Meyer Habib, the Modern-Day Mordecai of French Jewry?

There’s a joke among French-Ashkenazi-Jews (or what’s left of them) that says that Sephardim are the Jews’ best friends. If that saying is true, Meyer Habib, who was born in Paris to Tunisian parents 56 years ago, is unquestionably one of the best friends that French Jews have.

Habib is tall, muscular, and sympathetic. He is endowed with an unmistakably North African face, which is both heavy and sweet. CEO of the Groupe Vendôme, the French luxury jeweler, he also serves as a Representative in France’s National Assembly, and as his friend Benjamin Netanyahu’s unofficial representative in Paris. Like most Sephardim I know, he speaks French quite rapidly, so you have to make him tell a story several times if you want to get the details straight.

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‘Ambassador Samantha Power Lied to My Face About Syria,’ by Kassem Eid

One day after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Saturday demanding a truce in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta to allow for aid access and medical evacuations, Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime had already resumed their saturation bombing of the last major opposition enclave in the Syrian capital. In the week prior to the UNSC vote, the pro-regime camp’s assault had killed hundreds of civilians, using both regular munitions and poison gas. As they have done for years, Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers systematically targeted, in the words of a doctor in Ghouta, “everything: shops, markets, hospitals, schools, mosques, everything.” The images are unspeakably horrific, and the stories chilling.

Eastern Ghouta, readers will recall, was the site of what then-President Barack Obama called a proud moment, a moment when he mustered the “most political courage,” and cut a deal with Vladimir Putin which got Bashar Assad off the hook after he gassed more than 1,300 men, women and children with Sarin in 2013. For Obama, nothing could interfere with his policy of realignment with Iran. Getting the Iran deal meant “respecting Iran’s equities” in Syria. That meant turning a blind eye to the gassing of children and industrial-scale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians.

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Keeping Kosher on Food Stamps

It’s Thursday morning in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and Rachel, a 37 year-old Hasidic mother of nine, is preparing for Shabbat. Amid the sounds of chopping and her toddler daughter’s coughs, she explains that she’s been on food stamps for over a decade.

For a single-income family of their size, “food is a big expense,” she says, estimating that she spends $200-300 a week on groceries. Although food stamps “help a lot,” Rachel says she has to budget carefully to make it to the end of each month.

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Lembit Funk Deftly Demonstrates How to Play the Shenanigan, An Ancient, Elegant, Intuitive Instrument

The Shenanigan

In 2015, British comedian Greig Johnson created a hilarious video lesson in which a rather unique character named Lembit Funk, who spat out a great deal of nonsense in a Scandinavian accent of sorts, while explaining how to play the Shenanigan. The Shenanigan is similar to a hurdy-gurdy, but with a lot more stuff attached. Funk demonstrated how to play the instrument with such passion that began to bleed from his nose and eyes, but he promised to return for a second lesson.

Mel B ignored teri hatcher. She’ll squinted fingers thanks for nothing.

via reddit

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Gâteau Gato, A Brilliant Purring Cake Zoetrope Dedicated to All Things Cat

Gateau Gato

Artist Alexandre Dubosc has once again created a brilliant cake zoetrope, this one dedicated to all things cat. Appropriately named “Gâteau Gato“, the purring, spinning confectionary features such feline luminaries as Felix the Cat and Nyan Cat affixed to the side of a giant kitty who has sharp teeth and playful mice running around on its pretty little head and a big communal piano around its middle.

via The Awesomer

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A Dutiful Herd of Deer Safely Pause at a Stop Sign Before Crossing a Snowy British Columbia Street

Deer Stopping at Sign

While walking to work on a snowy day in Fernie, British Columbia, redditor Bronsta captured the humorous sight of a small herd of deer coming down the street. Once they reached the corner, the herd dutifully paused at the bright red stop sign and looked both ways before proceeding to cross the street. Needless to say, Bronsta was a bit surprised and turned back to capture the moment.

Not your everyday walk to work. …Spotted a herd of deer on my way out of my parking lot so I stopped to take a couple pictures.Had to carry on to work, turned around a little further down the road at the perfect moment to witness this.

via b3ta

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A Vocal African Grey Parrot Celebrates Her 30th Birthday by Doing Some of Her Best Impressions

A beautiful and rather vocal African grey named Einstein celebrated her 30th birthday at the Knoxville Zoo by demonstrating some of her favorite impressions while being fed a steady stream of sunflower seeds in between. Encouraged by her human keeper Adam Patterson, Einstein happily barked like a dog, whispered a secret, booed like a ghost, blew a kiss and said goodbye to all the nice folks.

Zoo Knoxville African Grey parrot Einstein turns 30, shows her amazing impressions

A post shared by Zoo Knoxville (@zooknoxville) on

via Tastefully Offensive

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Floating Shapes Gracefully Form Into Abstract Visual Portrayals of Music Being Played by Musicians

Nebula” by Polish filmmaker Marcin Nowrotek is a gorgeously fluid animation in which floating shapes provide abstract visual portrayals of the sounds coming from a saxophone, piano and bass, with each given a unique visual signature. These individual shapes lead back to the musicians playing their instruments as a means of identification before drifting upward, around and into each other as designated by the song.

NEBULA is an experiment that aims at finding the link between two trends that develop simultaneously in the history of film – Lumières concept of a movie as a record of reality and Méliés’s idea that uses the film as a tool for creation of imaginative worlds. NEBULA draws from both of these approaches and becomes a combination, collage, in which the recorded figurative picture is intermingled with abstract compositions being the graphic equivalent of music.

via Vimeo Staff Picks

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