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December 16, 1994 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-16

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What If This Famed Conductor
Had A Sister Named Flossie?


Q:Why is it that some Jews do not
celebrate Halloween?
A: Because the holiday is overt-


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(On Eisenhower Pkwy., west of Brianvood Mall)
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In a further effort to Christian-
A: Just sit right down and I'll
ize the pagan observance, in the tell a tale, a tale you cannot miss.
10th century the church insti- She starred as Ginger on "Gilli-
ly pagan.
tuted Nov. 2 as All Souls' Day.
gan's Isle" and she was Jewish,
Halloween was brought to the
Although most Americans cel- yes she was Jewish.
United States (mainly after 1840) ebrate Halloween as a secular
Tina Louise's real name is
by immigrants of Celtic origin holiday, a number of Jews find Tina Blacker and she is in fact
(Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish) Halloween's pagan symbols and Jewish. She was born in New
who carried on their ancestral, character offensive.
York City — that much is certain.
pre-Christian traditions.
Jewish children who do not But just try and find out her birth
In the Druid religion of the an- participate in Halloween but like year. Just try! (It's alternatively
cient Celts, the year ended on to dress up and enjoy candy do listed as 1934, 1937 and 1938.)
Oct. 31, the eve of Samhain, a fes- not have to lose out. They can do
Following her powerful per-
tival of the dead. With the ap- the same — without the over- formance on "Gilligan's Island,"
Ms. Louise went on to make
guest appearances on "The Love
Boat," "Mannix" and "Kung Fu"
(Look Grasshopper! It's Ginger
Rumor has it Hollywood is
looking into a movie version of
"Gilligan's Island." Now isn't that
something to look forward to?
Q:It has been too long since Tell
Me Why provided us with another Jew
with some kind of wacky name.
Please search your files and come up
with something.
A: All right, buddy. Let me
tossy this your way.
Tossy Spivakovsky is the for-
mer conductor of the Berlin Phil-
harmonic. He was born in 1907
in Odessa.
Q: Why is the Hebrew word for
potato, tapuach adama, "earth ap-
A: Because it was inspired by
the French pomme de terre,
"earth apple."
The potato is native to the
Western Hemisphere; in fact,
"potato" is derived from batata,
the word used by the Taino, the
indigenous people of Cuba, whom
the Spaniards succeeded in an-
nihilating by the mid-1500s.
After the potato was intro-
duced to Europe in the 16th cen-
(.) tury most languages called it by
E some variation of batata. Appar-
▪ ently, the French enjoyed
metaphor more than others.
E Since there was no word in an-
cient Hebrew for potato, the cre-
Israeli children clowning around on Purim, without the goblins.
ators of modern Hebrew drew on
French, which had longstanding
proach of winter, the spirits of the tones of death and fright — on influence in the Middle East.
deceased were believed to wan- a Jewish holiday: Purim.
Incidentally, kartofl, the Yid-
der about, seeking warmth and
Q: Sometimes late at night I can- dish word for potato, is derived
comfort. The arrival of the dead not sleep, and I find myself switch- from the Italian tartufollo, mean-
released supernatural forces that ing TV stations between infomercials ing truffle. ❑
allowed fairies, goblins and for hair products guaranteed to
witches to wreak terror. The change my life, talk shows featuring
carved pumpkin (originally a weirdos, and renms of "Gilligan's Is-
turnip) represented a death's land." I don't know which is the most
"Halloween" is a contraction of
After a recent late-night viewing
Allhallows Even, the night before of "Gilligan's Island," I began think-
All Saints' Day, an attempt by ing about Ginger Grant. She was sim- Send questions to "Tell Me Why"
Pope Gregory II in the eighth ply the most. Dare I hope against c/o The Jewish News, 27676
century to supplant the pagan hope that that fine actress Tina Franklin Rd., Southfield, MI
festival with a Christian holiday. Louise has a Jewish connection?
48034 or send fax to 354-6069.

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