Best Of The Web
“It was in the Shleikes Jewish food restaurant in Bnei Brak that I got the definitive proof of how gossip has conquered the ultra-Orthodox public. I had arrived for a joint interview with journalist Itzik Ohana, whose specialty is coverage of get-togethers between secular celebs and rabbis, along with Haredi political analyst Yisrael Cohen, who admits that he’s turned to yellow journalism in recent years. By chance, the new publisher of the Haredi website Behadrei Haredim, Miki Barzel, came in. Cohen, who has a healthy sense of humor, asked Ohana to take his picture with Barzel and post it on Twitter, with a caption wondering whether he was defecting to Behadrei Haredim. The photo quickly spread from the tweet to a galaxy of WhatsApp groups.
It then turned out that others had also clandestinely photographed the chance meeting two weeks ago. A hullabaloo ensued. Within minutes, Cohen’s phone began to vibrate with messages from a bevy of ultra-Orthodox media-industry reporters who wanted to know whether he was actually leaving Kol Harama, the radio station he’s identified with. Cohen’s denial only heightened the suspicions.
In the meantime, a report about the fact that I had met with the two jokesters at Shleikes (which means “suspenders” in Yiddish) found its way into the Haredi gossip columns, accompanied by a historic photo: Cohen, Ohana and me seated with a plate of gefilte fish garnished with carrot, on the table between us. Even before the gefilte fish had been digested, we all gained everlasting fame. A week later, photographer Tomer Appelbaum, who took the picture of the duo, was the subject of an item on the Haredi news site actualic.co.il.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"In a bid to create new space for green industries and fossil-free energy production, greater Copenhagen wants to build an entirely new business and infrastructure district on the city’s southwestern edge."
Donald Trump ran for president saying that he would be a shrewd businessman with a propensity for making deals. Why, then, are we in the longest government shutdown on record?
"There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think... In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides."
"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."
"Even if the economy is on a roll, many Americans aren’t feeling the benefit... In fact, when adjusted for cost of living increases, real wages actually declined 1.3% since the end of 2017, PayScale found."
"Cutting ties with Facebook would mean consciously cutting ties with my own community, and I can't bring myself to do it. When I asked my connections on Facebook why they were staying, their answers were very similar to mine..."
Fear of the news; fear of climate change, fear of touch screens... these New Yorker cartoons portray the modern phobias that are driving us crazy.
"Texts replaced authors as the privileged objects of scholarly knowledge, and the performance of critical operations on texts became essential to the scholar’s identity."
"When I speak to parents’ groups about kids who are addicted to Fortnite and other video games, I tell them that it is the parents’ job to limit, govern and guide their kids’ use of video games..."
"Startups like Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Produce say they're helping to reduce food waste in America. Critics say they're deceiving their customers and making the problem worse."
"Scholars are now interested in whether having a vocabulary item for a concept influences thought in domains far from language, such as visual perception."
"The much-documented anti-Semitism of the British Labor party leader is no accident... Jeremy Corbyn reminds us that anti-Semitism is not just an irrational hatred, harbored by madmen at the fringes of British society."