Yehuda Levin’s Vaudeville Act
Message: I’m Jewish
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.”
“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.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.