Archive | Cohen_Joel_H.

‘Just kidding’: Bannon converting to Judaism

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — Stephen Bannon, President Trump’s controversial Chief Strategist, is planning to convert to Judaism, Administration sources revealed today. President Trump said he approved of Bannon’s decision, commenting, “Remember, Ivanka converted…and she’s delighted that she did. In fact, I’m encouraging her to make a deal for the synagogue store to carry […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Strumpets to entertain Jewish audiences

  By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — President Trump has signed an executive order establishing an all-female singing group– the Ms.Strumpets —  to entertain Jewish audiences. Press secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing that it was the first in a series of initiatives aimed at minority groups in  the nation.  The President […]

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Saying kaddish can have its lighter moments

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — There’s something about helping out with a minyan, especially to enable someone to say kaddish, that draws even some of the least observant among us, as does the obligation to say say kaddish itself. And, as solemn a mitzvah it is, there sometimes are humorous sidelights. When my father died in […]

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Now its owner will kippa the lost yarmulka

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — A  nephew called me in Staten Island, NY, from his home in North Carolina, some 500 miles away. to ask whether we shopped at a particular supermarket chain. “Very often,” I replied, hoping that maybe he’d seen our names on a list of prize-winners.. But he was a […]

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The (potential) joys of Jewish guilt

By Joel H. Cohen   NEW YORK — The story is told of a man in New York calling his aged mother in Florida. When she answers, he says, “Ma, you sound weak. What’s the problem?” “No problem. I just haven’t had anything to eat in two days.” “Why not?” the son asks, genuinely concerned. “I […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Trump’s first White House Chanukah

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — President-elect Donald J. Trump is planning to make next year’s Chanukah celebration a memorable one. “New Deal? Fair Deal? This will be the Big Deal.” He has already predicted he would build a shul in the White House, with a beautiful mechitza that women would pay for. In […]

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Grudges are forever

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — “My grandmother has forgotten everything,” an Italian comedian joked,”except her grudges.” The funny-sad comment rings true for a lot of folks, and not just Italians or grandmothers. Among champion grudge-holders are some of our own people, of all ages and both genders (though men seem to have a […]

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Oy, those year- end letters from over- achievers!

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — As we East Coast residents shudder in anticipation of snow and sleet, we also tremble a little at the thought of the inevitable flurry of year-end letters to come. It you’ve ever received any, you know that the no-detail-too-small missives (of interest mainly to grandparents) almost always come […]

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Real challenge: Eliminate lashon hara

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — The motto on a bumper sticker in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn — “Stamp Out Lashon Hara” — seemed like a wonderful idea. Curbing our “evil tongue” — ridding ourselves of the inclination, if not the desire, to gossip about, slander, defame, disparage, ridicule, belittle or simply embarrass another person — was and is certainly a […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Bibi may become Trump’s special envoy

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — In what may be hid most controversial appointment yet, President-elect Donald J. Trump has confided to intimates he’s seriously considering naming israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a special envoy at large. According to insiders’ reports, Trump had thought of naming Bibi to his cabinet, but “then there’d […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Trump to build shul in White House

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — President-elect Donald J. Trump has tweeted that he intends to have a shul built in the White House “to make Judaism great again.” He said that Judaism “was once a great religion, but had waned during the Obama years. And, if Hillary had been elected President, it would […]

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Jewish marchers and political correctness

By Joel H. Cohen NEW YORK — Today’s observance of Veterans Day takes me back to a Memorial Day parade years ago, when it was the custom on Staten Island, NY, to rotate the leadership of the march annually among the various local veterans organizations. Early that May, I got a phone call from a […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Absalom calls Solomon’s rise ‘rigged’

By Joel H. Cohen In ancient documents recently discovered by archeologists, Absalom charged that his brother Solomon’s ascendancy to the throne was “rigged.” Absalom told an ancient  scribe, “Crooked Sol conned the corrupt media into believing he was the smart one, but I had him beat by an incredible number of cubits. When he wasn’t […]

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‘Just Kidding’: Regulating extreme shuckling

By Joel H. Cohen   NEW YORK — A group of Brooklyn pulpit rabbis, heads of yeshivas and prominent laymen has quietly enacted an informal, non-binding agreement to rein-in “extreme” shuckling. The compact applies to themselves, their students and congregants. The action came in the aftermath of  injuries suffered by an unidentified 12-year-old boy, who swayed so […]

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