Friday, July 24, 2009

New York Rabbi dies in road accident

from the Age Mex Cooper - July 23, 2009

Respected Jewish leader dies after collision with motorcycle

An American tourist killed after he was clipped by a motorcycle at Ripponlea last night was a respected Jewish leader visiting from New York.

Yitzchok Rotenberg, 71, died suddenly when he struck his head on the road after being hit by a motorbike as he crossed Hotham Street, near the Glen Eira Road intersection.

Mr Rotenberg, a leader of a small, ultra-orthodox New York-based community, was in Australia with his wife to visit their son. He was on his way to the Adass Israel Synagogue when the accident happened about 7.10pm.

The Hasidic leader was taken to The Alfred hospital but died early this morning. His wife and son are due to fly to New York with the body tonight.

Adass Israel Synagogue spokesman Andrew Abelesz said the local Jewish community was in shock at the well-known and respected man's death.

"We're very saddened, we're extremely saddened. A man comes to visit from America and goes in such a tragic way, it's very painful for the whole community,'' he said.

Mr Rotenberg had made many close friends in Australia on visits to his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren over the past 15 years, Mr Abelesz said.

He said Mr Rotenberg was a Holocaust survivor and a mainstay of the small Jewish township of New Square in New York.

Members of Hatzolah, trained Jewish volunteer paramedics, were first to the accident scene.

Orthodox Jewish website VIN News said the levaya, or funeral, would be held in New Square on Friday.

"Tragically, Rabbi Rotenberg lost a married daughter to illness last year; Rabbi Rotenberg became a community hero of sorts upon assuming care responsibilities for his grandchildren in the aftermath of their mother's death,'' the site said.

Mr Abelesz said the shloshim, a memorial service on the 30th day of mourning, would take place in Melbourne.

Police believe Mr Rotenberg had stepped into the path of the motorcyclist, who is helping police with their investigations.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.


Britney Spears is becoming Jewish?

From the New Yorker

Seems that Britney Spears has fallen in love again, this time its with Jason Trawick.
Now I don't want to be unfair on the girl, so I'll just point you to her 'conversion diary' which the New Yorker has been good enough to publish for us...
Britney’s Conversion Diary

Mr Bagel: Its a little bit colourful so if your easily offended, best not click!

The New Yorker:
Shouts & Murmurs


Friday, January 11, 2008

Mr Bagel is Back

Yes its true, despite a spectacular absence of blogging for over two months, Mr Bagel has returned.
Mr Bagel has been 'moving' from a remote country location to a more civilised part of Australia.

Moving has required Mr Bagel to do five seperate trips of over 2,000kms each, despite selling what we thought was almost all of our worldly possesions, we still had to do five trips to move our 'personal belongings'. Which raises one very valid point, how personal can 5 trailers worth of belongings be? Do you think Mr Bagel might just be a horder? mmm?

Anyway after selling all our furniture we have been rushing around buying beds and fridges and lounges and just about everything else required to life a civilised life. Now that Mr Bagel has moved to civilisation he has decided to stop talking to the soccer ball with a wig. (Tom Hanks.)

We've only been in town a week but, living where there are shops, and services is such a refreshing break from living hours away from the most basic shopping. Its taking some adjustment, I generally spoke to about 3 peaople a month where I lived, now I see hundreds a day.

Mr Bagel: Thank you to all the well wishers and the emails I received


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Family Guy accused of Antisemitic song
Infringement of Copyright claimed

If the video doesn't load click here:
Family Guy - I need a Jew

Show accused of anti-Jewish spoof of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'

NEW YORK - The 67-year-old dreamy classic "When You Wish Upon A Star" was twisted into an anti-Jewish ballad and was widely distributed as part of a comedy television program, the song's owner said Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to stop its distribution.

In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, music publishing house Bourne Co. accused Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Fox Broadcasting Co., the Cartoon Network and others of copyright infringement and sought unspecified damages.

The lawsuit said the defendants in 2000 included the spoof song, "I Need a Jew," in an episode of the Fox television show "The Family Guy" that was titled "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein."

The episode relied on the premise that the main character could not manage his family's finances and needed to hire a Jewish person to take care of his money, the lawsuit said.

During the episode, the main character sings "I Need a Jew," which the lawsuit called a thinly veiled copy of the music from "When You Wish Upon a Star" accompanied by new anti-Semitic lyrics.

Fox hadn't seen the complaint as of Wednesday afternoon and had no comment, spokesman Chris Alexander said.

According to the lawsuit, Fox initially withheld the episode from distribution because of its content but eventually earned large sums of money by distributing more than one million copies of it to the public in various home video formats.

It said the Cartoon Network first aired the episode on Nov. 10, 2003. A message for comment left with the network was not immediately returned Wednesday.

"When You Wish Upon a Star," written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline, debuted in 1940 as part of the Walt Disney motion picture "Pinocchio." It won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Song and has been recorded by more than 100 artists and orchestras.

"With its theme of wholesome hopefulness, the song has gained worldwide status as a classic," the lawsuit said. "By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, defendants are harming the value of the song."

Bourne is the sole U.S. copyright owner of "When You Wish Upon a Star."

There's a very good discussion of this song and the episode at Wikipedia:
When You Wish Upon a Weinstein


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Looking Back: A View from Afar
World Trade Center Tower 2

Views from the Top of WTC Tower 2 taken 10/6/2001

If the video fails to play click here:
Views from the Top of WTC


Friday, September 21, 2007

Ahmadinejad will not 'insist' on Ground Zero visit

From the NYTimes

Iranian President Says He Will Not Insist on a Ground Zero Visit

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran indicated to CBS’s “60 Minutes” in an interview to be broadcast Sunday that he would not insist on his plan to visit ground zero over the objections of the New York authorities. CBS just released a partial transcript of the interview by Scott Pelley, which will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday.

In the interview, Mr. Ahmadinejad said he just wanted to pay his respects at the site and was “amazed” by Americans who viewed his plans as insulting.

Here is the excerpt released by CBS:

Mr. Pelley: Mr. President, do you intend to press your request to visit the World Trade Center site?

Mr. Ahmadinejad: Well, it was included in my program. If we have the time and the conditions are conducive, I will try to do that.

Mr. Pelley: But the New York Police Department and others do not appear to want you there. Do you intend to go there anyway?

Mr. Ahmadinejad: Well, over there, local officials need to make the necessary coordinations. If they can’t do that, I won’t insist.

Mr. Pelley: Sir, what were you thinking? The World Trade Center site is the most sensitive place in the American heart, and you must have known that visiting there would be insulting to many, many Americans.

Mr. Ahmadinejad: Why should it be insulting?

Mr. Pelley: But the American people, sir, believe that your country is a terrorist nation, exporting terrorism in the world. You must have known that visiting the World Trade Center site would infuriate many Americans.

Mr. Ahmadinejad: Well, I’m amazed. How can you speak for the whole of the American nation?

Mr. Pelley: Well, the American nation–

Mr. Ahmadinejad: You are representing a media and you’re a reporter. The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are different points of view over there.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said today that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would not be permitted to visit ground zero on Monday, even as questions remained over whether the city had the legal authority or practical ability to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from going to the publicly accessible areas around the World Trade Center site.

At a news conference, Mr. Kelly responded to the uproar that emerged after he disclosed on Wednesday that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s aides had discussed the possibility of a visit by the Iranian leader to ground zero.

“Our position is that President Ahmadinejad will not be permitted to go to ground zero,” Mr. Kelly said. “This has been communicated to the Iranian Mission.”

But the city has evidently been defining “ground zero” narrowly, as the World Trade Center site itself, which is not open to the public because of the construction under way. When asked how the Police Department would respond if Mr. Ahmadinejad went to the public areas around ground zero, which are open to tourists and the general public, Mr. Kelly responded: “I don’t want to get into the hypothetical situations, you know. That’s our position. We’ve communicated that position.”

The police commissioner said that a visit to ground zero by Mr. Ahmadinejad would “adversely impact” public safety.

“We are concerned about President Ahmadinejad’s safety and the safety of others who may be attracted down there, maybe issues that arise from his visit, that would cause significant public safety concerns,” he said, adding that the police had not received any specific threat directed at Mr. Ahmadinejad.

As the head of his country’s delegation to the United Nations, Mr. Ahmadinejad would ordinarily have the right to move fairly freely within Manhattan. The United States broke off relations with Iran in 1980 during the hostage crisis, and Iranian diplomats at the United Nations are permitted under diplomatic protocols to travel within 25 miles of Columbus Circle. Lower Manhattan is less than 5 miles from Midtown.

Mr. Kelly seemed to acknowledge the sensitivity and strong emotions associated with the situation, at one point referring to his department’s decision as a “direction” and at another point as a “recommendation.” He said he believed the Iranians would comply with his department’s wishes. “We’ve given that information to the Iranian mission and we believe they’re
going to adhere to that recommendation,” he said.

Even leaving aside the issue of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s movements, the police have been bracing for the United Nations General Assembly meeting next week. Streets around the world body’s headquarters complex on the East Side of Manhattan will be closed, including parts of First Avenue and 44th Street. The city is also preparing for a concentration of protests at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.

“New Yorkers have seen this before,” Mr. Kelly said. “That is what happens as a result of the U.N. General Assembly coming here every year.

BagelBlogger: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so out of touch, he cant even imagine that people would be repulsed by the idea of him visiting Ground Zero. Here is a man that espouses that the US 300million people have varying points of view and have a right to express them yet ironically is the leader of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.

His lack of insight is staggering, just the kind of guy you want to have nuclear weapons in the middle east.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Red Sea a novel by Emily Benedek

Red Sea

Emily Benedek
Pages: 373
ISBN, 9780312354916
St Martins Press
Release Date: 18th September

Author and insider Emily Benedek was recently approached by a former top official in the Israeli Defense Forces asking if she would be interested in documenting specific insider secrets regarding the perilous state of international security. After Benedek agreed to several closed-door meetings, she concluded that there was no way
to reveal the sensitive information imparted to her in a work of nonfiction;
her source, still active in the security world, had to maintain anonymity.
Benedek’s confidential meetings dealing with the frightening holes in our
national security infrastructure were the genesis of her timely and
thrilling new novel RED SEA.

Emily Benedek's first venture into fiction after an expansive journey in non fiction publishing is notable to say the least.

She has written a novel in the suspense/spy thriller genre whilst set in a contemporary context.

It is a novel once read leaves the reader vastly dissatisfied.

Fortunately this dissatisfaction isn't with the author's penmanship or style of prose, rather the dissatisfaction comes from the awareness of just how vulnerable we are to a major terrorist attack. Emily Benedek has dared to confront the unmentionable.

The Red Sea can't help but bring up feelings of uneasiness, it ruptures the agreement most of us subconsciously have made to distance ourselves from the psychological trauma that has marked the beginning of the 21st century.

Just when you have managed to assure yourself that the sun will rise tomorrow, the gapping festering wound that is terrorism is callously ripped open.

If you kid yourself that everything is going to be alright no matter what, then this book isn't for you. If your willing to ask what if? Then be prepared for a flight into the dark recesses of fear and suspense.

To describe Red Sea as an edge of the seat thriller, isn't quite accurate, rather it is a variable and terrifying descent into the abyss that is terrorism. The book is well written and brings the reader to that most uncomfortable state we often try to avoid, an awareness of our own possible imminent mortality.

The characters are well defined, quirky and real, the plot takes lots of turns but stays within the realm of a possible reality, Red Sea ultimately its worth of your consideration.

Red Sea is a thriller with an unusual variable tempo, it doesn't always jump from brake neck speed from one event to another, rather it lulls you into a sense of safety before cruelly taking it away..

4 Bagels
Review by Mr Bagel

Click read more to see Biography and Excerpt

Author Biography

Emily Benedek’s writing has appeared in Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. She spent a year following an FBI special agent and SWAT team operator and wrote about an American F15-C fighter pilot who flew in Operation Shock and Awe. Red Sea is her first novel.


Four airliners are blown out of the sky---a devastating string of attacks taking hundreds of lives and striking fear into people and governments around the globe. Marie Peterssen, an ambitious young aviation reporter, has a hunch about the crashes, and her suspicions are confirmed when she’s approached by Julian Granot, an Israeli airline security expert and former Special Forces commando who has noticed her work.

Julian offers Marie a rare lead, one that will send her to London and later into the devastation of war-torn Iraq. With the help of a maverick FBI agent, Morgan Ensley, Marie stumbles onto the makings of a terrorist plot well beyond the destruction of airliners: the detonation of a rogue nuclear device in New York Harbor. The terrorists know that America’s most vulnerable spot is its transportation system, and they mean to exploit it. Time is short.

But Marie is in the grip of circumstances beyond her control. Julian’s intentions are unclear: Is he helping a journalist uncover answers the world craves, or is he setting up the girl to flush out an Islamic terrorist who killed Julian’s partner twenty years earlier?

Julian holds the key, but Marie’s role in the frantic race to unravel the plot grows when she learns that she may be tied to the terrorist leader in a more personal way.

Buy it from:
Barnes and Noble

Publisher: St martin's Press


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