Friday, November 25, 2005

"The international law expert declared hamantaschen a violation of the Geneva Conventions..."

The University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentasch debate, which I covered last year for the UChicago Magazine's blog, is the subject of a new book, and consequently was written up in the New York Times:

Here at Chicago, where 15 percent of the 4,500 undergraduates - and, Mr. [Ted] Cohen estimated, "112 percent" of the faculty - are Jewish, it overflows the largest auditorium, with devotees pinning "I {sheart} Hamentaschen" buttons on their T-shirts, including ones that proclaim U.C. the university "where fun goes to die." Despite its reputation, Mr. Cohen noted, Chicago is not only where the atom was first split but also where Second City, the improvisational comedy giant, was born - not that long after the latke-hamantasch debate.

Among the eminent Hyde Park humorists - and debaters - highlighted in the book are the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, who said the matter could be settled by the equation L=qH2/3; Hanna Holborn Gray, then the university's president, who explained that Machiavelli was not only Jewish but loved the latke; and Allan Bloom of the Committee on Social Thought, whose talk was titled, not surprisingly, "Restoring the Jewish Canon."

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