Tag Archives: Jews

Thank God We Don’t Live In The Alte Heim.

2 Jun

I was researching the history of medieval England in a nearby college library- ok fine, I was watching Robin Hood (the one with Russel Crowe). But it’s pretty gritty and looks realistic enough for me to assume it’s based on actual research, so it got me thinking about how horrible life was for most people in basically every single other era ever.

First off, the peasants live in shit, many times literally, they work their asses off and live in rat infested houses eating hard bread and gruel when they’re lucky enough to get food. They’re filthy, smelly, toothless, and are under the rule of barons who can do whatever the hell they want to them. Knights can kill them for sport, just ride around lopping off heads like its human polo, and they have no recourse.

I just reread a chassidish story that I heard as a kid but didn’t really understand in context. The Polish nobles, called Poretzes, ruled their land with absolute power. The central government wasn’t very strong and the king relied on the Barons to keep order, run the land, pay taxes and provide men for wars. One day a family couldn’t pay their rent. So the poretz decided to lock him and his wife and kids up in his dungeon to die unless the tax was paid by the community. This is already an advanced society, there are fair rules that the poretz lays out and follows. You pay, you stay alive. In other places, the noble decides he doesn’t like Jews and wants to kill all of them. So he does. Then, in some places, the noble will let the Jews stay only if they pay a crazy amount of tax. If someone thinks its unfair and asks why only the Jews have to pay a 90% tax, he says, “Because I hate you dirty Jews, of course.” That’s it. That’s his political message to his constituents. He decides to kill a bunch of kids to get his tax paid? That’s a sound fiscal policy.

Then, there are constant wars. This was very hard for me to figure out when I was watching Robin Hood. Apparently, the French and English not only like living in shit, but want other people’s shit. To what end? I have no clue. But they staged massive wars, with thousands of peasants and soldiers killing each other for absolutely no reason other than the chance to get back to their miserable shit lives if they survived. And the peasants, of course, were sent in first! With like sharp sticks or tools or tree-cutting axes if they had them.

These were actual people. With brains and everything. Being used as a flesh wall. If these people could have been educated, they could’ve built up a modern society, with doctors that actually healed you instead of raping you to cure your pneumonia. Or they could’ve built a nuclear bomb and destroyed their enemies. At least they’re doing something that reflects their potential as human beings. It was totally different. They didn’t even look at people like that, like they could improve their situation. This was life. It makes me wonder how future generations will look at us. We think we’re advanced, but who knows what we’re doing to screw people up and squander all the potential we have. We are a few hundred years out of the dark ages. In Eastern Europe and Russia, they’re 150 years out of it. I bet people 500 years down the road will look at our society and think we’re just as barbaric as Medieval people were. We can’t help it. We’re trying, but we’re probably just barely scratching the surface. Unless society just breaks down over lack of oil and over population and whatever else. Then they’ll look back on us and marvel and think we were the apex of civilization.

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Kish Mich

29 Dec

By Gutman Braun

This was many years ago, but I clearly remember descending the stairs, while disembarking from the EL-AL Boeing 747 upon its arrival in the Holy Land, when some (apparently holy) genius decided to go spread-eagle on the tarmac and kiss the grease.  With an amazing display of athleticism (that I never knew I had) I managed to dance over him and save the ground-kisser from the inevitable pile-driver that coulda have cost him some lost teeth and a couple broken ribs. Perhaps God does indeed protect fools once in a while?  What’s with this religious kissing of stuff?

I still mindlessly reach out and make contact with doorposts out of a Pavlovian attempt touch-and-kiss the mezuzah. I’ve been doing this since the second grade – and while I often find myself doing this at places such as banks, office buildings and the DMV, somehow I’ve never attempted it on a bathroom door.  Well trained, I must be.

Oh yeah, and when attending one of those miserable things they call a “simcha” I find myself accosted by men who desire to kiss me or have me kiss them. I don’t get this – I mean we belong to a religion that seems to be troubled by same-sex attraction, can’t we asser the male-on-male hug & kiss? Please?

What gives? We have Tzitzis kissing. Tefilin kissing. Book kissing. Scroll kissing. Some of the chassidically inclined have hand-kissing.  In fact the only kissing that seems to be frowned upon is kissing females (which is odd, since I seem to recall Yaakov Avinu went right-in for the smooch upon meeting the (as the Torah goes out of its way to describe as ) comely wife-to-be, Rochel.

So what’s with the hot lips for religious stuff and exclusively same-sex greetings? Is this a Nun kinda thing? Is this a way to relieve some homosexual tension? Next time a man in a hat tries to kiss me, I’m going to grab his face and plant a big wet one on his terrified, quivering lips. Kish mir in tuches, bicurio.

You Can Take The Jew Out Of Flatbush…

4 Sep

Come on, internet. This is the best I can get for "jewish disney"?

You ever notice how FFB’s (frum from brooklyn’s) will never talk to you once they leave Brooklyn? Like, I was just in Orlando with some friends, and I Jew-waved to everyone I could find. The Modern Orthodox crowd waved back and smiled (except when I was smoking in Disneyworld, which is apparently one step under raping Mickey from the looks I was getting from everyone who passed by). A Chossid on vacation with his family gave me a huge smile and hello. But when I did the same thing to the Yeshivish folks, I either got totally ignored or experienced the shifty-eyed no-smile Flatbush thing.

Flatbush people! Listen to me for a second: I know you’re going on vacation to escape all the Jews. All you want to do is pretend you’re a goy for a few days. Hey- it’s Disneyworld, the land of dreams. You’re eating cholov stam and davening at Chabad. I get it. But you can still talk to me even if I’m wearing a yarmulke. I promise you, I won’t ask you to come to a minyan at 4:00 next to “It’s a small world”. Really, I just want a friendly hello from a fellow tribe member.

So please, do me a personal favor and smile back the next time another Jew waves at you. And fix your wife’s hat, her hair’s showing.

Why Do Secular Jews Love Stephen Colbert?

15 May

Come on, you might as well ask, “Why are Frum Jews racist?”. That’s just the way God made ’em. OK fine, I’ll try to give a better answer.

The way I see it, people naturally bind themselves into groups for safety. The biggest of these get to own countries, and make the rules. Unless they have something that the bigger groups want, smaller groups’ (minorities’) concerns are usually not taken into account, especially if they are not part of the founding group. Hey, it’s the circle of life, and it moves us all, azoiii geiiit dus, the thircle of life (The Lion King, Belz boys choir edition). That’s why minorities stick together, and form things like unions. To get leverage so they won’t be stepped on.

Now, the Jews who have lived in this country for a while are generally not very religious anymore, if at all. They identify themselves as simple minorities trying to make it here like everyone else. Their parents and grandparents grew up with a lot of prejudice and outright anti-semitism against them. They try to fit in as best as they can, but the real safety they’ve always seen has been the progressive party, the liberal Democratic party which, at least in theory, fights for the underdog. This is also why Jews stood together with Blacks since the 60’s. They were standing with their fellow minorities, against the dominant WASP, Conservative, machine. The fact that the dominant White parties the world over let their people be destroyed in WWII didn’t help things that much either.

OK, so why are Frum Jews generally Conservative and racist? It’s because they are religious and see themselves allied with the party with more traditional Christian values. They don’t care as much about rights and freedoms as about keeping their religion intact. So the Conservative party is a natural ally. The party’s generally positive attitude towards Israel since the Nixon era helps as well here. And what about hating Black people? Black people are seen to act with lower moral standards than White people. Therefore they are perceived as a threat. (There are many sociological factors for this, I know. I’m not a moron. Nor am I blaming. I’m simply saying how Black culture comes across.) However, they are not racist in the usual sense of the prototypical southern racist. Most really do just hate the behavior. But if they have to dismiss an entire race of people to keep their religion safe, then that’s what they’ll do. Even though most know that public opinion thinks racism is evil. They feel justified. And, like all other Jews, they’re extremely opinionated.