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CHELM-ON-THE-MED©, NOVEMBER 2014 COLUMN 2
The fact that this year is a shmita year – one in seven years when the Bible says the Land of Israel must remain fallow – prompted a group of fearless kashrut supervisors to ‘set up camp’ in Jordan in order to procure veggies for their brethren in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel – literally ‘sleeping on the job’ on weekdays and returning to Israel for Shabbat.
Due to security concerns, the supervisors disguise themselves as Arabs to blend into the local scene. But who says ‘not every day is Purim’??? This story would probably not have made the cut, had it not been for the incredible photograph that accompanies the news item:
OK, there’s a gray-bearded Jewish kashrut supervisor dressed in a traditional long striped Bedouin jellabiya and red-checked Hashemite kafiyahs that hides his side curls. But who’s the bloke standing next to him, dressed in western apparel with aviator shades and sporting (yikes!) …a kova tembel*?! Apparently the Jordanian hot house owner. (Yediot)
* literally, a ‘fools cap’ – a ‘signature’ Israeli head covering associated with Zionist pioneering that’s as emblematic as a Star of David.
Seven year-old Liron Tzadok has a very unique learning disability. The kid is lethally allergic to all kinds of fish. He doesn’t have to eat fish to die; touching or even smelling a tuna fish sandwich in another kid’s backpack can endanger his life!
Classified by National Insurance as 100 percent disabled, when Tzadok entered first grade, to avoid home schooling the Ministry of Education assigned a special full-time “medical assistant” to accompany the kid to school – to assure nothing fishy came into his classroom…and jab Tzadok with an antidote and call an ambulance if the escort so much as suspected a breakdown in the across-the-board ban on fish imposed by his school.
Now that Tzadok is in 2nd grade, the Ministry wants to reduce his medical escort to three hours - before, during and after the lunch break. Floored by the policy change, his parents hit the ceiling and called the newspapers(Yediot)
PAY FOR SEX?!
In an age of gender equality it was only a matter of time until some guy socked his ex-girlfriend for ‘stealing his sperm’…
A Tel-Aviv magistrate court has accepted a bachelor’s complaint that he was hoodwinked – or perhaps one should say ‘kidnapped’ by his former girlfriend whose biological clock was ticking away, and was determined, to become a single mother by hook or by crook.
The bench awarded the plaintiff 110,000 NIS ($31,428) in damages* because his girlfriend assured him she couldn’t have children…then almost overnight turned around and announced she was unexpectedly expecting. The expectant mother swore she would appeal the ruling, although the Israel Supreme Count has already ruled in the past that ‘enticement of a potential sex partner between two consenting adults is not a crime.’ (Yediot)
* While the mother-to-be had no grounds to log a counter suit to ‘recoup her losses,’ according to legal experts her offspring has the right to demand child support from Day One for the next 16 years.
Israel’s Minister of Housing Uri Ariel and Minister of Senior Citizens Affairs Uri Urbach have cooked up a plan to ease housing shortages and high rents by linking the database of college students looking for affordable housing with a database of seniors with spare rooms in their apartments.
The special lease drawn up by ‘the two Uris,’ stipulates that the first 400 students to enroll in their pilot will pay only 250 NIS ($65.80) per month* in rent to cover their utilities usage, in exchange for spending four hours a week helping their elderly flatmates by doing errands or repairs, or simply providing companionship. (Arutz 7)
* Fulfillment of the terms of the arrangement for a full year will makes the students eligible for an 8,000 NIS ($2,105) annual government stipend, as well.
THE NEXT ‘MUST HAVE’ GADGET?
Think you’ve seen everything?
Meet the multi-tasking eTree – a cross between public sculpture and public utilities: a tree shaped installation sprouting green solar panels in lieu of leaves that comes with two shaded wooden benches, a table, a USB charger docking station and free WiFi, a water cooler and a pet drinking trough. Moreover, the eTree automatically lights up like a Christmas tree at night.
The designers – engineers at Solorgic Renewable Energy Solutions – believe eTrees should be installed not only in city parks and plazas, but even on hiking trails.
How do you get one? How much does it cost? We haven’t a clue.
An overly ‘creative’ English teacher at the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts in Givatyim spent a lesson sharing with her students the poem “Richard Cory” written by Edwin Arlington Robinson(1869–1935) - yup, the same Richard Cory immortalized and popularized in a song composed by Simon and Gurfunkel in their 1966 hit album Sounds of Silence. .
But rather than discussing with her students ‘’masks and appearances’ and ‘whether osher (wealth, spelled with an ayin) ensures osher (happiness, spelled with an aleph), the English teacher told her 11th graders to go home and write a suicide note as homework…
The school principal cancelled the assignment and ordered a school psychologist to talk with the students…a good idea considering Thelma Yellin’s” mission statement declares “at Thelma Yellin, we believe that students must be given the opportunity to put into practice things which they have learned in class.” (Yisrael HaYom)