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Yehuda Levin’s Vaudeville Act

Message: I’m Jewish

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Rabbi Yehuda Levin.(AP/Gawker)

It was hard to read Rabbi Yehuda Levin’s rant—the sentence could end right there, of course—without noticing how ostentatiously Jewish he was being, how he seemed to be going out of his way to remind you of his religious and cultural authenticity.

“The speech that you gave in Brooklyn to the Orthodox Jewish community.”

“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich.”

“Mazel tov!”

“I almost choked on the kosher salami.”

Let’s repeat that one, just for fun: “I almost choked on the kosher salami.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic blogger, has an illuminating take. “A lot of what this Rabbi is doing strikes me as what a lot of my folk would call ‘cooning’ if this dude were black,” he writes. I was unfamiliar with the term (and probably wouldn’t use it myself, given its etymology): According to Urban Dictionary,

Modern day coons are blacks who play stereotypical roles and black entertainers that promote ignorance. Cooning is someone is acting like a ‘coon’.

(a is singing and dancing in public with white people watching)

b: Will you come on and stop cooning!

Sounds about right.

Paladino’s Rabbit Cont. [Ta-Nehisi Coates]
Earlier: Carl Paladino’s Betrayal of Reason

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My brain is whirring about what a Jewish-equivalent term for cooning might be, but I’m not comfortable actually typing any of the words I’m playing with. But I totally agree with Coates’s take.

Incidentally, in the picture that illustrates this post, Levin looks like he has a vintage-Steve-Martin-esque arrow through his head. Semiotically I guess this means he is a wild and crazy guy.

One of Ta-Nehisi’s commenters hit upon “bageling” as the Jewish equivalent. It caught on immediately.

Don’t be such a shmigegy. What, you don’t enjoy a good deli sandwich? It’s not good enough for you? He didn’t say it was on rye. Maybe it was on white bread and with mayo.

new trees says:

“Bageling” (coined by David Miller) is what happens when a non-visible Jew wishes to signal to another Jew that he/she is also Jewish. Often that person will drop a Jewish word or phrase (“I am so hungry I could use a BAGEL now…”) and the visible Jew is expected to pick up on it. It’s a lot less awkward than saying: Hey I’m a Jew too! See here:

Isn’t “choking on a kosher salami” a euphemism in the Gay world for something very non kosher? What would Freud say?

I don’t think this is bageling. Something uglier – “Kiking”? Ugg.

As far as the Kosher Salami – anyone this hung up on gays is in deep denial of something. Surely he has something more important to worry about like kashrut or shabbat?

Why do you have to wait so long for a ghost train to come along? They only run a skeleton service.

how do you lose that much weight that quickly? are you sniffin blow?


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Yehuda Levin’s Vaudeville Act

Message: I’m Jewish

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