the schmooze

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Ancient Jewish "khokhme" (wisdom) says that one way we can know what a person is really like is by how he behaves when he's " shiker" (drunk/intoxicated). According to Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed.D., "There is general agreement that there are upwards of 10 million alcoholics in this country." Mel Gibson is one of them; he's also an anti-Semite.

In his inebriated state, Gibson told a (Jewish) police officer that "***king Jews are responsible for all the world's wars."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach reminds us that " The Talmud famously says that a man is known in three ways: What he says when he is drunk, what he says when he is angry ("broygez"), and what he spends his money ("gelt") on."

I remember the time I learned of anti-Semitism. My "tate-mame" (parents) were driving from New York to Miami Beach during the early 1950s. My mom suffered from asthma and we were joining a group called the "Pollen Dodgers" at the Algiers Hotel. The members frequently spoke about Arthur Godfrey, who was one of the best-known anti-Semites in show business. Godfrey owned the Kenilworth Hotel in Florida, which SUPPOSEDLY had a sign in front that read,


Other hotels--the Broadmoor, the Pan American hotel on 178th & Collins, advertised that it offered "informal living for a select clientele." This was a euphemism for "No Jews need apply."

Esterita "Cissie" Blumberg ("Remembering the Catskills - Tales by a Recovering Hotelkeeper") wrote, "While the Catskills had 'gentile resorts' in operation long before our ancestor arrived, they either were posh and expensive, or restricted, or both. Abby Dan, who grew up at Sha-Wan-Ga Lodge (Highview) has the original brochure used by the Christian resort owner who sold the property to his grandfather. The Dans used the same brochure with one monumental change: " No Hebrews Accommodated" became " Kosher Cuisine Featured."

Linda Chavez (New York Post) wrote, " Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest and ugliest forms of bigotry, which even the Holocaust has not seemed to eradicate. One would think that after the systematic torture and murder of 6 million innocent men, women and children, the world would recoil at Jew-baiting."

Not true! On July 11, 2006, swastika and other graffiti were scrawled on walls in a Jewish neighborhood in Rome, when huge crowds of soccer fans were in the streets to celebrate the nation's World Cup triumph. And on July 7, 2006, vandals sprayed two swastikas at a Jewish cemetery in western Germany. The vandals also daubed with paint the wall of the " beys-oylem" (cemetary) in the town of Alsach-Haehnlein, south of Frankfort. This is the "finfter" (5th) tune the cemetery has been desecrated in the past two years.

Many celebrities have experienced anti-Semitism. Anchor, Aaron Brown, calls anti-Semitism, "aggressive Christianity."

Mike Nichols, director, recalls American anti-Semitism while he was attending a boarding school in Connecticut. The mother of one of his friends with whom he rode horses would say, "Now we'd love you at the hunt club--there would be nothing wrong with that--because you're the RIGHT KIND OF JEW; it's those others that we really don't want."

Steven Spielberg ("Schindler's List") experienced anti-Semitism as a child. During his last year of high school--in Northern California--he was slugged in the mouth and kicked in the groin for being Jewish. He had pennies thrown at him in a very quiet study hall. People walked twenty yards out of their way to knock him into a wall on the way to class.

In the book, "Stars of David" by Abigail Pogrebin, Spielberg is asked how he reacts when he hears people say, in effect, "Enough with this anti-Semitism stuff; it's not an anti-Semitic world anymore." His reply: "I will join them in saying 'Enough of this anti-Semitism stuff' once this 'anti-Semitism stuff' is over."

Yes, I've read the novel, "Gentleman's Agreement." Yes, I've heard Archie Bunker ("All in the Family") say 'Hebe.'" I recall Archie's conception of SHALOM in such episodes as "Archie Finds a Friend." Archie greets Mr. Bernstein with, "As youse people say, shiboom."

What humorous and not-so-humorous things have been said about Mel Gibson:

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe has one final retort for Mel Gibson: "Shem zikh in dayn vaytn haldz." (You should be ashamed of yourself...or You should be ashamed to the bottom of your throat.)


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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