Just about a week and a half ago, an elderly man drove his car through the bushes in front of my synagogue, onto the steps leading up to the main entrance on the service road of Queens Boulevard. It's not clear what the cause was, although because he was driving a Toyota, his claim that the car accelerated on him suddenly seems (pun fully intended) to have caught traction. I don't know. Actually, I wasn't there at the time, and didn't think all that much of it.
As I was sitting down to write this blog entry, I decided to look at my e-mail first- always a questionable strategy if you really want to get something done. I discovered that I had received numerous e-mails urging me to address the Iranian threat to Israel in my weekly sermon, a threat that, according to the e-mails, even AIPAC and J Street agree is real and serious.
Call it dialectical rock — a new musical form with roots in the psyche of the Soviet past that gives voice to all the contradictions of the present-day Russian Jewish immigrant experience.
Drozdy (Blackbirds), a musical group formed six months ago by five close friends in their early 50’s — most of whom have been part of the tight-knit Russian literary, artistic and counter-cultural scene since arriving here 30 years ago — have been winning raves since they cut their self-titled CD last month (many of the songs are available on YouTube).
As I write, a fierce debate is raging among my colleagues, and indeed among Americans, about the relationship between Barack Obama and his minister/mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Americans of all creeds are disturbed by Rev. Wright’s comments- played on what seems like a continuous loop on YouTube- that essentially blame 9/11 on America, and reveal a huge reservoir of toxic anger against insults both real and imagined perpetrated by White America against Black people.
Monday, December 22nd, 2008
There’s a nice campaign, “Unite The Lights,” to have — on the night of Tuesday, December 23 — a spiritual linkage of Chanukah lights everywhere, beginning with the candle lighting at the Statue of Liberty. ”For you youngsters out there,” as Ed Sullivan used to say, Unite The Lights is doing a Monday launch on YouTube and Facebook, with a widget to ignite the light.
Lifting a frothy cappuccino with one hand and scribbling scraggly Hebrish notes with the other, David Saranga severed himself from his Twitter feed to sit down at a Midtown espresso bar last Monday, armed only with his BlackBerry and pocket-size digital camera.
Take a good, hard look at the cellphone in your pocket. Whether you’re an avid text messager or you’ve only recently learned how to change your ring tone to something snazzy, be forewarned. Within the next year or two, your cellphone will undergo such a radical transformation that you’ll view the phone you’re currently carrying around as terribly passé. And impersonal, too.
At least that’s what dozens of Israeli startups — and their funders —are betting on.
More than 35,000 people have joined the Facebook group “Israel is not a country! ... Delist it from Facebook as a country!”
Type “Jew” into the search function on YouTube, and you’ll discover a host of anti-Semitic videos, including “911 Jew Spy Scandal 3” and a video clip in which National Polish Party’s Leszek Bubel declares himself a “proud anti-Semite.”