my one night stand-off

hey guys.  i know, i know, i’ve been a little bit lax for the past three or so months.  don’t worry, soon enough you will be able to find the rest of the “real talk parsha: shemot” series at a soon to be disclosed place.  but i’ve got a good excuse why i’ve fallen off the wagon.  see, after an eight-year relationship i recently found myself very un-engaged.

[audience: awww…..]

yeah, yeah, relax guys, i’m alright.  but in my newfound singleness i decided—mostly for kicks—hey, why not join one of them there jewish dating sites i hear so much about?  i’m really curious what kinda freaks [physically, not sexually] they’d hook me up with.  so over to frumster.com i go.

firstly, i’m annoyed before i even get out the gate.  why?  well, apparently, according to frumster, there’s only two kinds of “ethnicities”: ashkenazi and sefaradi.  if you’re not one of those two, your only other options are “mixed ethnic” and “convert”.

zuh??

**grumble grumble**

alright, so just to keep the ball rolling, i check “sefaradi”, but when it gets to the “about you” section, i give frumster a lil piece of my mind:

“about me? well, firstly i’m known ocassionally as the blogger manishtana. look me up. also, im a lil annoyed that the only categories under ethnicity are ashkenaz, sfardi, mixed ethnic and convert. im none of those. however, there’s no african-american tab, so here i am. beyond that, i’m pretty much the same collection of cliches every other guy throws out there. “fun-loving” “likes to have a good time” “down to earth” “easygoing”. except in my case you should prolly add “seethingly sarcastic” and “awesome”. or just talk to me and find out “about” me.”

anyhoo, i finish my profile, upload my pic, keep it moving and sign out.

fast forward to 10:37 the next morning, and i find an email in my inbox.  it’s from frumster:

“can you tell me a little bit about your jewish background as part of a basic screening process?”

at first, i’m inclined to comply.  then i think, waitaminute, i already answered “modern orthodox” when they asked my religious observance.  i clicked “orthodox religious” when they asked the household i was raised in.  what exactly can they possibly be asking for at this point?  i have to admit, i’m slightly heated at this point.  but i decide to give it the benefit of the doubt.  maybe this is just a “basic screening process” kinda deal.  so, [because i’m not a naïve idiot] just to test this, i quickly whip up a fake profile, complete with pic of some white facebook friend of mine, and click “ashkenaz”.

anyhoo, back to replying to frumster:

“what are you interested in knowing?”

frumster:

“you specified in your profile that we did not have your correct ethnicity, can you please explain?”

me:

“i’m an ffb african-american orthodox jew, therefore i don’t ethnically fall into any of the ethnicity categories you provide.”

frumster:

“i apologize if this comes off blunt, but is your mother jewish by birth or orthodox conversion?”

now, i’m really not sure what that has to do with the issue of my ethnicity not being present, but i’m guessing they think they have some kinda troublemaker on their hands now.  not yet they don’t.

me:

“birth.”

frumster:

“i am interested in your background as we do not encounter many ffb african american jews. we have listed options according to where the jewish population comes from. can you tell me about where your family is from and how they came to be jewish?”

so this is where i get heated again and have to call bullshit.  before i was kinda empathetic.  maybe you’re seeing if i’m the real deal or one of the power ranger hebrew israelites you see screaming at you in times square.  [aside from the fact that if you are able to find just ONE who would identify themselves as “ffb” or “modern orthodox”, i’ll give you a million dollars].but now?  no.  it’s time to go in.  of course, i keep it classy as always.

me:

“my family on my mother’s side has been african american and jewish for a couple of centuries. and as for listing options according to “where the jewish population comes from”, not to be snippy, but that seems to be slightly off-kilter to me. aside from the fact that jews can literally be found everywhere, what option would there be for someone born of two “non-standard” ethnic converts to check? someone whose parents are both korean converts, for example, or something of a similar nature.”

and just as i’m about to rev up and send email 2 and really go in about how there are *gasp* non-convert jews of color in the world, BAM!  profile approved.

the entire ordeal took over six hours for my profile to be approved.  my ashkenazi alias?  less than two and a half. and btw, its not “basic screening process” to ask about background.

manishtana: 1, frumster: 0

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

On Jewcy: http://www.jewcy.com/user/17504/manishtana

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

link love

so. im busy a lot, and i get a lot of article notifications that i’d LOVE to blog about. however, see the aformentioned “im busy alot comment”. so, taking a page from aliza hausman, i introduce “link love”, where ill be just posting articles up here just to get the word out. if i get to blog about them i will, if not, at least you guys get to see the source material.

today’s particular link is directed at the ppl who took offense to my mere suggestion that jocs should feel free to criticize israel if they so feel without being held hostage by their ethnicity. so to all those saying that ethiopians are treated “just fine” and “accepted” in israel and that racism is an “american” judaism problem or that there is no institutionalized racism in judaism, take a gander:

Israel’s treatment of Ethiopians ‘racist’ | Abesha Bunna Bet

feel free to get back to me when ur done.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

On Jewcy: http://www.jewcy.com/user/17504/manishtana

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

“Should Old Annoyance Be Forgot…”

here we are with 2009 on its way out and 2010 on its way in. as such, id like to list five new year’s resolutions of sorts [many of which have been inspired by aliza hausman]. now this isnt a list of things that i want to do, but of things i want others to do. and yes, i realize that im a big fat jew, so why am i jumping on the secular/pagan new year’s deal? well, b/c the things id like to see resolved spring from a decidely un-jewish frame of mind and thought, and since you bastards obviously didnt pray any of your idiocy off on rosh hashana, maybe this time you’ll get ur act together. LOL! [no, not really. not even a little bit.] anyhoo.

1. stop telling jocs that they’re too sensitive/complain too much/are career victims. really, its great that u perceive that ur particular inclave is joc-friendly [altho, to add just a lil bit of credence to the merit of ur purported statement, you may want to, i dunno, ASK the jocs in ur inclave how THEY actually feel the community treats them, not how you THINK they feel or SHOULD feel based on your necessarily limited knowledge and experience of the situation]. no, white ppl, just b/c you converted does not mean you are an automatic authority on the woes of the joc community. sure, you might feel some needling due to ur convert status, but that does not even begin to open ur mind to the waves of microaggressions and grade-a ignorance a joc undergoes on a near-daily basis.

1a. as an addendum, id also like to call a halt to statements like “i dont think its THAT bad.” “do you really experience THAT much racism?” “are you sure what ur experiencing isnt just slight unease?” [all of these are actual quotes, btw]. now, [although ill prolly get the same waves of emails asking why i feel the need to devolve to physical violence as i did for my jocslapping video] im gonna give you an example:

imagine that i was complaining that as a joc i was getting punched by people on a constant basis and ur response was “are you really getting punched THAT hard?” see, ur missing the point THAT IM GETTING PUNCHED. stop asking me if im really getting punched “that hard” or “that often”, just STOP FUCKING PUNCHING ME.

2. please, everyone, get over the assumption that racism and ignorance only exist in the orthodox jewish community. the reform and conservatives just do it in hipper clothes and with better hair.

2a. as an addendum: non-orthodox jocs, us orthodox jocs who speak of our negative experiences are not crazy. we feel great that you’ve had such lovely experiences, but sadly that has not been the case for all of us. it isnt something that “we” are “putting out there” or what “we” are “doing”. and although, no, not all ashkenazi or other non-jocs are rabid, horse-riding, sheet wearing racists, yes racism is pervasive and institutionalized in american judaism. please stop trying to tell us its not. when synagogues have in their constitution that “this congregation will not encourage or interfere with making proselytes under any pretence until he, she or they provide credentials…and, provided he, she, or they are not people of color” [congregation kaal kadesh, south carolina] and that the congregation is limited to “white isrealits [sic] only” [another synagogue whose name i cant recall at the moment] then yes, its institutionalized. when a rabbi receives death threats before attending their pulpit b/c they’re black [rabbi alyssa stanton], then yes, its pervasive.

3. randomly, j***h’s witnesses, please stop trying to recruit me while im walking down the block on shabbat in my jewniform. clearly, ive already been drafted by a team. however, im sure some of those guys over there in the dugouts could use your help more. and by “guys in the dugouts” i mean “those Gdless drug dealers over there on the corner”.

4. ppl who dont support/believe in the state of israel are not any more un-jewish than you are. theyre un-ZIONIST. yes “anti-zionist” is usually code for “anti-semitic”…if ur a NON-JEW. but if you ARE jewish, then you know the difference. please stop being so holier-than-thou. if i dont believe ur supporting the state of israel makes you a death-eater, then me not supporting the state of israel shouldnt make me lord voldemort. either way im sure we can BOTH agree that flying planes into buildings is a very not good thing to do.

5. black [and other ethnic] ppl: please stop condescending/pitying us jocs b/c you feel we abandonded your savior to be jews. more importantly, stop patting urselves on the back for remaining so blindly faithful to the religion that was forced down your throat and most responsible for stripping away ur original culture, enslaving you and oppressing you.

thank you for ur time.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

On Jewcy: http://www.jewcy.com/user/17504/manishtana

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

real talk parsha: toldot [gen 25:19-28:9]

and this week we have the parsha on the forefather with the most useless p.r. agent in the history of the bible. not only does isaac only squeeze out just one section, but his spotlight gets stolen halfway through but jacob and esau. i mean think about it. you say abraham and you think, “oh yeah, the first dude. the dude that circumcises himself. the dude in the furnace. the dude who sacrifices his kid. the dude with the three angels.”  say jacob: “right!  he was the dude with the evil twin! and the twelve kids.  and the birthright trick.  and the goat trick.  and opened some whupass on an angel.”  but isaac?  “uh…that guy who got tied to a rock…and, oh yeah, he didn’t know his kid was evil.”

although to be fair, isaac grew up in abraham’s home where he didn’t really see ppl be shady.  [except, y’know, that whole deal where ishmael would shoot arrows at him and call it “playing”, but apparently that was completely forgotten water under the bridge.]  but rebecca was on point, because she, unlike isaac grew up in what was apparently biblical compton:

rebecca:  what’re you doing over, esau?

esau: yes, mother?

rebecca:  don’t gimme that “yes mother” bullsh*t, mother*cker.  i axed you what your @ss was up to.

esau: but why would you speak to me thusly?

rebecca: aight look.  first, cut this shakespeare bullsh*t.  second, i seent you n***a, aight?  that ish might fly with isaac, but don’t bring that this way, na mean?  i smoked tougher gangstas than you, aight?  back in my hood, you woulda been iced in a camel-by with the quickness, ya feel me?

and that’s why isaac loved esau, but rebecca loved jacob.  also, everyone talks about how jacob was a trickster.  but if isaac grew up in vanilla-land with abraham, where did jacob get all tricksy from?  i think rebecca was teaching him some hard street lessons on the low, na mean?  i mean, that birthright hustle he pulled on esau?

[esau twitches, sniffs heavily]

esau:  yo man.

jacob: what’s good?

esau:  hook me up man.

jacob:  hook you up?  whatchu talkin bout?

esau:  you know what i’m talking bout.  gimme that lentil-ish.  that good red sticky icky.

jacob: i dunno man.

esau:  yo, you know i’m good for it.

jacob: i dunno…you mad hot right now.  wearing them nimrod threads.

esau:  yo, c’mon, bruh.

[jacob sighs]

jacob:  aight, look.  imma hook you up this one time, aight?  this one time.  but imma need your birthright.

esau: pssh.   aight, man.  done.

jacob:  and run them pants.

esau:  the pants too, man?

jacob:  yo, you wanna get wet or what?

esau:  aight, aight.  take the pants.

and let’s not forget the blessing switcheroo like so scheme out of “the sting”.

rebecca: yo jacob.

jacob: what up, ma dukes.

rebecca: look, your pops is tryna give esau the blessing little man.

jacob:  what?  esau?  that’s that bullsh*t.

rebecca: i know.  real talk?  i can’t stand the mother*cker.  so you needs to get up in there and cop that ish.

jacob:  trick pops?  i dunno…

[rebecca slaps jacob]

rebecca: i ain’t taught you no sense? acting like i ain’t gave you no home training.  git yo @ss in there, boy.  and don’t worry about ya pops, i got him.

ahh…the family that hustles together, stays together…or something.

[disclaimer: please, do not expect “real talk” to make actual biblical sense. if you are looking for a legitimate commentary of meaning and substance, this ain’t the place. it’s less “onkelos” and more “onion“, get me?]

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

On Jewcy: http://www.jewcy.com/user/17504/manishtana

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

They Call It “Networking” Nowadays…

so in my latest display of blog whoredom, step two is complete and the MaNishtana store is open over at cafepress.com.  sure its only a couple of buttons and a mousepad right now, but dont worry. more is to come. also, i may find myself writing over at jewcy.com. im all afluster. will keep you posted.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

Tonight at 8

so this is a lil bit quicker than id thought, but the first of new changes coming to the blog is already up and running: the MaNishtanaTV channel over at youtube. the stuff there will be generally more lighthearted in tone than whats here at manishtana central [lol. “manishtana central“] but it should still be some pretty juicy stuff. the first vid is up [i personally think its kinda “meh“. im sure you will too] but things should only get better as we go along. lemme know if there’s anything you wanna see on it. anyhoo, let the games begin.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

As Seen On TV!

so im in the editing room, editing some blog footage of mine with a friend. some white dude sees the text “manishtana” next to this black dude on screen [me]. you know the kind of white dude. the [secular, jewish] kind whose ears perk up when hebrew terms find themselves inappropriately leaving ethnic mouths, so they feel the need to investigate on behalf of the jewish people as compensation perhaps for being religiously lax in their own lives.

anyhoo, he asks what the footage is about since he sees me in it wearing–and i quote–“what is called a yarmulke in my world.” now im incognito at the time [“incognito” meaning i like fedoras, so i was wearing one and not particularly feeling like taking it off to prove i was jew-flagging], so i just play the rough cut of the vid, since a simple viewing of it would answers his questions.  of course, his moment of clarity was not exactly how i expected:

“ah, i see. the character is jewish.”

[headdesk]

couldnt have MADE that up.

oh, yes, MaNishtanaTV is coming ppl. b/c print is becoming increasingly inadequate to berate ppl via.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

Urban Parsha Nitzavim-Vayelech [deut 29:9-31:30]

urban parsha”.  it’s just like regular torah.  but ghetto.

and G said “my word is my bond. i had abraham, isaac, and jacob’s backs cuz we was boys. and now im sayin the same thing to y’all. you roll with me and i got you. but you run with some next g dudes, and we got problems. now y’all heard how imma go in on y’all if y’all try to punk me. but if y’all wanna bounce back and get ya mind right, i’m feeling that. y’all just gotta respect the game and do the damn thing. im not tryna make this hard for y’all, so don’t be on that ‘its too far for us. we need a dollar cab and ish’ tip. cuz, real talk? everything i told y’all is right up on you. y’all don’t gotta look for it.”

and moses said to joshua “im like a hunnit twenny, man. you takin over. you gonna be the one bringing the jew crew through, na mean? so when you roll out, put ya game face on and be about it. you do that and G got ya back. now get over here and hold this blessing real quick.”

and moses said  to israel “i need y’all to spit this piece right here like every seven years, aight?  and e’erybody gotta come through, cuz y’all need to check yourselves sometimes and be reminded how G does.  in fact, hold up.  lemme break y’all off with this freestyle one time.”

[good lord i think i felt brain cells die writing that. and this is how some people speak?  for real?  cmon now, didnt what you just read seem even vaguely ridiculous?  well thats how you sound.  lets get it together black ppl.  acting black is acting black. acting ghetto is just acting stupid…

…as for “urban parsha“…hey, when something is really, truly, internally yours?  you can have a lot of fun with it.  shabbat shalom.]

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

Urban Parsha Ki Tavo [deut 26:1-29:8]

urban parsha”.  it’s just like regular torah.  but ghetto.

when y’all post up in the land, come holler at me. bring some grub by the crib.  some of them fruits and ish.  but the fresh stuff.  and imma need y’all to break the levite crew, that convert dude, the orphan and the widow off with some paper from time to time.  when y’all come through jordanville, i need y’all to get in the studio off gerizim and ebal and hook up some beats. i want sim-simma, l-veezy, ju da man, lil izzy, jo-jo, and bennie man to lay the bless tracks, and rubizzle, mr g, dr a, zeb’loon, d.a.n., and naphtallyman to spit the curse verses, aight? now im not sayin all this ish for my health.  i need y’all to do the damn thing. repsect the game and we got no beef.  i’ll make it rain for y’all. but if y’all wanna get reckless later and get yourselves all gassed up like you got things poppin, imma lace y’all up, buhlee dat. cuz im not feeling that ish. you know who i be? i can get plague and locust to roll deep on y’all.  call up some next dudes to bumrush y’all too. i will make ish hot up in this piece. have y’all running when no one’s busting shots. i’ll make sure that no one’ll wanna roll with y’all. have your shorty running off and have y’all cats eating each other and ish. that’s how i do. do y’all really wanna test this? y’all forgot how i rolled up on pharoah? or took out them og and sichon bustas? aight then.

[good lord i think i felt brain cells die writing that. and this is how some people speak?  for real?  cmon now, didnt what you just read seem even vaguely ridiculous?  well thats how you sound.  lets get it together black ppl.  acting black is acting black. acting ghetto is just acting stupid…

…as for “urban parsha“…hey, when something is really, truly, internally yours?  you can have a lot of fun with it.  shabbat shalom.]

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!

Urban Parsha Ki Tetze [deut 21:20-25:19]

urban parsha”.  it’s just like regular torah.  but ghetto.

when you roll up on some next dudes, lemme just put you on that they got some fly a$$  dimepieces. like on the wifey tip. now if y’all wanna bring one of them shorties back to the crib, they gots to respect the jew game too.  she gotta drop the weave from a hot minute and getting her nails did and get her mind right. if y’all can put up with all that ish and her looking type busted, then do you. if you got two baby mamas and one of them stay stressing you, dont be punking her lil man. if dude is firstborn, he firstborn, aight? now if your lil mans turn 13 and starts straight up violating like he a big man and ish, acting mad reckless on the corner drinking 40s and tricking with them hoes, and he clown you like you ain’t ish, then take him in front of popo and dead his a$$. dont be leaving no bodies posted up after dark, tho. that ish is disrespectful. them ammonite and moabite bustas aint about nothin. they tried to play y’all. show the edomites love, tho, cuz they fam, and the egyptains get respect cuz they housed you. but make sure y’all smoke them amalekite fools, cuz they aint got no home training.

–MaNishtana

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaNishtana

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaNishtana/251402920486?ref=ts

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MaNishtanaTV

On Cafepress.com: http://www.cafepress.com/MaNishtanaStore

like what you’ve read? go to the upper right corner and donate! or subscribe! or donate!