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On The Light Side

November 16, 1985

HALLANDALE, Fla. (AP) _ If God is everywhere, why can’t he be in comic books? A group of rabbis who wanted to reach young Jews who don’t go to synagogue didn’t see why he couldn’t be.

″We’re mixing worldly humor with Torah education,″ said Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus. ″Our philosophy is that God is everywhere, and now he’s in a comic book.″

″Mendy and Golem″ comics, filled with lessons from the Torah, put a premium on puns. In one episode, Sholem the Golem (named for animated clay statues said to have guarded Jewish communities in the 16th century) fights an evil robot named Oy Vader in Yankel Stadium.

The series starts with Mendel ″Mendy″ Klein, a rabbi’s son, finding Sholem in a storage room at his synagogue. Mendy brings the Golem home in a U- Schlepp (schlepp means ″to drag along″ in Yiddish) van.

Between adventures, Sholem sleeps in Mendy’s garage between adventures and springs into action when he hears the magic words, ″Let us do a mitzvah 3/8″

″Our goal is to teach, but who says you can’t have fun, too?″ Tennenhaus said. About 50,000 comics are sold each year by subscription, and more on newsstands up and down the East Coast.


UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) - For 20 years, organ grinders Cees van Doorn and Rinus Budding have been arguing over territory.

Friday, after they came to blows about it, they both came to court and asked for injunctions forbidding each other from trespassing on the other’s territory, which is defined by their police-issued licenses allowing them to play for donations.

A judge will rule Nov. 21.


PEKING (AP) - Prospective tenants for a new building in the city of Benxi raced each other to decide who was to get the best apartments.

The newspaper China Youth News reported Friday that one member of each family was allowed to enter the race, and the fastest runners got first pick of apartments.

″As a result, many of the young people started training. Some people searched for able friends and relatives to race for them,″ the newspaper said.

It said older people who had no one to race for them ended up on the top floor of the building - normally the least desirable in China because of the lack or elevators or frequent breakdowns.

The newspaper suggested that the Liaoning province city in northeast China could find a better means of allocating its housing.


HYANNIS, Mass. (AP) - John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Hyannis needs an unlisted telephone.

That’s JFK, the engineer for the Cape Cod railway, not the son of the late president.

″I had to get my phone unlisted, because I was getting so many calls from people around the world,″ Kennedy, 23, told The Boston Herald in an interview published today. ″They would call to praise my family.″

This Kennedy was born in New York on May 1, 1962 - about 19 months before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and two years after Kennedy’s son, John Jr., was born.

The post office still occasionally sends the young JFK’s mail to the engineer’s home, along with letters addressed to T. Kennedy but intended for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who is known as Ted.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - When Lawrence Green was a youngster he overheard his mother say he wasn’t expected to live very long.

She was wrong.

Green celebrated his 104th birthday Wednesday at the Cedarwood Health Care Center here.

And for those who want to live as long as he has, he has a little advice:

″Go to bed every night and get up every morning.″

Green smoked a pipe until he was about 60 and had to give up chewing tobacco when he moved into the health care center at 99.

He took his first airplane ride to California at the age of 90.

″He said he’d been in covered wagons that were more comfortable,″ said Garland Cherry, Green’s son-in-law. ″He said it was too bumpy.″


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