How Do You Jew An educational, informational, conversational blog and (someday) podcast about Judaism, Jewish practices, customs, and rituals, Israel, and whatever else we decide to talk about.

September 7, 2008

Someone please tell me again why anyone would vote for this guy or anyone in his party?

Filed under: Christianity,Commentary,Family,history,Politics,television,video — howdoyoujew @ 20:36

Also, how much do you think the Obama people would have to spend to buy this from The Daily Show and use it as the basis for their ad campaign from now until November?

and

February 8, 2008

Blasphemy has never been so funny.

The thing about Israelis is, they we are equal opportunity offenders.
Christians? No problem:
If Mary had been a modern Israeli woman (5 MB WMV download)

Chasidic and other ultra-orthodox Jews? We got you covered:

I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff out there to cover Muslims and others, too, but I’ll leave it to others to find (and point me to, of course).

December 15, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas

Filed under: Christianity,Family,funny,News,random,religion,television,video — howdoyoujew @ 20:31

No, not the animated short that spawned South Park. I’m bringing you this silly marketing gimmick from Travelodge in the UK:

Hotel chain offers a room at the inn for Marys and Josephs

…”The ‘gift’ of a free night’s stay is to make up for the hotel industry not having any rooms left on Christmas Eve over 2000 years ago when the original ‘Mary and Joseph’ had to settle for the night in a stable,” the company says on its Web site….

July 16, 2007

Things that make me sad…

Filed under: Christianity,Commentary,SDSU,Torah Commentary,work — howdoyoujew @ 16:27

Sad in a cosmic, global way, not a “boo-hoo” way:

Evangelical/fundamentalist Christians who co-opt Hebrew, specifically Hebrew sacred texts and liturgy, without understanding or respecting their meanings.

I was prompted to post this by an example I ran into today, which itself reminded me of another from a couple of years ago.

Today I manned an information table on behalf of Career Services for incoming freshmen at SDSU as part of the orientation program that runs throughout the summer. At one point, two young ladies approached the table and my colleague and I asked them if they were interested in finding work on campus, thinking about their careers, etc. – the standard questions we ask to engage the uninitiated and create an opening to tell them about our services. The two immediately informed us that they weren’t, in fact, incoming students, but that they were from Minnesota and South Dakota, respectively. When I asked (politely) what they were doing on campus, they asked if we’d ever heard of Campus Crusade for Christ. My colleague Adam and I admitted that we had, and they told us they were here representing their respective campuses as part of a training program or some such.

This made the fact that one of them (the Minnesotan) was wearing a necklace with a silver pendant reading “אשת חיל” (Eshet Chayil – Woman of Valor) much more interesting to me. I’d noticed it before they’d identified themselves, and I commented that I liked it. When the wearer said she’d been told that it meant “Excellent woman” I noted the standard translation, and she balked, saying she didn’t want to be a woman of valor at all – that it implied things like courage (and a couple of other qualities she spit out) which she, apparently, either didn’t possess at all or didn’t aspire to. It turned out the other girl had an identical pendant (as did, presumably, all the other girls in their study group), and that they’d “studied” Proverbs 31 (Google search results, revealing thousands of pages of Christian reflections on this beautiful poem and nary a Jewish take; I guess all the Jewish web references to it refer to it by its title, as these searches for Eshet Chayil and Woman of Valor show) along with some other important women in the Bible, including Hannah and Rahab.

This exchange reminded me of one that occurred at the end of the 27 hours of parenting classes Jenn and I had to take when we signed up to adopt through the county a couple of years ago. During the last class session, we schmoozed a bit with the other “students” – all prospective adoptive parents. I don’t remember how, but I got to talking to a woman who was wearing a ring with “אני לדודי ודודי לי” (Ani l’dodi ve-dodi li – I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine). She rubbed me the wrong way to begin with by basically quizzing me on the phrase, not satisfied when I told her I knew what it meant in Hebrew; she had me recite the verse, then she showed off her knowledge by parroting the next couple of lines. When I asked about how she came to be wearing the ring, since she wasn’t Jewish, she said she’d gotten it through her church, and that she wore it around the house when she was doing chores and cleaning and stuff.

Wonderful. So our sacred texts are reduced to accompanying non-Jews on their chores and missions. Of course, we elevate the texts when we truly study them, reflect on them, and live by them, but should we be more possessive of them? Seriously, I’m asking.

p.s.: My favorite part of the exchange with the Campus Crusade girls was that the colleague I was at our table with is a practicing Muslim. He and I had a good chuckle at the irony of the whole situation after they left.

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