THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN
Election 2008: The Shvartza vs. the Shiksa
Oy, am I confused! I was looking forward to a calm fall season, a relaxing return to my routine schedule of learning Toirah, teaching talmidim, day trading, and arguing with my Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, about whether to drip the chrain directly into the gefilte fish or onto the side of the plate, if you know what I mean. But the Reboinoisheloilum clearly had other plans: What could have been an election season focused on a clear choice between two old white guys has now become a standoff between an over-educated, erudite shvartza whose name sounds like he plays running back for the Al Qaida football team, and a hot shiksa with a little mileage who looks like a cross between librarian and a retired porn star, Kenaiyna Harah.
And to top it all off, I think that I might be able to get away without paying off that mortgage for the Yeshiva’s private retreat facility in Maui.
Many of my talmidim have been calling me well into the night asking me how they should vote in this pivotal election. It was bad enough when it was Oibama vs. Hillary vs. McCain. But now with Sarah (Imainu) Palin, her blue collar husband, and her pregnant daughter in the race, what’s a Ben Toirah to do?
Ich Vais – Everyone in the United States is struggling with this issue, but lucky for Klal Yisroel, we received the Toirah, our guidebook for life decisions, and also a good pretext for declaring my house a Place of Worship and for taking my new 50 inch flat screen LCD TV as a tax deduction. (Indeed, I plan to use it every Moitzie Shabbos to get together with some of my Talmidim to watch documentaries on Hakadoshboruchhu’s commandment to be mekayaim the mitzvah of Pru Urvu.)
There is a very obscure Gemara in Makkois that tells us a Maiseh Shehoya about the selection of the Raish Gelusa. There once was a man named Hamnuna who wanted very badly to be the Raish Gelusa. The previous Raish Gelusa had been removed from the position by the Babylonian authorities after being caught… errr… having relations with his neighbor’s goat. Hamnuna approached all of the town leaders of Pumbedisa, and secured their support. However, the leaders of Sura supported Chisda as their candidate.
In the Second Raish Gelusa Debate between the two, held in the University of Tamuz, Chisda suggested that Hamnuna could not possibly be good for the Jews because he had the word “Ham” in his name. Hamnuna responded that Chisda was sympathetic to the Roman occupiers of Eretz Yisroel, and was also a Baal Keri. Chisda suggested that Hamnuna had his camel serviced in the same desert station as Augustine, the early Church Father and anti-Semite, and must therefore be a self-hating Jew. Hamnuna countered that Chisda was out of touch with the needs of the common Babylonian, given that he was married to the daughter of a wealthy mead merchant and had six tents in different parts of Babylon.
The night before the election, Chisda studied Toirah in the Yeshiva in Sura while Hamnuna went door to door, trying to win over any last undecided voters. In the election, Chisda won by a landslide. That night, Hamnuna prayed to Hakkadoshboruchhu, crying and beating his chest, and demanded to know why he was relegated to finishing second. Suddenly, a Bas Kol came down from Shamayim. “Hamnuna”, the Bas Kol said, “did you explain your positions on foreign policy to the people?”
“Yes, Aimishteh”, Hamnuna responded.
“Did you explain how much experience you have?” the Bas Kol asked.
“Yes, Hakkadoshboruchhu. I even sponsored an infomercial.”
“Then there must be only one reason you lost” the Bas Kol responded. “Clearly they did not like the idea that your skin is darker than your Tefillin and your Bris Milah is bigger than your Lulav. To tell you the truth, I am a little afraid of being alone in a Bais Medrish with you myself.”
In this Ma’aiseh Shehoyo, the Gemarrah tells us how much skin color affected the selection of the Raish Gelusa. But in our day, such issues are far less relevant. Instead, it is more important that we look at qualifications.
Barack HUSSEIN Oibama is an affirmed socialist and a confirmed Muslim. Were it not that he is committed to destroying Israel, supporting Iran, befriending terrorists, raising taxes, giving away my wealth, and providing healthcare to the sick, I might consider voting for him. But alas, even as an eight year old he joined the Weathermen domestic terrorist group. I mean, look who is supporting him: Jermiah Wright, Farrakhan, Colin Powell – all the shvartza radicals! And look at his endorsements: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News, and the Hitler Daily Express.
On the other side of course, you have a serious Ben Toirah and an honorary Bas Yisroel. John McCain, or, rather, Yoichanan McCain, is a modern day version of Rabbi Shimoin Bar Yoichai. Just as Reb Shimoin Bar Yoichai studied Toirah while buried in a cave up to his neck for fourteen years, Yoichanan McCain studied Toirah in the six and a half years that he was locked in a box in Vietnam. He learned all of Shas, by the way, by studying Daf Yoimi in his cage, though he did not have access to the Yerushalmi. He sent all his seven children to Yeshiva, suffering through the high tuitions of the Yeshivas in Arizona. And his wife, Cindy McCain, has one of the best Shaytels in Washington, though it is suspected of coming from Indian hair sources (though there is a machloikess over whether the hair is Navajo or Apache).
Sarah (Imainu) Palin is, however, the more captivating figure on the ticket. She is the mother of five children, Kenaiyna Harah. And while her husband is a Groisse Shaygitz, we know that Sarah Palin is sympathetic to Klal Yisroel, given that her church in Alaska featured as a speaker David Brickner, the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus, who preached, while the Governor was in attendance, about the need to save all of the Yiddesheh Neshamas from Gehennim. Boruch Hashem someone is looking after your Nashama, you mamzer!
Indeed, Sarah Palin is much like her namesake in the Toirah. In Parshas Lech Lecha and Parshas Vayeira, Sarah Imainu presents herself as Avraham Avinu’s sister, so that no harm will come to Avraham during their sojourn. So too, Sarah Palin has positioned herself to support a much older running mate. Indeed, she might be willing to mother a child for Yoichanan McCain, a Ben LiZkunuv, if only Bob Dole were willing to share a little of his Viagra.
In fact, I believe that the Talmud foreshadows the arrival of Sarah Palin on the scene. There is a Beraisah in Maseches Nidah that suggests that a true Aishess Chayil should wear her hair up in a bee hive hairdo, to enable simple loosening prior to entering a Mikvah or a hot tub. According to Rava, the halacha of entering a hot tub or the mikvah is the same in a cold climate, such as Provence or Alaska, but would differ in Eretz Yisroel. However, according to Abaya, there is no difference, whatever the climate.
You might think that this is an obscure discussion about Taharas Hamishpachah and fashion sense. But you are a complete ignoramus who thinks that an Apatropis is a form of mountain goat. No, this Gemarrah speaks directly to the impact that Sarah McCain could have in Washington. According to Rava, the gevaldik impact that Governor Palin had in Alaska, overthrowing the corrupt elites, taking on the oil companies, and defending the United states against Russian and Canadian invasion, will not necessarily translate into success in Washington, which is ruled by an entrenched cadre of self-serving politicians, as well as elected members of the Democratic Party. However, Abaya holds that Sarah (Imainu) Palin will be just as effective in Washington as she was in Alaska.
I would like to suggest that neither candidate combination, Oibama/ Biden or McCain/ Palin, truly has Klal Yisroel’s interests at heart. In what areas do they agree? Koolay Alma Lo Pligi, they all hold, that government should intervene in Wall Street. They all believe in denying me and my talmidim great real estate opportunities… err… that the government should protect mortgage holders from default. They all believe that government should take an equity stake in financial companies. And they all believe that compensation limits should be placed on Wall Street executives. Clearly, all the candidates are Communists!
Similarly, they all “claim” to support Eretz Yisroel… yet they also all support the establishment of a Palestinian State. If I am not mistaken, that involves negotiations with the Arabs, Chass V’Sholom. They all commit to defending the State of Israel, and to supporting Israel in the face of an Iranian nuclear threat. But what does that mean? As we are all painfully aware from the actions of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, the road to Gehennim is paved with the best of intentions. Look at Oslo, Iraq, elections is the West Bank and Gaza, and the current toothless American stance against Iran.
Most importantly, both the presidential and vice presidential candidates subscribe to a belief set that is anathema to Klal Yisroel: They all believe in Yushka. Yushka Pandra: The man who abandoned our great faith in order to found a new movement and come up with worldwide franchise success and a popular Broadway musical. Yushka: The symbol who inspired historical persecutions against Klal Yisroel, and who amongst Evangelicals inspires a vision of either mass conversion or destruction of Klal Yisroel in the “End of Days”. These are your candidates, you minuvals, so I suggest you not get too excited about any of them.
So in answer to the question of who you should vote for: I say go move to France and vote for Sarkozy – At least his father was a Jew. And his wife is a smoking hot shiksa, sort of like a Palin, but without the Evangelical Hashkafa or the pregnant teenage daughter.
Ah Gutten Shabbos You Minuval.