Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Anatevka, Montana

The NYT’s awful, heart-warming story about a Hebrew-speaking dog

Print Email

It’s difficult to know how to feel about this Saturday New York Times article on the little-known but thoroughly charming—in a bad-Bernard-Malamud-story kind of way—Jews of Montana. The piece simply does not miss an opportunity to trade in Jewish kitsch. It reports “annual haggling” among rabbis over who gets to light the Hanukkiah at the Capitol building in Helena (two rabbis, three arguments!). These Jews may live in crazy, wild-west, white-bread Montana, but they still get excited about matzah at the supermarket, and they still brag about shipping pastrami in from Katz’s. Montana apparently used to have lots of Jews, and they toiled happily as “butchers, clothiers, jewelers, tailors and the like”—you know, Jewish-people jobs; in fact, did you know Mottel the Tailor moved Tzeitel and the kids to Bozeman after the pogrom?—but over time the Jews “assimilated or moved away to bigger cities,” as they are wont to do. Now, though, there are three rabbis in Montana, “one (appropriately) in Whitefish.” Appropriately, because, y’know, bagels and lox. Memo to the Times: a philo-Semitic stereotype is still a Semitic stereotype.

And yet! The story has at least two thoroughly enjoyable, even heart-warming set-pieces that just may, on balance, justify its existence. We learn that following an incident in Billings in which the windows of homes with menorahs were smashed, the townsfolk put menorahs in their windows. That’s sweet. (Let’s leave aside that such a shocking act of vandalism took place all the way back in … 1993.) Even sweeter and more adorable is the tale of Miky, the bomb-sniffing German sheperd who was raised in Israel but now plies his trade in Montana. Miky’s handler had trouble communicating with Miky because of the language barrier—Miky understands Hebrew, not English, you see—but after consulting with the local Lubavitcher rabbi and learning to articulate the hard “ch,” the trainer and Miky get along famously. Even more famously, now that they have been featured in the Times.

“So all is well in the Jewish community here because the Hasidic rabbi is helping the Montana cop speak Hebrew to his dog.” With a sentence like that, it is not surprising that, two days, later, the article is the third-most-emailed Times story. (As Slate’s Jack Shafer has noted, the surest way to write a popular article is to make it about an animal.) So we suppose it’s a win for the Times, a win for Miky, and perhaps even a win for the Jews. It’s certainly a win for the article’s author, Eric A. Stern—who, we learn at article’s close, is “senior counselor to Gov. Brian Schweitzer.” (Beats paying a reporter.) Looks like the article’s popularity is a win for Montana most of all.

Yes, Miky, There Are Rabbis in Montana [NYT]

Print Email

It is not a stereotype that Jews eat whitefish. It is a traditional Jewish food in the same way as brisket or lox. It’s funny.

Stop kvetching, it was a cute, hemische article…nu.

I love using the services of your enterprise. Your world-wide-web layout is amazingly easy within the eye. You use a great method to shop. I actually enjoyed navigating as well as ordering through your site. It is amazingly, very n accessible and user-friendly and uncomplicated. Great job with a fabulous webpage.

I include read your article. It’s really helpful. We could benefit significantly from it all. Fluent crafting style together with vivid key phrases make individuals readers get pleasure from reading. I could share ones opinions having my friends.

I’ve said that least 683490 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

I really do love appointing your small business. Your web layout is extremely easy within the eye. You have got a great location to shop. I seriously enjoyed navigating plus ordering from the site. It is extremely, very easy to use and convenient to use. Great job for a fabulous web page.

You must know, your publish goes to the center from the issue. Your clearness leaves me wanting to know more. merely so you know, i will instantly grab your feed to keep up to date with your web site. Sounding Out thanks is purely my little way of saying bravo for a wonderful resource. Accept my nicest wishes for your inflowing article.

Woah this is just an insane amount of information, must of taken ages to compile so cheers so much for just sharing it with all of us. If your ever in any need of related info, perhaps a bit of coaching, seduction techniques or just general tips, just check out my own site!

I was reading through some of your posts on this internet site and I conceive this web site is rattling informative! Retain putting up.

Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Anatevka, Montana

The NYT’s awful, heart-warming story about a Hebrew-speaking dog

More on Tablet:

In NYC, Cupcakes Sprinkled With Anti-Semitism

By Stephanie Butnick and Elissa Goldstein — Food truck and Cupcake Wars finalist rails against ‘Zionist pigs’ on Twitter