Urban Parsha Ha’azinu [deut 32:1-52]

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

and so moses began his song, which sounded suspiciously like its beat was sampled from “i’m on a boat”:

Send “Haazinu” Ringtones to Cell
Moses ft T-Pain
[Intro (T-Pain)]
(Shortayyyy) Aww yeah
Getcha ears ready it’s about to go down (shorty, yeah)
Miriam and Israel y’all had y’all chance (yeah)
But now its time for me to step up here
I’m runnin this, let’s go

[Chorus (T-Pain)]
I wrote a song (I wrote a song)
I wrote a song (I wrote a song)
Everyone listen to me cause I’m singin my new song (singin my new song)
I wrote a song (I wrote a song)
I wrote a song
Take a good hard listen to the motherf****n song (song, yeah)

[The Lonely Island (T-Pain)]
I wrote a song motherf***r take a listen here
Heaven, Earth, take a seat and gimme your ear
Like rain and dew I’m flowin and I can’t go wrong
You can’t stop me motherf***r cuz I wrote a song

G is perfect, y’all (y’all) G is faithful, trick (trick)
You all crooked like a wack-looking broken stick (stick)
He set them nations up, gave them they own land
But you special Israel, so he keep you in his hand

He found you in the desert, kept you fed and ish
Got you the manna, that fulfilled your e’ery wish
But listen up now, that’s as real as it gets
I wrote this song motherf***r, don’t you ever forget

Had y’all all regal, on his back like an eagle
But y’all wanted to bail and go and mingle
G’s the king of the world, but y’all went and kicked him
Running after new g’s like y’all aint picked him
{Shut the f**k up, this song is REAL!!!}

F**k swords, he’ll send plague, motherf***r (motherf***r)
F**k men, he’ll send beasts, motherf***r (motherf***r)
He’ll send nations unleashed, motherf***r (yeah)
Y’all wish y’all were deceased, motherf***r

Hey y’all, if you could see y’all now (see y’all now)
Arms spread wide praying to a cow (to a cow)
G’s the only g, to this I avow (I avow)
Anyone one next him, that is just impossible

[T-Pain]
Yeah, don’t worry y’all I’ll still have ya backs
When y’all captors get too hard with the smacks (yeah)
Believe and pray to me, oh (all hands up high)
They’ll never think they’d see the day
When the big G comin they way
Believe me when I say, I’ll blow them away

[Chorus]

[T-Pain]
Whoahhh
Sha-sha-shorty, shorty
Yeah yeah yeahhh

Send “Haazinu” Ringtones to Cell

[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

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Gestapo Correctness

so i decided id start the week off with a bang.

when did intraracial relationships become a crime? [incidentally, according to dictionary and webster.com “intraracial” isn’t a word].  the reverse racism reaction to the explicit anti-miscegenation laws of the jim crow era seems to be the implicit “miscegenation mandate” of our generation.  apparently freedom of choice is never hard to abolish.

there’s the “dear abby”-like carolyn hax, who flat out declares a white girl who “prefers to date white guys” to be a racist. [check it out here]. um, huh? when did having personal preferences start translating into being racist?  following this logic, are all gay men misogynists because they prefer—in fact, only—date men?  are all lesbians now misandrists [thats someone who hates men, kids] because they refuse to date anything other than a woman?  when did the fairly benign “i like to date tall guys” attitude explode into full-blown klan-itis when the statement is “i like to date [insert own race here]”.

the once refreshing mist of political correctness seems to be curdling into an asphyxiating smog of reverse-intolerance.

however, i am curious as to how this girl relayed her preference information to her friends.  if it was “i don’t date black guys” then yes, carolyn hax was dead-on. chick’s a racist. but if it actually was “i prefer to date white guys” then no, she just has a preference. there’s a difference between “im for x” and “im against y”. the outcomes might be the same, but as my budding philosopher friend keeps drilling into my head, its all about intent.

for example.  if there was a bill being proposed that would ban abortion across the country, id vote against it. why? not because im particularly for abortion [i find its used far too frivolously nowadays. like it’s a birth control pill or something] but b/c im against any government having the power to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their own bodies. but in the end i end up voting against an abortion bill the same way as some chick who is deathly afraid of condoms, birth control, and plan b, but insists on using her hoop earrings as ankle holders every friday night.

see the difference? same deal with race and relationships.

just b/c “white guy a” doesn’t date indian women isn’t necessarily b/c he’s thinking “indian girls are [insert a ton of negative qualities here]”. it could just as easily be b/c he thinks “white girls are cool”. although dont get me wrong, the first option is still possible.  racism kicks in when a person has a list of abstract qualities desired in a partner which don’t inherently include a need for an ethnic or cultural homogeneousness, yet they turn away a potential partner from another race solely based on the other person’s race and not their own personal preference.

for example, ive found attractive and been attracted to pretty much everything under the sun, some more or less than others. [btw, there is a difference between “finding attractive” and “being attracted to”. “finding attractive” means you just want each other’s fun parts to meet each other.  “being attracted to” means you can see yourself in relationship with this person. in concurrence with frequent meeting of said fun parts.] however, i seek relationships with black women b/c of the familiarity, the desire to come home to someone who “gets” what im complaining about, to be with someone how intimately understands who prejudiced this country can be, etc, etc.  these are things i cant achieve [maybe partially, but not completely] with, say, a korean girl. so i don’t date korean girls.  not b/c korean girls are particularly horrible. [except for you, gae].

in the end, however, this creeping culture of not being allowed to [non-racistly, of course] state your preferences and what you want to go home to is dangerous, oppressive, and ironically strips away the very freedom of choice that interracial relationships are a symbol of.  neither inter nor intra-racial relationships are for everyone. and as for those ppl who are genuinely racist, i say leave them be.  why force them into an interracial relationship and inflict their unsuspecting partner to a prison term of racial fetishism and superficial “love“?

does that sound very fair?

–MaNishtana

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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

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We Hold These Truths To Be Pretty Obvious…

so i’m in an inspired mood.  empowered, even.  which is usually a bad thing. lol. no, no, im kidding. i thought id write in this inspired mode b/c i dont exactly relish writing out of frustration or exasperation all the time. so i decided to randomly compose a bill of rights of sorts for jews of color. dont get me wrong im not the first to have this kind of idea and there already are a couple of “privelege checklists” floating around out there.  but those lists to me seem to focus a lil bit too much on what others have or what we dont have or what we have to fight for to change. which can be a lil daunting and/or disheartening [though no less real or true]. so ive put together a lil something that focuses on what we can do, right now. by no means is it a mandate for everyone to agree with, but im sure there’s a lil something for everyone here. [incidentally, i was aiming for 13 to sorta crib off rambam’s articles of faith, but i ended up with only ten. think that means something? lol. also, feel free to shoot me in the face if i use “lil” or “something” one more damn time.]

the joc bill of rights

1-i have the right to be jewish without having to feel apologetic about being ethnic and as such being seen as “inauthentic“. this includes not having to feel guilty about taking pride in my ethnic background, referring to/quoting its influential figures, or pursuing/acknowledging issues important to it and achievements in it.

2-i have the right to be ethnic without having to feel apologetic about being jewish and as such being seen as a “sellout“. this includes not having to feel guilty about taking pride in my jewish heritage–whether acquired or inherited–referring to/quoting talmudic sages or current rabbis, or pursuing/acknowledging issues important to it and achievements in it.

3-i have a right to my anger if i am mistreated in a jewish setting or encounter without having to endure the caterwauling of ppl telling me to “be positive” or “not complain” or “to be a positive example“. i also have the right to speak out against unjust treatment without the threat of the shadow of “lashon hara” being cast upon me.

4-i have the right to answer your insipid questions concerning my judaism–especially when i am wearing the universal symbols of judaism–with as much or as little snark as i so desire, should i choose to answer your question at all. consider this: if you ask me if/how i’m jewish and im a convert, your questions are harrassing me and reminding me of where i came from–both torah no-nos.  if you ask me if/how i’m jewish and im a born jew, then you’re calling me and my family lineage into question, thereby insulting me–also a torah no-no. so either decide which strike you want against you, or you can logically infer a conclusion from context clues.  your choice.

5-i have the right to refuse to allow people half my age to treat me as if we’re equals just because i remind them of the ethnic housekeeper they live with and order around. i have the right to demand the respect my age commands.

6-i have the right to discuss/criticize the state of israel without the accusations or insinuations that my ethnic background is the reason for any disharmonious views i might hold on the jewish state.

7-i have the right to not be impressed with cowardly non-jewish minorities who are too afraid to say anything to “massa“, but feel that since i am ethnic, they are free to hurl their prejudices at me and attack me with vehement, bigoted sentiments they wouldnt dare say to my white counterparts.

8-i have the right to believe that it is not my responsibility to guide you onto the road of humanity.  if i have informed you that the words or actions you have displayed are offensive, it is not my duty to find you an alternative.  it is your duty to ensure that the actions you take and the words you speak are not offensive. just because ive reprimanded you does not obligate me to hold your hand until you’ve discovered how to treat others with the same respect you are afforded.

9-i have the right to pursue a relationship with someone who shares my background and culture without having to weather charges that i am hoping against hope for the “impossible“, being “unrealistic“, “limiting” myself, or being “racist“. if jews dont like hearing this from non-jews when it comes to partner-seeking, what makes it ok for jews to say it to other jews?

10-i have the right, should i choose to pursue a relationship with a jew outside of my “race“, to be offered a selection of partners of the same quality and caliber as if i were any other member of that race.  i have the right to refuse to be offered the aged, eccentrics, or outcasts.  i have the right to not allow myself to settle for a partner of a lesser quality or caliber than i would accept from my own race.

and there we have it. phone operators are standing by now. lol.

–MaNishtana

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Melacha Day Parade

sure this is a lil bit late, but i have a suggestion id like to make.

i would suggest that [rampant near-nakedness, general drunkenness, and occasional homicide aside] every jew, and especially every jew of color, should see the west indian day parade at least once. [and if you’re a jew who saw it pre-conversion, see it again post-jew]. i used to live in crown heights and remember listening to the music as each float passed by.  occasionally id get an extended glimpse of the parade before being shooed away from the window by my parents b/c of the slackness [500 pt caribbean slang bonus!] happening outside. but when i was a grown up, i was dragged practically kicking and screaming over to the parkway one year [“kicking and screaming” not b/c i was particularly trying to avoid the slackness [1000 pt double word score!], but b/c im not a big fan of people. can you tell?].

anyhoo, im glad i went.  because as im watching float after float go by with its different music and people dressed in their island’s flag and eating their different foods and flowing with their island’s pride and having a good time i couldn’t help but think “is this how it used to be back in the day when ppl brought bikkurim?  or would head up to yerushalayim for the shalosh regalim waving their tribe’s banner?” and channeling that present energy into vicarious enjoyment of the past was a really, really, really, good feeling. and there’s something i think we can all learn from the labor day parade.

for example, at the parade every float comes and reps its country with its own distinctive music, food, etc. and revels in it and celebrates it. but can we imagine if there was a jewish labor day parade? we’d have the ashkenazi float [with all its chabadnik, litvisher, yechi, na-nach, etc sections] and its gefilte fish, the sephardi float and its rice and beans, the temani float and its full beged-kefet, and the joc float that…well, is just pretty much the same thing we just saw in every other float, just differently ethnic. because as it stands, there’s nothing about us that would warrant its own float beyond skin.  and that’s part of why [part of why] we are looked at skin first: b/c that’s the only difference, really.  i mean, ashki/sefard and ashki/temani are also divided along a similar white v brown or less white axis.  but what comes to mind as the difference? no kitniyot v rice & beans for pesach.  tav/sav v gefen/jefen. if we’re to be looked at beyond color, then what we bring to the table needs to evolve beyond color.

as ive posted before, b/c jocs have a tendency to either join whats already around or wash away their ethnicity, instead of using their ethnicity to define and shape their observance and practices.  and whenever i propose that jocs should allow their backgrounds to influence their judaism, to create a minhag just the same way that europeans and north africans and middle easterners allowed theirs to create “ashkenaz” “sephard” “temani” etc, not only is there resistance from [some] jocs who for some reason cant comprehend the concept of having somewhere/thing that is your own, there are also opponents among those who have the luxury of actually having a homebase to operate from. their reasoning is “why cause more divisions?” [somehow oblivious to the fact that of course they don’t see the need for someone else to create what they themselves already have].

but do we really think that if, say, tobago broke off from trinidad and established itself as a separate culture that the rest of the west indies would be up in arms? that they’d try to stop them?  or do we think they’d just accept the new independent tobago and afford it the same respect in the parade as the rest of the islands. i mean they let puerto rico march, and they already have their own separate parade.  hell, guyana isn’t even invited and they still get to march. [give it up with the west-indian thing, guys. we all know you’re part of south america].

while some say it and mean it in its intended unifying sense, most of judaism seems to cling to the “a jew is a jew is a jew” mantra as a means to extinguish and discourage cultural individuality rather than to emphasize the beauty that despite being different with a disparate number of customs, we all follow the same torah as equals.  cmon now ppl, we haven’t learned yet to talk to the rock  instead of hitting it?

and then of course there’s the lesson of unity.  sure, every other day the rest of the year things may devolve into “this island” v “that island” confrontations or hostilities. or bad mouthing over who has better men or women.  but no matter what their differences are, they are all able to come together this one day every single year, leave everything else at the door, and say “we are all west indian, and let’s celebrate that. even you guyana. even though you’re really not.

now maybe this is just my experience, but ive rarely run into jews who are able to suspend whatever weekday prejudices they have for shabbat or chagim and say “we are all jews, and let’s celebrate this day together as jews.” i mean, some ppl are able to squeeze some of that out for rosh hashana and yom kippur, but lets be real, you’re just afraid youre gonna die so you’re trying to rack up some last minute points. come say hi to me and shake my hand when the spectre of death isn’t sitting on your living room couch drinking tea.

but anyways.

when i look at the labor day parade, im looking into a window into the past of what we were and into the future of what we can be again.  im not seeing that dude painted black with horns glued to his forehead surrounded by cantily sclad gyrating women, im seeing the ox with its gold covered horns carrying bikkurim surrounded by a procession of farmers and musicians bringing them to the bet hamikdash.  im not seeing the drunk dudes falling over themselves drinking guinness, im seeing a couple of guys who got caught up in the moment and feeling of simchat torah in yerushalayim and got a lil bit too carried away. im not seeing that girl convinced she can wear that too small flag as a dress…ok, so i am seeing that girl, but im also seeing the, um, y’know, the—okay so im just seeing the girl. 

but c’mon, she’s hot.

–MaNishtana

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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

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1984. Sorry, 5784.

so last night was fun. i always enjoy meeting with fellow jocs, especially when they’re ppl ive been speaking to online for a while and i get a chance to meet them in person. im even more overjoyed when they translate well from the interweb into real life and we share common interests beyond skin and/or religion. the “aftermeeting” went well too and eventually turned into an “after-aftermeeting” [lol @ “aftermeeting” & “after-aftermeeting“. can anyone tell we’re ethnic yet? anyone? anyone? ] during which the topic turned to the atmosphere of fear that has been inculcated into converts in light of the slew of recent revocation of conversions by israeli rabbis. this angers me and upsets me that converts feel that they are being forced into a box, to act a certain way or not act a certain way out of fear that at any given second *poof* they’re not jewish anymore. im not even sure how such a thing is even possible or can ever be rabbinically sanctioned.

the decision and process to convert is essentially an oath the convert takes upon his/her soul and is between them and G-d. how is it possible for a third, unrelated in any way party, to nullify that oath? parsha matot elaborates on how taking a shavua/oath is likewise binding upon someone’s soul and that only in certain cases can he be relieved of said oath by a bet din. now if someone who willingly wants to annul his oaths can only be freed from certain ones by a bet din that he specifically asked to free him, how can someone’s oath be annulled against his own wishes by in most cases a rabbi he has never had any interaction with?

in a glowing example of how the parsha always relates to events of the week, ki tavo begins with a description of bringing bikkurim/first fruits to the bet hamikdash:

“1 and it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the L-rd thy G-d giveth thee for an inheritance, and dost possess it, and dwell therein; 2 that thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which thou shalt bring in from thy land that the L-rd thy G-d giveth thee; and thou shalt put it in a basket and shalt go unto the place which the L-rd thy G-d shall choose to cause his name to dwell there. 3 and thou shalt come unto the priest (kohen) that SHALL BE IN THOSE DAYS, and say unto him: ‘i profess this day unto the L-rd thy G-d, that i am come unto the land which the L-rd swore unto our fathers to give us.’”

commenting upon these verses, rabbi zalman sorotzkin pays close attention to the wording of the last verse and elaborates [emphasis mine]:

 “all you have is the kohen (priest) who lives in your own days (sifre). during the process of bringing first fruits, a great deal of honor is lavished on the kohen. the bearer of the first fruits tells him, “i declare today to Hashem your G-d,” and asks him permission before thanking G-d for the holy land and its fruits. in light of this, one might think that this could only refer to elazar or pinchas, who were famous for their piety and truly deserved such an honor.

yet this is not the case, and so the torah added the words “whomever will be the kohen in those days” and chazal explain that one only has the kohen who lives in his own time. if we feel that the kohanim are not what they used to be, we should remember that neither we nor the rest of the nation are what previous generations were! the level of the kohen suits the level of the people as a whole.”

now if this applies to those who are supposedly the highest/holiest clan born and bred by our ppl, how much more so is it for those who are attracted to join our ppl? david’s generation had the bloodthirsty gibeonites to whom seven men of shaul’s line had to be assassinated to slake their thirst for revenge. moshe’s generation had the perpertually malcontent erev rav, architects behind the sin jews are still atoning for to this very day—the golden calf. are we suggesting that today’s converts reach anywhere near the same levels of depravity or dissonance? that they are more dangerous than converts who still retained their jewish status despite their horrendous deeds? is our generation of such a high level—higher than both moshe and david, no less—that we cannot tolerate the behavior of converts to the point that we feel compelled to revoke their judaic status? really? in a world where a thriving porn industry exists in the state of israel? really??

just like asking the kohen’s permission does not only apply to someone like elazar or pinchas, the commandments of “not harassing a convert” and to “treat a convert like any other jew” do not apply only to converts who meet our “approval” like rut or, yknow, avraham and sarah. it applies to all converts.

and no one has the right to revoke it.

–MaNishtana

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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

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Brought To You By The Letter “S”

hey kids!

it’s time for another open letter! yaaay! yaaay!

gather around now, we’re gonna talk about the “s-word”.  y’know,  “schvartze”.  or  “schwartze”. or “schvatza”.  or “nigger”.  whoop! i meant “shwartzer”. [because it’s a completely different word, y’know.]

theres a quiz on facebook—the “jewish vocabulary quiz”—which includes this wholesome gem of a question: “your father comments on all the “schvatzes” that have moved into the area. he is reffrring [sic] to: 1-conservatives, 2- mexicans, 3- non jews,  4-african americans.”  it got me fairly boiled-up until i happened across an article by rabbi yitzchok adlerstein [“on racism, its costs and its causes”-12/10/08] in which he discusses the “s-word”.  among the comments on the article were the following:

*i disagree with rabbi adlerstein’s tendentious assessments of the terms “goy” and “shvartzeh”. his assertion that such terminology is pejorative is incorrect. these words are totally neutral. (“goy” and “goyim” are biblical terms which mean either “gentile” or “gentile nations” or “nation.” the noun/adjective “shvartzeh” means either black or black african american in yiddish. there is no other word available in yiddish to express that idea.)*

*perhaps the clergyman is confusing these innocuous terms with the notorious “n” word in english, which should definitely not be used by civilized people. his objections to the aforementioned hebrew and yiddish vocabulary have, on the other hand, no validity.  such comments fall under the category of inappropriate political correctness—and i would urge that we eschew such folly.*

*surprise! i know exactly what the clergyman stated; nevertheless, he is mistaken. the erroneous contention is that the words in question have a proper etymology but their current usage is improper. gentlemen, this is precisely the argument which i contest as an accomplished linguist. please pay attention. educated people use these words correctly without any pejorative connotations. my point is that their proper usage should be encouraged. it is myopic to advocate the elimination of these appropriate vocabulary words. (that is censorship which you ought to deplore.) we need more education without “politically correct” euphemisms. by the same token, i hereby argue: we must continue to use the term “goy” and we must continue to use the term “shvartzeh” correctly as these words are and should be understood in their pristine neutral sense. (it should also be emphasized that these terms are used properly by intellectual speakers of yiddish and hebrew. therefore, learn from the intellectuals in this particular context.)*

*rabbi adlerstein is wrong about the hebrew and yiddish words he cites. those vocabulary words (shvartzeh and goy) are appropriate and neutral. modern cynics have to become more tolerant and accept the fact that enlightened and educated people use those words properly.*

after reading these comments i, on behalf of all black ppl everywhere [b/c apparently im the default ambassador for every black person on the face of the planet in all other cases anyway], us black ppl would like to say: we give up. you’re right.

see, we had no idea that all us  jews live in countries ruled by philosopher kings and that only intellectuals live there and hold dialogue and that, apparently, words in this magical kingdom are immune to the ravages of things like “context” and “intent”. and that despite the neutral original meaning of words, apparently they are incapable of taking on insulting connotations.  we now realize that when those of us [un]lucky enough to have gone to yeshiva were called “schvartze” instead of our given names, what was really meant was “hello you person i am neutrally and non-perjoratively addressing right now”. wow. that’s egg on our face, right?

also, to that linguistics guy up there, we also apologize for not knowing that slang and code-switching doesn’t exist in your happy magical country either. [for those who don’t know, “code-switching” is when someone speaks primarily in one language, but occasionally sprinkles in words from a different language for certain things. like when ppl speak in spanglish.] and as we all know, whenever someone uses slang or code-switching to describe someone of a different gender/sexual orientation/religion/race than themselves, its always in a neutral and non-perjorative manner. like maricon. or bitches. or gaijin. or kushi. or kike. or falasha.or mick. or guinea…hmm…i guess none of those examples are proving my point. oh well. but you get what im saying.

in fact, we propose a campaign to issue a general and blanket dismissal of all silly sensibilities based on implications and usage. as such, i will start wearing a swastika to knesset/synagogue.

what?

i mean, surely civilized ppl can tell you that the swastika is nothing more than a neutral symbol which symbolizes good luck, wealth and good fortune. just b/c it happened to be used by the nazis in wwii doesn’t take away from what its meaning actually is, right? hell, i’ll prolly even name my kid adolf hitler. why not? “adolf” is a good strong name. means “noble wolf” and everything. and “hitler”? “one who lives in a hut”. c’mon, nothing’s more neutral than a guy who lives in a hut.

…actually, yeah. now that i think about it, that is pretty f*cking stupid logic.

–MaNishtana

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Why So Serious?

so recently ive gotten the question as to why my posts are so “black” or so “militant”. which baffles me. [and leads me to wonder if i were a white jewish dude talking about my tax dollars going to the poor, the merits of glen beck, and fondue, would i then equally be harangued with accusations of being so “white” or so “republican”? but anyhoo.] im not exactly sure when a general intolerance of stupidity or disrespect translated into being “militant”.  here, walk through this scenario with me: im sitting on a train and some white dude steps on my shoe, doesn’t apologize, then sits down next to me. if i say “so, hey…you’re just not gonna say anything there sunshine?”, im not being militant. im being annoyed that someone stepped on my foot. if i say “what? you think b/c you’re white you can just step on the black man the way your ancestors have been stepping on the necks of the black man and black woman and black children for four hundred years after taking us from our homelands and raping our cultures and forcing your religion on us?? what, you expected me to just shuffle my feet and say “thanks massa, can you steps on me again?” and then take my black ass to the back of the train, mr offay?”. if i say all that, then i’m being militant.

see the difference?

just b/c im bringing to light issues ppl may or may not be comfortable with or would rather be left to the shadows doesn’t mean im being militant. it means i have eyes and a mouth. i don’t give snarky answers to ur disingenuous questions b/c you’re white or b/c im black or due to any other combination of pro/anti/white/black/militant rationalizations. i give snarky answers b/c you belie a level of stupidity which requires an illegal [albeit humorous and cathartic] response of sudden physical backlash, however since society tends to frown upon such things i am obliged to convert these urges into horrible soul-crushing sarcasm.

anyhoo. like i was saying, i’m not militant. this guy is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5MPkDV3gDU

here endeth the lesson.

–MaNishtana

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