Michael’s home city, Muffti’s party playground on Death Row.

I would like to take this moment to announce that I am staunchly anti-hurricane. Ever since Ivan chased me out of New Orleans last year to take refuge in the aptly titled Plano, Texas over Rosh Hashana, I have had a sneaking suspicion that hurricanes are not only destructive, not only terrifying, but indeed, anti-Semitic. First Ivan gives me a High Holidays in suburban Texas, and now Katrina is barreling in on New Orleans with Category 5 winds, primed to sink that shining city on a hill an average of 6 feet below sea level into the Gulf.

I briefly considered making a stand, printing up bumper stickers, wearing a Star of David armband, refusing to make any sort of contingency plan because of my firm conviction that Hashem would avert the hurricane at the last moment, and calling Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governer Kathleen Blanco “Nazis” until the hurricane stopped or I drowned, but then rationality won out and I cancelled my flight and stayed in my mom’s house safely in Yankeeland.

And to be perfectly honest, while I suppose in a way it’s stressful to have one’s home city about 12 hours from potential destruction, it’s not like I’m passionately in love with New Orleans or anything. All of my friends have been robbed at gunpoint at one time or another, and just yesterday, in another hurricane-related incident proving detrimental to the Jewish people, somebody stole a friend of mine’s car so that they could evacuate instead of her. She got out with someone else, minus her car. So, really, I’m not going to shed any huge number of tears if New Orleans (which is now almost entirely evacuated anyway), a city rife with crime and smelling mostly like puke, becomes part of the Gulf of Mexico aquatic ecosystem, if you catch my drift.

And if it so happens that events transpire to make my dear and wonderful institute of higher education accessible only by boat, well, Hebrew University, here I come.

So screw you, Katrina.

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  • What a great analogy, Michael!
    Not sure if the disengagement can be called an “Act of G-d” though… then again…!

  • Hilarious pull-out mockery. Also, it’s certainly sad to hear about my sister’s car, as well as the crappiness of the sinking of the city. Enjoy home.

  • “all of my friends have been robbed at gunpoint at one point or another…”

    Note to self: Avoid becoming friends with Michael.

    Maybe it’s good old-fashioned wrath of God stuff, wiping out dens of iniquity, old-school. I guess we’ll watch, and if Vegas is next, then I might have something here…

    I also noted that TBS or TNT is showing “Twister” this week. Very funny.

  • Two more things:

    Michael’s title translates to: “A Storm does not evict a Jew,” obviously a take-off on the Disengagement opponents’ slogan.

    We wish the residents of New Orleans all the best and hope the storm doesn’t hit as hard as expected.

  • Yes. Despite my ambivalence towards New Orleans, I really hope nobody gets hurt or killed. Except those assholes who stole my friend’s car. Where’s some divine retribution when you need it?

  • Here’s a little mission for anyone out there:::

    Has the “We name Hurricanes for a living because we’re fucking cool” every given a typically Jewish name to a hurricane, storm,or [texas] tornado? It might be prove Michael wrong, and to be honest, on some days, that’s what I live for.

  • Typically Jewish Hurricane? There was 1979’s hurricane David a category 5 hurricane which killed 1,500 people in the Carribean and caused tornadoes in the Philadelphia area. At his peak David caused 175 mph winds and left 75% of the population of Dominica homeless and it’s economy totally wrecked. You can read all about bad ass hurricane David by clicking here.

  • Oh yeah, I feel for ya Michael. I remember one Yom Kippur in New Orleans where the city had just missed being hit by a hurricane. The 7 minute walk to Chabad of Tulane left me totally soaked, heck I was soaked 10 seconds after I stepped outside. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happenned had the hurricane actually hit.

    But whatever. New Orleans is the Bangladesh of cities. To paraphrase the mardi gras revellers, laissez les bon temps floatez!

  • And of course, who can forget Hurriciane Esther, which—oh, never mind.

    I remember we were all sent home from school because of the weather resulting from Hurricane David. So that was pretty cool. A little scary, but mostly cool.

  • Global warming. I heard that the reason for this one is the temparatures in the Gulf are at an all time high.
    Unfortunately the american people elected a conservative wack job, these people hate to discuss or do anything about the environment, for fear of being called girlie men.

  • Michael—Where’d you come up with Hurrican Ephraim? Or, how the hell did you know that that’s my middle name? And finally, how’d you rightfully know that I’ve done considerable damage to her? At least, during the birthing process-since then I’ve been a pretty good boy, minus shtuppin a coupla goys, the drugs, alcohol, blogging on jewlicious…

  • Uh, just saw the hurricane pics in the New York Times. Michael, just for a sec can I pretend that I give a shit about your welfare? Can you please just comment and let us know everyone’s ok? I mean I know you are safe with your Mom and all, but what about that Christian boy who was your roomate last year? the Eucharist dude. And how about that woman who danced in your tallis? Just worried is all.

  • Hurricanes are definitely Anti-Semitic. Don’t forget Hurrican Opal that struck on Yom Kippur in 1995 and forced synagogues all over the gulf to cancel the Day of Atonement services. This has been a trend for quite a while and needs to be put to an end. I say we start a petition!

  • I feel for ya ck. The numbers and damage done is reaching unbelievable levels. Eucharist are you there OVER I repeat, please respond OVER

  • Wasn’t there a hurricane “Israel” a few years back? I believe that it was the first one to be renamed mid-season, due to the fact that there was strife in Israel and no one wanted headlines that said “Israel destroys Florida beaches.”

  • To add to what the middle said about the title’s translation, I think it’s noteworthy that this is just a letter or two off from being “A Couch/Sofa Does Not Evict a Jew,” which is of course, an imbedded midrashic reference to the famous Sid Solomon Incident, when a relative overstaying his welcome on a sofabed drives his host to … murrrrrderrrrr…

    Maybe I should check my meds, too.

    Michael, please get in touch with your blogkindred and let them know everyone’s ok.

  • I am safe, and despite my breezy attitude, actually a little upset about the loss of a place that, for all its problems, has become my home. I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to school this semester. In a Led Zeppelin-esque interlude, the levee broke and Lake Pontchartrain is filling up New Orleans. I see all these places I know on the news totally flooded and destroyed. And there’s no info coming.

    Eucharist is fine and safe in Houston. Tulane was totally evacuated, and most of my friends hadn’t arrived yet. Although I haven’t been able to reach the friends that were down there because Katrina blew down all the cell phone towers. And I can’t get in touch with my rav either. But everybody that could get out did, as far as I know.

    So, uh, yeah. I’m alive, but I’m a little confused as to what I’m going to do with my life, ya know?

  • Michael, glad that you’re healthy and safe. If you think going through this with another person to talk to would be easier, feel free to get my email addy from ck.

  • Muffti is just glad he and Manwhore Jonathon got to Mardi Gras this past year. Who knows when it will be next! (Though, if they can fix things up, Muffti imagines that next Mardi Gras will be insane! L’shana Habaah B’New Orleans Habnooyah!) Sorry about your college town Michael.

  • michael, if you want to crash in Jersey you are always welcome here…

  • Sure, but you don’t got Chutzpah in California. Think of the accelerated, erm, life education our young Michael could receive.

  • yikes, blogging leading to er, dancing! Note to self: don’t live below sea level.

  • Hi Michael
    Such sweet sentiments from you.
    Seriously, though, as much as you hate the city, there are 1M people in the area that call that city their home, and their basically refugees right now.
    A Bisel Rachmonus
    (I forgot that you don’t speak Shtetlese)

  • Eucharist: Anything we can do to help?
    Chutzpah: Can bloggers dance?
    Middle: Come live at my house, plenty of chutzpah there. Everyone turns 50 years old in 5 minutes minutes or less, guaranteed.

  • Everybody deals with impending disaster in their own way. Some people run, some people pray, some people stay put and some people laugh at it all. I think it’s that shtetlese black humor. But believe it or not, I’m actually not at all happy about New Orleans’ destruction. It’s my home too, and for all my complaints, I’d gotten used to living there. And trust me, I’ve got more than a bisel rachmonus for all the people who have been made refugees with their homes destroyed because I know dozens of them. You, for example, I have been trying to call for days to get updates on your safety and your family’s safety, but as we all know the cell phones don’t work (I see now that you have a website, though). I can’t get in touch with a lot of my friends. I want to see them again in school. I want to see your Chabad House again. I want to see St. Charles again. I even want to see the stupid French Quarter again. And I’m now trying to deal with the fact that I might not. So please, don’t accuse me of being bereft of mercy. I’m just tryin’ to deal, man. Call me if you ever get a working phone.

  • Yeesh, Michael, Muffti is sure you have much mercy and compassion. Now get back there and clean stuff up so Muffti can come crash again.

  • Michael, you know you have the full support of the rest of the Jewlicious team, right? If you didn’t know it before, you know it now. As a matter of fact, were you to move to Israel, I’m pretty sure we could find you a Canadian expatriate roommate. Or you could live on my fire escape in NYC. Your choice. But seriously, we’ll be there for you. These five words we swear to you.

  • I am in San Diego State University’s
    Chabad now with my laptop reading
    about the devastation in Gulf Coast.
    According to many reports, thousands
    of people cant return to the area in
    months. This is serious stuff. I
    appreciate the word on this, I have
    not heard of what is happening to
    this Chabad House.

    Much praise lauded on our Saint Michael for informing me and us really on the situation with our brother’s in New Orleans.

  • Thanks, Esther and Chutzpah and Yeled and everyone. I appreciate the support, really. But please, everybody see if your local Federation or something has a fund for the relief effort. Most of the people in New Orleans and Mississippi, Jews and non-Jews, need the help a lot more than me. I have a place to stay, but an awful lot of people don’t. So seriously, give like five bucks or whatever you can manage to make sure New Orleans comes back. It would be Jewlicious.

  • I just moved to Metairie, LA last month, and already I’m finding myself in a hotel room in Dallas, TX because of Katrina. I do want to ask everyone, if they are not already, pray for all of New Orleans’ metro area and other Gulf Coast congregations. I was so warmly welcomed by the congregation of Shir Chadesh, which is just down the street from the Chabad house on W. Esplanade. I hope everyone there has evacuated and continues to be okay.

  • Jewish Federation of Greater Houston has established a special Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund.Tax-deductible donations may be made in one of two ways: To make a donation online via the Federation’s secure website, log onto https://www.houstonjewish.org/onlinegiving.asp

    To make a donation by mail, please send a check made payable to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund, 5603 South Braeswood, Houston, TX 77096.

    Federations in the affected communities have requested that these donations be accepted by other local Federations across the country on their behalf as they are currently unable to accept any donations in their home communities. As we have with past natural and human disasters–including the series of hurricanes that hit Florida last year and the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund just a few months ago–the Federation will direct all monies we receive to the appropriate authorities, who will distribute them as needs dictate.

    In addition, there are an inestimable number of evacuees from New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast who are currently staying in Houston until they can return home. We are currently trying to ascertain what, if any, further assistance may be required to help those families during their time here.

    We are currently determining those needs; within a couple of days, I will contact you again with more details to seek your assistance to help the Jewish community of New Orleans, as well as thousands of others that have been affected by this terrible catastrophe.

    Professionals from the Jewish Federation of New Orleans have been utilizing our Federation offices until they can return home. Because cell phones and land lines from the affected areas are not working properly at this time, we will try and assist members of the New Orleans Jewish community, who are in Houston, to connect with one another.
    Anyone from New Orleans who may be receiving this email is welcome to call the Houston Federation office at 713-729-7000 and we will try and respond to any and all requests.

  • (I am not a contact. The above is an excerpt from an announcement.)

  • If you know a family which is hosting refugees, even their own family members, it is a nice thing to do to bring them some cooked food, to help the hostess.

    The school systems are letting the refugee children in, no residency questions. Scout troops too.

    Tougher: the people will need jobs in their new places. Jobs drive the rest.

    Maybe some of the displaced Jews will make aliyah. Nefesh b’ Nefesh is a place to call for that. This is the website: http://www.nbn.org.il/

    I hope that does not sound like taking advantage of a bad thing. It is not meant that way.

    When everything familiar is gone, and all comforting routines are disrupted, the one routine nothing can take from you is the routine of scheduled praying. G-d has given us this to hold onto.

  • The Regional Men’s Club would like to donate Kiddish Cups to Jewish Families who were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Please, if anyone has a contact, send it to this e-mail address