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VOLUME 4 ISSUE 6
v 5768 October 30, 2007 November 12, 2007
Hookah Be So Stupd? Movement Aims
ookah Be So Stu to Free Assassin
Tobacco from a hookah isn't any
better for you than a cigarette
BY ELAINE WILSON
SHPiEL staff Writer
Smoking a hookah, a practice that
experienced widespread usage by the
end of the 16th century in the Eastern
world, carries the myth of being a safer
alternative to cigarettes.
Puffing on that flavored tobacco
is becoming increasingly popular in
college towns, heralding a way in which
people can socialize: guilt- and side-
"I suppose it serves the same
function as getting together and having
cigars with your friends," said Simon
Abraham Berman Brodsky, a University
of Florida freshman.
Well, it's not exactly guilt free. Fact
is, it's not that different from its known
to be lethal counterpart: the cigarette.
The confusion is understandable.
Until recently, public opinion has
not been directed otherwise. Despite
pulling the tobacco smoke through
water, the bottom line is this: hookah is
Paula Straight, University Health
Care Center health education director
for Oregon University told the Oregon
Daily Emerald that "tar, the carcinogen
found in tobacco, is not water-soluble."
This information should be enough
to convince skeptics that hookah is
potentially harmful, but what's more,
hookah users typically inhale a greater
quantity of smoke than cigarette
smokers, achieving an average of 50
to 200 puffs of up to a liter of smoke,
according to an article in the New York
With a greater quantity of and
exposure to smoke comes a greater
concentration of all those nasty
chemicals, namely nicotine and carbon
monoxide. Studies have shown, as
quoted in the New York Times, that
"small water pipes produce the highest
levels of carbon monoxide, followed by
You may wonder why potential harm
caused by smoking hookah is only now
gaining more attention. The truth is,
the studies and exposure coincide with
the increase in use. It's not merely a
phenomenon among college students,
but as one Israeli blogger reported at
hookah is becoming an "increasingly
popular pastime of Israeli teenagers."
But don't leave it to Israeli citizens
to attract all the attention. Here in the
states, more and more Jewish students
are connecting over the water pipe
(commonly known in Jewish culture as
narghile) at various Hillels around the
country. Anyone surfing the Web can
view photos from Stanford University's
"Hookah in the Sukkah" event of 2005.
SEE SMOKE, PAGE 2
BY ALEX HARPER
SHPiEL contributing writer
The revitalization of a movement to
free Yigal Amir, the convicted assasissin
of Yitzhak Rabin, has made headlines in
Israeli papers recently. The movement
comes in the wake of a prisoner swap,
an alleged good will gesture toward the
It also comes just before the 12 year
anniversary of Rabin's death, who was
killed on Nov. 4, 1995.
Various religious leaders, rabbis and
Israeli right wing political leaders have
spoken out on behalf of Amir, claiming
that to release convicted Palestinian
terrorists and not a devout Jew who
they believe has served, his country, is
There is a large divide in opinion
among the population regarding the
rights that Amir's rights.
SEE FREEDOM, PAGE 3
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
H i i li* n I
Minimum possible percentage of
Jews in Vanity Fair's 2007 list
of the world's 100 most powerful
Issues of Vanity Fair in circulation: 1,107,802
Pounds won by UK Jewish film
director Roman Polanski in a libel
suit against Vanity Fair:
Number of Academy Awards
Roman Polanski's 2002 film "The
Age of the youngest actor to win
the Academy Award for Best Actor 29
(Adrien Brody in The Pianist):
Estimated limited opening
weekend gross for Wes
Anderson's "The Darjeeling
Limited" starring Adrien Brody,
Jason Schwartzman and Owen
Wilson in US dollars:
Reasons why Owen Wilson should
have gone through with it:
Span of time Natalie Portman is
naked in the teaser film "Hotel
Chevalier" to promote "The
Number of happy male
adolescents as a result of this
nude scene, both Jewish and
Letter to the Editor:
We all know what it means if something is forbidden. The Jewish part can be tricky. Who
decides who is really a Jew? As for myself, I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood on the north
side of Chicago. My parents were Holocaust survivors who made sure that we went to Temple
on the high holidays and had Passover Seders every year. I married a nice Jewish boy from
Brooklyn and we ended up moving to Israel with our children and lived there for 15 years.
(Sound kosher so far?) My son is now serving as an officer in the Israeli army. I don't think
any of you would hesitate to give nie the stamp of approval- "100% Certified Kosher Jew.",
Now for the forbidden part. I believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah spoken of in the
Hebrew Scriptures. Don't worry; this is not going to be a bible study. If you are like I once
was, you don't even know what a messiah really is or why God thinks we need one.
Whenever this comes up, I am reminded of the liberal nature of Jews of all ages when
it comes to every topic but one. In the first issue of "The Spiel" this semester, I read about
hippie style free love and drugs, the praises of a Jewish artist who talks about his God kicking
ass, and a young Jewish lady proudly declaring the details of loosing her virginity over
the summer. The rabbi wrote about why he considers himself a risk-taker. There is even a
recommendation to shop at the Salvation Army!
But wait -there is a limit to everything and there is one line that can never be crossed
- considering the possibility that Jesus actually might be the Jewish Messiah prophesied in
the Jewish Scriptures. Ever wonder why this is the only forbidden topic? I wondered why and
simply investigated the possibility and discovered that it is true. Jesus said, "I am the way,
the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) I read the bible
for myself and came to the conclusion that this is the truth.
Do you, oh liberal, open-minded Jewish student, dare to approach this forbidden topic?
Know that it means more than just thinking outside the box. If what Jesus says is true, you
just might have to pay a high price for taking this route. Think about it. -Eva Schweig
We've thought about it, and we'll take that dare.
In issue 3, we ran an article entitled "Jews Against Jews for Jesus"? We specifically address
the Messianic movement and its relationship to Judaism.
But after giving your letter considerable thought, we've decided that writing about Jesus
as the messiah isn't a topic we need to cover. There is so much else going on in the world
that needs our immediate attention. And besides, talking about Jesus as the messiah isn't so
much "forbidden" as it is just a non-issue.
It's not that we don't like Jesus. Don't get us wrong. We agree that he was a great teacher
and rabbi with many great teachings. We don't, however, believe he's the world's savior.
To quote '50s beat poet Jack Kerouac, "If Jesus Christ is the son of God so am.I."
He was just a guy, and if you believe Jesus is anything more than that, that's fine. We're
not here to tell you that you're wrong.
It's just that if we had to address why we do or don't think Jesus is the messiah, then to
be fair as journalists we'd have to give every religion equal coverage. Why don't we pray to
Vishnu? Why not follow Buddha?
You mentioned that if what Jesus said is true, we as "liberal, open-minded" Jews have to
pay the price. We're prepared to do so. Conversely, if what some other religious teacher says
turns out to be true, then you, friend, will have to pay the price.
Just because something that someone said was published in a book, written on a scroll, or
even printed in a Jewish student-rm newspaper, doesn't mean it's an absolute truth.
None of us at The SHPiEL consider ourselves authorized to give you that Jewish "stamp of
approval" you seek, but the belief in Jesus as the messiah isn't a Jewish ideal.
However, once a Jew- always a Jew. You may adopt different God concepts throughout
your life but yes, you will always be considered Jewish. Yet the belief that Jesus is the messiah
is a Christian concept. Actually, it's the very basis of Christianity.
So if you're interested in a forum to freely discuss the notion of Jesus as the messiah, try
going to church. We hear they're down for talking' about that sort of thing.
With love, The SHPiEL xoxo
The Only Student-Run Jewish Campus Newspaper in the Country, Right Here at the University of Florida
A & E Editor
Rabbi Yonah Schiller
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6 NEWS 3
former Israeli Prime Minis-
ter's assasin wants freedom
FREEDOM, FROM PAGE 1
A poll published by Maariv, Israel's
second largest daily newspaper,
illustrates that. 26 percent of the
population support Amir's release
by 2015, and 14 percent of Israelis
and 38 percent of the religious public
believe that Amir should be released
It was on a cool November night in
the heart of Tel Aviv that three gunshots
rang out. Prime Minister Rabin was
shot in the back as he was preparing
to leave is the place now known as
Rabin Square. Rabin was then rushed
to a nearby hospital where he died 40
minutes later. His body guard, Yoram
Rubin, lay wounded in the hospital bed
Earlier that evening at a massive
peace rally, Rabin made an endearing
plea to Israelis that the Jewish nation
step forward and embrace the recently
signed Oslo Accords to make peace
with their Arab brethren. The assassin
did not hold the same opinion as his
Amir was born to a devoutly religious
family in Herzliya, just north of Tel
Aviv. He attended a Haredi (religious)
elementary school and a high school
yeshiva. Amir combined his military
service in the Golani Brigade with
religious study at the yeshivah Kerem
Since the murder, Amir has been
in jail, predominantly in solitary
confinement, serving out his more-
Coupled with the movement to free
him, Amir has personally endeavored
to attend his unborn son's brit milah,
the Jewish ritual of circumcision. His
attempts have been denied.
Still, Larissa Trimbobler, Amir's wife,
who had to undergo in-vitro fertilization
to get pregnant, is expected to give
birth around, if not on, the anniversary
of Rabin's death.
BY BEN CAVATARO
Crist installs mezuzah on office door
Florida Governor Charlie Crist installed a mezuzah
on the doorpost of his Tallahassee office. Crist, who
visited Israel with a state legislative trade mission
earlier this year, received the mezuzah from Republican
Rep. Adam Hasner.
The installation received criticism from Howard
Simon, executive director of the American Civil
Liberties Union of Florida. Simon was quoted in the
Palm Beach Post saying, "The problem is that if he
says yes to this religious symbol, he's not going to be
able to say no to any other religious symbol."
Crist, a Methodist, has said he understands the
principle of separation of church and state and called
the gesture a mark of respect for the Jewish people.
Belarus president blasted for remarks on Jews
Comments made by the president of Belarus,
Alexander Lukashenko during a live radio broadcast
Oct. 12 were deemed as anti-Semitic by Israeli Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni last week. The port city of Bobruisk
in Belarus is "a Jewish city," Lukashenko said. "The
Jews do not care for the place they live in; look at
Israel, I have been there."
Reports of anti-Semitism in Belarus are on the rise
as relations have warmed between the former Soviet
bloc state and Iran.
S Antiquities found at Temple Mount
.'<2 'The Israel Antiquities Authority reported that
artifacts dating back to the era of the First Temple-
Spossibly as early as the 8th century BCE-having been
.. ...... found at the Temple Mount, the site of the Western
Wall and Islamic Dome of the Rock.
The discoveries, which include ceramic fragments
and animal bones, were found by Antiquities Authority
supervisors during trench maintenance work
conducted by the Waqf, the Islamic trust charged with
overseeing the Muslim part of the Temple Mount.
A group of Israeli archeologists, the Committee
Against the Destruction of Antiquities, fear that
tractors and other equipment have caused damage
2 to the antiquities since Israeli authorities allowed the
Waqf to carry out infrastructure repair earlier this
-: ..- : -. year.
',:' Olmert and Putin to meet
s Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will travel to
Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir
Putin. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports Israeli
government sources as saying Olmert will push Putin
B ; on Iran's nuclear program and ask the Russian leader
to reduce its military links with Syria.
Putin, who has called for a diplomatic resolution
Sto the dispute over Iranian plans to develop nuclear
S weapons, met with Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad at the Caspian Sea Summit in Tehran on
Z... .-..- .. .
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
hookah smoke less safe than cigarettes
SMOKE, FROM PAGE 1
It would appear the water-pipe's place in m 3"
Eastern tradition poses an excellent opportunity *
for immersion in Jewish-American culture. -
Blogger Rabbi Yonah on www.Jewlicious.
com wrote that since many campuses have
instituted strict rules about alcohol, hookah has
become a way to get students "in the door" for
Hillel events and campus activities.
"Using a hookah has even become a way
to try to promote Israel!" he wrote. "Forget.
Zionism, the Promised Land, or even the sexy
Israeli soldiers. Hook them on Israel with a
hookah night with Israeli food."
With regards to the pressure stemming from
the panoramic view on hookah popularity,
what's a Jew to do?
Israel is looking to pass a law "requiring that
narghilee] tobacco be labeled with the same
warming stickers as cigarettes," stated the blog,
Those familiar labels forewarning that "each
cigarette brings 43 carcinogenic substances
into your body," as they appear on cigarettes
in Israel will become more prevalent as they are
slapped onto yet another toxic fad.
Regardless of religious affiliation, the fact of
the matter is that narghile is developing into a
major component of youth culture.
For this, American and Israeli youth should
be in-the-know about what they're really
inhaling. .,hntn hv rvomv, P ld
Fellowship Seeks to Send
Iranian Jews to Israel
BY FARYN HART
SHPiEL staff writer
Perhaps it is Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's, description of the Holocaust as a myth
or reports of Iran's nuclear weapons program that has
incited even evangelical Christians to pull for Jewish
emigration from Iran to Israel.
The International Fellowship of Christians and
Jews (IFCJ), offering the cash incentive, is a world-
wide charitable organization whose mission is to build
cooperation and understanding in the shared concerns of
Christians and Jews. Support for Israel would obviously
fall under that category of "shared concern."
This charity, with many American evangelical
Christian donors piping money into Israel, has offered
$10,000 to each Iranian Jew who embarks on the journey
from a country where about 25,000 Jews remain amongst
their Muslim fellow citizens.
IFCJ Director Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said that 82
Jews have been brought over since the beginning of
the project but the response has been slow due to
the economic comforts of living in Iran. A 31-year-old
widow, who wished to remain anonymous to protect
her family still living in Iran, confessed that she moved
not because her family was in danger but because she
wished to give her children a future in Israel.
Though Ahmadinejad mentioned in his Columbia
University address last month that Iranians are friends
of the Jewish people, his past anti-Semitic remarks and
tension surrounding anti-Israel media has been cause
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The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
Fighting Style Gives Swift Kick in the Balls the OK
BY DOUG SHARF
SHPiEL staff writer
The cock of a Desert Eagle is a bad noise
to hear-especially when looking down its
barrel. When adrenaline is pumping and life
memories are flashing by, figuring out the
honorable and appropriate Karate defense
move seems a lesson in futility.
Higher-ups in the Israeli Defense Force
realized this in the late 1940s when they
asked Imi Lichtenfield to teach IDF soldiers
a fighting style called Krav Maga.
The technique has spread to America in
the past few decades, and is now taught to
everyone from civilians to police officers to
Krav Maga, which literally means "close
contact" in Hebrew, is a no nonsense blend
of street fighting and kickboxing with the
influence of Asian martial arts.
Usually, there is the lesson of honor and
a strict adherence to form in martial arts,
but Krav Maga discards these traditional
teachings for better beat-up ability. The
style embraces fighting dirty and takes
advantage of sensitive areas the eyes and
Lichtenfield once said, "In a real fight,
those who fight fair do not get to stand
First Sgt. Danny Johnston was honorably
discharged from the IDF in 1999, but not
before experiencing Krav Maga in its purest
Johnston said that all soldiers endure
Krav Maga basic training, and combat
soldiers undergo a longer and more intense
program. Johnston was a sniper, not a
combat soldier, but his time in the army
proves that it does not hurt to know Krav
Maga, regardless of rank and position.
Johnston was once guarding an entrance
into the West Bank, checking work permits
to only allow certain people in. He said that
one "scary looking guy" came up and showed
him an invalid permit. When Johnston
turned him away, the man got mad, began-
to get aggressive and made a sudden move
"I didn't even use the rifle that was
hanging on my shoulder. I just threw my
body weight into a fast elbow across his
face and knocked him out cold," Johnston
Johnston confirmed that the moves in
Krav Maga are practical. None of them are
The art is designed for worst-case
scenarios: being outnumbered, being
attacked from behind or facing'a weapon.
An arsenal of Krav Maga exhibition videos
are available on YouTube.com. Some even
demonstrate how to fight while blindfolded.
It appears to be a useful technique for
disarming a stealthy attacker and turning
his own gun back on him.
To cause as much damage as possible,
the tenets of Krav Maga encourage using the
body's natural reflexes, striking sensitive
areas and employing nearby objects or tools
to neutralize the threat.
And for the ladies, Krav Maga encourages
aiming, for the testicles which might
be a helpful counter attack to all the
inappropriately overly friendly, shady guys
at night clubs.
For more information on Krav Maga
fighting, visit http://www.kravmaga.com.
Jonah Klemm-Toole and Chris Rothpletz practice elbow defense during the Krav Maga class at
Karate America in Gainesville, Fla.
Former IDF Officer Wants You to Walk the Walk
BY AMRITHA ALLADI Defense
SHPiEL staff writer job, a gi
in Ft. La
He does not keep kosher, attend "Peot
synagogue regularly, or go to Chabad or said. "N
Hillel, yet he is critical of Jews. it, but i
He has probably earned this right decision
after having extensively researched Dvir
the Holocaust and served as an officer rushing
stationed at Tel Aviv during the First joining
Gulf War. relative;
Boaz Dvir is the director of before,
communications at the UF College of came as
Journalism and Communications. In the the IDF
early 1990s, he enlisted in the Israeli depart
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Forces, leaving behind a stable
rlfriend and a beachside house
ple thought I was crazy," Dvir
lo one understood why I did
it was clearly one of the best
s I ever made."
followed his father's advice,
to finish a degree at UF before
the armed forces. Several'
s in his family had served
so his desire to join the IDF
no surprise. When he enlisted,
asked Dvir to join the English
lent of the Spokesman Unit due
Faxw : (I
to his perfect English and writing skills.
His job involved distributing IDF news
internationally on an hourly basis to
army officials and arms strategists.
"My friends and relatives made fun
of me because they had all had fighters
in their families and had expected me to
fight," Dvir said. "Instead, I had a car, a
house, a chauffeur ... I didn't even have
But Dvir got the last laugh: Iraq
invaded Kuwait in 1990 and Saddam
Hussein launched missiles at Israel,
catapulting the country into the Gulf
War. Dvir's role suddenly had increased
ya Blaekman is a student,
director, editor and
(800) 258.-2861 writer. But most
77) 942-4135 importantly he is
uyserviceoffice.com an analytical Jew,
kansemrvieaftiee.om willing to examine
the infirmity of
his people. While
he may not ----
I teach and
that's why I go to school myself. That's
kind of a Jewish value," he said. "I'm
also very critical, and I think that's part
of being Jewish."
Dvir is critical of the way the
Jewish people have exhibited prejudice
despite being victims of intolerance
for centuries. He has witnessed
bigotry against Palestinians, Arabs and
Muslims alike. He wonders why, after
experiencing tragedies such as the
SEE DVIR, PAGE 10
61 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
Slang Terms: Next time you are in a tattoo parlor,
you can chat it up with the best of 'em.
For Tattoos: For Getting a Tattoo:
Tat Slinging Ink
Tac Pounding Skin
Kickin' it Into Third (filling in the color faster)
Jews wttI( Tattooas
Ink. It's everywhere these days. Having a tattoo is not longer just for the off-beat biker crowd or the punk rock anarchists. Tats
are flooding the mainstream and many office jobs are even rewriting their dress codes to accommodate the new trend.
But even with this overwhelming social acceptance of body art, 'carving one out' is still an act of great controversy among
Jews- especially tattoos with Judaic themes. So, we at The SHPiEL decided that instead of printing yet another article on the
debate over whether marking up your body is against the rules, we would let you, the readers speak for yourselves.
A 4t; -In t4E:
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | 7
At just $1.99 on iTunes, You Can't Afford to Miss This
BY JAMES R. WILKEY III
SHPiEL contributing writer
"The Tribe" is a short documentary
film about Jews and Barbie dolls.
It's OK if you're confused.
Written by Ken Goldberg and director
Tiffany Shlain, "The Tribe" shifts
between two subjects: Barbie's Jewish
roots and the origin of modern Jews.
For the most part the movie is light-
hearted, using references to Barbie's
history to inject humor when the film
gets too serious- especially towards the
middle when it deals with persecution,
the expulsion of Jews and the questions
of Jewish identity in the modern world.
The final minutes are of particular
note, as they really swelled my Jewish
pride, which is a hard thing to do since
I'm actually a gentile.
Cinematography in "The Tribe" is in
the background as visual content relies
on stock footage, images and graphics.
Instead the film on its well-done editing,
which preserves a nice visual rhythm,
Peter Coyote, the narrator, has the
fantastic essential narrator's voice that
is fun to listen to. The best laughs in
the movie come from Coyote's deadpan
delivery of some seemingly outrageous
transitions between the Jewish people
and Barbie dolls.
"The Tribe" is short, but it's also
fun and original. It shifts between
serious documentary and humorous
mockumentary and is filled with a
sense of spirit and sincerity. At 18
minutes long-roughly the length of a
long bus ride, a quick lunch or a power
nap-there's little excuse not to check
it out .
"The Tribe" is
on iTunes for
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The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
time I wrote
it and the
time my long-
interest steps off the plane.
Talk about a self-fulfilling
prophecy-"anything" did happen.
I met a local guy. He's shy. and I
had to encourage the first move, which
is a pleasant change from the guys I've
dated in the past.
We're complete opposites. He's just
your average, sports-loving college
guy though he hates when I say that.
He hates being called ordinary. He's
the calmest person I've ever met, so
we balance each other out. And for
over a week, things progressed at a
delightfully steady and comfortable
Until he picked up a copy of The
SHPiEL and read riy last column, which
was conceived and printed before we
even began hanging out.
The guy I've been interested in
since the semester began is coming to
visit in just a few weeks.
Yes, in printing that, I have royally
screwed myself over.
Minus the actual screwing,
At first, Sports Guy said everything
was cool. He's generally a pretty
apathetic person. We could continue
hanging out, doing all the things that
people who like each other do: hang
out, take walks and talk about things
no one else would care about unless
they liked you.
He would just have to protect his
feelings for me. Not let himself get too
That lasted about a full day, after
which he informed me that, in essence,
he didn't want to be just a body. He
didn't want to get in the way of my
long-distance "thing," and maybe I was
just using him for want of affection
and what not.
And you know what? He was
probably right. And I was ready for this
sort of rejection. I still liked hanging
out with him, so maybe we could just
Sports Guy and I are so vastly
different. Even our kissing styles never
worked together. We have a hard time
figuring each other out. So yeah, I'm
OK with this.
But after much arguing about how
he just didn't want to be my second
choice, something in me sparked: Him
standing up, to me completely turned
It felt like I bad ingested some kind
of potion, like Horny Goat Weed mixed
with Spanish Fly.
How unfair! Of course I had to go
and pick the one guy on the entire
campus who didn't just want to hook
up, and in fact, felt bad for doing so.
I'm trying to keep that window
open, because I realize I do like him.
But I also like the long-distance guy.
I mean, you never know what can
happen in the future, but I feel like
Sports Guy has closed himself off to
SIt's not like I lied to him. I would
have told him about my long-distance
interest soon enough. Because that's
all it is really- an interest.
And besides, I'm still single.
Apparently just not single enough.
Dad Won't Allow Son to Daven
Challah Baker, Baby Maker
LEO STEIN With all of
i as narrow-
to find that the
Jewish ultra-Orthodox group Agudath
Israel of America is fighting for
A Kansas father, Robert Solko,
prohibited his son from living an
observant Jewish life. Solko gave up
Orthodoxy after he divorced and won't
allow his sonEphraim to wear yarmulkes,
keep kosher, celebrate holidays or have
a religious education.
Believing that the boy is wise enough
to choose his own religious convictions
(he's a bar mitzvah, making him a
"man"), Agudath Israel is fighting for
the boy's First Amendment rights.
While it's noble that the organization
cares about the rights of this child,
it's ludicrous to think Agudath Israel
is fighting for all children's rights.
After all, this is the same group that
demanded parents be notified of female
minors wanting abortions. I wonder how
you spell "hypocritical" in Yiddish.
If a child was fighting to become
more secular, this ultra-Orthodox
group wouldn't give a flying shit about
the child's desire to express himself.
Freedom of expression, apparently,
only seems right when it's what you are
already fighting for.
The real question is: what does the
Jewish law of honoring our parents
really mean? If your parents tell you to
jump off a cliff, would you?
Actually, rabbis have concluded in
halakhic (Jewish legal) texts that some
laws are more important than others. If
parents command a Jewish kid to break
the Sabbath, for example, the kid should
forget his parent's wishes and keep the
On the other hand, we owe a certain
amount of respect to the people who
brought us into existence. My father,
for example, is an atheist who can't
stand religious doctrines.
So when -I come home for the
holidays, I don't make the gesture of
douchebaggery by wearing a yarmulke
in front of him.
Wearing that little hat is not
commanded anywhere in the Hebrew
canon, and I'd rather not offend my
father if given the choice.
Agudath Israel is right about giving
the kid the responsibility to make
his own religious decisions. It's hard
enough for a 13-year-old to face his
unrelenting erections, acne and vocal
range fluctuations, not to mention
sticking to a faith despite parental
But at age 13, Ephraim may still
owe it to himself to eventually go on
sloppy movie dates, explore Eastern
philosophies and try the occasional
doobie. Otherwise, how much of a man
do you really become just sticking to
what you already know?
ZAHARA ZAHAV T h e
At 12-years-old, I formallyning
womaccepted myn's place in Judaism with
a Bat Mitzvah ceremony. However, I
could not forget the impression I'd
acquired throughout my short, Jewish
life that somehow my brother was
more appreciated and more accepted
in our synagogue.
My Hebrew school teacher laughed
at this thought. She attributed it to
sibling rivalry. To quell my worries,
she assured me the Jewish woman
was not only equal to the Jewish man,
but, in fact, was so revered in our
religion that her responsibilities were
limited because spirituality was a
natural byproduct of her femininity.
I didn't use the phrase at the time,
but what her speech most sounded
like to me was the natural byproduct
Friday nights, I'd pray with my
Friday nights, I'd pray with my
family at Chabad. Of course, I wasn't
actually praying with my family. I
was reciting prayers in silence among
a group of crying babies and tired
I could never see over the divide,
but I always heard what sounded
like fun on the men's side. Their
responsibilities, in which we women
were too holy to participate, gave those
men the sense of accomplishment
accompanying a job well done.
I wasn't expected to pray. I wasn't
expected to learn Torah or study
Talmud. I saw my duties as a Jewish
woman as purely physical and never
How can I express my religious
commitment in ways besides
supporting the religious commitment
of my husband? From my studies,
the only answer I've come up with is
to make little Jewish babies (whom
I pray will not be born women) so
that they may continue the traditions
denied to me.
The anger I feel at my lack of
responsibility as a Jewish woman is
common enough that entire sects
have sprouted allowing my female
comrades to feel more included in
I've attended these "Reformed"
and "Conservative" services, ready
to share in the rich history and depth
our religion offers.
But Jewish history was not
SEE CHALLAH, PAGE 10
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
Thinking Outside the Lox with Rabbi Yonah: Scary Thoughts
What could possiblybe the problem
with a Jew celebrating Halloween?!
It's not like we're wolfing down
a bacon-cheeseburger at a Jews for
Jesus convention on Yom Kippur. So
why does Halloween make rabbis'
hair stand on end when considering
all the ghoulish antics?
After all, could Halloween be so
scary and evil, and so threatening to
the Jewish perspective?
In one way or another, all the
holidays celebrated in the Jewish
calendar attempt to remember
something: when the world was
created (Rosh Hashana), when we left
Egypt (Passover), when we received
the Torah (Shavuot), etc. Memory
for Jews is like hot water to a tea
bag. Memory is what gives body to
our flavor, drawing out the essence,
giving actuality to potential. In order
for our Jewish perspective to have
integrity and backbone, we need to
be able draw upon our roots, our
past and our cultural inheritance, to
inform our worldview today.
Halloween, with its pagan origin
and history of ghosts, has come into
question for some origin-minded
Jews (especially those Who follow
Jewish law or halacha). Should we,
who are the inventors of monotheism
and the primary inspiration for 80
percent of Bob Marley's songs, be
trick-or-treating and Halloweening
on a day .that is essentially a pagan
holiday? Let's take a quick look at the
history of Halloween to see if there is
anything compelling to help us form
-a Jewish -esponse to a non-Jewish
A brief history:
Dating back to the Celtic period
about 2000 years ago, Samhain
(pronounced sow-in) originated as'
a day on Oct. 31 when the ghosts
of the dead returned to roam the
earth. Celtic priests relied upon this
day to make
accurate Should we, who a
predictions monotheism and th
a n d for 80 percent of B
prophesy- trick-or-treating and
due to the day that is essentially)
spirits. The holiday was celebrated
by building community bonfires and
making sacrifices to Celtic deities.
During this ritual, celebrants wore
costumes and made specific requests
of their gods.
In the seventh century, Pope
Boniface IV designated Nov. 1 as All
Saints' Day: a time to honor saints
and martyrs. It is widely believed
today that the pope was attempting to
replace the Celtic festival of the dead
with a related yet church-sanctioned
holiday. The celebration was also
called All-hallows or All-hallowmas
(from Middle English Alholowmesse
meaning "All Saints' Day"), and the
night before, the night of Samhain,
began to be called All-hallows Eve
and, eventually, Halloween.
So the big issue is whether Jews
nowadays should be celebrating a
holiday that clearly has a questionable
past. See, Jews are not into idol
worship or the partitioning out of
any divine powers. One Love, Jewish
style. In other words, all things are
unified, ultimately in one God. That is
where all things godly begin and end.
We like to stay
e the inventors of away from-
primary inspiration anything that
b Marley songs, be lends itself
Halloweening on a to breaking
a pagan holiday? up the god
like a multi-god paradigm, i.e. idol
worship and the like. Halloween was
born out of this misappropriation and
fragmenting of a unified God.
One could reasonable argue that
modern-day Halloween bears no
resemblance to its pagan origins.
It is safe to say that when kids are
running around egging houses,
collecting as much candy as possible
and emptying shaving cream bottles
into their friends' faces, that it is
not a contemporary attempt to give
homage to their Celtic ancestors and
respective gods. Therefore, engaging
in this Halloween season does not
seem to be tantamount to worshiping
If you do
minded" Jew or
if you feel that
to its pagan
tenuous at best, then the celebration
of Halloween as a Jew is not even a
technical question of right or wrong.
If you think it important that your
present outlook be rooted in the
context of history and the past, then
there is no getting awayfrom the
fact that Halloween was born out of a
pagan and idol worshipping ritual. If
you find yourself somewhere between
these two ends of the spectrum, the
question you can ask yourself this
Oct. 31st is what is our individual
relationship to the past is and at
what point does the past become the
,past? As a people with a culture that
is so rooted in the past in forming
our vision of the future, how should
we relate to another peoples history
and how much should we actively
Questions? Comments? A topic you
want addressed? Hit up Rabbi Yonah at
The Gainesville Daily.
R fictional commentary
based on real events.
BY MICHAEL ADLER
SHPiEL staff writer
The Pentagon respond
to U.S. military command
for alternative energy sc
Military outposts in Ira
diesel fuel trucked across d
roads in long convoys--
have to keep coming.
Iraqi "I need one truck every day or my
Sr I base shuts down, and that doesn't
even include operations. We are air
.now conditioning tents with electricity
from giant diesel generators, for
tal ly crying out loud," Army Col. Mark
Jeffries said. "Most of the men I've
lost so far have been defending fuel
convoys. If the Pentagon could ship
us some solar panels or a couple of
wind turbines, we could focus on
the mission instead of our supply
ed today The Department of Defense
ders' call will be contracting Halliburton
urces in to buy renewable energy credits.
Halliburton had a tall order to
iq run on fill because Renewable Energy
dangerous Concepts did not actually exist at
and they the time. "We had to go to China
and manufacture some," said
Halliburton spokesperson Chick
Denney. "China is in the midst of
a huge economic expansion and
opens a new coal-fired power plant
every hour: So we went to some of
these Chinese utilities and made an
arrangement: if they agree not to
build a power plant for a few years,
we've saved that much carbon
from being released and can use
those credits to contract with the
Financial records indicate that
Halliburton was buying the credits
for about $1 per ton and selling
them for $100, and some of the
coal-fired plants were being built
Denney defended the program
and said the Pentagon was paying a
Jeffries was not pleased. "I asked for
renewable energy to power my base,
and they send me these f---ing pieces
of paper saying it's the same thing."
Jeffries said. "Now, maybe it's because
I didn't go to enviro-hippie college, but
that does not make any f---ing sense to
Opinions expressed in this section do
not necessarily reflect those of The
SHPiEL. We encourage comments from
readers who possess all points of view.
No, really, we're interested in what you
have to say. Feel free to write a letter to
the editor or you can contact us with a
column idea. Please send comments to
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
Ward Off That Special Thirst at Ward's
BY RYAN WEISS
SHPiEL staff writer
Looking for kosher wine? Don't let your
search end fruitlessly.
Ward's supermarket, 515 NW 23rd Ave., is
a family owned market specializing in locally
Sr'wn produce and organic food sells a variety
Sf kosher wines.
Kosher wine is considered one of the most
difficultt kosher products to find, largely
lue to the rigorous requirements for the
For wine to be kosher, grapes cannot be used
from vines that are less than four years old.
Every seven years, the land must be unseeded,
and no other fruits or vegetables may be grown
between the vines. All equipment used must be
kosher and during the Sabbath, only Sabbath-
observant males are allowed to work on wine
production. This can make things difficult due
to the vast number of Jewish workers who are
not Sabbath observant.
In addition, 1 percent of the wine produced
must be discarded (a symbolic gesture of the
tithe paid to the Temple in Jerusalem) and the
barrels must be cleaned three times.
Pasteurization is practiced in some
situations, but is not absolutely mandatory for
Ward's employee Brian Davis, jokingly
referred to as the "Wine Boy" by his coworkers,
Israel Awareness Week
Sunday 11.4.07 Cinema Sunday
8pm 10:30pm. Hilel. Enjoy Movie and Refreshments!!
Monday 11.5.07 Trees for Israel
1 lam 2pm. Plaza of the Americas. Make a cozy home for a tree and paint your
very own clay pod
Monday 11.5.07 Passport to Israel
8pm -10:30pm. Normal Field. Travel to the land of Israel and take awalk to different
exhibits each representing a different city in the Holy Land.
Enjoy FREE Israeli-style Food and Refieshments!!
Tuesday 11.6.07 Light My Fire/Israeli Politics Q&A
9am-12pm. Farrah's On University Ave. Smoke some Hookah, drink some
refreshments, andtalk about Current Israeli Political events... what a greatnight!!
Wednesday 11.7.07 Art in the Plaza: Tye-Dye Factory
11am- 2pm. Plaza ofthe Americas, Tye Dye Shirts for FREE! Sot~t your artistic
abilities and uear your Blue & White Tye-Dyedshirts to the Rally on Thursday
Wednesday 11.7.07 Land of Milk and Honey
10pm 12am. Pizza Rustica On UniversityAve. Enjoy Free Refreshments and
social rime ith friends!
Thursday 11.8.07 United for Peace
5pm-7pm. Plaza f the Americas. Join representative from congressman
CliffSteam's office in an ISR-AEL RALLY, enjoy Free Food, and
OrganizationalInformation from Cosponsoring Programs:
Iran Nudear Proliferation, Israel as a Democract, Efforts to Begin Dialogues of Peace
Friday 11.9.07 Maccabi Games (Color War)
1 lam-2pm. Plaza oftheAmericas. Free Food. Refreshments. FunL Activities!
Friday 11.9.07 Shabbat in Israel
7:30pm. Hillel'Chabad. Free Israeli Dinner
-^^S~ .-- c
Alex Atwood checks out the wine selection at Ward's.
said that Ward's gets most of their kosher wines from organic wine
distributors in South America from countries like Argentina and
Chile. Davis said he feels that it's important to have kosher wine as
customers commonly request it.
The store carries around six or seven different varieties of
kosher wine. Brands include Givon, Rashi and Kedem Estates.
Davis said.if people get desperate, they can also find Manischewitz
in the aisles.
role-of women sucks
CHALLAH, FROM PAGE 8
written to be shared with women. Her portrayal in the
Torah and the Talmud is the same dichotomous, stereotypical
one that appears in most canonic text. She is beautiful.
She is sexual. She is a temptress. She is kind. She is evil.
She is gentle. She is cruel. But she is not someone with
whom you'd engage in intelligent, scholarly discussion.
How much can a woman know about what it means to be an
intellectual, Jewish female if she has no model in her religious
text? She is forced to discover her place on an individual basis,
backed by books written by and for men.
It is no wonder that women often concede to their simple
role as assigned by tradition. To do otherwise is to question all
that it means to be Jewish.
walk the walk
DVIR, FROM PAGE 5
Holocaust, Jews haven't abandoned their own biases.
"We educate ourselves, we commemorate [the Holocaust], we
build museums ... but despite all that, you would think we would be
free of prejudices," he said. "Not just because of what we've gone
through, but how well we've done educating ourselves about it.
"Jews should not be allowed to be prejudiced. We just don't have
Dvir carries the walk-the-walk philosophy into his career as well.
"You can be the most talented you can be, but you're still going to
practice everyday," Dvir said.
Writers, he said, sometimes feel they are the exception to the
rule that "practice makes perfect." Dvir's own experiences in Tel
Aviv taught him the discipline it takes to be a journalist.
His advice for writing successfully: practice daily, or at least six
times a week.
He said, "You want to take a break? Fine. On the Sabbath, sure."
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
r "Ii pm
At ch.: f 1i1 ,.
I 1 T i.lu rn.lr .: t-enrer
12 p.m I pm
West Side Story
Football vs. -
.. 1 2.....- -
Sunday Mond^Say: dne^^iBsda saySaur
The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 6
The University of Florida presents:
"Brriinhg Pirmincnt Speakers to The Univmsily of Florida"
3 Science Guy
Doors Op n 5p
Phillips Center for t
Former U.S. Att
Doors Open at 7:15pm
Phillips Center for the
7onzales The Immigration Debate
Featuring Jerome Corsi (President of the United
States Hispanic Leadership Institute) and Juan
Andrade (Author of the book Minutemen)
Wednesday, November 28th
Doors open at 7:00 PM
Show starts at 8:00 PM
Reitz Union Grand Ballroom
(All Shows are Free and Open to the Public)
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