One of my favourite episodes from The Day Today sitcom, set in a Bureau de Change.
In a way I could have included this in the Videos I Like rather than the Videos of Me section. It’s the second part of the Swimming Pool documentary we did. Watching Steve Coogan first improvise this character was one of the funniest, bladder-challenging experiences of my life (so far). The “in 1978 no-one died” went on even longer than it did in the final version and was achingly hysterical. It’s probably my favourite Day Today character.
(Leviticus 1 – 5)
It’s no surprise that, traditionally, little Jewish children begin their study of the Torah with this parsha, which details the different types of animal sacrifice. Boys would enjoy hearing how the priest used his long fingernail to separate the head of a bird from its body then wrenched off its throat, squeezed out its blood and set fire to it, whilst girls might like to colour in a picture or something.
It’s important for children to learn about sacrifices such as sin offerings and guilt offerings and crippling school fees that don’t even take into account uniform and ski trips and sports gear, (more…)
(Leviticus 6 – 8 )
In this week’s parsha, we read how it was the priest’s job to remove the ashes that had built up overnight from the altar. It seems like a menial task but the priests, the loftiest members of the Israelite community still did it. Imagine Lord Winston in yellow rubber gloves taking out a bin bag which is leaking a bit so he has to hold it away from him and therefore ends up mincing slightly. That’s exactly the image this parsha’s trying to convey. It reminds us that a lord isn’t necessarily better than a dustbin man, that a Rabbi isn’t necessarily better than a caretaker. Though mostly he is. (more…)
Here’s an episode from the first series of Uncle Max. I had to eat masses of chocolate for one scene. About 3 huge bars worth. Then wash it down with acres of tomato ketchup. Ah, the sacrifices we make for comedy…
Anyway, series 1 of Uncle Max is now available on DVD, as they say. When they’re trying to sell their DVDs…
I’ve finally decided to put up some bookshelves in my living room. It’s not been an easy decision. We may not judge a book by a cover, but we certainly judge a reader by their books. Look around you on any bus or train. We would never sit there holding up a sign saying “Lost and lonely. Believes in aliens” or “Frustrated male. Works out in gym”, but that’s exactly what we’re doing when we’re seen reading “Scientology and You” or “Andy McNab’s Top Ten Ways to Really Hurt a Man”. (more…)
(Leviticus 9 – 11)
The time: First day of Nissan, one year to the day after the Exodus.
The place: Sinai.
As the Children of Israel stand full of awe before Moses, who’s about to share with them the laws of kashrus (what you can and can’t eat), Nadab and Abihu, two sons of Aaron, offer up something unprescribed on the altar of the L-rd and are struck dead by a fire from on high.
The time: the present, 3287 years later.
The place: North London.
As the readers of the Jewish Chronicle stand full of awe before another of Rabbi Schneider’s inspirational dissections of the week’s parsha, a certain Rabbi F sends round an abusive email claiming that I’m mentally unstable and that in the past few months I’ve been served four injunctions and been cautioned by the police on no less than five occasions.
It’s not hard to see the similarities between these two events. Plus ca change, as we say in Yiddish. (more…)