Which Poster is Real and Very Offensive?

Responding to a previous post about a campaign poster, “Kevin in Chicago” commented:

Munkatcher Rebbe and Charles Joe Hynes Text: When a Jew is arrested, to whom do you go? On left: With Jewish leaders who act on behalf of the Jewish community. On Right: He helped us, he helps us, and he will help us some more Vote for Charles Hynes for District Attorney, strong-fair, 6 Tishrei, Tuesday Sept. 10

Munkatcher Rebbe and Charles Joe Hynes
Text: When a Jew is arrested, to whom do you go?
On left: With Jewish leaders who act on behalf of the Jewish community.
On Right: He helped us, he helps us, and he will help us some more
Vote for Charles Hynes for District Attorney, strong-fair, 6 Tishrei, Tuesday Sept. 10

Wow … nothing like a campaign poster promoting the candidate’s unethical conduct. “When a Jew is arrested (may God save us), to whom will he turn?” — implicitly to the Munkatcher Rebbe, as he is tight with DA Hynes, who is “with the Jewish leaders for the Jewish community.” The poster obviously suggests Hynes will “help,” and that the Munkatcher (not incidentally depicted as larger than Hynes) is his “fixer.” In what looking-glass world do arrestees turn to the prosecutor for help?

Can you imagine a poster showing Hynes’ opponent with a prominent African-American clergyman and a similar suggestion of help for unfortunate “Brothers” who might be arrested? But if it’s in Yiddish the goyim aren’t supposed to notice? I trust Jewish Democrats will slap this down ASAP, and hope that some Chassidic rabbis (besides R. Nuchem) will join in.

Has this (with translation) been passed to the New York City newspapers? Has anyone been able to link it to the Hynes campaign? You may yet see pigs flying backwards to get away from it.

Charles Hynes (PhotoChopped)- Text reads, It is time to ritually slaughter for atonement... Sponsored by the group concerned about needless animal suffering

Charles Hynes (PhotoChopped)-
Text reads, It is time to ritually slaughter for atonement…
Sponsored by the group concerned about needless animal suffering

Kevin, sadly, Hynes’ shameless proxy, Councilman David Greenfield made more of a fuss screaming like Chicken Little about the sword of Damocles wielded by a shochet (ritual slaughterer) threatening their beloved real Shabbos Goy attributing it all to Ken Thompson, a man whose campaign was never this colorful.

The anonymous redactor who PhotoChopped (TM) this gag confection has disappeared without so much as a trail of chicken feed. However, the message was clear. It was a plea for mercy on a poor, dumb, noisy bird — a repudiation of the idea of slaughtering animals to expiate sins.

But David Greenfield, ever on the lookout for a chance to play the antisemitism card, inverted the old blood libel allegation to accuse an African-American of promoting the ritual slaughter of an Irishman, on the altar of anti Hasidic  campaign politics. This absurd attempt to initiate a cock fight should have been strangled in its infancy in the chicken coop.

Reuven Blau, a Daily News reporter with a yeshiva education, who must have known better, couldn’t resist the headline: Brooklyn, NY, district attorney’s backers cry ‘fowl’ over campaign ad. Either Blau, or his editors, opted for sensationalism and sanitized their decision by making believe this was a story about competing campaign claims. They dutifully reported Greenfield’s allegation and Thompson’s denial.

Sadly, with this sort of media coverage, the Thompson campaign would have come out ahead if some prankster had PhotoShopped Hynes handing out “Get out of jail” cards in Yiddish, with the standard Monopoly (TM) jailbird replaced by a Hasidic pervert.

David Greenfield (PhotoShopped) Not affiliated with any political organization except the league to prevent cruelty to the truth.

Kevin in Chicago, you are right, the Hynes poster is a blatant advertisement for the corruption of justice in the pursuit of votes. A more diligent media would have jumped on this story and given short shrift to Greenfield’s libelous cackle

Kevin in Chicago, You wrote, “I trust Jewish Democrats will slap this down ASAP, and hope that some Chassidic rabbis (besides R. Nuchem) will join in.” Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg has denounced this Greenfield ploy, but he will not put up the chicken image on his blog because he does not want to provide fodder to anti Semites.

There once was a Jew who got a nose job to pass himself off as a gentile. He was chided for “Cutting off his nose to spite his race.” David Greenfield has gone the other way, exaggerating his devotion to Jewish pride to inflame ethnic ethnic tensions even if it means borrowing a trope from anti Semites. I despise his dishonesty and inflammatory tactics, but I will give him credit skillfully exploiting the media’s weakness for sensationalism. This man has extended his nose to spike this race.

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4 thoughts on “Which Poster is Real and Very Offensive?

  1. After reading the “chicken poster” itself, I wondered whether your translation was really correct, and R. Rosenberg has confirmed that it is inaccurate (or at least non-idiomatic). This poster is really a subtle pun. It also means “It is time to get rid of …” (the person whose face is obscured by the chicken) and it is sponsored by a supporter of the chicken.

    • Both readings are idiomatically plausible with such a mixed-up image and context. I was in touch w R. Rosenberg recently and what we are both most concerned about is the attempt to either claim it came from the Thompson campaign and was designed as a call for the literal slaughter of Hynes. These are both absurd claims. In fact the poster is not so much vicious as foolishly muddled. That so many people ended up with different messages tells me it was not the work of a pro. Unlike Hynes whose messages vary by audience or proxy, Thompson’s have been very consistent.

      Mark I definitely agree that the gag has the league for tzaar baal hahayim (thus opponents of cruelty to the chicken) as the sponsor of the ad.

  2. The chicken poster is definitely a gag, since a “tzaar baalei chayim grupe” would be an organization promoting cruelty to animals! It should be mentioned that, although explaining “shlogn kapores” as “expiatory sacrifice” is technically correct, it entirely misses the feeling-tone, suggesting a ritual solemnity virtually impossible to achieve while whirling a live, squawking chicken over the heads of one’s loved ones, who not infrequently receive the bird’s excrement in fair exchange for their sins. (The chicken is then slaughtered by a shochet, not the person performing the ritual.) According to Yiddishist Michael Wex in Born to Kvetch at 82-85, “kapore” (as he spells it) is a term of more or less amused derision. “Toygn af kapores” is to be “good for kapores,” i.e., good only to be thrown away, and “darfn af kapores,” to be needed for kapores, is to be utterly unwanted and useless. “Shlogn kapores mit” someone can mean to revile him, or kick him out of someplace — not ritually murder him. And my favorite related expression — “kukn vi a hon in bney-odem,” to be as clueless as a rooster gazing at the kapores-prayer recited before he is whirled.

    So the poster is definitely anti-Hynes, the motif suggested by the proximity of the election to Yom Kippur, but in cultural context hardly murderous — “It’s time to throw the bum out” in Yiddish idiom.

    A good and sweet 5774 to YL and friends.

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