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Hilly said in January 15th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

That is the cutest video. Awww, it made me do a chair dance!
I don’t have any JewJew questions right now but will come back if I think of any.

Oh wait, what is “meshugga” and why did someone call me that? ;)

Hillys last blog post..Procrastination Station…

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Sarah said in January 15th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

This post makes me feel like I should have some questions about Judaism. I will try and think of one.

Sarahs last blog post..The GSD Interview

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Sarah said in January 15th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

And I’m the first commenter for once? Usually I’m like days late to these things. Nice.

Sarahs last blog post..The GSD Interview

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Faiqa said in January 15th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

OK, I’ve got one. What exactly is “kosher”? And when something is “kosher certified,” what exactly does that mean?

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shiny said in January 16th, 2009 at 10:46 am

Hilly: “Meshugga” is actually a Yiddish derivation of a Hebrew word which is almost identical, pronnounced “me-shu-GAH.” Either way, it means crazy.

And I have no idea why anyone would dare call you that. ;)

Sarah: Yeah – go you for actually getting your comment freak on! When you figure out a question, I’ll be here…

Faiqa: I could go on for pages and pages about this stuff. :)

“Kosher” typically is the Jewish/Hebrew word which means “fit for eating.” The literal Hebrew word means almost the same thing that halal does in Arabic — permissible according to the laws and standards of the religion.

In fact, from what I’ve read about Halal and kashrut (just another conjugation of the word kosher), they are quite similar in many ways. The laws which compose the rules of keeping Kosher are derived from the Torah (first five books of Scripture) as well as rabbinic commentary which became codified law about 1800 years ago. The rules prohibit eating certain animals (they must have split hooves and chew their cuds) and birds (birds of prey are forbidden) and fish (only with fins and scales) and detail a proper method of slaughtering these animals (similar to Muslim Dhabiha. Wikipedia is my friend!). There’s also a prohibition against eating dairy products with meat and poulty products, and it expands to some traditional Jews having different sets of utensils for dairy and meat products.

As for the certifications: I think this is slightly different from Halal certification — as there are specific organizations which supervise food manufacturing in order to certify everything as kosher. Each has its own trademark, some of which are more well-known than others. Example: the U with a circle around it is one of the gold standards — a certification from the Union of Orthdox Rabbis (also called the OU), but you also see a K with a circle around it, a K with a triangle around it, a K with a star around it — lots of different ones. Rabbis or designees do thorough, routine inspections of the ingredients and assembly line components on a regular basis.

So — these trademarks of certification on a product designate that a specific organization has deemed the product kosher. And usually these organizations are more stringent (and to some, neurotic) than most people who follow the laws of keeping kosher.

Hope that explains things. :)

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Hilly said in January 16th, 2009 at 10:57 am

Oh I do have a question…wow, something I’ve not asked you about before!

Why do Jewish men wear yarmulkes (kippahs?) on their heads? What is the significance there?

Hillys last blog post..Procrastination Station…

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Becky said in January 16th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Ok, I have a question. Why is it custom to cover the mirrors when sitting shivah (I apologize if I spelled that wrong)? I’ve always been curious as to what it represents.

Beckys last blog post..Northern Neighbor

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whall said in January 17th, 2009 at 1:28 am

That video was awesome. It really takes me back – I’ve seen every single one of those scenes. I especially remember the little yellow-shirted kid with the pronounced shoulders dancing and looking back and forth like he’s shrugging.

I’m surprised YT hasn’t banned his video for the music. The last video I uploaded said “sorry, that music is copyrighted by Donald Fagen and has been removed…”

Now for my Jewish question.

Why the persecution? I don’t know any bad Jews. Am I just lucky?

whalls last blog post..I’ll take “impressive SharePoint people” for $1000, Alex

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shiny said in January 18th, 2009 at 7:57 am

Hilly: There are a couple of reasons out there, but most of them stem from it being a symbol of respect and humility in the presence of God. You’ll find that some people will wear hats instead for similar reasons. (Ultra-Orthodox women shaving their heads and wearing wigs is a different story altogether.)

Becky: Technically it’s a Hebrew word, so there’s really no way to spell it incorrectly. :) Covering the mirrors also has a few traditional reasons, but I suppose the most widely recognized is helpful psychologically: you’re going to feel really crappy during the first seven days of mourning. The mirrors are covered so you don’t have to focus on how crappy you may think you look during that time. It’s not about physical appearances, and the people coming to visit know that as well.

whall: I think the video simply has slipped under the radar as it is (a) relatively old, and (b) not one of the top plays on YouTube.

As for your questions: The persecution stems from the reason any group gets persecuted — people fear that which is different from them. The Jews have appeared different, talked different, eaten different food, etc. That’s probably the best explanation I can give.

As for bad Jews — I can’t really objectively judge if someone is “bad.” But there are some people whose actions have been pretty filthy who happen to be Jewish. First one who comes to mind as of late is Bernard Madoff…

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