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WOLFE'S WORDSMay 15, 2008
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Megazem Zayn*
by: Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Important dates

This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu

Being Jewish Magazine

see a .pdf copy of the current issue

An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me

BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover


Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael


*In Yiddish, "megazem zayn" means "to exaggerate"

We all exaggerate! College students/grads, in order to get ahead in a competitive entry-level job market, often lie or engage in wholesale exaggeration on their resumes.

Singles, using the services of Jdate,,, and -- an introductory service for hoity-toity Ivy League graduates--resort to false advertising. Brad Stone of Newsweek (12/17/07/) wrote, "...someone can describe herself on line as 'a sensuous hybrid of Jennifer Lopez and Seven of Nine,' but in person come off more like Gorgo the Smog Monster in a bad mood. Experienced Net daters urge honesty in all endeavors, since the truth will always out in the end, but many confess to small exaggerations here and there."

Was Anna Quindlen ("The Last Word," Newsweek, 2/4/08) exaggerating when she wrote that "Fifty is he new 35?" Older people seem younger today thanks to diet, exercise, Botox and often inappropriate clothing...A boy asked John McCain (71) respectfully if he was too old for the job. He responded with his trademark acerbic humor, "Thanks for the question, you little jerk."

Was Bryan Fogel ("Jewtopia--The Chosen Book for the Chosen People") exaggerating when he refers to corned beef as "Triple bypass surgery"? He writes:

This fundamental meat of Jewish cuisine is the touchstone by which all delis are judged. Like all great inventions, corned beef arose by accident. Two hundred years ago, after a long day of pickling cucumbers and herring, Marv Weiss accidentally knocked his wife's uncooked brisket into his vat of brine. This started an argument. Two weeks later, they finally decided just to take it out and boil it. Voila, the corned beef was born. Corned refers to grain--of salt, that is (actual corn is not used but does make a lovely side dish). If your corned beef comes on rye with mustard, you are in a kosher deli. If it comes with cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, you are in a kosher-style deli. If it comes with cabbage and a shot of whiskey, you are in an Irish careful when you send it back.

Was Ronne Keonig ("Sex and the Skullcap") exaggerating when she wrote, [when a man is wearing a yarmulke] "Immediately we know that this is a guy who knows his way around a jar of gefilte fish. He gets that the book opens from left isn't a misprint by the publisher. He knows the exact moment to do the bendy-knee thing during prayer services at synagogue."

Wasn't it a "groys" exaggeration when Hillary Clinton shared her "duck and run" from sniper fire during her visit to Bosnia in 1996?

Let's "gib a kuk" at some of the headlines which use the term "exaggerates":


Lebanon's New TV aired an interview with U.S. author, Norman Finkelstein. The New TV narrator asserted, "Never has there been an issue subject to as many contradictions, lies, and exaggerations regarding the number of victims as the issue of the Jewish Holocaust. In his interview, Finkelstein stated that the number of he Jewish survivors from the Holocaust had been grossly inflated by the 'Holocaust industry' in order to blackmail Europe.


Conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, attacked actor Michael J. Fox for inserting his halting voice into the U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri, suggesting Fox was "acting" in a commercial where he's shown shaking while endorsing the importance of stem cell research.

"He is exaggerating the effects of the disease," Limbaugh told listeners today, encouraging them to go online to watch Fox's commercial, which first aired on Oct. 21 in St. Louis, during a World Series game. "He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act." (He later apologized for the remark.)


The cataclysmic ice age scenario depicted in the upcoming movie, "The Day After Tomorrow," gets the mechanics of global warming mostly right, but wildly exaggerates the speed at which it might occur, says a Duke University oceanographer who studies North Atlantic ocean currents.


President Bush stumbled Feb. 19, 2004, saying the average tax cut is $1,089. The White House corrected that figure to $1,586. But the fact is that most Americans won't see anywhere near either of these amounts.

As we've said before when disputing equally misleading lowball figures given by Howard Dean, half of all individuals and families will get less than $470, and half will get more. The "average" is misleading because it is inflated by very large cuts given to a relative few at the top.

And, finally, a story about "megazem zayn" from "Laugh For God's Sake" by Stanley J. Schachter":

A group of drinkers sat in the tavern and shared stories. One recounted a hair-rising escape he had experienced. "I was walking alone in the thickest part of the forest when suddenly I was surrounded by ninety nine snarling, ferocious wolves. They moved closer and closer, preparing to attack. One of his listeners reacted with great skepticism. He asked, "You were surrounded by hungry wolves and yet you were able to tell that there were ninety nine of them?" The story-teller explained, "The truth is that there were actually one hundred of them, but I was afraid that if I said one hundred, you would think that I was exaggerating."

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe never exaggerates about how well her new book, "Yiddish For Dog & Cat Lovers" is doing. She says that it's number 2,345 on The New York Times Best Seller list. :-)



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