JWR Wandering Jews

In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2007 / 26 Teves, 5767

Shtetl residents get views off their chests by putting them on the wall

By Michael Matza

JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)

WERUSALEM — Maher Sbeih, 39, threads his super-sized tricycle through the teeming streets of Mea Shearim, Jerusalem's fervently-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, with practiced care. A battered trike's basket holds hundreds of folded, freshly printed posters, soon to be affixed to the area's stone walls with swipes of Sbeih's long-handled, flour-paste-soaked brush.

Working quickly, sometimes 10 hours a day, he slathers the neighborhood with news, views and updates — death notices, advertisements, religious rulings by local rabbis, and "pashkvils," the generally anonymous broadsides that stir debate in this inner-city village where people reject television as a corrupting influence.

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

Part town crier, part gossip monger, Sbeih is Mea Shearim's answer to major media, slapping layer upon layer of fresh writing on the walls, where inch-thick peelings provide a cross-section of urban archeology in this last example of the Jewish "shtetls" that existed before the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Sbeih, a Palestinian who lives on the outskirts of Jerusalem, works for Yisroel Kletzkin, a local printer who makes a tidy living from traditional printing jobs and from papering the town with pashkvils.

Printing and distribution of 300 20-by-28-inch posters runs about $120. Advertising customers tend to pay in person, Kletzkin said. But every so often the layout for a "pashkvil arrives anonymously in an envelope with a cash payment, delivered by a taxi driver to shield the customer's identity.

Kletzkin said he will print almost any tittletattle except an attack on a private citizen — unless it's signed by a rabbi. Public figures and institutions are fair game, he said, and business is booming.

"The joke," said Ephraim Schwartz, 36, a visitor to Mea Shearim, "is that the walls of this old neighborhood are held together by these posters," whose Yiddish name derives from the French "pasquinade," meaning satire or lampoon.

They hold the community together, but they divide it too.

A woman whose husband won't grant her a divorce may, with the approval of her rabbi, launch a venomous campaign against the man. He, in turn, may go to a competing printer to plaster over her pashkvil with his riposte. A politician on the outs with the community for a particular decision may stir particular ire. Any person or institution viewed as immodest or less than Torah-true can come in for a special roasting.

A recent pashkvil lambasted Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulance service, for driving the bodies of victims of suicide bombings to the central morgue for autopsies. An autopsy, to an Orthodox Jew, is a desecration of the dead.

But the controversy has done nothing to slow Sbeih and his paste-laden brush in their daily rounds. The pashkvil business — inflaming, informing, outraging — still booms.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

© 2007, Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services