religion

Purim Questions and Answers

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Q. What is Purim?

A. Purim is the Jewish Holiday which celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from Persian King Ahasuerus’ (Xerxes 1) plan to massacre all the Jews under his rule.

Q. How is Purim pronounced?

A. Poo-rim.

Q. Who celebrates Purim?

A. Jews around the world celebrate Purim.

Q. Where did Purim take place?

A. In the 127 provinces under King Ahasuerus’ rule, which spanned from India to Ethiopia. Most of the story took place in the Persian capital of Shushan which today is located in western Iran.

Q. Who is Haman?

A. Haman is the Persian minister who convinced the King to massacre the Jews.

Q.  What does Purim mean in Hebrew?

A. Purim means lots. Haman cast lots to determine which day would be auspicious for the massacre of the Jews. Adar 14 was the date selected.

Q. Where is the story of Purim recorded in the Bible?

A. The story of Purim is recorded in the Book of Esther, which is in the third section of the Judaic canon, named  Ketuvim, or Writings.

Q. When did the story of Purim take place?

A. The events described in the Book of Esther began around the years 483-482 BCE, and concluded in 473 BCE. Others say the dates of the story are from 369 BCE to 357 BCE.

Q. When is Purim Celebrated in 2019?

A. Purim begins after nightfall on March 20 and ends at nightfall on March 21. The Hebrew date on which Purim falls is the 14th of Adar.

Q. What is the story of Purim?

A.  Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people, in the year 356 BCE from Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews on a single day, the 13th of Adar. The Persian King, Ahasuerus, a.k.a. Xerxes 1, whose empire extended from India to Ethiopia, endorsed the plot of his chief adviser, Haman, and issued a decree mandating it. Unbeknownst to him or to the King, his Queen, Esther, was Jewish. 

Esther’s uncle, Mordechai, rallied the Jews to fast and pray. Esther engineered Haman’s downfall at a private wine party to which she invited the king and the minister. The King hung Haman and issued a second decree which empowered the Jews to defend themselves against those who sought to kill them. Mordechai became the King’s chief adviser.

On the 13th of Adar — the day selected by Haman using lots, Jews successfully fought those who attempted to kill them. The following day, Adar 14, turned into a day of feasting and rejoicing . In the capital, Shushan, where the battle went on for two days, the victory celebration was held on Adar 15.  

Q. What is Shushan Purim?

A.  In the capital city of Shushan, the fighting took two days to end. Therefore the victory celebrations were held on the 15th of Adar. When the Purim Holiday was established, the sages decided that while most Jews would celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar, those living in cities like Shushan (which is located in modern-day southwestern Iran) which were walled at the time of Joshua  would celebrate on the 15th of Adar. This day is known as Shushan Purim. The only city in Israel which scholars are certain was walled at the time of Joshua is Jerusalem. So Jerusalemites celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar, Shushan Purim.

Q. What is the Megillah?

A. Megillah means scroll in Hebrew. The Megillah is the scroll on which the Purim story is written in Hebrew.

Q. How is Purim celebrated? 

A. Jews go to hear the Megillah read on the evening of Purim and on Purim day. It is customary to give charity to the poor and to give gifts of food to family and friends. People, especially youngsters, dress in costumes and deliver these food packages. Then late afternoon, Jews gather with family and/or friends to eat a festive meal with wine and other beverages.

Q. What are Purim cookies called? 

A. Hamentashen- pronounced Huh-Min-Tah-Shun. which in Yiddish and German means Haman’s pockets. In Israel, they are called Ozney Haman. (See the picture above.)

Q. How are they associated with Purim?

A. Towards the end of the 18th century, a new cookie became popular in Europe: pockets of dough filled with poppy seeds, called MohnTaschen, German for “poppy pockets.” At the beginning of the 19th century Jews began using them as Purim treats, probably because Mohn sounds like Haman.  This pun was so popular that by the beginning of the 19th century, the cookies were called hamantaschen. The cookie is triangular and is filled with almost anything; the most common fillings are fruit, jam, poppy seeds and chocolate.

As the cookies became more popular, various explanations were given for their association with Purim. One is that  we eat hamentasch (the singular form) because “Haman tash” – Hebrew for “Haman was weakened,” which should remind us that Haman was beaten only because the Lord weakened him. Another explanation is that the shape of the cookie reminds us of the three corned hat worn by Haman. Others say the fillings may represent Esther’s meals while in the palace, or the sweetener- money- which Haman used to bribe the King to accede to his request for the massacre of the Jews. Others say that Hamentaschen, Haman’s pockets in Yiddish, may refer to the money he offered the King, from his “pocket,” for his acquiescence to the murder of the Jews. The three corners may also refer to the three Patriarchs- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- in whose merit the Jews were saved or whose “power” weakened Haman and strengthened Esther in her quest to save the Jews.

In Palestine, the British name for the Land of Israel till 1948, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who created Modern Hebrew, decided to call the cookies “ozen haman”, the ears of Haman in Hebrew. However, the original Ozney Haman, which were made in Europe, were ear-shaped fried cookies dipped in honey.  These may have reminded people of the custom of cutting off a criminal’s ears before his execution. These cookies, however, fell out of favor during the 19th century and are no longer made.

Today, in Israel, Hamentashen are referred to as Ozney Haman, and may be filled with just about anything from dates to chocolate to spinach,

Q. Can Purim fall on a Friday or Saturday?

A. The Jewish calendar is so made that Purim can fall on a Friday, but not on a Saturday.

Q. Can Jews go to work on Purim?

A. Yes. But nowadays most religious Jews don’t work on Purim. The sages said that people who work on Purim won’t see a blessing from their profits from that day. Purim is a joyous holiday and people should enjoy the day with family and friends.

Q. What is a Gragger?

A. On Purim, it is traditional to drown out the name ,”Haman'” when it is read from the Megillah on Purim.  A gragger is a wooden or metal noisemaker used to block out the word ‘”Haman.”  Graggers often consist of a handle fixed to a cogged wheel. When the Gragger is spun, the cogs on the wheel tap a thin piece of wood or metal fixed to the handle, creating a loud sound. However, anything can be used to drown out the name, including stamping the feet, whistles, car horns, etc.

Q. What is the proper Purim greeting?

A.  The appropriate English greeting is Happy Purim. In Yiddish, one would say,” A Freilichen Purim.” In Hebrew, one says Chag Sameach.

Q. Why is the observance of Purim especially important today?

A. Purim is all about an anti-Semite who wished to kill all the Jews. This theme is, unfortunately, resonating loudly with Jews today. Almost 75 years since the end of World War II and the worst massacre of Jews ever committed, Anti-Semitism is a metastizing cancer in virtually every country in the world, except Israel. Since Israel, the homeland of the Jews, is not only alive and well, but is becoming a world power, it has become fashionable to mask anti-semitism under the guise of objections to Israel. However, when the aim is not to challenge Israel’s policies, but the very existence of the State, then that is anti-semitism.

How can anti-Semitism be recognized? The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance includes the following: The targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

According to the The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Why is it important to know these signs? Because waiting until it was too late -as was done in the case of the Holocaust- and ignoring the warning signs can lead to catastrophe. Therefore, it is of extreme importance to know the signs of anti-Semitism and to draw attention to and call out those manifesting these signs. Anti-Semitic acts and words cannot be ignored, Excuses cannot be made for words uttered or actions performed. Let’s face it. When people are not happy and seek to blame others for their problems, whom do they blame- the Jews.

So let’s take a lesson from Queen Esther. While there’s still a chance to change matters, ACT.

And finally, remember Israel is there for all Jews, regardless of their religious observance and belief, or lack thereof. It is the homeland of the Jews and the only place in the world where Jews are always and truly welcome.

HAPPY PURIM!

Categories: Anti Semitism, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Judaism, Purim, religion | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rosh Hashanah Card Story

Colorful Hebrew English Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah card

Summer is almost over. As usual, it goes by too quickly. When the summer ends, it’s back to school time. But it’s also time to think of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is early this year. It begins after sunset on September 9, about two and half weeks away.

Speaking of Rosh Hashanah, do you know when the first Jewish New Year cards were sent? Do you think that maybe Jews just copied the Christian tradition of sending Holiday cards? Read on to find out.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the first Jewish New Year cards were actually sent in the Middle Ages, while Christian New Year cards only began to be sent in the 19th century. The practice of sending cards for the Jewish New Year is first mentioned in the Book of Customs of Rabbi Jacob, published in 1556 in Germany.  Since Jews believe that on Rosh Hashanah one’s fate is set down in one the three open Heavenly books, German rabbis recommended that letters sent in the month before Rosh Hashanah should begin with the blessing that the recipient be inscribed and sealed for a good New Year.

When postcards were invented in Vienna in 1869, they quickly became the favored method of sending Jewish Holiday greetings. The peak period for illustrated postcards was from 1898-1918 and they were produced mainly in Germany, Warsaw and New York City. German cards were often illustrated with Biblical themes, while those from Warsaw depicted the religious life of Eastern European Jewry. Although the scenes on these cards were often theatrically staged, they preserved views and customs which were lost during the Holocaust.

The mass immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe to the United States in the early 20th century led to an increase in the production of these cards. Often, these Jewish New Year postcards depicted America as the new homeland, while others featured Zionist ideology and contemporary views of Israel.

In Israel, during the 19th century, Jews sent Rosh Hashanah greetings using tablets of varying sizes, featuring images of its four”Holy “ cities, as well as holy sites in and around Jerusalem. The binding of Isaac was a popular motif and it was often drawn against the backdrop of the Temple Mount. These tablets were often sent abroad for fundraising purposes.

In the 1920s and 30s, Jewish New Year cards printed in Israel depicted work on the land and “secular” views of the new pioneers. Over the years, many new designs and motifs were created. Towards the end of the 20th century, the sending of physical cards in Israel declined and was superseded by phone calls and internet messages.

In the United States, the advent of email and ecards also caused the practice of snail mailing Jewish New Year cards to family and friends to decline. However, many people still love to get actual cards. For those people, JewTee has a large selection of different types of Jewish New Year cards.

We hope you’re one of those people who both likes to send and receive paper versions of Rosh Hashanah cards you can read and display.

JewTee.com has many different types of Rosh Hashanah cards. Here are a few of our favorite funny ones:

Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year Note CardsShofar Funny Jewish New Year CardJewish Wake Up Call Funny Jewish New Year CardFunny Jewish New Year card Apples and Honey

Here are some Hebrew English Rosh Hashanah cards:

Hebrew English Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year cardColorful Hebrew English Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah card

Old Fashioned Hebrew English Rosh Hashanah cardHebrew English Jewish New Year Card

JewTee has many more cards. To see the entire collection of Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah cards, click here.

Categories: Jewish Blog, Jewish Holidays, Jewish New Year Cards, Judaism, religion, Rosh Hashanah Cards, Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Shavuot?

Spring Flowers mini This year, 2018, Shavuot falls on May 20 and May 21. How much do you know about Shavuot? Want to know more? Here are 10 questions and answers to help augment your Shavout knowledge.

Q. What does Shavuot mean?

A. Shavuot means weeks. It marks the end of the seven week countdown between Passover and Shavuot. Shavout commemorates the day G-d gave the 10 commandments and the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. Shavuot also means Oaths. The Jewish people swore allegiance to G-d and he pledged his devotion to the Jewish people.

Q. Does Shavuot have any other names?

A. Yes. The Torah has three different names for Shavuot: Chag Shavuot, the Festival of Shavuot; Yom HaBikkurim- the Day of the First Fruits and Chag Hakatzir- the Festival of the Harvest. In the written record of the Oral Law it is called Atzeret- Restrain and in the prayers recited during Shavuot it is called Zeman Matan Torahteinu- the time of the giving of the Torah.

Q. What do these names refer to?

A. Shavuot is the only holiday described in the Torah which does not have a specific Jewish month and day ascribed to it. The Torah says only that Shavuot should be celebrated 50 days after the second day of Passover. This is because Passover and Shavuot are connected-  the purpose of the exodus from Egypt was to create a free Jewish people who would serve G-d and the way to do was by following the Torah which was given on Mount Sinai.                

Yom HaBikkurim- the Day of the First Fruits. In the days of  the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jewish farmer would tie a thread around the first fruits to start budding. The farmer would then bring these fruits in a basket to the Temple in Jerusalem starting from Shavuot and ending Chanukah.

Chag HaKatzir- the Harvest Festival, refers to the wheat harvest season which occurs around the time of Shavuot.

Atzeret- Restrain (from work)-  This name reminds us not to do work on Shavuot.

Zman Matan Torahteinu- the time of giving of the Torah- Shavuot commemorates the receipt of the Torah from G-d at Mount Sinai.

Q. Isn’t Shavuot also called Pentecost?

A. Yes,. Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavuot and means the 50th day. However, Pentecost also refers to the Christian Holiday of Pentecost which occurs 50 days after Easter and celebrates an occurrence in the life of Jesus.

Q. What are the Shavuot rituals?

A. Women and girls light candles to usher in the Holiday. On the first night of Shavuot it is customary to stay up all night learning Torah. On the first day of Shavuot, everyone goes to the synagogue to hear the Book of Ruth read from a scroll and the Ten Commandments read from the Torah. On the second day of Shavuot, Yitzkor- the prayer for the departed, is recited. Work is not permitted during the Holiday.

Q. What is the Book of Ruth?

A.  One of the books of the Bible which is named after the central figure, Ruth. It  tells the story of a Moabite woman, Ruth, who converts to Judaism and becomes part of the Jewish people.

Q. Why is the Book of Ruth read on Shavuot?

A. Ruth is the story of a person accepting the Torah and becoming part of the Jewish people. This is what all Jews did on Mount Sinai. Reading the story reminds us to rededicate ourselves to the Torah and the Jewish people.                                                  

Shavuot takes place during the harvest season and the story of Ruth takes place during the harvest season.                                              

Ruth was the ancestor of King David whose birth and death were on Shavuot.

Q.  Do we eat any special foods on Shavuot?

A. The Jewish tradition is to eat dairy foods on Shavuot, such as cheese blintzes, cheesecake, quiches, casseroles, etc.

Q. Why do we eat dairy food on Shavuot?

A. When the Jews received the Torah on Mount Sinai, they were not permitted to eat meat and dairy food together. So many people eat a separate dairy meal and a separate meat meal to commerate this. 

When the Jews received the Torah, they were only allowed to  eat meat which was slaughtered according to Jewish law. Since it was the Sabbath and since no such meat was available, they ate a dairy meal instead.

The numerical value of the Hebrew word for milk, chalav, is 40. This corresponds to the 40 days Moses spent on Mount Sinai before receiving the Torah.

The Torah is compared to milk.

Q. Are there any other traditions on Shavuot?

A. It is customary to decorate the synagogue and the house with greenery and flowers in honor of Shavuot. The most common reason given for the custom is that sheep and cattle were not allowed to graze facing Mount Sinai when theTorah was given. However, since the Torah was given in a desert, a miracle must have occurred, temporarily turning the desert area into one filled with greenery.

Other explanations include: the fact that Moses was placed in a reed basket in the Nile on the second day of Shavuot; a way of remembering  that the custom  was to decorate the baskets of the first fruits brought to the Temple on Shavuot with flowers and greenery. 

                                                       HAPPY SHAVUOT!

Categories: Jewish Holidays, religion, Shavout | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kotel and Conversion Controversy- A Tempest In A Teapot?

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As I sat in my living room yesterday on an overcast fast day marking the beginning of the three week mourning period for the two destroyed Temples in Jerusalem, I could not help but reflect on the current Kotel and Conversion controversy which threatens to weaken the ties between Israel and its brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. One of the main reasons the Rabbis give for the destruction of the Second Temple, is Sinas Chinom, the baseless hatred of one Jew to another. This, I fear, is what this controversy may lead to.

Does Israel really not care for Diaspora Jews and is it indifferent to their feelings and religious beliefs? Is Israel a country a country controlled by the Haredim, or (Ultra Orthodox), whose every whim is honored? Do secular, Reform and Conservative Jews really not have a place where they can pray as they wish in the Kotel complex?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Israel values and appreciates Diaspora Jews of all types. The country is not controlled by Haredim. In fact, 44% of Israeli Jews self identify as secular, while only 9% identify as Haredim. There is a pretty area near the Kotel set up for egalitarian prayer. Unlike the separate areas for men and women at the Kotel, which are often crowded and under the direct sun, the egalitarian area is shaded and often empty.

So why the uproar? It’s mainly about the Compromise bill on the Kotel, the Western Wall, which was approved by Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Haredi ministers, but frozen at the last minute at the behest of the Haredi party in the government. Yes, since the Haredim initially approved the compromise, they should have gone along with it. if the compromise was not acceptable to them, they should never have approved it. If later they were not happy with it, they should have discussed their objections with the other parties to the compromise. The freezing of the compromise bill and the lack of notice and consultation with parties to the agreement, greatly angered those affected, especially, the Reform and Conservative movements. The bill would have given the power to oversee the egalitarian space to a committee that would have included representatives of Conservative and Reform Judaism. The freezing of the bill means that the egalitarian area will continue to be overseen only by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. This loss of power over a segment of Judaism’s holiest site was a big blow to the non Orthodox movements and they reacted accordingly.

However, their reactions made it seem as if the Israel government had denied the right of non Orthodox people to pray in an egalitarian area at the Wall. That’s fake news. The egalitarian area is alive and well and this bill does not change that. In fact, the government said that the area will be enlarged and made even more  aesthetically pleasing. However, through this bill, Conservative and Reform Judaism hoped to gain official recognition as alternate forms of Judaism in Israel. Both the Reform and Conservative movements are very weak in Israel, as Israelis who are religious are generally traditional, Orthodox or Haredi, and those who are secular usually do not belong to any movement. So this was the opportunity the  two movements were waiting for to become official alternate forms of Judaism, and it failed.

While their disappointment and anger is justified, making it seem that the Israeli government is ignoring the needs of Diaspora Jews is just not true. There is an egalitarian area for prayer and no one is taking that away. The potential loss of power of the Conservative and Reform movements of the egalitarian prayer space is inconsequential to all but the movements’ leaders. Members of these movements will not be affected in any way by the freezing of the Compromise bill.

The Conversion bill which would have given sole authority for conversions in Israel to the Chief Rabbinate also would not change the status of Reform and Conservative Jews. All conversions in Israel are currently done under Orthodox auspices. The bill would only have prevented private Orthodox courts, a desirable alternative for many, from granting conversions in Israel. The conversion bill would not have changed anything under the Law of Return.

The Kotel is a religious area. Religious Jews have been praying there and preserving its holiness for millennia. They pray daily for the restoration of the Temple and fast a few times a year to commemorate events which negatively affected the Temples’ existence. The Kotel is open to all, as is the egalitarian area. The failure of the Compromise bill to pass has not affected the rights of secular Jews to pray there in any way. All Jews, no matter how they were converted in the Diaspora, are still Israeli citizens under the Law of Return.

So let’s put this incident in perspective. Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movement suffered a loss of power, but their members were not negatively affected in any way. So let’s stop insinuating that the Israeli government took away the rights of secular Jews to pray, or failed to appreciate their invaluable contributions to Israel.

In these trying times, when anti semitism is rebounding, let’s remember that we are all Jews, regardless of our way of showing it. Let’s unite behind Israel, which is the only Jewish state in the world and the only country which can guarantee that Jews will not be discriminated against because they are Jewish. Israel needs the Diaspora Jews and the Diaspora Jews need Israel.

Show your support by coming to Israel and praying at the Kotel or its egalitarian area. You’ll be glad you did.

Categories: Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Judaism, religion, religious freedom, Western Wall Kotel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

JewTee Blog Purim Edition

Shalom Y’All:

As I hope you know, Purim begins on the eve of March 4 and ends nightfall March 5. On Purim we celebrate our salvation through Queen Esther from the edict Haman prepared to annihilate all the Jews in the Persian empire.

On Purim Jews listen to the Megillah at night and the following morning, give Shalach Monos- gifts of food and/or drink to family and friends- charity to the poor  and eat a big meal in the late afternoon. In the carnival spirit of the day, kids, and often adults, dress in costumes and liquid refreshment of all kinds is imbibed.

In the topsy -turvey spirit of the day, I bring you the latest “news”:

Obama Netanyahu Friends At Last

Let’s Be Friends, Make Amends, Now’s the Time To Say I’m Sorry.

In a bombshell announcement today, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have agreed to bury the hatchet, become friends and learn from one another. President Obama will teach PM Netanyahu how to shoot basketballs into baskets while PM Netanyahu will teach President Obama how to shoot sunflower seed husks from the mouth into a bowl.


 

Sunny Days Ahead

Jew Are Refugees

In a shocking reversal of long-standing policy, the newly appointed Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Sun, has declared that all Jews living outside of Israel are refugees and has pledged 3 billion dollars to their resettlement in Israel. Consequently, UNWRA will be disbanded and a new agency, UNIRA (United Nations Israel Resettlement Agency) will be established.

Mr. Sun reached for comment at his residence in New York, explained that since all Jews once lived in Israel, any Jew not living there now is a refugee. Furthermore, he explained, since the borders of ancient Israel encompass much more land than the current state, Jews will be free to live anywhere within the ancient borders of the Jewish state. Arabs who wish to continue living there may do so if they agree to be “dhimiis.” (Druze Arabs and the families of Bedouin, Muslim and Christian Arabs who have served in the Israeli army will enjoy full rights.) Arabs who are unhappy with this turn of events will be free to move to any of the 22 Arab countries in the Middle East.

Reached for comment after this bombshell announcement, former West Coast Bank President Atbat said, “Oh well, we gave it a good shot. I’ve always wanted to ‘paint the town red’ in Tel Aviv and now I’ll have my chance.”

Hummus leaders in Graze City also seemed resigned to the new state of affairs. They explained that they had been offered a lucrative financial opportunity to turn their rockets into drones to be used to deliver packages from e-commerce companies to residents of the Jewish state and to turn their tunnels into underground shopping malls. The entire Graze Strip will become a vacation playland with separate beaches for men and women, and rocket building and tunnel digging activities for kids.

 

Green Is Better Than Red

Green Is Better Than Red

As to their enmity of the Jewish State, Hummus head Khabead Mashup said, “While I was having a good smoke on my Hookah, it came to me. We’ve tried to fight them. That didn’t work. It just gave us tons of rubble to clean up and many funerals to attend. So now, we may as well join them and get our hands on some real money.  When we feel like fighting and getting our own state, we’ll just attack one of the 22 Arab countries who did so little to help us.”

 


 

Beauty Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Beauty Is In The Eyes of  The Beholder

Hussle Realhoney, Iran’s Leader, shocked the world today by announcing it was renouncing  the manufacture of nuclear weapons and instead focusing on establishing a yearly Purim contest. (Iran, formerly Persia, is the location of the original Purim story.) “Instead of being hit with sanctions and losing revenue from the lack  of oil sales, we will make Tehran the world’s wealthiest city. Girls from all over the world will come to Tehran for the title of the world’s most beautiful girl. Contestants, who will need to be sponsored by their home country, will spend months being pampered and prepped with the world’s best beauty products. Of course, in keeping with our traditions, female contestants will have to be fully clothed with only parts of their faces allowed to be seen. Since true beauty lies on the inside, however, there is no need for  greater exposure.”

On the day of the contest, all contestants will appear before the “King” who will judge their beauty and abilities and pick that year’s World Beauty Queen. The Queen’s responsibilities will include selfies with all World Leaders.

Asked who the “King” would be, Beauty Contest developers said that while no final decision had been made, those in the running included: Prince Charles, Big Sean, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Simon Cowell and Jesse James, all of whom have chosen women other than those they were married to.

Despite thousands of requests from married men, the part of Queen Vashti will not be played by the wife of a married man.

That’s it for now.

HAPPY PURIM TO ALL!

Categories: Israel, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Humor, Purim, Purim, religion | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chanukah Musings

Shalom Y’All:

Happy Chanukah!

Tonight we light the first Chanukah candle. As we do so, we should keep in mind that while Chanukah is a joyous holiday, its true meaning should not be obscured by the latkes and the gifts. Chanukah is all about religious freedom, the freedom to serve G-d as we wish. Back then it was the Greeks who tried to make Jews into Hellenists and killed those who refused. But this modus operandi is not limited to the Greeks. It was practiced by both Christians and Muslims during the many many years of Jewish persecution.

Today ISIS and the Taliban are killing those who do not practice the same brand of Islam as they do. A tragic recent story described the beheading of four Christian youngsters in Iraq who refused to convert to Islam. Religious bigotry, unfortunately, is alive and well. The freedom to practice any religion freely is not a given in many countries. Jews, in particular, are unwelcome in many parts of the world. They no longer exist in most Arab countries and have been attacked in a number of European cities. The difference is that fortunately, today, unlike in the past, persecuted Jews have a place to go, a place where they are free to practice and believe as they wish. That place of course is Israel. Israel by the way is also a safe haven for many other groups that that been persecuted because of their religion, such as the Bahai, and Ahmadi.

So as you light the candles, think about how fortunate we are that our kids no longer have to play dreidel to hide their Jewish education, that you can practice your religion freely and that if worse comes to worse, you have a place to go where you will be safe.

Enough of the seriousness. Let’s lighten things up a bit. Here are links to eight Chanukah videos that you may enjoy.

Chanukah Music Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSJCSR4MuhU&index=4&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28-Maccabeats

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv-7WdpB72o&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28&index=5-Mattisyahu

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwb1PnLcchw&index=6&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28- Debby Friedman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvY337zKttA&index=7&list=RDlZE3pyAAn2-NCSY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3knzAt4zyI&index=9&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28-Adam Sandler

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyKWUpSMegE&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28&index=11-Aish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0K9M6lCeZw&list=RDlZE3pyAAn28&index=24-Six13

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqEQy6l1kzc KeyTov Orchestra

Some of these are classics. Some have newer versions, such as the Maccabeats, whose newest video can be found here.

Happy Chanukah from JewTee! May your Chanukah be joyous and full of laughter and good cheer.

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