So here it is, The Channukah Special

chanuka11Some say that the Channukah story is highly mythologised and that the actual events of 167CE were more in the way of a civil war in which the ultra-traditionalist Jews waged a vicious campaign against the modernised Jews who mixed with wider society.

But still… latkes.

And dougnuts.

And dreidl.

And, most importantly, as always, presents.

On The Apprentice, candidate Courtney (Sorry, I just slipped into a coma. -Ed.) was criticised for selling only 33 own-brand products at his novelty gift company. But I can do way better than that. So, without further ado, allow us to unveil to you this year’s hand-picked, topical, Channukah selection of:

See you next year!

How girls should behave in the office: 1921 style

Rosy cheeks, cheery disposition

Rosy cheeks, cheery disposition

Edward Jones Kilduff, MA, wrote The Stenographer’s Manual in 1921. It’s devoted not, interestingly, to stenography (ie. shorthand-writing), but to telling young girls how they should act at work.

It’s also side-splittingly hilarious. Mr Kilduff MA’s pearls of wisdom include:

One of the most common criticisms made by businessmen against stenographers is that they are not businesslike, that they do not have the proper attitude toward their work. This criticism is probably a sound one and is partly due to the fact that many women do not take business as seriously as do men. They do not take the same amount of interest in it, but often allow other matters to take precedence.

Thanks! And while you’re in the area giving advice, do you have any dieting tips for girls?

Train yourself to get up in plenty of time to make your toilet properly and to eat a good breakfast. Don’t lie in bed until the very last moment, then jump up, rush through dressing, eat a hasty and scanty breakfast, and just get to the office on time. You can’t work well if you eat breakfast like that.

Of course, girls hold a lot of sway in the office:

Some stenographers stay home or away from work on the slightest provocation, and often because of imaginary ailments. Perhaps they do not realise that their absence may prevent one or more dictators from getting their work done.

Wow! If only the rest of us could bring down dictatorships simply by pulling a sickie!

Some conduct is absolutely off-limits:

Suppose a girl on her way to her desk passes by the desk of a friend or acquaintance and pauses to talk about such a topic as dress, what they did last night, or where they are going for the weekend. The temptation to do this is very great, but the good stenographer will avoid it. When you are in business, be businesslike.

37561a3122e37900b7ea79e278410afc1But nothing is quite as off-limits as breaching the workplace mechitzah:

Do not become familiar with the men workers or allow them to become familiar with you. This does not mean that you are to be cold and distant to them; not at all. You should be pleasant and agreeable, but bear in mind that it is safer to be considered too strict in these matters than too liberal.

On which note:

The business man silently criticises the stenographer who wears an attire more suited for social affairs than for office work. He may like ‘dressy’ clothes, but he believes that the office is not the place to wear them. He much prefers to see the girl appropriately attired for her work-and this means simple, plain, workaday clothing.
He knows from experience that the overdressed girl is usually an inefficient worker, for she either thinks more about how she looks than about her work, or is so much dressed up that she can’t get down to work, or
is so uncomfortable that she can’t do good work. He believes that for work she should wear working clothes; not playing clothes. A girl who dresses in a businesslike way appears to be a better worker, and she usually is, for fashionable shoes, high heels, a tight dress-these will not let a girl do good work. She is too uncomfortable.
Then there is the matter of overdoing the use of perfume, powder, and other cosmetics. The business man strenuously, but silently, objects to them. He doesn’t like to have his office turned into a beauty parlour.

So there we go. Wear workaday clothes, no perfume, don’t fraternise with men – and you can bring down dictators!

Valuable advice right there.

No monopoly on jokes

monopoly-jerusalemThe popular board-game Monopoly has just released its Jerusalem edition. Its pieces include a kippah, a camel, a menorah and an Egged bus. The boot used in European editions of the game is replaced by a complex Levirate marriage ceremony.

This new version contains a few special rules. For instance, the conditions under which participants have to Go To Jail are more lenient for Israeli citizens than for Arab players, and the Free Parking square is essentially valueless because everyone parks wherever the hell they like anyway. Houses built on the eastern half of the board are liable to summary demolition at any time.

Other cards include:

g64598(Normal disclaimer that this is satire and not self-hatred applies. All rights reserved. Do not Holocaust me.)

Still life

The Nestene Consciousness denied all involvement

The Nestene Consciousness denied all involvement

Police in Hudson, New York have received a complaint after breaking into a snow-covered car to rescue a frozen old woman who passers-by had reported was trapped inside… except she turned out to be a hideously realistic mannequin used for medical training. Could happen to anyone really.

The car’s owner was unimpressed and filed a complaint, however the local police chief told reporters:

Just to clear the record, all citizens should be put on notice that if you park your locked vehicle on the street on a sub-zero night with a life-size realistic mannequin seated in it… we will break your window.

Police brutality eh.

In other news, Lord Sugar has just got through an entire series of The Apprentice only to discover that one of the finalists was an inanimate mannequin, and sources close to Theresa May suggest she is regretting her decision not to appoint one as Foreign Secretary.

More shells from the West Bank

Security: it's no yolk

Security: it’s no yolk

Those Israeli public servants who aren’t engaged in exciting military duties or the thrilling perversion of Jewish values are, it seems, desperate for excitement. Because the Israeli press reported this week that a very bored border inspector has “foiled an attempt to smuggle unmarked eggs into Jerusalem from the West Bank”.

The officer in question was clearly very committed to cracking down on Palestinian eggstremism, and hatched his plan, at great personal whisk to himself, keeping in touch with his colleagues using experimental Israeli cryptographic technology (basically all the signals were scrambled).

The officer gave the following slightly lame comment to the media:

True, this was not an attempt to smuggle weapons but we know that egg-smuggling still poses a threat to the public.

Yes. Perhaps Iron Dome needs a few tweaks.



Next year in a hotel on Mayfair

Well, as the Greek warrior of time is defeated by the Maccabee of destiny, and as the menorah of fate is lubricated the oil of eternity, it seems to be the end of the blog post.
In tonight’s episode, Gabriel’s Festive Innovations were played by the cast, while Jerusalem Monopoly was produced by Hasbro. Donald Trump was named as TIME magazine’s prat of the year and Edward Jones Kilduff poured concrete over the glass ceiling. Boris Johnson failed to behave himself, and eggs were smuggled. This was an Gabrielquotes production!

What will vegan kidnappers do now?

Deliver £50,000 in used, non-sequential, vegetarian £5 notes.

It just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it somehow.


Star of the latest banknote

The astounding news that some people have beef with the new banknotes is causing great controversy, with vegetarian restaurants and Hindu temples refusing to accept the soiled materials.

Sir George Campbell MP has asked me to remind readers that this is exactly how the 1857 Indian Mutiny started, with the British Army using beef tallow to lubricate rifle cartridges, but not telling their Hindu soldiers – who then ended up using their mouths to prepare their weapons for firing (hence the expression ‘to bite the bullet’) and getting quite cross when they found out what they’d been made to swallow.

Some of the best reaction to the news, though, came from the London Beit Din Kosher Direct Facebook group, which is something I follow closely, more for the comedy than for the ritual guidance. It’s the sort of place where people often post photos of eg. Aldi dried apricots and ask, “Any problem with this?” and receive a rapid and authoritative ruling from a tech-savvy posek.

The official answer to questions about the kashrut of the new beef-flavoured banknotes was, The new £5 notes are perfectly kosher to handle but we would recommend they are not swallowed!

But there followed a lively discussion, with comments including:

Do I have to wait 3 hours to hold a bar of chocolate after holding a £5 note?

Play it safe and don’t put your money where your mouth is.

The biggest question is can you buy milk with a £5 note?


If anyone is worried about the status of their £5 notes, please send them to me and I will dispose of them in a halachic manner. For a limited period I am offering this service free of charge.

One journalist calculated that, to make the 329 million offending notes in circulation, only half a cow would have had to be used. Seriously, how unlucky to be that particular cow.

rawhideBut still, we can’t take away from the fact that a lot of people, a lot of people, were very surprised to find a cow in their fiver. Dear Lisa, dear Lisa.


Hard excommunication or soft excommunication?

In the Shadow Pantheon, Zeus Corbyn has appointed a Junior God for Exiting the European Union

In the Shadow Pantheon, Zeus Corbyn has appointed a Junior God for Exiting the European Union

Britons who were, quite understandably, worried about the fact that Brexit is a loomingly major political crisis for which the government has no plan whatsoever can now rest easy, following the revelation (in the Book of Revelation) that Theresa May is being guided, in these matters, by a Special Advisor like no other.

This Special Advisor, known only as God, has apparently had considerable experience in guiding nations out of a vast politicoeconomic empire, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and is no doubt anxious to seek His teeth into this latest challenge.

According to a source, the Prime Minister’s latest memo to God read:

Our Father, who art in Brussels, hallowed be Thy market.
Thy legislators come,
Thy integration be done, in Britain as it is in Belgium.
Give us this day our daily straight banana,
And forgive us our opt-outs,
As we forgive those who opt-out against us.
Lead us not into soft Brexit,
But deliver us from Europe.
For Thine is the fiftieth article,
The power and the vires,
For EUer and EUer.


article-1356668-0d2bd6e3000005dc-445_233x3051Criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld has been criticised after allowing himself to be photographed leaving his secret volcanic hideout, holding a sheet of paper displaying the details of his latest evil plan.

“This is a most basic security lapse,” said one expert. “The public has a right to expect better from the head of SPECTRE. If he can’t keep his masterplans secret, how can we possibly hope to get long film plots out of James Bond’s attempts to stop them?”

SPECTRE has been plagued with scandal in recent weeks, after a High Court ruling that it does not have legal power to use biological weapons against the world without the consent of Parliament.

Postcard from Ghana

a77cf3aa-84eb-48bf-8b5d-ffde9b7664ca_mw1024_n_s1For the last ten years, Ghanaians have been visiting the American Embassy in Accra to get visas and other travel documents allowing them to visit the United States.

Unfortunately, it turns out that it was a fake embassy. Despite its authentic-looking flag, portrait of Obama and English-speaking staff, the entire building was a criminal enterprise set up to extort money off would-be travellers, in exchange for forged visas.

Apparently even the Ferrero Rocher was a cheap substitute!

In response, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed that it is considering “as a matter of urgency” whether to set up a fake British embassy in Washington DC “to get Farage out of the way”. And the Metropolitan Police Julian Assange Unit just had a brilliant idea for a decoy

Competition corner

You know when you get those competitions like, “Complete the sentence ‘I like Cheese Strings because…’ in up to 10 words”?

The government appear to have set themselves one, for no apparent reason, according to the Telegraph:

challengeSo here is your challenge: sum up the case for leaving the EU in 16 words or fewer. Answers in the comment section.

(Also Cheese Strings are great.)

Read on if you want a visa to travel to Ghana

Well, as the cow of time is transformed into the banknote of destiny, and as the vegetarian eatery of fate kicks out the bank manager of eternity, it seems to be the end of the blog post.
In tonight’s episode, the Ghanaian embassy employed more locals than Americans. Theresa May was played by Dawn French and Winston Churchill by Colonel Sanders. The political aide outside Downing Street made a spectre of herself. This was an Gabrielquotes production!