Hey! That's My Hummus!

Blowing Things Up and Jacking Up Prices. Also? Not a cooking show.

We Talk About Boston…

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The bombings at the Boston Marathon occurred two weeks ago.  But law enforcement is continuing to put the pieces together — as is the public.  This episode of HTMH has us discussing our impressions and our feelings of what happened.

As always — feel free to comment at our Facebook page or Tweet us @ThatsMyHummus.

We usually use this space to ask you to support us by shopping on Amazon by clicking on one of the banners on this site.   And you can certainly do so. However, if you have some disposable income, we’d like to encourage you to look at helping the folks in Boston and other tragedies which have occurred over the past few weeks.  If you’re looking to help those affected by the tragedy in Boston, you can contribute at http://www.onefundboston.org.   During the episode we discuss the fertilizer plant explosion in Western Texas as well; you can help that community through The American Red Cross.

 

Music Credits:

Title Theme (Intro and Outtro):    Perfect One (Man Bites Dog) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Interstitial Music:  the spaniard that blighted my life  (Crown the Invisble) / CC0 1.0 Universal

 

This Year’s Passover Episode…

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Hi! We’ve been away for a long while.  Why is that? You’ll just have to listen to find out…

We’re in the midst of the Jewish holiday of Passover — a holiday of springtime, slavery, freedom, multimedia events and education. And, of course, of eating matzah. And, for some, quinoa.

Join us for more details as to how one of our co-hosts has observed Passover in the past — and how it’s going down this year!

If you’ve got comments, questionable flattery and show ideas, stop by our Facebook community page or tweet us @thatsmyhummus.

 

Music Credits:

Title Theme (Intro and Outtro):    Perfect One (Man Bites Dog) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Interstitial Music:  Pesach Shop (Six13)

 

The Christmas Episode! {LISTEN}

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We wish you a Merry Christmas / we wish you a Merry Christmas / we wish you a Merry Christmas and a …  wait, whaaaat?

Yes.  Christmas.  I’m Jewish, she’s Muslim. And this is a Christmas episode. Why? Just because. :)

We do, however, talk about a couple of other things:  Faiqa (the one who isn’t Jewish) wrote an article about the winter holiday of Hanukkah (the one that is Jewish) — and got some flack about it.   And the recent shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT was on our minds as well.

But we end it by celebrating Christmas — yes, Christmas — through a way both of us could connect.  How? You’ll see…

Have something to say?  Say it to us! Visit  our Facebook page and our Twitter account!

Music Credits:

Title Theme (Intro and Outtro):    Perfect One (Man Bites Dog) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Interstitial Music:  Slow Burn (Kevin MacLeod) / CC BY 3.0

 

{LISTEN} Rutgers Student Sentenced & Ultra Orthodox Rally at CitiField

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Dharun Ravi, a Rutgers student found guilty of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy was sentenced to thirty days in jail and community service this past week. We also discuss an interesting rally at Citi Field where Haredi Jews, an ultra orthodox group, met to discuss the influence of the Internet in their lives.

This week’s show also starts off quite auspiciously when Faiqa forgets to introduce Mike, but makes a brilliant save in the second half.

Comments, questions, glowing remarks? Contact us a @thatsmyhummus on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Also, if you’re an iTunes listener, please be sure to give us a review in iTunes!

 

Music Credits:

Title Theme (Intro and Outtro):    Perfect One (Man Bites Dog) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Interstitial Music:  Rap Ambassadors feat Cappo, Sonnyjim & Chrome (Heavy Links) / CC BY-SA 3.0

(If you’re interested in having your music featured on our podcast, please let us know!)

TLC’s All American Muslim and Penn State {{LISTEN}}

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The Learning Channel debuted the first episode of its eight part series set in Dearborn, Michigan called “All American Muslim.” Mike and I had the chance to screen the first two episodes before they aired, and, of course, you want to know what we think.

And then there’s the Penn State thing.

Oy.

Ask A Muslim {{LISTEN}}

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In this episode, we discuss why Muslims don’t get their drink on and petting zoos.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

 

 

Never Heard Of Common?

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In Episode 9: “Kahn not Khan, Gay Marriage and Gangstas in Da House,” we discussed in the last segment why American artist Common’s appearance at the White House caused such controversy.

I wanted to share something with you:

 

I Have A Dream, by Common

In search of brighter days, I ride through the maze of the madness,
Struggle is my address, where pain and crack lives,
Gunshots comin’ from sounds of Blackness,
Given this game with no time to practice,
Born on the Black list, told I’m below average,
A life with no cabbage,
That’s no money if you from where I’m from,
Funny, I just want some of your sun
Dark clouds seem to follow me,
Alcohol that my pops swallowed bottled me,
No apology, I walk with a boulder on my shoulder,
It’s a Cold War – I’m a colder soldier,
Hold the same fight that made Martin Luther the King…

 

Dark clouds seem to follow me…I just want some of your sun… I mean, wow.

Frankly, I found that pretty poetic.

You can watch the video here, you will NOT be sorry.

Plus it’s got stuff about Jewish people in there.  Double points for relevance for me!!

Faiqa’s Interfaith Awesomeness Total: 3,412 / Mike’s Interfaith Awesomeness Total: 3.5

The half a point is for saying “Khan” correctly, BTW.

P.S. We’ve gotten a few responses about listeners “being behind” on listening to the podcast.  Just wanted to remind you, this isn’t One Life to Live or something, there’s no real order… you can listen to whatever episode you like whenever you like!  We’re always thankful for your support.   :-)

Raising the Bar (Mitzvah)

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The subject of Bar Mitzvahs has been in my mind lately.

You see — I’m a bar mitzvah tutor for my synagogue. This means that I work with specific 12 year-old kids who are preparing for their own special days. I work with them one-on-one learning the specific tunes for chanting certain parts of the religious service — as well as coaching them on the many lines of Hebrew they have to practice over and over and over again.  I meet with them one hour a week, and the true payoff is seeing how much they’ve accomplished over the months when I attend a student’s bar mitzvah.

But it also means I’m usually invited to the party as well — which is pretty cool, too.

And the topic was raised by Rachel of I See What You Meme when she posted a link to a segment of American Public Media’s Marketplace which discussed the trend of “adult bar mitzvah parties.”  This is a different phenomenon than adults who have decided, later on in life, to engage in the bar mitzvah ceremony at the synagogue. Nope. This is more of a theme party for adults who want to relive the bar mitzvah party experience.  Marketplace cited a Boston Globe cover story from last week about this entitled Let’s Do The Time Warp Again.

The author takes a look at a bunch of hip, trendy, Jewish 26 year-olds who have decided to be nostalgic and host their own theme events where they decide to party like it’s 1998. That was their original bar mitzvah year (when they hit age 13), and this being their thirteenth anniversary of that year, they felt it would be a hoot to relive the bar mitzvah party experience (calling it a Double Bar Mitzvah). Only this time they had more creative control instead of their parents (as they were the ones footing the bill).  There would be sign-in boards for guests to sign. Jewish circle hora dancing intertwined with Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5. And the inevitable candle-lighting ceremony where they would thank Great Uncle Lester and Great Aunt Mimi who couldn’t be there in person but are there in spirit nonetheless.

This got me thinking on quite a few different levels: I’m not 26 anymore. And I’m far from hip and trendy.  However, I just celebrated by 39th birthday a week ago.  That means that I’m celebrating the thirteenth anniversary of the thirteenth anniversary of my bar mitzvah – an even which took place on April 20, 1985!  I could, theoretically, throw a triple bar mitzvah!

But wait — is this something I really want to do? What does a bar mitzvah entail anyway? I think the definition has really become unfocused due to the pressure of throwing a great party. So before we go any further, I present a helpful guide for those of you who may be unfamiliar with this coming-of-age ritual.

The “Hey! That’s My Hummus!” Bar Mitzvah FAQ

 

Q: What does the term bar mitzvah mean, anyway?

A:Bar” is Aramaic for “son.”  “Mitzvah” is Hebrew (and Aramaic) for “commandments.”  The bar mitzvah is a coming of age ritual where a Jewish boy comes of age to be bound by the Jewish commandments. Simple as that. The counterpart for Jewish girls is a Bat mitzvah, where “bat” is Hebrew for “daughter.” Same general idea.

 

Q: What’s included in the ritual? How does a Jewish boy become a bar mitzvah?

A: He must adhere to the following steps:

  1. He becomes 13 years old.

 

Q: You’re kidding me. There must be more to it than that. Doesn’t he have to give a speech? Read from the torah? Sing stuff in Hebrew? Wear one of those prayer shawls? Dance with his grandmother at a party?

A: Nope. He just has to turn 13.  Once that happens? He’s bound by the Jewish commandments as an adult. None of the other stuff is necessary for the transformation — but it usually takes place because he can finally take on the obligation of reading from the Torah. Or leading services. Or taking on a more adult role in one of many ways.

 

Q: What about girls? Do they also just have to turn 13? I heard somewhere that the age for them is 12?

A: The tradition of the bar/bat mitzvah is a relatively recent one (hundreds of years, not thousands of years), and the ages of 13 for boys and 12 for girls was chosen because girls would physically and psychologically mature earlier than boys. In the twentieth century with a more egalitarian acceptance in popular streams of Judaism the age just became 13 for both boys and girls in many communities. You will still find many communities, however, where girls will become bat mitzvah at age 12.

 

Q: So — what’s the deal with the tradition of the lavish bar mitzvah party?

A: Look — not all of them are like this. It’s a milestone with a celebration. For some families, it’s an all out celebration where the parents want to make sure that it’s the event of the season with a special appearance by 50 Cent. For others? It’s a buffet luncheon at the synagogue with plenty of sponge cake to go around. There’s no specific way one is mandated to celebrate the bar mitzvah. I’ve seen a lot of variations — DJs. Live bands. Klezmer Bands. Free t-shirts for the kids. In 1983 I went to one where the family rented out a Winnebago filled with arcade games.  Nowadays one of the perks appears to be paid dancers who accompany the DJs and get the kids up dancing. There could be karaoke. Or a caricature artist.  It’s a party — but with a whole bunch of family and friends who usually don’t come together in the same circles. Which makes displays like these all the more fun:

 

Come to think of it — If I had this going for me at my original bar mitzvah? I’d certainly do it again 13 years later…

Hey! Where’s My Hummus?

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As you’ve probably already determined by now, we did not release a new episode of Hey! That’s My Hummus! this week.

“Why?” you may be asking. “Have the two of you resolved your differences amicably and behind the scenes?”

“Have you run out of things to talk about?”

“Have you actually realized that this is neither of your respective hummuses, but rather the hummus belonging to a Mr. Geoff Patrickson of East Slinger, Wisconsin?”

Fortunately, the answer is “no” to each of the above questions. We (Faiqa and Shiny) are still enthusiastic about our enthusiastic discussions. We’ve just been incredibly busy due to some wonderful happenings in our respective schedules. With the recent Mom 2.0 Summit and the Jewish holiday of Passover, our schedules have truly been booked up.

However — we’ll be back next Friday with a brand new episode of Hey! That’s My Hummus! We’ll even use some of the ideas you’ve suggested right here, on our Facebook Page and our Twitter account (@ThatsMyHummus).

In the meantime, however, we encourage you to use this time to catch up on some of our past shows! You can find all of them at our iTunes page. Or you can find each of our episodes through our blog posts on this very site.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. Hope you’ve had / are having a wonderful holiday if you happen to have one occurring. We’ll see you in a few days.

Episode 0: No, But, Seriously. This Is *Not* A Cooking Show

Episode 1: Love Boat Sharia, Brandon Davies and We Google Muslim/Jew Jokes

Episode 2: Purim Explained, Conservative Women, and UCLA Girl

Episode 3: Ignorant Americans, Blood Money and Grossed Out By Glee?

Episode 4: Conflicted, Slaughtering and Prince William’s Wedding

Episode 5: Budget Stuff, French Batman and Whitewashing Hollywood

To Err(uv) Is Human…

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You’re probably wondering why you haven’t seen another podcast materialize on our website this week.  I could come right out and tell you something outrageous. Like we decided that two episodes is as fine a place to stop as any.  But that wouldn’t be entirely true.

If you’re Jewish and you’re active on Facebook, it’s more than likely that you’ve seen the following “Daily Show” video on your friends’ (or your own) wall. (And if you’re not already Jewish, it’s more than likely that you’re already waist deep in the conversion process. After all, what would be a better way to watch Daily Show clips?)  This one falls into the category of “much funnier if you’re familiar with this Jewish tradition that most Jews in the United States have never heard of.”

Go ahead and watch it. I think you’ll find it funny — even if you’re not Jewish.

The thing is? The story is pretty spot on. The concept of an eruv (a “fence” around an area to enclose it as its own domain) has a long, rich history in traditional Judaism. There are many rules and laws that have been passed down in Judaism and have been studied, interpreted and argued by scholars through many generations as they attempted to wrestle with conserving the traditions with applying those to practical, modern-day use.

Take, for instance, the rules of observing the Sabbath. Deriving from the Fourth Commandment (of that epic film The Ten Commandments), it is commanded that one should “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (JPS translation, Exodus 20:7). The passage goes on to explain that “work” should not be done during the Sabbath. Simple enough, right?

But wait — what specifically is “work?” Scholars of Hebrew Scripture tasked themselves to figure out what this would mean in a practical application. And they found that, later on in the Book of Exodus, there were 39 categories of activities when building the Tabernacle (think Raiders of the Lost Ark)  which were, in a roundabout way, prohibited on the Sabbath. From this they inferred that these 39 activities were meant as the prohibited “work.”

One of those 39 activities is “carrying.” Which means that, according to many traditional Jews, even carrying one’s keys from place to place on the Sabbath is prohibited. Same goes with carrying your 18 month old to synagogue. Or pushing her in a stroller. End of discussion, right?

But wait — do we really want the Sabbath to be about sequestering people in their homes (within one’s home you can carry things; the prohibition is seen as going between locales on the outside)? Do we want people to be able to lock their doors as they take a nice, Saturday morning stroll? How does Judaism apply these laws towards practical, real-life issues?

That’s where the eruv comes in: those who hold by the custom will allow the eruv to enclose a larger area and treat it as one locale. So it’s as if you’re really carrying your keys (or your kid) within one place if you’re within the confines of an eruv. Is it cheating? I don’t think so. Is it a loophole? Arguably — yes.

Is it a hindrance to those who don’t even know (or care) that it’s there? No. As it’s mentioned in the clip above, it’s practically invisible. If you’re not looking for it, you likely wouldn’t know that it’s there.

But the implications of an eruv, as mentioned comically in the Daily Show piece, extend beyond a simple piece of string around the town. If there’s a large enough Jewish community wanting an eruv, it’ll likely push for an eruv. Which will likely ensure that an eruv is put up. Which will attract other traditional Jews who are looking for a place to live which has an eruv. Hence — a larger concentration of (mostly Orthodox) Jews looking for an eruv.

I think we see this in many different communities already. If there’s a large Spanish-speaking population in a certain part of town (in the USA), it’s likely that some businesses will cater to this population with bilingual signage. Which may attract other Spanish speakers to that part of town.  Same goes for other pockets of homogeneous people. Which is why you might find Arab neighborhoods. Gay neighborhoods. Neighborhoods rich with Kansas City Royals fans. Places where people feel comfortable with the familiarity of their communities.

Is this a good thing? Is this self-segregation harmful to the way we interact with out neighbors? Or is it an inevitable feature of what happens when people try to feel comfortable with their own identities? Although I quite enjoy living in a diverse neighborhood, I certainly have enjoyed the benefits of living in areas where my community was surrounding me a bit closer.

Perhaps there’s an eruv around communities — not necessarily Jewish ones — which unify them as one unit, too.

… and if you ask nicely, I’ll delve into the type of eruv that allows you to lump Thursday and Friday together with Wednesday for culinary purposes. Long story…

 

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