Today I will be ignoring the stated subject of this blog to ask the burning question: Why is there no Jew Day Parade in New York City?
I mean, just about every other ethnic and religious group gets a shot at tying up traffic, so why shouldn’t Jews? There are parades for Puerto Ricans, Brazilians, Caribbeans, Koreans, Chinese, Norwegians, Irish, Cubans, Greeks, Sikhs, Turks, Haitians, Indians, Pakistanis, West Indians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hispanics, Hare Krishnas, Nigerians, Phillippinos, Germans, Poles, Dominicans, Persians and Mermaids.
There is a parade that is for, and in, Queens. There is a Good Neighbor Parade, and a Gay Pride Parade (now called the Heritage of Pride Parade), a Christian Youth Parade, and a Children’s Evangelical Parade with “50 floats, marching bands, and displays of biblical passages.” You do not want to miss that one if your idea of entertainment is cheering the 23rd Psalm Float as it goes down Third Avenue. Let’s hear some applause for the valley of the shadow of death! Yea!
There is a Global Marijuana March where, after the parade, everyone consumes lots of snack food. There is even a parade for people from Easter Island where everyone wears weird hats.
But no Jew Day Parade.
Now, true, there is a Salute to Israel Parade (in fact, it’s coming up on June 3), but that’s not the same thing as a Jew Parade. That’s in celebration of a country, not a culture that is as tied to Europe as to the Middle East. And besides, it’s perfectly possible to be Jewish and yet not feel like saluting Israel which, if we’re being honest, has not pursued the most consistently rational policies over the years.
So where is our Jew Day Parade?
Well, it turns out we’ve had one all along: the Columbus Day Parade. Because scholars are now telling us that Christopher Columbus was secretly Jewish. In fact, according to this new research, his voyages weren’t even funded by Queen Isabella; they were paid for by two Jews, Louis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez.
Not only that, but the real purpose of his voyages was to find a new homeland for Jews that were being persecuted in Spain. So any of those places he discovered could have been Israel, except that it wouldn’t sound right for the Jewish homeland to be called something like Santa Maria de Guadalupe.
But think of the possibilities. The Dominican Republic could be the Dredyl Republic! And Cuba! We could have had Cuba! Wouldn’t it have made way more sense to have a Jewish homeland surrounded by water instead of Arabs? And so close to Florida!
The scholars haven’t told us why Columberg didn’t carry out his plan; perhaps he thought all the islands he was discovering were too rich in natural resources to be good Jewish homelands. He knew if he kept looking, he’d find one that had neither sugar nor tobacco, a barren island whose chief export would be something like newts.
Meanwhile, I have two thoughts on the matter:
- Isn’t it wonderful how “Jew” rhymes with “fourteen hundred and ninety-two” and “ocean blue?”
- When is Jerry Seinfeld going to be Grand Marshall of the Columbus Day Parade?
See you soon.
Pop Quiz: The photo at the top of this post is from a) The Christian Youth Parade, b)The Celebrate Israel Parade, c) The Mermaid Parade, or d) The Greater NY Good Neighbor Parade. Answer: C, although it might be good to have neighbors like this. If you answered “B” because they’re wearing the blue and white colors of Israel, I’ll point out that they have the wrong kind of stars.