Weekly Quiz

The Oscar Awards

Emmanuel Lubezki won the Oscar for Best Cinematography for the film The Revenant. Lubezki, a Jewish-Mexican with family roots in Bolshevik Russia, has now won this award three years in a row (having previously won for Gravity and Birdman). When Leo DiCaprio won the Best Actor award for The Revenant, he specifically thanked Lubezki, calling him by his nickname. What is that nickname?

Image courtesy of Davidlohr Bueso is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

ALubezki’s nickname is “El Chivo,” meaning “the goat.” He was given this nickname by a friend when he was five years old. Explained Lubezki, “I guess it was my face that looked like a goat.”

BLubezkis nickname is “El Canon.” Explained Lubezki, “I got my first camera when I was thirteen years old. It was a bar mitzvah present from an uncle of mine, and it was a Canon brand camera. Until then I didnt have any hobbies, but I loved taking pictures, and I never put that camera down. My father started calling me ‘El Canon,’ and the nickname stuck. I still have that camera to this day.”

CLubezkis nickname is “El Chapo,” meaning “the short one.” He was given this nickname by a friend when he was in high school. Explained Lubezki, “I had already become known for my photography skills, and I was the official photographer for my school newspaper. Because I was so short, I regularly used a stepladder when shooting school events. Thats why my friend started calling me ‘El Chapo’.”

DLubezkis nickname was “La Vaca,” meaning “the cow.” Explained Lubezki, “When I was growing up, my family kept kosher. That was strange to my friends, who ate traditional Mexican foods–camarón, shrimp, and puerco, which was pork. I only ate beef and chicken. One of my friends noticed that I always brought roast beef sandwiches to school and he started calling me ‘la vaca.’ Before you know it, the nickname stuck.”

ELubezkis nickname is “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan.” Explained Lubezki, “My good friend Herman Cain could never pronounce my name correctly. He tried to say it, but it just never came out right.”

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Trump

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump (okay, take a second and read those words again!) has drawn criticism from some Israel supporters because of his recent comments on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, when he stated, “Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” while declining to say who was at fault for the recent outbreak of violence. Yet Trump continues to argue that he is a friend to Israel, including remarks he made in January during an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. What did Trump say to prove his pro-Israel position?

Donald Trump - Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

A“Do I support Israel? Of course I support Israel. That’s why I've made their ‘build a wall around us’ idea the cornerstone of my policy against Mexico. Not to mention that I love falafel.”

BLook. This is the Christian Broadcasting Network. You love Israel. I love Israel. All of us Christians love Israel. Maybe more, even, than the Jews. Because our Messiah lived in Israel. Their Messiah, when He returns, could come from anywhere. But when He does come, you can be sure that because of my policies as Americas president, there will be an Israel for Him to return to.”

CDo you think I would have let my daughter marry a Jew if I wasnt a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people?”

DI was even the grand marshal for the Israeli Day Parade a few years ago. So I will back Israel.”

E"You think I dont love Israel? Thats ridiculous. I love Israel so much that I actually allowed a rabbi to put a beanie on my head when I visited the Western Wall in Israel a few years ago. And I usually dont let ANYONE touch my hair. So thats how much I love Israel.”

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Republican presidential candidates are dropping like flies, with only 5 left (candidates, that is, not flies). It seems like it was only three weeks ago when there were 12 candidates still in the race. Well, actually, there were 12 candidates still in the race three weeks ago, but you’re probably already feeling nostalgic for Jeb!, Bridgegate Christie, Ayn Rand Paul, and so many other fun action figures. But you’re in luck, because there’s still time to get

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Antonin Scalia, RIP

In the 2015 case of Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Supreme Court tackled the issue of whether passports of American citizens born in Jerusalem should list their birthplace as “Jerusalem” (as was the practice since Israel’s founding) or “Jerusalem, Israel” (as advocated by Zivotofsky). The court ruled that passports could continue to list only Jerusalem as the birthplace. Scalia, in opposition, criticized the judgment of the majority, saying what about their reasoning?

Antonin Scalia

AHe stated that their reasoning was “the ultimate in chutzpah.”

BHe stated that their reasoning was a “leap worthy of the Mad Hatter.”

CHe stated that “this is the first time that my liberal colleagues on the court have accepted my originalist view of the Constitution, that only the thoughts and intentions of our founders could shape our decisions on the profound questions before us. However, in this case, they are wrong to apply that standard. The fact that our founders did not mention Israel almost 200 years before its establishment in 1948 does not mean that they would have rejected the inclusion of that country’s name alongside the name of the holy city of Jerusalem.”

D. He stated that their reasoning is “jiggery-pokery, pure applesauce.”

E. He stated that their reasoning is “yisgadaly v’yiskadashy, pure gribenes.”

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Super Bowl 50

What role did the Israeli company Wix play in this year’s Super Bowl?

AWix is the parent company of Sabra, which produces the hummus which has been the National Football Leagues official dip since 2013. Sabra hummus was sold throughout Levi’s stadium, and was featured in an ad during the halftime show.

BWix is an engineering company that produces a variety of precision tools for the Israeli military aircraft industry, including engine thrust reversers, gearbox monitors, and engine pressure gauges. The NFL hired them to produce a small handtool that the referees could use to quickly measure the pressure of footballs, in order to avoid any possibility of another Deflategate scandal.

C. Wix is a “do-it-yourself” website development platform that advertised during the Super Bowl for the second straight year. Last year’s ad featured Brett Favre and this year’s ad featured Kung Fu Panda.

DBeyoncé released a new song and video last week, entitled Formation and she then performed the song during the Super Bowl halftime show. All the costumes in the video, as well as the costumes she wore during the Super Bowl performance, were created by the Israeli designer Alon Livne and his company Wix. Livne had previously created the wardrobe for Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in 2013 as well as gowns worn by Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, and others.

E. Wix is the graphic design and photo-editing company which was previously in the news when a Brooklyn-based Chassidic newspaper ran a picture of President Obama and his aides watching a live video broadcast of the raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed. Wix was responsible for the version of the picture that ran in the Chassidic press, which had Hillary Clinton removed, as the newspaper did not want to include a picture of a woman due to religious sensibilities. For the Super Bowl, Wix filtered the broadcast which went out to Chassidic communities in Israel and elsewhere, removing any shots of CBS’s female broadcaster Tracy Wolfson, Beyoncés entire performance, and all uses of the term pigskin by the commentators.

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Iowa

The focus today is on Iowa, with the 2016 caucuses just a few hours away. Iowa’s first Jewish settler dates back to 1833, when Alexander Levi arrived in Dubuque from New Orleans and helped develop lead mines. More recently, a Jewish resident of Postville, Iowa, referred to Jewish life in that town as “moshiach time” [messiah time]. Why did he say that?

APostville is the location of Agriprocessors, a kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant. Its former leader, Sholom Rubashkin, has been serving time in jail in New York after being convicted of bank fraud, money laundering, and other crimes. The statement was made because Rubashkin was recently released from prison and returned to his home in Postville.

BThe statement was actually made in a wishful manner. The man had recently moved to Postville from New York because of a job transfer. As he walked down Main Street looking in vain for a bagel store, he was trying to figure out a way out of Postville, concluding that only the coming of the Messiah would help.

CPostville is the location of Agri Star, a kosher meat packing plant which replaced the bankrupt Agriprocessors business. The man was reflecting on his time working for Agriprocessors when federal agents raided the facility and shut it down, and comparing that to today, when he is happily employed by the new owners who are running the business without scandal.

D. There is a belief in Judaism that the messiah will come “in a generation that loses hope.” The statement was made when the man read the latest polls in Postville showing Donald Trump with an 18 point lead.

EThe man was referring to religious services which are held at the Chabad of North Iowa in Postville. Attendees include Chassidim of all stripes, including Lubavitchers, Gerers and Bobovers, a coming together of diverse Chassidic groups that usually do not pray, work, or socialize together.

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