Thursday, May 31, 2007
I once read a study of people who lived past 100 years of age. The only thing they found that they had in common was that they all had a good sense of humor. Diet, smoking, etc. varied from all of the people, but a comic twist was what they all had in common.
At the moment I am in New York doing some volunteer work, and I decided I want look up some simple and funny commercial. These two snickers commercials make me laugh when ever I see them.
The following is piece from a Wikipedia article I wrote about about the Abir Warrior Arts being taught in Israel.
In 1912 Zionist emissary Shmuel Yavnieli came into contact with Habbani Jews who ransomed him when he was captured and robbed by eight Bedouin in southern Yemen. Yavnieli wrote about the Jews of Habban describing them in the following way.
''The Jews in these parts are held in high esteem by everyone in Yemen and Aden. They are said to be courageous, always with their weapons and wild long hair, and the names of their towns are mentioned by the Jews of Yemen with great admiration.''
There are a number of legends about the origins of the Jews of Habban. The most prominent is that they descend from Judean soldiers who were stationed in southern Arabia by King Herod of Jersualem during the Second Temple Period. Herod dispatched a unit of Jews in the region to assist the Romans with fighting wars in the area. Unlike the Jews of northern Yemen the Habbani Jews wore: Jambiyya (curved knife), Matznaph (turban) and Avne`t (sash). It was also common for the Sultans of Arabia to use Habbani Jews as soldiers in their armies or as personal guards.
Benjamin of Tudela (twelfth century) found an independent Jewish warrior tribe living in the highlands of Khorasan near Nisapur, numbering many thousand families, regarding themselves as descendants of Dan, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali, under a Jewish prince of the name of Joseph Amarkala ha-Levi.Benjamin of Tudela, ed. Asher, pp. 83 et seq. Another independent Jewish tribe bent upon warlike expeditions is mentioned by Benjamin as living in the district of Tehama in Yemen. Read Entire Post!
Understanding The Male Psychology
by Ehav Ever
Of late there have been a number of commercials and pup culture shows that have tapped into the desire of males to be manly. There are some that actually do well in either being comical of male stereotypes and phobias and there are others that simply push the edge. Over the years I have known women who act as if we men are hard to understand, but I believe that we men are not so hard to understand. All a woman has to do is look a little deeper.
The above video of the Burger King Texas Double Whopper provides and interesting piece to analyze for this article. When I first saw this commercial, there were three thoughts that went through my mind.
1) This is one of the funniest commercials I have ever seen.
2) I wish I could have been in that crowd of men when they filmed the commercial.
3) I am really hungry now.
Being Jewish, and in America at that time, of course I could not and would not go out and eat at Burger King because it is not Kosher and the burger itself with bacon in it is of course not kosher. Yet, the themes in the commercial did strike a certain cord within me, and I could not stop watching it. I liked it for a number of reasons, but most of all it really tapped into the whole primal needs of men concept. Hunger, strength, and the need to connect with other men of strength. There also was the underlying feeling that we as men need to show off these three things in a number of ways.
One of the things that often tickles women is how even grown men can be child-like in regular life, especially when it comes to being around other men. When me and my cousin in Maale Adumim, Israel get together our favorite pass time is making jokes, laughing, and watching cartoons. I am in my 30's and he is in his early 40's. His wife always walks away shaking her head at our humor, but it this form of male bonding that I believe is beneficial to women also. I believe it is our oddities that is also what attracts women to us. It is only a matter of understanding it.
I also see similar child-like attributes when I see a group of women get together. Their mannerisms and the bonds they share can be seen in how young girls play together and socialize. Men have the same that even as we get older elements of our playing and young children is evident in our relationships.
What has to be understand is that we men have strengths and we also have our weaknesses. Yet, every man wants to on some level feel as if he has conquered something and lacking this often bruises elements of our innate ego. There is also a need for us to be perceived and received as Alpha males amongst to women as well as our fellow men, as this is a big ego boost when like minded men gather together to exude our common manhood. This is especially true when we do so in the view of women that we have feelings for or are trying to impress, thus sports in the full view of women is a surge to our collective manhoods.
The Manthem commercial touches on the feeling that some males have that their strengths are being taken away from them. Gone are the days of the Barbarian and the Warrior for the most part. Yet, not all male societies focused on this as the sole definition of manhood. In Biblical times it was a mix of the man of physical strength who at the same time was learned in the ways of God and the ways of life. A Jewish man in those times could be a warrior, a scholar, a philosopher, and a follower of ethics. Read Entire Post!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Inter-racial Dating and Marriage Part 1
by Ehav Ever
Skins may differ, but affection dwells in white and black the same. William Cowper (ca. 1793)
I have looked around the African American blogsphere and I have noticed a number of sites that discuss inter-racial dating and marriage. Some sites talk as if it is okay on some level, yet inherently wrong on another. I have never understood what the problem is with this and why people get so flustered about it. There is no universal law that dictates that people with similar skin tones, must only date and marry each other. There is also lots of scientific and genetic proof that the Western concept of race i.e. skin color is bogus as a method of defining a person's cultural heritage. What does make sense is common religion, culture, language, life experiences, education, etc. as a method of determine ethnicity i.e. true racial standards.
I personally refuse to be defined by a limited window of who I am. My heritage, faith, and my own personal choices define who I am and I date and marry who I choose based on the things mentioned. Also, who has the right to tell someone they are wrong for preferring someone with a certain skin tone? So what if there are some men who prefer light complexioned women, because there are also men who prefer dark complexion women. So what if there are African American men who prefer so called "white" women, there are also so called "white" men who prefer African American women. Everyone has the right to choose whatever physical and interpersonal characteristics make them happy in a mate.
What makes the issue more strange is the double standards that often come with the territory. I once knew African Americans who basically forbid their children from dating White people, yet they lived in a predominately white neighborhood and their children attended predominately white schools. I also knew White people who allowed their children to experience rap and R&B music as well as Black athletes, but prohibited their children from ever dating a black person. What is up with those double standards?
I am Jewish so there a number of African American women who I could never marry since having a Jewish wife determines if my children are legally Jewish. At the same time, if there was an African American women who was legally Jewish then I could date and(or) marry her, but I don't base my love life on trivial things like skin tone. Also I prefer non-American women to date and marry for personal reasons i.e. I speak more than one language and I am now living in Israel. When I was a kid in America there were places where dating a person with a different skin tone could get one into serious trouble. Yet, these things have changed to some degree in society due to the colorization of certain segments of the media and such, and this is a good thing.
For me what has always been important in a woman are the following things.
1) What is her faith, and is it something she believes because of her own journey for truth with a capital T?
2) Is she confident about her life and the path that she seeks? Does she make her destiny or does she let life walk all over her?
3) Is she cultured or does she at least of an open passport to the world?
4) Is she modest in her ways of dress, speech, and action? (I don't like woman who show off all that she has. I like woman who keep certain parts of themselves a mystery.)
5) Does she speak my language, literally? (Hebrew, English, and I am learning Arabic)
6) Does she keep me interested in her with her witty conversation and does she have something tos say?
7) Does she follow the crowd or is she the leader to follow?
8) Is she kind hearted, but also tough and able to stand up for herself?
9) Does she exercise? Not saying that she has to be skinny or thin, but a well shaped woman is beautiful no matter where the curves are or are not.
10) Is she someone who will allow me to be there for her when she needs it?
11) Will she be there for me when I need her?
All of these things are some of the basics that I find beautiful and I can find this in a wide range of women from a number of cultures and skin tones. Maybe the belief that one must remain within a certain skin tone when it comes to dating and marriage are the reason that some people are stuck single or in unhappy relationships. Maybe their sole mates are out there somewhere, but not in the outer packages that some segments of societies force upon them.
At the end of the day faith and culture is more important than skin color. Read Entire Post!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Putting Away Childish Things
by Ehav Ever
There has been a lot of talk lately, due to the Imus affair, about rap, lyrics, the N-Word, and respect for women. On one side I think it is good, but on the other hand I don't know if I really believe that much will change. I remember several times since the 1990's when the issue of the lyrics of gangster rap and the like came up, and I now I see that those forums didn't change much. I now see that radio and video have become more bold in the language and images that they allow to go forth. The question this brings up is what changed? Why was it that several years it was unheard of to have these kinds of words or images on the radio or TV and now it is common place?
Another aspect of this is something that remember MAD TV once did in a comedy sketch. A few years back they did a segment where some gangster rappers won a Grammy for a song that had all kind of obscenities in it. The first thing these rappers did when they received the award was to thank God for the inspiration to write the song. All of a sudden God shows up and makes it clear that He did not inspire them to make the song and that He never influenced anyone to use such lyrics.
I found the MAD TV skit interesting since I remember a lot of gangster rappers, sexually explicitly R&B acts, etc. always thanking God for the inspiration to make their music. Being who I am, I simply assumed that they had to be talking about a different God then me, because like the MAD TV skit I remember God requiring humanity to be Holy because He is Holy. Yet, maybe these rappers, R&B artists, record execs, and the their fans all worship a different Higher Power than I do. In the Hebrew Tehillim (Psalms of David) it does state that God gives sunshine to both the righteous and the wicked.
In any case, a few years ago I think that Oprah had a similar show about rappers and their lyrics. Luke was on the show and he talked about how he did not allow his daughters to listen to the music he was making. So if you go back far enough this issue has come up before numerous times, and it keeps resurfacing.
So this brings everything back to something that is missing. Morality and also common sense. I mention this every time a subject like this comes up, and I may end up sounding like a broken record because of it, but I feel that the whole issue revolves around it.
In the end I think that on some level popular media is a bit of a lost cause, mainly because of the morality issue. So my belief is that people who are fed up with it have to push themselves and their children to a higher standard. There are a number of children who listen to this music internationally and they believe that these rappers are telling it like it is for ALL African Americans, so to speak. I have met people over seas who don't believe their is poverty or social problems in black communities in America. One of the reasons is that they see these videos and movies, and they believe that this is who African Americans are.
Also, there are a number of African American kids imitating these rappers in full view of the world further giving the impression that the rappers have it right. This is why I believe Imus shifted the blame for his statements. He more than likely has also seen youth imitating or taking on the persona's of some of these entertainers. Read Entire Post!
Sunday, May 6, 2007
In an age when manhood is often associated with animal like tendencies it is good to know that there are some things that are manly in and of themselves. This is a funny little cartoon, from Dexter's Lab, about what makes a man rugged.
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