Sunday, November 22, 2009

Choofing It Up

As many of you know, I'm a dancer wannabe. For the past two and a half years, I've been breaking. More recently, I've been learning how to house dance. When I wish upon a star (when such a phenomenon is visible in New York's city murky sky), I hope to be bestselling author and a professional dancer. Alas, neither is likely.

Well, if I can't live my dreams, I will at least document others as they live out theirs. Check out my most recent article in The Jewish Week about the Mazel Toes, a dance troupe of Jewish tappers. Though they disabuse the stereotypes about Jews and dancing, the name of the group reaffirms everything you've come to believe about Semites and puns.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My mom rocks!

"You're going to be so proud of me," my mother said as she pushed backwards into her recliner. I was visiting her Brooklyn house to get some work done since her place is an Internet black hole where no technology invented after 1995 can be found.

"On motzei Shabbos, I went to melave malka at the Young Israel," she continues, "and after the speech, someone stands up and announces, 'We have someone here to play the guitar. Men, feel free to sing along but the women, please refrain from joining in.'"

This man was clearly fearful, like Odysseus was of the Sirens' song, of becoming so entranced by the women's singing that he would dash his brains against the mechitza. That's how it goes, right? It's been a long time since I studied the Odyssey or Greek mythology.

Anyway, my mother, old school feminist, wasn't having any of it. She approached the young man. "You have no right to tell the women they can't sing," she railed. "This is a Young Israel, not an ultra-Orthodox shul. We have just as much right to sing as the men."

"What did he say?" I asked, deciding not to debate the point about where on the Orthodox spectrum the Young Israel organization actually falls.

"Nothing. He just stared at me, kind of shocked."

My mom was very pleased with herself. And I with her.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just say no...to condoms.

Many decry the Jewish legal prohibition against mixed gender touch as being overly excessive. Why draw the line so far back, all the way at handshakes? Why not just place the limit at premarital sex?

Because of this:

When premarital sex is the one and only line in the sand then the warnings end up on your condoms. So let the rabbis rail against hand holding and women sitting at the front of the bus because I don't ever want to encounter R' Moshe Feinstein's visage on a package of Trojans. (Or the Chabad Rebbe. What would that one look like? We want Moshiach now...so don't spill your seed and create thousands of demons instead of Jewish souls.)

But what exactly is the pontiff warning against? Is he saying no to sex? Or to contraception? And while his words say "No" his raise the roof body language screams "Yes!"

My final question: What does it say about the man who can maintain an erection in the face of this?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I keep kosher. I don't eat elf-fish

Elf-esteem

Elf-work

Elf-serve

Go elf your self.

And my personal favorite: I keep kosher. I don't eat elf-fish.

I don't think I need to tell you who came up with that one.