Ask a Secular Jew (Who Married a Shiksa and Lives Near Two Orthodox Synagogues)

In a desperate attempt to stay relevant by keeping up with the savvy new management over at the Seattle Weekly, I announced last week a new regular HA feature: Ask a Secular Jew Who Married a Shiksa and Lives Near Two Orthodox Synagogues. Welcome to the first installment.

Dear Secular Jew,

I’m a goy married to a JAP, I need your help. She says that the midrash says that the toilet seat must be down. Is that true?


Harry… your wife is wrong. Stretching the limits of my Reformed Judaism education, I believe the midrash is actually an irritating fungal infection most frequently caught by inadvertently sitting on the rim of a dirty toilet. (As opposed to a footrash or a headrash.) So I guess in practice, your wife is right: keep the toilet seat down.

Dear Secular Jew,

How come Jewish Guilt Complexes are so, so much funnier than Catholic Guilt Complexes, which are really just kind of sad/scary?


CB… you’re asking the right guy — as a secular Jew who married an Irish Catholic shiksa, I’m a bona-fide expert on guilt.

Indeed the Jews and the Catholics are both very guilty people, the difference being that while Catholic guilt is based on sin, Jewish guilt is based on shame. Sin is derived from God, while shame is derived from… your mother.

For example, take sex. When we first started sleeping together my shiksa and I both felt incredibly guilty about sex. The difference was that she felt guilty because she thought it was wrong, whereas I felt guilty because I thought I was doing it wrong.

So in answer to your question, let me ask you… which one of us really has the sadder/scarier guilt complex?

Hey Secular Jew,

Who do I have to sleep with to get a good bagel in this town?


BL… it doesn’t really matter who you sleep with, as long as the bed is in New York City.

[If you have a question about Jews or Judaism, and you think a secular Jew who married a shiksa and lives near two orthodox synagogues might have the answer, just ask your question in the comment thread of this post. Remember, I will not answer simple, Jew-baiting death rights — it must be posed in the form of a question.]


  1. 1

    My Left Foot spews:

    I am confused, are you a blogger who is funny, or just a funny blogger. Your sense of humor is right on the money!

    Carl Grossman
    Jewish,Married to Southern Baptist Belle (that means I can’t fart or burp without the rath of God raining down upon me.

  2. 4

    My Left Foot spews:

    Do you know how to tell when a shiksa is having an orgasm?

    She puts the book down!

    Do you know how to tell she is having multiple orgasms?

    She drops the fingernail file.

  3. 5

    Fred spews:

    Dear Secular Jew,

    My son likes to take his mother’s pearl necklace and wear it. It’s cute, but he’s a boy. Should I be worried about whether I’ve been letting him watch too many episodes of “Postcards from Buster”, or is it okay in some religions for small boys to wear pearl necklaces?

    Secular Catholic

  4. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Goldy — I don’t have a Jew-baiting death threat to ask you, but what I would like to ask is, why don’t you do us all a favor by encasing Bet Welsher’s feet in cement and throwing him into the deepest part of Puget Sound?* I know a good defense lawyer who probably could get you off with only 3 1/2 years time served.

    * Actually, any part of Puget Sound over 6 feet deep will work fine.

  5. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Goldy — I have another question. When you throw Welsher into a deep part of Puget Sound could you chain JCH to him? Please make sure you use enough cement to sink both of them.

  6. 12

    Bill spews:

    That is funny stuff. But…

    Dear Secular Jew,

    I once was engaged to a JAP. But it didn’t work out. Her Mother didn’t like me but liked my Mother. But my Mother hated her Mother but liked my JAP. I got really confused, broke up with her and married a Jehovah Witness. She divorced me soon after our marriage and is now dating a Jew. I am now dating a former Jew who converted to catholicism and she wants me to meet her mother. Any advice?

  7. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Mark the Gasbag falsely claimed in a previous thread that I denied there is a link between cutting tax rates and subsequent increases in federal revenue.

    (What I actually said was that a 0% tax rate produces no revenue, and a 100% tax rate also produces no revenue, so there’s a tax rate somewhere between 0% and 100% that maximizes revenue; and if the existing rate is less, cutting the tax rate will decrease revenue, but if it’s more, cutting the tax rate will increase revenue.)

    McGavick suffers a similar confusion — he thinks a “red” light is the same as a “yellow” light and being handcuffed, put in a squad car, and transported to a police station is not being “arrested.”

    Maybe McGavick is too stupid to be driving a car. Maybe he’s too stupid (or dishonest) to be a U.S. Senator. Sure looks like McGavick as a “Mark” problem (i.e., stoopid and dishonest).

  8. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Manwhile, in McGavick’s home state (Alaska) — at least, that’s the state he wants to represent in the Senate — Ted Stevens’ son, who is the speaker of the Alaska legislature, had his office raided by FBI agents. They’re looking for evidence that he took bribes.

  9. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If Stevens’ son takes bribes, then McGavick must be a crook too. After all, Mike? associates with Stevens, who associates with his son, therefore whatever the son is doing, McGavick must be doing it too.

    Hey wingnuts — you like this guilt-by-association stuff? See how it works? Hey, you guys do it all the time, so why shouldn’t I use it too? Why should you have a monopoly on guilt by association? Republicans want a monopoly on every fucking thing!

  10. 17

    Wells spews:

    Dear secular jew,

    What exactly is a shiksa? It sounds like some kind of percussion instrument, like from the Carribean or somewhere.

  11. 18

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Why can’t you just be Americans rather than the Democrat victim “minority” groups you libs have to be?

  12. 19

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Dear secular jew,

    What is “chutzpa”, and how did JCH get so much of it despite the fact he hates jews? It’s not a soup, is it?

  13. 20

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    19, Democrat lib “minority” victim Jews: bad………….IDF, IAF “hero” Jews: good!! Get the difference? [Guess which Goldy is?] hehe, JCH

  14. 21

    americafirst spews:

    I have a couple questions; 1, what liberal Democrat has the guts to use military action against Iran to prevent it from going nuclear; 2, do you give a shit whether or not Israel gets nuked.

  15. 22

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    20, cont…….Question 2: RE: post 19, Let’s see if we can figure out where Carl Grossman belongs? hehe, JCH

  16. 23

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    Dear secular jew,

    Why do you think lefties hate you? Take this for an example:


    Was the Jew killer a conservative or liberal. In the Seattle Times we have the following quote:

    Haq’s friend said he couldn’t believe the timid, “geeky” man he knew from the tutoring center was capable of such violence.

    “Are you sure we’re talking about the same person?” he said Sunday………….

    He said Haq was not a devout Muslim and often complained that the Tri-Cities were too politically conservative.

    “I’m beginning to think I was his only friend in the Tri-Cities. I don’t recall him hanging out with anybody else.”

    Now for the other side we turn to Darryl’s story on HA July 30, 2006:


    Ah it looks like the story was all a bunch of hot air.

  17. 24

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Goldy, If Democrat Jews are all big supporters of NEA run “guvment” public schools, why do they send THEIR kids to private scholls??? hehe, JCH

  18. 25

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Goldy, If Democrat Jews are all big supporters of NEA run “guvment” public schools, why do they send THEIR kids to private schools??? hehe, JCH

  19. 26

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    I have a couple questions; 1, what liberal Democrat has the guts to use military action against Iran to prevent it from going nuclear; 2, do you give a shit whether or not Israel gets nuked.

    Commentby americafirst […….Great questions. I can’t wait to read the bull shit responses from pussy Democrat lib Jews.]

  20. 28

    Jim King spews:

    Roger Rabbit- timely suggestions, now that the concrete strike is over. May I humbly suggest, however, that any dumpings of garbage occur not in Puget Sound- the Governor really would not appreciate the additional pollution- but on the north side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just outside Victoria Harbor? They really do not believe that dumping garbage, raw sewage, etc., is harmful- so let THEM have them. And throw in Left Turd to demonstrate a centrist attitude…

  21. 29

    Janet S spews:

    Question – will the secular Jew ask for atonement on Yom Kippur for accusing the neocons in the Bush administration of leaking state secrets?

    Happy Fitzmas!

  22. 30

    Rujax! spews:

    Listen Fuckheads…

    There are plenty of Democrats ready, willing, and able to use force judiciously and appropriately when called for.

    As Wes Clark aptly put it…there is no “Anti-National Security” wing of the Democratic Party.

    Btw-Clark is a retired GENERAL, who successfully prosecuted military action in which NO American service persons were killed. Not like the chickenshit chickenhawks.

    You stupid fuckheads and your stupid little right wing world have about 5 minutes left. So get your graft on while you’ve got the chance.

  23. 31


    Hey. It has been almost 12 hours since McGavick stepped in it…..

    So C’mon Mike! What is your next disclosure or your evil conniving mind? Telling us Maria has a gay lover? Saying she mothered a black child? Saying she bugged your office?

    What does Karl have in mind for your dying campaign? Maybe you could take your supporters and attack Vancouver B.C. or something…. Spill a little blood. That always steps up the Republican turnout.

    I have an idea. Why don’t you apologize for lying about where she stands on tax exemptions? I know, that would take being a man. Something that has been lacking a long time in the GOP. Attack, and cry foul, attack and cry foul, and on, and on, and on. The problem is us Americans are onto your game.

    Your time is over.

    When the investigatins start we will have to build new prisons to hold all the GOP operatives, lobbyists, contributors, and legislators. You probably don’t want to get elected anyway…..

  24. 32

    K spews:

    Americafirst- Exactly how has Bush’s policy slowed Iran? By removing an enemy from its border (Saddam) and giving its Shiite allies more power? And what has he done about North Korea?

    Of course he has weakened our military by the Iraqi adventure, making the threat to Iran less credible.

    Quite a record to crow about.

  25. 33


    #21 “I have a couple questions; 1, what liberal Democrat has the guts to use military action against Iran to prevent it from going nuclear; 2, do you give a shit whether or not Israel gets nuked. ”

    This one is easy. A president with the will of the world, a declaration of war from congress, and the truth told to the American people. Not to mention a U.N. resolution authorizing force.

    None of the things this president had for invading the last country. Oh well, lying us into war only bothers about 60% of Americans. The rest must live in caves, or hate the idea of open, honest government responsible to the people.

    “We know where the WMD’s are. North, South, East, and West of Baghdad, and Tikrit”, or something like that. There is “no doubt” etc, etc, etc.

    Lied into war, and you still support these traitors.

    You are not an American…..

  26. 34


    The British study just found Iran has more influence with the government of Iraq than the United States does.

    I know you think Bush is doing “a helluva job” or something.

    Makin Iran II. And spending 2 trillion dollars we could use actually looking for “real” WMD’s and “real” terrorists, not the imaginary ones that were supposed to be in Iraq.

    Wake up and smell the blood….

    I feel great knowing millions and millions more people want to kill me because I am an american every year……

    Thank You George Bush. I always wanted to be hated by millions / billions of people.

  27. 35

    David Wright spews:

    You are right-on about the bagels. Why is it that you can only get good bagels in NYC? Making bagels isn’t rocket science! Fortunately, H & H (at Broadway & 80th on the upper west side) ships world-wide.

  28. 36

    americafirst spews:

    Apparently my questions were too complicated, so I will try to make it easier;

    1, What liberal Democrat has the guts to use military action against Iran to prevent it from going nuclear? Answer:__________________ (hint- the name of any liberal Democrat who has merely said that he MIGHT CONSIDER using military action against Iran to prevent it from going nuclear would be acceptable, but it must be the name of an actual person living now, not a hypothetical liberal Democrat from the future or one from the past);

    2, Do you give a shit whether or not Israel gets nuked? Answer:______________ (hint- this is a yes or no question, complaining about Bush without a “yes” or “no” does not qualify).

    I know that it is difficult for liberals to focus, and I hope this makes things easier.

  29. 37

    John Kerry spews:


    I once was in favor of using force to prevent Iran from going nuclear and did care about Isreal before I didn’t. Does that count?

  30. 38

    Harry Tuttle spews:


    1- Wesley Clark.

    “No one should be mistaken: there is a military option. We can strike hard enough to set back Iran’s nuclear quest by many years, and take out much of their military capacity in the process. And we can at the same time protect most of the oil flow from Iran and deny their capacity to block transit through the Straits of Hormuz. But we also must recognize the possible consequences of this action: an embittered, vengeful Iran, seeking further destabilization of the region. Far better to pursue dialogue now, whatever the precedents, and save the military option for truly last resort.”

    Any rational assessment of a military attack on Iran indicates that it would strengthen the mullahs there, (and imams in the rest of the region,) alienate most of the world, and incite terrorist reprisals. The best result for us would be to merely set back Iran’s nuclear program by a few years. Even that benefit is premised on hitting the right places with attacks that take out the deep underground bunkers, something the military hasn’t demonstrated the capability of doing. But, even if Clark is right and we can successfully disrupt their nuclear development, we don’t have the ground capacity to overtake and occupy Iran, and they would continue to be a major oil supplier, except that their standing with the countries that already trade with them would be enhanced.

    So, it isn’t a matter of guts, it’s a matter of thought. How would an attack benefit, not the Republicans, but the United States? The answer is that it wouldn’t. The reason I can’t stomach helping only the Bush administration is that I hate their guts. In order to get beyond that, some benefit to all Americans has to be demonstrated.

    The United States and Iran have been and are in a diplomatic stalemate stemming from our memories of the hostage crisis and disgust with Iran’s support of Hezbollah; and their memories of U.S. support of the oppressive regime of the Shah, as well as intelligence and military support given to Saddam Hussein while he waged war against Iran. Since 9/11, Iran has signaled on its willingness to move out of this stalemate. Opportunities the Bush administration has squandered, because is not willing to negotiate security guarantees for Iran, including a guarantee that we won’t use force to change its government or its borders.

    It isn’t something new in U. S. foreign policy that an administration doesn’t want to give that guarantee, what has changed though, is that out of a willingness to negotiate with Iran, we could get something that would be beneficial to us. We could regain the moral high ground, and with it more enthusiastic support from Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to support sanctions on Iran if they don’t agree to our terms. These countries would rather not impose sanctions, since their economic interests favor continued open trade with Iran.

    2 – Yes.

    It is unlikely that attacking Iran would have the affect of protecting Israel, though. For all the talk about Israel and its right to defend its survival, the example of Iraq provides Iran and Syria a realistic reason to fear for their survival. The lesson countries that draw our ire have learned from Iraq and North Korea is that, in dealing with the United States, it is best to have real and verifiable WMD.

    The more we fire that desire in them, the less safe Israel is.

  31. 39

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @36: Easy.

    question 1: Joe Lieberman
    question 2: That depends. First, you have to provide a list of countries you don’t give a shit about if they get nuked.

    Better trolls, please.

  32. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    You and your fellow wingnuts sure have a weird definition of “Americans,” JCH.

    The Founding Fathers wouldn’t understand it.
    The soldiers who fought to preserve the union wouldn’t understand it.
    The workers who built our factories, bridges, dams, and cities wouldn’t understand it.
    The soldiers who landed at Normandy and Iwo Jima wouldn’t understand it.
    Hell, even you don’t understand it.

  33. 43

    Stephen Schwartz spews:

    What boorish replies.

    First Goldy posts a Seinfeldesque self doubting post ..confusing Judaism with toilet seats, bagels and Shiksas. Kinda like imagining Dr. King dismissing his fervour as the product of eating too much watermelon.

    Then we have a few choir members, assumedly goyische choir members, who applaud the Jew for the remarks .. rather condescending that bit, well it is hard to be nice.
    “Hey look .. isn’t the Jew funneee? He makes fun of himself!!”

    OK OK .. we all need to make fun of ourselves, but do we need praise from others for doing so?? Goldy is a good guy and it would interest me more to know what aprt of that gopodness came from Judaism, but then I am Jew. Maybe the goyem don’t care whT we have to offer?

    Instead of sharing with others the part of Goldy that is jewish, it is politically correct to turned that into a slef deprecating joke.

    Sad, you want a funny Catholics/Jews story?

    Patrick and Sam grew up on neighboring streets. One went to parochial school while the other attended public school but the two remained lifelong friends. Beside public school, Sam went to Hebrew school and found that he enjoyed very much. Soon after Sam’s bar mitzvah, the two boys decided to follow a common path .. Pat would become a priest and Sam a Rabbi. They vowed to reamoin friends.

    Both did very well. Soon they each had a suburban congregation. They cochaired the Catholic-Jewish civil action group and even hosted visiting Southern Baptists. After awhile, however, Pat was recognized by the church and became a bishop. Sam married, had two kids and wrote a book about a Jewish guy married to a catholic girl from Seattle. The book became a TV show and Sam was very famous.

    Pat’s carear progressed too … soon he became the Archbishop. The consecration and beautiful robes thrilled Sam, but it was still, after all just Pat. IN the meantime Sam’s congregation was fine and even provided a Buick for their popular rabbi. Sam wasn’t jealous at all of the large manor house that Patrick occupied.

    Then Patrick was called to Rome for a red hat. Pat invited his Jewish friend but Sam couldn’t go … after all it was high holiday season. When the new cardinal came back, he invited the Rabbi to dinner. The joked about Rome and the aging Pope, and then Patrick asked, ” Just think, if we had just switched houses 50 years ago, you could’ve become the cardinal!” Sam laughed. “And then? no wife, no kids! Patrick, all you have is your church.” Patrick wrapped his cape a bit closer, a bit chiiled by Sam’s remark. “But then, look it is possible that when this Pope passes on I could become the Pope. I could have the power of the entire church!” The Cardinal smiled and sipped at his sherry. There was tension in the room. But Sam looked at his friend and said ” and so? You get a white hat! Big deal.” Patrick was mad. “You are just jealous! What more could anyone achieve, becoming God?”

    Sam turned to him and said, “It happend once before!.”

  34. 44

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    As for bagels, I recommend Zatz on California and near Admiral (acroos from the Admiral Theater) in West Seattle.

  35. 46


    Stephen @43,

    The main point is that I am mocking the “Ask a Mexican” column in the Weekly… though I’m having a little fun doing it, even if it is self-deprecating.

    As for describing myself as a secular Jew, it puts me in good company with the majority of Israelis. I went to Hebrew school. I was bar mitzvahed. I just don’t happen to believe in God, and I don’t go to synagogue.

    But I remain very culturally and ethnically Jewish, and even though I don’t embrace the spiritual aspects of Judaism, my entire worldview is strongly shaped by its moral and ethical teachings.

    As is my sense of humor.