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Thursday, May 17, 2018

NEW: On Complex Realities and Inconvenient Truths

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NEW: On Complex Realities and Inconvenient Truths


Rabboisai, Rabboisai!!!

I am back!!

Many of you reached out to me in recent weeks to ask about my disappearance. Many of you sent notes of concern. Some of you sent complaints that your Drashas weren’t coming in regularly Erev Shabbos and Erev Yuntif. “Where is Pinky?” you asked. 

By the way, none of you sent me money. Bastards.

Truth be told, there is a very good reason for my absence. But I cannot tell you the reason. So I will let you guess. Either:

A) I have been involved in exciting global developments in my capacity as Spriritual Adviser to the President of the United States, Melech HaMashiach Donald J. Trump.
Or..

B) Erev Pesach I had a medical issue and have been focused on my personal health since then.

One of these is actually true. Let’s examine the evidence, and “You Make The Call”:

Evidence for A: I was offline, but meanwhile President Trump’s productivity on foreign policy issues went through the roof!!

— The US and North Korea will be having a formal meeting of heads of state. Nothing like this has happened since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Do you, you Mechutziff, think that this happens by itself? Do you? Don’t you think that there was a lot of secret shuttle diplomacy, and secret talks, and secret dinners, and secret Divrei Toirah, and secret massages by some North Korean smoking hot sumo wrestlers?

— The US withdrew from the Iran agreement. Does that happen by itself? Who do you think went into the Iranian warehouse and stole all those documents anyway?

Evidence for B: Every time I make Pishvasser I have a team of inspectors “testing my output” using protein tests, chemical breakdowns, and gargling. And they went to medical school for that?

Shoyn. Life goes on.

We are living at a critical time when efforts to paint the world as black or white fail to capture the nuances of a more complex reality. What does that mean?

— Let’s say you oppose President and Melech HaMashiach Donald J. Trump out of core principle, in response to his unpresidential style, his flirtation with the fringe right including hard core anti Semites, his deep anti-immigrant bias in a country where nearly all of us are descendants of immigrants, his tendency the demean people with whom he does not agree, even within his own party, and his complicated relationship with truth and transparency (I am still waiting to see his tax returns.)

However... This same man seems to be making real progress with North Korea, potentially more than any of his predecessors, Democrat or Republican. Doesn’t he deserve credit for that at least?

— On the same day that the US embassy was opened in Jerusalem, many lives were lost along the Gazan border with Israel. Those who support Israel must certainly feel pride at the embassy move, even if it is largely cosmetic. The symbolism speaks loudly about the coming of age and permanence of the renewed Jewish national entity.

But the protests on the border and their aftermath highlight the degree to which there remain unresolved issues stemming back to the establishment of the State. Yes, the Palestinians were storming the fence. Yes, they were egged on by Hamas and others. Yes, the Palestinians put themselves in harm’s way. Yes, most of those killed were Hamas operatives. Yes, if the people who stormed the border had their way, they would have killed and kidnapped Israeli civilians and soldiers. Yes, Israel exercised its legitimate right to defend itself. No debate on any of this.

But the fact that Israel and the Palestinians remain, in 2018, caught in a web of existential conflict, even though Israel has never been stronger militarily, economically, and perhaps politically, speaks to the unceasing struggle that has historically plagued the Jews wherever we lived - the struggle for stability, permanence, and self-determination. No, this issue will not go away by itself. We may not have a partner among the Palestinian political leadership, but we still have a terrible problem.

From a Yiddisheh perspective, how should we think about such issues?

I am sure that you think we should say that all is good or all is bad. But you are a Menuval, so what would you know?

Indeed, our struggle with complex reality is not unique in history. It is something that the Toirah addresses and that CHAZAL discussed over drinks at the Bais Kellev, the local kosher sports bar in Pumbedisa.

The Toirah itself cites the words of the Reboinoisheloilum in Sefer Yishayahu, Perek Mem Hey, Passook Zayin: “Yoitzer Or U’Voirei Choishech, Oiseh Shalom U’Voirei Rah, Ani Adoishem Olseh Kol Eileh” — “Creator of light and creator of darkness, maker of people and creator of evil, I am Hakadoishboruchhu who does all of these”. The Aimishteh does not hide from the complexities of reality; He takes credit for them.

However, CHAZAL themselves expended much effort simplifying complex realities. Take, for example, Yankif Avunu. He stole his brother’s birthright and deceived his father. The Toirah makes no effort to disguise those issues, but CHAZAL goes out of its way in the Midrash to create a pile of bull... ummm... “alternative facts” about Yankif and his brother Eisav to fertilize the belief that one was all good and the other was all bad.

We can say similar things about Aron HaKoihain the Menuval, David HaMelech, Shloimoi HaMelech, and many others. CHAZAL go out of their way to turn complex Biblical figures into simplistic constructs and turn a multitude of colors and shades into simple black and white.

Indeed, there is a famous Medieval Machloikess on how we should interpret such complexities.

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy, the poet and author of the Kuzari who lived about a thousand years ago, believed that Biblical figures and Toirah concepts should be presented in the simplest manner possible because “people are too busy with their noses in their damned mobile phones to pay attention to something nuanced”. Ironically, of course, his life ended shortly after he arrived in Israel and fell off his horse because he was texting and riding at the same time.

His brother, Rabbi Matthew HaLevey, had a different philosophy. Speaking of his educational philosophy, he noted that we should never underestimate the intelligence of children, and we should therefore “fill their heads with as much richness and detail as we can, so that they can be as confused as the rest of us”. It should be noted that Rabbi Matthew changed the spelling of his last name by adding an extra “e” because he thought it made him look WASPier and would get him into a fancy country club.

Of course, if we look at Jewish intellectual tradition, we can find a third way, one of esotericism, of levels of understanding that vary based on the social and intellectual sphere of the observer. This is the theme of Moreh Nevuchim and the Zohar and other writings: There is a basic understanding for the masses. And there is a more detailed, complex, and nuanced understanding for the educated and indoctrinated.

In other words, the simple understanding is for good-for nothings like you, and the richer, “correct” understanding is for brilliant intellectual elites, like the Democratic leadership, CNN, and the New York Times Editorial Board.

However - and this is an important point - there is a vast difference between intellectual tradition and current events. Intellectual tradition is about the world of ideas. It is not directly about actions. However, how we understand the events of this world, be they national security, foreign affairs, economics, or social issues means all of the difference in the world. Because interpretation and understanding will ultimately result in activity. Should a nation take step X or Y? Should a citizen vote for A or B? Should I curl my Payis clockwise or counter clockwise?

This is the essence: So much of Judaism is centered around “concept” and “idea”. The Gemara can debate for thirty Blatt on whether to put your left shoe on first or your right. But, really, who cares? No one’s life will be ruined, except for the OCD Talmid who becomes stuck on Meshigas.

But how is it that when it comes to practical issues, issues of war and peace, life and death, health and sickness, relationships, finances, instead of gathering all the facts and exploring all the nuances, as complicated as they can be, we often subjugate our opinions to the lowest common denominator of political rhetoric, passionate but overly simplistic argument, and Rabbis who do not know how to fry an egg yet position themselves to be the grand arbiters of personal health, relationships, and finance, even though they have no related training, qualifications, or unique insights?

When we accept the simple narrative, be it of the right or the left, or the religious or the secular, or the charismatic figure, we surrender our intellect as individuals and as a society, and we are bound to make the wrong choices eventually. Reality is far too complicated to reduce every issue to a binary decision.

I am reminded of a beautiful Maiseh Shehoya.

Every year before Shavuois the Chofetz Chaim would close his little grocery store early so that he could go to the Mikvah and make some photocopies for the Shiur he planned to give on Tikkun Layl Shavuois.

One year, as he was locking the gates on the windows of his store in Radin, a man came running up to him from the street, out of breath. “Rebbe, Rebbe, Rebbe” he called out, panting as he tried to catch his breath. “Boruch HaShem I caught you.”

“How can I help you, my Talmid?” the Chofetz Chaim asked, animatedly and obviously glancing at his watch.

“Rebbe, my son was born last week, and the Bris is tomorrow.”

“Mazal Tov. Nu?”

“Rebbe, I would like your opinion on the name. I want to make sure that it does not bring an Ayin Hurrah. Can you please tell me - Is ‘Shraga Feivel Nebuchadnezzar’ a Mazeldikkah name?”

The Chofetz Chaim suddenly stood still, frozen in his place, his gaze on the man now an icy stare. “Tell me young man, where on my store window, where in my Yeshiva, where on my Shtender, where on my business card, where on my website, or where on my Wikipedia page does it say that I am a fortune teller or an astrologer or that I read tea leaves? Where?!?!”

The man was stunned, and after a moment responded quietly, almost in a whisper, “Well, I will give you one thousand rubles for your advice.”

The Chofetz Chaim paused for a second, looking down at the ground, then looked up as a smile broke out on his face. “Son, I think Shraga Feivel and whatever that third name was is a beautiful name. Mazal Toiv!!”

“Thank you Rebbe. I will drop off the thousand rubles after Yuntif” the man said, and then turned to walk away.

As the man took his first few steps, the Chofetz Chaim called after him. “By the way! For an additional thousand rubles I will perform Metzitzah BiPeh!”

Shoyn.

Rabboisai, we have to distinguish between that which is l necessary and that which is expedient.

For example, let’s say, just hypothetically, someone is told to rush to the hospital for a major surgical procedure, but he feels fine. Should he go ahead with the surgical procedure and prepare for weeks and weeks of recovery, or should he assume that because he has no symptoms he can ignore his doctor? Does he focus on the simple fact of how he feels, or the more complex and challenging implications of doctor’s recommendations that were based on a synthesis of medical details and professional judgment?

Ummm... I can tell you what I would hypothetically do in that purely hypothetical situation. But I have no time. I have to go now to make Pishvasser in a jug, pop a few Percocet, and learn some Zoihar once the drugs kick in.

I wish you a Gutten, peaceful Shabbos and a joyous Yuntif without any medical emergencies, you Menuval.
 
--------- 

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess



Friday, April 20, 2018

Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimer

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Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimer


Baruch Ata Idon’tknow,

Heywhereareyou Melech HaOilum,

Asher Kideshanu BeMitzvoisav Vetzivanu,

Al Sfiras HaOimer.

HaYoim Shmoinah Esrei Alaphim U’Masayim Chamishim Yoim,

SheHaym Alpayim Shaish Maois Va’Sheva Shavuois, VaEchad Yamim LaOimer.


Rabboisai,

Unlike you, you Minuvals, I have not lost count of the Oimer, ever since I was a Kleinikel. I count Sefirah with a Bracha every day, never missing except for that one time in college when I got lucky with that hot shiksa (Boruch Hashem for tequila!). But, thankfully, I was able to count Sefirah the next morning without a Bracha, as I was putting on my Tefillin in Christine’s apartment.

Which brings us the Shailah I address this week:

Yoineh Vuv asks: “Rav Pinky -- May a woman shave her Makom HaErva during Sefirah?”

Yoinelah – This is a Gevaldikkah Shailah! You are Mechavayn to the exact question asked by the RALBAG, the great Medieval Talmidist, Mathematician, and dispenser of at-home Brazilian services to the housewives of Avignon, France.

Before I address your Shailah, Halacha Lemaiseh, I would like to address the overall topic of Sefiras HaOimer.

What is Sfiras HaOimer? We know that from the perspective of the Toirah, we are required to count seven weeks from Pesach to calculate the start of Shavuois, Zman Matan Toirasainu. According to Rabbi Yoichanan, cited in a Braisah brought down in a Gemara in Makkois, this is because 49 days is the length of time required for matzah constipation to be flushed out of the system, so we can be fully prepared for the lactose intolerance brought on by cheesecake on Shavuois. 

But according to Rabbi Yishmael, as mentioned in a Tosefta in Moiaid Kattan, seven weeks is the amount of time it takes for a man to be able to come home from a hard day’s work without having to worry about his wife waiting at the door, barking orders at him about bringing those last three pieces of stray Pesach china up to the attic.

The Oimer was originally grounded in the agrarian cycle of Eretz Yisroel. Later, it came to represent the period of time between Yetzitas Mitzrayim, the Exodus, and the giving of the Toirah. But of course it has also taken on a whole latter day symbolism of semi-mourning. A Gemara in Avoidah Zorah tells us that during Sefirah, we mourn the deaths of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva. There is, however, a machloikess as to why they died.

According to Rav Huna, they died of a plague brought upon them because they lacked Derech Eretz – they did not respect each other. They insulted each other with harsh words and dismissive language, the kinds of things you do all the time, you good-for-nothing Minuval Vilda Chayas.

However, according to Rav Sheyshess, Rabbi Akiva’s students actually died fighting in the failed Bar Kochba Revolt, the second rebellion against the Romans from 131-135 CE. Rabbi Akiva is quoted in the Yerushalmi in Tainis as pronouncing Bar Kochba to be the Moishiach (this is true, by the way). Many of his students enlisted to support the military effort, and to get the government sponsored tuition assistance needed to pay for Rabbi Akiva’s Yeshiva, Yeshivas Ohr HaMaskoiret.

Finally, Rav Puppa holds that the students died in an unfortunate accident. LeOilum, in reality, the Reboinoisheloilum only put in an order to kill 1,000 students. But due to a programming glitch in Hakadoshboruchhu’s Persecution Trading System (PTS), the kill off swelled to 24,000 dead before the system’s safeguards kicked in. A similar thing happened in 1938, but due to a weak regulatory environment, the safeguards did not automatically kick in until there were much heavier losses in the market.So, to commemorate the deaths of so many of Rabbi Akiva’s Talmidim, we take upon ourselves some of the rituals of mourning. 

There was great debate amongst the Rishoinim about which Sefirah-related proscriptions an individual should follow. During Sefirah:

-- The Roish would not shave

-- The Ran would not bathe, except on Erev Shabboskoidesh

-- The RIF would not go to the bathroom. This also enabled him to save a lot of money on food and toilet paper.

These differences of Minhag are reflected in the various Sefirah practices in place in the modern Yeshiva World:

-- In Yeshivas Punuvitch in Eretz Yisroel, the Talmidim do not attend live musical performances

-- In the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, the Talmidim do not listen to music, live or recorded

-- In Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens, the Talmidim do not read or write or speak to each other; they just say Tachanun all day and play with the buttons on their little Hatzalah walkie talkies

-- In Yeshivas Toiras Yoisiaph Smith in Utah, the Talmidim do not drink coffee or smoke cigarettes, and are not Mezaneh with more than three of their wives on any given night.

With regard to your specific Shailah, Reb Yoineh, this is linked to a Pesak of Reb Moishe. Reb Moishe ruled that while the laws of Sefirah requires a man to abstain from shaving as a sign of mourning, if someone makes his Parnassah in the professional world, and his situation requires him to be well groomed, then he is allowed to shave. Notes Reb Shmiel Kalbasavua: We can apply this same rule to women as well. A woman should not shave her Erva during Sefirah. However, if she is required to be well groomed for professional reasons, for example, is an exotic dancer or a Victoria’s Secret model, then she is indeed allowed to shave.

Reb Yoiseph Katski is even more Meikel. He agrees that in principle, a woman should not shave her Erva during Sefirah. However, this should not in any way interfere with any aspect of her life, professional or personal. States Reb Yoisaiph, “If a woman’s overgrown forest is harming her normal patterns of marital activity because her husband cannot find a path through the trees in order to launch his canoe, then she is indeed entitled to clear a path to the lake, though must be careful not to engage in complete deforestation.” Unquote.

Rabboisai, the laws of Sefirah are not simple ones. And too many people in our community do not pay the proper attention to observing this wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the Aimishteh by counting to forty nine and looking like a vagrant. At a cosmic level, Oimer makes us closer to the Reboinoisheloilum by preparing us for the Kedushah of Kabbalas HaToirah. How does the Oimer do this? I admit that I cannot tell you exactly. But this is a point of Mesoirah – it is our tradition of 3,500 years, handed down over many generations, as a Halacha Le-Art Scroll MiSinai.

 Ah Gutten Shabbos, you Minuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, March 16, 2018

On Sacred Secret Traditions

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On Sacred Secret Traditions


Rabboisai,

I would like to start this week's Drasha by sharing a true story. This past Shabboskoidesh I was engaged in a fundraising trip to a small Shtetyl in Eastern Europe. After Davening, where there was not a complete Minyan, I sat down with three members of the small Kehilla for Kiddush and Moitzee. Discussion spread from comparing Jewish life in the vibrant communities of the United States to the struggles to maintain and sustain a form of Jewish life in a community with only remnants of the robust Jewish life that horrifically disappeared in the Shoah.

At one point, a senior member of the Kehilla asserted that there are many rabbis who believe that Israel's ongoing struggles with the Palestinians, HAMAS and Hezbollah were in fact the cosmic result of the many Jews in Israel who do not observe the Mitzvois. I retorted that what my new friend stated was a philosophical opinion, one which I do not share. I commented that sitting here in the tiny communal remnant of an Eastern European Shtetyl, the notion was impossible to believe, as it was comparable to stating that my family and six million others were slaughtered because of the Reboinoisheloilum’s anger about the Reform Movement or some other such nonsense occasionally voiced by some Rabbonim. I noted my personal belief and the normative Rabbinic dictum that we cannot understand the nature of Hakadoishboruchhu, His, thoughts, or His actions.

The debate went on for a 20 minutes or so, in civil voices and an air of mutual respect, with me referring to the RAMBAM's description of the Aimishteh as being beyond comprehension, and the Kabbalists' efforts to illustrate the nature of the Reboinoisheloilum-head as far more complex than the simplistic linear explanation of the Toirah: If the Jews are good, good things happen to us; but if the Jews misbehave, Hakadoishboruchhu "hides His face". For such simplistic logic did not hold true in history any more than it holds true today.

After Benching, the four of us walked through the traditional Jewish Quarter, and the oldest of the group pointed out the store that was once his mother's bakery, prior to the Shoah.

Shoyn.

-----

Rabboisai

Klal Yisroel is on a downward spiral. Here we are, in the midst of what many feel is a period of Reishis Smichas Geulasainu, the dawn of our redemption, but Klal Yisroel cannot help itself. Just when Eliyahu HaNavi is circling on his flying ass, looking for a place to land, you Menuvals always seem to find some way to screw it up.

I was recently visiting some Talmidim from Lakewood. They are Tzadikim - they never miss a Mincha, even behind bars for embezzling a billion dollars from the retirement funds of many octogenarians - and they reported that in the federal penitentiary there are Yidden who shave with a blade. A blade!!! Why, that is a Dioraisah!!! What can these people possibly be thinking?!?!

Similarly, when I walk the streets of Brooklyn and Yerushalayim I see women who go with their hair uncovered. It is difficult enough for a man like me at this time of year to hold off from masturbating like a monkey while walking down the street, but to be tempted by the fruit of a woman's follicles is beyond what I can bear. (I personally think that the federal government should pay for Sheytels - It would likely significantly lower infidelity, and some rabbis even hold that it would decrease breast cancer.)

On rare occasions I visit the Goyim in Teaneck. Once upon a time, I refused to drink anything but cold water. But I cannot even do that now, since the Teaneckers do not use filters on their water taps and daily consume microscopic crustaceans, Rachmuna Litzlan. What Am Haaratzim!

And recently I saw some data on members of Klal Yisroel going to college. Ah Shandah! What a waste of time when Buchrim are studying Computer Science, Accounting, Medicine, or Law, Chass V'Sholom, instead of learning Toirah all day, sitting in Koilel, and relying on their loving Bashert-lech, the Reboinoisheloilum, and, of course, their father's in law to pay for the house, the cars, the kids, and Pesach on a cruise to the Bahaimas.

Yes, this is a generation that has lost its right to be the Am HaNivchar, the Choisen People.

---

We are of course not the first generation in the history of Klal Yisroel to ponder why the actions of Klal Yisroel do not make sense. Shaving with a blade. Oy Vah Voy!! Women not covering their hair properly. Drinking unfiltered water. Jews going to college - for Reboinoisheloilum's sakes, no wonder Moshiach has not yet arrived!!!

In the meantime, there are other members of Klal Yisroel causing tremendous distractions and causing others to sin. People complaining about sexual abuse in the community. Where? There is no sexual abuse in the Orthodox community!! Maybe by the Reform, Ich Vais. But all of these false allegations are causing donations to fall... errr... are distracting the focus of the world from the wonderful things that Klal Yisroel do for the community, such as Hatzollah, Toimchei Shabbos, and supporting the local prostitute community.

There are even Yidden who are complaining about money "donated" by the government to ensure that our Yeshiva Buchrim and their wives and 12 children are all able to live at a respectable standard: Not working, yet collecting Social Security benefits, Welfare, Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps and other programs. Hey, we are the Tashmish Hamitah-ing Choisen People, and we deserve to be learning in Koilel, married, have twelve children, collect all sorts of public benefits, and drive a Lexus! What could possibly be wrong with this that people should complain?!?!

---

Rabboisai, what I have described above is a clear case of misplaced priorities. Some people are worried about such Narishkeit like sexual abuse and the long term unsustainability and illegality of the lifestyles of many in the Frum community, while instead they should be focusing on the real priorities: Shaving without a blade, women's uncovered hair, unfiltered water, and the dangers of secular education. We need to keep our priorities straight, Hakadoishboruchhu-Dammit!!!

It seems to me that Klal Yisroel has lost its way. We have lost the true lessons of the Toirah. We have been focused on the "revealed" Toirah, and have begun to lose our oral Mesoirah. Some have taken seriously such concepts as "V'Ahavtah Le'Reachah Ka'Moichah" (“Love your neighbor as you would love yourself”), "Im Ain Derech Eretz, Ein Toirah" (“If there are no basic human dignity, there can be no Toirah”), and "Dinah D'Malchusah Dinah" (“The rules of the local civil government apply as rules for the Jewish community”), when in fact, those concepts are just a smokescreen for the True Toirah.

Rabboisai, I have recently been reading a book by Professor Moshe Halbertal entitled "Concealment and Revelation - Esotericism in Jewish Thought and its Philosophical Implications". The book focuses on a trend between the 11th and 14th centuries by a series of different schools of thought to expose the "hidden truths" of Klal Yisroel, the esoteric knowledge reflecting the actual understanding of Toiras Moishe that lay hidden behind the normative TANACH and Talmud.  Because of fear of loss of tradition or loss of control or the message, various rabbis and schools revealed key teachings, often conflicting, which in some cases purported to have been handed down secretly by an entrusted elite.

-- RAMBAM wrote the Moireh Nevuchim, which together with his other writings, presented a synthesis of traditional Jewish though with Aristotelian philosophy and the Arabic science of the era. He also shared secrets on winning at Blackjack.

-- The Ibn Ezra wrote his commentary on the Toirah and other works synthesizing neo-Platonic philosophy, astrology and a strong preference to Pashut Pshat of the Toirah, versus reliance on Midrashic allegories to address textual problems. He also revealed a list to proven pickup lines for men, women and ToomTooms.

-- The RAMBAN spent a third of his time arguing with the RAMBAM, a third of his time arguing with Ibn Ezra, and the remaining third of his time making clouded allusions to Kabbalistic belief in his own biblical interpretation. At the same time, he condemned those who were sharing the secrets of the Kabbalah with the masses. And he hinted at ways to satisfy your woman multiple times per night.

-- The Kabbalists who decided to explain the Toirah and the all Creation by sharing the secrets of Jewish mysticism. Most famous of these works is, of course, the Zoihar, written or compiled by Rabbi Moses De Leon. (Please Note: If you are going to argue that the Zoihar was written by Reb Shimoin Bar Yochai 1200 years earlier then I will be forced to expel you from my Yeshiva.)

What all of these great scholars shared was a commitment to revealing the True Toirah, not the simplistic understanding that an ignoramus like you might derive from your limited knowledge.

Given the crisis within Klal Yisroel today, I, the RAPAS, Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein, have decided that it is time to put in writing the modern hidden truths of the Toirah that have been handed down to me by my father who received them from his father who received them from his father who received them from his step-father; his real father was a well hung blond Cossack. In doing so, I am revealing the Sacred Secret Teachings of the Wise Elders Of Zion, so that these understandings will not be lost to a generation caught up in Narishah Zachen.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 1: Always obey every single Mitzvah Bain Adam LaMakoim – the commandments between man and the Reboinoisheloilum. That means: Daven three times a day (five, if you are Moslem); put on Tefillin; eat only Koisher food; go to Mikvah; wave a live chicken over your family’s heads Erev Yoim Kippur; never carry on Shabboskoidesh; shake a palm branch and 300 dollar lemon at the sky on Sukkois; do not wear Shatnez, you Shkutz, and if you have to shave, Chass V’Sholom, please use an electric razor, but only after sending the electric razor to my brother-in-law to he can dull the blades to the point where you have get a cleaner shave using a piece of cardboard or dental floss.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 2: Always judge the religious observance of other people. Since Hakadoishboruchhu is busy dealing with the messes in Syria, the Ukraine, and the Trump White House, it is up to you to ensure that your family, friends, and neighbors are observing the Halachois according to YOUR standards. And if they are not, please tell everyone you know – it is not Loshon Harrah because they are sinners who are going to hell.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 3: There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to observe any of the Mitzvois Bain Adam LeChaveiroi – the commandments between man and man – as long as you do not get caught.

-- Overcharge your clients – just don’t get caught.

-- Try to sleep with your neighbor’s wife – just don’t get caught. (And for Aimishteh’s sakes, wear a… ummm… Kishka Skin.)

-- Cheat on your taxes – just don’t get caught.

-- Illegally file for Welfare, Unemployment, Section 8, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and every other government paid social benefit – just don’t get caught.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 4: If you do get caught, Chass V’Sholom, always remember to use one or more of the following responses:

-- Blame the victim. (“He seduced me! Yes, he was only 8 years old, but he had the maturity of a Bar Mitzvah Bochur!”)

-- Talk about the good that Klal Yisroel do. (“So what if we received a few extra dollars from the government; we take care of our community through Hatzollah, Shoimrim, and Bingo Night.”)

-- Blame anti-Semitism. (“This is a specious allegation! Why do you think that there was voter fraud in favor of the Orthodox Jewish judge who will redistrict in favor of Orthodox Jewish real estate developers? So what if the judge got 100,000 votes in a district with only 45,000 registered voters, and none of them are Jewish or could afford housing in the proposed new real estate development! THIS MUST IS ANTI-SEMITISM! Damn that Oibama!!”)

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Rabboisai,

If we follow these Sacred Secret Teachings that I am passing along to you Talmidim, we can ensure that the Reboinoisheloilum will never “hide His face” from Klal Yisroel again, even when we are sitting behind bars.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Menuval


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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess