Sense of humor is necessary

This is hilarious. I’m dying.

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My feeds for all of today and yesterday have been full of imagery of Holocaust victims – particularly those who were turned away on the St. Louis. And considering so many of the sources making those posts, I have to think:

“Yes, those luckless Jews had to go back to Europe to be murdered. But if any of them had instead made it to British Palestine and picked up a rifle, would you still feel sorry for them? Would you even still fault America for rejecting them?”That goes for Anne Frank too. Bet your ass that if she’d been smuggled into the Haganah and lived, they’d hate her.A lot of leftist goyim only like dead Jews, who they can compare to themselves, as part of comparing the Holocaust to other problems.My sympathies go out to the desperate and pitiful refugees from the Middle East today, especially Syria. But it seems a bit sour to honorarily Judaize them, what with how Syria has been an explicitly antisemitic state basically forever and loved the Holocaust ever since they first heard of it. Why can’t their own lives be worth preserving just because their own lives are worth preserving? Why do they have to be Just Like The Jews?

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What does it mean to you to be Jewish today in the world?
As an American Jew today, I view it with the nervousness of so many of my ancestors, who wondered when it was time to leave.

What’s making you nervous?
As a Jew who has taken refuge for one generation so far in a secular country, I’m troubled by a secular country getting less secular.

Lemony Snicket
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My first Brit in Israel. DJ, 5-course meal, dance floor- we seriously thought it was the babies Bar-Mitzvah, then we thought it was the baby’s wedding,  but really the baby was in the bathroom doing coke. I cannot stop laughing- it was wonderful.

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I Just Feel Plain Weird in the U.S.

I am visiting the U.S. at the moment to see my daughter and my sister. I saw my parents and one other person; other than that I didn’t tell a soul I would be here. My family thinks I am weird for not missing them or the U.S. I do miss the food and the convenience, but no- I do not miss the culture, the people, the mindset of diaspora Jewry, the obseity, the materialism, the superficialness nor the super-sized existence.

I miss Jerusalem. I miss my pug. I miss the people who are nice to me for no reason and they have no agenda with me. I am in my second year as a new immigrant (olah hadasha). My first year I was busy with two projects that were very exciting for me: Passage to Israel: A traveling photo exhibition, and Talk17: A “Ted Talk” type format for a new platform discussing unconventional ideas about the conflict in the city of Ariel.

I am now looking for work as a professional grant writer, something I am experienced in and can do from home. Do I keep this damn blog in the meantime? I don’t know… I gave up on Facebook, I mean I seriously hate it. It’s not for me anymore, it’s not for me personally, professionaly or even for shits ‘n giggles.

I will still explore Jerusalem, talk to people, do a ton of listening and learning. I will try new foods and learn new recipes. My pug Fig will still be my best friend in the entire world. I will still do yoga with my awesome yogi. I want to return to reading books. I want to travel more and understand other microcultures within Israel. I want to learn more about myself and explore the parts of me that are developing.

I’ve just been really quiet lately. I think Facebook ruined social media for me. I think as an introvert, I got sucked into thinking I was protected by sitting on the other side of my handheld device. I have always had a three-year learning curve. I only spend about three years on any given relationship, job or project. I do not know why this is. Nonetheless it is the longest held pattern I have to date.

I think devoting three years of my life to the Facebook Zionist commuity is over now. I am not into Israel advocacy and I am not interested in maintaining contact with the Facebook community- nor those I met, even in person. I like the people in Israel that I know, but that is a really short list.

If I am retiring from social media activism and as a blogger… then wtf am I gonna do now? I suppose I can maintain the blog easily and let it evolve into a journal of sorts. I am on pause and that’s ok. When people ask “What do you do?” I’ll say, “I’m on pause.” That is so fucking weird- I never knew there was a “pause” button for life.

I just can’t get past how weird I feel in the U.S. -I really want to go home. Since when did Jerusalem feel more like home than the U.S.?

This is the worst blog entry I have ever composed. I can’t believe I’m gonna publish it. I didn’t even proof read or edit it. I think I just need to walk through the Old City, get a damn falafel and buy a bottle of Judean wine to reset myself.

 

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IN DEFENSE OF MEN (ducks down)

This is not a Jewy blog post. It’s a sexy blog post. Read on.

We live in a world where people are followers. Humans are sheep. This is not particularly evolutionary or new. However, it is on view in plain sight in front of the world. Welcome to Facebook. Facebook is a detailed display of the collective mind, groupthink, sheep following human race.

I saw a page today with a video of no less than 4.5 million views. It was a video of lattes that contained glitter. Yes, that’s right- glitter. People now want to drink glitter in their coffee. I mean, it’s cool because everyone thinks so, right?

I would like to address the pop-culture obsession with labeling every normal, red-blooded male that is attracted to women- as a “sexual predator.”

We know what “sexual” means, but let’s take a good look at “predator.”

A predator is described as one who exploits others, one who preys upon others, one who tries to take-over or seize another. It is also another word meaning- hunter. It is inherently used as something oppressive and destructive. Its origin is from the word plunder.

Why would I make a connection of humans behaving as sheep following idiots, to sexual predators? Because as usual, the media LABELS everything, thus spoon feeding you an opinion and influencing what you think. Take that and multiply it by the number of your Facebook friends who like, share and comment on these popular media posts.

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We must make room and protect, yes I said it, PROTECT the majority, the masses of men who are not predators. They do not seek to overpower, oppress or exploit women sexually. A man with a healthy sex drive, a man who lusts, a man who watches porn, a man who masturbates, a man who wants sex is not a sexual predator. What is he? He is a man.

For the purpose of this blog, everything I am going to discuss should be taken in the context of a non-work environment, unless otherwise specified. Why am I differentiating between inside the workplace versus outside the workplace? Because it matters. If any of these behaviors take place within the workplace it can be deemed sexual harassment- so let us just leave sex out of our office, ok? Going forward, everyone’s life will be made easier- and hey, we are supposed to be working at work, right? We need to be focused and productive, not figuring out how to bang somebody.

Office-Romance

Flirting, gesturing, pet names, a hand on the back, lingering glances, sexy conversation that just gets a little too hot are not categorically predatorial in nature. Every man that engages a woman in dialogue is not an oppressive seeking, exploiting asshole. If a man checks you out at a gas station or in the crosswalk at an intersection, he is not a pervert. He is a man.

If you are single and he is single, plus he likes you, he most certainly finds you attractive. This means he will want to have sex with you. That does not make him a pervert either. He is a man.

I would imagine every man in society right now is terrified to give a woman a compliment or offer to do anything for her whatsoever. I would also suspect that dating a co-worker will become a thing of the past. Men will be sitting in meetings not making eye contact with females at the table. Men will no longer offer to get you a cup of coffee while they are out. Ladies, your lunch buddy may be a man, but he may very well stop joining you on lunch break.

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I am not a man, but if I were, I would not be too fond of the female species right now. I would think women were hypersensitive prudes who simply hated men. I would keep to myself.

Yet what will all of this bring? What will be the outcome of this labeling of men as sexual predators and perverts? Let me take a guess, I am not a sociologist, but I am a human being who thinks in a divergent manner.

I think men will still have a desire for sex. I think women will still have a sex drive too. So how will they get together? Dating websites? That is a thing of the past. Now people use apps that are primarily for hook-ups. Sure it can evolve into a real relationship, but whatever… So if we only interact with the opposite sex through our hand-held device, what will become of our society? We already text (and sext) with a person before meeting them in real life anyway. Are we now going to remove the healthy interaction and natural exchange between men and women in our day-to- day lives? Are we now going to be forced to avoid the opposite sex so we are not wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct?

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Women do it too

I hate to break it to all of the sheep out there in Facebook land, but women do sexually harass men, women do flirt with men, women do touch men inappropriately and women do make suggestive comments, they gesture, they rub up against the front of him like –oops! Women do know how to use their feminine power and some of them do not wield it benevolently. Women do know the power of a glance and holding a man’s gaze for a bit too long. Women do know that you don’t have to show cleavage, legs, wear a tight outfit or yoga pants to get a guy to notice you (unless you are really unfortunate looking and are thus reduced to such desperation, but that is another blog post for women only). It is about our voice, it is our hair, our smile, or our resting bitch face. It is our perfume, our high heels, our personality, our laugh and our strength. We call upon all of them or none of them on any given day to advance, achieve, reject or disrupt the comfort of a room. Many times it is involuntary and other times it is entirely strategic and calculated.

My undergrad is in Human Resource Management. I can tell you first hand that women do not get reported for sexual harassment and when they do, (rarely) they can get out of it. Remember the Michael Douglas-Demi Moore film Disclosure? She was his former lover, turned boss. Moral of that story? NEVER EVER WORK FOR ANYONE YOU HAVE SLEPT WITH. There is a risk that it can come back to bite you in the ass (no pun intended). Hell, even working with an equal that you dated can be messy and create conflict. The insubordinate issue though, is the most dangerous of all.

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I think women are being hypocrites and I’m here to call my sisters out. I have seen it hundreds of times; standing at the Xerox machine, whispering during meetings, the texting to each other, the way we light up if he compliments us and OMG, if he does it in front of other people- the whole office knows he’s hot for me! Have you ever sent him a selfies? Even one fully dressed is not innocent. Let’s take responsibility for our actions too ladies. I have seen it time and again.

There was a woman in my office at a former job- I will call her Anya. She was a tall, bombshell of long legs, thick luscious red hair, blue eyes and a sick body. She was the office slut. She even talked about it, she was not subtle, and she was not slick about it. She was dumb. She was sexually harassed all the time and would complain to our boss about it. I observed it daily and yeah, it was pretty bad, but she did not comprehend her role in it. She invited it. She egged them on. Yet she felt that she should be allowed to flirt, tease and be suggestive, yet still say- “hey I don’t like that, don’t talk to me that way.” Ok, fine. She would sleep with and date colleagues, and then when it didn’t work out, it got weird, like super awkward. Many men in my office were reprimanded and even written up, which went into their personnel file. One of them was moved to a different department. It caused a lot of drama for the office and it was a constant soap opera. She just didn’t know how to keep it down, how to play it cool; she was not artful in her approach. She ended up pregnant. This did not slow her down. Why am I going into all of this? Because- the point is that SHE WAS NEVER REPRIMANDED. HER PERSONNEL FILE WAS NEVER TARNISHED. She was more disruptive to the workflow, professional environment and comfort of the office than any of her “predators.” Could I argue that she herself was predatorial? Yes. You bet I can and she was as much of a predator of men as any Demi Moore character in a film.

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I am not saying all women are like this. I am saying there are women like this. I am also saying there are women who are oblivious to the vibe they send men. Many women are ignorant to how just simply being us can affect men.

So what to do? Where do we go from here?

Well for one thing, we need to quit being self-righteous. Human beings are sexual beings. No one is an angel and no one is exempt from those moments of flirtation and reaction. It happens. It’s called life; it’s called being a person. I do believe all sexual behavior should remain out of the workplace now and forever. Ok, fine, that’s easier, said than done, but damn it, we must- it’s for everyone’s own good.

Outside the workplace- go for it. Do whatever you want. As long as it is CONSENSUAL- go for it.

Yet here again, there is another exception to the rule. I gotta say, I prefer a man’s man, not a ladies man. If a guy asked for my consent to kiss me, I would so not be into the kiss. Touch me like you want me, not like you’re thinking about it or suggesting it lightly. I wanna be man handled, but not many women do. I want a man to stand up to me, take me on. I don’t want some pussy man who has been castrated by third wave fake feminism. I respect a real man. A real man doesn’t need office romance to feel like a man. A real man will be smart enough to know how to attract the right woman for him. He will play by the rules and not get stupid and then get caught for being stupid. Guys, own your shit on this one. Ladies, own your shit too- don’t be all “damsel in distress” bullshit. Take responsibility and quit with the giant public blanket of “sexual predator”- I mean for fuck sakes, I could easily be labeled a pervert…although it wouldn’t upset me.

Women know damn well that men are controlled by the dumb dumb stick and those of us who do not wield our feminine power benevolently can and do exploit the vulnerability of men. We are also the same women who never get caught and men generally like it. Huh? Yup. There’s that matter too… men like being sexually harassed by women. Well, it depends really… I mean if Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo, Game of Thrones) was my co-worker or boss and sexually harassed me, I think I’d be pretty damn happy about it. Guys, if Daneryas Targarean (Queen on Game of Thrones) sexually harassed you at work, I’m thinking you’d be pretty damn happy too. Why? What’s with the discrepancy? Let’s be honest my shallow friends and followers- LOOKS MATTER. SEXUALITY IS A POWERFUL THING. BEAUTY IS RELENTLESS AND TAKES NO PRISONERS. But hey, this is real life and none of us have any freakishly alien hot people in our offices. A few of us are lucky enough to have attractive people around, but not the tiny fraction of immortals who possess a beauty most humans have never come face to face with in real life. Thank Gd right? I mean seriously, we would all be in trouble if that were the case. Perhaps that is nature’s way of protecting us- dishing out such perfect DNA to only a few people on the planet per generation in order to spare us of the agony that would follow.

All I am saying is, let’s be honest. Let’s quit with the stereotypes, the labels, and the groupthink and be brutally honest with ourselves. I will start with me. Because after all, the only way anything changes is one person at a time, humbling himself or herself, looking in the mirror and doing the necessary soul searching to uncover what lurks beneath. Few have the courage to do this and even fewer can shed their ego long enough to take personal inventory. A real man can do it. And a real woman can too. Can you?

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Everything You Never Knew About Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the eternal dichotomy. It is the embodiment of the holy and profane; the religious and secular. The two coexist side by side, just as in Judaism itself for over two thousand years. Yet Jerusalem is not known for it’s secular culture in the diaspora.

It is a slow and steady current that runs through the city streets.

To experience it is to believe in it.

Within Israel itself, many Israelis see Jerusalem as a place for the religious and Tel Aviv as a place for the secular. The rest of the world has also promulgated this notion. I find myself face to face with the reality of what Jerusalem is in actuality. We do not have to look far to see that this is not unique or new in any way. Our roots as living with a secular component are consistent in our history.

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Hilonim, the Hebrew word for secular Jews is first used in the Midrash, contained in the rather famous story about the Oven of Akhnai as well as discussions on the holy versus the profane. In the Oven of Akhnai, Kosher or not, all the rabbis say it is unclean and one Rabbi Eliezer says it is clean. He is the only one with this position and asserts- the Torah is not in the heavens, it is here on earth. He proceeds deeper and claims that “we” will decide what it means. He believes God has endorsed this concept that it is not in the heavens. (Deuteronomy 30:11,12):

“For this commandment, which I command you this day,

is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in

heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven

for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can

fulfill it?”

I find this assertion rather rebellious towards the rabbinate itself. The rabbinate uses this to serve a purpose of human autonomy. The story demonstrates an impulse or mentality that there is autonomy from God. For our purpose, this is a possibility to exploit a later modern secular philosophy.

This Midrash is evidence of Jerusalem’s past and present that I have come to call home. I am immersed in this diverse peoplehood and I am in love with the cosmopolitanism of Jewry here. Yet it appears to be our best-kept secret!

As I sit here and write this piece, I am in Musrara. It is an old Arab neighborhood, or it was originally. After 1967 it was part of the Jerusalem capture. I am surrounded by old Mizrahi Jewish families who immigrated here from all over the Middle East. Our view overlooks the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock along with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

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This neighborhood abuts into Mea Sherim, where the Haredim live.

Across the street is Damascus gate; this is the Eastern side of Jerusalem where 155,000 Palestinian residents of Israel, non-citizens live.

I can smell spicy foods being cooked by someone’s ima next door. Musrara is where the famous art and media institute resides. I have the pleasure of browsing their galleries to look at all of the exhibitions throughout the year. Today is a Muslala event. Many of the arts and cultural events of Musrara are under the auspices of Muslala. These are typically concerts and performance art, funded by the Jerusalem foundation. They are held at the Musrara Art Institute and Naggar School of Photography.

I have had my windows open all day. The sound of electronic music, very experimental, hip, transcendent and sensual is flooding the area. It is welcomed because it drowns out the sounds of stabby gate (that’s what I call Damascus Gate). It’s a 24/7 circus over there with constant police sirens, arrests, horns honking, the loud route 60, with Yafo street traffic and the train all competing at once.

The numerous synagogues do not complain about the Muslala events. The Haredim from Mea Sherim do not protest or disrupt them. At night, I can walk past the Musrara venue and it is lit up with orange neon lights. It looks so cool and it reminds me of an urban, ultra edgy place you might find in New York or London. Yet this is Jerusalem, not the US and not Europe.

When most people think of Jerusalem they think of it as the most contested city on earth. They think about the conflict and about the presence of the three Abrahamic religions. They are unaware of the jaw dropping art and the powerful exhibitions here. They are oblivious to the vibrant LGBTQ community- and yes, many of them are Orthodox. The world does not associate Jerusalem with multi-culturalism, diversity or progressiveness.

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We are a complex peoplehood and our culture is painted with every stripe from all of our host countries. The costumes, the trappings, the way each of us dress, the foods we prepare, the accent in our Hebrew pronunciations- are all a reflection of the melting pot of our ancestors. We are pagan and we are First Temple Period. We are Hellenized and we are Second Temple Period. We are Middle Eastern and we are European. We are Jewish.

The secular and religious cohabitate peacefully here because it is an ancient tradition of ours; the mixed multitude, which stood together at Sinai. We are the holy and profane. Whether it is a sexy beach or technology, a tallit or an archeological dig- we are Jerusalem.

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