The Shmooze


Solomon’s Temple To Be Rebuilt...in São Paulo?

By Devra Ferst

Three times each day, strictly observant Jews pray for the rebuilding of the Temple. Their prayers have been answered. Well, sort of. King Solomon’s Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, is finally going to be rebuilt — in São Paulo.Read More


Battle Heats Up Over Kafka’s Estate

By Devra Ferst

Just before his death from tuberculosis in 1924, at the age of 40, Franz Kafka wrote to his friend and literary executor, Max Brod: “Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me… in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread.”Read More


Skinhead Headed To Jail Wants Tattoos Removed

By Michael Kaminer

A lot of people get second thoughts about tattoos; once you’ve sobered up, that dolphin or “I Love Maria” heart just doesn’t seem as cool. But Daniel Cowart has taken tattoo regret to new extremes. According to The Associated Press, the 21-year-old white supremacist skinhead — who’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal charges in March — wants to alter the swastika emblazoned on his shoulder, along with the iron cross on his chest, to avoid “unwanted attention” from other inmates.Read More


Four Guys Walk Into a Bar

By Lauren F. Friedman

‘I am an Indian Jew,” standup comedian Samson Koletkar said at a recent show in Toronto. The audience erupted in laughter, and Koletkar feigned confusion. “That was not the joke,” he deadpanned.Read More


Shimon Peres, The Musical

By Nathan Burstein

He survived wars and political defeats before winning a Nobel Prize and Israel’s presidency. Soon he’ll experience it all again — this time, from a seat at one of Tel Aviv’s top theaters.Read More


‘I Will Survive,’ Auschwitz Edition

By Devra Ferst

Gloria Gaynor’s anthem “I Will Survive” may be a popular bar and bat mitzvah song, but placing the tune in just about any other Jewish context might seem crass. Which is why several Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors are outraged over Jane Korman’s decision to play it in conjunction with a video filmed at Auschwitz.Read More


Yentes Hit The Internet

By Lauren F. Friedman

For a while, Geri Brin was just another Jewish mother, worrying that her 31-year-old son, Colby, would never find true love. “I can picture her on her deathbed… choking out the words, ‘Colby, did you call that girl?’ before fading into darkness,” Colby told the New York Post in a July 13 article. Brin set up her son with just about everybody, including her dental hygienist’s friend’s daughter and the upholstery saleswoman she met when re-covering her couch. But then, Brin took it to another level: She expanded her matchmaking efforts to the Internet.Read More


The Family That Laughs Together...

By Devra Ferst

Where do funny kids come from? In the case of Ben Stiller, some pretty hilarious parents — comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.Read More


Poking Fun, Israeli Style

By Nicola Behrman

When the world is going to proverbial poop, what do you do? Turn to self-parody, of course.Read More


Canadians Detained in Auschwitz Theft

By Josh Tapper

Just months after three men were convicted of stealing the Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) sign from the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial, two Canadians were detained June 26 for allegedly pilfering two spikes from the railway tracks that run through the compound.Read More





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