A “7 Deadly Sins Halloween Party” held in D.C. Saturday night featured dreidels and gold coins in its “greed” room.
“I was very offended. I just thought it was completely inappropriate,” said a partygoer who didn’t wish to be identified.
The event was sponsored by LivingSocial, a website offering discount deals at area businesses. The Oct. 26 party was billed as a “treat yo self to a night of tricks — and sins — at the annual 7 Deadly Sins Halloween Party, a six-floor extravaganza” and was held at LivingSocial’s 918 F Street space in northwest D.C.
For $59, a person was invited to “indulge in a silent disco, movie screening” and fun in seven different rooms. Each room’s theme revolved around a sin, including lust, pride, wrath, gluttony, envy, sloth and greed.
The greed room was described as “a shimmering room full of silver and gold” in which people “get greedy challenging friends to a plethora of games.” Decorating the tables in that room were dreidels surrounded by gold coins, according to one woman who attended.
Kevin Nolan, of LivingSocial’s publicity department, apologized. “We have looked into it and determined that the inclusion of dreidels with the other games in the gaming room was not a smart choice, and we are very sorry to have upset anyone. Certainly this behavior does not reflect who we are as a company.”
The customer who complained was “offered a full refund and explained that any offense was unintended” and was given a sincere apology, Nolan said.
The upset partygoer said she considered the room’s decorations “clearly anti-Semitic” and that although she has enjoyed other LivingSocial events, like cooking classes and wine tastings, she has no intention of ever attending another one of the company’s events again.
This Halloween, treat yo' self to a night of tricks -- and sins -- at the annual 7 Deadly Sins Halloween Party, a six-floor extravaganza including seven themed cocktails, snacks, and unique entertainment. On Saturday, October 26, seven rooms inside LivingSocial's 918 F Street space will be transformed to represent each of the deadly sins; you'll also indulge in a silent disco, movie screening, and so much more.
Choose from the following offers: • $59 for General Admission for one • $79 for VIP admission for one with one-hour early entry and two additional full cocktails
7 deadly rooms
Lust: This sultry room will feature a burlesque show that we'll enjoy while sipping on a Lustini cocktail.
Pride: Drink a Cockytail vodka creation and dance the night away in a silent disco with a battle of the DJs hosted by Silent Storm -- with your vote for the winner tallied using light-up headphones.
Wrath: Get your rage on during live superhero vs. zombie battles presented by American Parkour Academy (expect lots of flips and tricks!) while taking a Shot to the Face jello shot.
Gluttony: In the state-of-the-art demo kitchen, feast your eyes and stomach on a gourmet paradise of sweets, paired with a Sweet as Sin cocktail shooter.
Envy: Sip on a Green Monster cocktail while dancing to beats by DJ EPX in this room that glows green with envy.
Sloth: Kick back on a couch, watch Dracula, and stuff your face with handfuls of snacks available for purchase. Wash it down with the Sloshed Sloth cocktail.
Greed: In this shimmering room full of silver and gold [DREIDELS!], we'll get greedy challenging friends to a plethora of games, all while sipping on a Midas Touch cocktail.
No one apparently thought to take a picture of the Greed Room.
Monday night marks the national premier broadcast of the American Masters installment on Mel Brooks. To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a collection of Brooks’ best Jewish clips.
What exactly that means is a good question. As with two others recent subjects on the PBS series — Woody Allen and Phillip Roth (hey, guys, maybe change it up a bit, before Pat Buchanan notices) — you could make the argument that Brooks’ entire oeuvre is an extension of his very Jewish background, sensibilities, hang-ups, etc., and hence any and all of his work can be considered Jewish. Take “Young Frankenstein”: It lacks any explicitly Jewish gags, but some critics (here and here) have no trouble making the case that the film is very Jewish.
Babushka's all time favorite Mel Brooks films are:
Blazing Saddles History of the World Part I The Producers Spaceballs
The Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" is a challenger to the best of Brooks, but Woody Allen and Philip Roth are lame, lame, lame. Monty Python's "Life of Brian" is way more hilarious than anything produced by "I Shtupped My Stepdaughter" Allen or penned by the excruciatingly self-hating Mr. Literary Giant Douche Roth, even though Monty Python is not really Jewish humor.
The kerchief on her head and long skirt she was wearing didn't stop Zvia Margaliot, an Orthodox Jewish wife and mother from Jerusalem, from winning the Poetry Slam competition last week at Tel Aviv's Levontin 7 club.
As opposed to many spoken-word (memorized text) artists as well as prophets of doom or ordinary street-corner poets, Margaliot does not preach anything; on the contrary, she succeeded in conveying her profound ideas through a great deal of humor and charm.
At Poetry Slam, Margaliot performed two of her original selections: In "Charity Will Save From Death," she spoke about her complex relationship with the poor of Jerusalem, while "A Third Breast" was about breast feeding, couples and family.
"May He be blessed and His name be blessed, who created His world/ With such fatal disharmony, with such total lack of coordination/ Between nothing and not a thing/ Eternity he gave to stones, and to words, to world-famous poets, the poor things. And to me he gave dishes,/ laundry, laundry, yes, why hide it/ And the nights that end only when the three of us are already exhausted,/ And to be the materials from which poems are created," she declaimed towards the end of the "The Third Breast."
While the audience was still surprised by the words, Margaliot took an artistic pause, then ended the selection with a line that resolved the ostensible contradiction contained in her blessing. To those interested in hearing how, she will take part in another evening of Poetry Slam tomorrow at Jerusalem's Avram Bar.
Margaliot, 29, studied acting and works as a tour guide in Jerusalem. She says she does theatrical tours in which she plays imaginary Jerusalem characters, and under cover of these characters performs spoken-word selections. "I started to do spoken word - and discovered that that's what it's called - about half a year ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter. I write poetry, but I think that there's something very annoying about poetry: All the pomp that accompanies it, that heaviness at poetry evenings. On the other hand, 'spoken' has the atmosphere of the slam, in other words of a contest. You have to be relevant, to speak simply, in everyday language. I like that."
The new video, “Call Your Zeyde!” combines smart politics and humor with this entertaining musical spoof featuring Michelle Citrin, the indie singer who starred in the YouTube hits, “20 Things to do with Matzah” and “Rosh Hashanah Girl.”
Two Brooklyn women are upsetting the Jewish order with an in-your-face brand of worldly rock music.
Hasidic duo Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe would normally blend into their Crown Heights neighborhood as easily as large stoops or double-parked cars. But stand them behind a microphone or a set of drums and they become a sexy rock duo with its own cult following.
“We have standards that we believe in, and they’re very clear to us,” said Shusterman, lead singer of the group Bulletproof Stockings. “We want to be role models, but we can’t make everybody happy.”
The band, named for the opaque pantyhose many Hasidic women wear, naturally has to balance the fine line between the secular and the Hasidic. For example, they only perform in front of women.
But there’s an upside to that, they said.
“Women will party and rock out in a completely different way when there’s nobody there but women,” said Wolfe, 26, who favors sheer stockings paired with stilettos when she and her band mate hit the stage.
“We don’t perform for men because there is a mitzvah [Jewish commandment] that they’re not supposed to listen to women sing. So we’re trying to be respectful.”
Israeli film director Rama Burshtein with "unidentified guest" (her husband).
VENICE, Italy — Israeli director Rama Burshtein provides an intimate
look inside the private world of Tel Aviv’s Hasidic community in the
film “Fill the Void,” which premiered this weekend in competition at the
Venice Film Festival.
A Hasidic Jew herself, Burshtein said she wanted to create a
portrait of family life within the community without presenting it in
conflict with the secular world.
“The Orthodox world is so interesting it does not need to cope with
the secular,” Burshtein told a news conference Sunday. “It can be very
interesting and the drama can be very strong inside.”
The film is
about an 18-year-old girl named Shira who struggles with whether she
wants to marry her brother-in-law, Yochay, after her sister Esther dies
giving birth. The decision is all Shira’s, despite the strict formality
within the community, and the movie ultimately is a story about facing a
difficult decision and becoming a woman.
“It’s all about
emotions and choices and what leads you to do what you do,” said actress
Hadas Yaron, who played Shira. “I’m also young. But Shira is different
from me because she is not familiar with all these feelings she
experiences for the first time.”
The movie shows intimate rituals
of the Hasidic community, from Esther’s funeral to her infant son’s
circumcision ceremony immediately after, Sabbath dinner and the workings
of the matchmaker, who helps broker marriages as girls reach Shira’s
The community, while residing inside the bustling and secular
city of Tel Aviv, is very self-contained. In one scene, as the men
study, someone gets up to close the windows that allow sounds of secular
Tel Aviv to drift inside.
“This moment in the movie really gives
the idea of being in the environment,” said Yiftach Klein, who plays
the brother-in-law Yochay.
Burshein, 45, was born in New York and
graduated from film school in Jerusalem in 1994. During that period, she
became deeply religious. She has since been making films within the
Orthodox community to help promote self-expression.
“I love this world. I chose this world. I was not born to this world,” she said.
Jerusalem - As the Israeli Defense Force continues its controversial efforts to recruit Chareidi enlistment, a soon to be released music video featuring superstar Lipa Schmeltzer dancing with Israeli soldiers has made headlines in Israel.
According to Israeli news source Maariv, Schmeltzer shoot footage for the video several days ago in Jerusalem’s Kikar Tziyon, clad in army fatigues, with members of the Nachal Chareidi’s Netzach Yehuda division.
The music video features the song Mizrach from Schmeltzer’s most recent album and the song, along with its accompanying dance, has been growing in popularity since its release. The theme of the song is unity, describing how in the times of Moshiach, Jews from all across the religious spectrum will join together as one.
Schmeltzer stresses that he had no intention of making any sort of political statement with this video, a joint project between the superstar and producer Danny Finkelman.
“I am not taking any stand on whether or not Chareidim should be enlisting in the IDF,” Schmeltzer told VIN News. “I am taking a stand on achdus [unity]. We are a family, we are all brothers and I dance with everyone. I say the words ‘v’yikabetz nidacheinu’ [gather our exiles] three times a day in davaning [prayer] and if those words are meant only for Jews from Borough Park or Bnei Brak, I have a problem with that.”
Tel Aviv University announced Monday that it would not permit a scheduled Wagner concert to take place on its campus, after it had evoked angry protests.
In a letter to Attorney Yonathan Livni, who had submitted the request to hire the campus' Smolarz Auditorium for the event on June 18, the university denied the request, accusing him of deliberately concealing the intention to perform Richard Wagner's works. The university also claimed that Livni did not mention the name of the organization he represented.
Livni, the founder of the Israel Wagner Society, asked the university last week to hold a concert, conducted by Asher Fisch, in the auditorium, making no mention of planning to perform Richard Wagner's works, the university spokesman said.
"You deliberately concealed this basic fact from us...We received angry protests calling to call off the controversial event...[which] would deeply offend the Israeli public in general and Holocaust survivors in particular," he said.
Wagner, who espoused anti-Semitic views during his lifetime, was also Adolf Hitler's favorite composer. Attempts to perform Wagner in Israel over the past 30 years have always generated heated controversy.
Babushka loves Wagner's music and will continue to listen!
How many Jews did Wagner kill?
Which of Wagner's musical works explicitly portray Jews as bad people, or at all?
"Wagner, who espoused anti-Semitic views during his lifetime" this is not expressed in his music so who cares? Was Wagner significantly more anti-Semitic than other prominent composers of that period? OK maybe he was more anti-Semitic than Mendelssohn, but what about Brahms? Franz Liszt? Johann Sebastian Bach? Georg Frederich Handel? You can probably find more anti-Semitic stuff in the scores of Bach and Handel (they composed predominantly church music) but their music isn't banned in Israel.
Wagner was not a Nazi. Wagner did not kill any Jews. So please stop this silliness.
This song is catchy and addictive! Just like game of falling blocks!
To Moscow I came seeking fortune But they’re making me work til I’m dead The bourgeoisie have it so easy The Tsar’s putting gold on his bread The people of Moscow are hungry But think what a feast there could be If we could create a socialist state That cared for the people like me:
I am the man who arranges the blocks That descend upon me from up above. They come down and I spin them around Til they fit in the ground like hand in glove. Sometimes it seems that to move blocks is fine And the lines will be formed as they fall - Then I see that I have misjudged it! I should not have nudged it after all. Can I have a long one please? Why must these infernal blocks tease?
1918: GLORIOUS REVOLUTION!
I am the man who arranges the blocks That continue to fall from up above. Come Muscovite! Let the workers unite! A collective regime of peace and love. I work so hard in arranging the blocks But the landlord and taxman bleed me dry But the workers will rise! We will not compromise For we know that the old regime must die. Long live Lenin, kill the tsar! We salute the sickle and star!
I am the man who arranges the blocks That continue to fall from up above. The food on your plate now belongs to the state A collective regime of peace and love. I have no choice in arranging the blocks Under Bolshevik rule, what they say goes. The rule of the game is we all are the same And my blocks must create unbroken rows.
Long live Stalin! He loves you! Sing these words, or you know what he’ll do…
I am the man who arranges the blocks That are made by the men in Kazakhstan. They come two weeks late and they don’t tessellate But we’re working to Stalin’s five year plan.
I am the man who arranges the tanks That will make all the Nazis keep away The Fuhrer is dead, and Europe is Red!
Let us point all our guns at the USA. We shall live forever more! We can start a nuclear war!
I am the man who arranges the blocks That are building a highly secret base. Hip hip hurrah for the USSR! We are sending our men to outer space.
I work so hard in arranging the blocks But each night I go home to my wife in tears - What’s the point of it all, when you’re building a wall And in front of your eyes it disappears? Pointless work for pointless pay This is one game I shall not play.
I am the man who arranges the blocks! But tomorrow I think I’ll stay in bed. The winter is cold, I’ve got plenty of gold And I’m standing in line for a loaf of bread Maybe we’d be better off If we brought down Gorbachev
I am the man who arranges the blocks That continue to fall from up above. The markets are free! So much money for me! Tell me, why should I care for peace and love? The markets are free! So much money for me! Tell me, why should I care for peace and love? Peace and love, peace and love!
And now the wall is down, the Marxists frown There’s foreign shops all over town When in Red Square, well don’t despair There’s Levi’s and McDonald’s there The US gave us crystal meth And Yeltsin drank himself to death But now that Putin’s put the boot in, Who’ll get in our way?
So we reject free enterprise And once again the left will rise. Prepare the flags to be unfurled For we’re seceding from the world: We shall regain the Georgian soil We shall obtain the Arctic oil We shall arrange the blocks and toil Forever and a day.
Staging free children's shows on Passover in predominantly Jewish areas discriminates against Arab children, according to a High Court of Justice petition filed on Monday on behalf of two 7-year-old Israeli Arab girls and the Arab rights organization Adalah.
The petitioners are asking the court to issue an interim injunction ordering the Culture and Sports Ministry to delay the government-funded shows scheduled to be performed in 110 predominantly Jewish cities and towns. The ministry refers to the shows collectively as "Operation Afikoman," after the piece of matza for which children traditionally search at the end of the Passover seder, which takes place Friday night.
"Making a list of towns that excludes all the Arab towns in outlying areas constitutes an arbitrary decision that is not based on egalitarian criteria," states the petition, filed by Adalah lawyer Sawsan Zahar. "This distinction between the towns, which in turn leads to distinctions between Jewish children and Arab children, undermines the constitutional right to equality that is part of the constitutional right to dignity enshrined in the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom."
"The request for an interim injunction is necessary in light of the simple fact that implementing the program for a single population only, without without previous legislative authorization, infringes on the right to equality and is unconstitutional as long as the discrimination has not been remedied," the petition states.
The hundreds of thousands of Arab children in the country have school vacations at Passover time, just as Jewish children do, said Adalah. In addition, they said, Christian Arabs like the two girls from the Galilee town of Yafia who filed the petition are also celebrating a holiday: Easter.
Pop Star Katy Perry’s dad, Keith Hudson, is making sure the flames of Antisemitism are alive and well in Ohio. He gave a sermon this week to his fanatical church where he slammed Jewish people.
“You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey,”, the preacher ranted right before he passed around a collection plate where pleased congregants ponied up cash for Hudson and his wife.
He went on to say “You go to LA and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. Walk down a part of LA where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah. Amen.”
The preacher was asked if it is hypocritical for him to bash Jews as being rich and having too much money and then collect other people’s cash? He replied that he lives off the gospel and nothing else.
“You are the parents of Katy Perry, you must be rich.’ No, she is, I am not, hallelujah.”
This was Hudson’s first sermon since Katy Perry announced her divorce from comedian Russell Brand. He had this to say about his daughter:
“People say ‘How is it you have a daughter raised in the church and she sang ‘I kissed a girl and liked it’? I say ‘I don’t know.’ I’m sure Katy is trending on the Internet just to get you into church tonight.”
This would not be the first time he evoked the pop star’s name then asked for money.
Jerusalem - More than 250 women participated in a flashmob in Beit Shemesh Friday morning, dancing in protest of the gender segregation in the public space.
Passersby and locals running to the bank in the Old Beit Shemesh city square were surprised to see a group of women grooving to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” in the small town outside Jerusalem, a flashpoint of conflict over gender segregation in recent weeks. Inspired, some residents joined into the dancing, which was organized via Facebook over the course of three weeks.
Dance organizer Miri Shalem said that the event was organized in protest of the violent extremist actions of “the group of crazies,” and to show that there is another side to Beit Shemesh. “Today the women and girls demonstrated our unity in public and I hope we will continue to do this in the future in order to improve our city,” she said.
In recent weeks, an ultra-Orthodox man spit on an 8-year-old girl for “immodest” dress, and a subsequent protest for women’s rights drew national attention, featuring speeches from national political leaders.
“We wanted to express our feelings in a unique way and highlight a different face of Beit Shemesh,” said Brenda Ganot, a flashmob organizer and Beit Shemesh resident.
“We love our city and want peaceful coexistence between the different sectors of the population; however, we will not sit quietly and let a group of crazy extremists set the tone for our city.”
I have just finished buying holiday presents for 27 of my 29 grandkids (OK, two toddlers still need to be shopped for) and I accomplished this daunting task without taking out a second mortgage, and more importantly, buying gifts that are meaningful and educational. Here are some "easy" "weird" "tips" and "tricks" (using Google scam words, here!) to make your holiday shopping less burdensome.
1. Find out what your kids (and grandkids) want. Don't ask them directly! Hint around. Since Jewish families do not believe in Santa, this means Bubbie & Zaidy buy all the presents and they don't have a ton of money. So even though you are collecting a "wish list" make it clear that wishes don't grow on trees.
2. Shop early, and shop online! Forget "Black Friday." While some people love the crush and the smell of battle and sweet doorbusting bargains, I am not one of those mall warriors! All of your favorite stores have websites and sell stuff online, and the same bargains they have on the floor "Black Friday" are available, I'm not going to say "Cyber Monday" because I hate the word "Cyber" and these bargains are usually available in October. In fact sometimes prices can go up after the "holiday season" kicks in, so be alert!
3. Avoid buying toys that are based on licensed characters from movies and TV. If there is a trade name involved, this will increase the price! Your grandbabies may have their greedy little hearts set on some action figures of "Cars 2" or "Thor" or "Scooby Doo" but, stay away! In fact stay out of Walmart altogether. Their toy section contains only TV & movie-based crap, made in China, and their prices are higher than anywhere else, except for "Toys R Us." Stay out of "Toys R Us" too. If you want quality, low-priced toys, shop at Marshall's. They do not sell stuff online, but visit a store in your area.
4. Books are great gifts for kids, especially classics that you enjoyed yourself when you were a kid. Doverpublications.com has a fantastic selection of classics for all ages, very reasonably priced. WARNING: their "paper dolls" collection is not for children, but adults might enjoy them. They have "paper dolls" for both gays and straights.
5. Get toys that encourage creativity and scientific inquiry. Arts and crafts kits, origami, stained glass (or stained plastic), paint-by-number, plaster art, sand art, watercolors, oil pastels, even coloring books and crayons. If your child is not artistic, look for science toys: optics, weather balloons, model dinosaurs, a cheap microscope (if your future surgeon enjoys it, you can always get a more professional model later), rock collecting, insect collecting, the possibilities are endless!
6. Teenagers and grown-up children are tough to shop for, since they tend to crave high-end toys like iPhones, iPads, and Mustangs. Ask yourself: how much is all your guilt worth? Reciprocity should be a factor here. Bubbie likes bling. You want a Kindle? All you kids can chip in and get Bubbie a Pandora bracelet, not that cheesy personalized calendar you gave last year, with everyone's birthdays in it.
7. Religious-based toys can be educational and fun. A wooden Noah's Ark is more appropriate to the season than a Tattooed Barbie doll. Remember there is a reason we celebrate these holidays other than to just get stuff.
8. Don't stress out! Gift giving should be an enjoyable experience, both for the giver and the receiver. Don't knock yourself out searching high and low for a gift for that person who is marginal to your life, or your cheap uncle or your snotty, impossible-to-please cousin. Get those people cheesy personalized calendars with your birthday and anniversary prominently highlighted. If they complain, so what! Give them NOTHING!
9. Get yourself a little something.
10. Give gifts of kindness. Give loaves of homemade bread or tins of homemade cookies. Bake a pie! Invite a lonely person for a festive meal. Sort, wash, mend and donate a load of outgrown clothing to a shelter. Volunteer at a pet rescue. Shovel snow for an elderly or disabled neighbor. The gifts that "keep on giving."
Well, some people would rather die than listen to Rebecca Black sing.
Israel Defense Forces soldiers should choose death before they remain at army events which include women's singing, a top settler religious leader said in an interview on Thursday.
The comment made by Elyakim Levanon, the rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh, came after earlier this week, 19 reserve major generals sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, imploring them not to allow harm to come to women's service in the army as a result of religious soldiers' demands.
The reserve officers indicated that their appeal comes in response to a series of recent events, including the boycotting of military ceremonies by religious cadets due to women singing.
The petitioners warned in their letter about harm caused to the motivation of women to serve in the army, as well as to what they termed damage to "the fundamental values of Israeli society."
However, in a radio interview on Thursday, Rabbi Levanon criticized a possible ruling that would forbid religious soldiers from leaving events over women's singing, saying that IDF soldier should choose death before complying with such an order.
"[The IDF] is bringing close the day in which rabbis will have to say to soldiers 'you have to leave those events even if there's a firing squad outside, and you'll be shot to death," Levanin said.
The Elon Moreh rabbi said he hoped that there will be "some wise people who will thwart this horrible move, and if not we'll have no other choice," adding that he would "recommend anyone who asked me against joining the army."
Women's singing has been but one example of rising tensions between IDF top brass and religious leaders, after last month, following orders from IDF rabbis, female soldiers were asked to leave the central event and had to celebrate in a separate area during the traditional dancing that marks the end of the Simhat Torah holiday.
Both sides should back down on this issue. Soldiers should be allowed to opt out of entertainment events, and women should enjoy the same opportunities that men have in the IDF (except the opportunity to be captured by Hamas). I don't understand how furthering someone's show business career is critical to national security.