Tuesday, February 28, 2012

songs and traditions


Purim True story

Monday, February 27, 2012

apartheid week on college

Israeli Apartheid Week marked in US campuses
Pro-Palestinian campaign, marked in European universities last week, arrives in US. CEO of pro-Israeli organization says there is hostile environment toward Israel in 60-80 out of 4000 American universities
Yitzhak Benhorin
Published:  02.26.12, 14:26 / Israel News

WASHINGTON – The Israel Apartheid Week, a pro-Palestinian international campaign which includes films, lectures, demonstrations and calls for a boycott of Israel, commenced in US campuses on Sunday. The anti-Israel event was initiated in Europe eight years ago. This year's event will last six days in the US and then move to Canada.

Contrary to alarming headlines in local media, US students are not as troubled by Apartheid Week events as it would seem. A survey among American students reveals that 80% are in fact not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The survey also indicates that 15% students are pro-Israeli compared with only 5% of students who are pro-Palestinian.

In fact, many students regard Apartheid Week with its rallies and "checkpoints" as mainly annoying. Out of roughly 4,000 campuses in the US, almost all do not have an anti-Israel atmosphere. Only a few dozen campuses hold a prominent debate on the issue.

Israel's Foreign Ministry assists some 10 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations in their efforts to promote a pro-Israel discourse in these campuses. One of them is the the David Project, which was founded in Boston in 2002 during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The organization aims to promote the idea that Israel plays the part of "David," of the David and Goliath story, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 Pro-Israeli demonstrations in England (Photo: Roi Goldman)

In a new report on the state of anti-Israel sentiment in the campuses, the David Project determines there is anti-Israel hostility in 60-80 US campuses, mainly in art programs. These colleges don't necessarily have a hostile environment for Jewish students, but there is a spillover effect of anti-Israeli opinions, especially among student leadership that are dangerous in the long-run.

"The main challenge is not to stop de-legitimization, but to prevent it from rising in the first place", said Executive Director David Bernstein.

Bernstein says a real problem exists only in 15-20 small colleges, most of which are schools for the arts. Some of these establishments have Middle East programs, often funded by Gulf countries, and led by radical leftist activists. These campuses have an overall anti-American atmosphere which also works against Israel, the report said.


The David Project report also found that in many cases the anti-Israel sentiment is not particularly strong, as it is widespread, because students don't hold firm opinions. The report also found that anti-Israel opinions are not directed against Jewish students in particular. "Campuses are not filled with hatred for Jews, and are still very pro-Israel," Bernstein noted.

"The confrontations are not good for Israel," he explained. In previous years, pro-Israel organizations faced the anti-Israel activities head-on. These confrontations did not benefit the Israeli case, but only served to create more headlines for the anti-Israel propaganda, Bernstein claims. The David Project adopted a different approach of engaging key groups in campuses to advocate the Israeli stand.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Conversion thanks

Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:18 AM
Dear Rabbi Ginsburg,

I don't quite know how to put into words how moved and grateful I am following
my conversion ceremony earlier this month.
I still have to remind myself that it has really happened!
It was the best thing that has ever happened to me...the most moving, and possibly
the most tearful!!! In retrospect, I think I left my brain outside, too, so overwhelming was the experience!Without you, I am convinced that it would not have been possible, so the gratitude
that I owe you is immeasurable.
I can't tell you how it feels now that I can also pray "who has made me a Jew" instead of having to miss that bit out.
What has also come home to me even more than before is the responsibility and honour that goes with being Jewish; to uphold the honour of HaShem and His people is a serious
responsibility as well as a joy, and I am mindful of this every single day.
I pray that the joy that you have enabled in my life will be felt by everyone you help, and that you will be blessed in everything you do. I know you can't maintain correspondence with everyone whom you teach, as there are probably
too many. But would you mind if I ask your advice from time to time, please?
Sorry to have rambled on. My real purpose is to thank you for the life-changing support you have
given me.
With very best wishes.

conversion question

Dear rabbi,
I'm Jewish
I have been reading the Bible and I found that in the book of Genesis, chapter 17 verse 14 it says who ever that doesn't go through circumcision will be torn out of the covenant that God has made between Abraham and his seeds.
My uncle, who was born in the Soviet Union did not have a brit milah(I'm reminding you btw the USSR was an atheist state which forbade religion and most probably my grandfather who did kept important mitzvot probably didn't have someone to perform a brit milah) Does this mean that my uncle isn't Jewish?

If his mother is Jewish then he is Jewish. It is the parent's obligation to circumcise their son. if they don't, then it becomes incumbent on him to fulfill the mitzvah. All msales born in the desert 3200 years ago after Egypt had to be circumcised once they entered the land. many men from the FSU are in the same boat and become circumcised when they arrive, same as uncircumcised males who want to convert


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Forcing Kosher delis to serve Ham-the destruction of the "free exercise" clause

Forcing Kosher delis to serve Ham-the destruction of the "free exercise" clause
Ham Sandwiches and Religious Freedom

Yesterday, many on the left had a hearty laugh about the statement by Bishop William E. Lori on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the administration’s effort to force the church to violate its principles by paying for insurance coverage for practices it opposes. The left-wing siteTalking Points Memo in particular thought it was ludicrous for Bishop Lori to claim a government mandate that Catholic institutions pay for contraception is akin to one that would force Jewish delis to serve pork. To the left, the analogy is ludicrous, because getting free birth control from your employer is, they believe, a constitutional right, and a ham sandwich is merely a whim.
But Lori was absolutely right. The attempt by the president to force all employers, even those whose religious convictions forbid them from doing so, to provide insurance coverage for contraception is no different than a hypothetical law that would require all places that serve food to include non-kosher items on the menu.
As Lori said, the fact that many Jews eat pork does not undermine the right of kosher restaurants to exclude it from the menu. Nor should it obligate them to provide ham or shrimp or cheeseburgers to their non-Jewish employees for lunch. Rather than their refusal to do so being a case of observant Jews “imposing their beliefs” on others, a law that sought to force such restaurants to alter their fare to conform with a government dictat would allow the state to use its power of coercion to run roughshod over the religious beliefs of its citizens.
Lori went even further and analogized the president’s “compromise” on contraception by saying it was no different than if the state allowed the kosher delis to not put pork on its menu and to have its employees serve ham sandwiches but forced them to allow pork distributors to set up kiosks on the premises where free ham sanchwiches would be served, the cost for which would be born by the kosher deli owners.
If the analogy sounds ludicrous it is only because there is no national meal plan to feed Americans in the way that Obamacare has nationalized health insurance. But, as Lori points out, there isn’t any more need for anyone who works at a Catholic institution to get birth control from the church than there is for a pork-craving customer to get ham from a kosher deli. In both cases, there is nothing preventing either person from working someplace else or just going down the block to get the item they want from somewhere else. The attack on the church demonstrates not only the contempt of this administration for religious freedom but the threat that its signature health care bill poses to constitutional liberty.
The impulse to impose these regulations on the church has no more to do with the correctness of the Vatican’s ruling on contraception than the validity of kashrut. Both are religious beliefs that must be respected if we are serious about protecting religious freedom in this republic. Such freedom either exists for all or for none.
Bishop Lori’s statement deserves to be read in full:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Committee, for the opportunity to testify today. For my testimony today, I would like to tell a story. Let’s call it, “The Parable of the Kosher Deli.”
Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate.
The Orthodox Jewish community—whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides—expresses its outrage at the new government mandate. And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork—not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths—because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. They recognize as well the practical impact of the damage to that principle. They know that, if the mandate stands, they might be the next ones forced—under threat of severe government sanction—to violate their most deeply held beliefs, especially their unpopular beliefs.
Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you. It is, after all, the other white meat.” Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.” Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.”
But in our hypothetical, those arguments fail in the public debate, because people widely recognize the following.
First, although people may reasonably debate whether pork is good for you, that’s not the question posed by the nationwide pork mandate. Instead, the mandate generates the question whether people, who believe—even if they believe in error—that pork is not good for you, should be forced by government to serve pork within their very own institutions. In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
Second, the fact that some (or even most) Jews eat pork is simply irrelevant. The fact remains that some Jews do not—and they do not out of their most deeply held religious convictions. Does the fact that large majorities in society—even large majorities within the protesting religious community—reject a particular religious belief make it permissible for the government to weigh in on one side of that dispute? Does it allow government to punish that minority belief with its coercive power? In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
Third, the charge that the Orthodox Jews are imposing their beliefs on others has it exactly backwards. Again, the question generated by a government mandate is whether the government will impose its belief that eating pork is good on objecting Orthodox Jews. Meanwhile, there is no imposition at all on the freedom of those who want to eat pork. That is, they are subject to no government interference at all in their choice to eat pork, and pork is ubiquitous and cheap, available at the overwhelming majority of restaurants and grocers. Indeed, some pork producers and retailers, and even the government itself, are so eager to promote the eating of pork, that they sometimes give pork away for free.
In this context, the question is this: can a customer come to a kosher deli, demand to be served a ham sandwich, and if refused, bring down severe government sanction on the deli? In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
So in our hypothetical story, because the hypothetical nation is indeed committed to religious liberty and diversity, these arguments carry the day.
In response, those proposing the new law claim to hear and understand the concerns of kosher deli owners, and offer them a new “accommodation.” You are free to call yourself a kosher deli; you are free not to place ham sandwiches on your menu; you are free not to be the person to prepare the sandwich and hand it over the counter to the customer. But we will force your meat supplier to set up a kiosk on your premises, and to offer, prepare, and serve ham sandwiches to all of your customers, free of charge to them. And when you get your monthly bill from your meat supplier, it will include the cost of any of the “free” ham sandwiches that your customers may accept. And you will, of course, be required to pay that bill.
Some who supported the deli owners initially began to celebrate the fact that ham sandwiches didn’t need to be on the menu, and didn’t need to be prepared or served by the deli itself. But on closer examination, they noticed three troubling things.
First, all kosher delis will still be forced to pay for the ham sandwiches. Second, many of the kosher delis’ meat suppliers, themselves, are forbidden in conscience from offering, preparing, or serving pork to anyone. Third, there are many kosher delis that are their own meat supplier, so the mandate to offer, prepare, and serve the ham sandwich still falls on them.
This story has a happy ending. The government recognized that it is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich; that it is beyond absurd for that private demand to be backed with the coercive power of the state; that it is downright surreal to apply this coercive power when the customer can get the same sandwich cheaply, or even free, just a few doors down.
The question before the United States government—right now—is whether the story of our own Church institutions that serve the public, and that are threatened by the HHS mandate, will end happily too. Will our nation continue to be one committed to religious liberty and diversity? We urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the answer must be yes. We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to answer the same way.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Question on reward for aspiring Jew performing mitzvah

Question on reward for aspiring Jew performing mitzvah

As I am going through Session 5 a question came to mind.  Until I convert as a Jew, I am a gentile (obviously).  That being said, does G-d "appreciate" or "accept" Jewish prayers and symbolic rituals like observing Kashrut or performing Kabbalat Shabbat coming from an unconverted Jew (gentile)?  I know that G-d blesses those who do mitzvot, but do those blessings also apply to non-Jews who perform mitzvot
My answer
We view it as practice for you going forward to become a Jew. The basic view in Judaism is the reward for a mitzvah is the mitzvah itself, and the reward is essentially in the next world, though Jewish living is a good way to live. Righteous people, Jew or gentile, inherit a portion in the world to come. I'm sure God looks with favor on your efforts.


soldiers speak out Chicago

Saturday Feb. 18 – 9:30 AM A special shabbat service followed by a taste of Israel
Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation
7117 N. Crawford Lincolnwood, IL
Sunday Feb. 26 –
10:15 AM  
Temple Beth-El 305 West Madison St. South Bend, IN 

7:00 PM
Munster Jewish Federation 
585 Progress  Ave. Munster, IN 
Monday Feb. 27 – 5:00PM
Temple Beth-EL 3610 Dundee Road Northbrook, IL 
Tuesday Feb. 28 – 11:00 AM
Loyola University Chicago Mundelein  Greenhouse – 7th floor (Sheridan Rd. & Kenmore) 
Wednesday Feb. 29 – 7:30 PM
Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel
540 W. Melrose St., Chicago, IL 60657
Israeli Soldiers Speak Out is an innovative program featuring a diverse group of reserve duty Israeli college students. Their mission is to educate, inform, delve into conversation about the Israeli-Arab conflict by putting a human face to the IDF uniform. Meet these citizen soldiers with combat experience in the IDF during missions in Gaza and Lebanon.  

Hear real soldiers tell about their real lives!
StandWithUs, supporting people around the world who want to educate
their campuses and communities about Israel. 

conversion old feet

Got this question. Any comments on an improved answer?
Hi i am looking for some advice , my fiance has started her conversion to judaism but is now getting cold feet. She does not understand why i am putting my religion first before her , ie she feels that i do not love her enough becasue i have not said forget the religion , i love you regardless.
Answer : What about 
I love you with all my heart. Being Jewish and having a Jewish family is very important to me and to share that with my spouse. I believe a united family is crucial and don't want a situation where there are different religions in the family or that we don't prioritize it together. Long term healthy marriage is not just about love. It involves commonality of purpose, shared vision of ultimate beliefs and goals. That is why i, and my family are so exicited you are willing to do this. I hope over time you will love being jewish as much as i do.
She hopefully will also get more into it as she studies. The bet din will want to know she is doing this at that point for herself


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tell the people you care about why you treasure them

Too Busy for a Friend.....
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. 'Really?' she heard whispered. 'I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!' and, 'I didn't know others liked me so much,' were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in
Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. 'Were you Mark's math teacher?' he asked. She nodded: 'yes.' Then he said: 'Mark talked about you a lot.'

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

'We want to show you something,' his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket 'They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.'

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

'Thank you so much for doing that,' Mark's mother said. 'As you can see, Mark treasured it.'

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, 'I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home.'

Chuck's wife said, 'Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.'

'I have mine too,' Marilyn said. 'It's in my diary'

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. 'I carry this with me at all times,' Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: 'I think we all saved our lists'

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.


The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late. 

The Jewish Valentine's Day

Jews and Valentine's day

Friday, February 10, 2012

Does obama support terrorism?

Does Obama supports terrorism?
Besides Muslim brotherhood in Egypt see this from today's Daily Alert
Report: U.S. Won't Oppose Fatah-Hamas Deal - Elior Levy (Ynet News)
    The U.S. administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it has no objections to the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, the London-based Al-Hayat reported Friday. (even though US offically calls Hamas a terrorist group)
    Israel has expressed vehement objection to the deal.
    On Thursday the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank decided against resuming the Amman peace talks with Israel.

Obama Iran Israel

How Obama betrays Israel and threatens her survival
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum all but accused Obama of deliberately selling out Israel and the United States.
We're throwing Israel under the bus because we know we're going to be dependent upon OPEC. We're going to say, "Oh, Iran, we don't want you to get a nuclear weapon — wink, wink, nod, nod — go ahead, just give us your oil." Folks, the president of the United States is selling the economic security of the United States down the river right now.
Santorum later told CNN that Obama's actions support the view that the president was choosing Iran over Israel. He accused Defense Secretary Leon Panetta of divulging sensitive information about Israel's plans to strike Iran and then invited scorn upon the Jewish state from the rest of the world.
"This is a president who is not standing by our allies," he said, likely in reference to Israel, "is trying to appease, trying to find a way to allow — clearly to allow Iran to get this nuclear weapon."


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Growing up Jewish

If you get this and you are not Jewish... I cannot even begin to explain it to you.

This actually goes back 2 generations, 3 if you are over 50. It also
explains why many Jewish men died in their early 60's with a non-functional
cardiovascular system and looked like today's men at 89,

Before we start, there are some variations in ingredients because of the
various types of Jewish taste (Polack, Litvack and Gallicianer).

Just as we Jews have six seasons of the year (winter, spring, summer, fall,
the slack season, and the busy season), we all focus on a main ingredient
which, unfortunately and undeservedly, has disappeared from our diet. I'm
talking, of course, about SCHMALTZ (chicken fat). SCHMALTZ has, for
centuries, been the prime ingredient in almost every Jewish dish, and I feel
it's time to revive it to its rightful place in our homes. (I have plans to
distribute it in a green glass Gucci bottle with a label clearly saying:
"low fat, no cholesterol, Newman's Choice, extra virgin SCHMALTZ." (It can't
miss!) Then there are grebenes - pieces of chicken skin, deep fried in
SCHMALTZ, onions and salt until crispy brown (Jewish bacon). This makes a
great appetizer for the next cardiologist's convention.

There's also a nice chicken fricassee (stew) using the heart, gorgle (neck),
pipick (a great delicacy, given to the favorite child, usually me), a
fleegle (wing) or two, some ayelech (little premature eggs) and other
various chicken innards, in a broth of SCHMALTZ, water, paprika, etc. We
also have knishes (filled dough) and the eternal question, "Will that be
liver, beef or potatoes, or all three?"

Other time-tested favorites are kishkeh, and its poor cousin, helzel
(chicken or goose neck). Kishkeh is the gut of the cow, bought by the foot
at the Kosher butcher. It is turned inside out, scalded and scraped. One end
is sewn up and a mixture of flour, SCHMALTZ, onions, eggs, salt, pepper,
etc., is spooned into the open end and squished down until it is full. The
other end is sewn and the whole thing is boiled. Yummy!

My personal all-time favorite is watching my Zaida (grandpa) munch on boiled
chicken feet.

For our next course we always had chicken soup with pieces of yellow-white,
rubbery chicken skin floating in a greasy sea of lokshen (noodles), farfel(broken bits of matzah), tzibbeles (onions), mondlech (soup nuts), kneidlach(dumplings), kasha (groats), kliskelech and marech (marrow bones)

The main course, as I recall, was either boiled chicken, flanken,
kackletten, hockfleish (chopped meat), and sometimes rib steaks, which were
served either well done, burned or cremated. Occasionally we had barbecued
liver done to a burned and hardened perfection in our own coal furnace.

Since we couldn't have milk with our meat meals, beverages consisted of
cheap soda (Kik, Dominion Dry, seltzer in the spritz bottles).

Growing up Jewish:

If you are Jewish, and grew up in city with a large Jewish population, or
are gentile with Jewish friends or associates, the following will invoke
heartfelt memories.

The Yiddish word for today is PULKES (PUHL-kees). Translation: THIGHS.
Please note: this word has been traced back to the language of one of the
original Tribes of Israel, the Cellulites.

The only good advice that your Jewish mother gave you was: "Go! You might
meet somebody!"

You grew up thinking it was normal for someone to shout "Are you okay?"
through the bathroom door when you were in there longer than 3 minutes.

Your family dog responded to commands in Yiddish.

Every Saturday morning your father went to the neighborhood deli (called an
"appetitizing store") for whitefish salad, whitefish "chubs", lox (nova if
you were rich!), herring, corned beef, roast beef, cole slaw, potato salad,
a 1/2-dozen huge barrel pickles which you reached into the brine for, a
dozen assorted bagels, cream cheese and rye bread (sliced while he waited).
All of which would be strictly off-limits until Sunday morning.

Every Sunday afternoon was spent visiting your grandparents and/or other

You experienced the phenomenon of 50 people fitting into a 10-foot-wide
dining room hitting each other with plastic plates trying to get to a deli

You had at least one female relative who penciled on eyebrows which were
always asymmetrical.

You thought pasta was stuff used exclusively for Kugel and kasha with

You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.

You were as tall as your grandfather by age seven and a half.

You never knew anyone whose last name didn't end in one of 5 standard
suffixes (berg, baum, man, stein and witz).

You were surprised to discover that wine doesn't always taste like cranberry

You can look at gefilte fish and not turn green.

When your mother smacked you really hard, she continued to make you feel bad for hurting her hand.

You can understand Yiddish but you can't speak it.

You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in
context, yet you don't know exactly what they mean. Kaynahurra.

You're still angry at your parents for not speaking both Yiddish and English
to you when you were a baby.

You have at least one ancestor who is somehow related to your spouse's

You thought speaking loud was normal.

You considered your Bar or Bat Mitzvah a "Get Out of Hebrew School Free"

You think eating half a jar of dill pickles is a wholesome snack.

You're compelled to mention your grandmother's "steel cannonballs" upon
seeing fluffy matzo balls served at restaurants.

You buy 3 shopping bags worth of hot bagels on every trip to Montreal and
ship them home via FedEx. (Or, if you live near Montreal or another Jewish
city hub, you drive 3 hours just to buy a dozen "real" bagels.)

Your mother or grandmother took personal pride when a Jew was noted for some accomplishment (showbiz, medicine, politics, etc.) and was ashamed and embarrassed when a Jew was accused of a crime... as if they were relatives.

You thought only non-Jews went to sleep away colleges. Jews went to city
schools... unless they had scholarships or made an Ivy League school.

And finally, you knew that Sunday night and the night after any Jewish
holiday was designated for Chinese food.

Zei gezunt!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tu Bishvat

wedding thanks

Wedding thanks

Sara and I can't thank you enough for your role at our wedding.  You were just perfect and we both felt so lucky to have you there.  We really wanted to have a "Jewish wedding" and you made our dream come true.  Everything felt so special and sincere.  Your remarks were warm, relevant and sounded like you've known us for a long time.  We got a lot of compliments after the wedding about your service and it was well deserved.
Thank you for making our day so special.  Hopefully I will see you soon.
Fyi, my younger brother and his fiance really enjoyed your service and so did her parents.  Her dad is orthodox and his Rabbi won't do their wedding at the hotel.  If it's ok with you, I'll forward your information off to my bother and hopefully he'll contact you.  It would be great if you can be a part of his wedding also.

Jewish creators of Superman


Superman: From Cleveland to Krypton

The Man of Steel's Jewish roots.

Coming over from the old country, changing his name like that. Clark Kent, only a Jew would pick a name like that for himself.
-- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon

The Birth of Superman

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the two ordinary young men who created an extraordinary hero, lived twelve blocks apart from each other in Cleveland. The pair collaborated on stories for their high school newspaper and shared a passion for science fiction and pulp comics. It was the 1930s, and comic book publishing was in its infancy. Like many young Jews with artistic aspirations, Siegel and Shuster yearned to break into this fledgling industry. Comic book publishers actively hired Jews, who were largely excluded from more "legitimate" illustration work.
Error! Filename not specified.The 1930s were also, arguably, the most anti-Semitic period in American history. Nazi sympathizer Fritz Kuhn of the German-American Bund led legions of rabid followers on marches through many cities, including Siegel and Shuster's hometown. Radio superstar Father Charles E. Coughlin of the pro-fascist Christian Front was one of the nation's most powerful men. And Ivy League colleges kept the number of Jewish students to a minimum, while country clubs and even entire neighborhoods barred Jews altogether.
So Siegel and Shuster began submitting treatments under the pseudonym Bernard J. Kenton, just to be on the safe side. Throughout the Great Depression, the two boys scraped together every penny they could just to cover postage. Shuster sketched on cheap brown wrapping paper.
From these humble beginnings, Shuster and Siegel carved out a character that embodied their adolescent frustrations, served as a mouthpiece of the oppressed, and became an American icon. Many years later, Jerry Siegel recalled the birth of Superman:
"The story would begin with you as a child on far-off planet Krypton. Like the others of that world, you had super-powers. The child's scientist-father was mocked and denounced by the Science Council. They did not believe his claim that Krypton would soon explode from internal stresses. Convinced that his prediction was valid, the boy's father had been constructing a model rocket ship. As the planet began to perish, the baby's parents knew its end was close. There was not space enough for three people in the small model craft. They put the baby into it. The mother chose to remain on the doomed planet with the man she loved, and die with him. Tearfully, hoping that their baby boy would survive, they launched the craft toward the planet Earth. Shortly, Krypton exploded and its millions of inhabitants were destroyed."
The idea of for this new superhero came to them in 1934. It would take another four years before Superman would be transformed from a feverish dream to a full-fledged hero. In 1938, Detective Comics, Inc., was looking for a character to launch its new magazine, Action Comics. They paid young Siegel and Shuster $130 for the first thirteen pages of Superman. Action Comics #1 came out in June of that year. The issue sold out, and a star was drawn.
In a brilliant stroke, Shuster and Siegel gave their superhuman hero a secret identity, that of an all-too human reporter, the meekly-mannered Clark Kent. Practically speaking, this notion of "double identity" allowed for almost endless storyline twists and thematic depth. On another level, it added considerably to the "mythology" that would eventually accrue around this fictional crime fighter. Clark's shyness undermines his courtship of his co-worker, the gutsy Lois Lane. Siegel and Shuster later admitted that the shy Clark struggling for a date reflected their own social challenges.
Superman #1 was published in the summer of 1939. Across the Atlantic, in Germany, Adolph Hitler was exploiting his nation's economic and social ills by scapegoating Jews. Living in a country that had stripped them of their citizenship yet perversely obstructed their exit, German Jews resorted to desperate measures. Just as the baby Superman was sent away from Krypton to avoid the mass destruction of his people, many Jewish children were sent on the Kindertransports to seek safety with families in England.
After the attacks on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, America entered World War II, and so did Superman. In Siegel and Shuster's comic, Clark Kent tries to enlist in the Armed Forces, but he fails the routine medical examination,. Clark accidentally uses his X-ray vision to read the next room's eye chart.Distraught, he muses, "I've got the most perfect body the world has ever known, and through a sad trick of fate, the army turns me down as hopeless!" This feeling of desperation and despondency was felt across the country. As news of the Nazis' murderous Holocaust plan emerged, American Jews felt utterly powerless to help their European brethren.
Word of Superman and his ethnic undertones did not escape the enemy's notice in real life. Josef Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, denounced Superman as a Jew. In April 1940, Das Schwarze Korps, the weekly newspaper of the Nazi S.S., attacked the comic and its Jewish writers:
"Jerry Siegel, an intellectually and physically circumcised chap who has his headquarters in New York. . . The inventive Israelite named this pleasant guy with an overdeveloped body and underdeveloped mind "Superman.."
Here were Nazis wringing their hands over a cartoon character cooked up by a couple of boys across the sea. Yet this ideologically driven rant actually touched on something vital--the importance of Shuster and Siegel's Jewish heritage.
Superman #1 begins with a brief synopsis of the hero's escape from Krypton, which draws heavily on Jewish sources. Superman's journey closely reflects the story of Moses. Like the people of Krypton who faced total annihilation, the Israelites of biblical Egypt faced the murder of their male offspring. To ensure her son's survival, Jochebed places Moses in a reed basket and sets him afloat on the Nile. Her desperate decision is clearly echoed by Superman's father, Jor-El, who launches the little rocket ship containing his son into outer space.
Moses and Superman are eventually discovered and raised in foreign cultures. Baby Moses is found by Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, and raised in the royal palace. Superman is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent in a Midwestern cornfield and given the name Clark. From the onset, both Batya and the Kents realize that these foundling boys are extraordinary. Superman leads a double life as the stuttering, spectacle-wearing reporter whose true identity no one suspects. In the same way, for his own safety, Moses kept his Israelite roots hidden for a time.
Superman's original name on Krypton also reveals Biblical underpinnings. Superman is named Kal-El and his father Jor-El. The suffix "El" is one of the ancient names for God, used throughout the Bible. It is also found in the names of great prophets like Samuel and and Daniel and angels such as Michael and Gavriel. We may never know whether Siegel and Shuster were aware of these precise Hebrew translations; nevertheless, the name could not be more apt.
While the invincible Superman may have stood the test of time, the lives of his creators were not as triumphant. From the beginning, Siegel and Shuster were so busy they had to hire assistants, but while DC Comics was making millions, Superman's creators weren't sharing the wealth. The two men were paid a salary, but their initial payment back in 1938 had included all rights. They had sold their percentage of a goldmine for $130 and were eventually fired from their own creation.
Lawsuits followed. None were successful. Siegel and Shuster tried and failed to create new characters. Their names were familiar only to comic book aficionados. Then, rumors began to circulate in the early 1970s that a big budget Superman movie was in the works. DC Comics received $3 million for the rights to film Superman. Once again, Siegel and Shuster were left out of the equation.
This time, the two men tried a new approach. They bypassed their lawyers and went straight to the media. Newspapers across the world picked up the story of Siegel and Shuster, the poor boys who'd created an American icon, made DC Comics rich--and were now penniless and forgotten. That Shuster was now going blind added to the story's poignancy.
Legally, DC Comics owed Siegel and Shuster nothing, but bad publicity was costing the company dearly. A financial settlement was reached, and the names "Siegel and Shuster" appeared in Superman comics once more. In 2006, Superman returned to the big screen, and not a moment too soon--in today's post 9/11 world, we need a hero more than ever.


Friday, February 3, 2012

iran and the bomb

MI chief: Iran can produce 4 bombs

Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi speaks before Herzliya Conference, reviews regional changes, Arab Spring and Iranian threat
Neri Brenner
Published: 02.02.12, 09:39 / Israel News

"Iran has enough nuclear material for four bombs," Director of Military Intelligence Major General Aviv Kochavi warned Thursday. Kochavi made a rare appearance at the 2012 Herzliya Conference, where he reviewed regional changes, the effects of the Arab Spring and the Iranian threat.

"Iran is vigorously pursing military nuclear capabilities and today the intelligence community agrees with Israel on that. Iran has over four tons of enriched materials and nearly 100kg of 20% enriched uranium – that's enough for four bombs," he said.