weekly schmooze 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
"Certainly the most famous and perhaps the most beautiful baby born last week was a Jewish girl named Elisheba Rachel Taylor," began a 1959 Time article. "For according to Jewish legal theory, every convert is 'a newborn child.' And last week, 27-year-old Film Star Elizabeth Taylor became a Jew and acquired a ceremonial Jewish name: Elisheba, the Hebrew version of Elizabeth, and her own favorite Biblical heroine, Rachel, the 'beautiful and well-favored' wife of Jacob."
Elizabeth Taylor passed away last week at age 79. Countless articles have been published, including many on the religion she adopted at the age of 27, and remained dedicated to throughout her life. For those interested in learning more about Taylor's Judaism, the Schmooze recommends this CNN article, as well as a Jerusalem Post tribute to her pro-Israel actions.
Sometimes, a scoop is so juicy, it has to be shared, even if it's a century old – and that scoop is Mahatma Gandhi
's gay Jewish lover. Great Soul
, a new biography of the Indian leader by former New York Times
executive editor Joseph Lelyveld
claims that Gandhi was in love with a Jewish weight lifter
and architect named Hermann Kallenbach
. According to Lelyveld, Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach: "How completely thou have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance." In a letter to Kallenbach, he promised not to "look lustfully upon any woman," and pledged "such love as...the world has not yet seen."
On more current note, Jewish comedian Michael Ian Black
likes treif Mexican food. In fact, he likes it so much, that he has started a campaign on Twitter - where he has 1.6 million followers - using the hashtag #mibfortacobell
to make himself the spokesman for Taco Bell. Black wrote a manifesto
on comedy site Funny or Die, in which he claims to be a man "unafraid to look danger in the eye" and "unafraid to eat a chalupa. A gordita. Cheesy fiesta potatoes" and "stuff his face without fear or complaint." He also created a video, in which he implores US President Barack Obama
to involve himself in this issue of national importance. Celebrities like LeVar Burton
and Rainn Wilson
have voiced their support for Black, but Obama has yet to respond.
Speaking of internet memes, the latest video to go viral is "Friday" by Rebecca Black
The 13-year-old's parents paid $2,000 to a production company that
wrote a song and created a music video for Black. The song's lyrics are
so absurd and silly that it reached number 19 on the iTunes charts
(higher than her favorite singer Justin Bieber
and over 55 million people have watched her sing "yesterday was
Thursday, Thursday, today is Friday, Friday, tomorrow is Saturday, and
Sunday comes afterward." Black has yet to make any sort of statement on
the subject, but there are two reasons to believe that she may be
1. Rebecca Black's parents bought her this VERY expensive gift for
her 13th birthday. What happens when a non-Orthodox Jewish girl turns
13? It's her Bat Mitzvah – a time when many a Jewish teen gets pricey
presents from mom and dad.
2. The song is called Friday! Everyone knows that Friday is a good
Jew's favorite night of the week. Kiddush, challah, a day of rest – what
more do you need for a good weekend?
In case you've been living under a rock for the past two weeks, here is
the video for "Friday." Warning: As dumb as the song may be, it is
extremely catchy, and will probably be stuck in your head all weekend
As International Women's History Month comes to a close, Michele Obama invited an Israeli woman
to join her on a visit to a Washington D.C. school and talk to students about the struggles she overcame. Miri Ben-Ari
the "hip-hop violinist," who has played with the likes of Janet Jackson
and Kanye West
will discuss her move from Israel and America, and having to give up on
her dream of being a musician because of economic problems, only to
come back as an even bigger star. If you can't imagine how hip hop and
violins can go together, watch this video:
Finally, we have "The Daily Show" dealing with "The Thin Jew Line" – a
controversial eruv in the Hamptons. In what could easily be a chapter of
Jew vs. Jew, some secular Jewish residents tried to stop Orthodox Jews
from moving their "groisse tuchus" into Westhampton Beach, while "Daily
Show" correspondent Wyatt Cenac
posited that "what happens in eruv, stays in eruv."
The Weekly Schmooze collects the
hottest Jewish culture news from around the world. Ranging from
celebrities to philanthropy to quirky communities, we're here to
schmooze about Jews.
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