The Shpiel ( October 21, 2008 )


Material Information

The Shpiel
Alternate spelling:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel,
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Jewish college students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Judaism -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish way of life -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville
29.665245 x -82.336097 ( Place of Publication )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, issue 1 (Feb. 13/26, 2006)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Issues also have Jewish calendar dates.
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
"The Jewish newspaper at the University of Florida"--Masthead.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: Vol. 1, issue 3 (Mar. 21/Apr. 3, 2006).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:


Material Information

The Shpiel
Alternate spelling:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel,
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Jewish college students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Judaism -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish way of life -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville
29.665245 x -82.336097 ( Place of Publication )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, issue 1 (Feb. 13/26, 2006)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Issues also have Jewish calendar dates.
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
"The Jewish newspaper at the University of Florida"--Masthead.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: Vol. 1, issue 3 (Mar. 21/Apr. 3, 2006).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:

Full Text

22 Tishrei 5769 5 Cheshvan 5769
V "f .:- ":4 U ":0" .:" --- '. : '-

Sarah Silverman actually does


SHPiEL staff writer

"If Barack Obama doesn't become
the next president of the United States,
I'm gonna blame the Jews," said Sarah
Silverman in her viral video titled "The
Great Schlep."
Silverman's popular online video
encourages young, Jewish voters to
travel to Florida and convince their
grandparents to vote for Barack Obama.
According to CNN, the video posted on
www.thegreatschlep.org received two
million hits in two weeks.
Does a group making up about 2
percent of the United States population
matter enough in an election to require
as much attention as two million viewers

in two weeks?
People unable to forget the 2000
election may sympathize with the
presidential campaigns working hard to
win the Jewish vote, especially that of
the elderly Jewish population of South
Florida. Silverman may indeed be on to
According to The Jewish Review,
Jews born prior to 1945 identify in high
numbers with the Democratic Party
compared to Jewish baby boomers and
the younger generation. As Silverman
says in the video, "Jews are the most
liberal, scrappy, civil rights people
there are."
Many Web sites, rabbis and scholars



October 21, 2008 -November 3, 2008
., -,z ,,

Forty days, nights of awkward

Jewish dancing
SHPiEL contributing writer

Students in Florida and across the
country will have a chance next year
to jam to the sound of Jewish music
ranging from roots to reggae and rock
to rap at Shemspeed's 40 Days 40
Nights Tour.
The tour, an idea of Yemenite hip-
hop artist Erez Safar, a.k.a Diwon
a.k.a. dj handler, will bring innovative
Jewish artists and present them at
up to 30 college campuses in the
country. Musicians will give rousing
performances at night (40 Nights) and
sessions and workshops during the day
on songwriting, music marketing and
spirituality on the road from a Jewish-

American perspective (40 Days).
Safar, who is also the founder and
director of Shemspeed "the largest &
most diverse Jewish music site!" they
say said artists were chosen for their
musical talent as well as their ability to
speak well in public to ensure inspiring,
educational workshops.
One such artist, Dov Rosenblatt,
will not only discuss songwriting in his
sessions but also about how he brings
Torah into his compositions. Rosenblatt
will talk about how he is moved by
certain passages and how he turns them
into songs filled with Judaic themes.
The workshops will be open to all
interested college students who wish to


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The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

Out of the shack, into the fire

Shorts Briefs


(West Bank Jews launch tourism campaign)
A group of Jewish West Bank settlers have begun a marketing
campaign targeted at boosting tourism to the disputed territory.
The Jewish Daily Forward reported that the three-year campaign
by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria will cost
some $1.5 million a year and has begun with about 1,000 billboards
that aim to attract Israeli tourists by promoting the region's Jewish
history and stressing safety. The ancient cities of Hebron, Beit El and
Shiloh are among specific destinations promoted in the campaign.

{Potential beatification of Holocaust-era pope sparks controversy}
The potential beatification of Pope Pius XII -the key step toward
Catholic sainthood has become a flash-point in Catholic-Jewish
relations as a longtime controversy over the pope's actions during
World War II and the Holocaust has flared up.
The potential honor for Pius has been the subject of meetings be-
tween Jewish communal leaders and Vatican officials for years. While
some have emphasized Pius's actions on behalf of the Jews during
the war with Pope Benedict XVI saying on the 50th anniversary of
the Pius's death that the pope worked "secretly and silently" against
genocide, others have condemned his failure to act swiftly and openly
to condemn Nazism and stop deportations of Holocaust victims to
death camps.
The Jewish Daily Forward reported that beatification seemed likely,
quoting Catholic Theological Union professor Father John Pawlikows-
ki as saying that "Hardliners" have gained the upper hand within Vati-
can circles.

{Publisher suit against Holocaust memoir fabricator rejected)
A judge has dismissed a publisher's lawsuit against a woman whose
1997 Holocaust memoir -- which recounted her story of surviving by
living with a pack of wolves turned out to be false.
Misha Defonseca's bestselling 1997 book "Misha: A Memoir of the
Holocaust Years" was translated into 18 languages, made into a film in
France and was promoted by Oprah Winfrey. But Defonseca admitted
that the story was a hoax earlier this year, prompting a lawsuit from
former publisher Jane Daniel.
The publisher had sought to reverse a $32.4 million judgment that
Defonseca and her ghostwriter Vera Lee had won'in an earlier case
over the proceeds from book sales.
A state judge dismissed the case this week because it was filed
after a one-year time limit.

SHPiEL contributing writer

Sukkot is all about drawing forth thi
light and love that are found beyond
and within us and bringing both int(
the world.
On Sukkot, the Jewish people
are commanded to break from their:
everyday routine, leave behind th(
permanence and structure of their live!
and go out into the world to reveal the
infinite light that pervades all existence(
(if you are having trouble with thi,
concept of light, maybe just replace i
with "good vibes," or read some Rai
By "go out into the world," I mear
vigorously shake a palm frond anc
oversized lemon together and build E
ghetto-ass love shack in your backyard
that you invite all your friends over tc
have a slumber party in.
The reason I highlight these ritual
practices (other than to validate my
own observances of the holiday) is tc
illuminate what I take to be the essence
of the holiday that directly follows
Sukkot: Shemini Atzeret.
Shemini Atzeret, Toughly translated
means "the eighth [day/point] o1
stopping/completion." On this day
one is technically not allowed to be in
the sukkah (the ghetto-ass love shack
mentioned above) and engage in the

S _. .O

. E.-.- .' -
S .. B A

other rituals specific to Sukkot. This
is the aspect of Atzeret that is about
stopping, but what does all this have to
e do with completion?
d Why does one need a holiday that
o merely celebrates not having to do all
these things? What all these rituals have
e in common is the fact that they are all
r rituals-physical expressions. Granted,
e they are expressions that allow one to
s shine light in the world and express
love for the world, but nonetheless,
e rituals remain physical expressions.
s Shemini Atzeret is the day when we
t push aside the physical for a inoment
and reflect on the deeper spiritual
meaning behind everything we did for
i Sukkot.
I It is the time to think about how I
i can bring all that love and light into the
I world when I am back in my everyday
routine. It is about the completion of
everything we worked on and toward
l during Sukkot and how we will manifest
all of that spiritual work back in the real
Ultimately, SheminiAtzeret causes us
to confront the question that has been
forming since the start of the new year
and reaches its climax, its completion,
f on this holiday: How I am going to
approach every person and everything
L I encounter from a real place, a place of
love and compassion for the other, in
the absence of a ghetto-ass love shack?


T 0o

The Only Student-Run Jewish Campus Newspaper in the Country, Right Here at the University of Florida

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News Editor
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Chief Visonary
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The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

visit the new theshpiel.org


Tiny string causes rift in community

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SHPiEL contributing writer

A few pieces of string attached
to a pole can make a huge
difference in the life of a mother
who needs to carry her child on
the Jewish Sabbath. The string
is only symbolic, yet it marks
the gateway into a community
governed by the strict rules of
Orthodox Judaism.
Rabbi Marc Shneier would
like to install this string
system, called an "eruv," on Part c
Westhampton Beach's utility nycer
poles in New York, according
to an article by the Associated
Press. This system allows Orthodox
Jews within its boundaries to push
or carry things outdoors, which is
traditionally prohibited on the Sabbath
or on holidays such as Rosh Hashana.
According to the article, Conrad
Teller, Westhampton Beach's mayor,
said 85 percent of village residents
opposed the eruv. They disagree with
the creation of a virtual barrier between
Jews and non-Jews which never existed
in the community.
People have formed groups like
Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv to
voice concern about the concentration
of Orthodox Jews that the eruv would
Matt Bernstein, a fourth-year
pharmacy student at the University
of Florida, tried to create an eruv in
Gainesville a few years ago but faced a
lack of interest from UF's population of
Orthodox Jews.
He said the eruv would have
encompassed the UF campus and places
within walking distance to the campus,
such as sorority houses. It would have
spread from 34th Street to 13th Street
and from Archer Road to 161h Avenue.
The main benefit for students would
have been to be able to carry their
tickets to football games on Saturdays
or to carry their keys and books to the
synagogue. Without an eruv, the only
things Orthodox Jews can carry are the
clothes on their back.
"I personally have a belt with.
my house keys attached to it. Other
students tie them around their
shoelaces," he said.


)f the eruv in Manhattan. Photo courtesy of
uv.org and sd.

The absence of an eruv is more
problematic for couples with young
children, as they are unable to push
their kids in strollers during the
Sabbath. An eruv would help break
down such barriers, Bernstein said, and
enable a larger community of Orthodox
Jews to live in Gainesville. To date,
about 21 cities in Florida have an eruv
set up.
Keith Dvorchik, the executive
director at UF Hillel, said the project
of creating an eruv in Gainesville
would have been a lot of work. Because
the eruv was going to be fairly large,
many volunteers were needed to place
blocks of wood, nails or strings to the
hundreds of utility poles marking the
perimeter of the eruv.
"It wasn't really a money, issue
because the cost of the material was
not that much. It's just that it's a real
commitment and there weren't enough
volunteers," Dvorchik said.
It would have been necessary to
check every week to make sure that the
eruv was not broken, but it would not
have been a problem since a designated
person could have driven by the utility
poles in a car.
Dvorchik said there was no
opposition to the project, unlike the
case at Westhampton Beach. The City of
Gainesville and UF were both supportive
of the idea because an eruv would be a
public service provided with almost no
cost to anyone.
He said having an eruv in
Gainesville would have been a plus for

UF, as it would

have attracted more
faculty members
and prospective
students from the
Jewish Orthodox
"They wouldn't
feel like Gainesville
is just a small town
where nobody is
like them. It would
elevate UF to a
different status," he

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The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

s k E sth e Answers to all your kosher
culinary questions

Keeping things kosher with your bacon-

double-cheeseburger-eating roommate

Sharing your living space can be
difficult, especially with respect to
the kitchen. Still, a. roommate who
doesn't keep kosher doesn't have to be
a domestic obstacle.

What are some tips for keeping
kosher with a roommate who
does not?
To begin with, communication is key
when dividing your culinary corner.
If you tell your roommate that you
observe the laws of. kashrut which
includes eating only kosher-certified
meats and using separate dishes and
utensils for meat and dairy, respectively
- and answer any basic questions
they may have, you should encounter

few difficulties establishing separate
Don't worry if it takes a few days to
explain where things go and why-as an
outsider I can personally attest to the
complexities of kosher living.
Avi Leavitt is a UF student who
has kept kosher on campus with non-
observant roommates. I asked him to
share his experiences of shared spaces.
"I told [my roommates] I keep
meat and dairy separate. I spent a few
minutes [talking about it] and they were
fine with it," he said.
Avi also explained having his own
separate items makes everything easier.
"I bought my own pots and pans, dishes
and a drying rack," he said.
Buying all new cooking supplies can

pose the issue of limiting your cash as
well as your cabinet space. It might be
worthwhile to see if your roommate
will share the cost and the pans if
new items are crucial. While a kosher
novice, your roommate may be more
open to your cooking habits than you
In order to mark for your roommate
(and for yourself) which items receive-
special treatment, it might be handy
to mark a cabinet or shelf with
special plates as "dairy" or "meat," M
keep two sets of labeled knives ]
in designated areas, or even use
disposable plates on occasion. You
can even find color-coded labels,
which can be plastered all over your
cabinetry, at synagogue gift shops

or online Judaica markets like this one
Separate sinks aren't easy to come
by in dorm or apartment life, but
designate your own parve (non-dairy
and non-meat) items and be gracious
to your roommate. Before you know it,
kosher harmony will be realized in your
Avi feels positively about his living
situation: "I spent a whole year keeping
kosher with the same roommates and
now they even participate."

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The SHPiEL:Volume 6, Issue 5

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Survey says: Jesus is for you, too, Jew

SHPiEL Staff Writer

He was born in Brooklyn, had a bris
and a bar mitzvah, his mother-in-law's
a Holocaust survivor and his kids are in
the Israeli army, but Fred Schweig's not
the average Yid.
Schweig is a Messianic Jew who
believes in spreading the truth of the
Gospel, forming a relationship with God
and knowing God through the word of
He believes Jesus takes our sins
away and rose again .to prove his word.
And he brings this message to targeted
wanderers on the Plaza of the Americas
and offers in his home during Bible
Study, "bread-breaking" get-togethers
with interested students.
After his bar mitzvah and years of
disappointment in what he felt was an
intangible systematic religion, Schweig
got lost in a secular life of tanning,
fitness, lust and liberated youth in
South Florida. He was approached by a
group of "survey-taking" Christians in a
park in June 1980 who had a mere ten

questions to ask him about his spiritual
belief. They handed him the Gospel of
John, which he tossed under the spare
tire in his car and forgot existed.
Something called him to unearth
the molding, muddy book two years
later and, after an intense emotional
breakdown, he felt a sudden
guiltlessness, cleansing, clarity and
supernatural knowledge that he needed
to spread.
Schweig said that a specific line from
that Gospel "I am the way and the truth
and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me" (14:6) has been his
motivation for reaching out to people in
hopes of spreading his faith.
He moved to Israel with his wife
and kids in the early nineties and was
contacted in 2004 by Friends of Israel,
a gospel ministry that teaches the word
of God through the life of the Jesus.
This brought him back to the States
and to the University of Florida, where
he hopes to affect students who are
searching for truth.
Schweig said he believes the student
response has been successful, and

regardless of whether it
affects his audience now
or in ten years time, he will
keep doing what he does.
He said he doesn't believe
in any system or religion.
He says that Catholicism
is the biggest cult, a false
religion with a different
He doesn't believe in
images of Christ, especially
the blonde-haired, light-
skinned versions, and deems
a church not a house of
worship, but rather people
who gather anywhere
to engage in spiritual
His objective, he said, is
"to the Jew first."
For him, this way of life
has brought peace of mind
and joy, support and clarity.
If you see him approaching
on campus, to his call "Yo,
You?!" you can retort "Oy,

Art for the new Cramennium -iW

SHPiEL contributing writer

A first time is always special.
"It's like you're standing there,
transparent," Melinda Cramer said.
An artist from the day she was born,
Cramer, who has already sent two
children to college, is only just now
exhibiting her art in a solo opening
at the Jewish Community Alliance in
Jacksonville until Oct. 29.
The afternoon before the big day, she
said in anticipation of the opening, "I'm

nervous, I've never had to be there to
hear comments about my artwork." She
cringes at the thought of an onlooker
saying her painting would look good
with their couch.
While preparing for the opening,
she learned many new things about
herself. She called it a self-awareness
"I felt I couldn't move on or grow if
I didn't do this," Cramer said about her
decision to have the opening.
Growing up as an introverted child
in Indiana, she loved drawing trees and

was mesmerized
by clouds.
She remembers
colored pencils
and lots of paper.
Lots and lots of
paper, she said.
Cramer's parents
discouraged her
from studying art
in college, she put
down her brushes
and pallet for a
But art has

ART OPENING An observer contemplates the art of Melinda
Cramer. Melinda is having her first solo art exhibition at the Jew-
ish Community Alliance in Jacksonville. The opening will last until
October 29. Photo by Stephanie Shacter.

A SELF-AWARENESS ADVENTURE Melinda Cramer, an artist from the day she was
has learned a lot about herself through the process of planning her first solo art e;
tion, which is taking place at the Jewish Community Alliance in Jacksonville through
ber 29. Photo by Stephanie Shacter.

been back in her
life for years,
permanently residing in every ounce of
her being.
Since art is such a big part of Cramer,
she was shocked when people within
her Jewish community didn't know she
was an artist. It's time for people to
She stresses her identity as a Jewish.
artist. She is not an artist who simply
happens to be Jewish, she said.
Although her Judaism comes out
in all of her paintings, her art is not
contained within the ideals of the
"Jewish art" genre, or any genre for that
She feels that Jewish artists shouldn't
bornibi- feel limited to the ideals of "Jewish
xhibi- ,
h Octo- art.
"Jewish art is anything made by a

Jewish artist," Cramer said. Sabbath
settings, Jerusalem skylines and men
in prayer are not required subjects for
Jewish art.
Cramer said she relates and looks up
to the Jewish artists Gustav Klimt and
Amedeo Modigliani. Their paintings
reflect their outlook on the world, and
their Jewish backgrounds affect their
outlook. And that's all you need to
make Jewish art, she said.
The art in her show includes
romantic landscapes, modern, abstract,
still-lifes and art showing influences of
old masters.
Alina Kentof is an old friend of
Cramer's. As she diligently scans the
paintings at the opening, she says, "This
is the work of a Jewish soul."

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The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

Shemspeed sure to get pulled over


attend and participate with questions,
ideas and experiences, Safar said.
Safar will be one of the performers
for Shemspeed's 40 Days 40 Nights
Tour. He will perform as a solo artist

and as a DJ for lyricist and rhymer
Y-Love and will manage the tour and
work with sponsors, he said.
"I would consider all of the
performers as the cutting edge of
Jewish music," Safar said. "From Aharit
Hayamim doing roots reggae in Hebrew,
to Dov of Blue Fringe infusing scripture
into folk with a violin and as great of
a voice as one could get. There is also
Y-Love with his politically charged
Orthodox-influenced rhymes."
A national Hillel-wide Shemspeed
Battle of the Bands will also be held
in November, and each college will
have bands fight for the right to be
the opening performance at their
Shemspeed's 40 Days 40 Nights Tour
stop. The winning band for each Hillel
will be determined by the audience.
The tour should reach about 8,000
students directly in its first year and
much more through media exposure
and CD hand-outs. Students will also

be able to follow-up with
musicians as they travel
through the country, thanks to
Shemspeed's new interactive
Web site.
Artists will update a blog
every day with journals
and videos, while student
participants will post their
feedback, which Erez hopes to
develop into a strong online
community and a place to
'discuss issues raised during
the tour.
Shemspeed's 40 Days 40
Nights Tour will be filmed
and made the subject of
an upcoming movie by
Shemspeed called, fittingly
enough, "Shemspeed's 40 Days
40 Nights: on the road with the
Semitic music underground

I', .

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The Sway Machinery gets

medieval Hebrew on your ass

SHPiEL contributing writer

Classily clad in vintage
three-piece-suits, The Sway
Machinery takes the stage. Half
of the members carry brass
instruments, one of which is
a massive bass saxophone.
After a few minor adjustments,
Jeremiah Lockwood (lead singer
andguitarist) steps forward and,
in a voice clearly affected for
stage performance, announces
quickly: "Ladies and gentlemen,
ladies and gentlemen. Join us
together, join us together. We're
gonna revive the dead right
now...are you ready to shake
those bones?"
The ensuing blues riffs and
horn jams were certainly enough
to resurrect. The Sway Machinery
delivers hot guitar licks and a
cool brass section, using classic
rhythms to produce music that
sounds like Chicago or Spencer
Davis Group.
Stylistically, The Sway
Machinery is in a realm of its
own. After setting.the tone for
one song with a dark, poetic
and visceral monologue on the
creation of the twelve tribes,
Jeremiah Lockwood's lyrics

spew forth entirely in medieval
Hebrew. The words to most
of their songs are written as
cantorial chants.
From a young age. Lockwood
listened to records of cantors
with his grandfather. Jacob
Konigsberg. A cantor of legend
himself, Kongsberg was
responsible for Jeremiah's vocal
training and serves as a primary
role model and influence to this
Lockwood was- inspired to
blend blues and Hebrew in the
way West African musicians
fuse Islamic prayer chants with
the rhythmic, percussion-based
music native to the area. Blues
accompaniment is not only
musically appropriate for the
cantorial lyrics, but also an acute
cultural reference, he said.
Few enough people speak
medieval Hebrew that it is
considered a dead language.
This may seem like an obstacle
for The Sway Machinery, but,
in fact, the mearung behind the
words are not lost.
A guitar expresses emotion
without words. Opera can be
appreciated without fluency in
Italian or German. So too can the
music of The Sway Machinery

evoke deep feelings simply
through theintonationand sound
of the words. Understanding the
* literal meaning of the lyrics is
not necessary to connect with
the music.
The Sway Machinery has
taken their music overseas,
performing in England. The
positive reception by English
audiences goes to show the
universal appreciation of quality
sound. Such a reaction also
strengthens the notion that-.an
audience doesn't need to know
the lyrics to hum along.
Their new album, debuting
in January, may not be for
everyone. It is for those willing
to let go of the need to analyze,
relax and enjoy something new.
Undoubtedly, the music of The
Sway Machinery will be startling
at first. But it will also be mind-
The members of the group
appear eccentric and wild
during performance. Their
shows are very physical and
theatrical. It is mutually
understood that movement will
take place, but it is improvised,
not choreographed. The music
is meant to inspire dance and
the performers cannot help

Stuart Bogle (left) and Jordan McLean

Jeremiah Lo od
Jeremiah Lockwood

Tomer Tzur

Colin Stetson, Phtos Heater Col.ey

themselves. Jeremiah Lockwood sets the mood fort. tp
resulting passionate and erratic motions withJim-Mbrri-sifa
like yelps and poetic phrases. ..
For Jeremiah, at the end of the night, these antics'stay
on the stage. He returns to an apartment in 'Br OdIyn,
pursuing the quiet life with his wife arid two children. The'- .
performance, wild and Impassioned, is shed aitfthe doot," <2
his home. The suit and fedora are hung upfprait. 4me.

- ^-


^ ^^'.*^ ^ ^^ i.'.; : i; &"^5^ .., ,,"-.^-. g,''' ._-^^^ ^ -. ,. tf^^S^j: 'w .
,. .. ,.._. .. ,- .. ,;_ ..- .,_" ',

The SHPiEL:Volume 6, Issue 5

visit the new theshpiel.org


( Hermaphroditism is SeXXY

snr',y. ~f
I~) ~


,, J.' "C-. 'A f-1.1c l,- ., ', '<"

-.,. '. ,::r LUCIA PUENZO


SHPiEL staff writer

Opening Oct. 24
and playing through
the next week at the
Hippodrome is the
Argentinean film "XXY,"
originally released in
May 2007.
The film tells the
story of two teens,
Alex and Alvaro, and
their struggles through
puberty. Like the rest of
us remember, they are
constantly grappling
with their changing
perceptions about
the world while their
bodies are in transition
as well. What most
of us probably don't.
recall is dealing with
a transformation from
female to male. This is
what Alex faces as a 15
year old.
Alex, played by Ines
Efron, was born with
two X chromosomes,
as is the case with any

other girl. She was also born with a
Y chromosome, giving her the sexual
characteristics of both genders. Her
parents, afraid that public knowledge
of this would ruin her childhood, have
relocated her to the coast of Uruguay,
to live in relative seclusion.
Efron has won several awards for
this performance, and rightfully so.
She portrays Alex as a child clearly
raised as female, but allowing her
male behaviors to slowly take over.
Introverted and aggressive, Alex's dual
gender characteristics also seem to
provide her with a heightened sense of
sexuality. When Alvaro and his family
visit Alex's home, she bluntly proposes
that the two of them have sex.
Alvaro's father, invited by Alex's
mother, is a plastic surgeon. Although
Alex has been raised as a female, having
a Y chromosome officially classifies
her as a male, and she takes medicine
to suppress her male characteristics
from becoming visible, such as a beard.
Alvaro's father has been invited to try
and alter Alex's female characteristics,
to speed up the process that her body is
already undertaking: becoming a man.
The film is director Lucia Puenzo's
feature debut. Puenzo is sort of the Sofia
Coppola of Argentina-her father, Luiz

Phish reunites! Not a tabloid headline!

SHPiEL. staff writer

Soon we will all be running like
antelope,. out of control. unable to
restrain our excitement over the reunion
of Ihe nuttiest jamband out: Phish.
Yes. it is true. The four horsemen of'
improve rock have returned.
With axes in hand, they will be
rocking on a level previously attained
only b\ the great Ba'al Shem Tov himself.
A gathering of the utmost proportions.
lo\al Phans will be flocking to the
Hampton Coliseum in Hampton. Va. un
March 6. 7, and 8. 2009, for Phish's first
performance in dbout five years.
Tickets for all three nights sold out
the same day they went on sale.
Wot any Judeo-minded individual
conies to realize is q eW.-,]uartet
announced their reuLaifnteAO46 _.bRosh
Hashana. Was this &J I i ke
Gordon. bass extrawd i ," his

1ii U A

not so secret fascination with Judaism
catus' the band to do this? Or did they
finally lose their shape trying to act
casual' Take a look deeper: the reunion
festival falls right before Purim. a
time for world-tipped-upside-down
j-:'u\oiisness. Coincidence?
Gordon and Jon Fishmrnan, the
drummer and namesake of the band,
are the to Jeish members of the

of israel's national
anthem, "Hankiah,
an expected part of
his shows.
"'The :y
at a .Ph is
something zing,"
said Marc Schilian,
an avid and longtime
devoted Phan.

Phish. Over the twenty -odd years .Phish...It is this
toured as a group, a small but ,.solid community -that has
repertoire of Jewish songs begin ;to -ept.the Jews at the
pop up regularly. "Avenu Malkenu' sows. and the fan
translated from Hebrew as. "Our Father, -base ',coming back.
Our King"-was a Phan favorite jammed .Rumtbrhasit that any
in transition between a set of ror.dn' given time at a Phish
songs. -- show 30 percent of
If you were to pop in the 1994 album the attendees are
Hoist and play it through to the end, Jewish.
otu. might discover an eerie a capella "I remember
version of "Yerushali im Shel Zahav" walking through the
(Jerusalem of Goldi. parking lot at the
And. as if that wasn't Jewish enough, Brooklyn shows in
Gordon, who '04 and I ended up .
in the past few dancing for an hour
years has been with a. bunch of
touring with Breslov Chasidim,"
the Benevento/ said Schilian.
Russuo Duo. I guess birds of
V made songs like a feather really do
S"Hava Nagilah" flock together.
and the State

HAMPTON COMES ALIVE Mike Godron playing with Phish at the
Hampton Coliseum on Jan. 2, 2003. Photo courtesy of telafree.

Puenzo, is one of the country's most
successful and well-known directors,
winning a foreign-language film Oscar
in 1986 for "The Official History." The
younger Puenzo, who also wrote the
screenplay for "XXY," has created a
beautifully shot and emotionally Atise
work of art.
The film approaches the subject
of hermaphroditism delicately, never
explicitly showing Alex's genitalia,
and never exploiting its overtly
sexual nature. This is made possible
by a collection of strong, yet subtle
emotional performances, particularly
by Efron, Martin Piroyansky, who plays
Alvaro who is as confused and sensitive
as Alex, and Ricardo Darin, as Alex's
father Nestor.
Buoyedby these performances, "XXY"
won the Cannes Critics' Week grand prize
in 2007 for Puenzo. Unfortunately, the
film never made it to the U.S. That has
finally changed, and although the film
saw limited release in the States this
past August, it has now made its way
to Gainesville. The film plays at the
Hippodrome Oct. 24 through Oct. 30,
so take advantage of the opportunity to
catch the most interesting and possibly
the only film about intersexuality you'll
see all year.



visit the new theshpiel.org

The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

-- -- The A-word


T 11;1 .11


Arabs for another day when things can get
much, much worse if delayed?
Check the economics crisis to see how
procrastination doesn't work in the face of
misbehavior and corruption.
If I were McCain, I would also say, "By
the way, nothing would be wrong if either
Obama or myself were Arabs, ma'am."
This isn't only in the Republican
campaign. Obama defended himself many
times for not being a Muslim, but never stood
up clearly against usage of the "M-word," or
the "A-word" for that matter. But again, this
all started with the stereotypes about Arabs
and Muslims that were directed against
As a Muslim, an Arab and a decent man,
I would like to tell McCain that I thought
he was funny at the Alfred E. Smith roast/
dinner in New York last week, but the way
he spoke about being an Arab was certainly
not funny.
So, I am asking wise Republicans to help
America get over this fake-fear phobia. And
I'm asking wise Democrats, too.

Hareroldtenblttsl 6de

Times the Tampa Bay Rays have been in the

Percent of seasons Rays have finished in last
place in their division:

Approx. distance sun's rays must travel to
reach earth in miles:

Average wingspan of an oceanic manta ray
in feet:

Children that Ray Charles has fathered:

Number of endpoints a ray has in Euclidian

Disambiguations of the word 'ray' on

X-rays taken to verify whether John McCain
,-roke his hip on his way to the podium last



92 million






Disclaimer: Most of the above information has been well researched. Some
was conceived while inebriated. We leave it up to you, oh dear, omniscient,
silly reader, to figure out what's what.



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when a newspaper ju ,0 ..

mor e S p blIU U

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 theshpiel@gmail.com.
.- ... . .. . : -. .: :-: ", ." '. ',
... "" '" "' :--;,.'. --
,.. : :.....,..~ ~ ~.'.. ... ... ,.., .=...:,..t o : .,,. .. .

Last Friday, during a McCain rally, a
woman with a microphone said, "I gotta ask
you a question...I can't trust Obama. I've
read about him, and he is an Arab."
McCain then took the mic and told the
woman that Obama is not an Arab, but
rather a decent family man. It was on CNN,
MSNBC and all over.
Call her ignorant or call her what you
please, but this person was politically active
enough to show up at a presidential rally.
Her. ignorance will reflect in the upcoming
elections and will determine the direction
America will go for the next four years.
Fair enough. Ignorant people exposed to
false propaganda may use the word "Arab"
as an insult. But how about the political
leaders in this country?
If I were McCain, my response would
have been, "No, ma'am, Obama is not an
Arab. His dad is from Kenya and his mom
is white. But he is an American like you and
me." I wouldn't reinforce this stereotype
that is becoming more and more common.
Why leave this problem of racism against

I I -_ I I- II I I I II I L -

--II I -I -- I L II-

The SHPiEL:Volume 6, Issue 5

Thin in O Which candidate is best for
I the Jews? The answer is. .

visit the new theshpiel.org



I think the most frequent question
that I have received from Jews in the
last couple of months has been about
the elections. The conversations
usually follow a formula:
Person: So, you are a Rabbinical
student. You should know the answer
to this question. Which candidate,
McCain or Obama, is best for the
At first, I tried answering the
question. But after about 10 minutes
of babbling about everything Jewish,
the person would thank me and walk
away shaking his or her head in
confusion. I realized that it.would be
.easier for me to give a one-sentence
answer to questions like, "What is the
meaning of life?" or "What happens
to people after they die?" So I went
into the rabbinic playbook and did
something that all rabbis do: answer
a question with a question.
Me: That's a great question and of
course very important for our time.

But my question is, what do you mean
by the question, who is better for the
Usually, the answer I receive is,
"Duh, whoever is most pro-Israel."
But I ask a follow up question,
"What does it mean to be pro-Israel?"
You may be thinking, "I asked
you this question because you are
supposed to know, you are the expert.
What do I know?" Good question.
What do you know about Judaism and
Israel? If you want to learn more, I
will help.you. I want to help you. But
I refuse to tell you who to vote for
because you have your own vote and
I have mine.
This question about which
candidate is better for the Jews or
Israel is something that each one of
us has to answer as an individual,
because all people have their own
Torah, their own Judaism, and rarely
is one the same as the other. Some
Jews in America think that Israel
should be in control of the settlements
in the land known as the West Bank
or Judea and Samaria. Others don't.

We bring our own baggage to our
discussions about Israel, and all of us
have different baggage.
There are Jews who supported
all of the candidates in this election,
from Huckabee to Hillary. And, of
course, you now see the obligatory
Obama and McCain pins written in
Each Jewish candidate group
has a Web site that slams the other
candidates, but few of the sites
explain why voting for their candidate
is good for the Jews because they can
only speak for themselves, not for
So before you vote, which I hope
all of you do, you have to do some
research yourself. You cannot listen
to how others tell you to vote, but
you have to tell yourself how you are
going to vote. You need to do that by
answering the questions that I have
laid out. .
So if you're still wondering my
opinion about what it means for a
politician to be good for the Jews
and Israel, I'd be happy to give you

my opinion. But ".
let's do this over
coffee, on me (you
can find my contact info below). -.
In short, my opinion of who is best
for the Jews does not solely revolve
around who is best for Israel. As Jews,
we hold other values that are also very
important. For example, if we live in
a country where people are suffering,
where there is no justice, then the
candidate who is best for the Jews is
the candidate best equipped to fix
the broken systems-the candidate
who understands and works toward
tikkun olam.
I offer you a challenge: find your
own opinion. My guess it that you will
need a lot of time, and maybe even
some help to answer these questions,
because these questions are the start
of a journey that every Jew should take,
no matter which political party you
belong to, no matter which candidate
you support. If you would like some
help with this journey, please contact
me at Rabbidave@ufhillel.org. Have a
great election season.

tastes from around the world

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_ ~ ~

: I 1:I::-~


visit the new theshpiel.org

The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

Flash Silvermoon and the Rainbow Spirit Goddesses

SHPiEL contributing writer

Flash Silvermoon communicates
with animals. She is a psychic, author,
astrologer and musician. She lives
ou iAde of Gainesville in the town of
Melrose with her horse, a dog and four
cats. Hundreds of women gather for
her events large outdoor circles of
drumming, dancing and raising energy.
But before that, she was Debbie, a
Jewish girl from New Jersey who knew
she was different.
Silvermoon made her first feminist
statement at four when she wasn't
allowed to play drums at school (only
boys were allowed).
Instead, she didn't participate in the
band at all.
Years later she made headlines
participating in beauty pageants as
a feminist-glasses and short hair
"Jews are known for questioning
things," she said of her inquiring
nature. But her heritage wouldn't have
-mattered, she said. She was already
finding her own path.
As a teenager, Silvermoon discovered
Wicca, an earth-based religion widely
known as a practice of witchcraft.
The Wiccan philosophy is
pantheistic-it views its gods, nature
and the universe as all-encompassing.
To Silvermoon, it fit, but it was just the
"Now I don't call myself a Wicca.
I follow a rainbow path, a goddess
spiritual path," she said. "There are a

lot of different flavors in my cauldron
that appeal to me."
Her women-centered faithis apparent
at her home in Melrose. Inside the purple
house, there are posters and statues
of goddesses from different cultures.
Medicinal crystals and aromatic mists
line bookshelves and tables.
Silvermoon spends her days making
music for new CDs, doing psychic
readings and performing on her internet
radio show, "What the Animals Tell
She has also published a deck of tarot
cards called "The Wise Woman's Tarot."
She chose two Hebrew figures for her
deck: Sarah, the wife of Abraham, is
presented as a healer and Asherah's
card represents strength.
"The Hebrew women were very
strong matriarchs," she said.
Outside on her 1.5-acre property,
there is a mammoth oak tree, split into
three colossal sections by lightning to
resemble a mother with open arms.
Silvermoon calls this the Grandmother
Tree. It was the reason she chose her
country home.
Female spirit is inherent in all of
global earth-based religions, she said,
because of the female's natural cycle
connected to the" moon.
Silvermoon organizes the Wise
Woman Festival, a "spiritual gathering
of music and magic," where African
priestesses, Wiccans and hundreds of
other women come together to raise
The idea for her first event in 1990
came from a message she received when

Flash Silvermoon in her home in Melrose. (Below) Tarot cards from a set created by Sil-
vermoon that depict Sarah and Asherah, figures from the Hebrew bible. Photos by Carlos

she was awakened one night because her
body was shaking. By morning, she had
planned the date according to astrology
and crafted an invitee list.
"It was clearly something that had to
happen," she said. Recalling the student
murders that occurred around the same
time, she said she felt the need to
restore balance.
About 350 women came to the
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens for the
Silvermoon is preparing for another
important upcoming Wiccan event:

"For me it is a time to draw in those
you miss and your ancestors," she said.
"It's a time for righting wrong."
For her personal practice, Silvermoon
follows a simple universal tenet:
"The rule in Wicca is to do what you
will and harm none," she said. "I won't
do something that I know is wrong."

For more information on Flash
Silvermoon and her radio show, visit her
Web site at www.flashsilvermoon.com.

The SHPiEL:Volume 6, Issue 5

visit the new theshpiel.org


Crossword #13

See next issue for solutions to this puzzle

1. Simon players
5. Peyes
10. I M connector
13. Raphael's headgear
14. Ilan Roman's cycle
15. Imitates Gellilah
17. Shushan country
18. Vidal product
19. Babylonian Talmud editor
20. Commandment no no
22. Amos and Micah
24. Biblical measure
25. Echad (Eng)
26. Eleventh Judah King
28. Famous Sephardic family
30. Shakespearian actress,
32. Israeli land measure
35. Monty Hall
38. Imitate the four sons?
40. Solomon's secret
41. Cleveland Indians' MVP
43. Parsha
45. Pub missile
46. Register
48. Imitates Newman at Lime
49. Hawaii shalom
51. Haman's crime?

53. Gimels (Eng.)
55. Item on Schindler's list
56. Purim drink?
59. Business degree
61. Plague?
63. Dickens' character
65. Columnist Barrett
67. Cohanim?
69. "Atlas Shrugged", writer
70. Needs chicken soup?
71. Barbie and Ken, Ruth Handler
72. Life or Knowledge
73. Meadow
74. New Year's wish
75. Negev plenty
1. Albertson sitcom "_ and the
2. Brother to Moses
3. Hebrew in Egypt
4. Chazzan's concern
5. Resting place of 2 down
6. Haman's eighth
7. Early poet
8. Make aliyah
9. Artist Jossi
10. Jewish Telegraphic Agency
11. Massacre site
12. Samson's triumphant site

16. Break a commandment'
21. Agadah
23. Tisha B'Av mood
27. Early Head of Mossad
29. Peak
30. Put on a schmata
31. Eat (Yid)
33. Diarist
34. Shamsky's team
35. Man Ray art style
36. Airline
37. Chutzpah
39. Kosher wine
42. Cain's refuge
44. Shiva mood
47. Not Jewish
50. Fraternity
52. Chess piece
54. Pomegranate plenty
56. 100th of a shekel
57. Not mixed with wool
58. Said amen
59. Title for Golda
60. Make the bagels
62. Low speed
64. Garfunkel and Shamsky
66. Doing business as
68. Touro synagogue time

...other than Jimmy Kimmel


say that Jews vote Democrat in high
numbers. However, this presidential
election includes a factor never
previously presented that changes this
notion of elderly Jewish voters.
"When the old people go into that
voting booth, they can't vote for a black
man," said Betty Wank, a South Floridian
turning 80 this January. "The fact that
he's black is a big deal."
Betty, a supporter of Obama, says
she likes to think she's color blind,
although she knows the younger
generation is growing up in a different
world than she and her friends did. An
NAACP member in college and a civil
rights supporter throughout, she will

not let skin color be a factor in
her voting decision. As for her
friends, she does not trust them
to take the same outlook.
While the video looks like
a comedy routine to many
viewers, more than 100 young
Jews took it seriously according
to some reports, and it caught
the attention of both CNN and
CBS. These networks show young
Jews traveling from as far as
California and Pennsylvania to
the retirement communities of
South Florida to do exactly what
Silverman asked.
As the elderly Jewish vote in Florida
is being worked on, so is the student
vote at UF. Peter Laumann reaches
many. students right on campus in the
Plaza of the Americas, standing loyally
by a table on a regular basis to offer
information to any inquiring passerby.
Laumann, a political science major
as well as a volunteer coordinator
for UF Students for Obama, calls
himself "progressive." Although he is
knowledgeable about the statistical
trends of the Jewish vote and works
alongside many Jews in UF Students for
Obama, he disagrees with the concept
of the Jewish vote.
"A monolithic Jewish vote is
ridiculous," he said. "We are not one-

issue voters."
He grew up in
Long Island with a
Jewish background
and unique family
influences. His mother
is a Jewish "bleeding-
heart liberal,"
and his father is a
Lutheran conservative
"Having a diversity
of opinion is a good
thing. It leaves things
open for discussion.
.1 definitely found my
place on my own,"
Laumann said.
approaches politics
with his congregation,
Gainesville's Reform
Temple Shir Shalom, in
the same way.
"There should
be an exploration
of the complexity
of issues," said the
rabbi. "I think it's my
job to encourage civil
discourse and show
both sides (Democrat
and Republican) in the
best light."

THE STUDENT VOTE-Peter Loumann, a political science stu-
dent and volunteer coordinator for UF Students for Obama,
passes out pamphlets and informs questioning passer-biers
about voting, this presidential election and the Obama cam-
paign. Photo by Stephanie Shacter.

16 nr


visit the new theshpiel.org

The SHPiEL: Volume 6, Issue 5

for the

chosen few

Here at The SHPiEL, we're
alj.ays looking to expose the
best of Jewish innovation and
invention. So, when we were
told that the sponsor of the
Simchat Torah celebration at UF
Hillel is a Jewish beer company,
we jumped at the opportunity-
and then promptly fell to the
You see, He'Brew, a line of
beers produced by the Shmaltz
Brewing Co. in New York, is not
only mind-altering, it's also
delicious. We couldn't help
but crack open another (and
What follows are some of
our thoughts and ruminations
on The Chosen Beer.
We were able to procure
four He'Brew flavors from
various alcohol purveyors in
Gainesville (Gator Beverage,
Ward's, ABC), but visit Shmaltz.
com, and you'll see that their
line of Jewish brews runs a bit
longer than that. In any case,
L'Chaim! "

Rijewyenato. Harvest.to HarivestAle
uIf O eieved.dis Wben We said thile Messiah Bold
.., W darktlis athit iis ,lacker,.er e Rejewvenator
is I 'rw Jewissh 'New 'Year b.eer. And a stout.
Snew year it I glt- prove to,.bebinfused With fi
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'which, the-bottle fine-prtitedf ,cites, is the fr uit
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and,.the Buddha himself this.brew proves to be.
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oily be foidbu in pintsized bottles, Zhis may b
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Origin Pomegranate Ale
Things begin to get fuzzy here. But what do
you need our review for anyway? It's beer. It's
TweveBtteswetLeny'____ got alcohol in it. Drink up.

Prophecy we shouldn't ignore: A review of an Israeli environmental blog

SHPiEL contributing writer

During Yom Kippur, we remember
the sins we've committed against our
communities and God, but what about
those against the environment?
Green Prophet, a leading Middle
Eastern environmental news blog,
works to remind readers of their
responsibilities to protect the Earth in
a number of various and interesting
The blog contains articles called
"prophecies" and boasts a 1,000-person
readership with more than 313
"worshippers" subscribed to the daily
The blog began in December
2007 and has more than 550 videos,
interviews, recipes and energy saving
Readers submit comments and their
own prophecies in the blog's forum,
which has turned into a strong, open-
source community. Green Prophet
keeps readers aware of their carbon
footprint with eco-read reviews each
week on friendly eating or how best to

keep the world clean. The global "go
green" agenda has spread in talks from
Israelis to Jordanians, from Palestinians
to Saudis.
Green Prophet has a professional
blog atmosphere that uses multimedia
to create a unique story and advocate
the cause of "promoting the
environmentally-sound future of Israel,
the Middle East, and beyond."
From recipes on pomegranate nut
salad to night life in Israel or even
street doggie-doo removal, Green
Prophet hopes to instill environmental
friendliness in its readers. In the year
5769, it is more important than ever
that we understand our environmental
impact not just at home, but abroad. On
Yom Kippur we reflect on the past year
and plan to improve for the next. Start
with going green.
Today, Israeli and American efforts
to expand the greening movement have
evolved from a fad to an ideology. Going
green has grown into the daily lives and
economic well being of families.
The Green Prophet doesn't just tell
readers to go green with the times.
Whether discussing alternative energy

or sharing
news of local
n e w
policies, Green
Prophet wants
to keep its
readers in the
The Middle
East has never
been greener,
according to
the tagline
of the site.
By changing
our water,
energy and
waste habits, ADDING GREEN TO ORAN
waste can start Campus set up an inform
we can start Fair, taking place between
fighting for on Thursday, October 16.
a sustainable hard to make UF a model
environment, tion and opportunity for c
Next time Shacter.
you pick up a
newspaper, don't just throw it away.
Think of blogs like Green Prophet
and their work for an eco-friendly

GE AND BLUE Gators for a Sustainable
ation booth at the Alternative Transportation
n Weimer Hall and theJ. Wayne Reitz Union
The UF Office of Sustainability is working
of sustainability by offering students educa-
:hanging lifestyle habits. Photo by Stephanie

world. Start with recycling, start with
sustainability. Live in a world that you
want to live in.

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