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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #149 (8/13/17) – Trump & Trannies


Airs Aug. 13, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of August 13, 2017.

In much of mainstream media, Donald Trump is maligned—left, right, and sideways—for everything he says and does. A lot of times he should be, but other times, it’s just knee-jerk obstructionism as payback for the way the Republicans cock-blocked Obama for eight years. Is it really wrong to put America first, or to be extra careful about immigration from hostile countries, or to think your daughter’s kinda hot? No. These are defensible ideas, whether you ascribe to them or not.

However, since Donald Trump can’t get his own agenda started, his whole presidency has been about reversing whatever the last administration did. And about saying, “Hey, you think I’m a liar and a meanie? Hillary’s even worse!”—which is such a helpful ideology six months after the election.

Still, Trump wants to junk the Iran deal? I don’t blame him. He wants to hold Arab countries to a higher standard of behavior before selling Israel down the river? I’m all for him. He wants to fire everyone he appointed? Eh, he did that on TV, so why should we expect different? He wants to reverse policy about transsexual people joining the military? No. Just no. What the hell is it to Donald Trump if a soldier’s uniform fits a little differently between the hips and the knees?

Republicans say they’re not being homophobes; the reason to keep Trannies out of the service is cost–for building separate bathrooms and showers. And since the army is known to spend $400 on a toilet seat, putting up an entire stall must costs millions. The military also fears that transgenders will stay closeted until they get through basic training, then ask for surgery and expect Uncle Sam to pay for it. I mean, where’s the money going to come from if we’re pouring all that dough into building empty schools in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Another excuse to ban the Trans is mental instability. Right-wingers say that if a person can’t decide whether to be a boy or a girl, that points to confusion, which can be deadly on the battlefield. And, of course, bible-thumping goyim see gender fluidity and homosexuality as mental illnesses to begin with. We can’t have crazy people in the air force and navy, they say. We need to save those slots for colored folks who have no other way to get a leg up in this economy than to be cannon fodder.

I think what Trump is most worried about is the downtime. You’ve got Marines, pumped up on testosterone and killer instincts, waiting around for an excuse to release their aggression. With no battle to charge into, they go out to drink and pick up a female cadet. Now, there’s a private, taking a woman back to his tent, groping around her privates, and finding a ding-dong where her ying-yang should be. That’s a homicide waiting to happen. But it’s not a trannie’s fault if a cadet can’t control himself, any more than it’s Burger King’s fault if I take extra ketchup packets and put them in my cupboard for later. They may be tempting me by displaying free condiments, but it is my weakness that makes me stuff my pockets. Damn you, H.J. Heinz.

But back to the AC/DC’s. If you’re in a foxhole fighting a war, do you care whether the person next to you has a penis, a vagina, or a mixmaster between the legs? No. You just want them to fire when ready and send your dog tags home if you don’t make it. And the bitching about transgenders in the military is no different from the griping about women in the military, and gays, and blacks, and Jews, and anyone who isn’t white, Christian, and 100 percent brain-washable. Donald Trump has bought into this prejudice to the point where he won’t even allow trannies in the office pool, let alone facing combat.

Of course, the silver lining is that transgender people who can’t serve in the military also can’t get killed in the military. When we have to start sending bombers over North Korea, it’s the tow-headed, Sunday-school Andy Hardys who’ll be flying top-secret, while the Caitlin Jenners will be shopping in Victoria’s Secret. But it is not the President’s place to declare that people of any sexuality are unfit to defend their own freedom. After all, 66 million Americans voted that Donald Trump wasn’t fit to be President, yet here he is in the job. Hmm, maybe that’s not the best example.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.




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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #148 (8/6/17) – Roger Waters

Airs Aug. 5, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of August 6, 2017.

Today, my friends, I go swimming in foul waters. Brackish waters. Roger Waters! The former head of Pink Floyd is now a solo artist with delusions of relevance.

Waters has long been critical of Israel’s position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. According to Mr. Stink Floyd, Israel is always the bad guy: occupying land, denying Palis of their rights, existing. And Waters has made no attempt to hide his contempt for the only democracy—and sometimes the only civilized society—in the Middle East.

Who can forget the 2010 Waters concert, where his animated set design included B-1 bombers dropping mogen davids? Or, worse, the 2013 concerts, where, instead of launching beachballs and t-shirts into the crowd, he sent an inflatable pig with a Jewish star on it hovering over bewildered baby boomers, who just wanted him to shut up and play “The Wall.” And that’s the problem in a nutshell—or a nutcase. People still want to hear his old music, so that gives Waters a huge platform for his babble.

I’ll even grant that he thinks he means well. To Roger Waters, Israel is a torture state, an oppressive regime that doesn’t let a bunch of poor, bedraggled Arabs blow themselves up in peace. He’s not against Israel, he says; he doesn’t hate Jews; he’s merely a rabid anti-fascist. Except for someone who supposedly has nothing against Hebes, Waters takes every opportunity to savage our homeland. He equates Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of Jewish settlements on Jewish land with South Africa’s apartheid and feels both should be countered the same way. As such, Waters has become the poster boy for BDS. You know BDS: Bondage, Domination, and Stupidity. Or more officially: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel. In other words, hurt Israel financially, and the Jews will just slink off into the Red Sea and let the Palestinians take over land that they’ll just turn back into desert.

At least BDS isn’t the usual Moslem protest. Instead of flying planes into office walls, they just want to build a commerce wall around Israel. As part of his responsibilities being the BDS butt boy, Roger Waters has called on other musicians to avoid Eretz Yisroel and cancel any concerts they have planned there. In response, Thom Yorke and Radiohead, bless their hearts, went to Tel Aviv and played their longest concert in eleven years. Now granted, even they equivocated: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government,” Yorke said in a statement. “We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.”

Well, okay, I’ll accept Radiohead’s defensive half over Pink Floyd’s ass whole. And lest we think Roger Waters is anything other than a Goebbels with a guitar, look no further than his interview with the blatantly anti-Israel CounterPunch magazine. Waters complained about the “extraordinarily powerful” Jewish lobby in America, which he says makes it hard for other musicians to back him in his fulminating foolishness. Waters also bitched about Israel’s “right-wing rabbinate” supposedly causing, quote “the ethnic cleansing and systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime.” Ethnic cleansing. Right. Because Arabs are systematically murdered by the Israeli government for no other reason than the towels on their heads. Sure. That they start riots, kill soldiers, and blow themselves to pieces in cafes has nothing to do with Israel’s distrust of their breed.

I’m not saying Israel is perfect, or that the Prime Minister is right about everything. After all, a couple of weeks ago I, myself, blasted Netanyahu for reneging on a plan to make a small bit of the Wailing Wall co-ed. But I also understand what Israel is up against: ongoing hostility from the very neighbors who should take in the miserable Palestinians but won’t. For 80 years, little Israel has made the best of a situation that the Arabs have consistently made worse.

And Roger Waters? He won’t play Milk and Honey City? Let’s take a look at the schedule for his 2002 world tour, shall we? We shall. Let’s see, he started in South Africa in February. Well, there’s a country with a glorious history of justice. Oh, and then he moved on to Chile—no problems there. Argentina, which at the time was run by that bastion of morality, Carlos Menem. Let’s see…Brazil (where I’m sure Waters felt at home with the other Nazis), Venezuela (ditto), Mexico (because drugs and rock and roll do mix), Japan—because hegemonic nationalism was never an issue there. Oh, and then it was off to Beirut. Uh huh. And Moscow and Warsaw and Munich and Frankfurt and Stuttgart and Oberhausen and Vienna. Because when have Germany and Austria ever had a race problem?

A million times I have said that Israel is a Jewish state, and it is also a teeny-weeny state, so if the Palestinians don’t like living there, they should gas up their camels and move to any other Arab country that would have them. Which is, of course, none. Which is the real tragedy that putzes like Roger Waters, Susan Sarandon, Amy Goodman, and Javier Bardem never acknowledge. There is no occupation. There is a miniscule Jewish country that every Arab wants to level, and when the Jews fight back, or get strategic with blockades, the lefties wring their hankies and blame the good guys.

If I sound especially grim and intolerant, understand that I am writing this only a couple of days after three Israelis were stabbed to death by Palestinians in the West Bank, and a day after Arabs attacked the Israeli embassy in Jordan. Why the violence? The Palis were pissed off because Israel put in metal detectors by the Temple Mount. That started a riot, and three Arabs were shot by Israeli police. Yes, using deadly force against rioters is unfortunate, but over metal detectors? Something designed to keep everybody safe no matter what the religion? When I go in an airport, I’ve gotta take off my coat, my shoes, my belt, my watch. It’s a pain in the ass, but do I riot? No. And let’s not forget the reason we all have to get naked at JFK in the first place: the Arabs!

So Roger Troubled Waters, feel free to stay away from Israel. Plenty of bands who have actually made good music over the past forty years will take your place. And if you want to be the change you hope to see in the world, howsabout looking in the mirror? You were in Pink Floyd where the lead songwriter turned into an insane recluse, and the guy who replaced him can’t get along with you. You’ve been married four times—and divorced four times. And you’re an atheist, so even God has washed his hands of you.

You are the Pooper at the Gates of Dumb. You are the Atom Heartless Motherfucker. You’re the Dark Side of the Moron. The Final Cunt. A More-Than-Momentary Lapse of Reason. All in all, you’re just another Prick in the Wailing Wall, and I wish you weren’t here.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #146 (6/11/17) – 2017 Tony Nominations


Aired June 10, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of June 11, 2017.

Once again we have an opportunity to celebrate one of the most glorious attractions in New York and, indeed, the entire world. No, not college girls in spring dresses, I’m talking about the Broadway theater! Within half a square mile, dozens of the most brilliant playwrights, composers, actors, designers, dialect coaches — these happy few create lasting memories that straddle a magnificent line between art and entertainment. It’s kind of like what I do, without the art or entertainment.

Because I love Broadway—when it isn’t too self-indulgent, patronizing, boring, or stupid—every year I celebrate the arrival of the Tony Awards. Not because this actress is better than that one, but as an excuse to thank all the artists who contribute to the Great White Way, even the black ones. Most importantly, as a Rabbi, I like to find the Jewishness, the Yiddishkeit, in the Tony nominations. Back in the day, Broadway was Jewish. You had more Yids shlepping to the Morosco Theater than came to Ma’ariv services. Behind the scenes, too. Nearly all the classic musicals were Jew-composed. Faigelehs, too, but mostly faigeleh Jews. And the producers, the directors, the writers—David Merrick, Arthur Miller, Frank Loesser, Neil Simon, Eugene O’Neill’s accountant — all had a hand in building the Broadway we know today.

So when I skim over the 2016-17 season Tony nominees, I look for my people, and when I find them, I kvell. For example: Kevin Kline, still a matinee idol, still a comedy master as proved by his performance in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter. Kline’s mama was a Roman Catholic, and he was raised in that faith, but his papa was Jewish, so I like to think the part of him that’s shtupping Phoebe Cates is circumcised. More tricky is the star of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Josh Groban, a pop idol in his own right, would have been Jewish if his father had more taste. Instead, papa married a shikseh and converted to Episcopalianism, which turned his son from a Hebe to a dweeb. Still, there’s footage of teenage Josh playing Tevye in a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof, so the boy’s not all bad.

Disappointingly, Kevin Kline aside, all the other lead actors and actresses in plays are jaw-droppingly goyish. I mean, if Chris Cooper had a baby with Laura Linney, it would be so white, it could hide in a box of q-tips. The news isn’t much better in musicals—Christian Borle? Christine Ebersole? Who’s next—Crucifixia Smith? However, we do have one ringer—and she’s a humdinger: Bette Midler! She’s taken Broadway by storm in a revival of Hello, Dolly!. Now, it’s never stated in either The Matchmaker or Hello, Dolly! that Dolly Levi is Jewish but…come on. If it swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, and it complains about the thinness of the local deli’s corned-beef sandwiches, it’s a Jewish duck. Especially since Dolly, which is a shoo-in for best revival, was written by Jerry Herman and the equally Jewish Michael Stewart (fka Myron Stewart Rubin, if you please. And I do please).

The other two musical revivals up for Tonys: Miss Saigon, written by Boublil and Schonberg—which is the French equivalent of Goldstein and Cohen—and the great Falsettos, by William Finn. That show opens with a song called “Four Jews in a Room Bitching” and ends with a Bar Mitzvah, so if you take away the AIDS, the infidelity, the spousal abuse, the fags, and the death, it’s the perfect Jewish family musical.

And let’s not forget the Yidlach making new musicals, too. Benj Pasek, is nominated for co-writing the acclaimed Dear Evan Hansen. Pasek also wrote songs in the almost-Oscar-winning “La La Land.” In fact, one tune did win an Oscar, and in Pasek’s acceptance speech, he namechecked a Jewish Community Center in Philadelphia! Meanwhile, the writers of Come from Away are married couple Irene Sankoff and David Hein. They’re so tribal, they wrote one play called Mitzvah, and a musical called My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. And I thought I was Mitch McConnell’s worst nightmare.

The book for Groundhog Day was penned by someone who wouldn’t eat a hog, Danny Rubin. (Or at least he shouldn’t eat a hog.) And the director of the aforementioned Natasha, Pierre, and the whatever of whenever is Rachel Chavkin, who calls herself culturally Jewish even though she wasn’t Bat Mitzvahed. It’s okay, Ruchel, there’s always time.

Saving the best for last, two of the four Tony-nominated new plays have central Jewish themes. Oslo, by the shaygitz J.T. Rogers, is all about how two low-level Norwegian diplomats got Israel and the Palestinians to talk peace in 1993. We all know how that worked out, but the play manages to humanize everybody—amazingly, without making a false moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and Jewish self-protection. Yes, one of the Israeli negotiators is a total asshole, but he bargains in good faith and, well, let’s face it, Israelis…

The other Tony-nominated play is by the Pulitzer-winning Paula Vogel, and it’s called Indecent. Which reminds me of the joke about the old Rabbi having sex with a hooker. He gets on top of her, but then he starts crying. “Whatsamatter?” the hooker says. “I’m sorry,” says the Rabbi. “This is indecent.” “Indecent?” says the hooker. “No it isn’t. It just fell out.” But more to the point—yet still involving hookers—Indecent the play is all about the premiere of another play 100 years ago. God of Vengeance, by Sholem Asch, scandalized the Jewish theater community when it was translated into English and performed on Broadway in 1923. Asch’s drama told of a brothel owner who tries to go respectable but just ends up even more morally bankrupt than where he began. The play has prostitutes, hypocrisy, even a lesbian kiss. Yeah! Unfortunately, the whole cast was indicted on charges of obscenity, leading to a trial and eventual exoneration.

As for Paula Vogel’s play, Newsday Jewess Linda Winer called Indecent “a gripping and entertaining show with laughter and tears and a real rainstorm”—because who doesn’t go to the theater to experience lousy weather?

Anyhoo, when it comes to the Tony Awards, I do have one complaint. Remember two years ago at the Oscars, when no black people were nominated for anything? Even then, they had a schvartze host: Chris Rock. Can you remember the last time the Tony Awards had a Jewish host? Not Kevin Spacey, not James Corden, not Neil Patrick Harris, not Hugh Jackman. If we go back to 2008, Whoopi Goldberg hosted—but she doesn’t count. She just chose that last name because it was somewhere in her family line, and because she wanted to be taken more seriously as an actress. (Oddly enough, “Whoopi” wasn’t doing that for her.) You have to go back to 2001, when Matthew Broderick, whose mom was Jewish, co-hosted the Tonys with Nathan Lane, who really should be Jewish. And before that? Amy Irving co-hosting in 1994. Prior to that? Tony Randall, 1982. So basically, once a decade, we get a landsman on the dais. So maybe in 2018, the American Theater Wing will remember who built Broadway in the first place and pick a heimische host. It just so happens my calendar is free that night, whatever night that is. So Broadway League—you have my number, my twitter, and my umbrella, which I really need to get back from you.

Until then, this Sunday night, I will be watching the 71st annual Tony Awards, applauding for the winners, pitying the losers, marveling at the production numbers, and praying for a nip slip on the red carpet. God, I love the theater.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. Curtain up!

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #143 (1/8/17) – Obama & the U.N.

Airs Jan. 7, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:


Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of January 8, 2017.

Remember that old Billy Joel song, “Leave a Tender Moment Alone?”  He was talking about how he couldn’t just enjoy a romantic interlude; he had to undercut the good feelings with a gripe or a joke.  Of course, the joke was on him, since he chose Cutty Sark over Christie Brinkley.  But the idea of not leaving well enough alone, of doing your best but then having the world remember your worst — that can be applied to our outgoing commander in chief, Barak Obama.

This is a man who took on a country that was in the toilet financially, emotionally, and seemingly irremediably.  Eight years ago, you couldn’t pay the bills, you couldn’t get a job, you couldn’t sell a house, you couldn’t retire, you couldn’t visit New Orleans without scuba gear.  Since President Obama has been in office, change has been slow, but to deny that an epic turn-around has occurred means that either you’re a retard or a Republican.  On top of this, we killed Bin Laden, pointless laws about harmless crimes have been easing up, and faigelehs can marry whomever they want and, therefore, be as miserable as the rest of us.  Through it all, Obama has maintained his poise, his cool, and his through-the-roof hipness quotient, kind of like yours truly.

And yet, mistakes were made.  He rammed Obamacare up the American tush like a bad thermometer, giving people who never had health insurance coverage, but giving the rest of us a severe pain in the wallet.  He completely screwed the pooch on managing the rise of ISIS, or ISIL, or Islamic Gee-Whiz, or whatever nickname the religion of peace is using these days.

But the most resistible piece de resistance of Obama’s legacy came right near the end.  He and his minion, John Kerry, saw an opportunity to take a little dump on Israel.  The United Nations, a toothless and brainless entity that has kept exactly zero wars from happening since its founding in 1945, voted last month to condemn Israel for settlement building.  These houses, built on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are controversial because the territory was annexed when Moses kicked Mohammed’s ass in the Six Day War.  In other words, it’s been legitimate Israeli land for 50 years, but the Palestinians are still screaming for it like babies ripped from their mama’s boobies.  And, of course, the greater Arab world agrees because any reason to hate Israel is fine by them.  England agrees because they’re still pissed at Israel for pushing them off the sand.  Other countries agree because anti-Semitism has proved a lot more durable than communism.  But the United States, our friend and ally, has always stood with Eretz Yisroel against these bullies and bastards.  Until December.

See, the left-wing liberals don’t like Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, because he cares more about the safety and security of his nation than playing diplomatic blind man’s bluff. And he says, “Why the hell should we stop building settlements on our own soil until we actually make a deal—God forbid—to give the land back?”  If you’re gonna sell your house when you’re 80 years old, does that mean you can’t put in a new bathroom when you’re 58?

Like every American president, Obama wanted to be the one who made lasting peace in the Middle East.  He yearned to be the great statesman who solved the Israeli-Palestinian problem.  How do presidents do this?  By asking Israel to suffer.  Give up this, give up that, and maybe the Arabs will promise to leave you in peace.  Give away land you won fair and square in 1948 and 1967 and 1973, and maybe the Palis will cease lobbing scud missiles at you.  Maybe.

What do the Arabs have to give up?  Ummm.. ummm.. oh yeah.. they must make the terribly difficult sacrifice of admitting that Israel exists.  Oh, the poor dears.  Even John Kerry, in his misguided, hot-headed speech after the UN vote, reminded the Arabs that if they want Israel to come back to the negotiating table, they have to call it “Israel” and not “that smudgy place next to Egypt on the map.”  But shamefully, Kerry and Obama made the United States abstain from the UN condemnation vote, rather than veto it.  It was Barry’s last dig at Benjy.  His way of saying, “You won’t obey me?  Fine, I’ll tell mommy, and you’ll get in trouble.”  Netanyahu, hearing this, stuck his tongue out and replied, “Nyah-nyah, neener-neener.  So you’re the big peacemaker with Muslims?  Do they know that in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen?  Pick a country; there’s a genocide.  But Israel is the bad guy for constructing houses and universities on its own terra firma.”

I have long said that when it comes to Jews and Palestinians, I am in favor of a two-state solution: the Jewish state of Israel, and an Arab state — in Lebanon, or Libya, or Lichtenstein or Mexico, or the North friggin’ Pole — anywhere except on the tiny sliver of real estate set aside for a Jewish homeland.  To demand as a condition of peace that Israel chop itself up and bestow its backyard on its worst enemy is unfair, unsafe, and untenable.  Suppose a fly is buzzing on a windowsill, and there’s a cobweb in the corner.  Suppose the fly surrenders half its rightful window to the spider?  How long you think that fly has before he’s an entrée in Charlotte’s web?

Now, America gives a lot of money to Israel and has throughout Obama’s term in office.  The President has stood with Israel on other issues, and, in the main, relations remain beautifully strong and important.  With Donald Trump coming into the White House, complete with an Orthodox Jewish son-in-law and a converted Jewish daughter, ties between the two nations are likely to get even cuddlier.  So it’s just a disappointment that a mere month before he sneaks his last cigarette behind the oval office, Obama chose to snub the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only true friend America has anywhere in that part of the world — all in the name of appearances and the pie-in-the-sky lie of the two-state solution.

You know, the Democrats thought they had a two-state solution for the last election: New York and California.  We all saw how that worked out.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #142 (12/25/16) – 2016 Farewell

Airs Dec. 24, 2016 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:


Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of December 25, 2016.

Events of the past few months notwithstanding, it is not yet the apocalypse. However, we do have a stunning occurrence coming upon us: as we speak, Chanukah and Christmas have arrived at exactly the same time. I have spoken before, some would say at unconscionable length, about not conflating the two holidays. They come from two very different, irreconcilable religions. I don’t begrudge my Christian brethren and sistren, but don’t put a Jewish star on top of a Christmas tree and expect me to feel grateful.

In fact, the only thing I feel gratitude for these days is that 2016 is coming to a merciful end. I don’t need to tell you what a long, meshuggenah trip it’s been. Or maybe I do, in verse form.

`Tis the first night of Chanukah
From Tampa to Tulsa
The candles are burning
Just like my ulcer

The dreidels are spinning
The latkes are frying
The Muslims are killing
The people are dying

The year has been tough
That couldn’t be clearer
So Twenty-Sixteen
Here’s your rear-view mirror

The campaign for president took a dark journey
As Democrat dummies picked Hil and screwed Bernie

Huckabee, Kasich, Rubio, Paul
The louder they got, the harder they’d fall

Jindal and Christie, Carson and Cruz
But then Donald Trump bubbled up from the ooze

He battered Ms. Clinton for being a female
She stumbled and fumbled and mishandled email

Trump lied and insulted and mocked with each Tweet
But then he fell in with the party elite

And lo and behold, as he, alone, expected
The con-artist clown is the guy we elected

If that’s not enough to make us all wretch
There’s plenty more reasons about which I’ll kvetch

There’s Brexit and Brussels and murder in Mosul
While Syria looks like a garbage disposal

All across Europe, security sucks
Who’s teaching these young Arab men to drive trucks?

The Istanbul bomber ignited our fears
Another putz shot up a club full of queers

Mosquitoes with zika came in for the kill
While lyin’ Ryan Lochte shamed us in Brazil

Hurricane Matthew brought death and disaster
A wild Turkish cop shot the Russian ambass’dor

An EgyptAir plane crashed into the sea
And North Carolina won’t let trannies pee

All over the world, ISIS steps up attacks
While our police fire at black people’s backs

If that’s not enough to make you all wince
2016 took Bowie and Prince

Gene Wilder, George Martin, and Elie Wiesel
Scalia and Castro — well, they went to hell

So long, Leonard Cohen
Farewell, Harper Lee
Goodbye, Abe Vigoda . . . finally

We lost Garry Shandling, who wasn’t a sick man
We lost Alan Thicke, and Alan Rickman

Muhammad Ali is no longer standing
And hero John Glenn came in for a landing

Merle Haggard, Ed Albee, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
And Fyvush and Blowfly and too many more

But okay, let’s admit the pipeline was stalled
The Cubs and the Indians played ball in the fall

The stock market zoomed to new heights every day
And Hamilton swept all the Tonys away

Manatees moved from endangered to threatened
And a new subway line was built in Manhetten.

So though it was harsh, absurdist, and mean
Shalom to the year 2016

The lesson it taught us with every new curse:
As bad as things are, they’re bound to get worse.

Happy American Rosh Hashanah everyone! See you in 5778!

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. Shanah Tolerable.

(c) 2016 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #141 (11/6/16) – ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Airs Nov. 5, 2016 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of November 6, 2016.

Well, my friends, this is it.  In three days, we drag ourselves to the local junior high school, sign our names in a guest book, hold our collective noses, and pull the lever to choose which nightmare we wish to endure for the next four years.

On one side, we have Hillary Clinton: experienced, resilient, hardworking, honest as the day is long.  At the South Pole.  If you ask this woman, “what color is the sky?”, her answer’s gonna be, “Well, depending on the time of day and the light refracting away from various planets, we could be somewhere in the azure-like spectrum.  But until I’ve done more research, I have to reserve comment on that.”  Hillary Clinton gets a memo with a giant “C” on it for “Classified,” and she thinks the “C” stands for, “Come, put this on your home computer — where you haven’t updated Norton Utilities in three years.”

And two-faced?  This woman has more faces than Mount Rushmore in a hall of mirrors.  She tells rich fatcats she’s for open borders, but then she tells middle-class Democrats she’s for protecting trade.  She bashes her opponent as a sexist pig but persecutes any woman who humped her husband.  Which is a full-time job, by the way.  Hillary promises to get tough on America’s enemies, but when was Secretary of State, the Middle East turned into Terrorist Disneyland.  Heck, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t even be the nominee if Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her party apparatchiks didn’t treat Bernie Sanders like a naughty puppy who was soiling the carpet by lifting his leg to the far left.

For all his faults, people still love Hillary’s husband, Bill.  He’s got the twinkle, he’s got the polish; he’s got another box of cigars at the ready.  But that popular love just doesn’t transfer to Mrs. Clinton, who’s been in the political game too long to ever be a real person again.  Even people who don’t dislike her understand that if she’s elected, the country will stay the same.  The economy will still grow at a pace that makes photosynthesis look like the Indy 500.  ObamaCare will put more people in hospitals . . . with heart attacks after they see their premiums.  And America will still lag behind the rest of the world in everything except obesity and unwatchable cable TV channels.

And yet, of the two candidates running for the two major political parties, Hillary Clinton is the better choice.  I know that’s like saying a bowl of chocolate-covered horse radish is preferable to a dish of month-old sheep vomit, but if you had to pick, you go with the maror over the moron.  No question, Donald Trump is a wildly successful businessman.  He’s successful, and he’s wild.  I like that he has balls, but then again, what else do you shoot with a loose cannon?

Now, I don’t hold against Donald Trump that he’s gone bankrupt a couple of times.  It takes a savvy entrepreneur to pick yourself up, dust yourself up, pay your creditors two cents on the dollar, and start all over again.  And I don’t mind that he hasn’t paid any taxes since the Hoover administration.  If I could find a legal way not to pay sales tax every time I bought a pastrami sandwich, I’d be owning Trump Hotel.  Which would be especially ironic since neither of us owns it.  For all his building development, Donald Trump does not own most of the buildings he has his name on.  But I don’t hold that against him, either.  After all, if my last name were Parkinson, would I want my name on a disease?

What I do begrudge The Donald are his deals with the devil.  When The Orange One first announced his candidacy, his whole shpiel was about being an outsider.  He wasn’t a lifelong politician and therefore took no money and owed no favors.  That’s tremendously appealing, especially when you’re also plain-speaking, pro-Israel, and promising to play by your own rules.  Had Mr. Trump gone with a third party or created his own party—and I don’t mean the kind of party where he offers a supermodel $10,000 to polish his cornerstone—I mean Ross Perot-ing it.  Saying “shtup you” to the Pelosis and the Paul Ryans, because he could.  Between his bank account and grass-roots support among the kind of white people who think Canadians are as exotic as foreigners should be allowed to get, Donald Trump could have funded a truly “outside” campaign.

Instead, he gets in bed with the elephants.  The same people who gave us eight years of George W. Bush, not to mention Fox News, Richard Nixon, Sarah Palin, Strom Thurmond, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  So the Republicans think they can corral Trump, Trump thinks he can streamroll the G.O.P., and I think they should both go down in flames.  Trump wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans?  Who’s gonna pick my etrogs for Sukkos?  He’s gonna give tax credits to the ultra-wealthy so their money will trickle down?  Wanna bet it trickles down into their yachts, their jewelry, their private islands . . .  Trump wants to pick Supreme Court justices who will protect the Constitution.  The Constitution doesn’t need protecting; it just needs an annotated edition with color pictures, a worksheet, and an interactive website.  Actually, the Torah could use that, too.  I’ll have to tell that to God next time we talk.

Anyhoo, Donald Trump says, “What have you got to lose?”  Everything stinks; maybe I’ll stink less.  Of course, the last guy who said that was Ralph Nader, and we all saw how well that turned out.  So for what it’s worth, I endorse Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.  It is not a ringing endorsement.  In fact, it’s more of a thudding endorsement.  But look at the alternatives: the Trumpster fire?  The Libertarian guy who thinks Aleppo is a tiger with spots?  The independent party run by a dude named “Joe Exotic?”  Look him up.  He’s got eight rings in his ear, a Fu Manchu moustache, and a mustard-yellow leisure suit that should be kept 1,000 feet from any building and detonated.  Or the guy from the Legal Marijuana Now Party — because, of course, the most urgent problem facing our nation today is finding a place to get your mellow on with some sweet bud?  Or the guy from the Nutrition Party, whose sole claim to fame is inventing the Muscle Maker Grill?  I mean, I like George Foreman, but I wouldn’t want him negotiating with North Korea.  Except about barbecue, and even then, kimchi would be a dealbreaker because who the hell wants to eat that?  Seriously.

So we come to the long-awaited end of this contentious, obnoxious, unfathomable election cycle in America.  A cycle that had one candidate call a war hero a coward and another whose every private email makes the New York Times bestseller list.  Meanwhile, the rich get richer, the bridges are crumbling, the schools are stupid, the terrorists are multiplying, and Steven Tyler is making country music.  We’re in big trouble.  But vote anyway because if we’ve gotta choose between an egotist with a messiah complex or a liar who understands complexity, I’ll take the one who isn’t relentlessly battling crucifixion.  Let’s face it…what Rabbi wouldn’t?

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.  Vote early, vote often, try the veal.

(c) 2016 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #140 (6/12/16) – TONY AWARDS 2016

Airs June 11, 2016 on Dave’s Gone By. YouTube link:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of June 12, 2016.

Lovers of the theater — and by that I mean geeks, shut-ins, homosexuals, and the desperate — rejoice! The time has come once again to celebrate Broadway — the talent and creativity that bring a bissel fun and sanity to this increasingly meshuggenah world. Huzzah for the Tony Awards.

Now, it is hard to deny that Broadway has become a playground for the rich, a parcel of real estate increasingly off limits to working people who just crave two hours of tits, tunes and tears. But remember: many places offer discount tickets and two-fers — trust me on this, I know from bargains. And even if those prices are beyond your purse, for three hours this Sunday night, you can sit in front of the TV and watch the dazzle of 42nd Street unfurl before your glazed, lower-middle-class eyeballs.

You can’t get into Hamilton? Alexander Hamilton couldn’t get into Hamilton. But Sunday, June 12th, you get a digital front-row seat to the cast of Hamilton doing a song . . . and then winning every Tony Award known to man. Actually, they won’t, they can’t. They have 16 nominations — a record! — but they have multiple nominees in some categories, and not every race is a shoo-in. So Mel Brooks’s The Producers will likely remain the all-time Tony Award winner. Ah, if only I’d bought 112 shares of that show. Quel dommage. But there are other reasons to watch the Tony Awards either in person at the Beacon Theater or on CBS, whose viewership is so old, they should be nicknamed The Yahrzeit Network.

Seriously, though, what I love to do most of all this time of year is look through the Tony nominations and find the Jews. There’s generally a batch of them, this being theater and all, and it’s a point of pride when my people are being recognized for their brilliance — and for briefly escaping Equity’s 95 percent unemployment rate.

First and foremost, let us exult that Fiddler on the Roof is back, and this time, they have a Jew playing Tevye! He’s Tony-nominated Danny Burstein, who starts off as a modern guy who comes onstage reading the stories of Sholem Aleichem. Then he takes the jacket off and turns into Tevye the milkman. This has confused some matinee audiences. I guess when you get to a certain age, it can be hard to make the mental leap of: no jacket, 1910 Russian village; yes jacket, 2016 Sears men’s department. How these audiences survive Tom Stoppard is beyond me.

By the way, in the lead-actor category, Danny Burstein is up against Zachary Levi for She Loves Me. Now, this truly is confusing because Levi has a Jewish name, but he’s a gentile. Worse, in recent interviews, the Welsh actor said he was turned down for parts in Hollywood movies because he looked too Jewish. Levi said, quote, “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look. My family is from Indiana, come on!” I feel for you, Danny. It’s like that time I auditioned for the Carolina Chocolate Drops. I nailed it; sang like an angel. But did they call? Did they write? Not a word. And don’t even get me started on how I tried to get into the Celtic Women. Actually, I almost got into one, but she found out I was married.

Anyhoo, moving on to other Tony categories . . . where the hell are my people? Where are the Cohens and the Rothsteins and the Schiowitzes and the Bermans? This year gives us names like Brooks and Nyong’o and Pigott-Smith and the erotic-sounding Sengbloh. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for diversity. But it’s not so diverse if Jews are virtually absent.

Thank God, thanks to Hamilton, we do have a featured actor in a musical: Daveed Diggs. Yes, he’s a schvartz, but his parents gave him the Hebrew name for David because he’s half schvartz and half-Jewish. So I’d let him marry half my daughter. And speaking of halvsies, hooray for Sophie Okonedo, the celebrated British actress who already won a Tony for A Raisin in the Sun two seasons ago. Yes, she looks black, but there’s cholent under the chitlins! Okonedo’s mom is a Jewish Pilates teacher, and her parents were emigrants from Eastern Europe who spoke Yiddish! As Wikipedia notes, Okonedo’s father took a powder, and her single mom raised her in unavoidable poverty, but, says the actress, “We always had books.” If that isn’t Jewish, I don’t know what is. Well, a synagogue is Jewish; that kind of is. And Hebrew. And mezuzahs, but you know what I’m saying.

The wonderful lesson that we take from Daveed Diggs and Sophie Okonedo is that we can integrate, we can intermarry but not lose the spark of Yiddishkeit. We will no longer look the same or sound the same. And we will probably have better hair. But Jewish upbringing, connection, and belief need not go by the wayside, even if our people are far away from Bayside.

And so, on Tony night, when Lin-Manuel Miranda is giving his 32nd speech about inclusion, please remember that we are not as ex-cluded as it might first appear. Just look at the best-musical nominees: Hamilton, School of Rock, Shuffle Along, Waitress, and Bright Star. Hamilton deals with money, which Jews are always worried about; School of Rock concerns education, which is sacred to us; Shuffle Along is what every Jew over 70 does, and Waitress is what we all holler in a restaurant. As for Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star, who’s to say it isn’t six-pointed?

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. On with the Tony show!

(c) 2016 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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