Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tu Bishvat Halls of Fame and Shame

(NOTE: This post will continue to update through the end of Tree Year 5771.)

Last week was D-Day in the War on Tu Bishvat.  This week, as the New Year of the Trees gets closer, it's time to publicize who is in the right and who is still committed to being wrong.

Here is Mah Rabu's 5772 Tu Bishvat...

Hall of Fame

They "shall be like a tree planted by waters, sending forth its roots by a stream:  it does not sense the coming of heat, its leaves are ever fresh; it has no care in a year of drought, it does not cease to yield fruit." (Jeremiah 17:8)

But then there's also the...

Hall of Shame

They "shall be like a bush in the desert, which does not sense the coming of good:  it is set in the scorched places of the wilderness, in a barren land without inhabitant." (Jeremiah 17:6)
  • Hazon, as a (once-)prominent voice of Jewish environmentalism, truly has no excuse, especially since they used to be on the right side of this issue.
  • Isabella Freedman ("in partnership with ... the many branches of the Jewish Environmental Movement") is also guilty of greenwashing.
  • If the Shalom Center is a "prophetic voice", then the message got garbled.
  • Aish probably actually denies climate change (they certainly deny evolution).
  • The people in the rabbanut who banned Häagen-Dazs were right about one thing:  the Orthodox Union is not kosher.
  • As for Canfei Nesharim, eagles aren't kosher either.
  • The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is shrinking.
  • Chabad worships a false messiah.
  • The Jewish Agency goes downhill fast after the URL and page title.
  • Hey Hillel:  Go and learn it.
  • Ritualwell is down the drain.
  • The Big Jewish Tent is missing some stakes.
  • The Rabbinical Assembly classifies holidays under "Jewish law"; what about the laws of grammar?
  • Finally, Hebcal has earned its way into a special division of the hall of shame, for messing up not only the English but the Hebrew too.  (I suspect this was the result of an automatic algorithm of the sort that used to bring us "You have 1 new messages", and shouldn't be too hard to fix.  RET points out that Shevat is the only month that begins with a sheva.)

Those who have found themselves in the hall of shame should remember that it's not too late to change, and the gates of repentance are always open.  Except, perhaps, to this guy, who spells it "Tu B'Shvas".  There, he asks "did my parents get their money’s worth on my yeshiva day school tuition?"  This question is left to the reader as an exercise.


  1. Don't forget Cambridge Minyan, where someone (I can't imagine who) is sponsoring kiddush in honor of the correct spelling.

  2. Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)February 01, 2012 10:59 AM

    nǝsharim = griffin vultures

    while we're being pedantic ;-)

  3. At we spelled it right!