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Independence Day is upon us in North America and it's time to think about what that means to us as Jews. Other than complaining about the government and our friends who share their thoughts, what is there to love about American independence? Whether you're Canadian or American, your freedom is here. Let's see what America has given the Jews.
Jewish Culture and Tradition
That means an Eastern European accent.
I've never met an old British Jew who didn't sound like they were from Britain. American Jews who moved from Europe, sound like they're from Poland. That's Jewish. Sounding like you're speaking Yiddish is Jewish.
The old American Ashkenazik Jew is always speaking Yiddish, even when they're talking in English. Either that or I just can't understand a thing they say.
A Place to Live
Where were we going to go? We got kicked out of every other country. Were we going to go back to Italy? If America didn't have independence, the Europeans would've kicked us out of America too.
Brooklyn, the land of the Jewish people, is thanks to America.
Brooklyn has it all. Eichler's bookstore, where Judaica emanates from, and nobody is shocked when people buy CDs. They gave us Avenue J pizza shops and shawarma places. Thanks to Brooklyn, you can have an Israeli experience, and never have to go to Israel. There's Thirteenth Avenue, just one of the many streets we claimed as Jewish.
I would've mentioned The Lower East Side, but I forgot about it. Like all Jews, I forgot about it. Until I need pickles, The Lower East Side is not in my memory.
Even Kiryas Joel, is thanks to America. Kiryas Joel would never exist in Israel. There is no way that many Satmar Chasidim would make Aliyah on purpose.
Before Florida, Jews thought they were supposed to move to Israel to connect with their people.
Where do you go to see Brooklyn during the summer? The Mountains. The Catskills, again all thanks to America.
The great hotels and the bungalows. The Mountains is the Jewish American summer experience. It would be Florida, but Jews like to shvitz inside. In the shvitz. Shvitzing outside is for athletes.
Thanks to American independence, the only colony Jews know is a bungalow.
Freedom of Speech
America allows you to say whatever you want, until people disagree with you and take away your job. Or, until there's an anti-Semite. Other than being attacked for talking, America allows you to say what you want.
We can even complain. The backbone of Jewish community is found in our freedom of speech. If complaining didn't exist, we wouldn't have shul or a board. If we didn't have freedom to complain, what would we say about the rabbi?
You can hate your government and live there.
It gives us a reason for freedom of speech, other than the rabbi. It's such a gift that our country has given us a reason to hate other people. And then to be able to talk about it. Nothing is better. And then, to be able to say 'I'm offended.' It's all such a joy.
Hollywood with British accents wouldn't work.
The only movies I don't have to watch with subtitles is thanks to America. When a British person talks, I need subtitles. I can't understand a word they're saying. They might as well be speaking Yiddish.
I still haven't watched Shtisel, because the Israelis don't have an American accent.
And Sports. Is there anything better than American sports, allowing our Jewish children to get involved and own something?!
Americans have banned Jews from so many places. The country club that bans Jews is such a joy. There's no better place for a Jew to go to enjoy themselves.
No other country offers parents a way to get rid of their children for two months, other than the army. The summer camp experience has brought so much happiness to Jewish parents. We have America to thank for that.
Not having kids around is the independence we're truly celebrating on July 4th.
You can travel in America and find Kosher food. It's easier to tell what's kosher, when it's written on the package.
Ever tried traveling in England? You have to guess if it's kosher. You see a product in Britain and you take a stab at it. You don't make a blessing. You open the package, you take a bite and pray that God doesn't kill you. In America you don't have to guess if you're going to Gehenim.
Now they have a British app to tell you what's Kosher, if you can find anything on there. You go to England and hang out at the entrance to the grocery, where they have reception, and try to do a search for kosher products. Then you go down the aisles and forget if it's kosher. And then you go to hell because of the app.
We wouldn't have pizza. That comes from New York.
Monster Truck Rallies
In American, it's clear to the Jewish people where they shouldn't be. You don't go to monster truck rallies, rodeos or WWE.
America is not Britain. America gave us that.
Happy July 4th and Canada Day. Just be happy we're Jews and we're not in Europe.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.