moore, madison.“Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric”— Being Fabulous

moore, madison. “Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric”, Yale University Press, 2018.

Being Fabulous

Amos Lassen

madison moore explores what it means to be fabulous and why eccentricity in style, fashion, and creativity are more political than ever before. How many of us know what it means to be fabulous? I am sure that there are many different definitions of fabulosity and certainly labels, narcissism, and selfies, looking good and feeling gorgeous are a pert of it. Can being fabulous be political statement and is there risk involved? Is fabulousness political? What are the risks of fabulousness? We have seen that fabulous style can be a defiant response to the struggles of living while marginalized. We learn all about this and so much more in “Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric”, madison moore explores how queer, brown, and other marginalized outsiders use ideas, style, and creativity in everyday life. Through moore we meet fabulous and creative powerhouses, including DJ Vjuan Allure, voguing superstar Lasseindra Ninja, fashion designer Patricia Field, performance artist Alok Vaid‑Menon, and a wide range of other aesthetic rebels from the worlds of art, fashion, and nightlife. moore brings together autobiography, cultural analysis, and ethnography, and positions fabulousness as a form of cultural criticism that allows those who perform it to thrive in a world where they are not supposed to exist.

While fabulousness is only one aspect of LGBTQ culture and transgressive art and fashion, it is an important aspect. moore shows us how ‘beautiful eccentrics’ creatively self-fashion themselves to articulate identity, assert presence, and reclaim power on the streets and in the nightclub.” We are taken into the clubs and we learn about everything that has to do with this and it is quite a wonderful read. The book is really celebrating the joys of eccentricity in a world that is blah. We are given the theory that being fabulous is also political that is deviant and defiant. The clubs offer all kinds of possibilities and even call for a new consciousness that can tear down old and stale categories, fight and combat conservatism and face privilege.

 

 

“Making the Arab World: 
Nasser, Qutb, and the Clash That Shaped the Middle East” by Gerges A. Fawaz— The Modern Middle East

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Gerges, Fawaz A. “Making the Arab World: 
Nasser, Qutb, and the Clash That Shaped the Middle East”, Princeton University Press, 2018.

The Modern Middle East

Amos Lassen

“In 2013, just two years after the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian military ousted the country’s first democratically elected president—Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood—and subsequently led a brutal repression of the Islamist group.” This was the bloody beginning that reminded us of another Egyptian political rift: the splitting of nationalists and Islamists during the rule of Egyptian president and Arab nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. In “Making the Arab World”, writer Fawaz Gerges (one of the world’s leading authorities on the Middle East), tells us how the clash between pan-Arab nationalism and pan-Islamism has shaped the history of the region from the 1920s to the present. He does this by giving us both a biography of Nasser and a biography of Sayyid Qutb, an influential figure and leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the father of many branches of radical political Islam. It is through their intertwined lives that we see the dramatic divide between Arabism and Islam. While this is bound up in ideological and existential rhetoric, this is a struggle over the state, its role, and its power.

The writer has researched this for ten years and conducted in-depth interviews with many leading figures. To understand the situation in the Middle East, this is the best place to start.

It is important to keep in mind that the history of Egypt and the Middle East is the result of the interaction between nationalism and political Islam both of which are deeply rooted forces. Nasser and Qutb personify this. We see the complex relationship between these powerful and enduring political realities and realize that there two were not always at odds.

Fawaz Gerges gives us context and concentrates on specifics. He gives us the story of the conflict that has continued over the last 70 years and it was during this time that a secular-leaning, authoritarian nationalism was up against a theocratic irredentism. +

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 3

1 Egypt’s “Liberal Age” 35

2 The Anti-colonial Struggle and the Dawn of Underground Politics 60

3 The Free Officers and the Ikhwan 77

4 The Birth of the Deep State and Modern Radical Islamism 126

5 Young Gamal Abdel Nasser 152

6 Young Sayyid Qutb 175

7 The Lion of the Arabs 187

8 The Accidental Islamist? 214

9 Qutb’s al-Tanzim al-Sirri 236

10 The Decline of the Nasserist Project 284

11 Sadat’s Coup and the Islamist Revival 314

12 The Mubarak Era: Keeping the Ikhwan in the Freezer 343

Conclusion 390

Notes 407

“Book of Hats” by Dov Zeller— Transmasculine in the 1930s

Zeller, Dov. “Book of Hats”, Tiny Golem Press, 2018.

Transmasculine in the 1930s

Amos Lassen

It is without question that the LGBTQI community has come a long way recently and while we have always had representative gay and lesbian literature, we have not had a great deal from transpeople but that is also changing. Quite by across Tiny Golem press which is located right here in Massachusetts and is dedicated to publishing “books that represent queer, gender diverse and chronically ill/disabled characters and voices”. Dov Zeller is a writer at Tiny Golem and already has two books published by the press. I have already reviewed the first book, “The Right Thing to Do at the Time” and you can find that review here on this site. The second book, “Book of Hats” will be published in June.

“Book of Hats” is about hats and fashion and Ida Velikowsky. Ida’s family has a long career in fashion and they are quite respected as mavens and in fact they have their own holy book that contains what they have learned wherever they have sojourned. Ida loved studying that book with her father and its magic makes her feel good. However, Ida is a transmasculine kid at a time in history where such a thing was unheard of and certainly only spoken of in whispers. She feels guilt and even feels responsible for her parents having withdrawn into themselves. Ida finds the situation to be too much to bear and leaves home for New York, hoping to find a community where she will be accepted for who she is. Even though she does find this community, she still feels as if she is a stranger to herself and she has real issues with intimacy that remain with her wherever she is and whoever she is with. Because she is separated from her family does not help the situation. Then one night she receives a phone call from her brother who has been lost to her for a long time. She has a chance for a reunion and if this happens you will only know by reading the book.

This is a big book coming in at 450 plus pages and the story continues even after you close the covers of the book. We also have an extra bonus of questions for book clubs that can also serve as a reading guide for an individual. I have deliberately not gone deeply into the plot or written about the characters and this is deliberate yet I must mention the Jewish themes here as well. I find that when I do write a book review, I tend to give away too much plot information and I do not want to spoil the experience of a good read and Dov Zeller is a story master and a good writer.

We are so much in need of books like this and I really hope that Dov Zeller is opening the door for other to follow him through even though he is a tough act to follow.

“Bad Men and Wicked Women” by Eric Jerome Dickey— “Affairs of the Heart Can Be Lethal”

Dickey, Eric Jerome. “Bad Men and Wicked Women”, Dutton, 2018.

“Affairs Of The Heart Can Be Lethal”

Amos Lassen

Ken Swift is a low-level enforcer in Los Angeles who knows danger and where he feels it most is not on the job but in his tangled romances. He is divorced from one woman, in love with another, and fighting the urge to get to know a third. There just seem to be problems everywhere in his life and things get even crazier when his troubled daughter suddenly appears on the same day he is assigned to a major job. Margaux is pregnant, bitter, and desperate: she needs $50,000 immediately, and will do what she has to in order to get that money even if it means blackmailing Ken to get it. Soon this tension-filled father/daughter reunion becomes ugly with a clashing of wills and desires that spreads far beyond their family. When Ken’s latest contract spirals out of control, he learns that it is not just his daughter ready to seek revenge and when he loses control of his new case, he is pursued by dangerous men who will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means putting innocent bystanders in danger.

This is not the kind of book that I usually read but I must say that it hooked me by the second page. Writer Dickey has created strong and larger-than-life characters that give us non-stop action. Angst and lust walk hand-in-hand throughout the pages of the novel. Dickey doesn’t give you time to guess ahead.

Aside from the action we have intense sex and social commentary on current events including Black Lives Matter, NFL players taking a knee and much more.

Before you start to read, map out a block of time because you will not be able to put this book down easily and I actually read its 400 plus pages in a single session. However, I cannot divulge any more of the plot than I already have because to do so would affect your read.

“Nick’s House” by John Roman Baker— The Third Nick and Greg Book

Baker, John Roman. “Nick’s House”, Wilkinson House, 2018.

The Third Nick and Greg Book

Amos Lassen

After we met Nick in the late 1950s when he was just young teen growing up and coming out in Brighton, England. A lot has changed since then but most important is that he has grown up and become independent in this, the third book of the Nick and Greg series. Nick is now a published poet and owns his own bookstore and is a respected member of society. It had not been easy for Nick go get to where is and two surprises await him. The first is the arrival of Bart and the second is the return of Greg to Brighton, the place where the two first began their closeness together. It does not take long before the old feelings of lust come back to Greg but Nick is not alone; he has bought Karel with him.

The three books taken together follow the lives of Nick and Greg, two best friends from when they met in 1957 through adolescence in the 60s and the beginning of adulthood in the 70s. Their history is the history of gay life in England but as seen through the lives of these two guys. From the time they were just fourteen years old and “illegal”, they were sexually free and searched for adventure. They were young set believed like Auntie Mame— that life is a banquet and every course must be tasted. As they do, they find new friends new relationships yet a very strong bond holds them together. A special bonus is a group of Nick’s poems at the end of the book and yes there is a sequel coming this summer. I have come to regard the guys as my friends as well and I feel wrapped up in their lives even though I am on the outside looking in. It takes a special writer to be able to make his characters so real that we feel we know them and John Roman Baker is that kind of writer. Hopefully Nick and Greg will get to be my age so I can really feel that I grew with them even though our lives are so different.

I believe that it is important to be reminded that things were not as they are for us now. While Brighton was the center of English gay life in the past, it was illegal and what occurred between gay men was in secret and discreet. This is how it was when we first meet Nick and Greg and it was during a time like this and afterwards that Nick wanted to know and experience more. Greg, on the other hand, was held back by his own self-denial, his relationship to his family and his self-destructive behavior that could cause tremendous psychological damage.

I love that author Baker makes reference to the cultural events of the time and the political and social changes so that we always know where we are historically.

“Time of Obsessions” by John Roman Baker— “The Times They Were a-Changing”

Baker, John Roman. “Time of Obsessions”, (The Nick & Greg Books Book 2) , Wilkinson House 2017.

“The Times They Were a-Changing”

Amos Lassen

Some of you might remember Nick and Greg from the novel of the same name that I reviewed some time ago. We went back in time to the late 1950s when Nick and Greg meet one day after school in Brighton, England, a place where there was a thriving gay community even though homosexuality was illegal then. Brighton was their home turf as well as their playground. As Nick and Greg discover Brighton, they also discover each other and the passion each holds for the other.

In the first book of the series simply titled “Nick and Greg”, we meet the boys who were born at a time when gay liberation had not yet been thought of. From that first meeting in 1957 when they were just fourteen-years-old, we stay with them through the next twenty years when things change.

As young teens, the boys had no sexual inhibitions and they were curious about life and anxious to taste it all. “Time of Obsessions” moves us forward in time to 1961 when Greg is 18, leaves home and begins life on his own. As he experiments with men and with sexuality, Nick is still the object of Greg’s love. Greg goes to London and becomes caught up in the gay scene at Chelsea which was just beginning to take hold. He finds refuge in the gay bar scene there yet something is missing and he continues to hope to find it.

The early sixties were a time of change yet but homosexuality was still against the law. Nonetheless Chelsea was coming into its own as the gayborhood for London. Regardless of the legal status, we see a changing attitude among the people and personal freedom is coming in to it own.

What I really like best about this series of three books now is the development of characters. Baker developed the “boys” in book one, in book two we meet them as developed men and we get a look at what goes on in the minds of gay men when they are out cruising. Baker has a way with words and descriptions that you actually feel like a character becomes a friend. The great personalities of Greg and Nick as teens morph into their great personalities as men. When I really enjoy a book I try very hared to convey that two readers without spoiling the plot for anyone and that is not easy. Take my word for it with “Time of Obsessions”. I promise you that you will love Baker’s other writings both in this series and other books.

 

“With Liberty and Justice: The Fifty Day Journey from Egypt to Sinai” by Senator Joe Lieberman and Rabbi Ari D. Kahn— Freedom as Birthright

Lieberman, Senator Joe and Kahn, Rabbi Ari D. “With Liberty and Justice: The Fifty Day Journey from Egypt to Sinai”, Maggid, OU Press, 2018.

Freedom as Birthright

Amos Lassen

Having just finished the second Passover Seder, members of the Jewish religion are now moving toward the next holiday of Shavuot (the celebration of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai)and we realize that the exodus whose story is retold every year at Passover would be an incomplete story if we did not have the revelation at Sinai. Actually the two holidays are so tied together that I find it impossible to think of one without the other. However, I must admit that always think of the holidays in this matter and that actually someone pointed out how one depends upon thee other and their importance in the history of the Jewish people. For those of you who do not remember, we count fifty days between the two holidays and we refer to this as the counting of the Omer

The Passover story that we recount at our Sedarim is the story of freedom but because we had not yet received the law, that freedom had the possibilities of leading to chaos, violence and immorality and, in fact, we saw some of that during the wandering in the desert. We had no standards of morality and they were greatly lacking, especially to a group of people who were enjoying freedom for the first time in their lives yet we had to wait to have these laws given to us. While freedom is part of the birthright, the Bible tells us we did not come out of Egypt just to be free, we were taken out to be God’s people— to accept the Law at Sinai and to agree to live by that law’s principles and to pass those principles on to others. This is what defines the Jewish people. Throughout history, societies have learned that it is impossible to exist without some code of law and morality. Standards are necessary. The fifty days before the two holidays is a wonderful, if not perfect, time to reflect on the tension between freedom and law and look for the balance that justice provides. This can be very challenging in that we want freedom but we need law.

Senator Joe Lieberman and Rabbi Ari Kahn presents give us here fifty short essays on the interplay of law and liberty in our lives. These essays draw on the Bible and rabbinic literature, American politics and modern legal theory, Jewish humor and American folklore, the authors follow the annual journey from Egypt to Sinai. We quickly see that liberty minus law cannot exist and there is no freedom without justice.

The book is conveniently divided into five sections: “Passover, the Journey Begins”, “The Land Before Sinai”, “The Ten commandments”, “The Law Since Sinai” and “Shavuot, Celebrating the Law”. Taken all together, we have fifty essays, one short essay for each of the fifty days and they are short and to the point that it takes a very short time to read one and it is a wonderful way to start or end each day. It is interesting to note that Passover is the most widely celebrated of all of the Jewish holidays while Shavuot that cones just seven weeks later is the least celebrated and probably the holiday that many know noting about or are simply unaware that we even have this holiday. Yet, as I said earlier, the two are bound together and it is actually the holiday of Shavuot that completes the Passover celebration of freedom. What I also have found to be interesting is that the Bible does not really describe the fifty days as a journey from slavery to freedom to law. What we read about Shavuot is agricultural and that the children of Israel were commanded to make an Omer offering to the temple on the second day of Passover to thank God for a good harvest. At that point they were commanded to count 49 days until Shavuot when they bring their harvests of fruit to the Temple. Of course, with the destruction of the Temple, things changed and the rabbis took over in setting precedents. As we go through the fifty days ourselves, it is the perfect time to think about what is written here,

I see this book as a special treat in that I can begin each day with a new thought. It has always been my tradition along with many others to study all night on the holiday of Shavuot. This year picking a topic will be so easy as I allow these fifty essays to come together and, in a way, force us to think about freedom and law and I can promise you that you will find many new ideas. I must also admit that I have cheated a bit and already read some of the essays (I actually read them all to write this review) and I am amazed at what there is here to think about.

“The Story of Israel: From the Birth of a Nation to the Present Day” by Martin Gilbert— The Story of Israel’s Birth and Development as a Nation

Gilbert, Martin. “The Story of Israel: From the Birth of a Nation to the Present Day”, Andre Deutsch, 2018, reissue.

The Story of Israel’s Birth and Development as a Nation

Amos Lassen

 Seventy years ago and after the Holocaust, the State of Israel came into being, having been established so that Jews anywhere in the world could have a homeland. In the years since, five wars have tested Israel’s ability to survive. Emigrants from all over the world have added to Israel’s rich culture and social fabric enhanced the country’s cultural riches while at the same time this strained Israel’s social fabric, while Israel’s Arab neighbors sought to redress their own grievances through violence. Now, Israel is celebrating 70 years of independence and here is her story replete with images of important historical documents.

Some of you may have copies of or have seen this book in a different format. This is a reissue in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. The main text and illustrations are identical to earlier editions but they have been reformatted to a different size and shape of the page. 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?

This is the story of Israel from the first settlers up to the present day. Each chapter is devoted to one segment of history and the photographs and illustrations interspersed through the text are fascinating and interesting. The content is succinct and factual and you must remember that this is not an in-depth account, but it does all the major facets of Israel’s history.

Photographs of original documents are included. We have a letter written by a young soldier to his family right before he was killed poignant, more so because he was killed shortly thereafter. Moshe Dayan’s personal letter of condolence to the parents of this soldier is likewise very moving and illustrates the huge sacrifices that Israelis have had to make.

This is not a history book but rather a very nice picture album with short summaries of Israel’s most important events.

“Not at Risk: Education as a Work of Heart” by Menachem Gottesmen and Leah Leslie Gottesman— A Special School in Israel

Menachem Gottesman, PhD. and Leah Leslie Gottesman, MA, “Not At Risk: Education as a Work of Heart”, Menorah Books, 2018.

A Special School in Israel

Amos Lassen

I have spent my entire adult life, some 55 years, in the field of education both in Israel and here in the United States. and even though I am semi-retired, I still teach several classes a year. It is a profession that is never boring and a profession that has kept me young. I love to read about new ways of educating others and so when I heard about “Not at Risk”, I was anxious to read it. Basically, this is the story of Jerusalem’s Meled School and Dr. Menachem Gottesman’s alternative education environment in response to the problem of high school dropouts hanging out, if not living, on the streets. One of the things that I learned when I lived and worked in Israel is that Israeli students are not like Jewish American students who come from homes where education is a top priority. Working with adolescents is a demanding job and it often takes a village to get a job done the way it should be done. Not every student can sit through six academic classes a day and not all-educational pedagogy is for everyone. It often takes open-minded educators, therapists, parents, and professionals to work with adolescents and those who do will find this book to be a wonderful tool.

Jerusalem’s Mercaz L’Mida Dati Learning Center or Meled has been responsible for transforming lives of youths and restoring families for over twenty years. This is no doubt because the people who work here care deeply about their jobs and the people they work with. This is the story of a educational work that is not only groundbreaking but also so very important. We hear the story of this program from its founders as they share the amazing work they have done and continue to do. We learn of personal experiences of faculty members and parents and we read personal stories of former students. “Not At Risk” tells its story through the words of its founders, and details groundbreaking educational work, sharing not only experiences and insights of faculty members and parents, but heartwarming, and at times deeply painful, personal stories of former students.

Dr. Menachem Gottesman has had years of work child development and when he sat down to find a way to deal with at risk youth, he went to three main sources for help—- A.S. Neill’s philosophy of education, the therapeutic method developed by Dr. Milton H. Erickson, and the spiritual outlook of Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik. I must say that these were quite a change from the educational philosophers that we studied when I was a graduate student in education. I think what is so important here, it that the education system seems to be constantly criticized yet without an alternative making that criticism almost useless. If you want to repair, there must be an alternative in place and not after the fact. Dr. Gottesman did his homework well and he was ready to implement a program after careful study. Meled has succeeded and it is a model for open-minded educators, professionals working with adolescents, and concerned parents.

In Hebrew Meled stands for Merkaz L’Mida Dati and it is the Alternative Religious High School, or Religious Learning Center in Jerusalem that was begun in September 1995 as a pilot project, and has since grown in reputation and effectiveness. Dr. Menachem Gottesman had been involved studying blind individuals and working on programming for them in the U.S. and Israel. He became interested in adolescents who did not seem to fit into not been able to fit into the formal structure of typical religious schools in Israel. Using the aforementioned three sources, Gottesman developed new educational principles for Meled. Reading here what students have to say, we see that this alternative school has been able to save children by helping them to turn their lives around.

Gottesman dealt with students who had been depressed, abused, without a sense of self-esteem and/or a lack of self-confidence, whose families had alienated them, that were uninterested in school or studies and who had experimented with alcohol and drugs.

Because he was willing to listen to what these students had to say, he was able to help control their educations and what they did on a daily basis. Dr. Gottesman was able to give them the emotional and academic support that these students needed. Those that graduated from Meled felt good about their lives and were optimistic about what the future holds. They were able to finish what was requited of them academically

Most graduates of “Meled” are described as optimistic about their futures, completing appropriate academic challenges, find their places and begin having families of their own. Of course what was going on with Meled as Dr. Gottesman got his program going was political but ultimately, the school received official recognition and financial support from the Israeli educational establishment.

In “Not at Risk”, we have testimonials from students, parents and staff members. Gottesman, himself, supplies anecdotes and additional stories and in these he describes what the children had to deal with and how their poor circumstances affected them.

The school’s rules are minimal. Students are not allowed to physically harm each other, drugs and alcohol are prohibited, as is theft. Otherwise, it is up to the students to behave. Students determine when they come to school a truism that Gottesman fondly and frequently invoked, and it is left to the student to determine when they will come to school, what subjects they will study, how many of the national matriculation exams they will prepare for, and in which extra‐curricular activities they wish to participate.

Both Gottesman and his wife are totally devoted to the student body and there have been times when they have taken students in as foster children to make sure that those who go to their school have a proper place to live. The school staff, including the secretaries are committed totally as well. Everyone is a resource. When it happens that students have to be committed outside institutions, or have problems with the justice system, Gottesman and members of the

Meled staff are there to support them even away from school. Students continue to maintain connections with their former principal, teachers, counselors, and tutors by inviting them to share in these occasions. Some who once were students at “Meled,” now work there and have become role models and inspirations for the members of the current student body.

Two of the unique aspects of Meled are smaller student load for teachers and doing away with homework and exams and replacing them with small group study sessions. This provides more time for l interactions (one‐on‐one discussions, tutoring, and soul‐searching). Openness is required and teachers are trained for that by going to hours of observations and acclimation.

Gottesman says emphatically that school is not only interested in instruction, but also in dispensing “therapy,” staff members are “therapists” in addition to being educators. This is a new concept in which the educational institution is conceptualized as existing in order to serve its student body and Gottesman has brought the theory into reality and we see how much work that this has taken.

“The Trump Passover Haggadah: People All The Time They Come Up And Tell Me This Is The Best Haggadah They’ve Ever Read, They Do, Believe Me” by Dave Cowen— We Should Have Seen It Coming

Cowen, Dave. “The Trump Passover Haggadah: People All The Time They Come Up And Tell Me This Is The Best Haggadah They’ve Ever Read, They Do, Believe Me”, Independently Published, 2018.

We Should Have Seen It Coming

Amos Lassen

“I’d only ever been to one Passover. Back in 1984, when my best Jew lawyer, Roy Cohn, finally convinced me to accept one of his invitations to a Seder at his penthouse in Manhattan. Frankly, there’s only one word to describe that night. Boring. Even with Madonna as my date, and I’m talking still-hot, pre-pregnant, pre-Kabbalah Madonna, it was unbearable. Before we could eat, we had to take turns reading from these old, raggedy, dirt — filthy really — paper manuals, these Haggadahs, right, that’s what you call them? Well, let me tell you, they’re very low energy, very poorly written stuff, and the whole thing went on forever, I left after the second cracker course.”

This is the introduction to Dave Cowen’s satirical Haggadah that is flying out of stores and I must admit that parts of it are very funny. What is not funny are the tremendous number of errors that should have been caught in the editing process (if there even was an editing process) and the fact that Donald Trump indeed is the president of this country.

Before I criticize it, let’s have a little fun thinking what the White House Seder might be like. First all undocumented chametz must be removed and this is rough since the White House has lost its help due to immigration policy and Melania is allergic to feathers. As the first lady sets the table, Trump reminds her that cushions are needed for leaning and she reminds him that he already leans when he eats on the couch being debriefed.

Pence arrives and demands that they wait for his wife to arrive before making Kiddush, because he cannot attend events where alcohol is served without her. The Kush recites the Shehecheyanu prayer and thanks his father-in-law for his job.

“The four questions are of course asked by Ivanka (the wise child), Tiffany (the wicked child), Donald Junior (the simple child), and Eric (the child who doesn’t know how to ask).” And what about that other child, Baron?

On Amazon.com, the description reads: “The book guides Seder participants through a re-living of the Jewish people’s suffering under the Egyptians and celebrates their freedom from a vain, capricious, thin-skinned, small-handed, megalomaniacal, temperamentally unfit President— er, Pharaoh. If you’re an afflicted liberal Jew, with an unconservative (sic) sense of humor, and you find traditional Seders as dry as matzo, so why not try this radically irreverent political parody Haggadah this Passover.”

On the minus side are the errors (which I will get to) but the text is just a compilation of terrible Trump jokes that we have all heard before. Buy, hey, it is a cheap book ($6) and one day you my want those jokes although I cannot imagine why. There are a number of typos especially in the Hebrew and in the Hebrew spelling of God’s name. Of course this means that the Haggadah has yet another use— counting the mistakes and this is a great way to use the time while waiting for the sponge cake that fell.

With as many mistakes as there are, it is doubtful that this is a utile Haggadah—- it was written for the fun of it. (Nonetheless, Ivanka remains the wise child even if her father told a stripper/prostitute that she was as beautiful as his daughter, the wise child).

I do think that we could have had a really funny Haggadah based upon this presidential (it hurts to use that word with Trump) administration because they are funny. If nothing else, this one gives us an idea to write one that is funnier and without errors. And while you are at it, let’s add a dried prune added to the Seder plate to reminds us of Alec Baldwin’s terrific impersonation of the prez.