January 10, 2008
Not so awful being green, honorable menschen
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Specifically, I refer to The Journal's often-used plural of the Yiddish noun "shul" as "shuls." The correct plural is "shuln." And the Yiddish word "bagel" is both singular and plural.
As to The Journal's recent use of the noun "mensches," there are two problems. First the word is pronounced "mentch" (as in match or Tchaikovsky) and second, as in "shuln" the plural is "mentchn."
David Suissa's article about the Karliner-Stoliner Rebbe is delightful ("Charedi Yuppies," Dec. 28). But the fuller story of the Rebbe is much more interesting. He is a magnificently talented man who speaks many languages and is wise and progressive. The Stoliner-Karliner whom I knew in the days my father and I attended their synagogue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y., believed that God didn't listen to people who spoke, only those who danced and sang -- and that God was less interested in the words that they spoke than the passion with which they sang and danced.
Our Passover sidurim lasted till 3 a.m. since my father and grandfather (who was the gabbai to the Rebbe (the present Rebbe's grandfather) had eight different nigunim (melodies) for each of the songs sung at the seder.
Upside of the Writers Strike
As so many of the striking writers are our co-religionists, the writers strike clearly has a major impact upon the Jewish community ("Strike Not a Jewish Story," Nov. 9). Though much has been reported about the hardships the strike is causing, coupled with direct and indirect costs to our city and county, there is an upside to this work stoppage.
Family members might begin to communicate with one another, as ubiquitous televisions become silenced at dinnertime. Books, magazines and newspapers will begin to find favor among television addicts as they go through withdrawal. And perhaps, out of sheer boredom, families (Jews and non-Jews alike) will return to their respective houses of worship to reconnect with their religious communities.
As for the writers, let's not overly worry about their plight. They are a group of witty, imaginative, street-smart and intelligent men and women. They will figure out ways to re-deploy their talents into fields that are far more beneficial to society than writing clueless sitcoms.
The Kabbalah Centre
It is good to know that as the editor of The Jewish Journal, you undertook to write a very long report with pictures about the Kabbalah Centre ("Not So Weird," Dec. 7). The Kabbalah Centre is a cult no matter how you praise the institution. If you are a cultist, you found one of the perfect places to be.
We have clients who, during the past 4-5 years, established church/cults in Brazil and the USA. In a short period of time, they made millions of dollars. In fact, if you are interested in establishing a new cult similar to the Kabbalah Centre, I will give you some tips on how to do it. In a short period of time, you'll be a multi-millionaire. Today in our world, the "religious/cult" business is a great business. People make money very fast, even faster than the owners of Google. If you know someone who wants to start a religious/cult business, at no charge on my part, I will teach them how to do it. If I were a hypocrite, I would have started one myself.
I believe you should be fair and let someone write a counterpoint about the cult businesses.
The kosher observing community need to realize that many leftist Jews will gladly join the movement to ban shechita (Letters, Jan. 4)
I hope the Arlene Cohens of the world will be as appalled by the murder of human fetuses as they are of the religious slaughter of animals.
Stopping Those Rockets
Thanks for a thought-provoking column regarding this vital question ("Is There a Way to Stop Rockets, Avoid Gaza Fight?" Jan. 4). For the first time, I hear/read a concept that represents a paradigm shift. If the methods being used to stop the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel fail to accomplish the goal, then quite obviously something different is needed. And, certainly, no amount of diplomacy will work either. . . .
Ernest's idea has merit, albeit some tough technical limitations in deployment. You asked for creative ideas. I offer mine:
Yes, Israel is fighting the battle with one hand tied behind its collective back. How can Israel virtually untie its hand without incurring the wrath of the human rights advocates and other groups who would denounce Israel if it unnecessarily took innocent human lives?
Answer. Israel issues a well-publicized policy statement to the following effect:
"The next rocket fired into Israel will receive a response from our air power with the dropping of bombs over an area of approximately half-mile radius from the suspected site from which the rocket was fired. To avoid casualties to innocents, we will wait one week from the date of firing and announcement, and then proceed with the massive bombing of the designated area. If a second rocket is fired into Israel, after waiting the specified one-week time period, we will increase the bombing target area to one-mile radius. We will increase the target radius by half a mile for every additional rocket fired into Israel. This response will continue until there are no further rockets fired into Israel. The one-week "wait period" will serve to provide time for residents in those areas to remove themselves and possessions to avoid harm. We hope it will not be necessary to use our air power. If it becomes necessary to do so, it will be because the target area was used to attack our citizens, whom we are sworn to defend."
In the profile on mensch Robert J. Meth (Dec. 28), the number of Jews in the former Soviet Union is closer to 1 million than 100,000.
Kurt Vonnegut, although a great author, is not Jewish (Obituaries, Jan. 4).
Due to a technical glitch, we mistakenly listed events from our January 2007 online community calendar instead of the 2008 events. Only a handful of events were listed incorrectly and we apologize profusely for this error.
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