If I judge our audience correctly, they would likely gag on yet another “Is Thanksgiving Jewish?” rumination quicker than they would on a fourth helping of dark meat and cranberry sauce. So I’ll steer clear on this day of recommended, if not, mandatory gratitude and humbly offer, instead, this accounting of things for which I’m personally thankful.
First and foremost, I’m thankful for my wonderful family and for having a stable job, although it does often involve some unstable people, which is not completely untrue about the family as well.
I’m particularly thankful not to have to worry about any suspension from work, as befell the unfortunate Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough. The closest thing I’ve ever made to a political contribution was helping Benjy Shapiro buy some buttons for his campaign to be G.O. president in eighth grade. And he paid me back.
I’m thankful as well not to be faced with the choice of being groped or digitally strip-searched in the near future, having been placed on the no-fly list not by the TSA but by my kids’ yeshiva bill. Kudos as well to Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield for standing up for the tzniut not just of Orthodox Jews but travelers everywhere. It’s good to see a frum politician who is not only unafraid to speak out but unabashed when it comes to repeating the phrase “naked body scanner,” over and over and over, whether its on Yeshiva World News or Fox, as if he’s trying to prejudice a jury that will rule on the matter. As a journalist, I’ll be thankful for the chance to cover the City Hall hearing if they debate his bill to ban the scanners at JFK.
I’m thankful that the Gulf oil spill is over, so the only dark, worrisome tide that’s bad for the environment is the Tea Party.
I’m thankful that Eliot Spitzer is once again gainfully employed, with a demanding job that probably requires a lot of hours in the studio, after which he will hopefully be very tired and go straight home to his wife and kids.
I’m thankful too for Charles Rangel, if only for his walking out of his own congressional ethics hearing last week, which reminded me of my favorite scene in “Animal House" when Otter, knowing the cards are stacked against Delta House in the Greek Council, declares that the hearing is un-American and leads a charge out the door. It took lots of chutzpah to say he’s got no money for a lawyer while not paying all his taxes and living in apartments where the rent is too damn unethical.
I’m thankful that Israel, in its effort to root out women who use religion as an excuse to dodge the draft, hired some sophisticated investigators with a sharp plan: Friending and stalking them on Facebook. Like.
Less savvy with the Internet, though, were some of the folks over at AIPAC, who thankfully were, er, exposed by whistleblowers. Evidently, despite their love of acronyms they never heard of NSFW. What’s disturbing about the allegation of porn surfing in the Israel lobby’s offices (no doubt research on anti-Zionist porn sites that funnel money to Hamas) isn’t the unprofessionalism as much as the notion that the folks entrusted with making Israel’s case on Capitol Hill and protecting foreign appropriations to the beleaguered Jewish state couldn’t navigate the task of clearing their browser history.
Speaking of history, now that Democrat control of both the White House and Congress has proven as popular as Conan hosting the "Tonight Show," I’m thankful that Obama is working with the more realistic model of "Sometimes We Can," and that Sarah Palin has some time to learn that the North Koreans are the bad guys before she takes him on in ’12.
Most of all, I’m thankful to you, dear reader, who takes the time to indulge my ruminations on this blog. Feel free to post tokens of your own thankfulness below, and if you’re still left wanting for a “Jewish Thanksgiving” rumination, take a time trip here.