Weekly Quiz

Yogi Berra, R.I.P.

What did Yogi Berra say when he was told that a Jew was elected mayor of Dublin?

ADublin? Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

BIt’s like déjà Jew all over again.

COnly in America.

D. Why shouldn’t he? Jimmy Walker’s Irish, and he was elected mayor of New York.

E. Yeah? Well, he wouldn’t have won the election if the other guy had beaten him.

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Pope Francis

A body of rabbis in Israel calling themselves the Sanhedrin recently tried Pope Francis in absentia, for “crimes leading to the mortal endangerment of Israel and the Jewish nation.” What specifically did they claim was his crime, leading them to write [somewhat incoherently] that “these actions, to our great dismay, are consistent with a long series of actions and stances that are as in the days of the Roman Catholic Religion, that swore to persecute Israel because we refused to accept their Messiah as the Messiah of Israel, and to renounce our faith?”

A. The Sanhedrin tried Pope Francis over his statement about homosexuals, where he said, “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” The rabbis, who had previously worked together with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (the head of the Catholic Church in Israel) and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (the top Muslim cleric in Israel) to oppose any movement toward acceptance of homosexuality, saw the Pope’s statement as a betrayal of their joint efforts to fight against what they see as a biblical sin.

BThe Sanhedrin tried Pope Francis for recognizing “the organization known as the Palestinian Authority as a nation, and naming Abu Mazen, “the head of said authority, as an ‘Angel of Peace’. A letter from the Secretariat of the Court of Mount Zion of the Sanhedrin went on to say, “If His Honor the Pope, and the Vatican, do not apologize within two weeks of receiving this letter, and if he does not change his ways, we shall judge these actions in the Court of Mount Zion, in a court of 71 Jewish elders of Zion, and enact the prophecy of ‘The liberators will rise up upon Mount Zion, to judge the Mountain of Esau and the kingdom shall be God’s (Obadiah 1:21). The court shall judge the Vatican in its presence or in absentia, and it is possible that the Vatican will be found guilty of anti-Semitism, as has been known to be done several times throughout history, and to place responsibility upon the Vatican for all of the outcomes of its actions.”

CThe Sanhedrin tried Pope Francis because of his comments on climate change. Charged Rabbi Yehuda Halevy of the Sanhedrin, “Pope Francis stated that man has contributed to climate change and man must do something to reverse this process. This is blasphemy, as our liturgy clearly states ‘Mashiv HaRuach UMorid HaGashem. God causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall. We are disappointed that a man such as the Pope, who claims to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would challenge God’s dominion over the earth, and we intend to hold him responsible before a court of rabbinic sages.

DThe Sanhedrin tried Pope Francis because of his support of the Iran nuclear deal. The Popes spokesman had said “The way to resolve disputes and difficulties should always be that of dialogue and negotiation.” Sanhedrin spokesman Rabbi Yechiel Cohen stated, “There can be no negotiation about the right of Israel to exist. Anyone who believes otherwise is an enemy of Israel, and we will not allow outsiders to lead us down a path of destruction.”

E. The Sanhedrin tried Pope Francis over his red zucchetto, the small skullcap that he regularly wears. The skullcap had fallen from the Pope’s head as he bent to kiss a child during a recent public audience at the Vatican, and writing could be seen printed on the inside. According to Rabbi Eliyahu Aryeh Kiddin of the Sanhedrin, “The skullcap that the Pope wore was clearly stolen from a synagogue, as evidenced by the fact that the inside of the yarmulke read ‘Bar Mitzvah of Jacob Bienenfeld, Yaacov ben Moishe, May 16, 2015, 27 Iyyar 5775’.”

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High Holidays

A lawsuit has been filed in California against a number of synagogues, including Young Israel of Beverly Hills, alleging a violation related to the High Holidays. What is the lawsuit about?

AOn the High Holidays, these synagogues do not open their parking lots as it is a violation of Jewish law for congregants to drive. The suit, brought by residents who live near the synagogues, alleges that congregants are parking their cars illegally on side streets near the synagogues, blocking driveways, fire hydrants, and cross walks.

B. The lawsuit, filed by neighbors of the synagogues, states that shofar blowing in these synagogues during morning minyan and throughout the day on the High Holidays is a violation of noise regulations.

CThe suit, by animal rights activists, aims to prevent the synagogues from participating in the kapparos ritual wherein live chickens are swung overhead between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a form of atonement for sins.

DThe lawsuit was filed by animal rights activists who allege that the throwing of bread into waters for the pre-High Holidays tradition of tashlich is dangerous for ducks and other wildlife whose digestive systems are negatively affected when they eat the bread products.

EThe lawsuit was filed by congregants of these synagogues who allege that movie stars and other celebrities who are members of these institutions are given better seats at High Holiday services, even when their Kol Nidre appeal donation is lower than that of wealthy, but non-famous, members.

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Kim Davis, Rowan County, KY Clerk

Kim Davis is the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses because of her religious objection to same-sex marriage. What Jewish reference did her attorney, Mathew Staver, make when speaking about this case?

A. “Would the Supreme Court tell a rabbi to marry a Christian and a Jew? Or a Muslim and a Jew? What kind of rabbi would agree to that? None. And that's what we’re talking about here. Youre asking a Christian woman to enable the marriage of two men, or two women. So its not a matter of whether you think thats okay, or that the Supreme Court thinks thats okay. Its simply a matter that Mrs. Davis, as a Christian woman, does not think its okay.”

B“Does that mean that if you’re Christian, don’t apply here; if you’re a Jew, you gotta get — what happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment, then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses, then they continued to stigmatize them, then they were the ‘problems,’ then they killed them.”

CMrs. Davis is not the first person to suggest that certain couples just do not go together. Remember Tevyes words in Fiddler on the Roof, when Chava tells him, ‘Fyedka is not a creature, Papa. Fyedka is a man!? Tevye replies, ‘Who says he isnt? Its just that hes a different kind of man. As the Good Book says: Each shall seek his own kind. In other words, a bird may love a fish, but where would they build a home together? In Rowan County we too are talking about men who are ‘a different kind of man. There is no place for them to build a home together in Anatevka, and there is no place for them to build a home together in Kentucky.”

DI dont understand all the hatred that is being spewed toward my client. She did not make up the rules. Those are Gods rules. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Leviticus in the Old Testament, it says, ‘Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence’ (Leviticus 18:22) and ‘If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death—their bloodguilt is upon them’ (Leviticus 20:13). All that Mrs. Davis is doing is refusing to issue marriage licenses. Shes certainly not suggesting anyone be put to death.”

ETu on a khazer a shtrayml, vet er vern rov? If you put a shtreimel on a pig, would it make him a rabbi? I dont think so. And if you put a bridal gown on a groom, does it make him a bride? That I dont think so either.”

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