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Friday, July 15, 2016

Parshas Chukass


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Parshas Chukass

This week's Parsha, Parshas Chukass, has more action than an episode of Desperate Housewives. Let's see:

-- There are four confrontations with other nations, three of which result in wars
-- There are two rebellions of Klal Yisroel against the Aimishteh
-- Moisheh Rabbeinu, undoubtedly prompted by his good-for nothing brother, Aroin Hacoihain, the minuval, hits a rock and loses the right to enter Eretz Yisroel
-- Aroin Hacoihain dies (or at least he claims to; I think he actually returns to Egypt to open a falafel stand in a strip mall)
-- We learn about the Parah Adumah, the laws of the red heffer.

Once again, we are confronted by the key questions: Why do the Jews always rebel, those Behaimas? And why doesn't Hakkadoshboruchhu just wipe them out once and for all? (That way, we wouldn't have to read from the Torah every week and I could get home by 11:00 am, in time to watch the end of Saturday morning cartoons -- Er, I mean learn Daf Yoimi.)

If we look at all the grievances that Klal Yisroel raised in the desert, they are largely around sustenance (food and water), security (in the face of hostility from local nations) and leadership (either panic in the absence of Moishe, or challenging his authority). They frequently long to return to Egypt, where they likely still have active bank accounts and unredeemed frequent flyer miles. They never long for a hot shiksa or a ham sandwich, unlike you, you mamzer.

According to the Tzitz Eliezer, all of this boils down to one simple question: Why did the Aimishteh have to make it so difficult on Klal Yisroel? If we are warned against entrapment in the rule known as Lifne Iyver, is not the Reboinoisheloilum bound by the same rule? If He has already selected the Bnei Yisroel as the Chosen People, rescued them through the Exodus, split the sea, given them the Toirah, etc., why can't He just cut them a little slack? Does He really need to constantly test them? Give them some water, for Reboinoisheloilum's sake. Maybe even give them a coke machine in the desert. Provide catering. Give them machine guns; Oig Melech Habashan's bows and arrows won't stand a chance.

Is it that He is bitter? Is it that He likes to see Klal Yisroel suffer, or that He seeks validation from their prayers? Does He enjoy inflicting plagues that wipe out 10,000 minuvals at a time?

This question relates to a tale about the MAHARAL Mi-Prague. One Sunday afternoon the MAHARAL was taking the Golem for a leisurely walk in the zoo in downtown Prague. Noticing a gum wrapper on the floor, he pointed to it and said, "Goilem, please don't ever litter like that." The Golem stared at him blankly, and then suddenly picked him up and threw him over the fence into the monkey cage. The monkeys proceeded to climb on his beard, swing from his tzitzis, and make Mei Raglayim on his hat.

That night the Reboinoisheloilum came to the MAHARAL in a dream. "Why did you let the Goilem humiliate me today in the zoo?" the MAHARAL asked? The Aimishteh, half paying attention, looked up from His newspaper and responded, "Iyoiv (Job), I kill his whole family and he doesn't complain, but you get upset at a dry-cleaning bill!" Upon waking up the MAHARAL immediately renounced his faith and joined the Ethical Humanist Society. (He later returned to the faith when he was told by his congregation that they would not allow him to collect his pension otherwise.)

So the MAHARAL, trying to do a good deed, ends up being punished. Was it wrong that he renounced the faith? Is it wrong for Klal Yisroel to panic in the desert or make what seem like reasonable demands? Indeed, was it wrong for me, when I visited Eretz Yisroel last month, to insist on getting a steep discount on my real estate investment, because while I love the Land of Israel, I suspect the value of my property on a hilltop overlooking Shchem is not going to go up anytime soon?

There is a gemarrah in Yoomah that brings down a famous machloikess between Rava and Abaya. The debate goes as follows: Rava holds that in shul on Yoim Kippur everyone must kneel on the floor four times. His reasoning is that this must be done to show humility before the Aimishteh. But Abaya holds that only half of the congregation has to kneel, while the other half stands around and gossips about the schmucks lying with their knees on dirty paper towels and their faces on the floor. Abaya explains that according to him, there actually is no God, and religion is simply a human construct. He proves the nonexistence of God from a possuk in Beraishis, Perek Yud Daled. Abaya concludes that there is no better way to commemorate this fact than to gossip on the most somber day of the year.

Toisfois comments that real argument here is not about whether or not the Aimishteh exists. Koolay Alma Lo Pligi – everybody knows -- that both Rava and Abaya were thrown out of yeshiva for being atheists, as well as for smoking on Shabbos. Rather, their argument is over the nature of the universe: Rava believes in Karma, that for every action, there is a counter-action. But Abaya holds that everything in the world happens completely at random.

This week's Parsha stands as additional proof of Abaya's position: No matter what they do, Klal Yisroel cannot win. They have to starve. They are attacked. When they complain, they are smitten. Moishe Rabbeinu, for all his personal sacrifices, doesn't even get to enter Eretz Yisroel. And to top it all off, the Bnei Yisroel are told that if they sprinkle each other with the ashes of a red calf all of their spiritual impurities will magically go away.

No, look as hard as you will, you will not find a rational center to the world. Which is why we are required to keep three basic precepts: Judge others as if we were the Reboinoisheloilum; complain as much as possible about the most insignificant things; and act as if we know all the answers about everything, rather than admit ignorance even once, chass v'sholom.

If we follow these basic principles, we may create Hakadoshboruchhu for ourselves and generate a rational nexus for the world. We may save money. And, most importantly, we just might make ourselves more attractive to hot Shiksa desperate housewives.

Ah Gutten Shabbos You Minuval

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, July 08, 2016

NEW -- Ask Rabbi Pinky: A Gevaldickah Business Idea


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NEW -- Ask Rabbi Pinky: A Gevaldickah Business Idea


Rabboisai,

I was sitting in Bais Medrish learning a beautiful Toisfois the other day when I received a “ding” on my Koisher smartphone – AKA my “not-so-smartphone” – informing me that I had received a new e-mail. I was excited, of course, because I thought that I had received a new Drasha from Aish, or from Gush, or from Chabad, or from Yeshiva University, or from Toirah.Com – those anti-Semites, or Yeshivassss Choivevei Toirah, those self-hating Jews, or from JOFA, those Shiksas. But no – it was a deep and insightful Shailah and business proposal from an anonymous Talmud named “The Emesah Menuval”.

I share the Shailah here with you, as well as my response, because I believe that every day provides new opportunities to learn Toiras Moishe Rabbeinu. Every moment!

You can be getting in an elevator and BAM!, the closing of the doors inspires a Chiddush. Or you can be getting into the same elevator and notice some Machsheifah with a tattoo, and just before you look away in disgust, you notice that the woman has the Shaym HaMefoirush tattooed over one large bosom, and the Yin/ Yang symbol tattooed over her other large Bosom, and you realize that her tattoos are a declaration that Hakadoshboruchhu keeps the Oilum in balance, either by feeding us and nurturing us and providing for our every need, or by flashing someone’s abundant Tzitz in front of us, thereby distracting us from getting into a fist fight over who will make a worse president, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and instead driving us to find the nearest Bais HaKeesay to…. ummm.... Wrestle With The Rabbi, if you know what I mean….

Shoyn.

------

Reb Pinky, Shlita

I am in the process of developing a new service for acheinu klal yisrael and your assistance on two matters. My first request is to ask you to head up the rabbinical bored to address regular halachic questions that will come up while providing our service. My second request is to ask your permission to use your name, see below. Yes your chashuva name has true marketing value.

Recently there was a news story about the first successful penis transplant. In addition, with all the gender confusion issues society is experiencing there appears to be a new market of donors and recipients. So we are planning on starting a new type of shadchan service for that very special makom mitzvah. As a side note this might be a real solution to the shidduch crisis. When the the bais yankiff principals and kallah teachers find out how many bochurim received an African dip stick they will lobby the rabbonim to remove the cheirem rebbanu gershom just so that each Jewish maidel should have the experience.

We're considering the name of the business to be "Sim na yirecheich tachas yireichi". And so here are my shailos for you. Can someone do a proper chalipin with this makom mitzvah? if a person receives a putz that doesn't have a bris, is he required to have a bris performed on this heiligah cheftza? and if a bris needs to be performed does it have to be done before or after the hardware is attached? in short is this a din in the cheftza or the gavra? and if someone receives a real generous cheftza do we now have a new definition of a gavra rabbah?

As you can see from the listing of questions above you will be kept very busy as part of the rabbinical bored. If the business grows I would offer you an option to join the bored of excuses.

Our product line is expected to include:

the Richard
the deluxe Richard
the long john
the African dip stick
the Oscar Meyer (best for metzitzah b'peh) is a bracha required by the kurva?
the Veiner Shnitzel (best for metzitzah b'peh) is a bracha required by the kurva?
the Shmuck
the Putz
the weiner
(we expect the product line to grow)

and for those women who don't want to feel anything perhaps we can offer the Pinky Schmeckel. Please confirm if you will grant us permission to use your name.

We are also accepting investors.

The Emesah Menuval

----
Dear Emesah Menuval,

Thank you for your wonderful letter and for including me in your business planning. Yes, indeed, modern science and modern medicine have enriched the lives of many. Of course, I do not believe in such Bubba Maises. I am tired of people trying to tell me that the earth is round and that the earth revolves around the sun. After all, the Gemarrah tells us otherwise, and WOULD YOU QUESTION THE ACCURACY OF THE GEMARRAH, YOU MECHUTZIFF?!?!

So an Erlichah Yid does not believe in modern science or modern medicine… unless of course he needs a kidney transplant, in which case he deserves to be raised to the top of the kidney recipient list, or is able to purchase a kidney harvested from a Kidney Farm, AKA a Gentile.

As I have written elsewhere – in http://rabbi-pinky.blogspot.com/2016/06/on-modesty.html -- it is becoming customary for Jewish Men to follow the lead of Jewish Women: Just as a woman out of modesty covers her Ervadickah hair with a Sheytel that is often more attractive than her real hair, so too men have started to wear artificial Schmeklach outside of their pants to preserve a man’s Tzniuskeit as well. And as a woman typically has several Sheytlach for different occasions, so too a man should have multiple SheytSchvantzes™.

Bameh Devarim Amurim? – When were these words said? When discussing the issue of modesty, and related specifically to an artificial supplement rather than a replacement.

However, your new business idea does not relate to modesty per se, but to a medical transplant, a replacement. Have you indeed sunk so low that you would suggest replacing that which the Aimishteh gave you with the Eiver of another? Sure, you would take a kidney, or a heart, or Eppis a piece of liver, if it will save your life. But an Eiver? Is such a thing permitted?

Well, as you know, CHAZAL knew EVERYTHING and anticipated such a situation. Reb Saadia Goyn wrote in his Sefer HaHakkarah that “On a man’s wedding night, a Chosson must introduce his Eiver to his new Kallah, whether it is a massive Babylonian Shoifar or a teeny-weeny-tiny Ashkenazic Dreidel. But if the Chosson is embarrassed by his Eiver, he may use a substitute.”

The Mechaber of the Shulkhan Arukh and the RAMAH have different interpretations of what Reb Saadia meant. According to the Mechaber, the term “a substitute” actually refers to a man’s Chavrusa, as in “Hey, Ploiny Almoiny, I am getting married tonight, but my Schvantzyl may not be up to snuff, so can you please ‘recite a Toisfois or two’ on my behalf?”

However, the RAMAH argues brusquely against this interpretation, referring to Reb Yoisaiph Caro as a “silly Sephardi sex maniac”, noting that such an action would be a Dioraisah of Eishas Ish and would cause the Chavrusa and the new bride to be Chayuv Misah, while entitling the young husband to a full dowry and inheritance from the bride’s family. Rather, the RAMAH suggests that the term “a substitute” refers to “an artificial alternative that supplements a man’s natural Bris Milah, enabling a Chosson to quickly bring pleasure to his Kallah so that he can get back to the Bais Medrish and learn Mussar for twenty hours a day”.

Of course, it is not clear what the RAMAH’s term “artificial alternative” means.

According to the Schvantz Mordechai, this refers to “an inanimate object” that complements a man’s natural Makoim HaMilah, referred to in Yiddish as a “Tdilldoy”.

However, according to the Tzitz Eliezer, an expert in Halachic medical questions, the term “an artificial alternative” can refer to “any form of supplement or replacement, even an organic replacement, as long as the alternative comes from a non-Pagan, which eliminates Hindus, Celtics, Wiccans, and Lubavitchers.” Unquote.

So, my beloved Talmid, the issue is Nisht Azoy Pashut, it is not so simple. It is not clear that penile replacement is Halachically acceptable. However, for those who feel strongly about it, Yaish Al Ma Lismoich – there is a credible Rabbinic to rely upon.

With regard to your offer that “for those women who don't want to feel anything perhaps we can offer the Pinky Schmeckel”, I take personal offense to that suggestion. My Bashert, Feigeh Breineh, has never complained even once about my equipment. Well… perhaps she has tried, but it is really difficult to make out what she is saying when she has her leather S&M mask on. So Shtikah K’Hoida’ah.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Menuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, July 01, 2016

NEW -- My Israel Tour Diary


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NEW -- My Israel Tour Diary


Rabboisai,

I was on a plane coming back from Yeshiva business in Eretz Yisroel. After protesting to the anti-Semitic flight attendants, Resha’im Arrurim, that I could not possible be seated next to a woman on the airplane, especially one who weighed 400 pounds and smelled like matjes herring, I was seated next to a Feineh Mensch who was similarly dressed to me. Boruch Hashem.

So we began to speak to each other. What is your name, I asked him. "Reb Shloimoi Libi" he responded. Where are you from, I asked him. He responded that he is from Far Rockaway. In response, I told him that I am from Boro Park, Ir HaKoidesh.

I then asked him where he learned. He responded "Baltimore. And you?" I responded "BMG".

We then started comparing which Rabbanim we had gotten Brachois from while in Eretz Yisroel. Reb Shloimoi told me that he received a Bracha from Belzer Rebbe. I told him that I had received a Bracha from the Gerrer Rebbe. He told me that he received a Bracha from the Rosheshiva of Ponovitch. I responded that I received a Bracha from the Rosheshiva of the Mir.

And so it went.

I told Reb Shloimoi that I visited the Kever of the Babba Sali, and he responded that he visited the Kever of Ovadiah Yoisaiph. I told him that I visited the Kever of Rav Issur Zalman Meltzer, and he responded that he visited the Kever of the Chazoin Ish.

Advantage Reb Shloimoi.

Then we started comparing where we Davened.

Reb Shoimoi told me that he had Davened Shacharis at the Maaras HaMachpelah, Mincha at Kever Rochel, and Maariv at the Koisel HaKatan (a small part of the Western Wall only accessible in the Moslem Quarter). I responded that I had Davened Vasikin at the Koisel, Mincha at Kever of Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel, and Maariv in Tzfas, on the hill where the Ari ZAHL and his acolytes would Daven on Friday nights (that is where the prayer Lecha Dodi was introduced).

Advantage me.

I mentioned that during this trip to Eretz Yisroel, I took a side trip into Jordan, and said Tehillim at Nebe Mussa, the site believed to be where Moishe Rabbeinu observed the Promised Land from across the Jordan River and then went off to die. Reb Shloimoi responded that he went up to Har HaBayis and secretly recited Tehillim while being watched by members of the IDF, the Waqf, the U.N., and the Better Business Bureau.

Advantage Reb Shloimoi.

Reb Shloimoi mentioned that en route to Eretz Yisroel he visited Uman in the Ukraine, and Davened at the Kever of Rabbi Nachman of Bresslov, while being escorted by a bodyguard. I responded that en route to Israel I stopped in Bagdad and Davened at the Kevarim of Abaya and Rava, while wearing a flak jacket.

Advantage me.

I mentioned that I protested at the Women’s Tefillah (Tiflus) Group at the Koisel, and was nearly arrested. Reb Shloimoi reported that he protested at the Jerusalem Pride (Toieivah) Parade, and was arrested.

Advantage Reb Shloimi.

At mealtime, Reb Shloimi insisted that he only eats BADATZ Hashgacha, as he does not trust the Rabbanut when it comes to Orlah and possible leftovers from Shmitah. I responded that I only eat meat that I slaughter myself, and, in order to avoid the Chashash of Orlah and Shivi’is, I only eat produce that carry the Hasgacha of HAMAS in Gaza.

Advantage me.

I told Reb Shloimi that while in Israel, I heard great Shiurim from Reb Zeidel Wolf Rosenbaum and from Reb Berl Rokach. He responded that he heard fantastic Shiurim from Reb Nissel Rosenbaum and from Reb Mordechai Dovin Unger.

Advantage Reb Shloimi.

Reb Shloimi told me that he had trouble reaching the Koisel one evening because of some swearing in ceremony being held by “the IDF army”. (Author’s note: I actually heard someone say those words on a plane two weeks ago, after I had the privilege to witness that Tekes HashBa’Ah for a brigade of Israeli paratroopers.) I replied that I lay my body across an archaeological dig at the side of a construction site, to prevent the self-hating-anti-Semites from Chass V’Sholom disturbing Philistine bones.

Advantage me.

I told Reb Shloimi that I had carried $1,000 in Shaliach Mitzvah money which I used to endow a new Shas to a Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. Reb Shloimi responded that he had carried $10,000 in Shaliach Mitzvah money which he contributed to the political coffers of the Degel HaToirah political party.

Advantage Reb Shloimi.

Finally, Reb Shloimi boasted about how at eight days old, his Bris Milah was performed by the most prominent Moihel in Far Rockaway, and that the Moihel performed Metzitza BiPeh Melei’ah, without the use of a glass tube. I responded that at eight days old my Bris Milah was performed by the finest Moihel in all of Brooklyn, who also performed Metzitza BiPeh Melei’ah, and that to ensure that the Zchus lasts me for my entire life, I have my Bashert, Feigeh Breineh, perform Metzitza BiPeh on me once a month, and twice if I am really lucky.

Definitely advantage me.

-------

Rabboisai, I share this episode with you because, in retrospect, I am not proud of it. This exchange, this competition, if you will, is focused on Mitzvois Bain Adam LaMakoim. It is focused on service to the Divine, with little or no consideration for our fellow man. Would that we equally value Mitzvois Bain Adam LeChaveiroi, valuing considerations of other human beings.

I am reminded of a famous Maiseh Shehoya about the Kutzker Rebbe. As is well known, the Kutzker stressed poverty and humility amongst his Chassidim, so that worldly concerns would not serve as a distraction. Many of his Chassidim were known to walk around in tattered clothing, and some even used cabbage leaves to cover their heads, instead of hats. (Note: This is in fact documented.)

At the end of his active life as a Rebbe, the Kutzker had his famous episode, where at the Shabbos Table he splattered his wine, extinguishing the Shabbos candles, and declared to all in attendance, “Lessssss Din V’Lessssss Dayan”, a famous expression from the Aggadah meaning “There is no Law, and there is no Judge”.

That night, the Reboinoisheloilum came to him in a dream. “Menachem Mendel”, Hakadoshboruchhu asked, “What are you doing? You are fucking with my shit!”

The Kutzker panicked. “Amishteh”, he replied, “Sorry about the whole Shabbos candles and existential crisis thing. I had a bad day. The Lulav isn’t quite standing up the way it used to, if you know what I mean.”

The Reboinoisheloilum responded. “Menachem Mendel, I do not care about the Shabbos candles. And your blasphemous statement did not bother me. Do I look like a judge to you, for Mysakes?”

“However”, continued Hakadoshboruchhu, “when you stress humility to your Chassidim and make them live like they are paupers, you are not teaching them values, you are creating a cycle of poverty, since they cannot support themselves and their family, and making them look like total Schmucks. Remember, Menachem Mendel, ‘Humility’ is NOT the same as ‘Humiliation’. And if you cannot tell the difference, then you probably ought to retire and play golf.”

In the morning, the Kutzker decided to follow the Aimishteh’s advice, and committed to becoming a recluse for the last twenty years of his life. The only regular appearances that the Kutzker would make was at the Oorah Annual Chinese Auction, where every year he would bid on a new Lexis, but would never win. However, he would always go home with a consolation prize: a new head of cabbage, which would address his head-covering needs for the entire year.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval


---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, June 17, 2016

On Gay Marriage and Mel Gibson


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On Gay Marriage and Mel Gibson

This week I was traveling with my Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, to San Francisco for the Chassanah of her cousin Yerachmiel Guttvuch to Rebbetzin Morris Goldenbergsteinowitzsky. Under the Chuppah, Rebbitzin Morris walked in circles around Yerachmiel six times, but on the seventh circle tripped on his Gartel, which looked a lot like something out of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

So went our entry into the newly transformed world of institutionalized Mishkav Zachor.

Later that day, my Bashert and I returned to our hotel, and after a quick mitzvah involving fur-lined handcuffs and a rider's crop, we decided to order in a little Traifus and watch a movie on Netflix. We thought we were ordering up some soft core porn, Chass V’Sholom, so imagine my shock when “The Passion of the Christ” started: I looked up at the screen and saw Yushka Pandra, Koihanim, Am Haratzim, long haired Apikorsim, torture, and Tzailems.

Ich Vais -- what a disappointment! Two and a half hours of R Rated Hollywood magic, and not even a hint of skin! It was enough for me to open my laptop and dig up my downloaded pictures of Rebbetzin Kutler engaging in Zumba!

The whole episode poses a series of disturbing questions about our changing world:

- What should a Ben Toirah's attitude be towards gay marriage overall?

- How should we relate to a film written and directed by Mel Gibson about Yushka Pandra that may raise the specter of age-old anti-Semitism and deprive us of discounts on goods and services?

- If you watch "The Passion of the Christ" and you eat cholent, popcorn, or fried Chazer knuckles, can you make a Bracha, or will the Aimishteh get insulted and think you are praying to someone else, if you know what I mean?

- What's Pshat in an R rated movie with less hot Shiksa action than a benign exercise regimen?

I am reminded of a famous Medrish in Eichah Rabba about Hillel and Shammai. Hillel and Shammai were best friends who shared everything. Hillel was the Nasi, the Patriarch of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisroel, and Shammai was the speaker of the Sanhedrin. They lived together in a small Tudor style house, where Shammai loved to tend the garden on weekends. Once, while on a business trip to Chevroin on a Friday they realized that it was nearly Shabbos, and decided to be Toivel Zein in the river. Shammai wanted to go in first, insisting that because he was older, that was his right. Hillel wanted to go first, insisting that he was entitled because he was the Nasi. This was an argument that shattered their relationship.

When it became time to divide their physical assets, neither wanted to give up his share of the house. So they divided the house in two. Shammai got the dining room, the kitchen and one of the bedrooms, while Hillel got the living room, the office, and two bedrooms. However, whenever they talked about the house, each one referred to it as his own, so Hillel's half became known as Bais Hillel, and Shammai's half became know as Bais Shammai. Shoyn.

The Medrish tells us that when dividing their joint property, Hillel and Shammai approached the assets as business partners, but had Yoichanan the Koihain Gadol serve as mediator. This all brings to mind the question: Is a same gender partnership like a marriage? How do chazzal resolve these issues, given that they knew everything, had Ruach HaKoidesh, and were completely infallible, except when it came to avoiding persecution?

A famous Gemarrah in Tainis teaches us about the Talmudic principle of Hekesh, a juxtaposition of verses or opinions that imply a connection between two seemingly disparate ideas. This rule, applied to our new world, has some profound implications.

The biggest opponents of gay marriage in America are also the biggest proponents of the movie "The Passion of the Christ". Which clearly means that to oppose gay marriage is to support the evangelical view of the world, Christ's death, Jewish culpability, the Resurrection, Eretz Yisroel Hashleimah and the 700 Club.

To oppose the film, however, means that you would like Mahmoud Abbas as your next door neighbor, and suggests that the reason you like to stay until 1:00 am in the Bais Medrish with your Chavrusa is NOT because you are really fascinated by that Gevaldikah Toisfois, if you know what I mean.

Indeed, the entire history of Klal Yisroel is filled with similar confusing paradoxes of logic and circumstance. Esther HaMalkah saves Klal Yisroel by playing "hide the scepter" with Achashveiroish. Aron Hacoihain, the Minuval, leads Klal Yisroel into worshipping Avoidah Zorah, yet gets a promotion. King David, Dovid Hamalech, is Mezaneh with his most loyal soldier's wife, and subsequently has the soldier killed, yet still accumulates residential apartment buildings and other valuable investment properties.

At the same time, Moishe Rabbeinu touches a rock and is punished like a three year old child. Yoishiyahu Hamelech leads a significant return to Toiras Moishe, and is rewarded with an arrow through the heart. Rabbi Akiva develops the category structure for Toirah Sheh Baal Peh that we still use today, but later becomes the tragic subject of somber dirges read by starving people twice a year.

Of course, Yushka Pandra was perceived, is perceived, by his followers to be the Moshiach. We ourselves have also longed for salvation. It was that same Rabbi Akiva who once declared Bar Koichba to be the Moshiach. And who is to say he was wrong? (Well, actually the Romans, come to think of it.) The Lubavitcher Rebbe apparently thought that he himself was Moshiach, and years after his death, he lives on, Boruch Hashem, through the infighting of his followers.

Come to think of it, I may be the Moshiach. Follow the logic: I have more Toirah in my Payis than you have in your whole head of hair, you Vilda Chaya. I have never said that I am NOT the Moshiach. And can you think of anyone in our generation more qualified to be the Moshiach than me?

So life is fundamentally complicated and makes no sense to simple minded people like you, you Am Ha’aretz. And if you don't like it, go take it up with the Hakadoshboruchhu.

So how can we possibly understand this complex world?

The Ari Zahl explains the complexities of the world through his conception of the secret workings of the universe. He describes our world as originally designed by the Reboinoisheloilum to be perfect; however, through some cosmic accident, the world became fundamentally flawed. And our mission in the Oilam Hazeh is to rescue the lost bits of Kiddushah, the "holy sparks," that have been scattered throughout the cruel nether underpinnings of the world.

And how do we capture these sparks? By doing Mitzvois. By giving Tzedakah. By focusing not only on Bain Adam LaMakoim, but also on Bain Adam LeChaveiro. By helping old ladies across the street. By being Mezaneh with fat chicks that no one else is willing to sleep with. By opening up your home and your heart to others, even when they are different than you. By helping the widow and the orphan, the single parent and the foresaken child.

Who are we to reject the feelings, the physical needs, or the emotional needs of the Aimishteh’s creations, ALL of His creations, whatever their creed or color or gender or economic status or sexual orientation? So what's a little Mishkav Zachor or Mishkav Nekayvah between friends? This is OUR world, the real world, created by the Melech Malchei HaMelachim, Hakadoshboruchhu, not some fictional construct created out of someone’s imagination.

Indeed, good can come from strange places. Take crucifixion for example. It was the cruelest form of punishment developed by the evil Roman Empire. It was designed to spread fear and intimidation. It killed people slowly, as they suffered from hunger, thirst, and the impact of the elements. However, if I can ever get a hold of Mel Gibson, I've got a big Tzailem in my backyard with his name on it.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess