Episode #223: Ayatollah redux, FaceTiming strangers

Brace yourselves, real San Franciscans: it’s 85 degrees in October and Rosen is on the warpath (again), chewing gum and reusing his non-reusable plastic bottle only hours after surviving an embarrassing morning FaceTime incident.

But stick around, because this is a lively episode of (Is it) Good for the Jews? that touches on the World Series, Father Guido Sarducci, Impossible burgers, anti-semitism (of course) and the boys’ differing understandings thereof and free speech for terrorists on Twitter, before finally asking:

If the Mossad had assassinated the Ayatollah in 1979, would it have been  good for the Jews?

A soon-to-be-published book by former Mossad Agent Yossi Alpher claims that Iran’s PM gave the Israeli intelligence agency the go-ahead to take out the Ayatollah. Would the resulting butterfly effect have benefitted the Jews? The answer to this is far murkier than one might think.

Use once or 40 times?

Episode #222: Do you like being Jewish?

This week, Rosen has no wifi and his dog is covered with poo, but this is the least of his worries. He is having (another?) Jewish crisis. A chance beach meeting with celebrating Jews has him spinning into a bout of Jewish self-loathing and a very different sort of episode.

Meanwhile, Goldbrener loves being a Jew…except for the religion part. Meanwhile, his partner is opening a vein over his Jewish ambivalence, leading to a flood of questions, suggestions and kvetching (?) about city living, being Jewish and the real meaning of “self-hating Jew,” until finally Goldbrener wraps it up with his interest in Jews’ role in the development of psychology and his hopes for a better society.

Triggered by a shofar.

Episode #221: Joint League, room A/C, Gandhi

Welcome to the Twilight Lounge, no longer a safe haven from San Francisco’s fake summer heat. It’s oppressive, this heat, and though real San Franciscans like Goldbrener are cool and collected, Rosen is not handling it well, preferring instead the freak snowstorm he faced the week before in the Sierras and the glory of his room air conditioner.

What does this have to do with Jews? Nothing. Nor does Goldbrener’s deep dive into the “ban vaping” debate. Does that stop him? No!  And gun control? Does that have anything to do with Jews? No! Are we dissuaded? Of course not!

Gandhi feeling sympathy for Jews? Which host would’ve ignored the missives asking all Jews to report to the town square in 1939? What of all the important Jews who died in 5779? And the ones who won Emmys in 2019? And finally…

Is the Joint List good for the Jews?

It seems like this is becoming a regular feature on the (Is it) Good for the Jews? podcast: Israel holds an election and a bunch of questions arise.  This time, the Arab Joint List is checking in, supporting Benny Gantz and flirting with participation in the Israeli government.  And once again, we turn to Goldbrener to make sense of the whole thing.

Gandhi: feels bad for the Jews.