Countdown

Happy New Year!

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, but there''s no harm in celebrating the secular New Year, too.

Cut the CROP

An unusual phenomenon takes place on JDate ... Rather than upload fresh new photos, members tend to alter old photos of themselves and crop out their ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. I'll bet there''s enough ex-couples on JDate practicing this crude technique in digital photographic editing that you could find all the pairs of photos with each ex-partner cropped out and make the pictures whole again, like a puzzle that wasn't meant to be.

Looking For

JDate wants to know if you are looking for: A date, Friend, Marriage, A long-term relationship, Marriage & Children, or Activity Partner. That last one always irked me, until I figured out its secret meaning ...

Lotta' Latkes

Latkes are nice, oily, fried cakes of grated potatoes traditionally served on Hanukkah.

If you are not latkes intolerant, try cooking some with this latke recipe.

Spin the Dreidel

On Hanukkah we spin the dreidel, a gambling game in which a four-sided top with the Hebrew letters Nun, Gimel, Hei, and Shin, is spun.

Bleak Friday

This week is Parshah Vayishlach. It's also Thanksgiving week, a period of time notorious for television repeats.

Do Not Watch This

If you haven't seen the popular viral video "2 Girls, 1 Cup" spreading on the Internet like wildfire, consider yourself lucky. I won't include a link to the video, or even describe it.

However, if you are curious, rather than watch the video, you can watch people's reactions to watching the video instead.

Thanks for the tip, JB!

Esau It Coming

In Parshah Toldot, Isaac's wife Rebecca gives birth to twins: Esau comes first, then Jacob. Esau grows up to be a hunter, a real man's man; Jacob grows up as a "dweller in the tents of learning" (a.k.a. a nerd). Jacob tricks Esau into giving up his birthright in exchange for some hot stew, and later tricks their blind father into getting his blessing by wearing the hide of a goat to simulate his hairier brother.

Fur Real? Fur coat made entirely from male chest hair

Sin City

From this week's parshah Vayeira, Genesis Chapter 19:
31. And the elder said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man on earth to come upon us, as is the custom of all the earth. 32. Come, let us give our father wine to drink, and let us lie with him, and let us bring to life seed from our father." 33. And they gave their father wine to drink on that night, and the elder came and lay with her father, and he did not know of her lying down or of her rising up. 34. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the elder said to the younger, "Behold, last night I lay with my father. Let us give him wine to drink tonight too, and come, lie with him, and let us bring to life seed from our father." 35. So they gave their father to drink on that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know of her lying down or of her rising up. 36. And Lot's two daughters conceived from their father.

Service Tip

In this week's parshah, Lech-Lecha, G-d commands Abraham to circumcise himself, his son Isaac, and all his man servants.
Genesis 17
10. This is My covenant, which you shall observe between Me and between you and between your seed after you, that every male among you be circumcised. 11. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be as the sign of a covenant between Me and between you. 12. And at the age of eight days, every male shall be circumcised to you throughout your generations, one that is born in the house, or one that is purchased with money, from any foreigner, who is not of your seed. 13. Those born in the house and those purchased for money shall be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant.
AYFKMWTS?

Story Ark

This week's parshah is Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32), in which Noah is commanded to build an ark to save his family and two of every species of animal on earth from a Great Flood.

But what about the dinosaurs? Especially the ones who could swim, like Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus?

Hard Pill to Swallow

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, during which Jews abstain from eating and drinking. These restrictions can be lifted when there are health issues. For example, you are permitted to drink a little water when swallowing pills to avoid getting them stuck in your esophagus.

You should not wash your pills down with Pilsner.

May You Be Inscribed

"L'shanah tovah" is a traditional greeting for Rosh Hashanah that means "for a good year", short for "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem", which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

May you be inscribed on JDate in the New Year.

AIM to Please

As with most paid subscription based online dating services, JDate members are forbidden to include personal contact information like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, or AIM screen names in their profile. That doesn't stop clever folks from sneaking in the occasional hint, most notably (and obviously) in their chosen member handles. It took me a while to figure out that girls who went by names like "IMjenn613" were not actually announcing "I am Jenn", but rather were implying "Instant Message me at jenn613". JDate will take your profile down if they find out. Thought JDate shouldn't really be concerned, these girls never reply on IM either.

IM Cool 2

Continued from last week's strip, IM Cool.

JDate offers an Instant Message service for paying members, which allows people to text chat online with each other.

IM Cool

JDate offers an Instant Message service for paying members, which allows people to text chat online with each other. Problem is, I think it's broken.

Harry Shabotter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series of novels by J. K. Rowling. The book launched last week on Shabbat.

Totally unrelated, when sitting shiva during the period of mourning after a loved one's death, it is customary to cover the mirrors in the shiva house, because a mourner should strive to ignore his own vanity.

WTJ?

The vast majority of JDate subscribers are of the Reform Jewish movement. This is not surprising, as Reform Judaism is the largest denomination of American Jews.

According to a recent survey, 53% of Reform Jews intermarry.

Love of Life

"I love life" ranks as one of the most cliché lines used in profiles, along with "I work hard, and play hard", and "I'm just as comfortable in a little black dress as jeans and a T-shirt"

Check out Rachel Lucas's Helpful Guide to Online Dating: Girl Power Version and her 20 How To NOT Sound Like a Total Dillwad on the Personals For Men.

Pay Per View

JDate sure knows how to suck you in. If you are not a paying member, and you receive a message from someone, you must pay to read it. You can't even see who sent it to you before you read it. So chances are it's from someone you didn't want to talk to in the first place. At least Frumster let's you see who wrote to you before you pay just to reply.

"I liked your profile" ... famous first words.

Will tell you later

"Will tell you later" is an interesting choice when selecting your Religion on JDate. I can understand not wanted to disclose one's annual income, but not discussing your religious affiliation on a Jewish dating site?

At least the option "Willing to convert" is telling the truth.

An Issue with Heeb

Heeb Magazine, the "New Jew Review", is a young, hip Jewish publication. Though sometimes its content is about as peripherally Jewish as most JDate members.

Date Rate

As warned in a letter from JDate:
On April 26, for the first time in nearly 3 years, we will increase the price of a 1-month JDate subscription. As a result, you have until midnight Wednesday, April 25, to lock-in JDate's lowest available 1-month rate. [..] 
The new price will be $39.99.

Israeli Independence Day

Yom Ha'atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day, commemorates the declaration of independence of the State of Israel in 1948.

For more info from the Jewish Robot, watch my animations, "Teh History of Israel" and "Elijah-pendence Day".

Out on a Limb

Apparently you can use an electric wheelchair or scooter on Shabbat if it equipped with the "Shabbat Control Option", designed by the Tzomet Institute, approved by God.

The Tzomet Institute is a research group that finds technology-based loopholes in Jewish law.

For my uncle Sam, who, despite all adversity, did believe in God.

25th Hour

"The Havdalah service marks the end of Shabbat. It should be performed no earlier than nightfall on Saturday night. Nightfall is the time when three stars can be seen in the sky. It is normally about 45 minutes to an hour after sundown, depending on your latitude." (jewfaq.org)
You can check what time Shabbat ends on the Chabad.org Calendar ... just wait until after Shabbat to look it up.

Door Post Haste

Passover celebrates the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt. God told Moses to order the Israelites to mark their doorpost with the blood of a lamb so the Angel of Death would "pass over" their homes and not slay the first born (the tenth plague).

Korban Pesach (the Paschal Lamb) is the sacrifice that God commanded the Children of Israel to offer during the night before the Exodus from Egypt.

Finders Kippahs

Inspired by time spent with folks who were clearly better Jews than I.

Jews wear a yarmulke, or kippah, to cover their heads during prayer.

I just heard an interview with Sarah Silverman on the Howard Stern Show, and she made a similar joke about Kabbalah. But I promise I had this gag in my ShaBot database long before I heard Silverman's routine.

The Trade

If you're Jewish and going to jail, fear not. According to the Corporate Crime Reporter,
"The federal prison camp at Otisville, New York, about 70 miles from New York City, has programs for orthodox and religious Jews. It has religious furloughs where people leave the prison for religious holidays."

Haman et al.

It is customary for Jews to celebrate Purim by eating Hamentaschen, triangular fruit-filled pastries shaped like Haman's hat. Poppy seed is a popular Hamentaschen filling.

A less known detail in the Megillah, Haman also had ten sons—Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha—who were hanged along side him on the gallows that had originally been built to hang Mordechai.

Bemoan Valentine

Valentine's Day is considered by many to be just another Hallmark holiday. It also is not a Jewish holiday, though that has never stopped us from celebrating it.

Trees in Season


There is actually no special blessing said on Tu B'Shevat, the Rosh HaShanah for trees that falls on the 15th day of the month of Shevat. This usually comes around February, when the mirth and merriment of Christmas is finally starting to wear off.

Oh, it's also Groundhog Day!

More Equal

During my Leading Up North trip to Israel, we were encouraged to participate in a Shabbat service that was out of the ordinary for us, so I attended an egalitarian Saturday morning service (Shacharit). I found the service to be quite enjoyable, and everyone did swell with their Torah reading ... especially the women.

ISTV


This strip is a milestone for Shabot 6000 ... It is the first time I am posting a comic from Israel! To be specific, Jerusalem, which is in the Israeli Standard Time Zone (IST).

To find out what time shabbat starts and ends in your city, check out the Chabad.org Candle Lighting Times calendar.

Special thanks to my roommate Aryeh for his title idea.