better than this?

Snow, Snatch and the Temple Mount
While the rest of the Jewlicious crew enjoyed the balmy weather in post-conference California, duty called and I returned to Israel. I flew from Long Beach to JFK to Heathrow and then Ben Gurion. I got in yesterday at 6 am and I have yet to sleep thanks to a combination of fatigue and, well, more fatigue. You’d think that would knock me right out – and you’d be wrong. I wish someone would knock me out frankly. This morning at 7 am I went looking for some some breakfast and the scene above, taken in front of the Machane Yehudah Market on Jaffa street in Jerusalem, is what I had to go through. The sticky snow didn’t really accumulate on the ground, instead it accumulated on my clothing and turned the streets into a slippery, slushy mess.

What a great time to be back home. I snapped a few pics for the blog and I never did get my breakfast. Meanwhile, back in the diaspora, three-16 year old Jewish female public high school students got suspended for disobeying school officials by saying the word “vagina” during a reading from the script of the Vagina Monologues.

The three honor students, Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, included the word because “we knew it was the right thing to do. Since we’re comfortable saying it, we should make other people comfortable saying it,” Levinson said… The excerpt from “Monologues” was read Friday night, among various readings at an event sponsored by the literary magazine at John Jay High School in Cross River, a New York City suburb… The three honor students, Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, included the word because “we knew it was the right thing to do. Since we’re comfortable saying it, we should make other people comfortable saying it,” Levinson said… The excerpt from “Monologues” was read Friday night, among various readings at an event sponsored by the literary magazine at John Jay High School in Cross River, a New York City suburb.

School officials claimed that the girls were punished not because they used the word vagina, but rather because they said the word vagina despite being told not to. Officials claimed that children were in the audience and that attendees had no prior knowledge that the vagina word would be used. Had the students decided to put on a production of the Vagina Monologues, that would have been acceptable as it would have been advertised as such and the audience would expect it. There’s nothing more disconcerting than unexpected vagina. Presumably, had the students chosen to use the word “hooha” instead, that would have been ok too. Nowhere in this story does anyone mention the violation of the sabbath that took place.

And back in Israel, depending on who you read, UNESCO has either bitch slapped Israel by insisting that it cease all work near the Al Aqsa Mosque or has exonerated Israel for the transparent way in which repairs to the nearby ramp leading to the Mugrabi Gate have been effectuated. The actual story? A combination of both. Israel’s excavations are fine but ought not to have been undertaken without the involvement of the UN and the Waqf especially given the ensuing rioting. Where was UNESCO when the Waqf was doing construction on the Temple Mount and dumping earth laden with valuable Judaic archaeological finds? Hello?

What a bunch of hoohas, talk about a snow job…

OK. So the connection between the three stories was tenuous. Sue me for trying to be entertaining. At least I didn’t say “y’all” or “I’m just sayin’ is all.”

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • CK, you are too young for this. Cover your ears. Or eyes. Or go to another room. This is beyond disgusting and you are much too young.

    Doesn’t the FBI have something to say about sexualizing the underage? Sixteen is underage.

    Once upon a time there was such a thing as childhood. As privacy. As marriage. As fertility. As dignity. As respect for boundaries. But it was bad for business. So it was taken away. Back to work, slaves.

  • That was not about the snow in Jerusalem or the repairs near the Temple Mount. It was about the school suspensions. The sixteen year old women who were suspended are not suspended any more. The bunch of lunatic, criminal adults who could not confine themselves to an adult audience is so very happy.

    I wonder at what age the word woman starts to be used: five? A six year old woman? Or the start of the “tween” years, which I think is age nine? Nine year old woman?

    Oh well. Money must be made. You can’t stop people from drawing the water from the well.

    I miss the family. It had its uses. Friends are not the same. Blood is indeed thicker than water and marriage is not the same as well, not.

  • I forgot!! The family was patriarchal and exploitative!! Sorry!!! Pleeeease don’t send me for “re-education”! I’ll never say it again!

  • Actually, I thought my story was better , but Esther did not find it Jewlicious

    Oprah always calls it a “Va J J” on tv. Anyone know the Yiddish words for the female counterparts of Shmuck, Putz, Schmekl, Schmeky, etc.?

  • Because, as we all know, girls do not develop a vagina – I’m sorry, “bajingo” – until they reach the age of 18, at which point it suddenly pops out (in?) with thunderous portent. Implying otherwise would be sexualizing the underage.

    Now, say it to yourself slowly. Relish those syllables. Va-giiiiii-na. Va-giiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-na. Va-giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-na. When you’re older, I can explain to you what “labia” are. Not the clitoris, though. That should be cut off. People are using that thing to have…you know…don’t make me say it…O-R-G-A-S-M-S. Out of wedlock! The nerve of these kids!

  • “Anyone know the Yiddish words for the female counterparts of Shmuck, Putz, Schmekl, Schmeky, etc.?”

    Why would there be a word in the Jewish language for that sinful, filthy crotch hole that polite, G-d-fearing Jewish women simply do not possess? Vaginas are for goyim. Jewish babies come from cholent. Just ask Jewish Mother.

  • I would like to have read Chutzpah on this. Michael you are being a little bit PC and that is not up to your usual standard of originality.

  • My point is, if you want to go see the play, go, but it’s not suitable for the under age. Sixteen is under age. School is a coerced setting.

    As this stuff often, as a practical matter, leads to sterility, it should not be injected into family life. Some of the taxpayers floating the school might want grandchildren. This isn’t an anatomy lesson, it is a cultural assault. Get that, Michael?

  • This is nice article on the topic

    JM.. in public school children know and use the proper terms for their genitals by the time they start Kindergarten, so no one was shocked or coerced in that audience.

    I would ask you to remove your head from the ground, but they would just censor my comment ….

  • You are misunderstanding me. This play has nothing to do with learning anything, such as the name for this or the name for that. It is about how to think and feel, in a way that is really brutal. I wonder if you are aware of this play? Have you seen or read it? Grown-ups can handle it, although some very kind men have been decidedly enraged by it.

    It’s a free country, and I don’t much care about the play, but it was the school context that had me so upset. These are very young people, just getting an idea about what to think about the other sex.

    At sixteen a girl has a right to not be invaded by smarmy politicos.

    Any educational setting, even college, should be a place where people can do their own thinking, and be left in some degree of peace to decide what on the menu they want.

    It is an attitude I am upset about, not the use of this term or that term.

    What about psychological privacy?

    This is not information, it is indoctrination.

    How come that is hard for Chutzpah and Michael to understand? They are both brilliant, so I don’t get it.

    Judaism is not prudish but it does require some minimum of modesty or it’s Baal time. And golden calf time. And the long term result is a debasement that always costs women very dearly.

    Even a woman who wanted her daughter to get an MBA and wait a good long while to marry would not want this for her daughter.

    The sexualization of children is very Baal, very Molok.

    Rabbi YO……

  • Actually JM sorta agree with you here. I haven’t seen the play so, you are right, I can’t argue.

    I will ask my daughter what they call the Vagina and menstral cycle in Yeshiva. I’m sure she will say “ma, I know…can you please not talk about it..”

    Why am I the only one laughing at this Israeli Diplomat to El Salvador…that is a damn funny story!?

  • JM- I don’t think that the girls were spreading any kind of gospel of sex to the underage. I have seen the play, and it is deep- if somewhat jarring.

    The thing is, the content was there anyway- they just used the proper word instead of “hoo ha” or “winky” and that makes the issue with the school absurd.

    Sure, lots of people feel uncomfortable when the word is said but all kids learn the proper terms in biology class so why not use it in the right context?

  • SN, the content is bothering me. The use of the correct anatomical term in this context is part of the cultural assault. I am not all bent out of shape about a word. I do not care what people call it in Yiddish. I do not use cute terms in general, like winky or hoo ha.

    I have spoken plainly to those growing up, in private, without any need to use jarring terms. The points were made, delicately, and the results are good.

    You may really have a point that the time for the school to say, hey, wait a minute, was when the play was proposed in the first place, not when this one word got spoken.

    So I see your point about that.

    As for the under aged – don’t you see that the girls themselves are under age???

    I am not trying to scrub life of its private aspectst at all. I am saying they should be private. But that can be discussed among adults.

    What I am truly hollering about is that this does not belong in a school. Nobody seems to understand the nature of the assault. Nobody seems to understand the effect this kind of thing has on people – young men and young women both – on their ability to trust, love, marry and have children.

    I am not a parts person. I don’t think one part of a person can be pulled off and asked to monologue. It is not a thing unto itself. That is dehumanizing. It is the person who talks, not her pieces and parts.

  • I have heard it said that there is no constitutional right to be a lady.

    Well, all right, that just has to be defended at street level, I guess.

    Privacy is an important right. The right to be let alone goes back to Jefferson. Boundaries are enshrined by Freud.

    The right to go swimming does not bring with it the obligation to provide entertainment for community. Yes, that is what comes with this dehumanizing. The obligation to put out. Or get called names and punished.

    The ground I am standing on is a liberated zone.

    Putting the play in front of the underaged is a crossing a line of cruelty, brutality, invasiveness that is parallel to the “no private property” thing. “No private parts”. “Nothing private at all. It all belongs to all of us,” as Borat would say. Your reproductive machinery are belong to us!

    Well, no actually.

  • I had the following coversation with my 14 year old 9th grader who goes to a “main stream” Orthodox yeshiva.

    “How do they teach you about the reproductive system in biology?”

    “the Human Reproductive System?” she asks

    ‘yeah, and mammals too…” hoping they would’ve at least explained how Oxen do it, since they seem to be so important when they cross the street and break someone’s jug…

    “no, they only do plants, ameobas, paramecium…”

    “did they teach you about the menstrual cycle?”

    “can you go away, you are getting really annoying…”

    “ok, but just one more question…do you know how the sperm reaches the egg?”

    “get out”

    “how do you say “Vagina” in yiddish?”


    I’m considering marching her into the bathroom with a handmirror and a chart naming all the parts, but I’ll wait until her wedding night for that…that’ll really annoy her.

  • “can you go away, you are getting really annoying…”


    The wisdom of children.

  • The point is, for Yeshiva ed. why do some people bitch about it non stop for so many years yet continue to pay and send their kids there?

    Even tho I myself have certain complaints w. the Ortho life style, overall I am very happy for the education, the Midos, the Hashkafa, the way that my children have turned out from this mainstream Ortho ed.

    I wouldn’t trade it for public school, even w. the burden of the tuitions.

  • Nothing positive to say about Yeshiva coming from me…it promotes the ghettoization and segregation of Jews from the rest of society. Religious education belongs in the home. You live in this country, you go to public school.

  • Why, is Yeshiva education unconstitutional? no.

    Private ed is ok? of course.

    The issue is, do you want your children to know about the prophets, the naviim, the Talmud, Misha, Torah. can you realistically teach all of this info?

    The Musar, for example, are you proud of Jewish traditional in terms of caring for the less fortunate, the almonah, the widow w/ children who needs definete immediate help?

    The Bikur cholim concept? NOT only that you visit someone but you try to brighten their lives? how?

    this is learnt only in YDS?

    this is personal, yet traditional.

    What exactly are they missingout on if the DO NOT go to public school?

  • The opportunity to interact with children of diverse backgrounds.

  • This they can and do get in the local community center. The boys play basketball, arcade video games, etc.

    The girls are in drama and dance there.

    Educationally, they are losing alot in the PS. Their entire Jewish Identity is most likely to be lost. Even if they maintain some affiliation, they are losing out on being a part of the Jewish events that occurs in schools, and their knowledge of Jewish learning and traditions, will be almost nothing.