infinite identity crisis on earth

“Black [jewish] kids still need to be around other Black children and adults or else they turn into, for the most part, colorstuck, confused adults with identity issues.”

amen to that.

a simple enough facebook status that evolved into a whirlwind of crazy and…well…OTHER things…mostly the naive contention that skin color is irrelevant and black jewish children need to “just” be raised around jews…

this thread was one that raises a lot of questions about the issue of identity when being an [insert ethnicity] jew. as if for some reason ppl refuse to acknowledge the fact that YOU. ARE. BOTH!!! whenever i raise such issues the conversation usually goes like this: “do you consider yourself black first or jewish first? are you black or jewish? you seem to have identity issues. what does this matter aren’t we all just jewish?”

1-that makes just as much sense as asking a tiger if he’s orange first or black first. or asking a zebra if he’s black first or white first. or asking the color purple  if its red first or blue first. ITS. BOTH. likewise WE are both. there’s something so INFINITELY ridiculous about saying “well just be around other jews b/c ur jewish”…yes…but im ALSO SOMETHING ELSE. why is there always the insistence on denying the “something else”? especially since, EVERYONE WHO ISN’T “DIFFERENTLY” ETHNIC JEWISH GETS TO DO IT. ashkenazis are jewish AND from eastern europe. sephardis are jewish AND from western europe. mizrahis are jewish AND from the middle east. so not only what are you talking about, but what is this “just” jewish myth ppl keep trying to propagate? there IS no “just” jewish.

2-look, im glad for you that you as a person believe that skin color doesnt matter. yes in the long run, race is ideally irrelevant, and yes, the ppl that think otherwise are wrong.

you know whats also wrong? murder. and robbery.

and thats why ppl dont walk down dark alleys late at night alone. b/c while the happy happy cotton candy butterflies and rainbows version of the world acknowledges that its wrong, the REALITY is that it happens. a LOT. so to live as if that isnt the reality of the world, and to raise children to not be aware of such a reality is naive at best and utter stupidity at worst. as such, ethnic jewish children need to also have just as much exposure to the ethnic world they belong to and will be clumped along with anyway as they have exposure to the jewish world. to raise said child solely in EITHER world is disastrous.

3-also dont tell me racism is “wrong” or “stupid” or “it doesnt matter at the end of the day”. maybe thats what happens and the end of YOUR day. it’s not what happens at the end of mine. *i* have to wake up the next morning and do this all over again, like i have every single day of my life and will have to CONTINUE to do for every single day of my life. unfortunately us brown ppl dont get that magical power to declare something over just b/c we say so. so plz, save the platitudes. you arent going to “get” where im coming from anymore than im going to “get” the concept being able to drive a car and NOT get pulled over b/c it looks too expensive for me.

3-“do you consider yourself to be an african-american jew or a jewish african-american?”

honestly? im tired of this question. when i walk down the street do you see a jewish guy with black skin or are you curious about the black guy with a yarmulke on his head? if you see me down the street which yiddish word first pops into ur head “yidden” or “schvartze”? would you let me marry your daughter? why not? if i told you i was a kohen, would i be able to get that aliyah w/o problems? so tell you what, when you can treat me like we both “just” jewish, then sure, i’m a jewish african-american. until then, i’m an african-american jew and stop pretending that you see me as anything otherwise. because if i were walking down the street in a hoodie and i walk up on you, you’re gonna think im gonna tell you to run your pockets, not where i can find a maariv minyan.

more importantly, YES, im black.

will i get pulled over b/c i fit the profile? will i be followed around a store when i walk in? would i have drank from the colored only water fountains? can i walk into a synagogue and not get stared at? can a member of the klan walk by me w/o giving me a second glance? when i walk into a zales, can i get instant non-reluctant service? can i catch a cab in the city? do i need a zillion pieces of id to enter a gated neighborhood?

would any of these situations be dispelled by a quick “im jewish”, flash of a kippa and a sparkle in my teeth as i smile and wink? no? alright then.

4-by the way, “regular” jews? ashkenazis? you’re WHITE. get over it. sure you might find it soooo “distasteful” or you “dont identify” with being “white”, but guess what?

you are.

can you hail a taxi with no problem? do ppl follow you around the store when you walk in? do ppl clutch their bag closer when you enter an elevator? in the 60s would you have been forced to get on the back of the bus? can you walk into a synagogue and not get stared at? can a member of the clan walk by you w/o giving you a second glance? when you enter a zales, are the employees reluctant to come assist you? do you have any problem walking around gated neighborhoods at night? would you get asked to show id in arizona? do you receive all the trappings of white privilege? [well i guess thats a trick question, right? b/c one of the components of white privilege is that you dont realize that you have it]

at any rate, SURPRISE: you’re white. congratulations.

but you know, maybe im wrong. maybe i should just ignore this whole black and jewish thing and just accept that i’m “just” jewish. lets see what my fellow jews say:

“This congregation shall not encourage or interfere with making proselytes under any pretense whatever, nor shall any such be admitted under the jurisdiction of their congregation, until he or she or they produce legal and satisfactory credentials, from some other congregation, where a regular Chief [Rabbi] or Rabbi and Hebrew Consistory is established; and, provided, he, she or they are not people of color.”  –Rule No. 23, “Constitution of the Hebrwe [sic] Congregation Kaal Kodesh Beth Elohim, or House of G-d, Charleston”, 1820.

wow.

now tell me again about how i’m “just” jewish.

–MaNishtana

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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

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worth it? really?

hey there kids.

so this past week, colleague and friend aliza hausman was interviewed by the jewish press about her choice about conversion, her blog, her experiences and such. it was a nice quaint interview. i myself read it whilst sipping a cup of hot cocoa by the fireplace. however, whether she’s on her own blog, guest starring on someone else’s, or just a quick cameo, it seems our favorite jewminicana is just an eternal hate-magnet. a couple of lovely comments included accusations that she “lambast[es] the frum community”, “[doesnt cover] her hair to make a statement”, “constantly criticizes, mercilessly at times, our [jewish] community”, “makes us [converts] look bad”, and that ms hausman is generally a “misguided vengeful individual.”

[shakes head]

im sorry, maybe you dont realize it, but a lot of jews? especially frum ones? SUCK.

as ppl.

generally speaking, you dont know how to treat YOUR OWN, let alone jews of COLOR, let alone CONVERTS, let alone CONVERTS of COLOR. clearly ur iffy on the dynamics of “cause and effect” so let me just inform you that that tends to make for rightfully angry ppl, whether ffb, baal teshuva, or convert. what else do you think is one of the reasons for judaism losing adherents more than any other religion yearly?

and as for “misguided and vengeful” im sorry that ur so offended that there is someone out there who doesnt allow you to hide behind the puss-covered blanket of “lashon hara” that allows the bedsores of sexual abuse, housing scams, organ harvesting, herpes spreading mohels,and sexually propositioning conversion rabbis to fester. maybe if there were more ppl “constantly” “mercilessly” “criticizing” and “lambasting” the frum community, it wouldnt be in the shambling hypocritical state its in.

to aliza’s fellow convert [also dominican, as i recall] who lamented that aliza made all converts “look bad”: congrats. you really ARE part of the jewish ppl. here’s your ticket. just wait right there and an usher will guide you to your seat in the “you should have left us in egypt” section of the theater. stones are complimentary. also, yes, aliza is making a statement by not covering her hair. in short, it goes something like “i have fibromyalgia you fucking moron and if you’d BLINKED in the direction of my blog just ONCE you’d have noticed the NUMEROUS times i’ve mentioned the pain im constantly in, how excrutiating it is to cover my head, and ALSO that i have a HETER from my rabbi.”

also, my personal favorite, someone pulled out that famous go-to chesnut from yevamot 47b: “proselytes are as hard for israel [to endure] as scabs”. wow, you guys LOVE that one, dont you? so its time for a lil bio lesson here, since you seem to be a lil bit fuzzy on the purpose of a scab:

scab

scab pronunciation (skāb)
n.  

  1. A crust discharged from and covering a healing wound.

see where im going with this? scabs are there b/c you’re wounded and they’re there to heal you, idiot. their purpose is to fix you. inconvenient? yes. but its not THEIR fault that you’re wounded. that ur careless. that you dont know how to take care of ur body. [ill trust everyone to be savvy enough to make the correlation/metaphor about the state of the jewish “body” and “soul” and converts being “scabs”. after all, we’re still in exile, right? so clearly things aren’t all peachy with the jewish ‘body”].

at any rate, i hope all you “scab” types arent the same ppl wishing “next year in yerushalayim” at the seder. b/c according to you guys, “scabs” like, say, ruth, wouldnt be welcome. though i hear she has some bigshot offspring or something–this “mashiach” guy ppl keep going on about. of course i guess if it were up to you he’d never get to exist.

right?

–MaNishtana

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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

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“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

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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

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Real Talk Parsha: Chayei Sarah [gen 23:1–25:18]

real talk parsha. because obviously Gd has a sense of humor. just look at your face.

well, after last week’s virtual cornucopia of cannon fodder, we’re left with fairly slim pickings this week, what with sarah dying and abraham buying the cave machpelah [haggling yet again].  but, for all those ppl who hate reality tv and/or disney fairytale stories, we have the eliezer/isaac/rebecca story.  just think “the bachelor” mixed with equal parts “aladdin” with a dash of “cinderella” for good measure. 

i mean, really, didn’t eliezer seriously show up at rebecca’s all prince ali ababwa style?  with, like, gold noserings and bracelets, camels, quite possibly a magic carpet, fifty elephants, lions galore, bears and tigers, a brass band and more, forty fakirs and cooks and bakers and birds that warble on key?  [by the way, yes i said “gold nosering”, to all those ppl shaking their heads at the crazy piercings that are all the rage with the kids nowadays].  but anyways, was her family really surprised when she decided to bounce the next day?  i mean, aside from the wealth just leaking from eliezer’s eyes [and remember, he was just the servant], just the day before rebecca was apparently the water-fetcher-girl of the household.  agreeing to marry this mysterious “isaac” dude was obviously a step up from her current situation.  then again, maybe rebecca was the passive-aggressive, femme fatale type…now that you mention it, her dad bethuel mysteriously dies…rebecca is the sole overseer of the household’s water supply…she doesn’t stay around for the funeral….hmm…you’d better look out, eliezer.  something tells me you’re gonna dearly pay for that whole “give me and my camels some water” ploy…oh look.  you’ve disappeared from the bible after you bring rebbeca to isaac…

kinda makes that scene where Rebecca covers her face when she sees Isaac approaching seem that much creepier, huh.

also, abraham stars in “how abie got his groove back”, shacks up with keturah, and has himself some more kids.  take that, viagra.

[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

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Real Talk Parsha: Vayera [gen 18:1-22:24]

real talk parsha. because obviously Gd has a sense of humor. just look at your face.

now this week’s portion is full of all kinds of juicy bits.

after circumcising himself and having tea with his three visitors, abraham’s first official act as a jew is to haggle with Gd.  no seriously.  abraham tries to jew Gd out of destroying sodom, eventually trying to weasel some redemption out of Him for the low low price of ten righteous guys.  abraham fails, because, y’know, he’s up against GD, and in atonement for this, abraham’s descendants are cursed to haggle with everyone they ever meet in life, ever.

also, we are introduced to the evil that is sodom and gomorrah, whom the midrash takes the time to expound on the depths of their evil.  now to all you religious parents out there: sure, you worry about what your kids see on tv and stuff, but you should really watch some of those midrashes, too.  i remember my pre-teen self trying my darndest to convince myself how evil sodom was when i read that they buried one of lot’s daughter’s alive in a nest of ants while naked and covered in honey.  wasn’t very succesful.

tween me: damn those sodomites, covering naked women in honey.  that’s just…that’s just horrible…and, uh, evil…and stuff…bastards…

anyhoo, somewhere in that whole ordeal lot gets it on with not one, but BOTH of his daughters.  fantastic.  and by “fantastic”, i mean “wtffnswtf?” (“what the f**ing f**k?  no, seriously, what the f**k?”)

in more child troubles, sarah tells abraham to kick ishmael out because she doesn’t like the cut of his jib or how he treats isaac.  abraham says they’re just kids having fun.  the midrash tells us that ishmael used to shoot arrows at isaac.  really?  is that what you think kids do for fun??  although, in abraham’s defense, his childhood consisted of dodging sacrifice duty, ducking armed guards from the king and playing hopscotch in burning furnaces.  he probably wished someone would just shoot arrows at him.

at last, we end with the binding of isaac. great stuff.  a father selflessly sacrificing his son.  a son eager to help his father fulfill a divine commandment.  the midrash says, in fact, that isaac asked abraham to tie his hands so that he [isaac] didn’t inadvertently invalidate the sacrifice.  yeah, okay.  i’m sure that’s how that went down.

isaac: father?

abraham: here i am, my son.

isaac: behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?

abraham: Gd will seek Himself out the lamb for the sacrifice.

isaac: um…okay.  i mean, it was kinda Gd’s idea for us to come out here and offer a sacrifice, so, i dunno, just seems kinda random.

abraham: Gd works in mysterious ways.

isaac:…alright…anyhoo, can i at least hold something?  i mean, you’ve got the firewood and the matches and everything.  i kinda don’t see why i’m even here, rea–

[isaac has moment of realization]

isaac: are you SERIOUS?

abraham: uh…Gd will seek Hims–

isaac: oh, save it, alright!  dammit! you couldn’t have told me this three days ago?  “hey son, wanna go for a trip where i end up killing you at the end”? sacrifice me?  yeah.  better tie my @ss down, old man.

[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

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a history of implicit violence

hey guys. im really glad that so many of you enjoyed my joc-slapping video.  funnily enough thought, some ppl didnt appreciate, the tone, language, or “implicit” threat of violence. now, im not sure if i was unclear in my intro video, or if ppl have just never actually read what i write, so lemme just say it again:whatever  need to do or say for you to change how you look at things, or how you act, or how you treat people, im gonna do. don’t criticize my methods when you should really be asking why i even need to approach the issues this way for you to pay attention. why do i need to shock and threaten you? 

in other news, the night i put up the video, a girl i don’t know, have never spoken to, and have never seen, messaged me on facebook chat at 3:20 in the morning to tell me that not only had she seen the video, but that she also felt guilty now about the times she’d stared at this black girl at work who was wearing a star of david.  isn’t that wild?  that this random, two-minute long video just–BAM!–changed something? just like that? thats CRAZY! sure its one out of millions, but still, thats really freaking crazy.  and kinda the point of why i did the video in the first place, i guess…so to all the naysayers out there: what have you done lately?

–MaNishtana

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Real Talk Parsha: Noach [gen 6:9-11:32]

real talk parsha. because obviously Gd has a sense of humor. just look at your face.

“it’s the end of the world as we know it, but i’m not feeling particularly fine.”

yep, in this parsha, Gd flips out doug ramsey style and orders the world to “shut it down“!  of course, “shutting it down” in this case means “engulf the world in copious volumes of scalding water“.  noah, his fam, and a choice few animals escape into the ark and survive the death and destruction going on outside to eventually build a new world.  crazy, right?   i mean, the flood lasted for a whole year.  a whole year in an ark with just your family??  not to mention your wife [who, unless you’re cham, you’re not getting any from] and a gajillion animals you’ve gotta feed.  the midrash tells us that this one time?  noah showed up late to give the lion his food?  and the lion just wilds out and slaps and/or bites him. 

well. no kidding!

i imagine that about six months in, things in the ark started turning sour a la “the real world”:

this is the true story…of 1.5 million species of animals…picked to live in an ark…survive the apocalypse together and have their lives hang in the balance…to find out what happens…when people stop being polite…and start getting real…

noah: hey lion.

lion: sup, man.

noah: things were crazy with the ostriches, but i got your…what?…what’s that look for?

lion: you know how long i’ve been sitting here waiting, man?  six hours.

noah: look, man, i’m sorry but-

lion: sorry?  oh you’re sorry.  you got me sitting up here next to these zebras all day, with no food, but you’re sorry.  cuz that’s really what i need to see when i’m dizzy from hunger–a bunch of black and white lines running back and forth all day long.

noah:  well i already told you i can’t do anything about the arrangement i–

lion: well you better do something, homey.  cuz if i hear one more thing from that damn deer over there talking about how i ate his daddy, imma–

deer:  but you did eat my pops, you–

lion:  SHUT THE [BLEEP] UP! IF I HEAR YOU [BLEEP] ABOUT THAT [BLEEP] ONE MORE [BLEEP] TIME, I SWEAR TO YHVH I’M GONNA BITE YOUR [BLEEP] HEAD OFF THE MOTHER[BLEEP] SECOND WE’RE OFF THIS BOAT–

deer:  mother[bleep], WHAT?

lion:  what?  WHAT, bambi?

deer:  BAMBI? i wish a mother[bleep] would.

noah:  yo man, calm down!  just calm do-

lion:  get the [BLEEP] off me you-

[lion bites noah]

noah: [BLEEP]!  that was my [bleep] LEG, man! [bleep]!  what the [BLEEP] is wrong with you? [bleep]!

lion:  yeah, well, i bet your @ss’ll be here on time next time, won’t it?

craziness.

–MaNishtana

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