Subscribe To My Weekly Drasha

Send a message to mailto:npoj8@yahoo.com with the word "subscribe"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Parshas Shmini

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"

====================================================

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622

====================================================

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky
====================================================


Parshas Shmini


Rabboisai,

I have been asked by many of my Minuval talmidim why I publish reruns of Divrei Toirah I have shared in the past. I point out every time to these Meshugaim that if you do not complain to the Baal Koiray every week about rereading a Parsha you just heard last year, then you should not complain about these Divrei Toirah.

Incidentally, if you must know the truth, the reason why you are not receiving a new Dvar Toirah this week is because you did not Daven with the proper Kavvanah last week. Hakadoshboruchhu was watching your every move, you Vilda Chaya. He saw you joking around with your friends in Shul and sneaking a peak into the Ezrass Nashim to check out the visiting talent. He also saw you eat that sucking candy without making a Bracha, you Chazer. Consider this a warning. The next time you violate the Toirah, the Aimishteh may send transcripts of your Facebook conversations with some hot shiksa to your wife. You may not fear the Reboinoisheloilum, but I know you are terrified of your Ballhabuster.

 -------------

 Parshas Shmini

 In this parsha, Shmini, we read about traifus. Lots of it. Pigs. Camels. Flying insects. Eagles. Bottom-dwelling-non-finned-non-scaled-fish. Reboinoishelolum, it makes my mouth water! In fact I am currently lobbying the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the RCA, the OU, YU, JTS, the UJA, the ADL, the JCRC, the JDL, AIPAC, the WZO, the JNF, ARZA, the HUC, the Kof-K, the Triangle-K, and Amit Women to officially change the name of the parsha to "Parshas Mouthwatering". So far I have only heard back from two organizations: the Triangle-K, which wants to negotiate pricing, and the HUC, which thought the name of the Parsha actually is "Parshas Mouthwatering".

 According to the RIF, the enactment of traifus restrictions is one of the ultimate tests of being a member of Am Yisrael. After all, it must be delicious! Indeed it is fair to assume that the Aimishteh created all of the taboo creatures with the delicious traifus-goodness baked right in. He must have taste-tested it too, to make sure he got the recipe just right.

Oy, what I wouldn't give to be a goy right now, so I could have no rules or restrictions! I would walk right into the local McTraifus, with my girlfriend Christine O'Reilly by my side, and order a bacon double lizard burger with deep fried owl, and wash it down with a vanilla milk shake. Actually, as long as I am immune from all of the commandments spelled out in the Toirah, make that my boyfriend Philip O'Reilly. We would eat the night away, and then go back to my place to worship Avoidah Zara, shave off our sideburns, and put on some shatnez.

But alas, Shver tsu zein a Yid, being a Jew comes with a price. WE have a covenant with the Reboinoishelolum: We follow His rules, and keep His mitzvois, His chukim, and His mishpatim. And as a reward, we get to spend our entire lives being persecuted.

However, what happens when we don't follow the rules? The parsha tells us of one such occurence. Aron Hakoihain's good-for-nothing sons offend the Aimishteh and get burnt to a crisp. But what was their aveirah?

RASHI cites one suggested explanation, that Nadav and Avihu had all the best of intentions: they simply added on to the Avoidah, because they thought it would be a nice thing to do. In other words, they were guilty of Baal Toisiph, and the Reboinoisheloilum struck them down for trying to be Hiddur Mitzvah. Hey, please remind me of this next time I want to spend an extra ten dollars on an Esrog!

But according to Toisfois, the brothers were minuvals who were horsing around in the Mishkan. There they were, doing the Avoidah, when Nadav thought it would be hysterically funny to dump the contents of the Kiyore on Avihu's head. Avihu responded by taking the Urim V'Tumim and smacking Nadav in the face, causing him to fall backwards into the Tayvah holding the Luchois. This got the Kruvim angry and...well...you've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark -- you know what happens next.

However, the Vilna Goyn, looking elsewhere in the parsha, suggests that given the references to traifus at the end of the parsha, Nadav and Ahvihu must have been using the Mizbayach to barbecue ribs, anointing them with a Mesopitamian Smokey Grill marinade, on sale at the local supermarket as a two for one special. But he is uncertain if the brothers were punished for eating traif ribs, or simply for overcooking them.

The RAMAH vehemently disagrees with the Goyn. He insists that cooking and eating traifus, even in the Mishkan, does not bring about a chiyuv of missah, just so long as whatever was cooked and eaten conforms with the same halochois in place for the Korbonois. He cites a Braisah in Yevamois that says the brothers had fully and successfully cooked their meal. But after eating they brought out a cake from which Avihu's wife had cut out a small wedge, "just to taste". Consequently they were chayuv missah for having brought a dessert with a mum into the Koidesh HaKedoishim.

In my humble opinion, I respectfully submit that the Goyn and the RAMAH have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. A maiseh shehoyo: When I was a young talmid I experimented with traifus, in the spirit of "Oiseh Maiseh Beraishis"; I felt compelled to sample all of His creations. Including dumplings. As I washed my first bites down at the Chinese restaurant, I waited. Would I be struck down by a bolt of lightening? Would I choke to death on a clump of traifus? No! The Aimishteh left it up to me to make my choices and live with them.

So did Nadav and Avihu, those minuvals. They saw the signs written on the walls of the Mishkan, yet chose to ignore them and paid the ultimate price. When will they ever learn? As the spring season arrives, we should all keep the bitter lessons of Nadav and Avihu in mind: Always keep the room well ventilated when grilling indoors.

 Ah Gutten Shabbos, you Minuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pesach at the White House

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"

====================================================

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622

====================================================

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky
====================================================


Pesach at the White House


Rabboisai,

Greetings from my office in the White House, where I served as "Special Advisor to the President on Unleavened Affairs" leading up to Pesach. I am proud to announce that my title changed after Bedikah at the White House on Sunday night to "Special Advisor to the President on Bedikah Affairs". 

Prior to Passover, this involved inspection for Chometz. But for eleven months of the year I will be inspecting "women bleeding from their wherever". The good news: I have been able to find a vendor who can produce Bedikah cloths with the picture of the White House emblazoned on them. (Thank you cousin Mendy!!!) Which just goes to show that when President Trump talked about "grabbing women by the pussy", he was actually speaking in support of a Mitzvah Dioraisah. What a Tzaddick!!

It has been quite a wonderful start to Pesach. I had the pleasure of leading the annual White House Seder. Jared recited the Kiddush. Ivanka hid the Afikoman. And President Trump Tweeted the Four Questions. 

The tradition of holding a White House Seder was actually established by that anti Semitic Jeremiah Wright loving Islamic fundamentalist Former President Barack HUSSEIN Oibama. His Seder used the ubiquitous Maxwell House Haggadah that many of us grew up with. But President Trump has evolved the tradition. Donald Trump's initial instinct was to use the official Starbucks Haggadah; unfortunately, there is none. However, Starbucks would be happy to sell you a vanilla soy iced frappicino with an extra shot for $30 dollars. Which may sound expensive.... unless you have ever ordered a cup of coffee in Trump Tower.

Steve Bannon suggested an alternate Haggadah - the Der Sturmer Haggadah. In it, Klal Yisroel are easily distinguished from the other nations because of their hooked noses, their money bags, and their portrayal as rodents. And the Egyptians are recognizable by their blond hair, blue eyes, and muscular features. But we decided against the Der Sturmer Haggadah because the liturgy was edited to read "Shfoich Chamuscha Al HaYehudim...". So that was out.

So we finally settled on creating our own Trump Administration Haggadah. In it, Jared is portrayed as the Chacham, the Wise Son, Steve Bannon is portrayed at the Rasha, or the Wicked Son, Betsy DeVos is portrayed as the Tam, or Simple Son, and Sean Spicer is portrayed as the She'Einoi Yoidayah Lishoil, the Son Who Is Incapable of Asking Questions. According to a commentary by RASHI, this son refers either to a very young child, or to a complete fucking moron.

Indeed, many of us found out on the Second Day of Yuntif in the newspaper or after Yuntif about Sean Spicer's declaration in comparing Bashir Assad to Adolf Hitler, that, "Someone as despicable as Hitler … didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons." This is of course 100% accurate on multiple dimensions: 1) Hitler indeed did not use chemical weapons in combat, likely owing to his trauma from trench warfare during WWI; 2) From the Nazi perspective, Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russian Soldiers, Communists and the countless others murdered with Zyklon B gas were sub-humans, so were not in anyway comparable to Syrian civilians; and 3) Zyklon B, used to kill millions, is not a chemical weapon; it is an insecticide. So of course Sean Spicer was 100% accurate!!!

Of course, Sean Spicer did backtrack and apologize for his statements, noting that "Hitler did not kill his own citizens", a position which I am sure is reassuring to all descendants of  German Jews killed throughout the War, including in Auschwitz in 1943 and 1944. And, of course, Sean Spicer noted that chemical weapons were only used by Hitler in "Holocaust Centers". That was of course very considerate of Hitler! 

Indeed, in the middle of Jerusalem, there is a "Holocaust Center"; I took my family there during my last visit, and registered some family names that did not appear in their archives. In Washington, there is another "Holocaust Center", which people come from all over the country to visit. Kenayna Harrah. There is even a "Holocaust Center" in downtown New York. (True story: I once went to a Bat Mitzvah there; my Basherte Feigeh Breinah and I were seated at the "Auschwitz" table, but my kids were sent to "Dachau".) And there are a few other "Holocaust Centers" scattered throughout the world.

Hitler of course had a far more progressive ideology when it came to "Holocaust Centers". He had a handful in Germany, but most in Poland and today's Belarus. They did not all have pools or health clubs, but they almost all had showers. Many had different activities - some had Pilates, some had hard labor. And all were very effective at helping inmates... errr... members lose weight. A lot of weight. And some of the "Holocaust Centers" even had free bussing!!

So it is an exciting first Pesach at the Trump White House. We are already planning for the first Shavuois. President Trump will be giving Shiur on The Art Of The Deal, Steve Bannon will be giving Shiur on Breitbart News, and Sean Spicer will be giving Shiur on Mein Kampf.

Ah Gutten Moed, You Menuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, April 07, 2017

Ask Rabbi Pinky: On the Laws of Pesach

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"

====================================================

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622

====================================================

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky 
====================================================


Ask Rabbi Pinky: On the Laws of Pesach


Rabboisai,

In anticipation of the upcoming Yuntif, I would like to address an issue related to Hilchois Pesach


The Anonymous Minuval" writes:

"Rav Pinky,

"Am I allowed to perform oral favors on my wife on Pesach if she has a yeast infection?"

Well, my beloved, gutter-minded talmid, this is a delightful question that I have been asked several times before, all by members of the Ashkenazic tradition, since, as everyone knows, Sephardic Jews have not subscribed to this approach to marital fulfillment since the expulsion from Spain in 1492.

With regard to your question, yeast is not in and of itself chometz (leaven), but is in the category of chometz-related matter. Hence, Chazal would certainly hold that you could NOT perform oral favors on your wife, though you are not required to dispose of her during Pesach.

However, if you are of the practice of performing oral favors on your wife with the aid of a chometzdikkeh food, say -- pudding, the issue becomes more complex. BeDiyeved, there are those that say that the Halacha would view this as similar to yeast, or a kli (a cooking utensil), and, therefore, you may keep your wife in your possession, as long as you do not perform oral favors on her during the course of Pesach.

Lechatchilah, however, if we consider a wife's private parts as food, and therefore, having been exposed to the chometz, the privates take on the nature of chometz, since chometz is not battul afilu be'elef (is not considered insignificant, even if it is an infinitesmal fraction of the food in question), then you must dispose of the chometz prior to Pesach, preferably by burning.

However, in our day, our Rabbis have determined an alternative approach, as we use with other valuable chometz investments. You are allowed to sell your wife's Erva to a gentile, provided you not benefit from it for eight days. And, of course, you have to provide access to the gentile at any time that the gentile so chooses to take possession of the chometz.

How is this contractual arrangement made? There are those that are more lenient, and say a verbal sales agreement is enough to drive the exchange of possession. However, the majority of Achroinim hold that there has to be a symbolic physical transfer of possession. In real estate sales, this is typified by a kinyan sudor, or exchange of possession using as handkerchief as a proxy. In this instance, however, an exchange of your wife's underwear would be the preferred mode.

As well, the Rabbis note, it is customary the night before Pesach to include your wife's Erva when performing Bedikas Chometz in your home. Your wife will certainly welcome the feather. 

But just be careful with that wooden spoon!

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Pesach Drasha

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"

====================================================

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622

====================================================

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky 
====================================================


Pesach Drasha


Rabboisai,

I am preparing this Drasha as I pack for my departure to serve as the officiating rabbi on a Pesach vacation. After resisting many such offers for years – hotels in the Catskills, Florida, Arizona, Cancun, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Antarctica, I was asked to fill in for a colleague on one of these Pesach getaways. My good friend, Rabbi Shloimee Glandolowitzberg, was committed to a venue, but had to cancel at the last minute because he had something caught in his throat. So I will now serve as the official rabbi on the Roy Cohn Kosher LePeysach Gay Cruise to the Greek islands. 

Strangely, the organizers have suggested that I come without my Basherte, Feigeh Breinah, insisting that I will have a lot more fun that way. So she will be with the Kinderlach and Einiklach, while I sacrifice by bringing Toirah to a community of Erlicheh Yidden. Indeed, I had originally declined the offer, since I was planning to be in Eretz Yisroel for Yuntif. I explained to the organizers that Pesach is Klal Yisroel’s celebration of exiting Egypt and traveling to Eretz Yisroel, which, as the Toirah tells us, is “Eretz Zuvass Chuluv U’Dvash”, “a land flowing with milk and honey”. But they responded that the cruise will be quite similar: It will be flowing with something that looks like milk, and something else that almost has the texture of honey, but comes out of a tube. I do not know what they mean, but I look forward to being Mekayaim a new Mitzvah!

In addition, they told me that there were some additional Minhagim on the annual cruise that I would find interesting. Apparently, instead of dipping only two times – Ein Mol In Zatlz Vasser, Un Ein Mol in Charoisess – they dip a third time, after the Afikomen and Chad Gad Yuh, and suggested that I might enjoy it. Again, I am not familiar with such a Minhag; perhaps it is a Sephardic custom. But I can certainly appreciate the Mesiras Nefesh of maintaining a local Minhag. 

Pesach is a time of different behaviors and liturgy and cuisine. We spend more time preparing for Pesach that we do actually celebrating it. Great credit goes to our wives for their commitment to creating Butey Ne’eman BaYisroel, good Jewish homes. In my own home, my wife takes charge of all of the Pesach preparation. She does all the planning. She does all the shopping. And even if she does not do all of the cleaning herself, she makes certain it is all completed. What a Tzadeykess! I knew last Moitzee Shabbos she was preparing to turn the entire kitchen over for Pesach when, immediately after Havdalah, she began ironing her Gestapo uniform. By the time we had Kashered the stove, the sink, and the counters, put all the Chometz dishes away, and brought down all of the Pesach dishes from the attic, I was ready to throw myself against a electrified barbed wire fence.

But, as we know, Pesach is not simply a personal or a family celebration. It is a communal one. Ashrenu that in our generation we can embrace Pesach in a way that previous generations could not. Why, a hundred years ago our great grandparents certainly had Matzoh, Marror, wine and Charoisess. Perhaps they had a little chicken or meat, some potatoes and eggs, and if their were Misnagdim, Kneidlach. Our grandparents and parents may have already had some semblance of Koisher LePesach cakes and cookies. But we in our generation have a much greater variety of choices. Koisher LePesach mustard. Koisher LePesach rolls. Koisher LePesach beer. And my favorite: Koisher LePesach breakfast cereal. During the rest of the year we make do with all of the Goyyishe cereals, as long as they have a proper Hashgacha, of course. But on Pesach we are Zoicheh to eat breakfast cereals that are made Lishmah, expressly for Zman Chayruseinu. My favorite is Sugar Frosted Kikee-Ohs, although my Einikel Binyamin Soirer U’Moireh loves Choco Aleph Baizes. 

It is an ironic thing, of course: These cereals cost $28 a box before Pesach, but the day after Pesach the stores cannot give them away. I heard that last year the local Toimchei Shabbos was collecting unopened Pesach food for the poor: Cans, Matzoh, cocoanut covered marshmallows, etc., but had a big sign on their collection bin, “No Kosher For Passover Cereals, Please. Our Recipients May Be Needy, But They Are Not THAT Desperate”.

But what we have done in our generation is not that different from the actions of our predecessors. “B’Chol Dor VaDor Chayuv Udum Lirois Ess Atzmoh Ke’Iluh Hoo Yutzuh MiMitzrayim.” “In every generation, a person is required to view himself as if he (himself) escaped from Egypt.” The strength of our tradition has been the ability of our nation to seek relevance in each generation and make the Yuntif, and the ideas it represents, “their own”. Sometimes those additions have resulted in additional guidelines and restrictions that we find a source of annoyance, such as Kitniyois. Sometimes those additions have added strictures that many of us ignore, such as Gebruchs. And sometimes those additions have made Jewish lives so intolerable that CHAZAL had to find a back door to nullify their impact, such as Chometz She-Avar Uluv Al HaPesach, which led to the institution of Mechiras Chometz, symbolic selling of Chometz to a Gentile.

Like with so many other examples in Yiddishkeit, every generation and every community has left its mark on our grand tradition. In doing so, we do not abandon the notion of the Divine to the distant, irrelevant, somewhat unknowable past, but seek to embrace the Divine in our own lives. We pursue active engagement with the Reboinoisheloilum to satisfy our own spiritual cravings, as well as to have an excuse to take a few days off from work at the beginning of Spring.

I am reminded of a Ma’aseh Shehoya. One year the Vilna Goyn was leading the Seder at his Yeshiva, surrounded by his family and hundreds of his Talmidim. He had just made Kiddush on the first cup of wine and began to recite the Hagaddah, “Kol Dichfin Yaysay V’Yaychol, Kol Ditzrich Yaysay V’Yifsach”, “All who are hungry should sit down and eat; all who are needy should sit down and partake of the Karban Persach.” At that point, a homeless man dressed in tattered clothing entered the Yeshiva dining room and pulled up an empty chair to the table.

“Sir, what do you think you are doing?” asked the Gruh.

“Well, Mr. Goyn, I am hungry and needy, and I am taking up your offer to join your Seder” responded the man.

“Schmuck!”, the Goyn screamed, “Do you think I really mean this stuff that was written over 1,500 years ago? Next thing you know, you will expect me to believe that 600,000 people left Egypt! How the hell could 600,000 males, plus their families, live in the desert for forty years?! What were the Jews, a group of people, of a bunch of camels?!!”

At that point the vagrant revealed himself to be Eliyahu HaNavi. “Reb Goyn”, he said, “you are indeed wise. The miracles did not really happen the way the Toirah and Hagaddah describe, but we celebrate them anyway, to give meaning to our everyday lives. But you have rejected someone genuinely in need, and for that you will be punished by being known throughout history as a heartless Misnagid who has about as much spirit in him as a twice squeezed lemon has juice.” The man then took away all of the Afikoman presents left under the tree and left the building.

That night, the Goyn was very disturbed. He was wrought with guilt and confusion. Finally, Hakadoshboruchhu came to him in a dream. “Goyn, what is the problem?” He asked.

“Your messenger Eliyahu HaNavi showed me tonight what a selfish person I am, and told me I will be punished for all eternity as a result.”

The Aimishteh laughed a hearty laugh. “Goyn, that was no Eliyahu HaNavi! That was the Baal Shem Toiv playing a practical joke on you. He even took all of your Afikoman Tchatchkees to sell in order to buy vodka for his followers.”

“You mean I am not punished?!!” asked the Goyn, relieved.

“Well, you are a cold Misnagid. That is punishment enough, since you can only see what is in front of you. But I guarantee that the Baal Shem Toiv is also punished, since he can only look under the surface and cannot see obvious truths in front of him. Until you learn to live together, you will both be lost.”

Excitedly, the Goyn asked, “And at that point, will we be Zoicheh to witness the Geulah Shelaymah?”

“Well, not exactly. But your respective descendants will happily go on Gay cruises together.” With that the Reboinoisheloilum departed the dream, and went off to visit with some worshipers at a Hindu temple.

So every generation finds new ways to instill spiritual meaning and relevance. For one generation, it was Kitniyois. For another, it was Gebruchs. For countless others, it was the development of new creative recipes and additions to the Pesach liturgy. And for some in our day, it is the recreation of “a land flowing with milk and honey”, hopefully using proper precautions, if you know what I mean. Ashrenu that in our generation Klal Yisroel can embrace Pesach in ever more creative ways!

Ah Zissen Yuntif, You Minuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess