VO LU M E2 S U E3
September 26, 2006 October 10, 2006 5766 ,18 '1n11 5766 ,4 )'ln
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BI, Jt-h Kaller
e are plugged in, jacked up, digitalized,
and superfied without being superfreaky.
Ve are the Digital Generation. See the electronic
m biblical cord of binary numbers (otherwise
rnov.n as the iPod) tethered to our craniums.
If you're on campus, take this test. It only
requires you to count in small double digits. If
you need help, find your toes and fingers. If the men need more help, try un-
zipping. Count how many hard-wired zombies are walking through campus
What an amazing phenomenon! Imagine an author who writes a novel
and everywhere he looks he sees at least one person reading his book. If
you think this applies only in Gainesville, Fl, I beg you to look up Apple's
stock (at least since the invention of the iPod). It might not be a rags-to-
riches story, but it certainly is a gold-to-platinum one. Ever since Apple Inc.
invented the pods, no one has been able to work out how humans managed
on Planet Earth without the little gadgets. Ears our inner sanctuary of
sound are now constantly fondled by the theme songs of our every day
Consider the travesties that have occurred since iPods hit our lobes. As
we walk to class, we shut ourselves off from hearing the most interesting
song of all, the mo-
tions of daily life.
When was the last
time iPoders heard a
bird chirp (forgetting
to charge your iPod
the night before does
not count). When
b as the last time
an iPoder cracked
up laughing after
two friends chatting
(not that I promote
this type of behav-
ior). When was the
last time you actually
heard your friends
Too many iPods
in too many places. We clutch them to ourselves they are the pacifiers
that get us through the day. Can we no longer accept the seemingly tuneless
life in front of us? Face it, the Earth does not chant Bob Marley for us. But
sometimes we should carry the tune inside ourselves, and not let the robots
do it for us. Can you iPoders truly tell me you feel the depth of the songs
constantly droning in your ears and that it is truly more than just pleasant
We were granted gifts of memory. We should use them. We have become
a generation of constant and instant gratification. You want sex, you down-
load it. You want information, you wikipedia it. You want new, you .com it.
You want rants, you blog it. You want friends, you facebook it. You want
music, you iTune it.
Let's stop wanting and gratifying ourselves at all times and start seek-
ing the truth of ourselves outside of these cravings. Only then is a person
created who is worthy of constantly carrying tune. As you walk, realize
this: you are a note in a huge universal orchestra. Unplug yourself and stop
pressing the mute button on the other notes around you. Maybe then you'll
really begin to live the music.
Clockwise from top left: Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert in the Prime Minister's office in
Jerusalem. Wednesday, Jan. 4. 2006; Olmeri seated next to Sharon's vacated chair
Jan. 5. 2006. in Jerusalem; kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit: Iran's Ahmadinejad
shaking the hand of the UN's Kofi Annan: the UN's renewed presence in Southern
Lebanon: kidnapped Israeli soldier Ehud Goldwasser; center: kidnapped Israeli
soldier Eldad Regev.
Photos courtesy ofJTA
By Daniel Sanmiguel
T historically, Israel has never had it easy, and the Jewish year 5766 was no exception. Bereft of
the strong leader that was once found in former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and thrust into yet
another violent situation with a neighboring country, Israel has not had what most would consider a
Prior to falling into a coma in early January due to a stroke, Israel had a popular and effective
leader in Sharon. Having served as prime minister since April 2001, Sharon had been instrumental in
easing tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Firm in his beliefs and holding strong in his
policies, Sharon had continued to enforce his mandate of withdrawing Israeli forces from the Pales-
After falling into a comatose state on January 4, his deputy, Ehud Olmert, took over his duties and
would later be elected to the position of prime minister in March.
As if a political upheaval and a change of leadership within Israel were not bad enough for the Jew-
ish state, the government within the Palestinian territories also went through a transition of its own
when the fundamentalist Hamas party ousted the long-reigning secular Fatah Party. The Hamas gov-
ernment refused to recognize Israel's right to exist and accept previous Israel-Palestinian agreement.
In response, Israel refused to have any dealings with the Hamas government unless it recognized
Israel's right to exist, accepted previous Israeli-Palestinian accords and renounced violence.
Most of the international community backed Israel's position, but this did not sway Hamas' policy;
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 8)
Page 2 The Shpiel
The SHPiEL Table of Contents
The Jewish Newspaper at
The University of Florida
Volume 2 Issue 3
The SHPiEL Players
Captain Guru Director
Her Highness the Executive Advisor
King of all that is Not Cheesy
Dictator Executive News Editor/
Chancellor Executive Managing Editor
President Executive Business Director
Ruling Executive Finance Director
Wizard of Executive Distribution
The Eminent Ministers of Public Relations
Chief Executive Photographer
President Executive Israeli Correspondent
Executive Art Design/Layout Specialists
Royal Master of the Web
Executive Advertising Board
Rabbi Yonah Schiller
Special thanks to Hillel at the University of Florida
In the last edition of the SHPiEL, page 5 talks about the Kung-Fu Jews of
Shanghai. The question is posed "How did they get there? Why did they go there?"
to which the author answers, "We will never know."
Well, we will now.
Right before the Holocaust, Jews in Germany were offered the chance to
escape to Shanghai, where. they allowed the Jews to settle. Only a small number of
Jews, maybe a few thousand, took the opportunity. The rest never figured tensions in
Europe would escalate to the extent they did.
Shanghai wasn't overly welcoming to the Jews so much as the country was
just indifferent. Take what you can get, right?
Jews with Spanish names and a funky style.
Eyes on the News:
Plus, Ahmadinejad teaches us a lil' something about freedom.
Not All Those Who Wander are Lost:
The Wandering Jew gets down on all fours & visits the animal kingdom.
Rock & Roll:
A look at local boy Tom Petty as he rocked Gainesville.
Lost in Translation:
The Rabbi talks about whips, ties and meditation.
And now a word from our sponsors.
Opera and Cheerleaders:
It's not over till the thin girl jumps.
Arts and Entertainment:
Pottery, Priel the Pretzel and Bob is back.
Get out sometime; there's more to life than Grey's Anatomy.
t h e s h p i e 1
W W W
.o r g
Judaism to a Spanislh beat
By Carol Reyes
Some grew up in South Florida, while some were bor even further south.
From Cuba to Brazil, all the way to Argentina and beyond, they all have one
thing in common: they are Hispanic Jews. They enjoy herring, salmon, bagels
and cream cheese, as much as they enjoy dancing to merengue, cumbia and salsa.
In Florida, it has become common to find young people whose diverse cultural
and religious background has brought them together. Traditionally, most people
assume that every Latin American is Catholic. It just happens that in Florida,
and even in Gainesville, those Latin American Jews who don't fit the norm have
found a place to feel at home.
The history of the Jewish people in the Americas dates back to the Spanish
Inquisition, when the Jews of Spain either had to convert to Catholicism, leave
their country, or face the consequences. Many ran as far as they could, hiding
their religious identities and ending up in the new territories of the Caribbean,
and eventually in Central and South America and Mexico. Today, Latin Ameri-
can Jewry is composed of more than half a million people. In the same way
immigrants have always come to America in search of a better world, so the new
generations of Latin American Jews are coming to Florida and other states in the
U.S. in search of new opportunities.
Some of those new-wave Latin American Jews are students and they roam the
streets of Gainesville. Jason Fuentes, a Cuban Jew who grew up in Miami, is one
of them. He is a freshman studying Accounting at UF.
Fuentes' father, Esteban, was bor in Cuba and lived there till he was nine
years old. He converted to Judaism after meeting his Jewish future wife, Fuen-
tes' mother -Mary. Like many others, Fuentes' father left Cuba for the U.S. after
the coming of Fidel Castro. A large part of that Cuban Jewish community still
resides in South Florida.
Many young Jews who grew up surrounded by a mixture of cultures, and part
of a religiously-diverse family like Fuentes who has many Catholic family
members find it hard for their Jewish identity to remain intact.
"I'm becoming more religious now that I am in Gainesville." Fuentes says.
Page 3 The Shpiel
"As I've grown up, Judaism has become more appealing to me, and my family has more time
to be religious now that I'm out of the house."
Fuentes speaks a little bit of Hebrew, and understands Spanish well. He has grown up im-
mersed in both cultures, and considers himself a Jewban an ethnic nickname for Jewish
Cubans that originated in South Florida. Miami is known for having a large Jewish population,
as well as a significantly large Latin American group of people. Growing up in Miami exposed
Fuentes to people of similar interests and backgrounds, where he fit in well. Latin American
Jews who grew up outside of the U.S. cannot all say the same.
Martin Strauch, an Argentinean-bom Jew who moved to Gainesville five years ago and
studies Finance at UF, has many stories to tell about his Jewish family and experiences of anti-
Semitism in South America.
"My grandma migrated from Poland to Argentina a little over 60 years ago," says Strauch.
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 9)
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t h e s h p i e 1
W W W
. o r g
Page 4 The Shpiel
~~~~~~~L > .Cb':XaCi4.C'' ~Q 2I
Eyes tAf News
* An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people gathered in New York to urge the United
States and the United Nations to end genocide in Darfur. Sunday's rally was orga-
nized by the Save Darfur Coalition. North American Jewish groups have taken the
lead in advocating an end to the massacre of Darfur residents in Sudan by govern-
ment-allied Arab militias.
* In a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ques-
tioned the Holocaust and defended Iran's nuclear program. Under tough question-
ing Wednesday at the council in New York, Iran's president told one man who saw
the Dachau concentration camp shortly after its liberation that the world "should
allow more impartial studies" on the Holocaust.
* President Bush praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his
attempts to reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
* Ehud Olmert came fifth in an Israeli opinion poll on who should be prime minis-
ter. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came first in the Yediot Achronot
survey published Thursday, with 27 percent of respondents supporting him.
* A Massachusetts community appears to have broken the Guinness World Record
for "world's largest shofar ensemble." Seven hundred and ninety-six people blew
the shofar in Sunday's Great Shofar Blowout in Swampscott, Mass., sponsored by
the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation.
* The Shpiel incorrectly printed in its last edition that 7,000 UN peacekeepers will depart the Darfur region if the
United Nations Security Council Mandate expires at the end of this month.
The facts: The African Union's mandate in Darfur, not a UN Security Council Mandate, is set to expire on Sept 30.
The pan-African body said it could not continue beyond October because itwas outof money and needed more equip-
ment The United Nations had hoped to send 20,000 soldiers and police into Darfur to replace the AU forces, which
have been unable to stem the fighting that has killed an estimated 200,000 people. But the Sudanese government has
refused to allow UN. forces into Darfur, calling it a Western ploy to recolonise Sudan. With aid experts predicting a
new humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur ifpeacekeepers withdrew, theAU agreed lastweekto extend its mission until
Dec. 31, with logistical and material support from the United Nations and funding fromArab states.
Dr. Da\ id Cook
Professional Athletic Nlotivational
Manager of the Ne%% York Yankees
Head Coach of the LA Lakers
For more information on our Organization and details
about the speakers, check us out on-line at:
Or contact us at:
3307 Taney Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21215
B, Josh Fleet
S, J within the past two
S" cV l weeks, both Iran's cur-
fr t f i rent and bfrmer presidents,
Slahnmoud Ahmadinejad and
M s N-l YMohanmmad Khatami, have
Pe I ih visited n erica's free and
beautiful shores. to speak
to the UN and at Harvard
respect e y. Speaking at the
UN and Harvard respectively,
both described the crises and
questions facing the world
and its people. Both asserted
that onl) through renewed
spirituality and a commitment
to justice could lasting world peace be achieved. Both claimed that America is on the
frontlines of injustice and perpetual war.
Though strikingly similar, by either coincidence or careful calculation, Khatami and
Ahmadinejad's addresses were fundamentally different for one identifiable reason.
Speaking to the United Nation's General Assembly in New York on Sept. 19, just hours
after President Bush's own speech, Ahmadinejad described Iran as "the manifestation
of true democracy in the [Middle East]" and berated an unnamed superpower for pro-
moting and acting on wholly undemocratic principles. While Khatami was equally criti-
cal of an equally unnamed entity, he came across as open minded and realistic about his
country and faith, and the questionable position of each.
But in both cases, Americans protested.Not out of anger for the words these men
uttered, but out of indignation at the mere fact they were allowed on our shores and in
our homeland, to speak their minds. They protested because "those people" from that
undemocratic country were allowed to infiltrate our academic institutions and an inter-
national organization in which they believe Iran should have no part.
As for the question of democracy Ahmandinejad's reference to Iran as a true de-
mocracy within the Middle East and the United States' stance as the truest and freest of
all democracies I say this:
Absolute democracy exists exclusively in the hearts and minds of the conscious hu-
man beings who prescribe to it and stand by it unabashedly and without illusion. The
democratic concept of free speech exists in the sincerest and truest sense only in the
words of individuals who are completely unfettered by the blatant hypocrisy and dire
double standards present in the world's political and social culture.
In America, a country built upon and for the sake of progressive democratic values,
as in the Middle East, double standards exist in the media, on college campuses, and at
dinner tables everywhere.
We are told that much of our world is at war because we are good and we must
destroy evil. Invariably, we are told, too, that when today is written down as past, we
will have prevailed because it is a concrete fact that good always does so. In the Middle
East, children also grow up learning that in this epic battle between right and wrong,
their side, the righteous side, will and must by all laws of logic, overcome the mighty
presence of wrong (that's us). And the entire world chants in unison: We are inherently
good, they are misguided and bad.
We're all told that war is happening. And we will be at war for a long time, because
hatred, intolerance, and prejudice are philosophies ingrained in their culture, they
say; we say.
Well, I say, this is a false, self-fulfilling assumption. Only until popular culture
recognizes the inherent good of humankind, in all cultures in all countries, can
democracy truly exist; can war be an archaic and obsolete ritual ofinternational rela-
tions. Only until we are able to protest a man's words and not his mere presence, can
speech really be free.
Khatami said in his speech at Harvard that a "single standard must be accepted:
rejection of violence."
I say, after violence, reject illusion, reject blatant dishonesty, reject double standards,
reject hypocrisy and most importantly, reject absolutes. Instead of prescribing to these
concepts, be open minded, be kind, and find the truth by which the world naturally
functions and thrives. Try that. I think it may work.
t h e s h p i e 1
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Page 5 The Shpiel
The Ab erittJew
: 2;. :: AniEyCmal Feny rsion Reys :
". B y .C arol R eyes ,... ... '- .. ....2. ; : "-'" "
Copyrighted Material -
from Commercial N- Iws' -a P ide-rs
from Commercial News Providers"
No a a Blago eschenka,LUkraine
A recent documen-
tary produced for
4. and described in
a July soLor in Syd-
ne 's Daily Tele-
graph, told the storn
of a 23- year-old
\\ho was abandoned by her alcoholic parents over 15
Sears ago, when she was only eight, to be raised by dogs.
Oxana Malay a. who is reportedly one out of over 100
undomesticatedd" children in Ukraine, lived in a dog
kennel behind her house and learned all mannerisms and
behaviors from the canines. Malaya has the tested mental
age of a six year old, impeded speech. and she till runs
into the woods mhen she is upset or after bur ing gifis.
As it should be expected. Malaya's social skills x\eren't
quite "refined" hen she \ as recently disco% ered. Mala-
Sa's wild behavior has been almost completely remedied.
and her barking. gro',ling, crouching, and sniffing has
lessened. Her doctor has stated that she probably won't
e\er be rehabilitated into 'normal' society, because let's
face it... 'normal'people don't pant \ ith their tongue out.
Mala.3a recently. met her father, the one respon-
sible for her living in the dog kennel ihen she \\as
a child Instilcti~el\. she cuddled right up to him.
0 4 4
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qw t 0 1Wmw MWa 11
In today's post-9/11 world, many of us have spokesperson Manon Stewart, the man's pray- complain or express concern, perhaps it would Awesome idea, Air Canada Jazz!
fears regarding terrorism and our own personal ing upset the other passengers on the plane. have been appropriate to conduct a search for Let's impugn this man's rights and liberties
safety. Although a certain level of concern and Perhaps the act dredged forth a fear of an contraband materials, because we're afraid of terrorists who essen-
caution is healthy and in our best interest, it is extremist-led assault on the aircraft. However, in no way is it accept- tially seek to the same cause.
not healthy when we let our concern and cau-. Jewish leaders around the world, able for a man of any faith to be removed
tion evolve into full-blown paranoia. It is also outraged by this event, have charged Air from a flight for practicing his right to express
not healthy when we begin seeing terrorism Canada Jazz with being insensitive, among himself and worship as he chooses, especially
everywhere, other things, when the act is in no way endangering those
Take the story of a Hasidic Jew, In this day and age, one can under- around him.
scheduled to fly from Montreal to New York, stand why airplane passengers might become This man's rights were certainly
who was removed from an Air Canada Jazz alarmed by passengers who are performing infringed upon. While not necessarily a case of
flight prior to takeoff. unfamiliar acts. But other alternatives should prejudice against the Jewish faith in particular,
Why was this man removed, you ask? have been considered before Air Canada this event certainly is an offense against the
Because he was praying. Jazz removed this man from the plane. If right of an individual to freedom of expression _
According to Air Canada Jazz other passengers aboard the flight did indeed and the right to worship. -A new.iR 'teo
Page 6 The Shpiel
Tom Petty Rocks Gainesville, Again
Photo & Story by Giselle Mazur chi
T he '60s and '70s were a time of musical reinvention and the birth of some Pel
America's greatest singers and songwriters. It is the era in which Dylan, The 19
Rolling Stones and The Byrds all began their legacies, sel
In this time of story telling, free love and folk rock 'n 'roll, one Gainesville native and Un
his band became one of the biggest music icons of the century. the
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers returned home for the first time in over a decade to syr
play to a sold out crowd at the Steven C. O'Connell center Sept. 21. The concert was of
broadcast live on radio stations in over 70 cities, as well as filmed for television. Tickets als
to the show were the hottest commodity around, selling out in just minutes and being Sai
scalped for hundreds of dollars at the show. Co
The 55-year-old high school drop out who can wear a black velvet jacket and ma- I
genta dress shirt and not look like a fashion victim from the glam era, Petty epito- Pel
mizes all that is rock star yet maintains a sincerely gracious attitude. bre
The first thing he noticed when he arrived in Gainesville was a sign painted on the tha
Northwest 34th Street wall that read "Welcome home Tom Petty and the Heartbreak- a b
ers." He kindly thanked the unknown artist for the sentiment and went on to describe Th
how different Gainesville is these days. still
"Things change in 30 years you know," Petty said, "they move on." do1
When asked what has changed the most, there was a moment of serious consideration ing
before the band answered. Petty misses the Florida Theatre, which has been transformed fro
into a local night club. He did note that the Seagle Building is still standing, and then mu
joked that the historical downtown structure- is probably just too big to tear down. str
Ron Blair, bassist for the Heartbreakers, said he was sad that an old house they used to call hel
"The Zoo" was finally demolished. It had been notorious for throwing animalistic parties.
KI WU s IAM A, _HIM .
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A more cultural
range can be seen in
local music scene,
tty said. While in
65 the music was
rate from the
diversity, these days
two are almost
the local bands are
o students at UF or
nta Fe Community
Vore than anything,
tty and the Heart-
akers are just glad
it music is still such
ig part of the city.
ey noted that it is
11 impossible to walk .
wntown without see- ~-
bands in tiny store-
nt bars and hear
sic spilling into the
eets. The town has
d on to its creativity and appreciation of the art.
3ainesville and the South in general, are a large inspiration for a number of Petty's
songs. "American Girl" even references State Road 441, also called Southwest
13th Street- the road that runs along campus.
He is clearly thankful for all of his success, and modestly insists that he has
just gotten lucky. He said the band just made music "we could hold our head
up and listen to," and attributes his fame to the fans that made him the idol he
On popular music today, Petty said that despite the criticisms of modern art-
ists and the use of explicit lyrics, he recognizes it is a form of poetry and has
relevance to our generation.
"I think every generation goes for something the parents can't stand," Petty
said. Then he added, "If parents really understood it, it wouldn't be much
use." He is, however, pleased that he has managed to write meaningful songs
without the use of "naughty words," and fails to see how flooding songs with
profanity is helping modern culture.
At about 9 p.m., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took the stage in front of
thousands of screaming fans. Even UF alumni and actor Stephen Root, most
famously known for his roles in "Office Space" and "Dodgeball: A True Un-
derdog Story,"' was spotted among those in attendance.
The electricity in the air was undeniable as fans sang along and danced in
the aisles. Special guest Stevie Nicks made a surprise appearance that drove
the audience wild. Among the songs she and Petty performed was "Southern
Accents," one Petty has not done live since his last visit to Gainesville.
It It After the last song, the O'Connell Center audience was so ecstatic they de-
manded a return to the stage. Lighters and cell phones were held high, and the
cheers and clapping continued until the band returned for a three-song encore,
that topped off the night.
The band does not know what the next year will bring them, but they do
have a few projects up their sleeve. They hope to release a "Heartbreakers"
album which has been in the pipeline for years, and have also been working
with Academy Award-winning director/screenwriter Peter Bogdanovich on a
documentary focusing on the band's remarkable 30-year reign.over rock 'n'
roll. Petty is also in his second season of hosting of an XM Satellite Radio
Show, "Tom Petty's Buried Treasure," an hour-long weekly program.
Petty could not say when the band would return to Gainesville the next
time, but hopes it will not take another 13 years. 'Till then, "[we] take it on
faith; [we] take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part."
S t h e s h p i e 1
I : I nsrr,,W-- fflkw r~P~ B~P~
W W W
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Page 7 The Shpiel
Tsihnah means something different for e er\ one A distilled definition
X a ? would be. to return to %\hat is. unique. YOU. Often times, understandingm or
e 1 i J encountering ho) ou actual!\ are is i hat describes the process of ish/'ahi To
actually, see yourself is an illuminating experience.
For example. do \ ou e\ er get pissed off. "lose control." and do something ou
.....'x if- n couldn't't be so proud to post on YouTube?. Sometimes ou might catch a glimpse
S- '~Fr ; : -_ oftl ourself li hen ou are .out of control. Ilhis can be a good opportunity to check
:k -.n if ^oult here \ ou are inside I min not be a flattering moment, but lgro ing hurts.
i o n f- r litni To hear is e here. are
You ako can self-perceixe .uSt b\ listening. To hear is to be here. We are
W hat is the first thing ou think, of v, hen ,ou hear the
Well., I took a really\ scientific poll. \% ith three independent
teams in fi'e different counties scouring o, er the results
to validate the accuracy of mi findings
Top 5 Associations:
3. Big guy in a tie yelling at a group of scared people
5. I feel bad about something
Jewish repentance can be thought of in a few different ways. In my opinion, only
one is effective. It is actually the definition that is most basic and true to the original
Hebrew word for repentance: tshuvah.
I might raise some eyebrows in telling you that tshuvah is not translated as: Bur
in Hell, sinner! Rather, tshuvah can literally be translated as: returning to yourself.
Sounds nice, even sort of interesting, but what does that exactly mean, and how can
you do it?
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something \ hen %\e
is oflen a moment
luciditr is ..ustained
chilling Oiut. catching
) ourself. Stand
see a resemblance
These holiday\ can
the year review, this
cannot go forward
...do you ever get
pissed off, "lose
control," and do
something you wouldn't
be so proud to post on
sounds that can tell us
are open to hearing TsI-i-ah
or calm and clarity. This
through practice, through
.our breath and retrieving
before \our higher self and
be more than just an end of
is our new beginning. You
unless you are willing to
look back with honesty. In your repentance, you may find yourself hungry, scared,
kneeling and being whipped by a large neck-tied man yelling obscenities at you,
leaving you. feeling bad about something. Or, alternatively, you can do tshuvah and
access the only real happiness available to you, for you and of you.
May it be a sweet one,
,P +,.. .
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Page 8The Shpiel
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LET'S TALK ABOUT IT!
Identity and Imagination
A Mind of Her Own: Fathers and Daughters in a Changing World
Il4ll: V 1 .1- I I ItI. i
Scholar-led book discussion will take place in the
Hillel Library. Free and open to the public.
OCTOBER 1 10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
1185 Park Avenue by Anne Roiphe
Call 273-0369 or go to www.uflib.ufl.edu for more information.
Co-sponsored by Hillel at the University of Florida UNIVERSITY of
and the University of Florida Center for Jewish Studies ur FLORIDA
Let's Talk About It! has been made possible through a George A. Smathers
grant from Nextbook and the American Library Assoc. Libraries
The Jewish Year in Review
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)
in fact, the Palestinians instead renewed their violent attacks against Israel, taking full advantage of
the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.
Israel faced another threat along the northern border: Hezbollah, a terrorist group funded
by Iran and Syria that has seats in the Lebanese government. As it turned out, Hezbollah had been
building up its rocket capability and military might since Israel withdrew its armed forces from the
Lebanese border in mid-2000. Not long after the Hamas government had recommended its attacks on
Israel, Hezbollah launched a raid on Israel that saw over a dozen Israeli troops killed or captured.
Under the leadership of Olmert, Israel began retaliatory attacks against Lebanon and Hez-
bollah, utilizing air strikes to cripple a good portion of their missile-launching capability.
However, this did not deter the Hezbollah extremists, who continued to attack northern
Israel with strikes from mobile launchers. Military strategists determined a ground-based attack could
neutralize the Hezbollah threat, but Israel did not take this initiative until the last few days of the war
Though a United Nations resolution has since ended large-scale fighting, Israel now faces a
tumultuous situation as Olmert and his government fall under criticism for their handling of the war.
One can only hope that Israel will see better times in the coming months and that the Jewish New
Year will bring peace and prosperity.
JTA writer Leslie Susser contributed to this report.
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Page 9The Shptel
Rent Thist' (CaONTra FROM PAGE
By Leo Stein --
Sn my (humble) opinion, the greatest show of
lall time is Puccini's opera La Boheme. Jona-
C thon Arson and Billy Aronson were so obsessed
Switch it they created a popular Broadway musical
Sfor its revival: Rent. The story starts with two
bohemians living together, going insane from the
Scold. They ourn Rodolfo's (Rent's Roger) writ-
ings for heat. A beautiful girl named Mimi (same
in Rent) knocks on the door asking Rodolfo to
SL. light her candle. If you know the musical, you
,a -L-~~ 1 know the opera. Operatic legend Andrea Bocelli
B,, 1 once said this was the "music of feelings, pas-
Ssions, and tears;" an opera about fickle, restless,
Sr and drastically in love 20-somethings.
The reality of its characters makes La Boheme so much more beautiful than Rent. When
the characters sing, their convictions run so deep we feel they're singing right to us (even if
it is in Italian).
Unfortunately, people confuse good opera with what they imagine opera to be. Sorry, but
there's no hysterical screaming or drama here. At times, Mimi pleads in almost a whisper to
her jealous lover. Yet when it comes to an opera singer, there's no better talent to be found
than in that whisper. I've yet to hear any singer, no matter their soul or voice technique
- match a Mimi. Period. The Mimi I saw cried mid-song without tainting her voice a single
bit. During the intermission, a guy from the audience was in tears. I was impressed with his
Italian competency, but found out he didn't know the language. The voice itself so moved
him, he lost himself.
And when you do learn the words, the lyrics are poetry. When Rodolfo seeks advice from
his best friend Marcello (aka Mark), Marcello straight up tells him he's acting like everyone
lovelorn, "choleric, lunatic, full of prejudices, moody, headstrong." During that scene, I
learned where good music comes from, and the realization of how great this foreign music
called opera is hit me. You understand from La Boheme why music is truly the poetry of re-
lationships. As the opera pleads, "One finds the snare as sweet as the other, the one who sets
it and the one who falls into it." Meaning: great music, like opera, speaks to us and connects
us to those who make the art and to those who hear themselves within it.
Ready. .. .0K!
S B. Derek Bernstein
SX Then you were kids someone had to showyou
S V V how to do things. Your mom showed you
Show to tie your shoes; your teacher taught you how
to add and subtract; and your dad taught you, how
to throw a ball. Then there were the cheerleaders.
BB B They always knew all the school chants, and, with a
delight comparable to Crack, taught them to you.
Pi^^^lB| ut something happened when you grew up. You
didn't need your mommy anymore, your teach-
ers stopped teaching and started lecturing, and your dad just sits his fat butt on the-
couch. But for some reason, people still think we need cheerleaders. Oh, of course
they're nice to look at on the.sidelines usually filled with 250 lb. sweaty guys but
do we really need them?
At the University of Florida the cheerleaders don't even start the cheers, the band
does. So what exactly is the point? Oh, yeah, they do pyramids and back hand
springs that are just "GREAT!" but when I was playing football, I could care less
about little girls being tossed in the air. Now I'm not saying it's easy I've tried it,
and it's not but like the movie Bring It On said, "Cheerleading is gymnastics gone
People have taught monkeys sign language and you're saying we still need some-
one to lead the cheer? I say get rid of the cheerleaders entirely, and if you disagree
with me, at least for the love of God get rid of the "Manleaders." These male equiva-
lents of cheerleaders can't take the hits or get sweaty in a real sport, so they'd rather
hang out in the air conditioning and toss pom poms in the air.
If you still think the starting quarterback needs someone to go to prom with or the
fat girls need someone to hate, then think of this: Next time you're at a Gator game
and you look down at the sidelines and see the "Manleaders" not even watching the
game, think about how we could fill the slots with some really fanatical fans. Maybe
those water polo guys who show up in their little water caps. Now that's something
I'd like to see on the sidelines.
"She has hundreds of stories about the war, but it makes her happier to talk about
my childhood when she took care of me. She never had grandparents to take care
Strauch grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina- in atight and self-enclosed Jewish community
"''There is incredible anti-Semitism in Argentina, mostly because President Peron
let many Nazis into the country after WWIH, and many of their kids and grandchil-
dren live in Argentina," says Strauch. "But the hatred is not mutual."
Strauch came to Florida when he was 16 years old, looking for better options for
schooling. He is planning on going to Law school in the upcoming year. Most His-
panic Je\w s who come to Florida find a favorable environment to maintain a Jewish
identity and still function within a Hispanic context.
Non-Jew ish Latin Americans would say that there are significant differences
between Latin American cultures, and there are, but Latin American Jews share a
special bond Both Strauch, an Ashkenazi Jew. and Fuentes, a Sephardic Jew. have
traveled to Israel and call it a life-changing experience. Strauch had the opportunity
to visit with a program called "'Birthright," that takes young Jews to Israel on a free
"Since I was there, I have become more involved with the Jewish community
and more concerned about what is going in Israel," says Strauch "I also experi-'
enced something very deep when 1 was there... but that's personal."
It seems that slight cultural and religious differences that separated the
older generations are disappearing in the younger generations, creating a new
"It's the way we act, and the way we treat others,': says Strauch, who feels closer
to the Jewish community than the Argentinean one. "I'm so proud of my people's.
past. We've suffered so much, but what we've built is so strong. Young people in
Israel are much like young Jewish Hispanics. We all share an instant connection.'.
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G0OyG T0 POIT
I .- By Lori Finkel
Sj: S he may be just
artist, but she's got the
right dish for every
In a studio beneath
t the Fine Arts building,
Alyssa Welch sculpts,
paints, and fires, glazing
Sa trail to formal dining
room ware. Inspired
by her own family -
Welch, a second-year
UF grad student aims to
bring the modem family
back together, starting at
the dinner table.
She fashions clean-
cut classic serving dishes that are not only beautiful, but functional.
"I wanted to make a serving piece that was nice to look at, but
something that people wouldn't be afraid to use," says Welch. She
refers to her work as "fancy but approachable."
Fancy dishes for 18"- century French nobility inspire Welch's
plates, as does the memory of her grandmother's dishes.
"For me, birthdays and holidays were important," says Welch. "The
best times were when the family was gathered around the table. I thought
that's what life would be filled with, so I wanted to design for it."
Welch also rummages through Crate and Barrel catalogues, Martha Stewart designs,
and tacks up pictures of colorful desserts all over her Workspace. Her designs are sharp,
edgy, yet simplistic, using paler colors and soft edges. Presentation is important, but it's
still all about the food.
Desserts inspire me. To make a great dessert take time and skill, and I want to
hon6r that with a nice presentation." Welch began her pottery career in high school. "I
S aft (6out oe7
By Daniella Otalora ,..
(Sony BMG Music Entertainment)
Somewhere between being pinned with the
title of "voice of a generation" and finding
Jesus, Bob Dylan earned the right to do whatever
he pleases. His once mysterious character is slowly
being exposed through a variety of mediums at his
own discretion. With the release of his biography,
Chronicles Vol. 1, the documentary No Direction
Home, and Theme Time Radio Hour on XM Radio,
he has shared some insight into what it means to be
Yet he still finds a way of confusing the hell
out of his audience. Aside from his awkward .
performances in the Victoria's Secret commercial
ancdn the movie Masked and Anonymous, he has
stayed true to his art. His last three albums have
showed that he retains the ability to move, armed / '
with nothing more than words. ...
With the release of Time Out of Mind and Love
and Theft, we were finally able to fully excuse Dylan for his crimes against humanity
in the Eighties (Empire Burlesque, anyone?). It's OK, Bobby. We forgive you. Modern
Times serves as yet another reminder of why Bob Dylan continues to be idolized.
Long before Dylan was being saved and wondering about Alicia Keys, his music
realized I wanted to be a functional artist. I didn't want to be the 'weird artist girl;' I
wanted to be with the people."
Despite her efforts to make her art useful, guys often turn up holding one of her dainty
candy trays and complaining, "I can't eat mac and cheese on this!"
Welch's work can be seen, along with the rest of the Hot Clay ceramic club's work, at a
ceramic sale in the Reitz Union on November 29-30.
rattled a generation. Constantly repeating that he was not a protest singer, he produced
anthems like "Masters of War," one of the greatest songs about sticking it to the Man.
In his early years he mustered up enough creativity to release a series of albums
that are nothing short of masterpieces. Starting with The Freewheelin 'Bob Dylan and
ending with Nashville Skyline, the Sixties elevated him into someone to
be revered. He outlasted the Beatles, rocked as hard the Stones, and did it
However, the admiration didn't come without a share of insolence
shown towards his musical changes. Of course, for those of us not lucky
enough to experience his reign and his "going electric" first-hand, it's
hard to understand why fans were so unreceptive to his musical growth.
Since then he has continued to shake his audience in ways that often
Leave us wondering: just what he was thinking? Reinvention has been the
Only constant in his music, so hold no expectations. This proves to be the
case with his latest album, Modern Times.
S It took a few listens.before I embraced it, but his growl is much
too enticing to deny. Like Love and Theft, he has taken listeners for a
ride through America's heartland. The opening track, "Thunder on the
Mountain," is a rockin' blues number that prepares you for the rest of the
"I wanna be with you in paradise/And it seems so unfair/I can't go
to paradise no more/I killed a man back there," he sings in "Spirit on the
Water." At 65, he can still write those unsettling love songs.
He veers from blues to ballads with ease. Modern Times isn't as toe-
tapping as Blonde on Blonde or as simple as Another Side of Bob Dylan,
but it doesn't need to be. The songs are honest and sound like they've
been written by a man who has nothing to prove.
The album peaks with "Nettie Moore," a simple love song told from the view point
of a man in a cowboy band who loves his woman despite needing to teach her to "keep
her business straight." Like this character, Dylan's fans stick through his shenanigans
because in the end he will always leave you wanting more.
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Page 11 The Shpiel
Keeping you informed in 100 words or less
The Gators prevailed once again,
beating Kenntucky 26-7 in the
Swamp on Saturday. Now the 5th
ranked team, the Gators are unde-
feated both overall and in the SEC.
For more about the game, visit
Oct. 8: National Children's Day
Oct. 9: Find something to do...
Oct. 10: Have sushi in the Sukkah with
KOACH from 6-8 p.m. at Hillel
Oct. 11: Experience Mikel Rouse and "The End of
Cinematics" at 7:30 p.m. at the Phillips Center
Go see the UF Symphonic Band at 7:30 p.m. at
the University Auditorium
Oct. 12: Hear the wise words of ESPN's Top TV
Personality and Basketball Analist at 8 p.m. in
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