The Shpiel ( September 18, 2007 )


Material Information

The Shpiel
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Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Creation Date:
September 18, 2007
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
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:


Material Information

The Shpiel
Alternate title:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Creation Date:
September 18, 2007
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
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:

Full Text


6 Tishrel 5768 19 Tishrel 5768

September 18, 2007 October 1, 2007

Holy Sheet!
Sex within the Tribe
Page 2

Jews Against

Jews for Jesus
Page 9

Police Taser Contributing

Writer at John Kerry Speech

Starbucks Loses

Bucks to Aroma
SHPiEL staff writer

SHPiEL staff writer

During the Q-and-A at John Kerry's
visit to the University of Florida on
Sept. 17, University Police Department
officers and ACCENT staff attempted
to restrain Andrew Meyer, a SHPiEL
contributing writer, as he usurped
the microphone to ask the senator his
own questions.
Senator Kerry made it clear he
wanted to hear the question, if only
Meyer would wait his turn. Meyer
waited. Then, he charged toward the
Meyer asked the Senator why he
conceded the election in 2004 amid
voting controversy. He proceeded
to ask other questions, visibly and
audibly emotional.

UPD began to restrain him once
more, but Meyer fought back. The
officers began dragging Meyer from
the auditorium while he yelled, "Help!
Help! They're arresting me! What did
I do? Help! Help!" Meyer was wrestled.
to the floor. Screams and sobs. were
heard as a UPD officer tasered Meyer.
Although Meyer was eventually
pulled from the room, Kerry answered
the question. The audience was
clearly shaken.
Meyer could not be reached for
comment. His blog can be found at
John Kerry was supposed to speak
at the University of Florida months
ago. But democratic duties called,
so he cancelled, joining his fellow
senators in Washington, D.C. for a
vote. The ACCENT Speaker's Bureau

which arranged the previously
cancelled John Kerry Town Hall Forum
decided to give him another chance.
A week before Kerry was
rescheduled to speak at UF, Monday,
Sept. 10, SHPiEL contributing writer
Vincent Massaro lashed out against
Kerry and ACCENT's re-invitation in a
column in the Alligator. He criticized
ACCENT's "painfully finite wisdom"
in bringing to speak a senator, "as
current as [a] busted 4-gig iPod mini
and about as in touch as our busted
Kerry last visited UF in 1972, when
he spoke from the same stage about
the war in Vietnam. Back then, as
Chairman of ACCENT, Rodney Margol
played an integral role in bringing


The Starbucks giant has indeed
taken over the world, replacing
McDonald's as America's largest food
export. In London, you can't sit at a
Starbucks without being able to see
another one down the street.
But despite the corporation's many
conquests, the company has failed to
colonize Israel.
For those of you who haven't
made it to the Holy Land yet because
you fear you'll miss out on your daily
morning double caramel macchiato,
don't worry, Israel has its own giant
coffee chain to boast: the Aroma
Espresso Bar.
The thing that makes Aroma
Espresso Bar different from Starbucks
or Seattle's Best is-quite simply- the

th nIysuetr inJeIhnnsaerh h c~iay


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

Holy Sheet! Sex's Sacred Spot in Judaism

SHPiEL staff writer

Sexuality is so important in
Judaism that many rabbis believe it
to be the holiest experience one can
have on this earth. Unfortunately
to the lust driven and, well...single
crowd, the concepts behind Jewish
sexuality may be just a touch out of
Sex in Jewish life differs from
many religions in that it is not solely
for reproduction purposes Rather, a
man has an obligation to the woman
he marries to satisfy her sexually in
addition to providing her food and
shelter. Failing to do so is grounds
for divorce.
The Talmudic scholar Rashi argued
that without the woman enjoying
intimacy with her man, a couple is
not reaching the highest bond in
marriage. The event should be so
beautiful that the couple not only
connects spiritually together, but
also reaches God on a most intimate
level. In the bible, .when a couple has
sex it is written that they "know" each
other, which suggests a high level of
awareness between the two.
The main target of sex is for lovers
to experience a high state of unity. To
do this, they must be open enough

to share and receive the other's
fantasies in a way that is satisfying to
them both.
Despite certain Jewish laws that
might hint toward a strict sexual
lifestyle, the medieval biblical
commentator Maimonides states
that a married couple may enjoy
themselves however they wish.
A couple has the right to "have
intercourse in a natural or unnatural
manner." Many Jews who follow the
rabbinic oral traditions take this to
mean that

such as
s e x u al

contraception is a universal sin. There.
are conditions in Jewish law that state
when it would be more damaging to
bring a child into the world and that
contraception could work.
The myth of having sex through a
hole in the sheet is ludicrous -Jewish
law states that nothing should come
between couples during sex.
This means that even a condom
is generally not accepted. Instead,

religious Jews

The myth of having sex through a
hole in the sheet is ludicrous-Jewish
law states that nothing should come
between couples during sex.

and foreplay
with fluffy
lingerie have the green light.
Despite the prohibition of
masturbation from the biblical story
of Onan, who withdrew himself from
his wife to "waste" his seed from
fertilization, many Jews focus on the
heightened intimacy felt from fellatio
and disregard the act as seed wasting
(because the act has no possible room
for procreation, unlike intercourse).
Unlike other religions, Judaism
doesn't hold the view that

prefer female

There are
also laws that
help a couple
feel desirable
after so many
years of being
with the
same person.
Jewish law

commands that a Jewish couple
may not have sex during the
wife's menstruation or seven days
After all that, she must perform a
ritual bath called a mikveh before the
couple may have sex again. This law
means a lot more than just implying
the impurity of a woman's period.
The Talmud says that "the Torah
prohibited her to him so that she may
remain as beloved to him as she was

on her wedding day."
For Jews, sexuality, goes a lot
deeper than just reproduction and
physical pleasure.
By letting go to one's beloved,
by meditating and focusing on the
union formed in the bedroom, and by
embracing a partner that lets one reach
a higher state of consciousness, sex
becomes a way to spiritually connect
with the one you love.
One of the most important rabbis in
Jewish history, Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef,
believed that the Song of Songs (also
known as the Song of Solomon) to be
the holiest of all Hebrew scripture.
The song regards the uniting
allegorical relationship between God
and people of Israel, as well as the
bond between two lovers, in a highly
sexual poetic form. With the vineyard
representing a women's sexuality, it
is written:
"Let us go early to the vineyards;
Let us see if the vine has flowered,
if its blossoms have opened, if the
pomegranates are in bloom. There I
will give my love to you."
Many rabbis argue that such a
beautiful ritual may be the closest
we get to experiencing God, as
well understanding who we are
as individuals and lovers, and the
connectivity of all things.

Starbucks loses bucks to Israeli coffee shop


aroma. The rich fragrance
of coffee mingles with that of
the bread baked fresh daily in
each store.
Aroma, which first opened
in Jerusalem in 1994 by two
brothers, Yariv and Safar
Sheffa, quickly became Israel's
largest, fastest growing coffee
chain, with 75 stores across
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and all

throughout Israel.
In June 2006, the US got
its first Aroma in New York.
When the store moved to
America, the plan was to start
expanding across Manhattan
and then throughout the
country. Although it's
managed to dodge Gainesville,
it has moved swiftly through
Houston and San Francisco,
recently welcoming the Israeli
chain. The coffee giant even

moved into Canadian territory,
which saw its first store open
in Toronto.
Despite Aroma's success in
Israel, Starbucks did have their
place there for some time. The
first Starbucks in Israel opened
in 2001,with plans to open at
least 20 by the end of 2002.
However, in 2003 all six
Starbucks in Israel-all of them
in and around Tel Aviv- were
shut down due to poor sales.

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




Lori Finkel

Managing Editor
Giselle Mazur

News Editor
Joshua Fleet

Scene Editor
Douglas Sharf

Arts & Entertainment Editor
Danielle Torrent

Executive Advisor/Mentor
Rabbi Yonah Schiller

-Chief Visionary
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Layout & Design
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Israel Correspondent
Kimberly Gouz

National Affairs
Hilary D'Angelo
Corey Smith


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

shocked and appauled

Kerry to speak-on Monday he was
back at his alma mater to introduce
Kerry to the dampened audience on
that rainy afternoon.
War was on Kerry's mind even
35 years after his first visit. The
war ,in Iraq, the "so-called War
on Terror," as he put it, and the
United States' failure to capture
Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
following the events of Sept. 11
were the main bones of contention
during Kerry's two-hour visit.
"Terror is a tactic...not an entity.
Not a person," Kerry said, arguing
against the validity of the idea of a war
on terror. The senator expressed his
support for a nearly absolute policy
of diplomacy centered on bilateral
talks. His comment on the United
States' current diplomatic state: "We
don't talk to people."
Dennis Jett, dean of UF's
International Center, facilitated a Q-
and-A session which was later opened
to the audience. Kerry addressed
an array of other topics and issues
during the forum: the draft, Iran,
former Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales, the primaries, health care,
ethanol and other alternative energy,
Saudi Arabia, privatization of military
jobs and global climate change.

Moral Issues Questioned,

Hippodrome Left with "Doubt"

SHPIEL contributing writer

"In the pursuit of wrongdoing
one takes a step away from God"-
, so Sister Aloysius instructs the doe-
eyed Sister James in the Hippodrome
Theatre's production of "Doubt."
Written by John Patrick Shanley,
"Doubt" captivates for the entirety of
its one hour and twenty-five minutes
as suspicions lead to confrontation
and accusation, speeding toward
a ilimaax of a confession...or is it?
Shanley crafts an expose of one of
the most common human plights
and its psychological consequences:
doubt. Anyone who takes the time
to read the playwright's preface will
learn that this one word was powerful
enough to induce the production of
this thought-provoking work,
Set in 1964 in a Catholic school
in the Bronx, the plot targets one
suspicious instance and its effect on
one man's reputation, two women's
careers andayoungboy's innocence,

which brings them into question.
Being a Catholic myself and having
received a non-secular primary
education, the setting was certainly
enough to incite nostaliga and drive
home some of the more spiritual
themes. Yet, the discussions of
morality-our obligation to uphold
what is right, regardless of whom
we affiliate ourselves with in the
process--and the lengths to which
we will go to secure our own
convictions are certainly issues of a
more universal nature,
Despite the priestly gab, Father
Flynn's sermon on moments of
loss of conviction calls to mind any
point in time when we ourselves
have questioned and suggests these
are not moments of weakness, but
of growth and human experience,
Michael Stewart Allen's performance
as the charismatic Father Brendan
Flynn merits praise for more than
his excellent diction and charming
command of Irish brogue-he holds
us skeptical and constantly teetering

between opposing convictions from
start to finish, my concept of exactly
what John Patrick Shanley hoped to
Sara Morsey as Sister Aloyslus
Beauvier captures the sternacademic
clergy thatIrecallfrommyyouth, but
like those sisters of my experience,
her moments of humanity outweigh
those of inflexibility, and her
scratchy voice ceases to grate as
her intentions are made clear,
With just the right bouts of
humor to carry an audience
along, the remainder of the
dialogue is deliciously unsettling,
This production will keep you on the
edge of your seat, and regardless
of the religious dogma, you will
experience the wrath of doubt,

"Doubt" is playing at the
Hippodrome Theatre downtown
until Sept. 30, Tickets cost $10 for
students, $20 for seniors and $25 to
$30 for general admission. For more
information, visit www.thehipp.org,

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The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

,Q cfa cXArpo d e 6Yth~ JPefl


There's a line in a
Spice Girls song that's
always stuck with
me: "Easy V doesn't
come for free/she's
a real lady." The
lyric from the song
4 "Wannabe," refers
to Posh Spice, a.k.a.
Victoria Beckham,
who's known as the 'classy' Spice
Girl. So why is it the other girls come
for free, while Posh holds out.? Why
is she considered a "real lady" while
the others aren't?
One night, after a party whittled
down and everyone had snatched up
someone to go home with, I found
myself in my car with the key in
the ignition, sobering up to the
thought that I'd be sleeping solo.
Unlike everyone else, my night was
I'll turn this key, go home alone,
pass out on my full-sized mattress
and wake up to the sound of the
maintenance guy mowingthe lawn.
Sure, I'll get all hot and bothered, but
S only because I'm tangled up in myn

Jersey knit sheets and not someone
else's arms.
But wait a minute. Why is it that
I'm defining the success of a night
by my ability to score some cheap
tail for a few hours (or minutes)? On
all other nights I sleep alone, and
have done so for about 19 Y years,
so why is this night unlike any
other? It's because on this night, we
eat of the bitter herb when we feel
the pressure from what's going on
around us?
I always hear friends complain "I
want a boyfriend/girlfriend," or, like
I kvetched earlier, "I want someone
to sleep with tonight." But the truth
is, it's quite easy to get an instant
relationship or a just-add-water hook
up. If I complain, guy friends always
respond, with a certain degree of
jealousy, "You're a girl, you can get
sex anytime you want." So wait, was
that an offer? Just kidding.
But it's never the kind of sex
you really want. Or the kind of
relationship. There's always those
people you know you can call
to come over and distract you
temporarily, but you know /they
aren't the ones you really desire or

else you'd already be together. Just
wasting time until something better
comes along.
Of course, there are benefits to
cheap and easy sex. Relationships
can be a plain hassle, just like Bob
Marley sang, "No womana, no cry."
I commend and envy the girls who
come and go as they please with
whomever they please to scratch the
itch- so long as the girl is getting
pleasure from the arrangement and
it's not just to benefit the guy.
As a former co-worker, a woman
in her late '30s, and I picked out
guys to hit on at a concert, she
warned me of the "pounders." "You
know, those guys who'll pound the
shit out of a girl and not care about
her pleasure," she said, pointing
to a couple of dudes all wearing
khaki shorts, faded polo shirts and
Rainbow sandals.
OK chill out, I'm not stereotyping
guys as pounders based on attire. It-
was just an anecdote so you could
get the picture.
Although I've always subscribed
to Posh's philosophy, I'm not trying
to tell you I call myself a "real lady"
just because I'm interested in dating

over cheap sex.
While it's true that things
won't work if you aren't sexually
compatible with someone, hooking
up first and getting to know the
person later has never worked out.
At least for me. Hookups remain
hookups. I can't respect the person
enough to date them if I think they're
probably someone else's booty call,
so why should I expect someone else
to respect me?
And so what if you go home alone?
You won't have anything to regret
the next day, there's no worrying if
your one-night-wonder is a pounder,
and there won't be any awkwardness
when you try to politely hint that he
needs to get out of your bed because
you're sick of looking at his face.
And waking up next to your stuffed
leopard Sherlock can be awesomely
liberating-he won't care how
unsexy is it that you were so tired
you forgot to remove the eyeliner
that now zebra-stripes your face.

L ,r zfNeu

Look Before You Leap into the Sach: Tay-Sachs disease

J. E. KALLER As if Jews
didn't have
enough mating
problems to
begin with.
First, there are
the mothers
who insistently
think that they
have found THE Jewish mate for
you. I still hear echoes, "She's a nice
Jewish girl. Beautiful beyond, straight
teeth and her family has money! I
am not saying you should marry for
green but it definitely doesn't hurt!"
Secondly, the mating pool is small to
begin with. While much of the world
has an Olympic-sized gene pool to
contend with, those who are looking
for a Jewish mate are left with a plastic
Fisher-Price wade pool. Don't get me
wrong, those are great to splash in on
lazy Sunday afternoons, but ask me to
take a dive and I'll tell you to Schnitzel
yourself. And if parental pressures
and limited dating selection weren't
bad enough, evolution has decided
to throw in its own little twist: Tay-
Sachs disease.
According to the Chicago Center
for Jewish Genetic Disorders, Web site,
Sachs is an autosomal recessive gene
carried by at least one out of 30

Askhenazi Jews. Ok, so let's go over
some basics. If you are reading this
article, you are probably not suffering
from Tay-Sachs--unless of course
you come down with Adult Onset
Tay-Sachs (which is as rare as a flying
Gefilte Fish). Tay-Sachs is most likely
to affect newborns. What happens in
these newborns is a build-up of lipids
in the brain that will eventually lead to
mental disarray and eventually death.
This disease is the product the genes
of two individuals coming together
who possess the same genetic flaw in
the same location on their DNA.
Here comes the serious talk. It is
very likely that one of you reading
this article is at least a carrier of the
recessive genetic trait. It is important
that potential pillow-talk buddies, if
ever planning for a future together,
at least get tested to ensure that
they are, approved for evolutionary
success before mating. You might not
think this is a pressing issue, but wait
at least 5 to 10 years and then let me
know if you think it matters.
This disease has had a profound
impact on the dating terms and
lifestyles of Orthodox Jews in
Askhenazi communities. Tickled
with Tay-Sachs paranoia, individuals
are now seeking ways to assess
their genetic compatibility. One

man suffered enough for the lot of
us. Rabbi Joseph Ekstein lost four
children to Tay-Sachs in the 1980's.
Poignantly, he moved forward into
ways of preventing others suffering
by the creation of an organization
called Dor Yeshorim. Based out of
New York, this organization does
genetic testing for at least 10 other
genetic disorders that are common to
the Ashkenazi blood. Dor Yeshorim
allows for potential mates to call
in and determine whether they are
a "compatible" or "incompatible"
couple. Talk about a great way of
breaking up with someone: slip the
lab geek a $50 and you have yourself
a no-mess-no-hassle break up.
Tay-Sachs, however, is only one
genetic flaw amongst a slew of others
that are tested as Dor Yeshorim:
Bloom syndrome, Caravan Disease,
Fanconi Anemia, Gaucher Disease,
Torsion Dystonia-the list goes on.
Don't feel dismayed however, other
people suffer too. One out of 25-
Northern Europeans have the gene
for Cystic Fibrosis. One out of 30
Greeks and Italians possess the gene
for beta-thalassemia, and one out of
25 South eastern Asians carry alpha-
thalassemia. And let me tell you,
the wordy diseases are the ones you
definitely don't want.

So you might be clenching the
earth and rising your fists at the
heavens wondering, "WHY!?!?" An
interesting theory called the Fourider
Effect postulates that during the first
Diaspora around (70 A.D.), many of
the forefathers possessed this similar
genetic malady. And because they
wanted to keep the community close,
the genetic malfunction had a chance
to replicate many times over in the
community. Thus, there is a higher
chance of carrying the disease.
I believe this genetic hurdle
teaches Jews an important lesson
about diversity. Many of the Jewish
communities who question that
genetic worthiness of mating are very
closed and tight-knit communities. I
might be judged of stereotyping, but
please chastise me in a formal editorial
if I am wrong. This closed-community
is not the total idyllic picture of what
it means to be a Jew. By having these
genetic diseases that are caused by
too much inter-community breeding,
mates are now forced to look outside
their box. Jews must scour the earth,
or at least outside their community,
to find something that can create a
healthy, vibrant child.
Science is teaching Jews a
fundamental aspect of life Diversity
is necessary.

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The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3


Thinking Outside the Lox with Rabbi Yonah

Yom Kippur is not the Mafia

want to
k noc k
you off.
You- are
to live
a long
happy life.
You 'think
you ve
done bad, well you probably haven't
gone on a killing spree, and that's
a start. Our greatest challenge isn't
trying to recover from the things we
have done-it's what comes next.
The Bal Shem Tov, the Ukrainian
Hassidic master (1698-1760), spoke
about sinning as not as big of a deal
as the amount of depression, self-
deprecation and rehabilitating guilt
we suffer in the wake of a misdeed.
We screw up, all of us. That is part
of the grand plan. The question is:
how do we react to this eventuality?
Do we get all sad and sit in that
muck, or do we use the experience
as a Red Bull for the soul? Clearly
getting all sad is not a Jewish value,
and besides that, it's just sad and
sorry. I don't want to be.sad and
sorry, and I don't want you to be
either. Moreover, neither does
God want that. Don't forget, Yom
Kippur is also a holiday, so there is
a component of celebration built in.

That means happiness. Don't forget
to get over yourself, and what you
may have done. Live it, love it.

Inside Out
We spend a crazy amount of
energy thinking about what we're
wearing and how we're wearing it.
On Yom Kippur we're trying to tap
into our inside. We refrain from
eating to remind ourselves that
we are not what we eat. You don't
have to live in a monastery to be
spiritually attuned. When we fast

The question is: how do we react
to this eventuality? Do we get all
sad and sit in that muck, or do we
use the experience as a Red Bull for
the soul?

on Yom Kippur, we start to feel a bit
hollow inside, woozy and depleted.
But something else happens as well.
We also realize that it is-not on food
alone that we derive sustenance. We
have inner resources in our inner
recesses. "What?" According to
Jewish tradition, our soul is a team
player. The soul. is forever bound
to the physical world. It is sort of
a holistic notion of a spiritual life.
For the soul to really shine, its
partnership with the physical world
has got to be in good rhythm. If it's
not, we are out of balance.

(352) 372-5375 BLS., (800) 7550086 T01 FREE
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Gainesville Orlando St. Augustine
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Yom Kippur is one those few
holidays we deprive ourselves of
what -is physical to get chummy up
with the behind-the-scenes partner,
the soul. If you hang with him long
enough, you'll get..........

Chill Out, Sukkah!
The real deal is to get out of
the house, your house, your place.
Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, is a
great time to separate yourself from
all that is normal and predictable.
The main mitzvah of Sukkot is to do
everything you would normally in
your abode, but do it in the sukkah.
What's a sukkah? Basically it's a
makeshift structure we build with
a roof that is made from natural
materials, such as palm fronds, cut
branches and the like. Hang out in
a sukkah and notice that you're a
bit more vulnerable to the natural
elements. The light, smell and feel
of sitting in a sukkah can transport
you, even for a moment, to the taste
of taking a journey. Certainly the
Jews who chilled in their sukkahs in
the desert for 40 years can relate.
*On a side note, if you are
looking for a sukkah experience not
to be believed, come hang out in the
huge Star of David-shaped sukkah
at Hillel. When you come on over,
don't forget to say hey!

Questions? Comments? A topic you
want addressed? Hit up Rabbi Yonah at

Tonya Blackman
SPhone: (800) 258-2861
Fax: (877) 942-4135
emai: t.blackmani@ervicetffiee.vom

Spcalzn inS Bres acrRcntuto

4500 Newberry Road
Gainesville, FL 32607
phone: 352-336-6037

"Love" in Hebrew is nanx
(ahava). The root of the word,
a.n.N, is the same as the Hebrew
word meaning "to give."
This is because love means
giving oneself fully. In Gematria,
Hebrew numerology that assigns
each character a corresponding
number, the word's arithmetic
looks like this: x (1) + n (5) +
2 (2) + n (5) = 13. This helps
to understand the meanings
behind "love" from the words
that share the number 13.
-nN (echad): N (1) + n (8) + -r (4)
= 13. This word means "one" or
"oneness." Love creates a unity
for those experiencing it. This
is further supported by another
shared-numbered word, n-ma
(agudah), its root meaning "to
be gathered" or "to be united."
nanN (ahava) also implies the
fragility of lovers. It shares its
number with "worry," "concern"
and "to become lost."
On the other hand, the word's
use in the Torah gives a brighter
picture. Love's number is half
of the name of God (26), who
"loved" the people of Israel.
It's also half of the number
for ',ir (zugee), the adjective for
The word mnta (agudah) has
the number 13 in its root, and
when written in the Torah it
means "to illuminate."
Love certainly has the
potential to break and become
lost, but it can also brighten
humanity by unifying the


Lori Finkel

Giselle Mazur
Managing Editor

The SHPiEL encourages 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.


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

SoCalled Inter
l-- with Gizelle Mazur

SC: Sure, I just turned 30 this year.




GM: Were you raised in a traditional Jewish I sta
family or this something you came upon that
on your own? sour
SC: I mean when I grew up we celebrated the
holidays and went to synagogue like once
in a while and I had a bar mitzvah and all GM: Ho'
that stuff, but I was never very religious one-
at all and I still am not-at all. It was just SC:I
basically\ thanks to finding oldrecords Arm
in the garbage and at Sal\ation Armies base
that I started finding out about Yiddish sifti
culture. -reco
GM: So you weren't brought up around this
Yiddish Culture? Lebc
SC: Not at all. I never heard Yiddish language so I
...,or music, and... well yeah... I didn't. I'm I so
sorry. F6rgive me! It was through Hip hop ': that
that I started to collect old records' and like
started to. uh. unearth all these amazing that
treasures -from Yiddish "culture that I .- of .a
never heard befd regrowing up. Cantoral .. td g
music,. .Y-iddish music, Yiddish.Tiet' ,". aboi
kle. zrii r-all that stuff.. ::s- .. of il
S. actu
GM: I'm no.t,..surie-if'yeoif 'are aware, but there and
;is ihoScial phenomenon of this sort .. to
:eof reclamation of Yid-culture by :.ouig and
p eoule. Is your music a.reflecrtii'n 6f that mes

or is that indeperidefitbf what you do?
SC: Ha.; duniiho'l guess. I mean, maybe it's just G

Ri 'R
... ,,Rin Ring --'

SoCalled Hl Ilo?
.Giselle Mazur: Hi there, this is Giselle Mazur
.. I'm calling frointhe SHPiEL.
SC: How do you do?
GM: Good how are you?
SC: Excellent.
GM: Awesome. Would you prefer I call you
SoCalled or Josh?
SC: You can call me SoCalled. I just want to
warn you that I think my phone might die.
GM: Well if it does I'll just have to get in touch
with you some other time, but let's try and
squeeze as much in as we can.
SC: Cool, cool.

GM: Would you be offended if I asked how old
you are?

a time in history when people are allowed
to be who they are and are allowed to be
curious about their own culture. They
don't have to be ashamed necessarily. Sb
.yeah, I think that that's reflected in a lot
of different cultures. Young people are
able to express themselves and look at
where they come from and they're able to
share that with people. It's also because
it's a global world now where there aren't
so many borders. You know if I'm Jewish
I don't hang out with only Jews anymore.
I have friends from all sorts of different
backgrounds, nationalities and histories
so people are more open to each other's
histories no%. But when I started doing
this it wasn't because I had heard anybody
else doing it and I still don't think there's
many people really using Yiddish music,
like really looking at the actual source of
the music.

M: I r

SC: Not

GM: Nc
SC: It's

GM: W:
SC: It v
is si
to (



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WHe was trying to mix what he loved about
Jewish music with popular rhythms of the
contemporary music of his world. That's
sort of what Jewish music has been from the
beginning it's a real mix of forms, of different
rhythms and melodies and stuff from Jewish
sources but also mixed with non-Jewish
sources. So anyway, he was sort of like the
granddaddy of Jewish fusion music and so I
up! Sorry, I'm talking to somebody looked him up in the phone book and he was
biked by. still alive-he was about 89 or 90 or so. And
yeah, I called him up and he said, "Yeah I'm
,so uh, I never really heard anybody playing on Sunday come and check me out."
doing it I just did it by accident when So I did and he bought me brunch and then I
rted to find the old Jewish records started hanging out with him more and more,
I could use that were full of great just going to his house and interviewing him
.ds to sample, and stuff. And eventually when I began to
make this record I said, "Hey would you like
to be on this record" And he's a hustler.
v did you come across the very first He's always intryg to get gigs and trying
Sto makecit happen so he was into it. I took
1 record collector so I go to Salvation him 'h studio for a half an hour and it was
es or yard sales or people's amazing to hear his touch. To just physically
ments or whatever and I just was hear how his fingers hit the piano keys on
ig through records and fon a the recording-it was kind of a revelation of
rd that said it was 15hi from the how you can really play.the piano in a whole
ish theatre. An fII never heard of different.
guy singi.fg his name was Aaron
ni0tz, I'd never heard it before G l me about the SoCalled Seder album.
ust, it looked like a cool record a SC ll, it was sort of one of my first attempts,
't of buy every record tht I cauld well not really attempts but when I first
looked sort o in t basically started to mix the two genres of hip hop and
25 cene s, and I found all these forms of Jewish music, and it was
Si me and it was full because I started finding all these old Seder
som e sounds. And then I started PassoVer records. I can't really describe it, I
t in to actually...at first it was just mean sort of kitschy, from the'50s, almost
t sampling it and using little bits condescending records introducing the
but then I became interested in the Passover service to kids. And you know it's
11 singing tylan~eorchestration obviously not meant to replace the actual
th: aTtal music of it. And I wanted Passover Seder but it could augment it. It's
am that and really do my homework just taking all that music 'cuz I always loved
learn about this music that I was Passover as a kid, I just loved the sort of
,ing with. show of it, all those classic moments with
the four questions and Diyanu and Let My
sad that you used to play the piano People Go and all those kinds of songs so I
hen took up the accordion instead? just made a hip hop treat of it. You'll have to
instead. ,check it out.

t instead, so, in addition to. What SC: I'm warning you my phone is maybe going
e you decide to play the accordion? to die any minute. Just so you know when it
portable. Somebody lent it to me once. cuts off that it's nothing personal.
'body lent me their accordion and I GM: Okay, then let's hurry and squeeze in what
.it out; it's like a piano but you can we can. Why is it so important to embrace
T it around. It wasn't like a conscious this Judaism and this heritage in such a
3 it was just sort of like a friend had secular world?
and said, "Would you like to borrow SC: Well, I dunno, because I'm not embracing
accordion?" I said yes, and I played the religious aspect at all so it's a part of sort
o already so it was just like that. of the secular world. I think it is important

at was it like working with Irving
as awesome. I found a lot of his old
rds that's why I got in touch with
I found Bagels and Bongos which
rt of an examplerof what I'm trying
o but it's like from 50 years ago.

to have your own history, to know where
you come from. It's important to know
something, anything. It doesn't have to be
your own, but you have to know something.
You can't just make stuff without knowing
anything, know what I mean? I don't know if
that makes any sense but when I found the
Jewish music it really spoke to me. I guess

because I'm Jewish but you don't have to be to
be spoken to by that music because I know a
lot of people who love, that music even though
they aren't Jewish and it doesn't matter at all.
But when I found it I thought.that this was an
incredibly rich tradition that's being forgotten.
It's not cool. You don't see it in movies or on
sitcoms on TV. It's not a sound that got any
respect that people know and love. So when I
heard it I thought that it was a shame that nobody
knew about this music so I thought I could help
share it with new people and also when I heard
it I thought, "Well this is a good reason for me to
learn how to be a musician, 'cuz I'm not hearing
these songs anywhere and somebody's go to
sing them again.

GM: I'm going to try to squeeze in one last question
and if the phone cuts off we can...
SC: Bring it on.
GM: You did the Klezmer Cruise and had a
documentary made about you. How was that
whole experience?
SC: Whoo! It was hard. It was intense. I went back to
where my grandfather was from with my parents
about three years ago because I just wanted
to go there, and I was thinking about doing a
Yiddish culture festival back in the old country
somewhere. So I was going through my mind
with this concept. We should try to share this
music with the people. We should try to bring
it back to where it comes from just to see what
happens. I know that for like, a lot of Eastern
Europe, having the tragedy of the Holocaust
left a big whole in their culture. It used to be a
huge part of the culture in the Ukraine and in
Poland and Romania. So I thought it would'%
interesting to bring back these new people that
are newly rediscovering the Yiddish culture. So
we organized this cruise along this river that my
grandfather spoke about-he used to go there
on Shabbat, the whole family would go down to
the river for a swim-and we're on this river and
I thought, "Hey maybe it could happen here."
And then I made some connections with people
in Odessa and Kiev and we organized it and got
a bunch of people to sign up, over 200 people,
on the boat. A lot of them were my family and
then we hired a bunch of amazing musicians and
then we did public concerts and we worked with
local performers and it was really phenomenal.
It was really neat. I don't think we'll ever do it
again so it was a once-in -lifetime thing and it
was insane and incredible.

GM: Is that documentary available anywhere?
SC: It's not finished yet but it's basically this crew,
this documentary crew that's gonna be following
me around a lot. So they just started, like the
first big shoot was coming on this boat.

GM: Well thank you so much for your time, and be
sure to go charge your cell phone somewhere.
SC: Right on, I'm glad we were able to, we snuck
it in. (More yelling at people on the street) OK
goodbye. Come again. Cheers. (click.)

The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

The Muck and the Meyer: Football forecasts for Gator fans

SHPiEL contributing writer

Three games into the 2007 football
season the Gators have trounced
their opponents by a combined score
o 167-54. To the surprise of no one
intelligent, Tim Tebow can indeed
throw, and the Gator offense has been
slicing through defenses like my Dad
through a Rosh Hashanah brisket. By
the end of the Tennessee game, Erik
Ainge was so disheartened that with
12 minutes left in the fourth quarter,
he was chucking the ball over his
receivers' heads. Not that Roger Moore
wanted to catch the ball anyway he
blatantly dropped one ball to avoid
being tackled. Looks like the second
half of the Troy game wasn't such a
big deal after all.
The Trojans were flailing about
so miserably by halftime they were
best to finally wave a white flag. The
flagettes put down their black Troy
flags in favor of a blue and mostly-
white design, crying out, "Please,
have mercy on our football team!'We
mean you no harm mighty Gators!"
At which Urban Meyer smiled
his Cheshire cat smile and cackled
So, other than the fact that Tebow
(who set the Florida high school
records for passing yards and
touchdowns) isn't half bad, what have

we learned so far this season?
For starters, UF has the fastest and
most talented collection of receivers
in school history, which is saying a lot.
We already knew about Percy
Harvin, the electric sophomore
wideout who doubles as the most
dangerous player in the 'Gators
backfield. We already knew about
Bubba Caldwell, who could still set the
Gators record for career receptions
this year. There's Cornelius Ingram,
the bruising tight end already
recognized with preseason SEC
Second-Team Honors. Now get to
know Riley Cooper, who made a series
of dazzling catches in the WKU game.
Learn the name Louis Murphy, who's
coming out party was this spring's
Orange and Blue game. Recognize
Jarred Fayson, another receiver with
sub 4.4 40 speed who sees time out of
the backfield. And don't forget Aaron
Hernandez or Deonte Thompson,
five-star freshmen who could come
into play in the tougher games on
UF's schedule.
Speaking of which, that schedule
looks as challenging as ever. The
toughest games? LSU on the road,
LSU again in the SEC Championship,
and South Carolina on Spurrier's
turf. If the Gators manage to run this
gauntlet, they WILL be in the national
championship game, no question. But
will the defense hold up?

[**The following prediction was
written and submitted before the
Tennessee game**]
My sources say yes. With 9 of
11 starters gone from last year's
defense, the Gator freshmen are
here to play. Take note of DE Justin
Trattou, who batted down a ball at
the line of scrimmage during the Troy
game, and with cat-like quickness
sprawled out and caught his own
deflection. Torrey Davis, drawing
comparisons to Warren Sapp, may
soon be starting at DT. Joe Haden is
already starting at corner, and if you
account for Major Wright, the hardest
hitter in the UF secondary, the Gators
may soon have three freshmen in
the starting defensive lineup. With
playmakers Derrick Harvey, Brandon
Spikes, and Tony Joiner anchoring
the defensive units, the Gator D will
have bite. Tennessee thought Cal
gave them a game? Get ready for a
Sep. 15 beatdown in the Swamp, on
both sides of the ball.
How did my prediction turn out?
Tennessee rushed for. 37 yards
on Saturday, and that defense is
only going to get better with more
experience. Can you say dynasty?
And finally, we've learned once
and for all that the preseason
rankings are an absolute farce.
The Gators are fresh off a national
championship and a #1 recruiting

class and began the season ranked
sixth. The Michigan Wolverines, fresh
off a beating to USC in the Rose Bowl,
began at fifth. Of course, Michigan
promptly lost their first game of
the season to Appalachian State,
and was subsequently dominated by
the powerhouse that is Oregon. In a
related story, Michigan fans still feel
their team deserves a spot in the
BCS Championship.- The only other
thing that gets my goat as much is
the Bush Administration. Why are
the teams ranked at all to start the
season? By establishing a frontrunner
before the games are "played, you
leave open the possibility of creating
a paper champion. The team can go
undefeated in the regular season by
playing a creampuff schedule before
getting exposed in a bowl game (see
OSU, 2006, and coming soon USC
2007). Does college football make me
this angry because I love it so much, or
do I love it so much because it makes
me so angry? If college football were
meant to make sense, they'would have
an eight-team playoff. The people in
charge have seen playoffs. They know
about-them. Clearly, they have their
reasons for turning college football
into a running debate. Maybe getting
angry about the Gators' ranking is
meant to subvert my anger at the
government subverting the Bill of
Rights. Questions for another time...

Of 1 .5: iN CC"Lfi

,-=0KE S A7 -i 1,._IU D E352-377-5017


Thinking Gicbally-Roasring Loc-ally.



Mitch Bayer
Customer Relations
(352) 538-9903


EC~~g Tf~iC. ir:TC.
Jay LinPkenrthit'

-411W S.. Moth Te-cnrrt, C.;dei rie. %e :FL1320b
Vnit-e M' -373-3-3 V. Fax M2-335-383G

Proud Supporters of
Hillel at UF and The ShPiel

d Z,d~

17- j,--

The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3-

Jews Against Jews for Jesus

SHPiEL staff writer

The Jews for Jesus movement has a
formidable enemy lurking around the
corner. It's called Jews for Judaism,
and it has no intention of backing
Messianic Jews, as the Jews for
Jesus are so -deceivingly dubbed,
is a crusade to convince real Jews
that Jesus is the Messiah and that
acceptance of Jesus is the only
In 1985, Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
decided this was totally unacceptable.
He started Jewish education and
counseling outreach programs that
blossomed into the largest counter-
missionary movement in the world:
Jews for Judaism.
The movement welcomes Jews for,
Jesus to "rediscover and strengthen
their Jewish heritage" through "warm
and open-minded approaches,"
according to their Web site at http://
The Jews for Judaism movement
even designed a preventive education
program to be set in areas where
plotting Messianic Jewish missionary
work is at high threat-level (orange or
red on the Jewish Security Advisory
Community Prevention and.
Response Program-yes, CPR-sends
staff from Jews for Judaism to
resuscitate people through seminars,
text studies, and training sessions
in order to "counter the missionary
The information and pamphlets
on the Jews for Judaism site unveil
an arsenal of counter arguments and
defenses against the preacher on
campus claiming to be Jewish.
Reading the official statement of
faith on the Jews for Jesus Web site
may leave people of all religious
backgrounds scratching their heads
and wondering how Messianic
Judaism is any different from full
blown Christianity.
The mission statement only
references Judaism once saying, "We
recognize the value of traditional
Jewish literature, but only where it is
supported by or conformable to the
Word of God."
The remainder of the statement
supports the basic Christian belief
that Jesus is the messiah and that he
died for the sins of all humanity.
According to Jews for Judaism,
there are 275,000 Jews for Jesus in
North America.
Gallup and Harris media polls
have found that a high percentage of
the 70 million born-again Christians
in North America believe the Jewish
people must be converted to
Christianity before Jesus can return-

perhaps supporting the theory that
the Messianic Jews are luring Jews
into accepting Jesus as the messiah-
so that he may eventually return.
So that we can throw him an-
awesome 'End of the World' party.
The main technical defense Jews
for Judaism use against Jews for Jesus
is the biblical proof that Jesus cannot
be the messiah..
Here are the qualifications from
the Tanakh, the Hebrew bible, that
the messiah must fulfill:

He must be
Numbers 24:17)


r-i) He must be a member of
i the tribe ofJudah (Genesis
49:10) and a direct male
descendent of both King
David (I Chronicles 17:11,
Psalm 89:29-38, Jeremiah
33:17, II Samuel 7:12-
16) and King Solomon.
(I Chronicles 22:10, II
Chronicles 7:18)
c- He must gather the
) Jewish people from exile
and return them to Israel.
(Isaiah 27:12-13, Isaiah
i' He must rebuild the Jewish
Temple in Jerusalem.
(Micah 4:1)
He must bring world
peace. (Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah
11:6, Micah 4:3)
He must influence
Sthe entire world to
acknowledge and serve
one God. (Isaiah 11:9,
Isaiah 40:5, Zephaniah

OK, well, Jesus was Jewish, that's
for sure. And he rebuilt the Jewish
temple...wait, that's not right. Well
he brought world pea...umm...nope.
Well, uh...the entire world now serves
one God?
The Jews for Judaism site also
points out that Messianic Jews (and
Christians) invent, mistranslate and
misplace text.
The New Testament book of
Matthew, for example, references the
book of Isaiah reading, "a virgin shall
be with child."
The Christian translation of the
Hebrew word "almah" is virgin.
But the site said biblical scholars
accept the real translation of
"almah" as "young woman." (For
other examples, see http://www.
So now we've narrowed the Next
Top Messiah search down to a "young
woman with child." Fantastic.


How many more votes Al Gore received
than George W in 2000:

George W's domestic approval percentage
according to Newsweek (June 2007):

Years that have passed since there was a
worse presidential approval rating:

American soldier deaths in Iraq confirmed
by the Department of Defense:

Years George W. Bush served in the
National Guard:

Number of Vietnam wars that George W
has avoided:







Known times George W has been arrested: 3

Percentage of Jewish Americans who think
Iraq war was a mistake according to Gallup 77

Years General David Petraeus says U.S. has
left in Iraq: +/- 10

Approximate days until season four of 150
"Lost" begins: 1



"FM R~
ki MW yWin- "
; ~..'.-01 9,08





The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

Through the eyes of UF's dance instructor Neta Pulvermacher

SHPiEL staff writer

Periwinkle-wigged freshmen spasm
in an azure sea-this is the only way
I can describe my first impression of
Neta Pulvermacher.
After her arrival to the Swamp last
fall, I was graced by performance
under Pulvermacher's direction in
the College of Fine Arts BFA Dance
Showcase. Thus began the challenge
of seeking her guidance.
I finally got a seat in one of her
dance composition classes this
semester and after just five lessons I
am obsessed. This Israeli challenges
traditional dance form and explores
space and time like it is something
incorporated in- not governing-
Pulvermacher was born and
raised in the North Galilee's Kibbutz
Lehavot Habashan. Following her
service in the Israeli army, she set
out westward, anchoring in New York
where she graduated from Juilliard
(that somewhat-renowned art school)
in 1985.
"I came to New York alone with
one suitcase, without money or a
place to live," Pulvermacher said in
her September 2007 "Statement of
Philosophy" which she used when
ap~iing for teaching positions. "My
only possession at that time was my
unquenchable desire to study at the
best school I could find for dance,
choreography and music, and to
create and make things happen."
In 1987, she founded "Neta
Pulvermacher and Dancers," later
named "The Neta Dance Company,"
through which she could speak with
her eccentric, wildly imaginative and
experimental language to stimulate
and provoke audiences worldwide.
For interview minutes, I had to
chase this tiny-but-powerful woman
between her trips to New York every
weekend for company rehearsals and
performances. My call was returned
as she "chilled" at the pool getting a
momentary break from it all.
Daughter to a man of music,
Pulvermacher played the violin as a
child and it was only when she was
13 years old that she fell in love
with dance. Her inspirational guru
was Ariella, a member of the rocket-
targeted Kibbutz, Misgav Am, whom
she Joved and respected immensely.
"In six years, no single class
was repeated," Pulvermacher said,
reminiscing. "I was excited for every
lesson which was like the fresh paint
smell of an artist's studio. I felt at

home. No one spoke; we had other
means of communication."
She made the journey to Juilliard
after being nagged by an American
friend who danced with her on the
Kibbutz. She brought with her the
upbringing of a communal society-
she learned to take nothing for
granted and that words are not the
only way to express truth.
This is what Pulvermacher said
she wished to impart on her dancers,
students and audience: We should
not accept ultimate truths even from
charismatic teachers but should
negotiate, doubt, inquire to acquire.
Unknowns are her inspiration.
Her choreography and teaching
translate her vision. Pulvermacher is
"always learning in this constantly
fluid and changing world," and
wishes to express in her movement
the human condition woven with
science, she said. She utilizes the
whole person in a "total theater
experience," not limited to dance.
"Blue," an aquamarine, originally-
solo piece was performed by UF dance
majors at the BFA Dance Showcase
last year, where my first Neta-
sparked, explorative-distorted dance
inspiration ignited. Her repertoire
consisted of a list of fascinating titles
labeling even more captivating pieces.
My favorite was "She must be seeing
things." Energetic and surrealistic, it
presented dancers in sports bras and
tutu skirts in a manic representation
of reality.
Pulvermacher's empiricism is
.contagious and has won her many
national and international awards and
commissions. She and her company
have performed around the country,
in Canada, Israel and Poland, to name
a few.
Her UF dance classes range from
composition to modern dance, not
to mention an instrumental course
she brought to the university: Music
on my mind. Her art on stage comes
with high recommendation-she will
be featured in the School of Theater
and Dance performances, allowing
dancers and audiences alike to see
existence, if only for a moment,
from her rainbow-colored, droll
mind. "Dance 2008" is the title of the
next large performance she will be
directing in the Spring.
"I believe in guiding, challenging,
provoking, pushing, loving, laughing,
talking, asking, and in cultivating
a relationship of trust and shared
inquiry with my dancers and
students...I am a gardener, nothing
more, nothing less. I grow flowers."

Top: Pulvermacher rehearses after class.Bottom: UF students listen attentively as
Pulvermacher discussesdance form.


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3 CALENDAR 11

...................................... ............................................ ..-.** ..*.**..**.*..*..*....................... ...................

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thurday rriday Saturday
................ .................. .......... .. ........................ ......................... ...............

CRC Fall Career CLAS presents: For a Laugh: The
Showcase Book reading/ Ron White Hippodrome's
9 a.m.-3 p.m. @ panel discussion 8 p.m. @ The 3rd Annual
O'Connell Center on black women's hip- O'Connell Center Latino
hop and dancehall Film Festival
Tonight and culture Cadmium Red
tomorrow: 7-9 p.m. @ Light, Lenny Kesl, @ 2 p.m.
"Buddha's Lost Ustler Hall Atrium the Art of Living screenings through
Children" Life as Art October 13th,
@ The Hippodrome free admission
@ The Hippodrome Grad Thursdays until the i27th
"no pressure, just
Downtown chill," Yom Kippur Yom Kippur
Farmer's Market, Hillel's got the tab -Kol Nidre- -Kol Nidre-
every Wednesday ends at sundown
afternoon begins at sundown

Breast Cancer
9 a.m. 3 p.m.
O'Dome parking lot

Help decorate
Hillel's Sukkah
@.7:30 p.m.

Join Rabbi Yonah
& friends for
Biblical Studies:
Jewish Literacy
@ 8 p.m.

Do Make Say
Common Grounds,

Coconuts and
Surf: Who knew
there were
Hawaiian Jews?
Hawaiin food,
and cultural
7:30-10:30 p.m.
@ Hillel

Orchestra &
Worldwide Zoo
8 p.m. @
Downtown Plaza,

Star Gazing
every Friday,
8:30-10:30 p.m.
@ the Dept. of
Astonomy's Teaching

in THE

Editor's Pick:
9 p.m. @

Last chance
to see Emmy
award winning
@ The

Sushi in the
8-10 p.m.
@ Hillel

You're always
Shabbat Services
and Free Dinner
7:30 p.m. @

-IF) re I


The SHPiEL:Volume 4, Issue 3

Middle East in a Miniskirt'

Alef-Magazine Shows a Little Skin

SHPiEL staff writer

Alef's pages are splashed with
high-end fashion models donning
the latest in couture. Their feet
are graced with what can only be
described as sex on heels, typical
content in Vogue-but what if that
magazine targeted Middle-Eastern
With its third issue on
newsstands, Alef Magazine, a
subsidiary of Elle Magazine, is
best described by its own mission
statement: "To showcase a
progressive vision of the Middle
East and to spotlight the cultural
contribution of people of Middle
East origin."
At first, the magazine might
seem to be little more than
upscale, brand-name promotional
fodder. But a deeper investigation
proved that Alef is challenging
the standards of Middle-Eastern
Symbolizing empowerment,
the features focus on designers
who break the mold: strong, self-
sufficient women and politicians
who fight for equal rights.
Topics traditionally considered
taboo in the Arab world--sexuality,
equality rights, politics and
homosexuality-all have a place
on the pages of the fabulously
stylish rebel rag.
Feature articles and most
advertisements are in English, but
the back of the magazine includes
Arabic translations to most major
The magazine's content ranges
"from new generations evolving
the traditions of their parents to
foreigners finding beauty in a far
away land," according to Editor-
in-Chief Sameer Reddy's letter
to readers. "These meetings of
disparate minds are evidence that
differences do not always signify
conflict. They can, in fact, be a
catalyst for positive change."
According to the Wall Street
Journal Online, marketing Western
products in the Middle East had
become increasingly popular.
While women in most Muslim
countries are accustomed to
covering head-to-toe in public,
many have adopted wearing highly
fashionable and even revealing
clothing under their robes.

In areas with large numbers of
young people and a metropolitan
lifestyle like Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait, closet fashion slaves host
lavish, women-only dinner parties
behind closed doors where they
can show off their best threads.
In more progressive cities like
Lebanon, many of these fashions
can even be seen on the street.
With newspapers, magazines,
the Internet and satellite
television, more women find
themselves exposed to Western
ideals of fashion and beauty.
To preserve various Middle-
Eastern traditions, Alef tackles
the differences between the two
concepts of desirability and finds
a happy middle
In one article,
entitled "Azzizty,"
Deena Abdulaziz
relates how difficult -
it is for Eastern
women to achieve
the skinny, Western .. .
ideal body while
maintaining the
Arab tradition that
curvier women are
The fashion
section offers tips
on wearing layers,
finding breathable
fabrics to stay cool
and how to pair
a mini-skirt with
leggings so as not to f,
dress too scantily.
The publication
has to see to it that
certain standards
are upheld to
avoid government
censorship in more
conservative cities,
such as rewording
the name of the
play, "The Vagina
Monolo gues, "
to discreetly
describe the female
But even the
existence of
such a magazine
represents progress
in itself.
While Alef is
only a quarterly
publication at

present, an article in Women's
Wear Daily (www.wwd.com)
explains that Sheikh Majed Al-
Sabah, the magazine's creator,
hopes to some day release as
many as 10 issues per year.
The magazine is published
out of New York and distributed
across the United States, Europe,
the Middle East and Southern
Asia, but Al-Sabah assures at least
70 percent of its content will
focus on Middle-Eastern fashion
and culture.
The creation of Alef signifies
a change in world cultures and
a new kind of women's rights
Its inception is a testament to

the idea that while American media
is flooded with stories of women
who wear a hijab (traditional
Muslim head-covering) and feel
outcast by this decision, there is
an outlet for women who follow
religious law and still want to
remain fashionable.
"To some of our readers, these
subjects and images will come
as a surprise as they challenge
traditional ideas about gender
and beauty," Reddy said. 'it is
our hope that they will contribute
to a more open discourse about
difference in the region, a
discourse that will facilitate the
quiet cultural revolution that is
already taking place."

photo by Lori Finkel

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