Friday, August 22, 2014
My Daughter, The Rabbi
THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN
My Daughter, The Rabbi
Last Friday Night, in the middle of the night, I had insomnia. I walked downstairs, and Lo and Behold, my daughter Bracha was sitting in the Living room, speaking with one of her friends. We all got to talking and determined my daughter's future career:
Bracha – her full name is Bracha Levatala -- is planning to be a nurse midwife. She graduated from undergrad this year, and will be attending graduate school to pursue her career. But before graduate school she is heading off to Israel, where she will be studying in one of the most progressive Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi girls yeshivas, a place where they make Yoatzois Halacha - women who can make rulings regarding Nidah. These women also inevitably get asked "marital relations" questions.
So this is how I predict her life and career will play out:
My daughter is going to become a bit closer to the Reboinoisheloilum and become a Yoetzes Halacha. Then she is going to marry a nice Jewish boy, a rabbinical student who is also studying to be a doctor or lawyer or something.
After becoming a Yoetzes Halacha, or perhaps during that course of study, she is also going to study to be a nurse midwife. And these days, nurse midwives do more than deliver babies; they also perform basic OB/GYN checkups. So women will come to my daughter in her role as a Midwife Halacha for feminine healthcare and rabbinical advice on Taharas Hapishpacha and marital issues.
Now, as part of her practice, my daughter will sell, and ultimately brand, products that she sells to her patients. The products will include:
-- Kosher underwear #1 - They are red, so that women cannot seeing spotting and avoid being declared a Nidah simply due to a little off-cycle spotting.
-- Kosher underwear #2 - Kosher certified edible underwear. (According to the RAPAYIS, the spouse or romantic partner is allowed to get rid of the evidence by eating it, as long as he or she makes the appropriate Bracha.)
-- A vibrator with a built in Shabbos clock, originally invented by the RARCHAK - Branded as "The Shabbos Cock (TM)"
The general website and retail brand for the suite of products will be: "Shalom Bayis Devaiyis" (TM) available at ShalomBayisDevaiyis.Com.
My daughter also has a genuine aspiration to open a birthing center in a natural setting. So we determined that one of the practices of her birthing center will be that once the baby is born, my daughter will hand the baby to a nurse or to the father to hold, and will then feed the placenta to the local bears.
And years later.... While on a family nature trip with her children and grandchildren and her own dithering old father (me), the family will find themselves surrounded by a bunch of anti Semites who are about to kill them. In fact, the dithering old father/ grandfather/ great grandfather (me) will step to the front and declare:
“Shema Yisroel Adoishem Eloikaynu Adoishem Echadddd”
And then, suddenly, from out of the woods, will emerge a group of very well fed bears, to defend the woman who has been feeding them yummy placenta for years.
And - if my daughter and her husband end up moving to China, she will play the same Midwife Halacha role there. Only due to the one child per family policy, which has historically led people to give girl babies up for adoption or even commit infanticide, when a girl child is born, my daughter will also offer to throw the newborn baby girl to be eaten by the tigers.
But the boy children shall be kept, as it is Hakadoshboruchhu’s will.
How should I, a famous Rosheshiva, deal with the fact that my daughter is becoming such a disappointment, missing out on her prime birthing years in order to get a secular education, Chass V’Shalom, and will even study Gemarrah, Rachman Letzlan!!!
I am reminded of a famous Maaseh Shehoya. In the town of Dessel in the Ukraine there was a local Chassidus, the Dessler Chassidim, that looked up to their local Chassidic Rebbe as if he was Moishe Rabbeinu himself.
One day, a distraught Talmid Chachom named Malkiel came to the Dessler Rebbe with a Shailah: He was married to a woman who wanted to stop shaving her head and to begin to wear makeup. Malkiel was worried about the possible impact on their six children, but was willing to allow his wife to engage in such behavior if the Rebbe agreed.
“What do you think you should do?” the Dessler Rebbe asked.
“To be honest, I really do not see the harm in a women engaging in self expression, and it may even help with Shalom Bayis” Malkiel responded.
The Dessler smiled, a wide smile, and his eyes gleamed. He leaned over towards Malkiel, who was sitting opposite him at the table in his Bais Medrish. “And THAT, my beloved Chussid, is why you are a Shmendrick and a Menuval, and I am a Chassidic Master! First a woman wants to shave her hair… and then she will be shaving her Erva! First she wants to put on makeup for her husband… and then she will be putting on makeup for every man in the street! Next she will undoubtedly want to stop having children and get a full time job as a roadside prostitute!!”
The Dessler continued, “Malkiel, better that you had never married your wife than have to contemplate such Modernishe Zachen! But luckily, you have options.”
“What options?” Malkiel asked.
“For one thing, you can give your wife a Get, immediately, and never allow her to see her children ever again. She may offer to shave her head and refrain from wearing makeup, but you can never trust a woman with such a Taivah! Plus she will undoubtedly try to see your children, and they will have to grow up with the Shandah of having a Kurva for a mother.”
“Another option is that you can call the Czar and denounce your wife as a spy. But you never know if the government will arrest you as well. Or even worse, me.”
“But there is one other option…”
“What is it?” Malkiel asked anxiously.
“You can tell your wife that you would like to go on a romantic picnic with her, and take her to the woods outside of Dessel. And when you get to the woods, you can feed her to the bears, who are always hungry.”
“But isn’t that murder, one of the Aseres HaDibrois, the Ten Commandments?” Malkiel asked.
The Dessler Rebbe looked at Malkiel scorningly, “Hey RASHI, the Toirah also says “VeNichrisah HaNefesh HaHee Mai’Ameha, you Mechutziff! Son, you can either destroy your wife’s body now and return her Neshama to the Aimishteh, its rightful owner. Or you can destroy your childrens’ Neshama’s later. You decide.”
With that, the Dessler went off to deliver a Shiur to his Chassidim on which Bracha to recite before tying one’s left shoe.
Rabboisai, I too face such a dilemma. I cry for my daughter’s Neshama, and even more so, for the Neshamas of the people she will be trying to “help” by offering “medical care” and “Taharas HaMishpacha” advice.
Consequently, I will be taking a special bonding trip with my daughter, and will be unavailable for the next week and a half. We will be travelling to China together, touring Beijing, Shanghai, the Great Wall, seeing some of the inner, rural areas, and sampling some of the local cuisine.
And, out of respect for local custom, I will only be buying a return trip ticket for myself. After all, tigers need to eat too.
Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Menuval.
Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess