dexxy. Involves sleeping here, and 10 minute walks in the morning and evening.

    Ideally suited to someone who commutes to Tel Aviv for work, or who just wants to spend time here. Apartment has all mod cons, including HOT . . . though that is more of a con!

    Please spread the word.

  377. Finally, someone I know who has done something worthwhile and interesting with his life . . . so, no one’s gonna convince me that Hodesy wasn’t behind the knocking-off of that Hamas scumbag.

    Hodesy is my hero, Hodesy is my hero, la la la la, la la la la . . .

  378. Assuming that this excellent blog doesn’t reach the moon, I imagine that everybody has already heard about the (Rav) Motti Elon scandal.

    Therefore, I shall not bore anyone elaborating on its details. Thankfully, I’ve quite conscientiously avoided finding out anything that is not public knowledge.

    Occasionally, interviewers over the phone, who can’t see my kippa, ask me how I define myself. I usually try to avoid the question or joke it off. However today, and despite all the obvious pain and anger, I find myself strangely and surprisingly proud of the Israeli Modern Orthodox camp in which I live.

    I’m so proud that we have rabbis who were prepared to confront a man of ME’s stature, rather than covering up for a friend. No less, am I proud of a community who didn’t blame the press, doesn’t throw stones, burn rubbish bins or call anyone Nazis. Jews whose hearts that are so broken, but are nonetheless searching those same hearts. Always the question, “Where did we go wrong?” on their lips.

    I have my criticism too, and its time will come. But today on the anniversary of Moses our Teacher I am indescribably proud of the kippa that I wear.

  379. Daniel, we all know that sexual urges can cause even the greatest “Gedolei HaDor” – most recently Tiger Woods, John Terry, and even our very own Avram Grant – to lose the path.

    As the proprietor merely of this humble blog, however, I manage to summon the self-restraint to avoid (further?!) dragging its name through the dirt by not fulfilling the lavatorial fantasy – for the avoidance of doubt, with a female – of which you are always so keen to remind my readers.

    Why is it, therefore, that no less a man than the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hakotel couldn’t (allegedly) keep his schmekel, or those of his students, in their pants?

  380. ילבש שחורים וילך למקום אחר ויספק תאותו

    And that my dear proprietor of this humble though excellent blog is the 613 mitzvah question.

    I could expand on it and remind you that the Talmud offers advice to he who cannot control his evil inclination to wear black and go to a place where you are not known. I’m sure that there are plenty of gay bars with gay men who, I’m sure, could have answered ME’s needs either pro bono, or at a price that any successful rosh yeshiva could afford.

    These questions assume that ME was acting rationally, which I suspect he was not. There is a charming colloquial saying which roughly translates as: “When the penis is erect, the head doesn’t think.”

    Could it be that clearer thinking is just another one of the bonuses of our advancing years?

  381. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Daniel, I owe you debt of gratitude for reminding me of the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabeinu,
    yarhzeit`s in general being a time to reflect both upon our actions and our direction.
    the said yarzeit is also the anniversary of my engagement, sometimes lack of action is a better course., and most of the time Shtika sayag le Chocma.

  382. Re: Kudos to Steven Hodes, perhaps it’s because he didn’t go to Hasmo.

  383. Daniel, I hope you will not be going down the “he was not acting rationally” line any further than Rav Motti (allegedly) went down on his bochrim. It is the very “covering up for a friend” that your earlier comment was referring to. And it is an insult to every victim of a sexual offence (especially by those in positions of authority).

    Aharon, I fear you forget that no one is more experienced in the dark practices of subterfuge and deceit than us ex-Hasmos. Indeed, it was probably Hodesy’s sad accident of birth in Manchester which meant that he was unequipped with the tools which he so badly required.

    And a melchett mike welcome ‘home’ to my fellow Ropczycer chossid, Reb Ellis. Been in Dubai lately?

  384. “Daniel, I hope you will not be going down the “he was not acting rationally” line any further ..”

    I was not justifying or excusing anything. If, as I believe it will, it transpires that he did the actions he is accused of, I would punish him like the lowest of the low. The fact that he was a rosh yeshiva makes it far worse.

    I just meant/mean that it’s hard for rational beings like the author of this excellent blog and myself to understand why a closet gay would risk so much for sex, when there were simpler, far less dangerous ways of doing so.

  385. “…it is an insult to every victim of a sexual offence …”

    Seriously Melchy? If A assaults B, how is the hypothesis that A was acting irrationally at the time insulting to B? If indeed A was under the influence (spiked drink, let’s say) it’s important to know that, so we don’t prosecute the wrong person.

    It sounds like you’re saying that if evidence came to light that Mottl was acting involuntarily, meaning that he should be exonerated, that would somehow disappoint his victims. Bollocks.

    Jeremy

  386. Daniel, I think it was:

    ווען דער שמעקעל שטעהט דער שכל געהט

    but I can’t seem to recall in which perek of Avot I found that particular pearl. Perhaps it was:

    איזהו גיבור? שואל בן זומא; הכובש את יצרו

    😉

  387. Jeremy, I think you may have misunderstood my point . . .

    Daniel’s “he was not acting rationally” speculation was followed by his reference to “When the penis is erect, the head doesn’t think” . . . as if the mens rea for the crime would not have been present!

    My point about “insult” refers only to such circumstances, i.e., mistaking horniness and lack of self-control for a lack of true intent.

    “Bollocks” to you, c*nt!

  388. Ah. In that case I agree with you. Even about being a cunt. But no asterisks please, we’re Hasmo.

    Lucky, lucky last-minute Leeds yesterday. Heheh.

  389. Ellis Feigenbaum

    I can neither confirm nor deny having been in Dubai . However according to the BBC ,Israel has a veritable army of 500,000 diaspora jews who are ready to help in assasinations at any given time.
    I wondered where my taxes were going.

  390. Reliable sources have reported that a lady donning a blond wig and answering the general description of Ellis Feigenbaum was spotted entering an elevator in Dubai. Apparently, the term “honey-trap” was used.

  391. “My point about “insult” refers only to such circumstances, i.e., mistaking horniness and lack of self-control for a lack of true intent.” –

    Though having no first hand experience in the areas of sexual-molestation, rape etc, unless someone explains to me otherwise, I would think that “horniness” coupled with “lack of self control” would be the reason why people generally engage in these activities.

    I read somewhere that rape is about power and showing the weaker party who is boss, rather than about a perceived sexual need, but I’m skeptical.

    I’m not talking mitigation, I think that most criminals who commit crimes that carry with them a likelihood of being caught and punished do so because of lack of self control.

    The problem is that anything you say is taken for mitigation. I remember once when Rabbi Roberg caught me bunking off and asked for for an explanation. I had none and just couldn’t be bothered to argue so I said:

    “I don’t know sir, maybe I was just born evil.” There you have it no blaming my upbringing or circumstance – a complete admission. Roberg was stumped for a second and pondered my response, “Ah,” he replied, “So you’re blaming G-d!?”

    I believe that even in this post-modern world there is good and evil and while most of us are in the middle, there are even good and evil people. A man who takes advantage of young boys who come to him confused and distraught to satisfy his own sexual needs belongs to the latter group. He had plenty of legal if non-halachic ways to do so, but chose the worst course. As I said, his being an important rabbi makes his crime far worse than had he have been a layman.

    Finally, there is still a theoretical chance that ME is completely innocent and this is all just a lie and conspiracy put together by more than a dozen of the most important rabbis that we have. In many ways, that would be far worse.

  392. Just for the record, the accusation is NOT that he took advantage of young boys (which would have been a criminal offence and referred to the police) but that he did whatever he did with guys over 18 (eg bachurei yeshivat hesder) which, as they’re adults, makes things consential. Therefore, this was a matter for the self-regulators (Takana) and not the cops.

  393. I suppose one can’t really turn down a ‘chavrusa’ with the Rosh Yeshiva.

  394. David,

    Were that you were right.

    The reason that the former attorney general chose not to open an investigation was that the young men in question were not prepared to make a complaint, and in these kinds of cases, without a witness it’s almost impossible to proceed.

    Regarding your categorical:

    “Just for the record, the accusation is NOT that he took advantage of young boys… ” – that is a matter that the current attorney general is currently investigating.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1150919.html

    As I said, were that you were right.

  395. Excellent news for the author of this exceptional blog.

    An operation was carried out for the first time, in Israel enabling penis enlargement.

    Good luck Mike!

  396. Daniel, you are a large enough penis for all of us!

    Anyway, I’ve actually had a penis reduction . . . I’ve only got one now.

    😉

  397. Forwarded to me by Daniel Marks, melchett mike‘s Penis Correspondent . . .

    http://www.jpost.com/HealthAndSci-Tech/Health/Article.aspx?id=169400

  398. I saw on the news that the UK police sent over a delegation today to Israel to investigate the Dubai job/UK passports issue. Imagine their consternation upon their arrival to find that the entire Israeli population was in disguise! Those pesky Jews!

  399. So, Ajami didn’t take the Foreign Language Oscar, which, in view of yesterday’s developments, I am rather pleased about.

    The comments in the following make for interesting reading . . .
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1154628.html
    http://www.jpost.com/ArtsAndCulture/Entertainment/Article.aspx?ID=170393
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3858881,00.html

    I was going to go and see Ajami in the cinema, this week. But I won’t be now. Not because I believe Copti should be proudly representing Israel. But because, if this is how he feels, he should have been sufficiently principled not to take our money in the first place.

  400. I have heard of what I consider to be an excellent opportunity to join a new purchase group in Tel Aviv.

    Apartments between 1 and 3 bedrooms, with balconies and parking. Excellent location – 2 mins’ walk from Rothschild Boulevard – and reasonably priced (approx US$4,000 per sq m). No agent’s fee.

    If you are interested, be in touch (via a comment with your email). To encourage second homes in Zion . . . no “angle” for me!

  401. David Prager

    Hi Mike
    My brother-in-law, Henry Klausner (who you will remember from the old days), wants to email you off-blog. Can you send me your personal email address please.
    Regards
    David Prager

  402. David Prager

    Is Ellis out there?
    What are the odds on the Hammers staying up this season?

  403. Daniel Marks

    This morning I received:
    “Hello,
    My name is lucy, very humble and respectful i saw your email and its a pleasure to
    contact you,i will also like to know
    you more,and if you can send an
    email to my email contact,i will give
    you my pictures here is my email
    (luccymrk@gmail.com) ”

    Any takers?

  404. “very humble and respectful i saw your email”

    What did you write to her?

    This may be a wild stab in the dark, Daniel, but Lucy’s email could well be spam.

    On the other hand, photos are photos. You know where to find me.

  405. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Hey David,
    Ellis is out there, in the wilds of California secure in the knowledge that barring a 23 goal swing survival is assurred.

  406. David Prager

    Hi Ellis
    Ain’t life great. Fancy knowing we’re safe so early in the season! 🙂

  407. Terribly sad news in yesterday’s Haaretz:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/arafat-s-jewish-adviser-dies-at-age-86-1.287697

    He will be sorely missed (like an ingrowing toenail).

    And, also yesterday, some great Talmudic logic from United Torah Judaism’s Moshe Gafni:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/ron-huldai-has-it-wrong-gafni-haredim-are-financing-the-secular-public-1.288021

    Quite right, Moshe! And, while you’re at it, why should charedim pay VAT?!

  408. Daniel Marks

    Forget the haredim. Gert has done a runner!

    All men of good conscience (and Ellis) are urgently asked to help out in the almost superhuman task of persuading him to return.

    This call has united Jewish right wing intellectuals (and Goldman), the Palestine elite, orthodox and secular, straights and gays, old and young.

    Please help us out!

  409. In case you missed Adam Boulton vs. Alastair Campbell on Sky News, yesterday evening, here’s some great “reality TV” . . .

    Full ‘discussion’ (6:20)

    Highlights (0:52)

  410. I note the passing, on Thursday, of Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus: http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/31908/jews-jesus-founder-moishe-rosen-dies

    My gripe with Moishe is less ideological than pragmatic . . . the way things are going, Jews for Mohammed – if you can’t beat ’em (and, let’s face it, it’s not looking likely), join ’em! – would have been a far better idea.

  411. Daniel Marks

    I’ve always liked the messianic Jews. My wife has a messianic Jewish student who has just been accepted to one of the IDF’s most elite fighting units.

    Furthermore, I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me the difference between a Jew who keeps G-d’s commandments, but believes that Jesus was/is the messiah and another one who keeps G-d’s commandments, but believes that Menachem Mendel Schneerson was/is the messiah. Any takers? Goldman?

    Talking of keeping G-d’s commandments, SHABBAT SHALOM!

  412. I am not a “taker”, Daniel . . . though, yes, I believe one of the Goldmans may be.

    I am invited to the wedding of a Messianic Jewish friend, near Jerusalem, next month, which should be interesting. Knowing my frummy past, Steve wasn’t sure how I’d (no pun intended) take it. I told him I will be glad to attend, but reserve the right to heckle – “He’s not the Messiah . . . he’s a very naughty boy” being the obvious option – during the Chupah.

  413. What a sadly familiar experience in Mike’s Place, yesterday evening . . . great hopes of the English national football team, shattered by a moment of farcical imcompetence that just made you wanna cringe.

    And a bad evening was made even worse by gloating Americans chanting “U S A” (shouted over by a chorus of “U R Shit”).

    Americans, knowing nothing about football, should not be admitted to such occasions. It almost “kicked off” in the toilets at half time (cue cheap gay shot, Daniel Marks), when one such prick had a go at an English lad for referring to his own friend as a “Tottenham Yid”.

    I found myself in the (unfamiliar) role of situation defuser, explaining to the boneheaded Yank that this was not anti-Semitism . . . and that he should leave his excess testosterone at home, next time.

  414. Mark Goldman

    “when one such prick had a go at an English lad for referring to his own friend as a “Tottenham Yid”.”

    Makes me proud to be an American.

  415. I have just read this op-ed in today’s Haaretz.

    What kind of sick individual could possibly become “sexually aroused” by “reports of sex crimes . . . provid[ing] precise descriptions of the setting, the body parts involved . . . terms, such as “he reached satisfaction,” “acts of sodomy,” “sex-slave” . . . [and/or] the detailed sadistic reconstruction of the abasement of the victim”?

    As someone who has made a year and a half’s mileage out of my (admittedly ill-advised) insertion of the words “sex” and “toilets” into the same sentence, Daniel Marks, please help us to understand . . .

  416. Daniel Marks

    Mike,

    What exactly is your question?

    I don’t really know how to answer a question that begins with “What kind of sick individual could..”

    You’ve already said that he’s sick so are you asking me:

    1. Which sickness does he have?

    2. How sick could he be?

    3. Other than being sick, what kind of individual is he?

    Similarly, Americans sometime begin a question with “Where do you get off…” and Israelis favor the עד מתי… – literally “Until when…”

    Back to the original question:

    1. Which sickness does he have?

    I don’t know, but it appears that some/many people are aroused by the idea of rape and sex crimes. I’m not sure whether this is recognized as a sickness or has a name.

    2. How sick could he be? Since I don’t know anything about the sickness (if it exists) I don’t know.

    3. Other than being sick, what kind of individual is he?

    I guess that assuming that becoming “sexually aroused” by “reports of sex crimes is the sickness and he has it, he could as in the case of most other sickness be any type of individual.

    Sorry I couldn’t have been more helpful, but I’m sure that there are people who know much more about the subject that I. My daughter-in-law is studying psychology. I’ll ask her next time we meet, if I remember.

  417. Some end-of-week-1 World Cup observations/admissions . . .

    1. The tournament has been a major disappointment, at least until Switzerland shocked Spain yesterday.

    2. Among desperate Spaniards in the crowd – their team losing one-nil, with only 20 minutes to go, to a bunch of chocolate makers – the TV cameras pan in on an attractive “sort”. Realising that the cameras are on her, she immediately forgets her desperation (and her country) and starts hysterically waving and jumping up and down . . . thus confirming: 1. the origins of the expression “whore for the cameras”, and 2. (as if any confirmation was needed) that tickets for big games should not be wasted on “birds”.

    3. Israeli commentators are doing their very best to ruin the experience for us, such is the bollocks that they insist on talking for every second of every match. I fear that there are only so many more references to players’ טכניקה (technique, pronounced “technika” in Hebrew) that I can take.

    4. Worryingly, I find myself starting to like that cheating little Argie cokehead, Maradona. He absolutely defines the word “maverick” . . . even more so following his recent comments about Uefa president Michel Platini:

    “We all know how the French are. And Platini is French. And he believes he is better than everyone else. I’ve never paid any attention to him. And I won’t start now.”

    Nice one, Diego!

  418. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Must agree, Israeli commetators are crap.
    today were were remindid 26 seperate times that Portugul beat North Korea 5-3 after being 3-0 down in 1966.
    Even the great Eusebio hasnt mentioned it 36 times simce 1966.

  419. Remarkable, Ellis, that you succeed in correctly spelling “Eusebio” – no mean feat for a non-Portuguese speaker (as far as I am aware) – but, excluding “Israeli”, no words of over two syllables in English.

    What school did you go to? 😉

  420. Daniel Marks

    Don’t sell El short!

    He spelled 1966 correctly, and that has more than two syllables.

    EFP

    Daniel

  421. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Mike
    I went to that hallowed hall of learning situated on the Holders Hill. You may have heard of it 🙂
    Daniel I seem to remember you were far more interested in puncturing the neighbours with your air pistol than football.

  422. Daniel Marks

    More interested in anything than football. More interested in everything than football. I’d be more interested in Sophie what’s-her-name than football.

    Shooting the neighbors with an air pistol sounds like heaven, especially if you knew some of my neighbors.

  423. David Prager

    The England game kicks off in 2 hours, and I understand that there’s a guy playing for Slovenia whose club is West Bromwich Albion. Let’s count how many times the Israeli commentary team refer to WBA as “Bromwich” (groan). And maybe we could do a sweepstake on the expected number of mentions. Away the lads!

  424. Excellent real estate opportunity in central Tel Aviv

    If any readers (or anyone they may know) are interested in purchasing an apartment in a very exciting new residential project in a prime location (1 minute walk from Rothschild Boulevard) in central Tel Aviv, please contact me via a comment below (you can use “Anonymous”, but leaving your e-mail in the form).

    Apartments from 75 square metres (option of combining more than one) + large balcony + parking. Ideal for main residence or vacations.

    The project is being organised by an extremely well-known property company, in coordination with one of Tel Aviv’s top architects.

    And no agents! 😉

  425. A selection of the disgraceful chants directed at Germans, cheeky enough to show their faces in Mike’s Place yesterday afternoon (tunes in italics) . . .

    • “Two World Wars and one World Cup”

    • “My grandpa killed your grandpa” (sadly untrue for many English Jews)
    [both to Camptown Races]

    • “Are you Turkey in disguise?” [to that early 80s Made in Wales ad]

    • “Die, die Turkey”

    • “Ten German bombers (but the RAF from England . . .)”

    • “I would rather be a Paki than a Kraut”
    [all to She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain]

    Any suggestion that I started the latter are vehemently denied . . . and may even be followed up with a letter from my UK Solicitors* (who despise bigotry in all of its vile forms).

    *Shuli Meyers & Co., NW11

  426. how much?

  427. You may have wished to remain anonymous, Ellis . . . but there is something, even in your mere three words, that gives you away!! 😉

  428. Forwarded by Greg of all people . . .

    Steady, Greg, you could get banned from J Street for peddling such filth! 😉

  429. Heard this morning, from a Jewish mother to her son, mid-disagreement:

    “You know I’ve got high blood pressure . . .”

    “But I thought the medication brought it down?”

    “Yes. It does. But what if I stopped taking it?”

    You couldn’t make it up! It’s a wonder any of us are even remotely normal! 😉

  430. You’ve got to love Itai Schechter for doing this, yesterday evening (in Hapoel Tel Aviv’s 3-2 Champions League playoff 1st leg win in Salzburg) . . .

    When was the last time someone put on a kippah so proudly in Austria?! (Apparently, the knob-end referee booked him for it!)

  431. A warm melchett mike mazal tov to Ellis Feigenbaum – probably the worst speller on this blog (though also, perhaps, the best bridge player) – on his marriage to Margie (posted to facebook).

  432. Daniel Marks

    Mazal Tov to Ellis and Margie Feigenbaum and may they have the privilege of rebuilding another one of the ruins of Zion.

    Margie is indeed a lucky lady managing to finally bag El, a task that has confounded many international law-enforcement agencies in recent years. We look forward to meeting her and congratulating the two in a fitting way. Goldman has already purchased the Champagne and schmaltz herring.

    Mazal Tov!

  433. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Thank you Daniel and thank you Michael for purchasing the consumables.
    My wife and I will be visiting the holy land at some stage in the not to distant future, we await your welcome with baited breath.
    Ellis

  434. Ellis, you almost got through an entire comment without a spelling mistake. Alas, it is bated – not “baited” – breath. Next time . . .

    As for your wedding bash, Daniel will be bringing Baba Ghanoush, Lahm Ba’ajeen and Waraq Enab from his neighbouring village. I’ll be bringing Olga and Sveta from Allenby.

    Mike

  435. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Mike , i know the difference, baited stands.

  436. So with breath “used in luring an animal” (Penguin English Dictionary) it is then, Ellis!

  437. Nonsense! Of course El made a spelling mistake!

    “My wife and I will be visiting the holy land at some stage in the not to distant future…”

    Surely “too” rather than “to”!?

    Talking of homophones, last week I was teaching a class of ultra orthodox (haredi) women and mentioned how kids always laugh when I write “homo” on the board and then pause a few seconds before completing the word.

    “Why?” asked one lady.

    “Well,” I explained, “it’s the nature of children to laugh when they hear that word.”

    “Which word?”

    “Homo.”

    “I’ve never heard that word. What does it mean?”

    And I thought to myself, “Where is that Mark Goldman when you really need him?”

  438. Missed that one (“to/too”)!

    To quote the opening of the well-known football ditty, “The famous Marky Goldman’s off to Rome to see the Pope . . .” http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/29/1753120/temple-kol-ami-emanu-el-cantor.html

    Shuli’s already booked his flights to see what he can do for Judeo-Catholic relations . . . and for, what promises to be, a very emotional reunion with Mark.

  439. And I thought to myself, “Where is that Mark Goldman when you really need him?”

    LOL Daniel. What were you thinking? Snap your fingers, click your heals three times, and a real, live, HOMO appears out of nowhere?

    Thanks for the Vatican plug Mike 😉
    – A documentary is being filmed about the mission-The producers are interested in the perspective of a once Orthodox Cantor, now Reform & out, with respect to Catholic attitudes regarding gay clergy.

  440. Mark, you are probably the only one he knows . . .

    “We don’t get too many of you folks out here.”

    😉

  441. In all seriousness Mark, how do you do it? Is there some special software that picks up any reference to gays on the sites that you program it with and then SMSs you? Does Mike email you each time?

    I’m not kidding. How do you do it?

  442. As if to prove my point . . .

    Daniel, sounds like you might have some repression issues going on there, and that you might need to get yourself down to TA for some serious botty action!

  443. Sorry Daniel, that’s members of the club only info. I just can’t tell you-unless you’re thinking of joining?

  444. Unfortunate choice of words (or Freudian slip?) by the new British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, interviewed in this morning’s Haaretz. Asked about his experience as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Iran, the Jewish Londoner replied:

    “Like Israel it has an amazing history, extraordinary archaeological and historical sites. It blows you away.”

    Well, I’m glad he had a blast! 😉

  445. I had to laugh at the following (from Friday’s Jerusalem Post), put out by the office of the President of Ukraine in the wake of Israeli violence in Uman over Rosh Hashanah . . .

    “[Ukraine] has a centuries-old multicultural tradition of tolerance toward all the nations and religious communities living on its territory.”

    From my days doing hadracha at Yad Vashem, I recall that Ukrainians, together with citizens of the Baltic states, were the most willing national volunteers in the annihilation of their Jews.

    Where do these c*nts get the nerve?!

  446. Today is “Purple Day” where many of us remember and mourn the tragic suicides of gay teens. Read this article written by an orthodox gay Rabbi. I wonder what our ‘friend’ Shuli would say.

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/cost_standing_idly

  447. Just arrived back in TA, following my hike in the Highlands and charity bike for Norwood in Kenya.

    The ride was great – if knackering – and many thanks, once again, to all those of you who sponsored me. I topped the required minimum by 25% (see here), no mean feat from Israel . . . even if I do say so myself! And, to the mean bastards who have received hours of enjoyment from melchett mike – and Hasmo Legends, especially – but couldn’t even come up with a tenner for Norwood, I will be on your case again next year. Perhaps I ought to name and shame . . . 😉

    melchett mike is about to resume normal service, with some social observation – on British Jews, in particular – from my trip, which I hope to publish some time next week.

    Mike

  448. Was hoping one of my readers might be able to tell me whether the following e-mail, titled Hello My Dear!!, received this morning from a “Sharon Oti” might be spam . . .

    Hello My Dear!!

    My name is Miss sharon,I saw your profile today at this site (www.telalivit.com [mm: a Tel Aviv networking site]) and i become interested in you, Please My Dear I will like you to contact me back as soon as possible through my email address (sharon20094love@yahoo.com) so that i can give you my pictures for you to know whom i am, I believe we can move from here. Please Remember colour or distance does not matter, but Love matters allot in life. Reply me back on time,

    from sharon

    Any ideas, anyone? Would it be silly of me to get my hopes up? I hope Sharon’s not going to want money.

  449. For your information (and delectation) . . .

    November’s blond Mook and Mensch of the Month are both now up.

  450. In Tel Aviv-April 10-19. Be fun to see some old friends 4 catch up etc. email or post here: cantormg@aol.com

  451. I’m all for the “catch up,” Mark . . . though not sure about the “etc.” 😉

    (Hope you will forgive my attempting to appeal to the more primitive elements . . . sorry, element – from Bridge Lane – on this blog!)

  452. So predictable!
    You’re losing your edge 😉

  453. Hi Mark,
    Talking of predictable attempts at predictable jokes; I don’t get it, whenever I sneaked a peek into your closet in Hillel House I only found clothes.
    Would love to meet up if we can arrange it. Please take into consideration that nightclubs are way too noisy for me.

  454. That’s all I wanted you to see.
    Nightclubs?!
    Coffee/Pub would be great. Mike, let’s set a date for anyone who’s around.

  455. “Coffee/Pub”? Forget pubs . . . even most TA cafés will be too wild for that Garfinkel boy! 😉

    Re your visit, Mark, I had better check my extremely busy diary . . . checked it: I can only do eight of the nine evenings you are here (the other one is Seder Night!) Ball back in your court . . .

  456. Who’s gonna be hit number 300,000?!

  457. April 12, 13,14, all good-You decide Mike.

  458. Am I the only person on either side of the Atlantic who did not genuflect in unctuous homage to the latest Made-for-the-Morons-On-The-Other-Side-Of-The-Pond British Blockbuster “The King’s Speech”?

    While most of the actors were outstanding, there were too many instances of history being bent round corners to inspire any confidence that the rest was not just one big “We Love You, Queen Elizabeth’s Daddy” fest.

    Having been lulled over the first hour into the cozy feeling that this really was the real thing, my eyes nearly bounced off the screen when I saw Churchill talking alone with the future king during the abdication crisis. England’s greatest commoner was even advising him on what name to choose as next monarch – “What about George VI – it implies continuity?” Good one Winston! With the exception of the five minute reign of the second weakest king in history (William IV), the previous 200 and something years had seen only Georges (five of them, believe it or not) and Edwards (his brother had taken that to joint top of the league table). What was he supposed to choose – King Bertie I?! But worst of all, Churchill could not have been there. Churchill, who was then, in any event in what Sir Martin Gilbert described as his “Wilderness Years”, was a firm supporter of King Edward. It is known that George, soon to be VI, didn’t trust Churchill and, in 1940, preferred Lord Halifax as Prime Minister but Halifax gallantly and unselfishly suggested that Winston was the better choice. On further analysis it turns out that something close to the said conversation in December 1936 occurred between the future king and Lord Halifax but the producers thought that the Americans would expect to see Churchill. What tosh! Why didn’t they use Jack Benny, famous for answering a highwayman demanding his money or his life with the retort “I’m thinking about it”? He could have suggested using the name George to save money on replacing the Pillar Boxes. Alternatively, they could have brought in Groucho Marx , Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln, to name but a few Hollywood Box Office darlings.

    It went from bad to worse when Geoffrey Rush went skipping down the nave of Westminster Abbey claiming to be jumping on the graves of various literary personalities including my personal favorite, Mr Dickens. Mr Rush, they call it Poets’ Corner for a reason, believe me.

    Then there was that horrendous shouting scene in the rehearsal for the Coronation – where the king had instructed the Archbishop of Canterbury to leave Geoffrey Rush and him in private. Westminster Abbey probably has the best acoustics in the British Isles. Every unmeasured word of the, oh so measured, king would have been heard in every corner (including Poets’ Corner, but that doesn’t matter because they are all dead there).

    All in all, I haven’t been so disappointed since JK Rowling mistook St Pancras for Kings Cross. I will now have to hold my breath for the sequel about King Charles III – “The King’s Speaking Plants”. Coming to a Cinema near you in about fifty years.

  459. John: classmate/friend/chavruta (short-lived, that last one) you may well have been over the years, but I think we can agree that we don’t always agree on many issues. And your Kings Speech review has proven to be no exception to that rule.

    I didnt notice a declaration at the start of the film: This is an entirely factual account of the life and times of Geoge VI. All resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.

    Anbody watching the movie ought to know that its an excellent piece of entertainment, loosely based on fact with some fiction interwoven. There were some wonderful performances by the leading actors and I’m pretty sure they’ll be Oscar winning ones. The interaction between “Bertie” and Lionel Logue, his unorthodox speech therapist who eventually became his friend were lively, funny and full of the type of irreverence we can all delight in.

    So take my advice. Go and see the movie, you’ll enjoy it immensely, as I did.

  460. I am with Mr. Fisher (where the bloody hell did he learn all that history?!) on this one.

    Good film. Great performances. But never a “Best Picture.” After seeing the trailer, you have seen the whole film. No surprises. No plot to speak of.

    Barney’s Version, on the other hand, Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz), even Hereafter (the new Clint one) . . . now those were films.

    Worst film of the year, though (and perhaps the decade): Eat Pray Love. I “pray[ed]” through the entire 2+ hours! 😉

  461. While not being able to match J. Fisher’s pulling apart of the movie, I did read an account of historical inaccuracies in the film which was enough to put off even the most lame of history buffs such as myself. Apparently the language teacher was not irreverent at all but referred to the King as your highness or something similar, certainly not as “Bertie” (what is this, East Enders?), and also corroborating that Churchill is an unrealistic candidate to have been conferring with the King.

  462. Not only did I take my wife for a Valentine’s Day Special at Mr J Wetherspoon’s establishment in Wood Green, I splashed out on VIP seats (albeit bundled with Cheap-day Monday tickets) at the adjacent Vue to see King’s Speech.

    Without indulging in filmic/historic analysis, we both found it extremely well made and moving. Like many films it was surely at bottom a story of male friendship and marital love.

    For melchettmike readers (i.e Jews) it also had, in its climax, what I regarded as a powerful message of the fact that the country was united in the fight against Nazism.

    Was I being too fanciful in registering a stark contrast with the current widespread inability to recognise that we are now at war with Islamism?

    Could the writer, whose paternal grandparents died in the Holocaust, and, “in the first year in at least half a century that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on [its] horrors”, have intended to leave such a thought in viewers’ minds?

  463. Zchug. Your comment reminds me of a Paul McCartney interview with Michael Parkinson about ten years ago. Parky, who was clearly a close personal friend of St Paul, went into a lengthy monologue on the multiple theories behind the words of Yesterday. St Paul listened respectfully and then said something to the effect of “Nice ideas. Actually, I just woke up one morning and it came to me.” The King’s Speech clearly has no message and no meaning. It is an excuse for Americans to indulge in their obsession with the Royal Family and the British to indulge in their obsession for sniggering at irreverent words such as “Bottom”, “Bum” and, in this case, “Bertie”.

    Apropos, the American tilt in this film, it occurred to me that there surely must be a special American version. Who doesn’t remember the beginning of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” when Hugh Grant, late for his best friend’s wedding repeatedly spouts a monosyllabic synonym for “copulation” while in the Puritan American version it was “cleaned up” to a term for ”sodomy” (proving once again that the Yanks really do not have a handle on the language)? I wonder what they did with Bertie’s fruity bits? If, indeed, there is an American version, this might be the alternative ending:

    King Colin and Queen Helen stride out onto the palace balcony and wave to the cheering crowd (end – British version). The camera glides between their gesticulating bodies and zooms in on a scene on the other side of the palace gates. A group of consumptive men in great coats and peaked caps smoking woodbines together with a group of overweight women in not-so-great coats and berets smoking woodbines have made space for a four year old boy in strange coloured shoes doing a weird scissor-like dance watched by his proud mother who is wearing a bright pink puffy skirt and silk stockings.

    “You his mam?”
    “Yeh”
    “‘E’s bloody good”
    “Thanks”
    “‘E’s a real prince and, if he carries on like that ‘e’s goin’ to be a king one day. Where are you from, luv?”
    “Memphis, Tennessee”
    And the little boy turns his brylcreamed head to the camera and winks. Fade out.

    Now, that’s Hollywood!

  464. Albert de Gogan

    I know we are talking about a film of how man tried to over come a speech impediment. I am surprised they did not use a doppelganger. They did for Monty, either way I will give this film amiss.

    I am very suspicious of King George’s position as regard to Nazi Germany, in 1940 he supported Halifax for PM. Halifax was a known admirer of Hitler and the Nazi leadership, and led the fight in 1940 for a peace treaty with Hitler.

    The kings brother Edward and his wife were Nazi collaborators and should have been put on trial after the war as traitors.

    If Halifax had got his way, Hitler would have achieved his goal of eradicating all the Jews in Europe, and later all the Jews in the world. And who ever else was on his hit.

  465. “I know we are talking about a film of how man tried to over come a speech impediment”

    Really? What has any of this to do with the film? Have you even been reading the thread?

    All entirely rhetorical by the way; please do NOT answer. I don’t think I could stand it.

  466. Albert – at the end of the War there were those who would have liked to put the whole of your beloved Irish nation on trial for fence-sitting and string ’em up in Kilmainham Gaol. It is hard to imagine what a loss to the future of western civilization that would have been…Hard, indeed.

    I was, frankly, a little disappointed that, after your forced vacation, you did not return with enhanced Walter Mitty fantasies. Why do you quote the BBC [mm: deleted by me for mind-numbing irrelevance]? Weren’t you there? An undercover agent for de Valera and Fianna Fail? Or were you too busy Digging for Victory (or Victoria) under Oxford Street?

    Anyway, nice to have you back. Postman Pat sends regards to your Aunt at the Post Office in Greendale and hopes she understands why you have to call yourself de Gogan when you have a perfectly respectable real name.

  467. Albert, Albert! All these historical details… Where’s “Curly” Kohn z”l when we need him?!

  468. In response to Albert’s comments, I have never myself heard of any evidence or records indicating that George was a Nazi sympathizer, and his wartime record stands on his behalf (or so it appears). His brother, of course, was a completely different matter and ended up spying on behalf of the Germans. It is shocking to me, that after the death of Edward, they honored him by burying him at Windsor. Even more shocking, they buried his evil wife next to him when she died. When it came down to it, she was the bigger Nazi of the two (she even had an affair with Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign minister).

  469. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

    Yesterday, Arsenal lost the Carling Cup Final (Hurrah!) and that excruciating film, after picking up Best Actor (definitely), Best Director (understandable) and Best Film (good joke), also pulled in Best Original Screenplay (Duh?)

    The only thing original about the script was the Roman Numeral: the Godfather got to III; Rocky made it up to V – the last was called Rocky Balboa; and The King’s Speech smashed the record with VI!

  470. Hi John,
    It should also have picked up the award for cleverest title. After all, it has two distinct meanings, both of which describe the story.

  471. I love The Oscars, and woke up a little earlier, this morning, just to see the main event: announcement of Best Film. And what a disappointment (however expected): all those limp-wristed English public schoolboys going up to receive the prize. It was such a damp squib. One of them, a bloke, even thanked his “boyfriend” . . . bloody hell, whatever next?! 😉

    And, David, if The King’s Speech is “clever,” Tails of the Unexpected is bleeding bloody genius!

  472. DavidinPT

    Your comment brought to mind something the great actor Peter Ustinov once said about us:

    “I believe that the Jews have made a contribution to the human condition out of all proportion to their numbers: I believe them to be an immense people. Not only have they supplied the world with two leaders of the stature of Jesus Christ and Karl Marx, but they have even indulged in the luxury of following neither one nor the other.”

    The person who came up with the double meaning in the “The King’s Speech” indulged himself in ignoring the real meaning ie reference to the speech made annually by the monarch at the State Opening of Parliament, which does not feature in the film. In those days there was no TV or Radio in Parliament so Bertie could screw up as much as he liked in front of his fawning legislators without fear of repercussion.

    George W Bush would have liked that system. Jay Leno once commented after W’s State of the Union address that the president had to pause 43 times in his speech – 17 times for polite applause and 26 times for really difficult words.

    By the way DavidinPT – why does a person universally known by an alias present himself by another alias? You are worse than Albert.

  473. Melchy, any chance of doing away with pseudonyms altogether mate?

  474. John,
    No-one, but NO-ONE, is worse than Albert!
    My second alias is my PC’s default name for when I write in to the Times or the Grauniad about their obnoxious articles, or when contributing to important (sic?) West Ham blogs in the UK.
    Regards,
    Puggy

  475. Jeremy, the use of pseudonyms has been a long-running bone of contention on melchett mike, starting (from memory) with that annoying – though entertaining – little frummer, Ex hasmo (search his comments under Hasmo Legends XIII: A Legend (Osher) Strikes Back). And I am not even convinced that my mass deletion of the clearly delusional rantings of “Uncle” Albert would serve the greater good/pleasure . . .

  476. I’m not suggesting deletion. That would be censorship and I’m not a fan. But if anyone uses a pseudonym, their email address gets published.

  477. Commenters can invent e-mail addresses, too, Jeremy. While I prefer that commenters identify themselves, it is generally the comment that interests me more than the commenter (though that may change if they start to “throw mud” at others).

    I do understand why certain people – in sensitive positions (and I am not talking Emma Gold!), etc – prefer anonymity; though some people take themselves a little too seriously in that regard, IMHO!

    Anyway, all in all, it is a balancing exercise . . .

  478. Puggy

    If I were a West Ham supporter I wouldn’t stop at the alias – I would go for the full FBI Witness Protection Scheme.

    Earlier this season someone told me that he had been visiting Liverpool and was amused by graffiti on a statue of John Lennon. On the plinth were inscribed the words of “Imagine”. Under the line “Above us only sky” someone had scrawled “And below us only West Ham”. Well, after this weekend’s performance the scousers can’t be feeling much better, but I am glad it has given your boys the chance to air their backsides off the bottom of the table for a little while.

  479. John Fisher

    Now that the Oscars are over and just before memories of that pedestrian film are consigned to the recycling bin of time hopefully only to be first resurrected in an ITV Sunday Matinees in 2039, I have one last comment connected, if somewhat tenuously a la Albert, with the War.

    Driving into the office this morning I had the immense pleasure of listening to the Forces’ Sweetheart, the incomparable Dame Vera Lynn, singing Ol’ Blue Eyes’ signature tune “My Way”. I have been listening to Sinatra, countless other performers and Karaoke wannabees singing this song for the last 40 years but only this morning, thanks to Dame Vera’s impeccable diction, did I first pay careful attention to the words. They are atrocious. Straight fail in English Language O level. According to the Idiot’s Guide to Sounding Intelligent (Wikipedia) Paul Anka actively wrote them in Mob English to ape Sinatra’s speaking style. And half the world’s singers have been doing it “His Way” every since.

    You see Albert, you are not the only one who writes irrelevant stuff on this blog. Let’s see if Mike dares edit ME out.

  480. Just in case anyone is wondering, or even (wishful thinking, I fear) waiting, February’s Mooks and Mensch are now up.

    A groyse Good Shabbes to one and all.

  481. During his TV commentary on Israel vs. Latvia on Saturday evening, Yoram Arbel made a dedication to Anat Kamm, the Israeli soldier awaiting sentence for providing classified military documents to a Haaretz journalist (full story).

    Now I haven’t got the energy or the inclination for another anti-Haaretz rant, but – in an opinion piece on its sports pages, this morning – ‘journalist’ Udi Hirsch apparently fails to see any problem with a football commentator making a live, mid-game tribute to someone who has admitted to crimes against the state with a potential sentence of 15 years . . .

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/sports/yoram-arbel-and-the-hypocrisy-of-consensus-1.352233

    I don’t know who gives these assholes jobs. Actually, I do know . . . an even bigger asshole: the editor! Though it is no surprise that Haaretz has to virtually ‘give away’ subscriptions.

  482. Jeremy Cohen

    It’s “arsehole”. If you’re English – and you are Mike – an asshole is something made by a bullet in a donkey.

  483. You are, of course, correct, Jeremy – and admirably flying the flag of Queenie’s English in Harlem – though don’t you consider our “arsehole” somehow more graphic than the Yanks’ “asshole”?

  484. Jeremy Cohen

    Yes I do consider it more graphic. Hence my insistence upon its use.

    And yes, I am living in Harlem. I therefore (would) have greater reason for using US spellings should such madness ever overtake my sensibilities.

  485. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Mike you miss the point, when journalists coerce members of the public to release secret documents under the guise of the publics right to know, then they must by definition also stand by those that leaked the documents.

    To do otherwise would be hypocritical of them. You might argue that most journalists are the scum of the earth and they drink from the same trough as those that release secret and sensitive documents, and should all be hung drawn and quartered, but that would probably never get any airtime on Arutz Ha Sport either.

  486. “when journalists coerce members of the public to release secret documents under the guise of the publics right to know, then they must by definition also stand by those that leaked the documents.”

    We are not talking about Uri Blau, Ellis, but a sports commentator . . . in the middle of a commentary!

  487. Hats off to the people of Haiti! As their nation gushes down the plughole of history it looks like they have elected a musician as their new president. Like the orchestra that continued to play as the Titanic listed and sank, these idol worshipping voodoo merchants have shown real class in choosing to go out with a blast instead of a whimper.

    Of course there are surprising precedents. After the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, Watergate and Jimmy Carter, the American people elected a B-Film actor with one-liners that could kill a cockroach at twenty yards. By the time of his curtain call eight years later, he had changed the face of the world.

  488. John, does our experience here suggest that a former soldier, anymore than a carnival musician, is – on the face of it – better equipped to lead the nation?

    Anyway, talking of ‘clowns,’ see my Mensch and Mook for March (and feel free to comment beneath each).

  489. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Mike 95% of our politicians are former soldiers, some of them of higher rank than others.

  490. My point exactly, Ellis . . . mightn’t Arik Einstein or Shalom Hanoch have done just as good a job as Bibi or Barak?!

  491. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Both of those were soldiers too.
    Now had you asked if Aviv Gefen could do a better job, we might be having an interesting conversation.

  492. Mark Goldman

    Ex Hasmo Catch Up
    April 12-Evening-Tel Aviv-Place TBD
    All Welcome-email me or fb for details.

    Mark
    cantormg@aol.com

  493. Hey Mike,
    I just had a look at the Championship table and I see that your Leeds might well make it to the playoffs. Maybe then my (and Ellis’s) beloved Hammers might meet you in the PL next season. Although it looks more likely we’ll meet in the Championship! Anyone know the odds?

  494. I have just finished reading “The King’s Speech”, the ingeniously titled, hurried biography of Lionel Logue written by his grandson, Mark.

    While I previously criticised the film’s lack of fidelity to History, I would now like to upgrade the Hollywood Terrorist Alert from “Porky” to “Whopper”.

    While Geoffrey Rush cheekily insisted on calling Colin Firth “Bertie”, Lionel Logue “once” broke protocol by squeezing the king’s arm in an expression of congratulation. Although the Rush family lived in apparent squalor, the Logues lived in a 25 room Victorian house on Sydenham Hill. Mrs Rush was in shock on discovering Queen Helen Bonham-Carter in her parlor while Myrtle Logue had been presented to King George V (Bertie’s Dad who, custom would suggest, was dead when Bertie was King) at Buckingham Palace . Anyone who hung around for the credits at the end of “Bertie in Wonderland” would have been impressed that Rush was awarded the RVO in 1944 while he was the biggest surprise in the 1937 Coronation Honours List – the peasants could not even get the boring bits right. And so on and so forth.

    I noticed that Rowan Atkinson is on the guest list at the Abbey on Friday. The director of the King’s Speech could do far worse than cast him as Prince Charles in a blockbuster version of “The Royal Wedding”.

    Mazal Tov!

  495. Perry Shapira

    Not sure John why I dont simply discuss this with you in shul, but who knows, we may become busy pondering other world shattering events, so here goes.

    I didnt read the book, perhaps you’ll lend it to me,but your comment got me thinking….and then researching, which took all of 2 minutes on google. One of the main tenents of the movie was Logues’s attempt at forming a close relationship and rapport with Duke-soon-to-become-King Bertie. He used this as a tool to help break down a barrier of repression that had been established by Bertie’s father King George V. Hence Logue insisted on calling him Bertie. According to you John, thats all poppycock.

    Well, I took the opportunity to read an interview with the books author, Logue’s grandson, in Speakeasy, a site published by Wall Street Journal. Link as follows: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/12/04/the-real-story-behind-the-kings-speech/

    Overall the movie was faithful to fact, certainly as Logues grandson sees it. Logue was a speech therapist using unorthodox methods, , see the telegraph’s review of the book: ‘The two men met in 1926 when Bertie went to consult Logue in the dingy set of rooms at the cheap end of Harley Street that he had rented after arriving, virtually penniless, with his wife and three sons on the boat from Australia two years earlier’.(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8203371/The-Kings-Speech-how-Lionel-Logue-cured-King-George-VIs-stammer.html).

    The speakeasy interview makes it clear that Logue only moved house (to Sydenham Hill) in 1937, well after the treatment commenced.

    As to calling the Duke/King Bertie…the interviewLogue’s grandson indeed believes that Logue addressed the king with a higher degree with deference, but that’s the assumption rather than definite fact (although he thinks he’s supported on this by Logues’s diaries). Certainly the spirit of the relationship was maintained in the movie – for example the therapy took place at Logue’s premises – in Lionel’s zone, not the royal one, as his grandson explains.

    Previously in the blog I mentioned how much I enjoyed the movie, and apparently so did Logue’s grandson. ‘I’ve watched it three times now and it gets better and better. ‘Seems unlikely he would do so if John’s porky to whopper rating is anything to go by.

    Nothing personal, John

  496. Thank you Perry. You seem to have agreed with every point.

  497. wisedocumentation

    Perhaps John needs to see it again

  498. April’s Mensch and Mook (which might get me be back in Osher’s good books!) are now up.

  499. Overheard at the Yom Ha’atzmaut flypast on Tel Aviv promenade, yesterday lunchtime: a woman to her two sons as helicopters (Yasur actually) flew overhead . . .

    “Ezeh yofi! Zeh Cobra. Zeh horeg Aravim!”

    Loosely translated as . . .

    “How wonderful! That’s a Cobra. It kills Arabs!”

  500. What a month for Ireland: Queenie, last week; Obama, this; and, next, melchett mike! Off tomorrow to really see (done only Dublin previously) the land of my father. Will post piccies of all my red-headed, blue-eyed “conquests” upon my return . . . and will ask them to keep their teeth in for the photos!

    Back in London from 8-11 June, and will be happy to hear from anyone (not from Stamford Hill!) who might want to see me. My UK mobile is 07825 528 598.

    Anyway, just to explain my absence from here over the next fortnight . . .

  501. Éirinn go Brách !

  502. מה זה? כמו “תעשה חיים”? תודה בכל מקרה

    😉

  503. It means “Ireland Forever”.
    You might find this useful on your travels:
    http://www.irish-sayings.com/
    Have a great trip!

  504. Thanks for that, MJK, to be sure (to be sure), though – thanks to my late father – my “Oirish” is still rather better than my Hebrew.

    Not that our impeccable (for Jews at least) republican credentials – a cousin, Michael Noyk, acted as solicitor to many leading IRA members – bought me any credibility with our ex-IRA lifer (attempted murder) tour guide in Belfast, this afternoon, as I challenged the “wrongs and wrongs” of Zionism.

    The city’s Falls (republican) and Shankill (loyalist) Roads, the focal points of the “Troubles” of my childhood and youth, are still quite mental (though absolutely gripping, too – more on my return). Indeed, I have never been so pleased to see a rabbi as I was Rabbi Brackman, yesterday evening, for Shabbos dinner!

  505. Oliver McCrohan

    Mike,
    Thanks for calling, and making a Bank Holiday Sunday more interesting – make sure to include your families history at 97 South Circular Rd. in your blog and prepare for an onslaught of Irish visitors!
    Enjoy Kerry,
    Ollie

  506. Jesse Livermore

    Hello!

    Does someone have the contact details of Michael Ivor Braff who posted here on 14th of November 2009. He is that blond guy who lives in Barcelona Spain. If someone can provide me with his email, address or phone number would be nice. I haven’t seen him nearly over 20 years now and found him accidentally here.

    Thank you,

    Jesse
    Please reply to jesselivermore888@yahoo.com

  507. Thank you MJK for translating. Your last comment, Mike, reminded me of a visit to N. Ireland a few years ago. Whilst driving through rural County Down, I came across a beautiful Church in the middle of nowhere. I pulled over, got out of the car and had a wander around the grounds. I was completely alone, but for a few cows grazing on a nearby meadow. I then spotted a man coming out of the Church and walking over to me. I said “Hello”. Then, without thinking, I asked the most innocent question, (and best conversation-stopper in the whole of N. Ireland) …… “Is this a Catholic or a Protestant Church?” The Irishman’s reply was “Well, which one are you ?” I didn’t stop to consider the odds. Beating a hasty exit I said “Oh, I’m Jewish.”.

  508. Ollie, it was great meeting and chatting with you and Tim on Sunday (and so weird to be doing so in my dad’s childhood home!) I have met so many special people over here, in a way that you so rarely do in England. Anyway, thanks for letting me in! I am back in Kerry (Dingle) now, though, truth is, I left my heart in Kinsale . . . what a perfect town! And of course I while be writing about my trip on the blog. Anyhow, let’s stay in touch, and I look forward to you both taking up the offer of B&B in Tel Aviv!

    And, Tess, your last comment reminded me, in turn, of the Irish landlord at the (now extinct) Load of Hay (on Brent Street, NW4), who would introduce me to fellow patrons as: “This is Mike. He’s half Irish, half Jewish . . . he likes drinking, but doesn’t like paying for it!” 😉

  509. Philip Witriol

    On the assumption that the smiley icon is not an Irish copyright symbol, I will take the liberty of adapting the landlord’s aphorism for my trip to Galway next week.

  510. John Fisher

    So incensed was I by yesterday’s editorial in the Daily Diarrhea (see link) that I penned a letter to the editor with the full knowledge that it has a negligible chance of publication. Fortunately (like the International Herald Tribune) Melchett Mike’s policy is somewhat less totalitarian, so I share it with his readers here.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-needs-to-keep-religion-out-of-the-army-1.367988

    Dear Editor

    Plaudits are due to the beacon of the Israeli intelligentsia for another spot-on leader “Et tu, Benny Gantz?” highlighting the invidious insistence of the secular army to mention God in the Yizkor prayer for our fallen.

    In a world where, despite persuasion from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche to Richard Dawkins, the masses neglect to be moved by the charms of atheism and, while largely skeptical of the finer aspects of any specific dogma or rite, recognize the, albeit inconsistent, cultural advantage of including God in their social and political language, it is a breath of fresh air to read such an intellectually unsullied argument as that raised in your article.

    Of course, secular Israel, similar to Inspector Javert in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, may be unique in the world in its complete reliance on the rule of law for its morality and our people may scream “Antisemitism!” when they travel abroad for pleasure or business and find their hosts less than enthusiastic about their lack of culture, but this is a small price to pay for knowing that we are right and Western Judeo-Christian Civilization is wrong. As for me, I think I would rather be associated with the inconsistent Jean Valjean than Inspector Javert, but it is all a matter of culture.

    Yours truly

    John Fisher

  511. Well, John, I finally got round to calling Haaretz Subscriptions, last week, to cancel mine.

    But there was this lovely, intelligent (English) woman fielding my call, who reminded me “how important it is to hear all views, and why don’t you write a letter to the Editor rather than just cancelling, blah blah, blah blah, . . .”

    Though it was, of course, the extension, for another year, of my subscription at the same giveaway price of eighty-something shekels a month (it had been about to double) which persuaded me to stay put.

    Haaretz is the Devil’s Daily (and here is Beelzebub’s latest considered opinion, in yesterday’s edition), though, unlike its only competitor, it is at least worthy of some perusal before being wiped across one’s extremities!

  512. John Fisher

    Mike

    “Haaretz … is at least worthy of some perusal before being wiped across one’s extremities!”

    Apart from taking me back down Memory Lane to glossy Izal Medicated Toilet Paper that made our loo at home smell like the school bog and could be written on with a ballpoint pen, your comment reminded me of a piece of graffiti above one of the toilet roll dispensers at my university:

    “Sociology degrees. Please take one”.

    Anyway, look on the bright side – when you do finally cancel your subscription, a whole new world of toilet tissue will open up before you.

  513. David Prager

    Reminds me of the apochryphal story attributed to the late Rabbi Knoblelwicz z”l of Hendon Adass who was asked by one of his congregants whether it was allowed to read the JC in the toilet in view of the “Ask the Rabbi” page and the Divrei Torah there. His famous reply was that the question should have been whether one may read the JC anywhere except in the toilet!

  514. Don’t know what uni you went to, John!

    Talking of toilet graffiti, I don’t believe anyone has ever really bettered the appendage to “Thatcher out” at a time when Graham Gooch was having great difficulty reading Terry Alderman’s swing:

    . . . lbw bowled Alderman

  515. David Prager

    Re my posting April 14th above I should have placed a bet on the Hammers meeting Leeds in the Championship. So it’s game on for Sunday afternoon. May the best man win and if WHU lose we’ll get our forward line to tip their rubbish on Elland Road (see what Frederique Piquonne got done for yesterday).

  516. Overheard by me, from the other end of the couch, at a Simchat Torah lunch in Jerusalem, this afternoon: nerdy New Yorker attempting to chat up English woman (I could only hear him) . . .

    “I am from Brooklyn. Where are you from? . . . London? I have never been there . . . Oh, it is worth a visit, is it? I hear Golders Green is the thing . . .”

  517. Official: Bruce Willis to play DJ in “House on Holders Hill – The Hasmo Movie”:

  518. A valiant effort by the make-up team . . . though complaints have been heard from Russell Gardens that they forgot the family blue eyes.

    The nipple, to my mind, however, would appear to be the glaring omission.

  519. rather entertaining Michael!!! think you would have more luck dating the charedi modern women then the tel aviviot asnd i know how you feel about charedim!

  520. You’ve gotta love the English . . .

    Leaving my local cafe, this morning, and hearing English English (that couldn’t possibly have been Anglo-Jewish), I strike up conversation with a husband and wife in their early fifties.

    “Where are you from?” I enquire, always eager to be friendly and perhaps encourage repeat non-Jewish tourism from Blighty.

    “Crawley,” replies the husband. “You?”

    “Oh, London, originally,” I say.

    “Dirty, smelly and full of foreigners” comes the response . . . which is, no doubt, why they opted for a break in Jaffa!! 😉

  521. Reading about the Rav Bina ‘expose’ – well past time

  522. yup, nauseating

  523. Ellis Feigenbaum

    From what i can see, the rav found a way to control 150 or so teenagers who are 6000 miles away from home and many of whom have pretty deep pockets. I dont see this guiy as perfect, but i also dont see him as some manic beast that he is being portrayed as.

  524. Would one of you care to enlighten us all? I haven’t heard anything about this. Having spent quite a bit of time at HaKotel during the first half of 1986, visiting my cousin who was there, I just recall a rather repulsive, DJ-like, bully figure who used to pick on certain individuals without any seeming cause.

    And, while on the subject of contemptibles, January’s Mook and also its Mensch are now up.

  525. for Mike:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/02/leading-mo-rabbi-defends-alleged-abuser-678.html

    and the original exposé:

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/israel/has_tough_love_rebbe_gone_too_far

    From what I can tell, Bina has been accused of:

    1) Expelling kids without informing their parents, with the result that they sometimes had nowhere to sleep.
    2) Using the plight of those expellees to scare the other kids into behaving themselves.
    3) Ridiculing emotionally fragile kids in public.
    4) Forcing kids to attend therapy sessions and then forcing the therapists to share their (confidential) notes with him.
    5) Physically (not sexually) abusing kids

    If he is indeed guilty of this behaviour, “manic beast” is not all that melodramatic.

    All of us, even those who distance ourselves from the Orthodox world might well experience some shame at the revelation that a such a prominent figure may be guilty of such behaviour. But let’s try not to ameliorate our (understandable) embarrassment by mitigating his behaviour as Lookstein (Ramaz principal and Rabbi of KJ) has.
    Who cares if Bina did great Kiruv?
    Who cares if he only abused a minority of kids in his care?

    Frankly there is no need to exaggerate or be melodramatic. But let’s err on the side of being horrified by the behaviour of a rosh yeshiva, rather than censoring ourselves in a misguided attempt at damage limitation.

    @Ellis: “not perfect” is an excruciating attempt to downplay the gravity of the accusations.

  526. Ellis Feigenbaum

    @Jeremy
    Were you there did you witness this behaviour? Do we know if the I hate Rav Binah blog, is any better or worse than some of the I hate hasmo stuff on this erstwhile blog?
    I certainly would not take as “gospel” anything written by failed messiah. They have an obvious agenda
    In fact from reading the articles that have been printed we know little other than allegations.
    1. The age group of “kids” we are talking about is university, I am sure universities dont phone parents when they expel students, so lets cut out the sensasionalistic journalism.
    2. For the moment we have zero idea, why anyone was expelled. What is the criteria for expulsion from yeshiva? Drugs, night clubs, women? I have no idea but I suspect neither do you.
    3. Ridiculing fragile children? Again 18-19 year old young adults? I am sorry I just dont buy it, at that age most Israeli kids have been through basic training, and if they are that fragile why are thier parents sending them 6000 miles away to be by themselves.
    4. If this is true, then it is a legal breach of the client therapist trust. However if the students in question went to yeshiva based cousellors as oppossed to trained therapists, this may not be the case.
    5. is probably the only thing that might find some traction in a court of law.
    The immediate knee jerk reaction to the rather yellowish press, is worrisome.

  527. Ellis – I was there for 12 months in 85/86 – witnessed much of the behavior mentioned – like many of those who commented – have had years to think about my gap year experience at hakotel – much of which was positive despite the aforementioned leadership.

    Perhaps the person in question has changed – if not, my unequivocal advice albeit based on a 25 year old experience is to select another yeshiva/program.

  528. I was not there to witness any of the alleged behaviour but I did meet Bina in 1987 and he seemed unpleasant and tended to encourage the yeshiva kids (yes, aged 17, 18, 19) to fawn on him somewhat.

    That personal experience, combined with a healthy mistrust of religious leaders in general makes it easy for me to believe these allegations. Most of the (male) Jewish teachers at Hasmonean were guilty of the verbal abuse of which Bina is accused. And that I did experience personally.

    I understand that it’s important to treat unsupported allegations as unproven, to presume a man innocent until proven guilty etc. But the crux of my point is that there is an unfortunate tendency to stretch this presumption beyond the bounds of what is reasonable. This is particularly true when the accusations make us uncomfortable. Just as you accuse me of a knee jerk reaction, I accuse you of the same, but in the opposite direction.

  529. Ellis Feigenbaum

    @ Jeremy
    Not really, I just feel the need to protect the innocent until proven guilty, from a virtual lynching. Also I enjoy the debate.
    @ Mark
    I would imagine the guy has not changed , the only question is wether the way you view your experiences and the way he views them are the same. And wether he actually broke any law in producing those experiences.
    I have a feeling that unless either the allegations of physical abuse or the interfering with a therapist/client privelege can be proven thyen the Rav will continue teaching for many years to come.
    By the way, I find it mazing that no strong willed, born free American kid, did not kick the shite out of a rabbi that was raisng his hands.

  530. I am with Jeremy on this one. Why a horrible f*cker like Bina has been allowed so near teenagers – especially those far from home – for so long is a question that should have been addressed years ago. The fact that I wasn’t even at HaKotel, but remember, 25 years later, the distress he caused friends who were there, speaks for itself.

    And Ellis, while your defence of the man is admirable (or is it? You seem to have an “agenda” no less “obvious” than that of Failed Messiah), I suspect that most parents who send their kids to study in Israel would rather malevolent characters like Bina were kept as far away from them as possible.

    You ask: “Do we know if the I hate Rav Binah blog, is any better or worse than some of the I hate hasmo stuff on this erstwhile blog?” My guess is that it is neither “better” nor “worse”, but a similar collection of honest recollection.

    The question for me is this (and it applies equally to Hasmo): Doesn’t the Modern Orthodox world produce enough ‘normal’ educators who don’t have to rely on humiliation and sadism to spread the word of the Torah? Or does religious education just appeal to such bastards?!

  531. I thought about what I said about the importance of presuming a man innocent and I am recanting.

    It is a principle generally accepted by most jurists that acquitting the innocent is more important than convicting the guilty. Notwithstanding the grave importance of protecting society from dangerous criminals, it is more important still to ensure innocent people are not wrongly convicted.

    And this principle is the main reason a jury is obliged to presume a defendant innocent. From there they may only consider the evidence presented (even if they know of other evidence) in arriving at their decision as to the guilt of the accused.

    This is entirely artificial and deliberately contrived to be so for a very specific environment – a courtroom.

    When we hear accusations outside of a courtroom and not as members of a jury, all we must do is keep an open mind. There is no need to presume people innocent; in fact it rarely makes sense to do so. To deliberately prejudge every situation by presuming innocence is entirely inappropriate and the very opposite of keeping an open mind.

    The mistake here, and I am as guilty as anyone, is to assume that a courtroom paradigm is applicable everywhere.

    @Ellis

    1) I don’t think you’re right that universities don’t contact parents when expelling students. Moreover, while it is certain that some 17 – 19 year old men are adults, many are large kids. The degree to which parents expect a yeshiva to act in loco parentis is probably greater than the average university.

    2) What difference does it make why the kids were expelled? You are right that I don’t know, but so what?

    3) For a teacher, a rosh yeshiva no less to publicly ridicule students, and to target the most emotionally vulnerable is reprehensible in the extreme. Ellis, I don’t know you (so you might be a sociopath but I doubt it) but I do not believe that you can’t empathize with the plight of emotionally fragile teenagers, even if you weren’t fragile when you were 18.

    4) Legal breach so bloody what? It’s a huge betrayal of trust! Aren’t you appalled? If not why not?

    5) You say that the physical abuse is probably the only thing that might find some traction in a court of law. And you may be right. So what? Reasonable people can decide what they find hateful in an educator’s behaviour irrespective of criminality.

    Yellow press? Meh. I don’t disagree, but that doesn’t mean the accusations are false. Or true.

  532. Ellis Feigenbaum

    @ Jeremy, maybe he is guilty maybe he is innocent, I have no idea.
    The presumption of innocence is an ancient one. Held as an ideal by our sages, long before English common law or the star chamber were ever dreamed of.
    Pirkei Avot chapter 1 , somewhere near the beginning
    Asseh lechah Rav etc etc, Ve Heve Dan Kol Adam leKaf Zechut.
    The Maharal gives an interesting interpretation of the concept, whereby one does not have to bend over backwards to explain clearly wrong actions, however one does have to give the benefit of the doubt in situations which we have no proof.
    I have zero proof just a lot of allegations therefore I choose to defend the mans reputation untill such time as the correct Authorities have found one way or another.
    If he is found guilty either by a court or by an investigation, then I suggest the key be thrown away, but not until that time.

  533. I went to Hakotel in 86/87 and I am pasting below what I blogged in response to the original Jewish Week article. I would definitely be interested in hearing from other alumni on this blog (like Marc Goldman) as to whether, as I question below, I completely misread the situation while I was there, and was erroneous (and, possibly, insensitive) in being more amused by the Rav then alarmed.
    I am an Alumni of Rav Bina’s program in 86/87. Having read the article, I did not doubt that the various Rav Bina quotations were accurate (they sounded just like things he would say), but was surprised by the fuss being made over his methods. I caveat my following comments with the possibility that times, and more importantly, attitudes, have changes much since 1987, and consequently, folks are much more sensitive and PC than they used to be. You see, back when I was at Hakotel, Rav Bina behaved in a similar manner to those described (except for the physical abuse – that I never heard of), but if my memory serves correctly, we were all more amused by his actions then alarmed. A class with Rav Bina always promised to be highly entertaining, and some of us would jot doubt his “hilarious” quotes for prosperity. Even those under attack would be amused and the general impression I had was that the nature of it all was a good-natured ribbing or at most an old-fashioned roast. I myself was the recipient on occasion, and even remember being thrown out of class for the “serious” crime of not having washed “negal vasser” that morning (whaaaat???). There were, of course, a few “Bina-haters,” but they were a small minority and no more prevalent than you would expect for any Rabbi in any Yeshiva. Possibly, I am misreading the situation and people were really traumatized, but no one in the year I was there ever told me as much.
    I also personally experienced acts of kindness from Rav Bina. Despite not being a Bina-Boy (my family was completely lacking in connections or money), Rav Bina went to extreme lengths on one particular occasion when I had a family issue that threatened my stay at the Yeshiva. It was in the first days of the year, and Rav Bina spent hours on the phone fixing the situation including excepting me at a significantly discounted tuition rate. That, I will never forget.
    I do, however, disagree with those that have attacked the article for being written at all. I believe in freedom of speech and information, and while Rav Bina has called the article “unbalanced,” it does quote as many people who love him as those who don’t. In the end, parents who have done sufficient due diligence will know that Netiv Aryeh is not for the fain-of-heart or those who lack self-confidence. But those with a relatively thick-skin and a sense of humor could experience one of the best years of their lives in this program.

  534. I went to Yeshivat Hakotel for a few months in 1994 and attended Rav Bina’s Shiur. I’d switched to Hakotel from Kerem B’Yavneh and the Rav referred to me as “the KBY bum.”
    One day my room- mate persuaded me to go to Tel Aviv beach with him and with some other people who Rav Bina called, “the English mafia.” It was their last day before leaving and therefore he couldn’t expel them.
    The next day Rav Bina’s assistant / lackey told me in the Chadar Ochel (food hall) not to come back after the summer break. I stayed for another month or so and went to see the Rav before leaving. He apologized that he didn’t know much about me, might have handled things better and that I was welcome to come and learn in the Yeshiva if ever I wanted to visit in future.
    A couple of years ago, last Pesach I saw Rav Bina walking in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. We were going in opposite directions and I shook his hand and greeted the Rav, Shabbat Shalom or Chag Someyach. My face didn’t register with him at the time but I reckon sometime later he thought, “oh yes, that was the KBY bum!”

  535. On the subject of expulsions, it was revealed to Rav Bina by his informants, that I was dating a girl at Bar Ilan and spending a lot of time there (so much so that I was nicknamed “Bar-Ilan Ben”). Another informant told him I was seen kissing a girl on Ben-Yehuda Street (on the cheek to say “hello”, nothing more controversial than that). Rav Bina could easily have expelled me for these acts, but allotted to just chuck me out of class for a while until I persuaded him to let me back. Again, my experience seems to be different to some others.

  536. I trust “the KBY bum” sobriquet, Dovid, merely referred to your having attended Kerem B’Yavneh . . . Bina’s reference to Mark G. as “the Edgware bum” may have been rather less innocent than we all thought at the time! 😉

  537. Rav Bina liked very much to insult people. He called the Jewish quarter’s Sem girls “Rova rats”.

    Obviously, the Rav has made some enemies over the years, and they might be using the recent stories of sex scandals in Hakotel as a prompt to throw mud at him and hope that it sticks.
    In the meantime I hope Rav Bina learns to engage his great brain before opening his mouth, supresses the malevolent side to his personality and uses cleaner language in future. As a G-d fearing Jewish Rav, this is his obligation. If / shmiff he can do all that then good luck to him.

  538. melchett mike’s NW11 Dining Correspondent, Jeremiah Bullfrog, has brought to my attention an absolutely essential reference source for every kashrus (and penny) watching North-West Londoner (who doesn’t care about his/her cholesterol) . . .

    http://www.comparetheshawarma.com/pricecomparison.html

    Happy fressing!

  539. Philip Witriol

    As regards fressing, I was amused to discover recently the acronym FRESS – rather appropriate name really!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Retrieval_and_Editing_System

  540. There are some very ‘interesting’ characters out there. WordPress, the host of this blog, has a Search Engine Terms facility, displaying the keywords that people use (in Google, etc) which get them – intentionally or otherwise – to melchett mike. And on today’s list, the extremely tasteful . . .

    “frum pussy”

    Hmm . . . perhaps someone researching one of our former teachers.

    PS April’s Mook and Mensch are both now up.

  541. May’s and June’s Mooks and Mensches both now up!

  542. The cause for Obama and the EU labelling products as Jewish is the consistent refusal of the Medinah to supply heavy water to the Hezbollah Kindergarten if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands if they haven’t been amputated for stealing your neighbour’s eraser water-pistol firing range club.

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