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Call a Cab, Let’s Get Some Bamba: Letters to the Editor

Comments from our readers on Yiddish translations of ‘O Canada,’ Israel’s favorite snack, and driving Mickey Mantle around New York City

June 30, 2017
Arek Olek / Flickr
Arek Olek / Flickr
Arek Olek / Flickr
Arek Olek / Flickr
Although I enjoyed this article, the claim of precedence is incorrect. The Canadian anthem was translated in 1957 into Yiddish and Hebrew by the renowned cantor Benjamin Brownstone z”l (my late Uncle) honoring the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Louis St.Laurent (Feb 1, 1957). It was performed by the cantor’s choir under his direction.

— Yehoshua Brownstone, Ontario, Canada

In response to Jenna Weissman Joselit’s “In the Driver’s Seat”

How could I forget? I was a cabbie in the mid-’60s as I worked my way through college. It was a great gig—drove Mickey Mantle to Yankee Stadium and had him alone for about 40 minutes, even got his autograph. What a character, I can still quote him verbatim. Also drove Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Robert Redford, and Zero Mostel. I’d drop them off and then pick up a guy who had just been stabbed in a card game and rush him to the hospital. Once had two businessmen arguing baseball, so they asked me who I root for. Even though I was a Bronx boy and die-hard Yankee fan, at the time I was also a Business Administration student at NYU. I rendered them speechless when I told them that I rooted for General Electric.

Now that I’ve retired twice, I’ve come full circle and at age 76, have started driving Uber and Lyft (part-time), in the college town of Newark, Deleware, where I’ve lived for the last 44 years. It gets me off the couch for 3-4 hours a day and keeps me feeling young by being the “wise old Jewish cabbie” for the current crop of college kids. No celebrities now, but they say and do the darnedest things. I had to bite my tongue when a young lady had me drive her from her dorm to her car in the adjacent parking lot. Oh well, it was a cold day!

Oh, and I just got back from Baseball Spring Training visit to Florida. Saw two Yankee, and two Phillies games. The hell with General Electric.

— Stan Menashes, Newark, Deleware
This article by gives a one-sided and skewed view of the realities of the situation in Firing Zone 918 in the South Hebron Hills. It relies on unsubstantiated claims and quotes by squatters who are living illegally inside an IDF Firing range, thus hampering the training of IDF soldiers while at the same time potentially putting the lives of their own families at risk. The article fails to get quotes from the IDF, leaders of the South Hebron Hills Municipality, or anyone else who is familiar with this subject matter to explain their side of the story. In addition, the gathering you report on from a Friday in May was in reality a provocation carried out by a group of radical extremists and anarchists from Israel and abroad who attempted to ruin the weekend and Shabbat tranquility of the residents of the nearby Maon Farms community.

Finally, the article fails to even mention that the illegal encampment is yet another example of PA residents trying to fulfill the goals of the 2009 Fayyad Plan, which encourages the takeover of strategic areas throughout Area C in Judea and Samaria, by putting facts on the ground. The hope is to create a de facto Palestinian state so that the world community will automatically consider those areas “Palestine” should future talks with Israel breakdown. By leaving out this information, you are doing your readers a disservice by giving them an unbalanced and inaccurate view of the situation.

— Josh Hasten

In response to Dana Kessler’s “Israelis Go Nuts for Bamba”

This article on Bamba is evil. I am now craving huge bags of Bamba, but, alas, I am far from any source of Bamba. How could you make your readers so hungry?

— Alisa Kaplan