Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Email from John the Revelator

No Good Deed etc: How strange, you may think, for Abq Jew to write a blog post about John the Revelator! Well, it's been a strange week. So here we go.

But first: Abq Jew would not know a thing about John the Revelator were it not for the late folk singer John Herald, of blessed memory. John was one of The Greenbriar Boys, which also included banjoist Bob Yellin (no relation). It was from The Greenbriar Boys that Abq Jew first came to love bluegrass and banjo music.

Later in his career, John wrote the song Jon the Generator, which was patterned after Blind Willie Johnson's version of the gospel tune John the Revelator. John couldn't remember the words, so he made up his own. It became his own classic.

Well, it's been a strange week. Why, just this very morning, Abq Jew received an email from John the Revelator.

You're probably thinking -

Abq Jew received an email from John the Revelation Writer?
The guy who discovered The Seven Seals?

Well ... no. It was from another John the Revelator. Here is his email:
The Udalls and Their Long Proud List of Mass Murderer Ancestors. Sir or Madam: I am REV John Williams, The Revelator, Founder of The Church of Bible Prophecy, an Evangelical Christian religion. I email you to alert you and those you share with the fact that both Senator Tom Udall and Senator Mark Udall proudly proclaim to descend from a long line of mass murderers. Yet, both these Udalls receive a lot of donations and support from Jews! As with The Church, we know that genocide and mass murder is also of great concern to you all. Therefore, we have written to New Mexico Colorado Jews and their Jewish Communities an open letter informing them of of the true characters of just whom they donate to and support. Please visit our webpage at: After you have read this webpage, please email us your comments just as soon as you can. Please freely distribute this webpage as you wish. Thanks. Your servant in God, REV John Williams, The Revelator The Church of Bible Prophecy, Albuquerque, NM
Abq Jew really doesn't know what to do about this. It's just too strange.

How strange? Abq Jew hears you ask.

About as strange (where is Abq Jew's strangeness scale?) as the attack on the Islamic Center of New Mexico last Friday (one Molotov cocktail, if you haven't been paying attention); the official Jewish community's response to the attack; the ICNM's reply to the official Jewish community's response to the attack (appended);

and the unofficial, in Abq Jew's view (but not, of course, in their own) anti-Israel Jewish (and non-Jewish) community's response to the original attack, from today's Albuquerque Journal:
Walk to support Islamic Center 
Several local organizations are sponsoring a “peace walk” in support of the Islamic Center of New Mexico following an attack last week in which someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the center’s building. 
. . .
This will be a family friendly walk open to anyone who wishes to participate, including children. Those who participate are asked to bring a candle and, if they wish, flowers. 
At the Islamic Center a statement of support will be given to Imam Shafi Abdul Aziz, signed by groups and individuals within the community. The Islamic Center has invited the walkers to a reception at the center after the walk. 
Sponsors include: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, Albuquerque Chapter of United Nations Association, Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque, Stop the War Machine, Stop 30 Billion to Israel and ANSWER.

All of this has inspired Abq Jew
to take the rest of the week off. So ....

Here is Jon the Revelator. Which is another Abq Jew milestone - the first YouTube video that Abq Jew created and uploaded to his YouTube channel. Enjoy!

And even though it's only Wednesday -
Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

26 Miles

Quiara Alegría Hudes, Playwright:  Camino Real Productions, LLC and Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center are honored to present this captivating play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes.

26 Miles
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Friday November 7  ~ Sunday November 23
Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe
Friday December 5  ~ Sunday December 14

Tickets: $18 Community. $15 Students / Seniors / NHCC Members.
Available via Vendini here.

Beatriz and Olivia are another pair of seekers seduced by the prospect of a getaway.

Their midnight departure may start out as a desperate move by Beatriz to remove Olivia, her 15-year-old-daughter, from the care of her conflicted father and his indifferent new wife. It may give Beatriz a break from her philandering husband, Manuel.

By the end of the charming, spunky and ultimately heart-rending play, however, the car trip from Paoli, PA, to Yellowstone Park is transformative and restorative for both mother and daughter.

Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Water by the Spoonful; a previous play, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, was a Pulitzer finalist.

Hudes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a Jewish father and a Puerto Rican mother. They raised her in West Philadelphia, where she began composing music and writing.

She also studied at the Mary Louise Curtis Branch of Settlement Music School, taking piano lessons with Dolly Krasnopolsky.

She has stated that although she is of "Puerto Rican and Jewish blood", she was "raised by two Puerto Rican parents". Her step-father was a Puerto Rican entrepreneur.

She graduated from Central High School. She studied music composition at Yale University, where she earned her BA, and playwriting at Brown University, earning an MFA.

"Charming, spunky, and ultimately heart-rending, ...
the car trip from Paoli, PA, to Yellowstone Park
is transforming and restorative." 
-- New York Times

 Camino Real Productions, LLC is an Albuquerque-based theatrical and radio theatre production company founded by Linda López McAlister in 2006. It is one of the theatre companies in residence at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Hispanic art and culture at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shimon Peres Looks for Work

Let's Hear It for Shimi P! The news this week - the first full week after a series of Too Many Yontifs - seems to have gone from bad to worse.

That's no way to enter the realm of Shabbat Menuchah, Sabbath Peace.

So. Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher of The Jewish Week, reminded Abq Jew that humor can solve many, if not, alas, all, problems. In a nice article about Israel's ex-President, Shimon Peres.
The world has long known that Shimon Peres has a talent for statesmanship, having been a national leader in public service for some seven decades. Now we find out he has a sense of humor, too. 
A five-minute video conceived by his screenwriter-humorist granddaughter, Mika Almog, and a group of artist friends, depicts Peres, 91, as a man looking for a job, having stepped down as president of Israel this summer. 
With a clever premise, first-rate production and some subtle messages of substance, it has gone viral since its release two weeks ago with 600,000 YouTube views at last count.
So here is the video. And remember:

You are as great as the cause that you serve,
and as young as your dreams.

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rabbi Judith Z Abrams, Teacher, Dies at 56

Scholar of 'The Other Talmud': It is with great sadness that Abq Jew reports the passing of Rabbi Judith Z Abrams, the founder and director of Maqom: A School for Adult Talmud Study.

Rabbi Abrams was the Guest Speaker at the Albuquerque Community Selichot Service in 2012. She spoke about the Jerusalem Talmud, the subject of her most recent book, The Other Talmud: The Yerushalmi: Unlocking the Secrets of The Talmud of Israel for Judaism Today.

In December 2013, Rabbi Abrams returned to Albuquerque (see Rabbi Judith Abrams Returns to B'nai Israel) to serve as Scholar in Residence at Congregation B'nai Israel. She also taught Master Classes at Congregations Albert and Nahalat Shalom.

Until recently, Rabbi Abrams led (via Skype) a weekly "Explore the Talmud" class at Congregation Nahalat Shalom.

Rabbi Joe Black, formerly of Congregation Albert, offered these thoughts via Facebook:
I just learned of the tragic death of my colleague, Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams. 
Judy (as I knew her at HUC in Cincinnati) was a brilliant teacher with a beautiful soul and a wicked sense of humor. Through her writing and teaching she brought the complexities of Talmudic discourse to thousands of students around the world. 
She was a pioneer of online learning. Her website,, brought Jewish sacred text and Rabbinic thought into all corners of the world. Her books were brilliant and accessible - a rare combination. 
She was a pure soul and a true scholar. The world is a darker place without her shining light. 
T'hi Zichrah Baruch - may her memory be for an eternal blessing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kay Wilson @ UNM Hillel

Terror Survivor & Peace Activist: Lobos for Israel and the Hillel at the University of New Mexico are proud to present a Shabbat dinner and discussion with noted terror survivor and peace activist Kay Wilson.

Kay Wilson
Terror Survivor & Peace Activist
Friday October 24 ~ 6:00 pm
Aaron David Bram Hillel House
1701 Sigma Chi Rd NE 87106

Kay Wilson is a British-born Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist.

She is the survivor of a brutal attack in Jerusalem on December 18, 2010 during which two Palestinian terrorists stabbed Wilson’s friend Kristine Luken to death.

Wilson, who was also stabbed multiple times, survived by playing dead. Following the attack — while still bound, gagged and barefoot — Wilson managed to walk 1,200 meters until she reached safety.

Since the attack, she has been in demand as a speaker, addressing audiences on issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism.

If you'd like to find out more about Kay Wilson, Abq Jew encourages you to read her blogs for the Times of Israel here. A Wikipedia account of  her survival (and others' deaths) can be found here.

An excellent Jerusalem Post interview - What a waste, I’m 46 years old and I’m being murdered - can be found here. And here is a video interview with Ms Wilson:

Afraid of the old Sturm und Drang? Don't be!

Abq Jew has learned that Kay Wilson has her own website -

in which she explains why she speaks about her experience.
I speak about my experience because I consider it a Mitzvah** to share with you the lessons I have learned following my attempted murder. I wish I had been smart enough to learn these jewels long ago. I wasn't. Now I know, so I want to tell you what it means to be alive. There is a million miles between being alive and knowing what it is to be alive. 
I also have a hunch that a little bit of priority-arranging-in-life won't hurt anyone. I happen to have a few suggestions. 
In addition, I have learned some tricks for handling fear, hopelessness, loss, grief, pain, shock, guilt, anxiety, terror, wretchedness, depression, rage, suicidal thoughts, horror, despair, anguish, torment and country music. 
If I can communicate even a teeny-weeny bit of these life-lessons, then I believe the terror attack and the death of Kristine and Netta will not be in in vain. I want to see at least some part of our world become a better place.
Come & hear Kay Wilson!
Erev Shabbat @ UNM Hillel!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Juliana Maio, JCC Visiting Author

City of the Sun: The Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque is proud to present our New Mexico Jewish community’s annual celebration of the written word.

And the fifth (and this year's final) author up is:

Juliana Maio
City of the Sun
Wednesday October 29 ~ 11:30 am
Luncheon $25 (reservations required); book $16

Click here to register.

It's 1941 in wartime Egypt, and Cairo is playing host to a stream of refugees, spies and soldiers from around the world.

Jewish/Egyptian-born author Juliana Maio's enthralling historical novel sets a love story against the backdrop of an increasingly threatened Jewish community with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Passion, espionage, and shifting alliances converge in a time and place that sowed much of the turbulence in today's Middle East, which Maio will also address.

Here is a forshbite (that's Yiddish for hors d'oeuvres, one of the most-looked-up words on the Internet) of what's in store for Albuquerque. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gail Sheehy, JCC Visiting Author

Daring: My Passages: The Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque is proud to present our New Mexico Jewish community’s annual celebration of the written word.

And the fourth author up is:

Gail Sheehy
Daring: My Passages
Sunday October 26 ~ 3:00 pm
$10 advance, $15 at door; book $30

Click here to register.

Gail Sheehy, legendary author of the worldwide bestseller, Passages, turns the lens on her own passages in this gutsy memoir.

In Daring, we follow Sheehy as she overcomes the 'pink ghetto' of newspapers—"women's pages"— to conquer the gritty "man's world" of New Journalism.

Writing for New York Magazine and others, Sheehy walked city streets with hookers to expose violent prostitution, marched with protesters in Northern Ireland, and interviewed Egypt's president Anwar Sadat after he was targeted for assassination.

An amazing life told in person by the woman who is living it!

Here is a forshbite (that's Yiddish for hors d'oeuvres, one of the most-looked-up words on the Internet) of what's in store for Albuquerque.