This Month In Jewish (TMIJ): August 2012

Hey kids, welcome to This Month In Jewish: a monthly installment for TC Jewfolk where we recap all the important (and some unimportant) stories you may have seen this past month. I’d love to stay and chat, but I need to finish this before my meter runs out so let’s get started…

It’s Fashion Month at TMIJ!

… with the Middle East. You know, that place kind of in the middle of Europe and Asia? It’s in the news a lot? Well, first there’s this terrible story: a group of Jewish Israeli teenagers attempted to lynch a group of Palestinian teens in the middle of Zion Sqaure in Jerusalem, while hundreds of witnesses looked on and did nothing.
For those unfamiliar with Jerusalem, Zion Square is at the bottom of Ben Yehuda Street, one of the most popular streets in all of Israel. The police described it as both a lynching and a “typical brawl between Israeli and Palestinian young people.” Both descriptions are not pleasant. Nothing about this makes you feel good. Some good may yet come out of this, though, as Israeli schools are being pressed by the government to talk about the attempted lynching and what it means.

Staying in the Middle East, Iran has invited Palestinian leaders to be a part of a summit for 120 developing nations. However, they’ve invited both Palestinian leaders. That’s like inviting both oranges and tangerines to a fruit summit. The leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, is not happy that Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh was also invited. The PA believes that they more accurately represent the Palestinian people because they are in the best position to negotiate peace with Israel, and rightfully so, since Hamas doesn’t want peace with Israel. Nevertheless, Abbas has said he won’t attend the summit as long as Haniyeh is invited, telling all his friends, “Like, oh my god, Haniyeh is telling everybody that he hates Israel more, but I’m like, ‘Uh, excuse me? I totally hate Israel more.’ And now Achmie believes him and it’s, like, so totally unfair! Gosh!”

Israel’s all like, “Whatever. Shampoo is bettah…” Except for that whole lynching thing it’s all sababa in Israel. It’s like that old saying: Bitter, historical enemies that skateboard together might possibly end up doing other things later in life together too, you know, if everything works out right. Israel has a palpable sense of community, of sharing, the coming together of different cultures for one glorious weekend of rocking out and taking ecstasy on the beach. Or maybe golf’s your thing; Israel welcomes all golfers, even blind ones. And even if none of these great things appeals to you, at least we can all agree that the one thing missing from our authentic biblical donkey rides was the free WiFi. Oh, and I meant to tell you sooner—for about three hours you could’ve gotten all that for only $400.

We switch now from the world of high tension to the world of high fashion, with stories from the runway that will surely your end of summer from glum to GLAMOUROUS!!!! Need a new hat? Of course you do. Check out the Spanish hat company that makes hats for trendy Brooklynites. And by trendy Brooklynites I of course mean Hasidic Jews. For 127 years these Spaniards have been making hats, and they’re still able to operate today thanks to bulk orders by Satmar Hasidic Jews. Pretty cool.

Every hip Brooklynite needs some trendy glasses to match his stylin’ new hat, and TMIJ has you covered. There is a catch, however: these glasses work great for the few feet in front of you, but try to see any further and your vision gets blurry? Why? Because seeing all those beautiful women every day just gets annoying. Yes, the Hasidim have done everything from blocking the Internet to blocking your hoo-ha, and in a further attempt to make you miserable, they’ve invented glasses that make you need glasses! At least they’re reasonably priced.

Working our way down the body, it’s almost winter, which means it’s almost Christmas, which means another invitation to your office’s Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Don’t want to be left out again this year because you won’t wear something that looks like the byproduct of Dasher’s digestion? Consider getting an Ugly Chanukah Sweater! Just don’t show up to my party with the Spinmaster; I’ve already called that one.

And what will you wear underneath that terrible sweater? How about one of these Urban Outfitters shirts, dubbed, “Auschwitz Chic.” Actually, TMIJ recommends you skip that one, but it does give us a chance to play a quick round of everyone’s favorite game: Anti-Semitic?
Insensitive? Yes. Disgusting? Yes. Completely and utterly devoid of empathy for the millions of people who had to wear that star and those colors while they watched their friends and family get taken by the Nazis? Yup. But Anti-Semitic? I wouldn’t call it hateful against Jews so much as emotionally tone-deaf and a shameless publicity stunt. So, no, it’s not quite Anti-Semitic. But hey, if you want the shirt, they’re selling it for only $100.

Finally, like a Neo-Nazi klezmer band, here’s some stuff that didn’t fit:
Aly Raisman won two golds and a bronze at the Olymics, including an individual gold for her Hava Nagila inspired floor routine. [Note: the video isn’t from the Olympics, but I believe it’s the same routine.] Larry David thinks it’d be good if you voted. Pretty, prettyy, prettyyy, prettyyyy good.
A 500-year-old Feminist” siddur, originally written in Ladino, is being printed for the first time in Hebrew. In it are famous commandments like, “Thou shall not be satisfied with 81 cents to the dollar,” and “Thou shall not be ashamed to wear a pants suit.”

That’s all for this month; next month be on the lookout for these hot stories:
Polish Town Celebrates Jewish Heritage With “Kosher Pig Racing” Day
Area Rabbi Alleged Mastermind Of Notorious Gefilte Fish Gang
“Next year we won’t have mothers as judges,” Says Jewish Film Festival Organizer
(Image: Cliff Nordman)