Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why I'm Fond of Richard Belzer.



REVISED: 26.02.06b

A/N - No, I didn't ask The Chairman for permission to publically discuss something we privately spoke about in his office and post the heartbreaking essay I wrote to him for everyone to see. Yet if your big brother saved your life—would be awfully darn difficult not to tell everyone the whole story without thinking.

Could be I'm just making a tzimmes (big deal) about this...but he just called me into his office and my Uncle, LSVC's Attorney is waiting there, too. I better pull half of this column out and put it back in the folder--leave those kinds of things in the privacy of my big brother's personal files...even the parts that were desperately funny-- our private joke. (And just to make sure... )

Dear Mr. Chairman, please forgive this apprentice staff writer for being so totally inconsiderate... (and for scaring the H. E. Double Toothpick out of everyone, especially the Chairman...)

Now if anyone writes flaming, horrible comments (about Richard or Harlee)—like the ones up at laugh.com—I will hunt you down and tie you to the comfy chair. If you don't know what that is...go watch Monty Python's Holy Grail. And that's putting it mildly—what will happen...when The Chairman...ahem...Chief of The Comment Police gets a hold of you."


--Kind Regards, Reni.

Why Am I Fond of Richard Belzer?

Here are the multiple choices:
1) His rendition of "Moses & The Cell Phone..."
2) His real personality bleeds out in his portrayal of Detective John Munch's (Law & Order: SVU) deeply sensitive compassion for others... (There's a saying that a real writer has to bleed on paper, how about a real actor?)
2½) He was a guest on Sesame Street's Elmopalooza.
3) Because his IQ is so high that he should be in Mensa, his viewpoint of the world is different than a lemming. (The IQ rating of "57" in his book—How to be a Stand-Up Comic—was to keep from overwhelming the average reader with too much information.)
4) Beneath all that acerbic wit is a very sweet, compassionately sensitive guy, like my other brother...
5) He's an ambassador from another planet...(why else would he wear black & prescription sunglasses, be thinly tall like a Vulcan/Romulan, live in France and write a book about conspiracies?? - just kidding, Richard...)

Answer: Choice number 5—we visitors to this backward planet have to support each other.

Although the correct answer is all of the above...

Richard reminds me of my brother, who was always trying to get me to laugh and taught me to play straight man to his jokes. We used to have a blast as kids. He loved acting in theatre. (I miss him so very much.)

My brother admired Belzer. (Though lil' sisters tend to overlook certain word usage, since there are times... Yet then I'm mild-mannered and absent-minded, the kind of comedian who would run smack into her brother—the Master of Ceremonies—with her nose in a book. I am fond of the way Belzer says babe... But no, I don't emerge a super-hero from a telephone booth. A British Police box, possibly...they tend to be extra-dimensional. Just ask my friend The Doctor...Who? Never mind. What was I saying???)

Getting to know my favorite guy has really helped fill in some of that awful empty ache of losing my brother. With everything Richard has gone through and the way he looks after Mishpocha (family), I know he'd be a great brother, too. Oh well, just a thought. Still big brothers to me are someone I fondly look up to and look forward to all the potential teasing. (since turnabout is fair play...)

Anyway, I'm not even mad anymore that an October 30th picture of Richard with his signature smile (IMDb website) pulled me out of a well-deserved severe depression. So there. For the week before the holidays, that smile of his was the only thing keeping me sane and away from the cliff with the rest of the lemmings.

So why did I need to have a private talk with the Chairman??

First of all though, I was really nervous about writing to him in the first place, due to this friend of mine. My friend's negative comment got me overly worried that sharing how I'm fond of The Belz and have been praying for him might seem like a ridiculous statement from an unreasonable fundamentalist bird, like my friend who tries to fly around and around with one right wing. But I can’t figure out how to fly lopsided, since I’m more the ambidextrous type.

And I’m not very good with parties, either. Well, at least not the loud, noisy kinds that expect me to leave my brain at the door—they give me a headache. Like the Hanukkah party I went to last year. The congregation leader’s wife screeched over everyone’s loud talking. I couldn’t even think straight and wound up with a migraine.


Yet it occurred to me—I might just be giving in to the awkward legacy of paranoia on my mother’s side stemming from at least two generations of hiding our Jewish identity out in the woodshed and only bringing up the subject as an argument. My great aunts used to argue about getting caught eating cabbage rolls and how my mother got “her looks.”


I suspect the argument between my great aunts had to be whether to pass down the lineage or just forget the whole thing. I can just hear them saying, “We’re in the backwoods surrounded by Hillbillies. Nobody knows what German Dutch means. Let’s use that.” Maybe they were jealous of my mother, because they only had sons, but I don’t know what their problem was with cabbage rolls. There’s a Lebanese restaurant around the corner from my house that makes great cabbage rolls with hummus and the proprietors are nowhere near German Dutch. In fact, they’re Greek Orthodox.

.
(Unlike my aunts' small town though, the city planners around here are nutz—from ruin-your-eyes, dizzy-bright, red & blue wall-to-wall carpeting in the entire public library to 32 foot, neon columns defending a prominent intersection like a circle of prairie wagons warding off the locals. Motorists tend to cause accidents while staring at the red, blue and lavender lights, looking for UFOs to land on top of New Stonehenge... ...while cattle promenade down mainstreet.)

Then I found the actual transcript from an HBO Broadcast—March 11, 2005—posted on a Blog, and figured my friend doesn’t know how to hear between the lines…(well he did add that Belzer was a nice guy though.):

Breitbart: But what—I'll say this: if you're willing to admit that you're wrong, I'm willing to admit that I'm wrong, and many of the people on my side are wrong because we thought that the Muslims did not have this in them. We had low expectations of what they expected of themselves…

Belzer: Had what in them? To continue to repress women, to hate Jews, to hate white people, to hate Christians? To have a theocracy?

Breitbart: Maybe that's - maybe that's not true.

Belzer: And a civil war? And thousands of our kids are slaughtered and mutilated for an idea—

Breitbart: (overlapping) Actually - if - if-

Belzer: (overlapping) Let me finish, babe. (laughter) For these people that beat themselves with chains and hate us and detest us, they've had a 7,000-year head start on us. They don't have democracy. Who are we to shove it down their throats? They don't want our democracy. They want us out of there. (voices overlap—applause)

Breitbart: Maybe - maybe-

Belzer: So they can kill each other!

(Yeah, okay. We should be so lucky.)

--Back to why I was in The Boss's Office...



"Reni... my office now!!! ...please."

(Oh well....That's the Chairman...second call, and he's clutching my private personnel folder and some pages printed off the internet. I know better than to wait for him to call me a third time, especially if my uncle is here too. Better bring these classified documents with me and own up to messing with his computer and borrowing photos and stuff that wasn't mine.



Guess you'll never know... Some things just oughta be left to conspiracy theorists.)

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Author's Note: Thanks to Richard's contagious smile—I’m back among the living!!

I was able to do my favorite routine before the holidays—"The Absent-Minded Customer Helps The Stressed-Out Cashier." In other words, I had this stressed-out young cashier in Wal-Mart rolling in laughter. She needed the break. (Well, I used to work in sales.) The reaction from the woman in line behind me was so priceless. She stifled a smile, covered her face and turned her back to me. Don't know if she was embarrassed for me or about me. Or maybe thought the whole thing was funny, but wanted to get home!!! Or thought I was just plain nuts... (Sorry, I don't have the recipe written down yet.)

Oh, life's too short to be a lemming.


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©2006 by Kat-Renée Kittel. All Rights Reserved. Please be kind and give credits to author and founder of the Laughter Safety Valve Commission™.

Thanks. Got Chutzpah (or Agape is a Five Letter Word... for Chutzpah) is inspired by The Chairman of The Laughter Safety Valve Commission™. See Turnabout's Fair Play and comment left by Mr. Anonymous. (Dear Richard, Thanks for the hug.)

***Cached pages of this post are not authorized representations of this page nor do they represent the staff writer of this website. Previous page versions have been obliterated by the LSVC, Tech Publications Dept with the Chairman's signature approval. The editorial staff of the LSVC are not responsible for laughter safety violations caused by any unauthorized use of outdated information or use of cached pages of this site for any reason in any format.****

REVISED 20.01.07c.

***************

(Thanks for listening... )

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Rededication to the G-d of Miracles


A/N; This post reflects the personal beliefs of the staff writer and not necessarily the opinions of The Chairman or The Staff of the Laughter Safety Valve Commission™ (but that's okay...The Chairman's my Big Brother... ^..^)


Chanukkah (Hanukkah): A rededication to the G-d of Miracles

Nes Gadol Hayah Sham!! (A great miracle happened there!)

For eight days, Chanukkah honors and celebrates the historic victory of the Maccabbees and the miracle of the oil. Chanukkah or the Festival of Dedication is also called the Feast of Lights. An eight-day festival beginning on the 25th day of Kislev, the holiday commemorates the victory in 165 B.C. of the Maccabees over King Antiochus Epiphanes and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.


Spelling-- The Hebrew word Chanukah means "dedication," and has only five letters in the original Hebrew. In English there are at least 16 ways to spell it, including: Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah, and Xanuka.

From history we know that the Kingdom of Greece replaced the Kingdom of Media-Persia. The first King of Greece was Alexander the Great. At the zenith of his power, Alexander died. Two of the four Kings that replaced him were from the Ptolemaic dynasty based in Egypt and the Seleucid dynasty based in Syria. Toward the end of the Greek rule, Antiochus IV arose from the Seleucid dynasty. He declared himself Antiochus Ephiphanes (“God Manifest”). Behind his back he was called ‘epimanes,’ meaning madman.


In the 2nd century BCE, the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus sought to pull Jews away from Judaism, with the hopes of assimilating them into Hellenism -- Greek culture. Antiochus outlawed aspects of Jewish observance -- including the study of Torah -- which began to decay the foundation of Jewish life and practice. During this period, many Jews began to assimilate into Greek culture, taking on Greek names and marrying non-Jews (that's what happened in my family...).

During the years 171 – 165 BC, Antiochus perpetrated a holocaust against the Jewish people. He outlawed Judaism, and ended the Temple sacrifices. In 168 BC, he committed an abomination of desolation against the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and erecting an image of Zeus, which looked very much like Antiochus himself! Not being satisfied with this, his forces spread out all over the country forcing the Jewish people to sacrifice swine and punishing any who would even circumcise their children with the penalty of death.

In a town called Modin just south of Jerusalem, there lived an aged priest named Matitiyahu with his five sons. When the forces of Antiochus came in they demanded that Matitiyahu sacrifice a pig. Mattathias, being a righteous man, simply refused. As a crowd gathered the tensions built up to the boiling point. Then, out of the throng, came a Jewish man who was willing to sacrifice the pig just to placate the enemy and relieve the tension. Matitiyahu was so angry at this treachery, that he killed the man and then with his five sons killed the henchmen of Antiochus. Matitiyahu then bade ‘all who are zealous for God,’ to follow him. With that Matitiyahu and his sons went into the surrounding hills and began a guerilla war, which lasted several years. In the process of time Matitiyahu died. His eldest son Judah, known as the ‘maccabee’ (lit. hammer) for the way he fought, began to lead the group, which henceforth bore his nickname. In the face of vast superior forces, the Maccabees miraculously routed the Syrians and drove them away. Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion -- but the Maccabees succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land.

In what we commonly now call December -- 165 BCE, Judah and his followers liberated Jerusalem. The Holy Temple was in shambles, defiled and desecrated by foreign soldiers. They began cleansing the Temple. On the 25th day of Kislev, they re-dedicated the Temple to the G-d of Israel. When it came time to re-light the Menorah, they searched the entire Temple, but found only one small jar of oil bearing the pure seal of the High Priest. Miraculously, the small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be brought. From then on, Jews have observed a holiday for eight days in honor of this historic victory & the miracle of oil.

Counting the time from the beginning of the persecution of the Jewish people by Antiochus in 171 BC to the rededication in 165 BC was exactly 2,300 days. G-d kept his promise to the day! (According to Daniel 8:14, the Temple was to remain desolate for exactly 2,300 days). Judah and his followers declared this to be an eight-day feast and to celebrate it annually. Rabbinic tradition tells us that Chanukkah was declared to be an eight-day feast due to the fact that one day’s provision of oil burned for eight. While I personally believe this, the original reason Chanukkah was set as an eight-day feast--the holiday just missed had been Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles--Lev. 23:33-43), an eight-day celebration. In fact, in the early days of celebration, Chanukkah was actually referred to as Second Tabernacles.

The Holiday Today. Chanukkah is now observed by lighting the nine-branched Chanukkah menorah each night. The center candle called the shammash (lit. servant) is lit first and then is used to light the others, adding one new candle each night. Other customs include spinning the dreidel (a top with Hebrew letters on the sides), eating "oily" foods like potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), plus giving Chanukah gelt (coins) to children.

(FYI: In the Christian New Testament (Brit Hadashah), the festival is referred to as the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22). Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew), being a good Jewish boy, celebrated along with the rest of his family....sorry no Christmas tree...)


This information was merged from three sources:
www.Aish.com - What is Chanukkah by Marshall Roth
http://www.shalomnyc.org/feasts/chanukkah.htm
& http://www.beth-el-messianic.org/hanukkah.html

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©2006 by Kat-Renée Kittel. All Rights Reserved. Please be kind and give credits to author and founder of the Laughter Safety Valve Commission™. Thanks.

Got Chutzpah is inspired by The Chairman of The Laughter Safety Valve Commission™. See Turnabout's Fair Play and comment left by Mr. Anonymous. (Dear Richard, Thanks for the hug.)

***Cached pages are not authorized representations of this page nor do they represent the staff writer of this website. Previous page versions have been obliterated by the LSVC, Tech Publications Dept. The editorial staff of the LSVC are not responsible for Laughter Safety violations caused by any unauthorized use of outdated information.***

(Revised: 27.02.06)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Have Faith In Life...



"Have faith in life...a thousand times faith.

By driving out despair, you will move away from death. Hell (on earth) does not last forever."

-Elie Wiesel, Night