Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.
- Danny Caro
Jul 17, 2009
I thought that trying to explain the offside rule to my wife was hard but that is nothing compared to explaining the rules of cricket to my Israeli cab driver.
I mean how do you explain LBW and the different ways of getting out?
I tried hand gestures but he looked stumped!
Norman Geras says all that needs to be said about interfering with Test cricket:
- Jenni Frazer
Jul 17, 2009
To everybody's favourite reading, Fort Lauderdale's South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which reports that an "ordained Jewish cantor," Debbie Ballard, is training at a Florida scuba shop in order to perform Jewish weddings under water.
Apparently they get round the glass-smashing by getting the groom to smash a lightbulb with his flipper, while later the couple "sip wine out of a sippy cup", whatever that may be.
The paper has gone as far as consulting local rabbis for an expert opinion.
"As long as certain traditions are kept, the ocean wedding could be legal according to Jewish law, said Reform Rabbi Barry Silver, of L'Dor Va-Dor congregation in Boynton Beach, Fla.
"Rabbi Richard Polirer, of congregation Beth Hillel in Margate, Fla., said the idea could grow on him.
"But he said he doesn't know if couples should do it just for the sake of it.
'Just because you can doesn't mean you should,' he said."
Like they say: only in America.
Gideon Rachman has a nice post on apocryphal phrases:
I was amused to read this column by one of President Carter’s former speech-writers,
pointing out that Carter never used the word “malaise” in the famous
speech in 1979 that became known as the “malaise speech”. A shame since
both the speech and the phrase have come to define the Carter era as
one of gloom and defeatism.
The anecdote supports a personal theory of mine that a great many
era-defining sayings are apocryphal. James Callaghan, Britain’s prime
minister in the late 1970s, was lambasted for saying “Crisis, what
crisis” when he returned from an overseas trip to a strike-torn
Britain. Except he never said it. It was a newspaper headline
purporting to summarise his comments.
- Candice Krieger
Jul 17, 2009
Property entrepreneur Gerald Ronson doesn’t strike me as the feng shui type. But it appears he has become quite au fait with the ancient Chinese concept. At a ceremony laying a time capsule in the foundations of Heron Tower – to be London’s tallest office building – Mr Ronson, wearing a hard hat and fluorescent yellow jacket, explained how the capsule included an ethically-sourced tortoiseshell, which he assured died of natural causes.
He said: “In case you are wondering why a tortoiseshell, it is because, in feng shui theory, the tortoise, dragon, phoenix and tiger form four kinds of energy that surround a building. The tortoise represents a strong back, protection and security. For this reason, a tortoiseshell is commonly placed into the foundations of a building that incorporates feng shui principles. It is believed to help keep it safe and is considered an auspicious symbol in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and parts of China.” (the dragon, phoenix and tiger are commonly ignored, no doubt because they are more difficult to source).
Got it. Feng shui is good for business. That sounds a bit more like Ronson.
Also in the capsule were: signed drawings of Heron Tower by the architect, Leo Polisano; planning permission for the Heron Tower, a copy of the Evening Standard dated 18 June 2008 containing an interview with Gerald Ronson entitled ‘My London tower is the only one that’ll be built’; a copy of the Financial Times dated 16 July 2009; a DVD of the artist’s impression of the site on completion; an ordinance survey map of the Bishopsgate area for 2009 photographs of the site prior to demolition. No JC? Poor show Mr Ronson.
Did you hear the interview this morning on Today with John O'Brien, "programme director of the Vetting and Barring Scheme"? I had to pull over as I was driving, so enraged was I by this awful man and his bureaucrat-robotspeak arguments.
Somehow the story had passed me by earlier in the week:
Philip Pullman, the best selling author, will be banned from reading his books in schools because he refuses to be vetted for a new anti-paedophile database that he said "assumes my guilt".
- Jan Shure
Jul 16, 2009
As I have observed previously in writing about the cost of Israel hotel rooms and flights, competition is always a good thing. Now, with El Al operating three flights daily, up against BA’s two daily flights and bmi’s daily duo tailored for businessmen – plus, of course, the prospect of easyJet flights from £102 return hovering on the horizon – there are more bargains to be had.
- Danny Caro
Jul 16, 2009
Going into the Open football competition, so much was expected from a talented squad but they appear to be playing well within themselves and with the handbrake on. It appears that something is not right.
Now we are in dire straits and knowing that desperate times call for desperate measures, I urge the management to pull out all the stops and play their strongest possible starting XI.
It is a given that the players have forked out thousands to be in Israel but I believe that the entire squad will be slated if they return empty-handed and without a win.
- Simon Rocker
Jul 15, 2009
The - some would say, long-overdue - elevation of the Chief Rabbi to the House of Lords has brought across-the-board congratulations from the Charedi Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations to Masorti.
Almost across the board, that is. Invitations from the JC to comment have so far elicited no response from the Reform or Liberal movements.
A sign of smouldering anger over the JFS affair, perhaps?