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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Senator Sobel Wants to End Shylocking Shots

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same Means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? (3.1)

Senator Eleanor Sobel has a lot of time on her hands.

She wants the word "shylock" struck from Florida statutes. Did not even know it was there. Thought it was stuck in an old Shakespearean play.

Shylock was the Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare's 16th century play "Merchant of Venice," who sought a pound of flesh for an unpaid loan. The term is often used to define someone who loans money at exorbitant interest rates. Today those people are called credit card companies.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, said today the word found in certain provisions of state law is discriminatory and offensive to Jewish people. Florida statutes use the term as a synonym for loan shark and "shylocking" as a synonym for loan sharking, considered ruthless, greedy and dishonest.

Sobel's bill (SB 318) is set for a Senate vote, perhaps as early as next week. The House has a similar proposal (HB 151). That should fix our economy in no time.

Actually, it's a good thing. I don't mean to mock it. But I am thinking there are some other things I would like our legislators to be doing also. How about demanding that some creditors rebate the usurious rates they charge consumers? Or putting a ceiling on them? That would be a start. We could call it the Anti Ex Shylocking Law.

Look, there used to be a canal on the way to the Keys called Jewfish Creek. Ichthyologists decided the name was offensive a couple of years ago. So your big fat bottom feeding Jewfish got renamed Goliath Grouper. And a lot of people were etyologically satisfied. But whenever I stopped off at the Seven Mile Grill and had their fresh fish sandwich, which used to be Jewfish, I would now have to ask for a Goliath Grouper. It just did not comport. You just don't rename a hot dog or hamburger. But good luck to you Eleanor, if the law unnecessarily disparages Jews let's change it. Yeah, let's change it from shylocking to Madoff-ing.

1 comment:

  1. I especially love the version of this speech given in both the original (with Jack Benny) and the remake (with Mel Brooks) of To Be or Not To Be.