Weekly Quiz

Shark Attack

Shark attacks are on the rise around the world, with numerous attacks off the Carolina coast this summer and a recent fatal attack off the Australian coast. What was  unusual about a shark attack in the Middle East in 2010?

AThe Israeli navy was engaged in anti-terror training near Eilat on the Red Sea coast. The Israelis launched a small dinghy with two sailors on board, to mimic the situation where terrorists might try to land on the beach in a small craft. The dinghy, however, was overturned by a shark that proceeded to attack the sailors. Thankfully other sailors on a nearby Israeli warship were able to shoot the shark before the two men were severely injured.

B. Following a number of shark attacks in the Red Sea waters near Sharm el-Sheikh, including the fatal mauling of a 70-year-old German woman, an Egyptian authority suggested that the Israeli Mossad was responsible. “What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question,” said South Sinai Governor Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha.

CThe Israeli military was participating in war games over the Red Sea. A huge bomb was accidentally dropped very close to the Eilat coast. The explosion was so large that fish, coral, and even a few sharks were blasted out of the water and rained down upon the nearby beach. Thunder Levin, who had previously written such films as Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood! happened to be vacationing on that beach and used the event as inspiration for the writing of Sharknado, which became a huge cult hit.

D. In what was the world’s first indoor shark attack, an incident occurred at the Underwater Observatory Marine Park in Eilat. The facility, which includes a 1000 square meter shark pool, suffered a failure in a glass wall, enabling some sharks to come crashing through into the viewing area, where a number of tourists were attacked, though none seriously.

E. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo created an exhibit called “Mysterious Animals of the Bible” featuring animals mentioned in the Old Testament that are either mythical, now extinct, or not able to be identified as modern species. The animals, such as the attacus (a kind of locust), basilisk (believed to be a cobra or viper) and cockatrice (a serpent), were represented in the exhibit by living animals that were reminiscent of the biblical animals in some way. One biblical animal, the Leviathan, or sea monster, was represented by a great white shark. According to the Talmud Baba Bathra 75a, the Leviathan is to be slain and served to the righteous at the Time of Redemption. A mentally deranged person reached into the tank to remove the shark, shouting that he was going to eat the creature to help bring about the coming of the Messiah. The shark bit the man’s arm before he was rescued and apprehended by guards.

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Bill Cosby

From 1969 through 1971, Bill Cosby starred in a sitcom entitled The Bill Cosby Show, in which he played Chet Kincaid, a high school physical education teacher. The final episode of the series featured a Jewish character. What was the premise of that episode?

AA new student, Sarah, entered the high school. As a religious Jew, she would not change to gym clothes to play on the basketball team. The other girls on the team made fun of her for playing in a long skirt, and as a result, Sarah refused to participate. At first Mr. Kincaid thought she was just being difficult and he threatened to kick her off the team. But when he saw how resolute she was, he spoke with her parents and learned about the Jewish laws regarding modesty. He then called a team meeting without Sarah in attendance and explained the situation to the students. At the next practice, Sarah walked into the gym to see that all of the girls were wearing long skirts, and she ran over and joyfully joined in.

B. Danny Rosen was a new student who had transferred into Mr. Kincaid's school. Mr. Kincaid noticed Danny sitting by himself at lunch looking sad and asked him what was wrong. Danny explained that he had no friends, and that his bar mitzvah was in just a few weeks. To convince other students to come to Danny's bar mitzvah, Mr. Kincaid offered to do a comedy routine at the party. As a result, all the kids attended and listened to Mr. Kincaid tell funny stories that were based on the hijinks of the students. This episode became the basis for Cosby's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids animated television program.

C. A new teacher, Miss Jacobson, joined the faculty of the school as the girls gym teacher. Mr. Kincaid befriended her, showed her around the school, and took her under his wing. As they became more friendly, Mr. Kincaid asked her out on a date. She explained to him that she was touched that he asked, but that she could not go out with him as she had committed herself to only dating Jewish men. At first Mr. Kincaid was insulted, and he started treating her very curtly when he saw her at school. Eventually, however, he recognized that he was wrong, and he apologized to her, saying, “I shouldn’t have treated you badly. I should have respected your wishes as a proud Jewish woman. So now can we just go shoot some baskets?”

D. A new student, Harry, joined the community baseball team which Mr. Kincaid coached on Sundays. Harry, a Chassidic Jew, wore a yarmulke and had payess, and the other kids made fun of him and his “baby curls.” As it turned out, Harry was a great hitter and fielder, and he became the team hero. But he faced a dilemma when the next game was switched from Sunday to Saturday. Harry snuck out of his house on Shabbat and came to the ball field, intending to play. But following words of wisdom from Mr. Kincaid about being true to your beliefs, Harry decided to abide by his faith and headed off to synagogue.

E. Mr. Kincaid’s school hosted a Career Day program which featured parents of some of the students, who addressed a school assembly and discussed their jobs. David Cohen’s father spoke to the students about his job as a criminal defense attorney. After the talk, Mr. Kincaid approached him and said, “Mr. Cohen, can I have your business card? I gotta feeling that I’m gonna need it some day.”

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Greece

While Greece does not seem to have too many friends left in the world lately, Israel and Greece have maintained very close ties for many years. Speaking of the strong cultural ties between Greece and Israel in 2007, then-Israeli President Shimon Peres said what about the relationship between the two countries?

AIn Israel we love the Greek food. For us Greece is a country but also a flavor.

B. In Israel we love the Greek wine. For us Greece is a country but also a fragrant vineyard.

CIn Israel we love the Greek music. For us Greece is a country but also a melody.

DIn Israel we love the Greek dancing. For us Greece is a country but also a sensuous movement.

EIn Israel we love Greece. For us Greece is a country but also a great lubricant.

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Same Sex Marriage

As New York’s Gay Pride Parade celebrated the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage, many groups attended the parade in support or in protest. What was unusual about the Jewish Political Action Committee, whose members were at the parade?

AThis organization is a gay Orthodox group that was at the parade in support of the gay community and same sex marriage. However, the members of the group all wore masks to hide their identities, as they are not out in their communities, where homosexuality is considered a sin.

B. The group members were carrying signs protesting the possible deal between Iran and the Western powers regarding Iran’s nuclear energy program. When asked by a reporter why they were holding their protest at the Gay Pride Parade, Heshie Freed, spokesman for the group, said, “If the Iranians get nuclear weapons, it will mean the end of Israel and the end of the United States. We are prepared to show up anywhere and everywhere to raise the alarm that this so-called deal with Iran must not be signed and the Ayatollah must be stopped.”

CThis group of Orthodox Jews was protesting the parade based on their belief that homosexuality is a sin. They stood arm in arm with a group called Muslims for Traditional Values, who were there for the same reason. A month ago, however, the Muslim group had taunted the Jewish group at the Celebrate Israel parade in New York over their differences regarding Israel and Palestine. almost coming to blows until police separated them.

D. The members of this group of men wore tzitzit and carried signs referencing (among other things) the Biblical prohibition in Leviticus against homosexuality. Many of the men, however, were actually hired Mexican laborers dressed as Jews. A spokesman for the group explained that they usually bring yeshiva students to protests, but that “The rabbis said that the yeshiva boys shouldn’t come out for this because of what they would see at the parade.” Therefore, the workers were hired as “supplementary troops” in place of the students.

EThis group of Chassidic Jews was protesting the parade because of their belief that homosexuality is a sin. When the men and women in the group began to sing and dance the hora in sex-segregated circles, some parade marchers, assuming that this was a group of homosexual men and lesbian women, joined in the circles and danced with the protesters. A good time was had by all.

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