Friday, September 28, 2007

Bath House Blues and French Racism

This post is a movie review Jewfer (2 Jewish items in one post..I coined this term about 10 minutes ago). Let me explain the choices. I saw Eastern Promises last night which was directed by Canadian Jew David Cronenberg and since one of the stars of the film is French actor Vincent Cassel (married to smoking hot Monica Bellucci - look her up) who is not Jewish but wait for it..played a Jew in my 2nd borrowed review La Haine (The Hate). This film came out several years ago and is a very unique view into the multicultural ghettos of France and how youths growing up a 2nd class citizens vent their social economic frustrations. Kind of like a French Outsiders.

As you may have noticed from past postings I don't really do my own movie reviews. It is not that I can't or won't but more so that like all art forms it is subjective and when some of my favorite movies on garnered (Side not in my game back to Jew where I can take anything within 6 degrees back to something Jewish, garnered reminds me of Jennifer Garner who was in Alias with half-Jew Micheal Vartan who was born in France just like Cassel, get it? I digress..) 1.5 stars out of 4 like 3 O'Clock Hight from so called critics and others that I thought just sucked like The Kung Fu Hustle get 4 stars.
When I put someone else's review on my blog it is because I find the way they wrote the review interesting. 'Nuff said

From NY
September 16, 2007
Exploring Humanity, Violence and All
IT is the kind of scene that comes to stand for the movie itself, like Travis Bickle’s balletic slaughter in “Taxi Driver” or the rape sequence serenade in “A Clockwork Orange.”
Late in “Eastern Promises,” directed by David Cronenberg and in theaters now, is a four-minute, two-on-one gangster fight set in a Russian bathhouse in London. The tile quickly becomes slick with blood, curved carpet knives cleave flesh from bone, and yet, perversely, what’s somehow more shocking is that the man under attack by two sweaty thugs in leather jackets is naked. That nakedness happens to belong to Viggo Mortensen, a k a Aragorn, the pleasingly least-hobbitish star of the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Note from the Blog Master BPositive when my wife saw him naked she said "I wonder why he would do this kind of a nude scene" then before she finished that thought she said "With a body like that he can do whatever he wants" I hit the gym extra hard this morning.)
This isn’t glancing art-house nudity, but a kind of nakedness rarely seen in films not Borat.” Mr. Cronenberg delivers the human body in all its ugliness and glory, part and parcel of a violence mediated by nothing, not even clothing.
“I knew I wasn’t going to do ‘Bourne Ultimatum’-type quick-cutting where you don’t really see anything,” said the 64-year-old Mr. Cronenberg, sitting in a grimy diner in the otherwise tony neighborhood of Toronto where he lives. (He chose the location.) He spoke in a gentle voice and wore his usual uniform of black T-shirt and jeans, a vertical, exclamation mark of grey hair his most aggressive attribute.
“I used relatively wide lenses to see a lot of the bathhouse. I wanted to see full bodies, and it couldn’t be impressionistic, but linear. So when I said to Viggo, ‘O.K., what are we going to do with the towel?’ He said: ‘Well, I’m going to have to do it naked. It’s obvious.’ And that was the end of the conversation.”
Theirs is a trust forged a film ago on the set of the 2005 film “A History of Violence,” in which Mr. Mortensen played an average American dad, a man who turns out to be something more baleful. “Eastern Promises” feels like a relocated companion piece to that movie, another film about colliding tribes and shifting identities.
Despite Mr. Cronenberg’s demurrals these two films, and “Spider” (2002), seem to show a director turning away from the special-effects-driven fantasies of his earlier work, from “The Fly” (a love story about a man-fly mutation) and “Crash” (a group of sexed-up car crash victims) toward a starker, less amusing brand of human violence. “In his last two films he shows the consequences of the violence, where normally the camera looks away and absolves us of our guilt,” said Steven Knight, the screenwriter of “Eastern Promises.” “There’s no glorification.”
“Eastern Promises,” a $25 million production by Focus Features, started as an original script about Eastern European human trafficking for BBC television. Mr. Knight earned an Oscar nomination in 2004 for “Dirty Pretty Things,” a Stephen Frears film about a handful of London’s illegal immigrants and their tumble into the black-market organ trade.
“Eastern Promises” too pulls back the scrim on invisible Londoners. A midwife, played by Naomi Watts, delivers the baby of a young Russian woman who is abandoned, beaten and fatally hemorrhaging, in her emergency room. The midwife attempts to track down the baby’s father and runs afoul of Russian gangsters called the vory v zakone, a criminal order that gained strength in Stalinist prison camps and now trades in goods and women. Their leader is a part-time restaurateur and full-time godfather (Armin Mueller-Stahl) whose closeted son (Vincent Cassel) is quietly being replaced in the organization by a foot soldier named Nikolai (Mr. Mortensen). Swaggering, yet hinting of unplumbed depths, Nikolai saws apart a frozen corpse with the indifference of a rock star signing an autograph, one hip cocked. But these are not merely Corleones in Ushanka hats. Instead Mr. Cronenberg casts his eye at the uneasy international mosaic of modern urban life.
“When you have a culture that’s embedded in another, there’s a constant tension between the two,” Mr. Cronenberg said. “In the U.S. the melting pot was supposed to mean you come and you absorb American values. But in Canada and England the idea of multiculturalism was something else. At its worst it’s you come and you live there, but you live in a little ghetto of your own culture that you brought with you. I suppose that’s happening in the States with the Spanish language. Can multiculturalism really work? I don’t know, but it’s an interesting study.”
Mr. Cronenberg was born and raised in an area of Toronto that was once Jewish, but in his childhood the Jews moved north, and Italians moved in. He remembers hearing Dean Martin through the walls and learning about Fellini from an Italian-Canadian boy. “That’s the good part of multiculturalism,” he said. “That’s the dream of it. The bad parts are the animosities brought from other countries.”
He offers a rather chilling example: While “Eastern Promises” was shooting last year in London, the Russian dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko was fatally poisoned. In Hyde Park, about a half block from where Mr. Cronenberg and much of his team were staying, traces of radioactive polonium were found in a building owned by the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, one of the accused in Mr. Litvinenko’s murder.
On a cellphone in New York, Mr. Mortensen described traveling in Russia for research, relishing the sensation of being invisible for two weeks. “In Russia I could communicate awkwardly, but mostly I chose not to communicate,” Mr. Mortensen recalled. “My goal was to make sure my character had a particular class, an ethnic and geographical background. I worked really hard on translating the slang and getting the body language right.”
He decided that his character had emigrated to London from the Ural mountain region, on the edge of the Siberian plain. Mr. Mortensen also brought Mr. Cronenberg a book on Russian criminal tattoos and showed him a film by the artist Alix Lambert, “The Mark of Cain,” a 2000 documentary in which Ms. Lambert interviews Russian prisoners about their tattoos.
In a pivotal scene Mr. Mortensen — naked again — stands before a group of senior members of the vory v zakone. As Nikolai renounces his birth family for this new one, his tattooed body maps his life: his crimes, his time behind bars, even his sexual history. “The tattoos became the main metaphor because it’s the body in transformation done in a realistic way as opposed to a sci-fi or a fantasy way,” Mr. Cronenberg said.
Mr. Cronenberg’s most famous films are marked by shocking instances of the body made fantastic: the stomach turned VCR in Videodrome,” or the pulsating, vaguely gynecological video game console in eXistenZ.” But in 2002 along came “Spider,” a quiet horror film whose setting was, essentially, the mind of a man, a former mental patient played by Ralph Fiennes. The horror in that film came mostly from Spider’s internal visions of violent acts. Along with “A History of Violence” Mr. Cronenberg has made three features in a row where the audience is shocked not just by another clever abstraction from his active imagination, but by something wholly concrete, and scarier for it.
“It’s so difficult to get a movie made that unless you’re Spielberg you can’t really calculate anything,” Mr. Cronenberg said. “ ‘Eastern Promises’ happened because the script was good, and Viggo has what I thought were very Russian cheekbones, and he was available. And the money came together. I could just as easily have made a musical comedy if those pieces had fallen in place.
“I’ve been through this before with ‘The Dead Zone,’ where people were saying, ‘He’s going to a more naturalistic kind of less violent thing,’ and then I did ‘The Fly,’ which is an out and out horror sci-fi, very gory. To me that was just natural.”
He added: “And I myself don’t know why. It’s only after the fact that I might say, ‘Yeah, I guess at that point I was tired of doing effects, or whatever.’ The one thing that I don’t want to do is bore myself. Really it’s all the same philosophical enterprise. I’m exploring what it is to be a human being from my perspective and my context and my life.”
Although “Eastern Promises” seems to reverberate with carnage, there are only three violent scenes in the film, all knives and fists and no guns. But if the film feels more vicious, it may be because the violence is entirely without poetry.
“Look at ‘The Departed,’ that body count is much higher,” Mr. Cronenberg said. “But killing someone with a knife is a very intimate thing, and that’s good. A certain understanding of your own morality comes out of your reactions to the movie. If you find the fight in the bath scene very erotic, and that disturbs you, that’s great. For me to filter it for you, to edit it so you don’t have to look at it, means that you don’t have to confront your own reaction. Now what you do with that reaction is your own business, but I’m probably gleeful behind the scenes saying: ‘See, you didn’t know that you could react that way. Know thyself.’ ”
La Haine
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Directed by
Mathieu Kassovitz
Written by
Mathieu Kassovitz
Vincent Cassel,Hubert Koundé,Saïd Taghmaoui
Music by
Distributed by
Release date(s)
May 31, 1995
Running time
96 min. Language French

IMDb profile
La Haine ("Hate") is a French black-and-white film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, released in 1995. It is a dark urban thriller which has been called France's answer to Do the Right Thing. It explores themes of racism, violence and disaffected youth in modern suburban Paris. A riot has broken out in a suburban ghetto, and been quelled by the police. The film depicts 24 hours in the lives of three teenage friends in that suburb.

Plot and characters
Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, is filled with rage. He sees himself as a thug ready to win respect or take it by killing a cop, modeled after Robert DeNiro's "Travis Bickle" from the American film Taxi Driver. Hubert (Hubert Koundé) is a black boxer, who quietly contemplates the ghetto and the hate he sees around him. Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui), an Arab, is the trio's constantly-talking voice but not necessarily of reason; Said tries to find middle ground between his two friends' response to life and the ghetto. A friend of theirs, called Abdel Ichaha, who has been beaten up in police custody, lies in a coma. Vinz finds a policeman's gun, lost in the riots that preface the film, and vows that if their friend dies from his injuries, he will use it to kill a policeman.
This sets off a series of events that take the three down a path of destruction. Travelling into central Paris from the suburbs they live in, the three friends find themselves viewed as social outsiders in the middle-class surroundings of the French capital, and having missed the last train back, they are effectively locked out in the city. Trying, unsuccessfully, to return to their home, they are obliged to sleep in a shopping center. In the morning, they learn that their friend has died in the hospital. For a moment it seems as if Vinz will go through with his boast when they are confronted by a group of skinheads, but when actually faced with the frightening power and possibility of killing one of the "skins," Vinz makes himself ill and cannot go through with it. As day breaks again and they are returning to their homes, Vinz gives Hubert the gun as a conciliatory gesture.
Hubert walks away from Vinz and Saïd, but is drawn back to them shortly afterwards when he hears a car pull up. When he sees that it's a cop car, he walks quickly towards them. Vinz is harassed by the same racist police officer he met in the preface; and the cop's careless grip on his gun leads him accidentally to shoot Vinz in the head. Hubert pulls his gun on the cop. In the final scene, Hubert points the gun at the cop, and the cop points his gun to Hubert. The end result is ambiguous, and the camera cuts back to Saïd who closes his eyes, then two gunblasts are heard as the screen goes black.

Impact of the film
Director Mathieu Kassovitz delivers a powerfully emotional comment on the state of French society and the problems caused by urban deprivation and its underlying causes La Haine was praised for strong performances by all three main actors, especially Cassel, whose portrayal of Vinz launched him to stardom.
La Haine was shot in colour but it was transferred to black and white during editing. A colour version was made for re-release in case the black and white version failed at the box office. However, the film was a huge commercial success and provoked much debate in France over its unflinching presentation of urban and police violence. The then-prime minister Alain Juppé arranged a special screening and ordered his entire cabinet to watch the film; police guards at the screening at Cannes turned their backs on the director, cast and crew as they walked past in protest of its portrayal of police brutality. Kassovitz won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996 and the movie was nominated for the Palme d'Or; the film also picked up the César Award for Best Picture.
The British band Asian Dub Foundation recorded a track called La Haine as a tribute to the film.
It is said that Kassovitz based the script on the actual death of 22-year-old French Arab Malik Oussekine, who was beaten to death by police following a 1986 university demonstration. However, in interviews Kassovitz has said that the idea came to him after a young Zairian, Makomé Bowole, was shot and killed at point blank range while in police custody and handcuffed to a radiator - the officer was reported to have been angered by Makomé's words, and had been threatening him when the gun went off accidentally.
The film prompted something of a backlash from French audiences, who questioned its authenticity. The director was accused of being an outsider who was merely fascinated by the urban culture represented.
This film has been put on the syllabi for French studies for specific universities, as well as A-level Film Studies in the UK as a part of study of foreign films.
The film is also considered to be a classic. It holds a place on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films list, and is one of the rare films to have scored a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Office Tonight and the Big Boss is a Jew!

B.J. Novak is promoted to Micheal Scott's boss in the 4th season of "The Office". I was looking for some way to put my favorite comedy on my blog and after some digging I found a Jew. Novak's father is also the co-editor of The Big Book of Jewish Humor. Here is some info on tonight's season opener:
The Office: New Season Four Info
For the latest The Office news, subscribe to our RSS feed or email newsletter. Email this Article to a FriendJuly 24, 2007
It's very, very rare that a half-hour comedy will make fans legitimately care about where the story is going to go coming into a new season. The Office is one of those rare shows. Not only is it the funniest show on TV (when Curb Your Enthusiasm returns, we'll talk), its plot lines, and cliffhangers between seasons, are truly meaningful to fans. So, when executive producer Greg Daniels spoke to press late last week and gave some hints about what's to come on season four of The Office, fans listened. Thanks to IGN, here are the major nuggets of info regarding the upcoming season of The Office.
Daniels, on Jim and Pam: "That's a big part of the show. I think you can look for some new things happening." He continued, when asked if audiences might finally get to see them actually, you know, together: "I think that would be interesting! …But I won't answer. I'm willing to be coy with all these things!"
Although Rashida Jones (who plays Karen), has a new sitcom on FOX (Rules for Starting Over), she will appear in a few episodes this season. When those episodes will be remains unclear.
Roy is no longer a main character on the show, but we may see him turn up at some point. Jan remains a main cast member.
They have not finalized any guest stars as of yet.
Daniels, on how season three ended, with Jim returning from New York to ask Pam out: "Well, I thought it was a great ending to that episode. I think you want to be a little bit ahead of people's expectations, and not give them exactly what they're expecting to get, but still give them something satisfying, because it engages the dynamics that they're interested in. But I would think it would be a shame if everybody knew what was going to happen with the next episode and then got it." The Office will premiere its fourth season September 27 on NBC

Say Shalom to Me!

I have only had this site up for a few weeks but I have noticed since getting a web counter that everyday more and more people are visiting "The Blog". Even though I blog mainly for my own entertainment if you are going to stop by and spend some time with my thoughts then I would like some feedback. If there is something Jewish you would like to see or see more of you can comment on my site or send an email to For instance after looking at many message boards I found several Jewish Koreans who thought that they were alone out there. But after reading my previous post they can take comfort in knowing that there are others as equally messed up. If you want me to add a link to your blog or website I will be happy to under 2 conditions. 1) There is Jewish relevancy to the link, 2) Your link is either entertaining or educational or hopefully both. I will decide as I know what "Funny" is. And with 6.5 years taken to get my undergrad I have as much college as a doctor so I know what educational is too. Spelling and grammar will not work against you as I am looking for content and because I cant spell or structure sentence correctly either.

Shout Out to All the Korean Jews in the Sukkah!

"Koreans and Jews are basically the same people: We have the most tyrannical overbearing mothers, and even if the Jews beat us on the neurosis, self–hatred, and wordplay, we’re both cheap bastards and we’re stubborn beyond belief. " —David Choe

I was just going thru my website stats and noticed that behind the US and Canada, Korea is where my highest blog viewers are coming from. So I thought now would be
the best time to do a posting on Jewish Koreans. Not an easy challenge I assure you but within minutes of a MYSPACE scan I found a few.
In no particular order we have Junghoo a Virgo from Rockville Centre wherever the heck that is who says:
"Hey, im an adopted korean from taegu city, making me a rare find, a korean jew. i like taekwondo, hiphop dancing, paintball, and soccer. ive doing all of these things for most of my life and still love them." BPositive says keep on keeping on to young Junghoo the Korean Jew

Loving the name and loving the mix we have Devorah bat Hannah
from Michigan: "I'm a rare and spicy mix... Korean/African American Hebrew, yes... I am a Korean Jew and so proud of it. I've learned so much about my Jewish and African heritage, now I am eager to learn more about my Korean heritage... but yet and still... like said above... I'm a Korean Jew!!!"
Then there is Lynn over on Friendster who gave her full name but since she obviously doesn't know how dangerous the net is I am not going to post it here. I should tell her mother. I mean when she got up this morning would she have ever thought that her picture and mini-bio would end up on a crazy site like this one:
"I'm your average half-Korean Jew that sings tenor, fences, tap dances, and plays oldies/emo/rock/alternative/beatles/dylan on the cello. Theatre is my passion: I'm trying to decide between NYU-Tisch and Wesleyan for a drama degree. I'm fairly introverted until someone with a good sense of humor makes me open up. Hmmm...I'm a senior in the Math/Science Magnet Program at XXXX School (she named her high school as well which I just removed, you would think with the jewish asian mix that she would be paranoid/modest..oh well kids these days)...Senior Class pres..working with the mock trial team and thespians...directing "Fiddler on the Roof" at a local middle school. Feel free to send notes or IM me (I removed her IM as well..I am calling her mom or better yet I will IM her dad)

From the message boards I found the eyes of a Korean Jew. To which another poster replied: "So does that make you a jeenk, or a chew?"

I wasn't expecting things to get this crazy but check out this little story on a Korean Jew and how he views religion and culture. Warning; you might learn something
The Plight of The Non-White Jew By: Jacob Duprey.
The Jewish public at large is in jeopardy. They risk becoming as closed minded as those they oppose. The fact is that Jews must expand their definition of what constitutes a Jew. Jews are not a race, they are not genetically distinct nor is their Judaism predicated upon the fact that they were born that way. Additionally not all Jews practice in the same manner and some
practices are quite different from the public perception of synagogue. Judaism is in fact a faith, a set of beliefs and a group of people who are united because of what they believe in.
Traditionally a Jew is thought of as a person with dark curly hair, long sideburns, a big nose, a fat wallet and a funny hat.
However the definition of a Jew is rapidly expanding. The Israeli and Ashkenazi Jews form only part of the greater whole that is the Jewish Faith. Communities in China have rediscovered their Jewish roots and have begun to practice again. The Black Ethiopian Jews have been around since the 1600's when they fought for their survival. The Indian Jews, the Bene Israel (Son's of
Israel) claim to have been in existence since the 2nd Century BCE. All of these groups are Jewish, but if seen walking on the streets you would not assume they were Jewish. Thus the original definition of Jew must be expanded to encompass the new definition.
Closer to home, Asian Jews are not taken seriously. I, as a Korean Jew, must every year explain to teachers and friends why I will not be coming in on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Everyone I meet must first be introduced to the idea of an Asian
Jew. The common response is:
"You're Jewish?!?
To which I must respond "Yes".
My friend, an Aryan-German Jew, must calmly explain to people that race and religion are independent of each other. Many people seem to believe that Judaism is a race. A common exchange is as follows:
"You're Jewish?!?" "Yes".
"But you're German!"
"Yea, well they didn't get all of us".
A long explanation should not be required to convey one's religion. This is why a change is in order. More to the point, not all Jews are born Jewish; although the population of people who covert to Judaism is small.
Within my immediate family alone: my Father converted from Catholicism and my brother, sister and I were all converted from the indigent religions of Peru, China and Korea respectively. Although my family does represent something of a racial bouillabaisse it still proves the point that Jews of all shapes and colors do indeed exist and they are asking for public opinions to
The school of Judaism that a person follows is another division within our sect. The divisions are as follows: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. The first two can be thought of as the traditional forms of Jewish study and prayer, the Orthodox representing the more strict and formal of the two and Conservative being the more colloquial of the two. Orthodox
services are conducted in the traditional manner, in some cases even separating men from women. Conservative services are run much like a standard church service, except in Hebrew. The last two are rather different from what usually springs to mind; often prayers are said in English or members of the congregation may offer up their own suggestions. Reform Synagogues are not as formal, allowing for provocative thought and changing of customs and prayers. Reconstructionist, to which I belong, encourages challenging the old faith and improving it as an effect of time. All of these schools of thought are Jewish but the latter 2 would be thought of as less "Jewish". This is simply not true and thus we must change our vision of what it is to be "Jewish".

Judaism is a faith, a set of beliefs and values. It is not predicated on physical traits, genetic lineage or geographic heritage. Judaism is, in my belief, a set of values that gives us conscience and modesty. It is a way of life that gives you something to believe in; it is nothing but faith. A person is a Jew because they profess Judaism, not because they look "Jewish". Obviously there will always be the stereotype of what construes a Jew but this author begs for a change in what you, the reader, believes to be a Jew. Public perception can change on the whim of a single person as long as the rest of the world believes them. You can be that one person.
After more internet searching things got even stranger as you can see from this snip it:
Korean Collective Action: The Hunts Point Market Demonstrations and Boycotts
by Hee Won Yi '00
What is ironic to me is how Korean immigrants have now been given the racial epithet of "Kew" or "Korean Je w." This connotes the idea that the massive Korean entry into small businesses is following the traditional immigrant path of the Jewish immigrants before us ("The Koreans," 219).
And finally since my eyes are getting tired and my back sore we have Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy. I guess since this is a TV character this info is from Ficipedia:
Cristina Yang is a doctor of Korean descent and a native of Beverly Hills, California. Raised Jewish (her mother converted upon re-marriage to oral surgeon Saul Rubenstein). She has at times referred to herself as Jewish, although she believes only in science and is a strong atheist. Her biological father died when she was nine years old in a car accident, where she watched him bleed out before help arrived. She has a B.A. from Smith College, an M.S. and a Ph.D in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley and earned her M.D. from Stanford University, graduating first in her class.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jews On the Range

Ok things have been getting a little heavy on "The Blog" what with political themes, death and what not. Let's get back to the bout Jewish cowboys?

Taken from the site Traded for Wheat:
Lonesome Jewish Cowboy
I'm just a lonesome Jewish cowboy on the range.
All the shiksa cowgirls think I'm strange.
I left my whole mishpoochah in New York.
I'm surrounded by cowboys eatin' pork.
I'm always getting lost on Saturday.
Cowboys leave me trailing while I pray.
Not one synagog for a thousand miles.
I have to say my brochah near shit piles.
All my Meneschewitz has gone flat
Yarmulke 'neeth my ten gallon hat
Cowboy Morris Goldberg is my name
And driving kosher cattle is my game.

I'm just a lonesome Jewish cowboy on the range.
All the shiksa cowgirls think I'm strange.
The girls in the brothel are surprised.
'Cause I'm the only cowboy circumcised.
Blowing the shofar every year,
Gets me stampeded by the steer
I can't ride on this saddle anymore
All this bouncing's made my tuchas sore
I'm the rootinest tootinest rabbi in the land
But livin' on the range ain't all that grand
Wish I could go home today
But I can't ride the train on Saturday

Borrowed from:
A Considerable Town One Tough Jew by ROBERT DAVID JAFFEE
Friedman is a tough Jew, a real Jewish cowboy, and the crowd seems to be filled with other cowboys and tough, street-smart Jews, many of them balding. Friedman, however, still looks quite hirsute at 61. His dark mustache and sideburns show no trace of gray, and the black, kinky hair that earned him his nickname may still exist under his ubiquitous black Stetson hat. Author, Musician, and candidate for Governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia in the 1960's.
Jewish Life in the American West
Edited by Ava F. Kahn
144 pages (8.5 x 11), with 50 black and white photos
Trade Paper, ISBN: 1-890771-77-5, $22.50

Published in collaboration with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage
The history of Jews in America is traditionally a history of Jews in New York. Place a Jew in the Wild West, and you have the premise of a comic film: think Blazing Saddles or The Frisco Kid. Think of little Fievel Mousekowitz in An American Tail. The essence of an American Jew in the popular consciousness is far more Woody Allen than John Wayne.
Yet many Jews bypassed the Lower East Side completely—coming to America through San Francisco or the port of Galveston, Texas—and forged communities and identities as ranchers, miners, merchants, and cowboys. One even became chief of an Indian tribe.
First published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, Jewish Life in the American West includes a compelling selection of photographs and other illustrations. The art and essays together yield a volume that explores not only the impact of Jews on the West, but the West’s impact on American Jews.

The Jew at the Alamo (1836)
Among the many men and women who fell defending the Alamo from the Mexican Army in 1836 was a young Englishman named Antony Wolfe, who was serving as a private in the army of the Republic of Texas. Wolfe, almost certainly the only Jew in the battle, is reputed to have been one of the last defenders to be killed. Source: American Jewish Historical Society, American Jewish Desk Reference, (The Philip Leff Group, Inc., 1999), p. 16.

Jewish Traveler Archive: CalgaryBy Rachel Musleah From
Want a taste of the west? Go north to the city with a history of jewish cowboys and the world’s premier rodeo event. Refugees from pogroms became farmers and pillars of the new world.
At the Lazy S Ranch in Rumsey, Canada, in a photograph taken circa 1930, a cowboy in flared leather chaps poses with his horse. His shirt—emblazoned with a Magen David and the letters AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph, the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization)—gives away his Jewish background, as does his name: Curly Gurevitch.
Gurevitch was one of the early settlers of Calgary, the Dallas of the western province of Alberta. Unlike the covered wagons that helped open the American frontier, it was the railroad that put Calgary on the map in 1883. Before that it was Blackfoot Indians, missionaries, fur traders and surveyors who explored Calgary’s prairie tundra and the Canadian Rocky Mountains that rise up in the background like a mirage.

Taken from
Before John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Clint Eastwood, there was Broncho Billy, the father of the cowboy movie and the world’s first cowboy hero.
Dating back nearly 100 years to the early days of cinema, Broncho Billy was a rough ’n’ tough cowpoke, tall in the saddle, quick on the draw — and Jewish.

Taken from Our Lady of Perpetual Obsolescence Vinyl Rescue Mission and Orphanage
A safe haven for forgotten and downtrodden record albums. Pastor Francis McPurvis, Director
Passover Share: Manischewitz Presents The Jewish Cowboy : Harold Stern from Centerville, Texas
Today is the second day of Passover and what better way to relive the memories of last night’s Second Seder than by listening to the Texas drawl of Harold Stern, the Jewish Cowboy from Centerville, Texas?
This promotional 45 rpm record produced by the Manischewitz company features Mr. Stern speaking about his life as a Jewish Cowboy, sharing personal information about himself (he’s single ladies!), and thanking the Manischewitz for providing all the fixins that enable his family to observe the holidays in ranch country. To break up these personal vignettes, singer/accordionist Avram Grobard steps in and performs a couple of short selections.
The recording is brief, clocking in at just under nine minutes, but it is not short on entertainment value. You’ve never heard the words ‘gefilte fish’ pronounced quite like this, and that’s no bubbe maisse! Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!

Rank and Organization: Private, Company B, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: Arizona, August to October 1868. Birth: Bavaria. Date of Issue: 24 July 1869. Private, Company B, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: Arizona, August to October 1868. Birth: Bavaria. Date of Issue: 24 July 1869. Citation: Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

Arizona Jewish Pioneers Taken from The Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives website
The United States Southwest, encompassing West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California, reflects the heritage of diverse groups of peoples. From native-born inhabitants to those who chose to settle in this region, each group has contributed to Southwestern culture and society. United States Southwestern history has traditionally focused on the contributions of Native Americans, and people whose ancestral roots are in Mexico and Europe. Until recently, little has been written documenting the pioneer Jewish experience. Visitors to this website learn that Jewish pioneers not only built Jewish communities, but that they also made significant contributions to the development of the U. S. Southwest.

It is reported that in 1877, there were 48 Jews living in the Arizona territory. Over succeeding decades, Arizona's Jewish population rose (2,000 in 1897), fell (500 in 1907), and by 1973 rose to over 21,000. More recent demographics find approximately 50,000 Jews living in the Phoenix area and 20,000 in Tucson. Jewish Community Councils were founded in the 1940 in Phoenix and in 1942 in Tucson. NSJE p. 76-77.

And of course Matt Buckstein "The Lost Country Singer"

I could go on but I think you get the point. Civil War Jews coming up..

Rabbi laments American Jews' preoccupation with liberalism

Just grabbed this article from Haaretz. I was planning to write my own blog on this but since it has been covered in more depth and with much more time then I would have had you can have at it. What I will say is that being a Jew does not mean you have to fight just to fight. Taking down Christmas trees in public places how does that make America a better place. Less than 2% of the country is Jewish and speaking for myself I am sure a big part of them enjoys the Christmas holiday season and does not equate Jesus with a pine tree. It is nostalgic for me and even though I have a Jewish home now I love to watch Mr. Heatmeiser and Mr. Coldmeiser duel it out once a year.

I think the ACLU has become ridiculous and unnecessary and giving someone a longer jail sentence for a "Hate" crime is just plain silly. Is someone who is an antisemitic not going to spray paint a swastika on a Temple because they might spend more time in jail if caught? Hellz no, if they are a hater that is not going to change the essence of who they are. Even the beating in Paris a few years back that some Arabs got at the book signing of an antisemit by an underground Jewish militia is not going to change the hatred and ignorance. If anything it will only add fuel to the fire. I must say that there was a smile on my face when I first read the article in the Jewish Journal but since have had time to reflect.

You know I am all about tough Jews but in that situation they were just being bullies like the Muslim thugs in those Western European countries. I will let you read the article now that I have had my mini rant but that is what a blog is all about, to blog it out like verbal vomit. I am still threatening to write a blog on Dumb Ass Jews and this touches on some of them. I am coming after George Soros and his Move On.Org soon. Just because he survived the Holocaust does not mean that he knows who should run our country. If anything he should realize that backing these liberals to get Republicans out of power will only hurt the war on terror and leave Israel open to nuclear attack from these middle east A-Holes. And if he has forgotten where do the most Holocaust survivors live outside the US..yes it is Israel. But I am sure the libs reading this will say that I am just drinking the Bush cool aid. I am sure it is much tastier than anything Kerry would have come up with. Read On!

PS: Is this the Rabbi or is it Gregory Peck in hiding?

Last update - 22:37 26/09/2007
Rabbi laments American Jews' preoccupation with liberalism
By Shmuel Rosner ,Haaretz Correspondent

Rabbi Daniel Greer's white beard moves slightly as he shakes his head, pondering why he is always surrounded by a self-created state of disquiet. "My tendency is to do what needs doing," Greer says. The rabbi, so it seems, always thinks "something is to be done" and is therefore constantly endeavoring, sometimes stirring up controversy. Greer is a man of contradictions, living on the border between withdrawal and involvement, between enlightenment and separatism, between assimilation and tribalism. It is a very American model - even if extreme - of orthodoxy: assertive, assured, even arrogant. "In the battle over the soul of American Jewry" writes Samuel Freedman in his book Jew Vs. Jew, in which he devoted a lengthy chapter to Greer: "The Orthodox model is that which won." Greer would certainly agree.

"There is no other country in the world that makes Jewish life possible like the United States," he says. Some of its institutions he will fight against for the right to be different - occasionally angering the surrounding society - but his main strength lies in angering other Jews, whose community organizations and institutions he dismisses with a facial expression of revulsion. "They kept silent when Jews were murdered in Germany," "the Jewish organizations are no longer Jewish. All the Jewish Federation people married non-Jews,and if they didn't, then their children did." We need the guns "so they'll understand that we're serious," Eliezer Greer, one of Rabbi Greer's sons, says. He is dressed in a black T-shirt with a white square in the middle emblazoned with the slogan: Edgewood Park Defense Patrol. Twice a week he dons it over his ritual fringes and white dress shirt and takes to the streets of this New Haven neighborhood, for a three- to four-hour shift. Local police concede that crime is down in the neighborhood, but that's not enough for Eliezer.

He wants the police chief, Francisco Ortiz, gone. He's certain the mayor will get rid of him, because he simply won't have a choice. "I am part of the community, part of the neighborhood," the rabbi says. This neighborhood - a mixture of Jews and Christians, whites and blacks, educated and ignorant, workers and unemployed - is now his project. As harassment and crime increased ¬ and after his son, Dov, returned home one day bruised from an encounter with street thugs - the rabbi acted at once: The civil defense guard he formed works to prevent crime and the campaign he launched is aimed at ousting the police chief, whom they term "lazy." The brief public furor over the neighborhood patrol had two focal points: Black leaders were worried about harassment of blacks, and civil rights advocates objected to the patrol's bearing firearms. Greer appeased the first group and persuaded them he had the neighborhood's interest at heart. The others he ignored - what's he got to do with those liberals? He does not neglect to mention that many of them are Jews, like David Warren of the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut, who took issue with the group "that is trying to enforce the law itself." Greer always spots the Jews among those standing in his way. The rabbi's involvement in this neighborhood neither begins nor ends with the civil patrol. A non-profit organization he established buys run-down houses, renovates and rents them to suitable tenants - not necessarily Jews. The homes are painted a uniform color, trees are planted, new kitchens installed. In the yard of one such house an old well pump was restored to working order. There are already dozens of houses like this located within walking distance from the yeshiva. The neighborhood face-lift is changing things for the better.

It's hard not to appreciate this enterprise, even in view of the controversial personality behind it. But let no one dare call it "tikkun olam," Greer says, using the Talmudic term for repairing or perfecting the world, a phrase that has become the mantra of the more liberal Jewish movements in American. "It's an Orwellian term, 'New Speak,'" he seethes, offended, or pretending to be so. "Tikkun olam is the way of people who call themselves Jews to conceal the fact that they have no Jewish content left." Ten years have passed since the so-called Yale Five incident. A real classic case, reflects attorney Nathan Lewin out loud in his Washington office. Jews against Jews. On one side, Greer's Jews: His daughter Bat-Sheva and four of her friends, students New Haven's prestigious Yale University, who demanded the institution exempt them from living in the dorms. On the other, Yale Jews and their supporters: Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg and the heads of most Jewish groups in the U.S. Requiring Ultra-Orthodox Jewish students live in mixed dorms infringed one's religious rights upheld by the constitution, Lewin argued in court. The story of the five received lots of publicity, but within the Jewish community aroused ill feeling. "It's a gross error," said the head of a Ultra-Orthodox group. Observant Jews who lived in the dorms were petrified by the lawsuit's implications on them. "It's not always easy to live here and maintain a modest lifestyle," they said: "but that's the price of living in the modern world." Grir lives on this borderline, between the "modern world" and the Jewish camp. He too went to Princeton, and opened the first kosher kitchen at the university. Even then, he was someone who "did what he had to do." They were different times: less Jews studied at the university, and there was less understanding of their needs. Nevertheless, Greer believes it was easier then. Today's generation's permissiveness makes life as an observant Jew in their midst even more unbearable, he believes. "Parents don't understand what goes on in the dorms," he states and hopes his story aroused awareness and caused some to shun universities that do not offer alternative housing arrangements. The lawsuit was thrown out of court. As a private university, Yale is allowed to impose such requirements, a judge ruled. Those unhappy with the arrangement shouldn't enroll. After having four children graduate from Yale, Greer's fifth son went to Brown University.

Here is a question whose answer is the key to understanding the five's lawsuit: Is the demand that a student live in mixed dorms akin to having to take an exam on the Sabbath? Greer answers in the affirmative without hesitating; it shall not pass. Thus, the private university argument seems to him as absurd today as it did at the time. Can they also keep black students out because they are a private university? His lawyer, Lewin, opted for a more cautious description, attributing the equation to others: "some students felt it was like asking them to take an exam on the Sabbath." That is to say, he himself is less certain, even if he believes the students deserved to be exempt. "There are many ultra-Orthodox Jews who studied at Yale, and they were no less observant than Greer," said one student. The black and white world of Greer is sometimes hard to swallow even for those supposedly on his side. There are rabbis and Orthodox leaders who believe to this day that a compromise could have been reached, but that Greer did not seek it. But he disagrees.

At too many institutions "freedom of speech is a flag waved only when it suits their position," he concludes. For this reason, Greer is no fan of elite universities, and even less so of the Jewish community's institutions. In the U.S. of all countries, where one can be Jewish and proud, they chose not to be "too Jewish," he says. In any event, Greer says, "the U.S. has two Jewish communities." One is "dwindling," until it disappears. "Liberals," he calls them, and coming from him it isn't praise. He says they "aren't serious" and are therefore "assimilated." Greer is acerbic, an extreme example of this mindset, but not the only one among the Orthodox to view with a degree of scorn and arrogance the direction in which the other streams of Judaism are headed. In opposition to them he places the model of the Orthodox community, varied and splintered though it be, which shares a "common interest," he believes. Greer thinks this is all that will remain of the huge American-Jewish community. "They're trembling," Greer says of the other streams, "frightened by the start-up gang that's grabbing a more central place." Besides, he adds, "their grandchildren won't care if they marry a Catholic or a Navajo," so there's no call to take their sensibilities or opinions into account.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Maker of Boxes Passes on the Holiest Day of the Year

If you live in the Bay Area and like to attend craft shows then you are very aware of whom Dale Chase is. Even though he was not a practicing Jew he died on Shabbat during this past Yom Kippur. 9 months ago he came down with a rare strain of cancer and knowing that his days were numbered he wrote his own obituary:
Morton "Dale" Chase
Morton "Dale" Chase Dale was born in 1934, spending his first 11 years in Michigan. His family moved to the SF Bay Area where he graduated from Richmond Union High in 1952. He graduated from UC Berkeley in zoology and UC Medical School, both with honors. He served surgical internship and residencies and a fellowship in vascular surgery, as well as two years as a surgeon in the Air Force. He practiced vascular surgery and non-invasive diagnosis of vascular disease for 32 years before retiring. He had boards in surgery, and was a Fellow of the American Collage of Surgeons, and the Society for vascular Surgery. He married Charlene, his beloved wife of 35 years, after four years of practice in the Bay Area and they spent the next 20 years in vascular practice in Chico, CA. Dale is survived by Charlene; his son John, and his sister Phyliss, both of the East Coast. Upon retirement they moved to Lake Wildwood. Dale switched his attention to his 20 year interest in box making and ornamental turning. This work grew from a hobby to a profession, selling his fine boxes in several galleries as well as at shows. The boxes are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, L.A. County Museum of Art, The Honolulu Museum of Art, the Yale University Museum of Art and several others, as well as in the personal collections on all continents. Last year he exhibited at Philadelphia museum of Art Show and won Best Woodwork of show at the Sausalito Art Festival. Dale enjoyed skiing, travel, art and music, and his box making passion. A private memorial service was held. Contributions may be made to the Interfaith Food Ministry, 551 Whiting St., Grass Valley, CA 95945, (530) 273-8132. Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary, 250 Race St., Grass Valley, CA 95945, (530) 273-2446. Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 9/27/2007.
Guest BookFlowersGift Shop

Here are some pictures of his beautiful boxes and his website to view while it lasts.

From Dale's site:

Evolution of Ornamented Boxmaking: Fine Boxes have intrigued me long before starting to make turned wood containers in 1973. After turning the first several wood boxes, I realized that they lacked something(s) which would make them attractive, balanced, ergonomic and worthy. There was little written about elements of fine boxes, so I began to study boxes in many media (wood, ceramic, metal, lacquer, glass and metal)-asking what made them desirable and even precious. In museums, I could only look from afar, or study photos. I went to craft shows examining many and buying a few boxes, and attended wood turning conferences where turners demonstrated.
I began turning cylindrical boxes seriously nights and weekends, gradually developing a sense of scale of top to bottom, wall thickness, smooth fit of top to bottom and surface finish. Early boxes were more a medium upon which to apply ornamentation, with a newly acquired Holtzapffel Ornamental Turning Lathe. Boxes with spirals, wavy lines, and indexed patterns sold well in galleries, and soon to Japanese buyers as Tea Caddies and Incense Boxes (Natsume and Kogo).
In the 1980s, I developed techniques for internal ornamentation, in which the ornament was concave. After studying these cylindrical boxes, I finally realized that the exterior didn’t relate to the interior. Wanting to have congruity between the inner and outer surfaces, I began turning shapes externally, which eventually led to the “creampuff” shaped boxes. As the shapes improved and evolved, buyers began to comment that the boxes were “sensuous” to hold. They would rub and perhaps caress their box and then marvel at the surprise of opening to see the sunburst inside. The internally Rose Engine ornamented creampuff box became my signature.
For several years, I worked on the shapes, while improving the internal ornament. The more that angularity was removed from what were the former corners, the more natural and pleasant the boxes felt. There was no single “formula” for wall thickness, ratio of top to bottom height, or of diameter to height. Trying to design boxes “by the numbers” was not successful. Each design called for a different scale.

Author of Budda Sex Will be Speaking at the UCLA Conference on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

Dr.Elisha Goldstein is one of our favorite Jewish transcendental psychologists so if you are going to be in LA this Oct 5th make sure you stop by the UCLA Conference on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Here is some more info on the event

Friday October 5, 2007
UCLA Conference on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Mindful Attachments: A Father-Son Journey into Relationships
Dr. Elisha Goldstein and Rabbi Jan Goldstein

So much of attachment theory in our field focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter. It’s no secret that in Western culture the messages that are passed down from father to son, consciously and unconsciously, often deal with ways to show strength, how to win, while remaining unemotional. The result is embedded judgment about being compassionate, vulnerable, and showing emotion, which creates a schism in the bond between father and son and the generations that follow. In this workshop you will be led through a father son journey illustrating how the principles of mindfulness (presence, patience, non-judging, acknowledgment, non-striving, letting be) transformed their relationship from pain to empowerment, from wound to sacred wound. Additionally, inspired from their relationship, practical research, application, and technique will be presented that explores how to use mindfulness to create and cultivate sacred moments in daily life. Clinicians will be guided through a couple mindfulness practices to provide an experiential understanding of the technique to bring into practice with clients, family, and at home. Join us in this meaningful exploration of story, research, application, and technique that will give you the tools to use mindfulness to foster change in your life and the lives of your clients.

Other speakers at the conference include The Venerable Thich Nhat Hahn, Concetta Alfano, Tara Brach, John D. Buksbazen, Trudy Goodman, Harriet Kimble-Wrye, Jack Kornfield, Sara W. Lazar, Pat Ogden, Marjorie Schuman, Daniel J. Siegel.

If interested in attending, visit this site to find out more:

What Holocaust?

This picture was suppossed to go under my yet unwritten blog: "Dumb Ass Jews" but I liked it so much I have included it in this piece taken from the Simon Wiesenthal Center site. This picture is of an anti-Zionist Orthodox Jew that attended the Tehran conference that questioned the Holocaust. Thankfully we have someone from the other side that is willing to challange Ahmadinejad face to face on why he questions the Holocaust. Well maybe not face to face and maybe not even himself but one of his representative will. And that should be very powerfull don't you think? See story below:

Leading American Muslim Leader to Challenge Ahmadinejad's Denial of the Nazi Holocaust

During a September 19th, 2007 meeting with SWC Associate Dean, Rabbi Cooper (R) at a Southern California Mosque, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County (L) said that he would challenge Iran's President's denial of the Nazi Holocaust. "I received an invitation to break the Ramadan Fast next week in New York with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his UN General Assembly visit. While I cannot personally attend, I have instructed my representative to ask the President: "What is your purpose in questioning the Holocaust?"

"I expressed our gratitude to Dr. Siddiqi for challenging Ahmadinejad's campaign of Holocaust Denial," said Rabbi Cooper, adding, "It is important for religious leaders to speak out against extremism especially during these days which coincide with the Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days."Also at the meeting, (center) was longtime community activist Mohammed Khan, International Director, Committee to Restore Imam Bukhari's Legacy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

3:10 to Jewma; The Review

I just got back from seeing 3:10 To Yuma and thought it was smart and intriguing from start to finish. However I was biased by reading reviews at Rotten a few weeks back. Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors but since he is not Jewish I am not going to focus on his acting chops (Which were as good as ever) on this blog.
The big surprise in this film was Jewish actor Ben Foster ( plays Charlie Prince, Outlaw Ben Wade's (Russell Crowe) right hand man.
Here is one quote taken from a review:
"I will say that I’ve seen ‘3:10 to Yuma’ and Foster just about steals the whole thing. In a story that touts Crowe’s Ben Wade as the scariest gunslinger you never want to tangle with, it’s Foster as Charlie Prince, memorably outfitted in a white jacket, that will have you talking on the way out of the theater. And yeah, I know it’s August and maybe I’m crazy…but Foster’s performance here is award caliber stuff. It’s that good. Let’s just say I’ve been repeating the line “this town’s going to burn!” way too much lately." Josh Horowitz (Jewish) MTV Movie Blog
For a complete review on the film you can always visit:

One movie preview that I saw this evening features another great actor; half Jew Daniel Day-Lewis ( in "There Will Be Blood". Looks like he will be playing a character similar to to Bill 'The Butcher' in "Gangs of New York" but I only saw a 3 minute cut so I could be wrong. He picks his films very carefully and only seems to show up in something every 2-3 years. Prior to "The Gangs" He took of 5 years and spent most of that time in Italy working as a Cobbler. Paul Thomas Anderson of Magnolia, Boogie Nights, etc is directing the film so expect it to have a little sumpen sumpen.

What Does the Death of a Jewish Mime Sound Like?

BTW if you are in the Derby Dead Pool pick up your winnings

Famed French Mime Marcel Marceau Dies

PARIS (AP) — Marcel Marceau, whose lithe gestures and pliant facial expressions revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, died Saturday. He was 84.
Wearing white face paint, soft shoes and a battered hat topped with a red flower, Marceau — notably through his famed personnage Bip — played the entire range of human emotions onstage for more than 50 years, never uttering a word. Offstage, however, he was famously chatty. "Never get a mime talking. He won't stop," he once said.
A French Jew, Marceau escaped deportation during World War II — unlike his father, who died as Auschwitz — and worked with the French Resistance to protect Jewish children.
His biggest inspiration was Charlie Chaplin. Marceau, in turn, inspired countless young performers — Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind."

Marceau performed tirelessly around the world until late in life, never losing his agility, never going out of style. In one of his most poignant and philosophical acts, "Youth, Maturity, Old Age, Death," he wordlessly showed the passing of an entire life in just minutes.
"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" he once said.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon praised Marceau as "the master," saying he had the rare gift of "being able to communicate with each and everyone beyond the barriers of language."
In recent decades, Marceau took Bip from Mexico to China to Australia. He's also made film appearances. The most famous was Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie": He had the only speaking line, "Non!"
"France loses one of its most eminent ambassadors," President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement.
Marceau's former assistant, Emmanuel Vacca, announced the death on France-Info radio, but gave no details.
Marceau was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His father Charles, a butcher who sang baritone, introduced his son to the world of music and theater at an early age. The boy adored the silent film stars of the era: Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers.
When the Germans marched into eastern France, he and his family were given just hours to pack their bags. He fled to southwest France and changed his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins.
With his brother Alain, Marceau became active in the French Resistance. Marceau altered children's identity cards, changing their birth dates to trick the Germans into thinking they were too young to be deported. Because he spoke English, he was recruited to be a liaison officer with Gen. George S. Patton's army.

In 1944, Marceau's father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died.
Later, he reflected on his father's death: "Yes, I cried for him."
But he also thought of all the others killed: "Among those kids was maybe an Einstein, a Mozart, somebody who (would have) found a cancer drug," he told reporters in 2000. "That is why we have a great responsibility. Let us love one another."

When Paris was liberated, Marcel's life as a performer began. He enrolled in Charles Dullin's School of Dramatic Art, studying with the renowned mime Etienne Decroux.
On a tiny stage at the Theatre de Poche, a smoke-filled Left Bank cabaret, he sought to perfect the style of mime that would become his trademark.

Bip — Marceau's on-stage persona — was born.
Marceau once said that Bip was his creator's alter ego, a sad-faced double whose eyes lit up with child-like wonder as he discovered the world. Bip was a direct descendant of the 19th century harlequin, but his clownish gestures, Marceau said, were inspired by Chaplin and Keaton.
Marceau likened his character to a modern-day Don Quixote, "alone in a fragile world filled with injustice and beauty."

Dressed in a white sailor suit, a top hat — a red rose perched on top — Bip chased butterflies and flirted at cocktail parties. He went to war and ran a matrimonial service.
In one famous sketch, "Public Garden," Marceau played all the characters in a park, from little boys playing ball to old women with knitting needles.

In 1949, Marceau's newly formed mime troupe was the only one of its kind in Europe. But it was only after a hugely successful tour across the United States in the mid-1950s that Marceau received the acclaim that would make him an international star.
Single-handedly, Marceau revived the art of mime.

"I have a feeling that I did for mime what (Andres) Segovia did for the guitar, what (Pablo) Casals did for the cello," he once told The Associated Press in an interview.
As he aged, Marceau kept on performing at the same level, never losing the agility that made him famous.

"If you stop at all when you are 70 or 80, you cannot go on," he told The AP in an interview in 2003. "You have to keep working."
Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

'Designated Hebrew' goes home for holiday

Taken for Neil Best's Blog; "Watch Dog". This article was sent to me by my cousin (name withheld for safety precautions..yours not his) who is in his own right is a semi-famous Jewish bowling and internet bridge champion. Maybe if he plays his cards right (Pun intended) he will get his own column on my blog someday.

'Designated Hebrew' goes home for holiday

Wednesday at YES Network function at Yankee Stadium I ran into Ron Blomberg, whose claims to fame are that he was the first designated hitter ever and that he is an accomplished former pro athlete of the Jewish faith.
Also . . . It turns out he made his debut for the Yankees on Sept. 10, 1969, the very day the Mets swept the Expos to go into first place for the first time - and the first sports event I remember watching as a young media critic in the making.
Blomberg, 59, was fresh off beating Art Shamsky's team for the first championship of a new Israeli pro baseball league, and was extra thrilled to have ousted a former Met.
Blomberg said he was in town only briefly because he had to get home to Atlanta for Yom Kippur, which begins Friday night. The fact he said it with a Southern accent made it that much weirder to hear talk of Yom Kippur plans coming out of the mouth of a former Major Leaguer.
Here is a clip of Blomberg speaking to Bruce Beck on Ch. 4 about his book "Designated Hebrew,'' which deals with his life as a highly touted rookie (and Jew) in the late '60s.
It's not as bizarre as Stephon Marbury's infamous interview with Beck, but it does have some precious moments, such as Blomberg saying, "The fans took me on as a Messiah a little bit.''

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Could You Be An Israelite and Not Know It? Pay 12.95 and catch up on all the pain and suffering you have missed out on over the past 2000 years

Missing Links DiscoveredIn Assyrian TabletsCapt's crowning achievement!

E. Raymond Capt M.A., A.I.A., F.S.A. Scott

Author: E. Raymond Capt Could you be an Israelite and not know it? "Here's a paradox, a most ingenious paradox: an anthropological fact, many Christians may have much more Hebrew-Israelite blood in their veins than most of their Jewish neighbors." (1)Alfred M. LilienthalCould this possibly be so? If so, it would mean that the majority of Christendom and the rest of society has misidentified the people most prominent in the Bible. If Israel has been misidentified there is no doubt that major errors in doctrinal interpretation and application of biblical prophecy have been made! Take a look at a truly remarkable study of Assyrian tablets that reveal the fate of the Lost Tribes of Israel. This is the book considered by most to be Capt's finest of all his vast and excellent literary achievements!An archaeological study of the origin and history of the so-called "Lost Tribes of Israel" and the Assyrian tablets that reveal the fate of these same people chosen by God to be the "light-bearers" to the nations. When clay cuneiform tablets were found in the excavations of the Assyrian Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in ancient Nineveh, their relevance to the nation of Israel was overlooked at the time. This was undoubtedly because they were in complete disorder and among hundreds of miscellaneous text dealing with many matters of State. Contributing to this situation was the fact that the Assyrians called the Israelites by other names during their captivity.Some of the tablets found were dated around 707 B.C. and reveal the fate of the Israelites as they escaped from the land of their captivity and"disappeared" into the hinterland of Europe. These tablets form the "Missing Links" that enable us to identify the modern-day descendants of the"Lost Tribes of Israel". In doing so, we increase our knowledge of Bible history and experience a dramatic revision of our preconceived ideas of Bible prophecy.In this authoritative book, the author has attempted no more than a brief review of the origin and history of the Israelites; a survey of the Assyrian inscriptions and cuneiform tablets that record the deportations of Israel as related to Biblical and secular history; their sojourn in captivity, and a synopsis of their migrations to their new homelands (British Isles, France, Germany, Scandanavia, Canada, America, etc.). "Missing Links" is the book that opened the eyes of thousands of Christians (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, and more) to their Israelite heritage and how that one single discovery has changed the way they now view all Bible doctrine and prophecy!