Trump's Jewish team-members won't go public on his endorsement of neo-Nazis

Gary D Cohn is director of Trump's National Economic Council; Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury; Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and Ivanka Trump is Trump's daughter, who converted to Judiasm: not one of them has said anything in public about Trump's bizarre rant in which he said that not all the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were bad and some were "very fine people." Read the rest

Just in time for Hanukkah: Maccabees and Menorahs, a dreidel powered RPG

Randy sez, "Maccabees and Menorahs is a one page RPG played with a dreidel and gelt. Designed to run over 8 short sessions, one for each night of Hanukkah." Read the rest

Kickstarting Soviet Daughter, a graphic novel memoir of coming of age in Ukraine after the Revolution

Elly from Microcosm publishing writes: "Our next book has been in the works for years, but as we launch our Kickstarter we find it's become terrifyingly current: Soviet Daughter is a rather swashbuckling story of her great-grandmother Lola, who came of age in the Soviet Ukraine, in the wake of the October Revolution." Read the rest

Jews vs zombies and aliens vs sexual abuse

Lavie Tidhar writes, "Jews vs Zombies and Jews vs Aliens will be published as e-book originals on March 19th, and are currently available for pre-orders (a limited paperback will follow)." Read the rest

Monstrous menorahs!

Portland's Lisa Pierce makes amazing, whimsical menorahs and candlesticks that look like metallic creatures (they're painted plastic toys), including the Menorasaurus Rex, the treyfe-a-riffic Menobster, and these T-Rex candle-holders. Read the rest

Kosher pig!

Spotted yesterday on a menu at my grandparents' retirement home in Toronto: "Kosher-style porkchops." I guess if you circumcise the pig and ensure that it has a suitable Bar Mitzvah...? Read the rest

Circumcision training kit, fake gangrenous feet, fake blood, artificial fat, aged torsos & artificial earwax: the wonderful world of Life/Form trainers

Life/Form's $186 circumcision trainers "include the foreskin, glans penis, frenulum, meatus, and coronal groove" and are "made with our soft, lifelike material, which is pliable, delicate, and realistic to the touch."

More seriously, Life/Form sells a pretty amazing range of anatomical models for training and education, including a 1lb lump of fat (also sold by the ounce and the five-weight); artificial blood by the quart; gangrenous, ulcerated feet; lifelike bedsores; obese, geriatric head/torso mixes; jars of artificial earwax, and much, much more.

Infant Circumcision Trainer, White

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Inquisitor's Apprentice: tenement sorcerers versus the robber barons in an alternate Gilded Age New York

Chris Moriarty's The Inquisitor's Apprentice is the first volume in a fantastic new historical young adult series that takes place in a turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York where magic is the key to power and the infamous robber-barons of the age have cornered the market on enchantment and use their power to deprive hardworking poor immigrants of their self-reliance. Sasha Kessler is the 13-year-old hero of the tale, a tenement-dwelling kid who lives with his hardworking parents, his anarchist-wiccan actor uncle, his sister, and his Kabbalist rabbi grandfather. On the other side of their one-room flat live a married couple who sew shirtwaists with every hour they can wring from their days, saving to bring their family over from the pogroms in the old country.

Sasha's life is upended one day when he finds that he can see magic, and has the misfortune to demonstrate this ability in front of a crowd at a furtive magic Jewish bakery, in full sight of an Inquistor, one of the special police officers charged with regulating magic in New York. In short order, Sasha is inducted into the ranks of the Inquisitors, assigned to apprentice to the enigmatic and notorious Inspector Wolf, along with his co-apprentice, a girl from the famous society family, the Astrals (a pun on the Astors).

So begins Sasha's tale, which takes him on the trail of a dybbuk that tried to assassinate Thomas Edison while the inventor was visiting JP Morgaunt, the robber baron who has taken control of New York's magical world. Read the rest

Go the Fuck to Shul

LOLvis writes in with a link to Tablet Magazine's Go the Fuck to Shul: "Not only a witty response to criticism of Go the F*ck to Sleep ('Imagine if this were written about Jews'), it's funny enough to stand on its own."

It's Yom Kippur, and you're far away, The last thing I want's to be cruel. I'm your mother, son, you know I adore you, But please go the fuck to shul.

You'd only go for a few hours, Shorter than a full day of school. You'll probably run into people you know If you go the fuck to shul.

Go the F**k to Shul

(Thanks, LOLvis!) Read the rest

HOWTO make a kosher worm (insert circumcision joke here)

If you're a strict orthodox Jew, worms aren't kosher, but worms in fish are. Why? Because ancient scholars believed in "spontaneous generation," so the worms were thought to be creatures that didn't "crawl on the ground." Now that we know there's no such thing as spontaneous generation (apart from all the insanely heavy objects I don't remember putting in my suitcase when I packed for this book-tour), can fish-worms still be kosher? Apparently so, if we're to believe Yeshiva World, which proposes resolving this conundrum by simply rejecting the science that disproves spontaneous generation. All hail the "la la la I can't hear you" school of theology.

This article proposes that Halachah rejects migration to the flesh, even when identical intestinal worms are present. Rather, we presume that flesh worms are internally generated, even if we are uncertain of the biological mechanism by which this occurs. This approach simply resolves all difficulties but one - that scientists say that non-invasive worm generation is impossible. In this matter, we reject the evidence of experimentation in favor of the word of Chazal, whose tradition-based biological knowledge exceeded human experimental abilities.

Worms In Fish: Problem Or Not?

(Thanks, Steve!)

(Image: Red Wiggler Worms, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wheatfields's photostream)

Previously: Which imaginary animals are kosher? Making chemicals kosher Christian salt, a wingnut alternative to Kosher salt Kosher easter-eggs Jewish porno can't use kosher symbol, says upset Rabbi Hannukah Ham Read the rest