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THE JEW FROM THE JAW

I’m not religious, but I am Jewish, and as I’ve aged, I’ve come to understand that whether you’re from Moose Jaw or Montreal, we’re all the same.

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Howard Glassman, national radio and television performer

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 Let me begin by saying I’m not for, or against, Israel. I’m not anti-Israel; that would be weird, but I’m not invested in the politics. I’m not really that familiar with the place as an actual living, breathing entity. I mean, I know it theoretically, and I’ve got some biblical perspective, but it’s a foreign country and concept. I’ve spent my whole life correcting the Goys when they say things like, “Can you believe what’s going on in your homeland?”

And I’m like, “You mean Moose Jaw?”

Yes, I’m from Moose Jaw.  That’s the answer to the question you and every Hebe I’ve ever met asks me… Yes, there are Jews in Moose Jaw!

Not many, but some. There are also Chinese food restaurants, so we were fine. 

I’m a Moose Jew. A Jew from The Jaw. A prairie Jew-which I always thought should be a CBC show.

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“Tonight it’s Little Mosque followed by Kim’s Convenience, and then it’s an all new Prairie Jew!”

Everyone assumes all Jews know and care about the State of the State of Israel.

“Come on man, the Middle East is in crisis!!”

 #ThestruggleIsrah-eeel!

I know that much. The Middle East is on fire and everybody hates the Jews.

I’m a little murky on the details.

Canadian icon Ed the Sock

Growing up in a small Canadian town in the ‘60s, I spent a good part of my childhood feeling weird about being Jewish. There were some other Hebrew kids, but most of their families moved away. By the time I was in grade school, I was the only one I knew that didn’t celebrate Christ’s birthday, which was isolating and strange.

My Dad had a small menswear store, (obviously), and we weren’t well off, but I remember telling my grade 4 class we didn’t do Christmas because we couldn’t afford it!

 “We really wanted to buy some gifts and stuff, but Dad’s not selling enough leisure suits these days, so it’s no joy for the Glassman’s this year!” And then I’d sheepishly laugh, “Ha-ha, how we Glassmans love the Christmas!” Pretty sure no one called it “The Christmas.”

Oh, but we had Channukah!  You know, the Festival of ‘Not as Good as Christmas!’

Or at least that’s what it felt like to 1960s me. It felt perpetually like a knock-off or lesser version. You know back then, only the rich kids got the cool stuff.

I wanted Adidas sneakers, which we couldn’t afford, so my mom went to Army and Navy and found some 2-striped faux-Adidas, and told me they were just as good.

They weren’t. So, I took a magic-marker and drew in a third stripe.

That was Chanukah to me. A two-striped holiday.

Those were a lot of my Moose Jew memories.

I left there when I was 17, and at that time I equated being Jewish with being on my own, feeling less-than and different. You know, all the things teenagers love.

Since then, I’ve found out that all Jews feel that way. I’m not religious, but I am Jewish, and as I’ve aged, I’ve come to understand that whether you’re from Moose Jaw or Montreal, we’re all the same.

I feel more kinship with other Jews now, than I did growing up. I know more about our special place in history, and our many incredible contributions to mankind, and all societies. I’ve also been exposed to anti-Semitism. Yeah, that’s still a thing.

No, you may not say Jew-boy, we aren’t all cheap, and no I don’t know some random MOT from Winnipeg you met on a cruise. We don’t all know each other.

I do know we are unique. I know we are smart, funny, kind, liberal, generous and tough. I never understood that as a kid.

I know we put up with a lot of shit, and punch way above our weight when it comes to turning the other cheek. The most hate crimes are against us every year in the city of Toronto, and yet most non-Jews have no idea.

I surprise myself these days with how my feelings about Israel’s history and my being a Jew have changed.

I know that Israel came into being because of the bravery and suffering of many Jews who were sacrificed in the name of tyranny, and I know that I’m connected to all of them by virtue of my birthright.

Yes, I was born in Moose Jaw, but I’m from someplace else as well.

“Humble” Howard Glassman has been a national radio and television performer for the past 40 years as well as a stand-up comedian and speaker. He’s the co-host of The Humble and Fred Show, 4 times “Best Morning Show” in Canada and now heard daily on SiriusXM’ comedy channel, ‘Canada Laughs’. He’s hosted everything on TV from game shows to cooking shows to reality shows and even worked with a puppet as the host of Ed’s Night Party. As a comic he’s done audience warm up for sitcoms as well has been the opening act for many performers including Joan Rivers and Howie Mandel. Most recently he’s been featured on CBC’S The Debaters and George Stroumboulopoulous Tonight.

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Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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