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January10, 2007 January 24, 2007 5766 ,5 V1: 5766 ,20 n210
-'?? :bJustice Justice
SShall thou Pursue
By Josh Kaller
Tommy Seale shows off his Gator tattoo while watching the game at the Copper Monkey.
All nhntn- hv Tennifer HTrniqh
W e arrived. There were 42 of us,
all of us ready to help. This is
what Jews do, we help. The higher .. .
powers of our local Hillel had arranged
for us to participate in missions and
projects under the title "Tzedek: Re-
building the North." We came expect-
ing to be used, to see shattered holes --
in roofs and tear strewn victims still -
recounting terrors past and bygone.
We saw none of this.
I am not sure if it's because the
stiff-necked sabras did not reveal their
steel-caged emotions, or because we
weren't at the right place. Don't get me
wrong, I c-n tell you about the wonder- -
ful experiences we had with individuals in Israel -- meeting
with activists in Tel-Aviv, volunteering at an absorption center
for Ethiopian immigrants, and watching Israeli Autistic children
smile and chuckle with cha-cha-chas.
But was this what our mission had in mind?
When Hillel International and the very much appreciated
donors of South Florida had contributed both funds and thoughts
as to how our group at the University of Florida could help the
situation, there was most certainly a single-sided question in
mind: how do we help Jews?
ever, thki ki g t i
lies. As __
Our \\J to -
one of our
tions it I\as
that all '. .
the public ,
Then \ hat
were \e rae i vrnoman c meaning in ront o r ome.
rebuild- Photo by Josh Kaller
ing? We were doing great things, heaven certainly gave a happy
heave, but we did not fulfill our mission. It was our job to
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 9)
Page 2 The Shpiel
00.000 0.0- .CL^aa^ a2&QDj^ >- (a" &oP^oi~o a
The Only Student-Run Jewish Campus Newspaper
in the Country
Right Here at The University of Florida
Volume 3 Issue 1
Table of Contents
Zorro turns 13 & More about Tattoos.
Eyes on the News:
Plus, ain't it great to be a Gator?
In the World:
Did the Israelis want to hang Saddam?
Check out the celebs, and don't forget Hanukkah.
Hearing from the Rab:
Rabbi Yonah is back in review.
Tzedek in the Middle-East:
UF students return.
Get out and blog.
Football's over; go see a play.
We checked out the game, now pose with Priel.
Special thanks to Hillel at the University of Florida
The SHPiEL Players
First Mate Executive Advisor
Rabbi Yonah Schiller
Captain News Editor- Kim Gouz
Chancellor Executive Managing Editor Hilary D'Angelo
Commanding Columns Editor Giselle Mazur
President Executive Business Director Laura Jones
Ruling Executive Finance Director Ori Zalman Lubotsky
Wizard of Executive Distribution Isaac Sapoznik
The Eminent Ministers of Public Relations Rachel Rodrigues
Chief Executive Photographer Jennifer Hamish
President Executive Israeli Correspondent Leo Stein
Executive Art Design/Layout Specialists Tracy Flack
Royal Master of the Web Jeremy Fields
Yoga Poser Priel Shmalbach
S t h e s h p i e 1
III _I_ g _Z =
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.-~3 The Shpiel
e s h p i e 1
By Lori Finkel
It's been difficult to resist "
getting a tattoo. In high
school, underage as I was, even .
I knew the right guys to go to:
the ones operating in seedy
underground apartments where
friends of mine were tatted for
half the price by unlicensed men \.. .
named Tick and Flea. f
Over the years I've pondered:
A cardinal on my calf? Dancing Tattoo photo courtesy of www.about.com
skeleton on my hip? But I have
yet to shake the guilt my parents instilled in me ever since I first brought up
how tattoos are more commonplace and mainstream than when they were my
"You can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery," my father said, sternly.
"How trashy! They look so low class," my mother said. This, of course,
coming from the woman I catch watching Ami James, Israeli tattoo artist and
shop owner on TLC's television series, Miami Ink tattoo the masses. (Well, it's
okay, he's Jewish," she says).
Tattooing violates (at least) two of the Ten Commandments, (the ones about
idolatry and about honoring thy mother and father), as well as the Torah.
It is written irr the Torah: "You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the
A dead, or incise any marks on
Yourselves: I am the Lord"
Rabbi and philosopher of
the Middle Ages Maimonides
believed tattooing to be idolatry,
stemming from ritualistic pagan
worship of imprinting the body
More modem reviews of laws
have portrayed tattooing as
violating the fifth commandment,
as is noted in an article by Rabbi
Alan Lucas entitled, "Tattooing
in Jewish Law." The idea is
that tattoos are more desirable
because it is something that most
However, the old saying,
"Two Jews, three opinions" still
Tanoo of star of Da3 id and hIkI cones\ of prevails, even in its application
holdfasttattoos.com/tattoos.php. to determining the kosher-ness of
While most Jewish scholars continue to interpret halachic laws to mean that
tattoos are against the word of G-d, others like Professor Aaron Demsky of Bar-
Ilan University believe that biblical Israelites may have believed tattooing to be
In an article printed in Encyclopaedia Judaica, Demsky uses two biblical
references in his argument: "One shall say, 'I am the Lord's,' and another shall
use the name of Jacob, and another shall mark his arm 'of the Lord' and adopt
the name of Israel" (Isaiah 44:5), "See, I have engraved You on the palms of my
hands..." (Isaiah 49:16), and "...is a sign on every man's hand that all men may
know His doings" (Job 37:7).
Furthermore, despite how many times I've been told to throw away the water-
soluble animal tattoos I got from Cracker Jack boxes, they are acceptable, being
that they aren't permanent.
So take that, Mom and Dad (as I violate commandment number five). Times,
they are a changing' as folk artist Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman, a Jew) once
wrote, and so are interpretations of ancient texts.
w w w t h
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Page 4 The Shpiel
Eyes t News
Ehud Olmert will visit China this week. Olmert will make his first visit to Beijing
as Israel's prime minister Jan. 8-12, his office said Jan. 3. On the agenda are boosting
Israeli-Chinese trade ties and Israel's concerns over the Iranian nuclear program.
Only military action might prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, an Israeli
study found. The study released this week by the Institute for National Security Stud-
ies at Tel Aviv University concluded: "Without military action, an Iranian nuclear
bomb is a matter of time."
Three in four Israelis are unhappy with Ehud Olmert, a poll found. According to a
survey released to the Israeli media Jan. 3, 77 percent of Israelis are unhappy with the
prime minister's performance.
A Brazilian newspaper pledged to abolish the use of an anti-Semitic verb in its pages.
Journal do Brasil responded to Jewish readers who criticized a recent headline that used
"Jew" as a verb. In Portuguese, the verb "to Jew," or "judiar," means to mistreat, to
spoil, to mock.
Israeli and Palestinian soccer players joined sides in a "peace game." The mixed
team, sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, took on Spanish opponents in Seville
on Wednesday night. The Middle Easterners lost, 3-1, but described the event as a
welcome relief from political violence.
Hamas reportedly accepted an Israeli offer to exchange Palestinian prisoners for a
kidnapped Israeli soldier. Ha'aretz quoted Palestinian sources Jan. 2 as saying that
Hamas approved a swap of 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Cpl. Gilad Sha-
lit. The source added that Israel had not yet agreed to Hamas' list of prisoners, which
included senior Hamas terrorists and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.
Chasidic singer Matisyahu had the No. 2 reggae album in 2006. Billboard reported
Wednesday that the New Yorker sold the second-most reggae albums with "Live at
Stubb's," behind Sean Paul's "The Trinity."
Dr. David Cook
professional Athletic Motivational
Manager of the New 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
Why It's Great to be
a Florida Gator
By Jessica Brandi
to be awake
on a Saturday,
to paint your
face orange and c
cheer until your '
voice is hoarse,
and to wake up
Sunday. Whether .
by the forces of
or a sense of
school spirit is Kelly Warren and Christine Wayne scream during a play in the 2nd quarter of
infectious here Monday's game. Photo by Jennifer Harnish
at the University
of Florida. You don't miss the big game. You don't come to the after-party without
knowing the highlights. You have to watch, you have to know and you have to care,
because not to is blasphemy.
There is a compelling element of college sports that makes even the most unlikely
fans passionate to the point of obsession. Gators in particular are generally obsessed.
Even those who enter college as avid sports fans learn to identify much more strongly
with their college teams. "It's not just 'football', it's your school," says'freshman
Armando Valdes who follows Gator football over any NFL team. Yes, we have an
emotional investment in our players. Yes, they have somewhat of a celebrity status on
campus. Freshman girls hyperventilate over "Tebow sightings" at the Reitz, but UF
demigods, like Tebow, are still students just like the rest of us. Freshman Anand Parekh
describes college athletes as being "unlike professional teams and players who seem
distant from their fans." He also believes that students playing for the love of the game
and the chance at an education are more intriguing and appealing than the negotiating
skills, inflated salaries and ad campaigns of professional players. "It's all about pride,"
Even non-sports fans get swept up in the madness "I love the atmosphere of the
games," says junior Michelle Stevens, "there's nothing better than sitting in the stands
with your friends and thousands of other fellow gators screaming for your team."
Screaming is only the half of it. There's the singing, the cheering, the swaying, the
hugging. The football game atmosphere could be perceived as sweaty and nauseating
under normal conditions, but college football games in particular are a place for fans to
let down their guards and be in each other'spersonal space. Freshman Rachel Horton
describes football games as an essential part of her college experience. "You can't
help but get excited about it when you see firsthand how the whole community comes
Cynics might say UF puts too much emphasis on their sports teams and players and
these are wasted resources. On the contrary, sporting events bring in a great deal of
revenue. The continued success of UF teams keeps alumni loyal and ticket sales up.
Thousands of visitors flock to the university each season. .They buy tickets, shop at the
bookstore and eat at the concession stand. During the 2002-2003 season $74,296,000
came from visitor spending. Back in September, the fundraising event the "Gator
Gala" raised over $5 million towards the athletic department's endowment. None of
this money seems to spill over into other areas of the University such as the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences, which remains deeply in debt, while Urban Meyer receives
$100,000 for family educational expenses. Between fundraisers, the regular season and
added revenue from bowl games, a sports obsessed administration isn't exactly hurting
even though it isn't helping to relieve educational expenses.
As long as the Gators continue to deliver, fans will remain loyal and ticket sales will
continue to soar. Rachel and Michelle have both found it easy to get into the Gator
spirit thus far, though they agree "it doesn't hurt when we are kicking butt and going
to the national championship." Anand says "whatever sport your school is best at is
obviously going to generate the most interest among fans ... [which is] why no one is
interested in schools like FSU."
t h e s h p i e 1
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Page 5 The Shpiel
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Page 6 The Shpiel
t:w I "fi iP ".- i " -.
By Giselle Mazur -.
It is that time again. With 2007 barely
on its feet, it is only appropriate to '
bid adieu to 2006 with a look back 1
at some of the most memorable and
outrageous moments the music world
had to offer.Kicking off the stroll down
memory lane, artists Justin Timberlake.
Christina Aguilera, Pearl Jam and Alice
Chains verified their careers were far
from over, making some of the most
successful comeback albums of the year.
Gwen and Fergie solidified themselves
as solo artists with staying power, and V '
Tom Petty's "Highway Companion,"
proved to be one of the best albums of :-.
his career resulting in his first concert in
Gainesville in over a decade. Probably
the most noteworthy comeback however B p ? ... .
was that of Johnny Cash, who reaped 1 he 4
benefits of after-death popularity from
the biographical movie, "Walk The Line."
The brunt of almost every joke of 06', Kevin Federline managed to launch a
laughable, failure of a music career and took a shot at wrestling-- all while battling
the long-anticipated demise of his marriage to pop princess Brittney Spears. But don't
worry about her, Spears has made more headlines than ever with her unorthodox
parenting methods and new gal-pal Paris Hilton, who also tried her hand at musical
achievement. Regrettably, through the magic of producer Scott Storch and very catchy
lyrics, even the strictest of critics caught themselves with "Stars Are Blind," Paris's hit
single, stuck in their heads. Storch, who apparently has a thing for hot, young, blonde
reality television stars, also produced Brooke Hogan's debut album, "Undiscovered" in
DJ Danger Mouse and Cee-lo collaborated to form Gnarles Barkley, and their hit,
"Crazy," was the one song that could be listened to 100 times and never got old. Jay-
Z's British prodigy Lady Sovereign also enjoyed wide success and is now considered
the female version of Eminem. Let's hope for her sake it is only their careers, and not
personal lives, that are comparable.
The ever controversial Madonna did it up right by upturning the church with her use
of a crucifix during her stage performance on the "Confessions" tour. Of course this
was following her already notorious adoption of a Malawi child that sparked debates
among news anchors and nationalists alike. But she wasn't the only one to add fuel to
the stereotypical "ignorant American" fire. Sasha Baron Cohen took the "US and A" by
storm with his side-bursting comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make
Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," which raised more than one eyebrow and
many a lawsuit. He may not be a musician, but his movie was rumored to be one of the
reasons Pam Anderson and Kid Rock split after a whopping four months. Who can say
they were surprised? On that note, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills didn't make it to
All laughs aside, it was also a year of many losses.:The memorable Wilson Pickett,
best known for the hit "Mustang Sally," Syd Barret of Pink Floyd, June Pointer of the
Pointer Sisters, and D-12 member Deshaun Holton, better known as Proof, sadly passed
away. America also said goodbye to the bar that gave birth to punk as CBGB's closed
its doors for the last time. Tower Records, unable to compete with internet piracy and
discount internet sales, also folded from bankruptcy.
Yet, not all news is sad. Some who had faded away came back stronger than ever.
The Who reunited to release their first album in 24 years; "The Endless Wire" debuted
at number 7 on the Billboard album charts. And death has not proven any sort of set-
back for Tupac Shakur, who keeps managing to release new material despite the small
detail of him not being alive. The zinger on this one is that the new tracks feature Little
Scrappy, who was just twelve when the famous rapper passed on. Yet again encouraging
rumors that Tupac faked his own death and went into hiding.
Now, we embark on a new year and a whole new slew of outlandish happenings
among the fabulously rich and famous. And we take comfort in the fact that while most
of us have already abandoned our new year's resolutions and any hope of losing those
extra holiday pounds, at least we don't go on living our lives knowing we pranced
around in a lace nightmare on national television and, tone deaf, sang our own rendition
of "Thanks For The Memories." No, no. Thank you, Connie Chung.
There's No Hanukkah like an Americanized Hanukkah
By Leo Stein
D o you know why Jews get presents on Hanukkah' I bet
you think it comes from some age-old story about a fire
that lasted for eight days. Well, I hate to burst your bubble.
Moishe, but you're wrong. In fact, the American Je\\ ish
eight-day-long-present-giving extravaganza actual l began i i
as a result of the holiday's proximity to Christmas. Ye. it's i .}
true, the Jewish children in America were jealous that all the '
Christian boys and girls were receiving presents in December \\ ;
and so there parents decided that a little assimilation ~ as in '1
order. I have five words for you: blue-and-white Christmas '
Children living in Israel do not reap the benefits i read-
toys) that come from celebrating the Americanized v erosion
of Hanukkah. In Jerusalem, this year, there was hardly any
indication a winter holiday was going on. I saw a menorah
here and there, but Israel seemed to lack holiday spirit,
chocolate coins, and.. .say it ain't so.. .presents. From what
I could tell, the most Israeli children get during the holiday is a once-a-year making of
doughnuts. Big deal. I could go to any Dunkin' Donuts back home and pretend it's that
special time of the year again if I wanted to.
But Jews aren't the only ones playing down the holiday hype in Israel.
During Christmas, a few friends of mine tried to go Bethlehem, the origin of
Christianity. When they came back, they had no problem expressing their disgust. "It
suuuucked," they articulated, "all they had was a church with a lame festivity."
My friends said the city itself had been no different than any other Palestinian city.
There were no special lights, caroling, or "It's A Wonderful.Life" reruns playing on
-.. plasma screens near decorated evergreen trees. When they
spoke to a Christian who lived in Bethelehem, he said it was
Sa shame, and even blasphemous, that people in the United
States celebrate Jesus' birthday in the manner they do.
S Although I don't consider America's version of Hanukkah
and Christmas "blasphemous," that comment did make
S me reflect on the manner in which America capitalizes on
; -:. these winter holidays. After Black Friday, Americans spend
S excessive amounts of money to buy gifts for every Bob and
;. t Mary they came in contact with during the year. We're talking
4 ..;i :. bosses, coworkers, family, extended family, teachers, pets, bus
.-,. drivers, and the like. It's time to face the fact that there are
":i plenty of reasons we (even us Jews) love Christmas. And a lot
!.^: of these reasons do not have to do with religion.
You won't find a passage in anyone's holy book describing
the American traditions preserved for Hanukkah or Christmas.
In fact, there are practically no modern historians or
theologians who believe Jesus Christ was born in December.
Rather, Dec. 25 was coined as "Christmas" as a result of the
winter solstice. Pre-Christian holidays such as Saturnalia and
the celebration of Sun Gods born around Dec. 25 can also be traced to this origin. It
,was not until after Charlemagne was crowned on Dec. 25 in the year 800 that Christmas
began evolving into the holiday we now know and love.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It doesn't matter much to me that some
disparaged Jew in Israel hasn't sensed the plethora of commercialization in America.
You can talk all you want about actual religious significance and business profiting,
but no explanation will comfort a present-less child accustomed to this tradition. In
this day and age, hype has become a desperately needed value, even if it comes in the
personification of a jolly fat man.
S t h e s h p i e
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Page 7 The Shpiel
WIN H I WR-
B ad Je\. bad bad Jer t !' If
Sou ha\e this oice n \our
head. it mau be \oonlh listening
to, but probable not No one
harder is on the Jews than the
Oa Jevr ish guilt has al%%3 s
been a real moti\d tor, an
inspiring and forward-thinking
concept that has helped steer us clear of most misde-
meanors. In addition to keeping us out of small claims
courts, with renewed vigor, it spares no mercy when
turning its gaze upon our self-worth and accomplish-
Once we draw upon every morsel of inner strength
in order to negotiate such obstacles, we find that be-
ing a good person is a pure Jewish value, rooted in
tradition not guilt. A Jewish concept is even ascribed
to this fulfillment: Tikkun Olam, translated as "Fix-
ing the World." We all do this in our own private and
public ways. In other words, the idea is for all people
to essentially be good: good to each' other and good to
the world. Whether it means being involved in social
action, local politics, or just helping out a neighbor,
this is all part of "Fixing the World." We want to
leave the world in a better state than it was when we
arrived. This is an obligation for all peoples from all
As we look more closely at what it means to be a
good Jew, I will offer two pillars of definition that I
believe are of utmost significance.
The first involves creating a relationship with
Shabbat and the Jewish holidays, a very good and po-
tentially challenging access point. I say the word "re-
lationship" because that is exactly what it is. College
life isn't, let us say, conducive to religious life. Yet I
am not really talking about religious life. Jewish holi-
da3s and Shabbat are to the J.eish spiritual practice
\ hat NMapquest is to a destination pre\ iousl uii is-
ited. These are signs on the road. Places of Interest.
a rest stop The\ are therc to gi\e us a big heads up
as to \ hat is happening no%\ and i hat is coming up.
.\had Ha'am is quoted as sai ing. "NMore than Je\s
hae kept Shabbat. Shabbat has kept the Jew\s."
The second pillar, in addition to the s nchroniza-
tion of Jewish time (i.e Shabbat). is cultiating the
concept of Clal Yisrael--loving and feeling a part of
the greater Jewish community. Wow, not easy when
thinking about all the different Jews out there. From
Facebook groups such as Jews Who Are Annoyed
By Most Jews to the Neturei Karta (the fringe Jewish
group that sides with Israel's enemies in ordering the
destruction of that fair state), there are certainly some
challenging gaps to fill with a heavy dose of compas-
sion and understanding. The only glue holding all of
this together is the ability to rally around the idea of
family. The Jewish people are family, whether we like
it or not. We all have that one uncle or cousin who
is, well, a bit bizarre. Yet we also try not to distance
ourselves to a point in which he or she is no longer
family. Same thing, bigger scale. There is an idea out
there that people should associate themselves with
the denomination of Judaism of which they are most
ashamed-this being an expression of unwavering
love and commitment to the betterment of the Jewish
people. This sentiment speaks to the supreme value of
community and family.
The important thing to remember is that these Jew-.
ish values are not things you attain or acquire. Rather,
we look to be in a developing dynamic relationship;
one that is both personally customized and commu-
nally shared. The whole shpiel gets its integrity in
the same way we received the name "Israel." Jacob's
name became Israel after he struggled with an angel.
Our struggle takes the form of asking questions, of not
being satisfied with remaining in the same place.
Our constant movement is born out of the need to
actualize the unrealized. Now that's a Good Jew!
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Page 8 The Shpiel
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Justice from Josh (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)
rebuild the places that were struck by the conflict. To add, our group was not the only one
with this purpose in Israel during the past winter break. There were other Tzedek groups
that were touring Israel as well. What were they doing? The same as us; mitzvah projects.
In the book of Deuteronomy 16:20 it states, "Justice Justice Shall you pursue." Com-
mentators for centuries have wondered why. R' Bunam of Psis'cha had interpreted the
phrase as meaning that one should only pursue righteousness through righteous means.
All great saying possesses infinite truth, if they are truly great. R' Bunam got one of them,
but not all of it. The phrase is repeated to teach us that there must be balance to Justice,
it must truly be measured equal if it is truly just. What we did in Israel was only a half
fulfillment of the mission we had gone to serve.
k5raeli nman take-; a re-q Photo b% Joih KIller
Let me relate to you a story that will emboss my point. We were in a place called
Zichron Yaacov, a small unbeautiful section in Tel Aviv. It was a place where houses were
small, colors were faded and laundry hung on lines. It was the kind of place where it was
easy to tell that residents had it hard.
Our group was sent to this town to help a blind man named Isaac. He is a'warm,
tender, Russian immigrant who came to Israel after the cold war ran stale. Our job was
to fix up some of the patches of dried out paint in his room. This man could not even see
the holes we were fixing, but we did it anyway. And we all felt great doing it. But as we
were touching up paint on his walls, I wondered what about the walls in Lebanon. We
were adding touch-ups in a place when there are entire walls that need to be rebuilt. This
thought ran through me as I tried my best to play a mock Mr. Fix It. What were we doing
here? If we truly wanted to fulfill the mission of Justice, we should have sent buses and
teams across Lebanon to help rebuild the homes of individuals who lost theirs by simply
living at the wrong longitude and latitude in the wrong century.
The problem and issue revealed itself to me through metaphor as me and my friend
worked on the wall in Isaac's 12-by-12 home. Every time we would go to clear a sec-
tion of the wall to spackle and paint over, more of the wall wanted to come undone. It
became obvious that the entire wall wanted to shed itself of decades of repainted and
rehashed work. Each time we went to clean out a segment of the hole, more and more of
the paint would crumble. But what were we going to do? Peel this man's entire home like
an orange and paint it through and through? That job was way too tough. We did what we
could; we patched up the holes and just painted over it. All the while, the wall was yearn-
ing to crinkle onto the floor and let its bare concrete be exposed.
This is the Middle East. What we witnessed in the Summer conflict was a piece of the
wall finally becoming undone. So, what did the international community do? Send peace-
keepers to patch things up in the meantime. Yet, the entire walls wanted to come down.
Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel are all key walls holding up
the mansion of the Middle East misery. What we need is a total peeling, where every col-
or and divide that we had built through centuries of hate, change, antagonism, diplomacy,
treachery, lies, stones and bullets becomes memories locked, sunk, and destroyed with
common agreement never to exhume that which is buried. When our concrete is exposed,
that is when we can begin afresh and anew. Let's stop trying to spackle the problems, and.
begin with real fixing. Even if we have to break ourselves to do it.
Justice, Justice then shall not only be pursued, but achieved.
Page 9 The Shpiel
By Faryn Hart
t was Feb. 11, -
1990 when Nelson
through the gates '. .
freedom for the first
time in 27 years.
He was released by
then South African
president FW De
Klerk, with whom .
Mandela won the
Nobel Peace Prize
in 1993 for their
joint peace efforts.
Mandela had been
jailed by the South '- -
regime for his
involvement in :. i -'.o .
resistance activities. i
After winning a -
South Africa's first .
democratic election Faryn and young friend at absorption center. Photo by Kim Gouz
in 1994, Mandela could
have, with the strength of the black majority, wiped out the nation of the oppressors.
Instead, he led The New Rainbow Nation under a multi-colored flag to a then 21st
Despite strides towards equality by Mandela and others, inequalities and group
subjugation are ever present in society. Non-democratic states such as Cuba and
Syria prevail, while countries such as Sudan and Myanmar are controlled by militia.
The recent struggle of seemingly frail but competent Daw Aung San Suu Kyi saw
a non-violent democratic struggle against repressive dictatorship. Yet despite the
United Nation's call for her release, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remains a political
prisoner and has spent 10 of the last 16 years under house arrest.
In Zimbabwe, the rise of despotic Mugabe had many Jewish families trapped in
the shackles of oppression unable to flee to a South Africa where they could be free.
The horrors of The Third Reich still haunt our minds, and we responsively claim:
"Never again!" So, then, why is this inequality and lack of acceptance prevalent in a
nation that has experienced it continuously first hand?
Having just returned from a volunteer program in Israel where I visited
an absorption center for Ethiopian Jews, I was disconcerted to hear a similar
oppression and segregation was shown toward these 'foreign' brothers. Our
group had the opportunity to socialize with similar-aged Ethipian Olim who had
assimilated into Israeli society at a young age by spending up to eighteen months in
an absorption center. With English and Amharic as barriers it was the beauty of our
common Hebrew that enabled us to communicate.
From my conversation with a 22-year-old Ethiopian woman, I learned this
Jewish Nation from East Africa is seen as an inferior group of Jews within Israel.
Cultural barriers and historical differences have largely hindered the assimilation
process. For example, Ethiopians consider it disrespectful to look one directly in
the eye. This cultural nuance became a major issue when Ethiopian Jews joined the
Israeli army and were addressed by superior officers.
Whether the absorption center, by melding Ethiopian and Israeli culture, lifestyle,
language and history is beneficial or detrimental to Ethiopian Jews is unclear.
Nevertheless, with personal interaction, I was able to experience the nachas of
sharing cultural distinctions amid ancestral affiliation. Dancing American Hip-Hop
to Amharic songs, enjoying pizza, squirming at the unfamiliarity of spicy injera
(pancake-like bread) and finally linking arms in a circle singing Hatikvah was
enlightening and refreshing. The experience gave me the hope, whether completely
idealistic or not, that with tolerance, inquisitiveness and open-mindedness the colors
of the globe can exist, not as a gray perhaps, but as a covenant rainbow after the
t h e s h p i e 1
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Page 0 ... "
[" i v e . /. -. l .ot. .. .. .. i* . ...i. -. ....-. .B .l .
L1, v a I b", t gb l ..................
By Lori Finkel
So yes, we did start launching The Shpiel's Web site, www.theshpiel.org, last
semester. Keyword: start. There were a few complications, but the Web site will be
back and ready to attack the happenings of this Spring semester.
The SHPiEL newspaper articles will be posted on the site as well, so now you can
link it to your parents and show them that no, you haven't forgotten your roots at college
arid yes, you have been paying attention to what's going on in the world.
In the (probable) event that you missed out on TheShpiel.org blogging last semester,
here's a tasty little spoonful of Shpiel.
Have some more, you're looking too thin.
Str-..,. '.. 10-10-2006, 06:45 PM
SI have this thing about childhood nostalgia. I'll admit I was
excited last week when The Little Mermaid came out of the
I won't get into a rant on how much the Disney Vault annoys me in
general. Basically it slows down the building of my DVD
Scollection...that I will someday use to indoctrinate my progeny with
-- Western ideals (muahaha). Anyway, yes Disney is arguably evil in
many respects but you can't help but love them. -
Every little girl had that dream of Prince charming in all of his waspy Aryan glory
saving her from whatever distress she may be in. Granted Disney (and I'm talking about
their animated classics here) did eventually touch on some ethnic stories, Pocahontas,
Aladdin, Mulan what have you.
Now let's see, Disney covered the Native Americans, Asians... basically taking its
same basic concept and making them a darker shade of tan.
Also as a side note I might add that the voice of Aladdin is played by a guy named
Brad Kane...I wonder where he's from.
Despite these pathetic attempts at diversity, nowhere is Jewish culture represented. I
guess we just get trapped under the Caucasian net and for that most people only need to
look as far as Western Europe.
: But there are plenty of Jewish heroines in history and fables that deserve to be
commercialized and force-fed to America's youth. I took the liberty of coming up with
Rebecca the Jewess- It wouldn't be that hard to make Sir Walter Scott turn in his
grave on more time. They already turned Robin of Locksley into a talking fox why not
write another Ivanhoe spin-off? Rebecca was a strong, beautiful woman in a world with
a lot of adversity (I mean they'd have to cut most of that adversity stuff out because
Disney doesn't do unpleasant). Rebecca is a perfect candidate for the next Disney
Carrie Bradshaw- No, I'm sorry....
Judith- My personal favorite. The beautiful story of a rich and beautiful Jewess who
saves her town of Bethulia by seducing Holofemes, the leader of an invading army, and
CHOPPING OFF HIS HEAD. I don't quite know how they could put a Disney spin on
that but either way...take that Cinderella.
These are only a few suggestions but the
possibilities are endless.
09-28-2006, 02:52 PM
This week marks many parallels occurring right
now with the high holidays. On September 21, 2006 if
you happened to pass by Archer road, you may have
noticed a large, dark plume hanging over head. On that
day, a piece of Gainesville's stained history was burnt
up, but not washed away from our memories. The site
is Gatorwoods Apartment. For those of you not in the
know, this is the death spot to 5 of Gainesville's most
wretched memories. Danny Rollings, a local resident, had committed atrocities that
exercise the disgusting potential that a human can inflict on oneself and another.
I had managed to stop by and talk with the firefighters clearing away some of the
debris. They mentioned that only 5 of the buildings in the site are being burnt down in
their exercise. A building burnt for each lost innocent body.
What is interesting to note about this event is its connection to Yom Kippur, the day
the book of judgment is signed and sealed. On this day, you are not only judged but
cleansed of transgressions. Some say this cleansing feeling is like a fire. This forgiving
fire had hit Gatorwoods apartment this past week. Finally the land that was stained with
innocent student blood will finally be purged through fires and forgiveness. But why
now of all times, are these apartments finally being burnt down?
It is just time, said one of the firefighters. With Danny Rollings execution coming on
October 23, 2006 it is due time that both the Gainesville, Gatorwoods Apartments, and
Danny Rollings are all purged of the pain and putrid of his actions.
May heaven forgive without forgetting Justice.
Gator .- -owl 3
As soon as I opened the door for l
my parents this weekend, a copy of
Reform Judaism was thrust in to my
hands before I could say "Hello."
They pointed to an article in the
Fall 2006 edition explaining that UF
was ranked the top public school in
the nation with the most Jews, running
at 16% of the student population.
"So basically what you're getting
at is that if I don't date a Jewish
guy here, then it just isn't going".,
happen anywhere?" I asked.
"Yep," replied my dad, grinning.
After they left, for kicks I googled the words "Jewish" "marriage" and "guilt", and
came up with an article about pre-marital sex. The article explained that an academic
journal on Jewish thought took the analysis of halachic leaders' opinions from the
Middle Ages up till now, and most of them allowed pre-marital sex.
Pre-marital sex can be kosher, as loig as a woman immerses herself in a mikve
(ritual bath) beforehand. The article went on to say that our libido shouldn't suffer just
because we aren't married (power to the people!). However, both men and women don't
have any rights within the "arrangement", but also don't have any obligations either. In
the union, the woman becomes a concubine, or pilgesh (thanks.).
Some leaders think this is bad because it is promoting pre-marital sex instead of just
merely okay-ing it.
Well, I guess this doesn't even apply to UF because I'm pretty sure we
don't have a mikve. Oh well, guess we'll just have to keep on suffering.
"I got something to say!" -The Misfits
Interested in becoming a blogger or helping with web
Design? Yeah you are!
Contact Lori Finkel at firstname.lastname@example.org
S t h e s h p i e I
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Page 11 The Shpiel
... .. J.. -- $cr*: .o9 '^i.:-2 -u- .;.l'. ^:.Y2... .l-- 0^-
The day the
w on their
check out "Photo-
jraphing Paris" an
by the students of
ART 2930 while
at the UF Paris
Research Center in
Spring 2006.See it
ach day, from 9-5
in Fine Arts
Stop by the M artin
Luther King Jr.
Com m em oration
Eventat the Plaza
of the Am ericas at
11 am .
W ant to see how
businesses in the
Big Apple really
work? Be at the
meeting at 4 pm
in 201 Bryan Hall
to find outm ore
about the W ar-
excursion to New
Be sure to get
application in by
5pm .today! Get
one atsgu fledu
orpick one up in
the SG office.
*' '- .: '
Take a trip to
SC to watch our
G ator Basketball
team beat South
Show you're ry Israelidanc- Choose from Enjoy a free
a aa classy at a W ine ing at7 pm rthodox,Conser- Shabbatlunch at
Adam Vadam and Cheese Party vativeorReform 12 0 pm .
leads 90 min utes forgraduates and Join Allison in Shabbat services
S of yoga with Pr3el young profession the living room -at 6 45 p m then A class/discus-
om 7 -80pm. als in the Sports at 8 0 pm .for stay for a free, sion and service
ounge from 83 0- (nitting, crochet, kosher Shabbat including a Tprah
100 pm nacks and m ore! dinner, reading at 2 pm .
M martin Luther
King Jr. Day,
In agine spending
your Spring Break
in Paris... m ake it
happen by getting
to study at the UF
research Center in
Paris in by today!
Happy w ith your
because it's the
lastday to drop
spring w without fee
om e to the Reitz
Jnion North Lawn
atp7 pm .forthe
Back the Night
5k Run/W alk in.
'honor of Sexual
Assault Aw are-
ness M onth.
Take a break this
sem ester and sign
up for a leisure
line is today at 10
am .Check out
union fledu; for
m ore info!
Find your ad-
and stop by the
0 utfitter atnoon
for an inform a-
ion session about
Be entertained by
live m u.sic and-
localacts at the
at the 0 range and
Brew every other
Thursday at 6
Today is the dead-
line to register for
February C LA ST.
Don't iss it!
Cor m issioners
are due today
to the SG office,
room 305 in Reitz.
by 5 p m .Apps are
available in the
office or on the SG
Cheer on our
as they battle
0 leM iss in the
0 Dom e at1 pm
GetM ADiE into a.
Be atthe Spring Forum f
order to attend you M U ST
registeratwww afalum niua. W
edu/Cicerones/SpringForum / P
W hen: January 16th
W here:Em person Alum niHa) J
Tin e:5pm or 80pm i
**Then,subm ityour applica-
tion atEm erson Alum niHallol
Jan.17 and 18 from 200-5.00
orJan.19 from 1100-3-30
Now through January 19, the
fice for StudentFinancialA affairs
llbe open from 8-15 am .-4:45
-- The office w illbe closed on
january 15 .Norm alhours w illre-
sum e on January 22.
-- Financialaid applications for
2007-08 are available atSFA in
S107 CriserH all.
It's surrealcom edy by the
Chilean playw rightA lejandro
form ore inform action.
|W hen:January 11 27,
ThurS. through Sat.
I Tim e:8pm
I h Repertory Theatre
I t's r- _
sto -. 1: *:'t .i r L .s;l-
| desperate house ives
who m ustchoose a fate for
I their unloving husbands.
W hen :Now through February
| Tin es:Check outthehpp org
different show tim es each day
W here:The H ppodrom e
So r g
. t h e s h p
-I ~-~--- T
i e l
Page 12 The Shpiel
Fireworks could be
heard for miles NT
]Bass(l tlb allll
F fireworks could be 31
heard for miles .
and miles in the city of iN 0 VJ u
Gainesville. No, I'm
not talking about the post-game ruckus.
I'm talking about halftime when the
Gators were in the process of shocking the.
college football world by leading the "# I
Buckeyes" by 20 glorious points. Inside
and outside there was no answer for the
boys from ole' Florida who dominated on
all sides of the ball leaving the battered
and bruised Bucks with only 85 total yards
to show for their efforts. The Gators were
led by Chris Leak, who played like he had
something to prove to those fans who booed Photo bN Jennr fer Harmsh
him just months before in the Swamp. L.eak
capped the night by throwing for 213 yards
on 25 of 36 attempts and a touchdown for kicks.
In Leak's final showing as a University of Florida
player, the North Carolina native proved to the
Gator Nation that yes, he could win the big one.
Now I'll admit when Ted Ginn Jr.
returned that kickoff 93 yards on the Orange and
Blue within the first 15 seconrids of the game, I
think I heard a loud groan released by the whole
Gator Nation as if to say "maybe we aren't good
enough to play with these guys". Well let me tell
the doubters something: The Gators are not only
good enough but they now have the hard wear to
prove it. i
Did someone forget to tell Florida's offense
that defense wins all the games around here?
Well it seemed during the 30-something days the
Gators had off, something clicked. Like a well
oiled machine, the Florida offense proved just
what a team can do with speed and talent. Putting
up 41 points on a very good defense was not only
impressive for the little engine that could, it was
down right awesome.
As time ticked towards zero, I think for
the first time in his life, Urban Meyer smiled.
And who could blame him? To go along with
his reputation of having great second seasons,
Meyer all but cleansed UF of the Zook era and
simultaneously put the ole' ball coach on the back
burner. Meyer also continued his streak of never
having lost when having more than a week to
prepare for an opponent
While University Avenue was stock piled with --
co-eds hanging from trees, chomping and setting
off fireworks, I can bet you one Gator wasn't
100 percent thrilled UF took home that crystal
ball former "Big Man on Campus," Joakim
Noah. Although Gator fans won't soon forget ,
about March Madness and the pandemonium of h"l a.
winning UF's first National Championship in
Basketball, with one huge win the football team
proved, once and for all, just what kind of a
town Gainesville is.
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