Subscribe To My Weekly Drasha

Send a message to with the word "subscribe"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Parshas Shmini



NOTE: Rabboisai: You are encouraged to offer comments on my Toirah. I spent thirty freaking years in Bais Medrish just so I could uplift your miserable souls on Shabbos Koidesh for 2 minutes. The least you can do is respond to the blog and offer praise, offer a donation, or at least offer to take out the trash at night. You are ungrateful Minuvals and an Am Kshe Oiref. Keep it up, and next week, I will make you stand at the blackboard and write "I will not be a Vilde Chaya" fifty times...

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. Reboinoisheloilum, 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 Yisroel. 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 Reboinoisheloilum: 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 occurrence. Aroin Hacoihain'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'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 Avihu must have been using the Mizbayach to barbecue ribs, anointing them with a Mesopotamian 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 to the same halachois in place for the Korbonois. He cites a Beraisah 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.


Anonymous said...

Such lomdus.

The Candy Man said...

Since you are now (pathetically) soliciting comments, I will just tell you that this is the most minuvaldeke drivel I've ever read in my entire life and you should be struck with leprosy and put in cherem without so much as a shard of pottery to scratch your back with.

In other words, I love it.

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein said...

Reb Candy Man,

Thank you for your kind words, and your insults.

Are you suggesting perhaps that I am seeking validation? What more apt source for an accusation, than from a Candy Man, who brings lollypops to shul in order to be swarmed by children... Tell me, Minuval, did you have to register with the local authorities when you moved into the neighborhood?

Indeed, in my posting, I am just checking to see if anyone is alive out there. Learning all day in the Bais Medrish, as I do, you don't see too many other people. I'm excited when I bump into the Shabbos Goy in the Bais HaKeesay on Friday nights. What can I say? I have a wide stance;-)

Amber said...

I'm usually just rolling off my chair laughing and can't think of anything good enough to type back. Frequent reader though, I love it.

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein said...


You sound really hot! Are you a Pisces! I think Yirmiyahu once had a Nevuah about a Meideleh named Amber who was a Pisces. And if so, maybe my Bashert Feigeh Breineh will let me ask you out -- for the sake of all of Klal Yisroel, of course.


Middle-Aged Man of Zion said...

I'm a Pisces, are you Rav Kalko