Daily Briefing: PURIMSPIEL! PURIMSPIEL! PURIMSPIEL! (March 10,2020)

WATCH:  A Purim Message from the White House:  JTVYouTube, Mar. 17, 2019 — A message from President Donald Trump you don’t want to miss.


“A Purim Fable for Our Time:  How the Star of David and Earmuffs Were Discovered”:  Allan M. Levine,  Daily Briefing, Mar. 10, 2020



Israel 12251 Purim festival in holon 2011
(Source: Wikipedia)

“Comrades, I’m a proud Jew.  Ask my fellow kibbutzniks in Israel. Israel has a right to exist. I say this all the time. But I equally love my Muslim brothers and sisters, especially the ones who think Zionists are creepy and that Jewish Benjamins are behind the US’s support for Israel. These are my kind of people.  Antisemites?  Definitely not. They just don’t know how to talk to Jews, or want to,” – said Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders, who was ousted from front-runner status by the Democratic Party on Super Tuesday in favor of the doddering former Vice President Joe Biden. (Primary Times, Mar. 2, 2020)

“Under my administration, every immigrant – documented or not – will receive free health care, free university tuition, a fully detached four-bedroom house with central air conditioning, a pool in the backyard, a plasma HD TV, free internet, an EV car, all the organic food they want, and the right to vote, even if they are serial killers.  These are not entitlements but human rights,” – shouted Democratic presidential probable has-been Bernie Sanders to wild applause at the third Democratic presidential debate.  Candidate Elizabeth Warren gave a thumbs up and then attacked fellow candidate Mayor Michael Bloomberg for daring to buy his way to the nomination.  (MISSNBC, Mar. 5, 2020)


 “It’s not that she was a woman; it’s just that she lacked talent.  Nobody liked her, as they like me,” – said President Donald J. Trump commenting on Elizabeth Warren’s decision to leave the race for Democratic presidential nominee following her disastrous Super Tuesday showing when even her indigenous brothers and sisters didn’t vote for her. (Not Clear Politics, Mar. 8, 2020) 

“I was all geared to run against Bernie, the communist.  Now I have Biden.  He’s easier,” – said President Donald Trump. (Under the Hill, Mar. 8, 2020)


“By the way, are you gonna stick with President on the following, President [awkward pause], the last guy, on this issue?” – said Democratic Party presidential front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden while campaigning somewhere.  “What’s his name; you know my former boss, the one who doesn’t endorse me.  But he did congratulate me on my Super Tuesday wins; that’s a step forward.  If only I could remember who he was. Oh well, it’ll come to me eventually, I guess.” (Geriatric Review, Mar. 3, 2020)


“He’s brilliant, incredible, a tough cookie,” – said President Donald J. Trump when awarding Conan, the “good” military dog with a medal of bravery in the Rose Garden.  Conan killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “a very bad man” during a US raid in Syria.  Trump elaborated on the final confrontation between the two. “Al-Baghdadi took one look at Conan who was licking his chops, and knew his time was UP.” (The Jahadi End of Times, Feb. 17, 2020)


“That guy [Donald Trump] has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and we will respond to Iran. There is no damn thing you can do,” – stated Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on his official website, while sticking out his tongue.  He was responding to President Trump’s threat to hold Iran responsible for lives lost and damages incurred to the US embassy in Baghdad by Shiite militant groups who were supported by Tehran.  Trump’s response: “Bye Bye Qassem Soleimani.” (Tehran Times, Feb. 19, 2020)


“I married my brother?  Islamophobia.  Sexism.  No, I will not show you my marriage certificates.  Those are mine; all mine,” – screeched an indignant Ilhan Omar (D- Minn) as she hid behind Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and AOC who were busy brushing journalists off. (Beyond the Hill, Feb. 5, 2020)


“I just respect them Benjamins too much to tolerate any longer Sanders’ nonsensical denunciation of billionaires, a status I have secretly aspired to since leaving falafel-making in Somalia with my  brother—whoops, I meant my husband–to seek my fortune in the U.S.”said Congresswoman Ilan Omar, throwing her support to Donald J. Trump (NPeeR RadioMinneapolis, Minn., 12 March 2020which also pointed out that Bernie had stopped denouncing millionaires when, some years ago, he became one.)


“Trump’s Deal of the Century” is the “Slap of the Century,” – declared Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  Apparently, the Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s peace deal in 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s peace offer were all little slaps leading up to this very big one.  President Abbas, in his 16th year of a four-year presidency, is still feeling the stings of these inherited slaps as he luxuriates in his multi-million-dollar home in the West Bank. (West Bank Blues, Feb. 19, 2020)


Dramatically deploring “unreasoning political chauvinism”, he announced today that, “in view of the deep national emergency, and  the remarkable record of Bibi Netanyahu’s stewardship”, he was filling out a Likud card and taking three colleagues with him, “in order to ensure, for the first time in a year, a functioning national government,”  — said Benny Gantz, head of the Blue-White party which lost the third, recent election in Israel (HaHa’aretzMar. 8, 2020)


“My father, Chaim Korbinsky, made the chopped liver at Bloom’s Deli in London’s  East End for forty years, and I can trace my lineage back to Shabbatai Tsvi, the 17th c. false messiah”, and forward to Isaac Deutscher, the “non-Jewish Jew”—said disgraced British Labour Party ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn, abjuring his long dalliance with antisemitism. Wishing all his landsmen a gitte Shabbos, he also revealed that he has applied for admission to Israel under the terms of the Law of Return. (The Gordian [London], Interview, Mar.9, 2020)


“If we don’t stop digging for oil and kill all cows, the world will end in 12 years. I’m terrified.  All you old people are denying me my future.  How dare you?  Plug up the oil wells!  Slaughter the cows!  I don’t care about you losing jobs; it’s me that matters.  Don’t you get it!” – shouted 16-year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg who was awarded Time Magazine’s 2019 People of the Year Award. (Farmers’ Almanac,  Feb. 1, 2020)


“Greta Thunberg.  Who is she?  Why was she nominated Person of the Year, and not me?” – lamented President Donald Trump. (FED-UPeralist, Feb. 28, 2020)


LIBERMAN POSTS HIS CONDITIONS FOR JOINING A GOVERNMENT (Jerusalem) — Yisrael Beytenu Chair MK Avigdor Liberman wrote a new message on his Facebook account this morning titled: “Yisrael Beytenu’s threshold conditions for joining the next coalition.” Liberman’s first condition: “Dress me in the Prime Minister’s clothes.”   Second condition: “Place me in a black limousine with Israel flags flapping,” headed by an entourage of dignitaries, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling out for all to hear, “This is what is done to the man who would be Kingmaker.”  The third condition is “Roll out the Red Carpet to the Knesset; all the leaders of parties who won way more seats than I did will come to pay me homage begging for favours.” (Bitul Times, Mar. 8, 2020)

GANTZ ON LIBERMAN’S CONDITIONS: ‘AGREED (Jerusalem) — In response to Liberman’s post, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz tweeted, “Agreed. We must move forward.” (Blue and White Lament, Mar. 8, 2020)


MAHMOUD ABBAS PUBLICLY TEARS UP TRUMP PEACE DEAL WHILE DANCING DABKA (Ramallah) — Mahmoud Abbas, surrounded by singing UNRWA children and wearing a coronavirus mask with a map of “Palestine” painted on it, celebrated the sixteenth year of his four-year Presidential term by dancing the dabka and publicly burning a copy of the Trump Peace Process plan. (F.A.K.E. News [Palestine], Mar. 7, 2020)


EXPLODING BALLOON KILLS HEAD OF ISLAMIC JIHAD AT BIRTHDAY PARTY (Gaza Strip) –– Because of a tragic mix-up, the head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza was killed by an exploding balloon at his 59th birthday party in Gaza City.  Hamas, which tendered the party, insisted that the wrong balloons had been accidentally chosen (luckily, no Hamas members were in attendance when the balloons went off). (Radio Islamiya al-jihad, Feb. 28, 2020)


IRANIAN PRESIDENT AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI GAGS DURING AL-QUDS CELEBRATION:  MATZA BALLS BLAMED (Tehran) –– Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini was unable to pronounce the ritual “Kill the Jews!” blessing before being carried out of the almost-empty annual Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Day celebrations in Teheran, coughing and gasping for breath.  The Tehran Times (Mar.12), rejecting any reference to corona-virus illness, attributed his illness to indigestion following consumption of imported matzoh-ball soup obviously poisoned by the Zionists. (Tehran Times, Mar.20, 2020)


BERNIE SANDERS BOYCOTTS PRO-ISRAEL CONFERENCE BUT NOT ANTISEMITIC ONE (Washington) – AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel gathering is too bigoted for him, but not ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), where Senator Bernie Sanders shared the stage and danced the hora with renowned human rights activists Hatem Bazian, Nihal Award, and Zara Bilhoo.  These three paragons of tolerance proudly support BDS, call for the destruction of Israel, and promulgate antisemitic tropes about “Jewish money and power.” Bernie went but only after favours were called in by surrogate Linda Sarsour who assured the organizers that even though he is a Jew, Bernie “shares ISNA’s values.”  Disgraced former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn added his assurances and hugs.  (ISNA Not-News, Mar. 7, 2020)


STRANGE POLITICAL TRANSFORMATIONS SPARK EMERGENCY DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEETING (Washington) — American politics has been transformed with the simultaneous withdrawals of their candidacies by Joe Biden, following the revelation of his secret membership in the Cuban Communist Party, and Bernie Sanders, suddenly transformed into a burbling nisht mit allemen on the eve of the debate (he had appeared drooling and wearing a red MAGA cap). The Democratic National Committee, meeting in emergency session, has proclaimed Hillary Clinton the Presidential and Michelle Obama the Vice-Presidential, candidates, and Kamala Harris as prospective Secretary of State  (Elizabeth May applied for, but was disqualified from, higher office by the DNC when, as a by-product of her failed Chippewa genetic test, her male chromosome was discovered)(Over the Hill, D.C., Mar.16, 2020)


DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF TO UNDERGO EYE SURGERY (Washington) – It might be his signature look but google-eyed “Shifty” Schiff has had enough.  Finally succumbing to FOX News spoofs that parody his distinctive look, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman will undergo advanced blepharoplasty, using the carbon dioxide laser on both upper lids to reduce that startled look that keeps Republicans rolling their eyes. How dare them!  After all, the right to parody lies only in his domain. Skeptical Republican Congressmen, though, are convinced that this is a ploy on his part to keep Americans off-guard and focused on him and away from Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. (Beyond the Hill, Mar. 6, 2020)


PRESIDENT TRUMP SENDS PLUMBER TO CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF’S OFFICE (Washington) – “Shifty” Adam Schiff is apparently at it again.  President Trump accused him of leaking yet another piece of fake news of the Russia-collusion variety.  This time that Russia tried interfering with the Democratic Primary to get Bernie Sanders nominated. “Somebody please tell incompetent (thanks for my high poll numbers) & corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made-up information, to the Fake News Media. Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!,” Trump tweeted. A plumber is but small fry.  Considering the deluge of leaks pouring from Congressman Schiff’s office, Trump should consider building a dam, and have Pelosi pay for it. (Trump Express, Mar. 9, 2020)


SCHUMER TO KAVANAUGH, GORSUCH: YOU WILL “PAY THE PRICE” (Washington) – Talk about “Obstruction of Judiciary,” Mafia boss Chuck Schumer threatened Trump Supreme Court appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should they not vote on abortion rights the way he wants them to vote. “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” the Senate Minority leader shrieked. Senator Schumer apologized while walking his horse to the stables. Impeachment anyone?  (Congress LInES, Mar. 6, 2020)


WOKE TRANSGENDERED ACTIVISTS COME TO BLOWS OVER TOILET (Washington) — A riot broke out at the National White Nationalist Woke Activists Conference in Washington, DC last week when the chair of the male transgendered group and the head of the female transgendered association came to blows over access to the only quadrisexual LGBTQ, etc bi-level lavatory in the building.  Beat it, ze, s(he) said, as both were outmaneuvered by a Black Matter Lives  Jewish oi-vegan  activist in a fright wig shouting  “BD—Ess!”, “BD-Ess!”, and urging the inverted interlocutors to “can it, can it”, which, unfortunately, they did…(The Village Vice, DC, Mar. 8, 2020).

“A Purim Fable for Our Time:  How the Star of David and Earmuffs Were Discovered”
Allan M. Levine, Ph. D.
Daily Briefing, Mar. 10, 2020
It was just before Purim Eve a long time ago, two Jews ran into each other (frontally & literally), as they were rushing home for the holiday.  At the time each of them was carrying an oversized, 3-cornered hamentash pastry. Fortunately, neither of them was injured, but the 2 large 3-cornered pastries they carried collided in a way that produced a large pastry cookie in the shape of a 6 –pointed star!Each of these fellows was named David, so it became known as a “Star of David”. As word of this got around, a custom arose in which Jews would rush to greet each other on Purim eve, while each carried an oversized, 3-cornered pastry.  With good humor, friendly intention and much fanfare, each neighbor bumping into another, would produce such a “Star of David”. They discovered that since poppyseed or “mohn” filling was least likely to squirt out onto the neighbor’s clothes when they bumped & the two hamentashen (plural) collided, this became the preferred filling.  Local farmers would sometimes also use their latest crop of prunes, strawberries or apricots as the filling, so today these and other fruity fillings are also used. However, such yearly “neighborly collisions” could occur with so much force they might result in injury, so people decided to modify this custom and for safety’s sake,  began the practice of sending a dish or basket with at least 2 smaller hamentashen per plate, along with other snacks to neighbor’s homes.  So each neighbor, if he or she wanted to, could safely enjoy making, sharing or eating their own “Star of David” pastries for Purim.  Otherwise, they could just to eat them as simple, triangle-shaped hamentashen for the holiday. There’s another pastry variety with special qualities discovered that should also be mentioned here, called Sufganiyot (plural “soof-gah-nee-yoht”, sufganiya is singular).  These are jelly or cream-filled sugary solid “DONUTS-without-a- hole”.  Today these are popular and in wide use among Israelis and other Jews for Chanukah and at times, also for Purim.Interestingly, another Jewish neighbor discovered that if you take two of these just prepared warm sufganiyot from your kitchen and attach them using a long-cooked noodle or “loksh ” and then carefully place one over each ear while they’re held by the noodle placed over the head, your ears will stay warm and protected when you walk home in cold wintry weather, during Purim season.  This not only warms the ears but when small amounts of oil drips from them onto the ears and cheeks of the person “wearing” them, it has an added benefit that prevents one’s face and skin from becoming dry or chafed in the cold evening air.  And thus, earmuffs produced from sufganiyot were also created. Now we know how two such popular foods for celebrations were added to Jewish tradition, created with unique shapes, flavors and recipes, for later generations to embellish and enjoy! 
Allan M. Levine is Professor Emeritus, Psychology Dept., Los Angeles Valley College and a CIJR Fellow 
For Further Reference:

Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2020:  Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report, Mar. 8, 2020  Purim is a Jewish national liberation holiday – just like Passover and Chanukah – which commemorates the transformation of the Jewish people from subjugation to liberty. It is celebrated seven days following the commemoration of the birth and death of Moses, who was a leading role model of liberty, leadership, and humility.

Looking at Law Through Purim’s Prism Rabbi David Fohrman, Forward, Mar. 9, 2011 Sometimes great reservoirs of meaning reside in a single word. There is an Aramaic word that appears every once in a great while in the Hebrew Bible. It appears once in Deuteronomy, here and there in the Book of Daniel — and no fewer than 12 times in the Scroll of Esther, or the Purim Megillah. The word is “dat” — Aramaic for “law” or “binding custom.”

Iran to Convert Mordechai and Esther’s Tomb into ‘Palestinian Consulate’:  Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 17, 2020 — The Iranian branch of the Alliance for Rights of All Minorities (ARAM) organization yesterday reported that the Iranian government is threatening to demolish the Tomb of Mordechai and Esther located in the city of Hamadan, reported Breaking Israel News’ Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz.