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Friday, April 20, 2018

Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimer

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Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimer


Baruch Ata Idon’tknow,

Heywhereareyou Melech HaOilum,

Asher Kideshanu BeMitzvoisav Vetzivanu,

Al Sfiras HaOimer.

HaYoim Shmoinah Esrei Alaphim U’Masayim Chamishim Yoim,

SheHaym Alpayim Shaish Maois Va’Sheva Shavuois, VaEchad Yamim LaOimer.


Rabboisai,

Unlike you, you Minuvals, I have not lost count of the Oimer, ever since I was a Kleinikel. I count Sefirah with a Bracha every day, never missing except for that one time in college when I got lucky with that hot shiksa (Boruch Hashem for tequila!). But, thankfully, I was able to count Sefirah the next morning without a Bracha, as I was putting on my Tefillin in Christine’s apartment.

Which brings us the Shailah I address this week:

Yoineh Vuv asks: “Rav Pinky -- May a woman shave her Makom HaErva during Sefirah?”

Yoinelah – This is a Gevaldikkah Shailah! You are Mechavayn to the exact question asked by the RALBAG, the great Medieval Talmidist, Mathematician, and dispenser of at-home Brazilian services to the housewives of Avignon, France.

Before I address your Shailah, Halacha Lemaiseh, I would like to address the overall topic of Sefiras HaOimer.

What is Sfiras HaOimer? We know that from the perspective of the Toirah, we are required to count seven weeks from Pesach to calculate the start of Shavuois, Zman Matan Toirasainu. According to Rabbi Yoichanan, cited in a Braisah brought down in a Gemara in Makkois, this is because 49 days is the length of time required for matzah constipation to be flushed out of the system, so we can be fully prepared for the lactose intolerance brought on by cheesecake on Shavuois. 

But according to Rabbi Yishmael, as mentioned in a Tosefta in Moiaid Kattan, seven weeks is the amount of time it takes for a man to be able to come home from a hard day’s work without having to worry about his wife waiting at the door, barking orders at him about bringing those last three pieces of stray Pesach china up to the attic.

The Oimer was originally grounded in the agrarian cycle of Eretz Yisroel. Later, it came to represent the period of time between Yetzitas Mitzrayim, the Exodus, and the giving of the Toirah. But of course it has also taken on a whole latter day symbolism of semi-mourning. A Gemara in Avoidah Zorah tells us that during Sefirah, we mourn the deaths of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva. There is, however, a machloikess as to why they died.

According to Rav Huna, they died of a plague brought upon them because they lacked Derech Eretz – they did not respect each other. They insulted each other with harsh words and dismissive language, the kinds of things you do all the time, you good-for-nothing Minuval Vilda Chayas.

However, according to Rav Sheyshess, Rabbi Akiva’s students actually died fighting in the failed Bar Kochba Revolt, the second rebellion against the Romans from 131-135 CE. Rabbi Akiva is quoted in the Yerushalmi in Tainis as pronouncing Bar Kochba to be the Moishiach (this is true, by the way). Many of his students enlisted to support the military effort, and to get the government sponsored tuition assistance needed to pay for Rabbi Akiva’s Yeshiva, Yeshivas Ohr HaMaskoiret.

Finally, Rav Puppa holds that the students died in an unfortunate accident. LeOilum, in reality, the Reboinoisheloilum only put in an order to kill 1,000 students. But due to a programming glitch in Hakadoshboruchhu’s Persecution Trading System (PTS), the kill off swelled to 24,000 dead before the system’s safeguards kicked in. A similar thing happened in 1938, but due to a weak regulatory environment, the safeguards did not automatically kick in until there were much heavier losses in the market.So, to commemorate the deaths of so many of Rabbi Akiva’s Talmidim, we take upon ourselves some of the rituals of mourning. 

There was great debate amongst the Rishoinim about which Sefirah-related proscriptions an individual should follow. During Sefirah:

-- The Roish would not shave

-- The Ran would not bathe, except on Erev Shabboskoidesh

-- The RIF would not go to the bathroom. This also enabled him to save a lot of money on food and toilet paper.

These differences of Minhag are reflected in the various Sefirah practices in place in the modern Yeshiva World:

-- In Yeshivas Punuvitch in Eretz Yisroel, the Talmidim do not attend live musical performances

-- In the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, the Talmidim do not listen to music, live or recorded

-- In Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens, the Talmidim do not read or write or speak to each other; they just say Tachanun all day and play with the buttons on their little Hatzalah walkie talkies

-- In Yeshivas Toiras Yoisiaph Smith in Utah, the Talmidim do not drink coffee or smoke cigarettes, and are not Mezaneh with more than three of their wives on any given night.

With regard to your specific Shailah, Reb Yoineh, this is linked to a Pesak of Reb Moishe. Reb Moishe ruled that while the laws of Sefirah requires a man to abstain from shaving as a sign of mourning, if someone makes his Parnassah in the professional world, and his situation requires him to be well groomed, then he is allowed to shave. Notes Reb Shmiel Kalbasavua: We can apply this same rule to women as well. A woman should not shave her Erva during Sefirah. However, if she is required to be well groomed for professional reasons, for example, is an exotic dancer or a Victoria’s Secret model, then she is indeed allowed to shave.

Reb Yoiseph Katski is even more Meikel. He agrees that in principle, a woman should not shave her Erva during Sefirah. However, this should not in any way interfere with any aspect of her life, professional or personal. States Reb Yoisaiph, “If a woman’s overgrown forest is harming her normal patterns of marital activity because her husband cannot find a path through the trees in order to launch his canoe, then she is indeed entitled to clear a path to the lake, though must be careful not to engage in complete deforestation.” Unquote.

Rabboisai, the laws of Sefirah are not simple ones. And too many people in our community do not pay the proper attention to observing this wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the Aimishteh by counting to forty nine and looking like a vagrant. At a cosmic level, Oimer makes us closer to the Reboinoisheloilum by preparing us for the Kedushah of Kabbalas HaToirah. How does the Oimer do this? I admit that I cannot tell you exactly. But this is a point of Mesoirah – it is our tradition of 3,500 years, handed down over many generations, as a Halacha Le-Art Scroll MiSinai.

 Ah Gutten Shabbos, you Minuval.

---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, March 16, 2018

On Sacred Secret Traditions

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On Sacred Secret Traditions


Rabboisai,

I would like to start this week's Drasha by sharing a true story. This past Shabboskoidesh I was engaged in a fundraising trip to a small Shtetyl in Eastern Europe. After Davening, where there was not a complete Minyan, I sat down with three members of the small Kehilla for Kiddush and Moitzee. Discussion spread from comparing Jewish life in the vibrant communities of the United States to the struggles to maintain and sustain a form of Jewish life in a community with only remnants of the robust Jewish life that horrifically disappeared in the Shoah.

At one point, a senior member of the Kehilla asserted that there are many rabbis who believe that Israel's ongoing struggles with the Palestinians, HAMAS and Hezbollah were in fact the cosmic result of the many Jews in Israel who do not observe the Mitzvois. I retorted that what my new friend stated was a philosophical opinion, one which I do not share. I commented that sitting here in the tiny communal remnant of an Eastern European Shtetyl, the notion was impossible to believe, as it was comparable to stating that my family and six million others were slaughtered because of the Reboinoisheloilum’s anger about the Reform Movement or some other such nonsense occasionally voiced by some Rabbonim. I noted my personal belief and the normative Rabbinic dictum that we cannot understand the nature of Hakadoishboruchhu, His, thoughts, or His actions.

The debate went on for a 20 minutes or so, in civil voices and an air of mutual respect, with me referring to the RAMBAM's description of the Aimishteh as being beyond comprehension, and the Kabbalists' efforts to illustrate the nature of the Reboinoisheloilum-head as far more complex than the simplistic linear explanation of the Toirah: If the Jews are good, good things happen to us; but if the Jews misbehave, Hakadoishboruchhu "hides His face". For such simplistic logic did not hold true in history any more than it holds true today.

After Benching, the four of us walked through the traditional Jewish Quarter, and the oldest of the group pointed out the store that was once his mother's bakery, prior to the Shoah.

Shoyn.

-----

Rabboisai

Klal Yisroel is on a downward spiral. Here we are, in the midst of what many feel is a period of Reishis Smichas Geulasainu, the dawn of our redemption, but Klal Yisroel cannot help itself. Just when Eliyahu HaNavi is circling on his flying ass, looking for a place to land, you Menuvals always seem to find some way to screw it up.

I was recently visiting some Talmidim from Lakewood. They are Tzadikim - they never miss a Mincha, even behind bars for embezzling a billion dollars from the retirement funds of many octogenarians - and they reported that in the federal penitentiary there are Yidden who shave with a blade. A blade!!! Why, that is a Dioraisah!!! What can these people possibly be thinking?!?!

Similarly, when I walk the streets of Brooklyn and Yerushalayim I see women who go with their hair uncovered. It is difficult enough for a man like me at this time of year to hold off from masturbating like a monkey while walking down the street, but to be tempted by the fruit of a woman's follicles is beyond what I can bear. (I personally think that the federal government should pay for Sheytels - It would likely significantly lower infidelity, and some rabbis even hold that it would decrease breast cancer.)

On rare occasions I visit the Goyim in Teaneck. Once upon a time, I refused to drink anything but cold water. But I cannot even do that now, since the Teaneckers do not use filters on their water taps and daily consume microscopic crustaceans, Rachmuna Litzlan. What Am Haaratzim!

And recently I saw some data on members of Klal Yisroel going to college. Ah Shandah! What a waste of time when Buchrim are studying Computer Science, Accounting, Medicine, or Law, Chass V'Sholom, instead of learning Toirah all day, sitting in Koilel, and relying on their loving Bashert-lech, the Reboinoisheloilum, and, of course, their father's in law to pay for the house, the cars, the kids, and Pesach on a cruise to the Bahaimas.

Yes, this is a generation that has lost its right to be the Am HaNivchar, the Choisen People.

---

We are of course not the first generation in the history of Klal Yisroel to ponder why the actions of Klal Yisroel do not make sense. Shaving with a blade. Oy Vah Voy!! Women not covering their hair properly. Drinking unfiltered water. Jews going to college - for Reboinoisheloilum's sakes, no wonder Moshiach has not yet arrived!!!

In the meantime, there are other members of Klal Yisroel causing tremendous distractions and causing others to sin. People complaining about sexual abuse in the community. Where? There is no sexual abuse in the Orthodox community!! Maybe by the Reform, Ich Vais. But all of these false allegations are causing donations to fall... errr... are distracting the focus of the world from the wonderful things that Klal Yisroel do for the community, such as Hatzollah, Toimchei Shabbos, and supporting the local prostitute community.

There are even Yidden who are complaining about money "donated" by the government to ensure that our Yeshiva Buchrim and their wives and 12 children are all able to live at a respectable standard: Not working, yet collecting Social Security benefits, Welfare, Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps and other programs. Hey, we are the Tashmish Hamitah-ing Choisen People, and we deserve to be learning in Koilel, married, have twelve children, collect all sorts of public benefits, and drive a Lexus! What could possibly be wrong with this that people should complain?!?!

---

Rabboisai, what I have described above is a clear case of misplaced priorities. Some people are worried about such Narishkeit like sexual abuse and the long term unsustainability and illegality of the lifestyles of many in the Frum community, while instead they should be focusing on the real priorities: Shaving without a blade, women's uncovered hair, unfiltered water, and the dangers of secular education. We need to keep our priorities straight, Hakadoishboruchhu-Dammit!!!

It seems to me that Klal Yisroel has lost its way. We have lost the true lessons of the Toirah. We have been focused on the "revealed" Toirah, and have begun to lose our oral Mesoirah. Some have taken seriously such concepts as "V'Ahavtah Le'Reachah Ka'Moichah" (“Love your neighbor as you would love yourself”), "Im Ain Derech Eretz, Ein Toirah" (“If there are no basic human dignity, there can be no Toirah”), and "Dinah D'Malchusah Dinah" (“The rules of the local civil government apply as rules for the Jewish community”), when in fact, those concepts are just a smokescreen for the True Toirah.

Rabboisai, I have recently been reading a book by Professor Moshe Halbertal entitled "Concealment and Revelation - Esotericism in Jewish Thought and its Philosophical Implications". The book focuses on a trend between the 11th and 14th centuries by a series of different schools of thought to expose the "hidden truths" of Klal Yisroel, the esoteric knowledge reflecting the actual understanding of Toiras Moishe that lay hidden behind the normative TANACH and Talmud.  Because of fear of loss of tradition or loss of control or the message, various rabbis and schools revealed key teachings, often conflicting, which in some cases purported to have been handed down secretly by an entrusted elite.

-- RAMBAM wrote the Moireh Nevuchim, which together with his other writings, presented a synthesis of traditional Jewish though with Aristotelian philosophy and the Arabic science of the era. He also shared secrets on winning at Blackjack.

-- The Ibn Ezra wrote his commentary on the Toirah and other works synthesizing neo-Platonic philosophy, astrology and a strong preference to Pashut Pshat of the Toirah, versus reliance on Midrashic allegories to address textual problems. He also revealed a list to proven pickup lines for men, women and ToomTooms.

-- The RAMBAN spent a third of his time arguing with the RAMBAM, a third of his time arguing with Ibn Ezra, and the remaining third of his time making clouded allusions to Kabbalistic belief in his own biblical interpretation. At the same time, he condemned those who were sharing the secrets of the Kabbalah with the masses. And he hinted at ways to satisfy your woman multiple times per night.

-- The Kabbalists who decided to explain the Toirah and the all Creation by sharing the secrets of Jewish mysticism. Most famous of these works is, of course, the Zoihar, written or compiled by Rabbi Moses De Leon. (Please Note: If you are going to argue that the Zoihar was written by Reb Shimoin Bar Yochai 1200 years earlier then I will be forced to expel you from my Yeshiva.)

What all of these great scholars shared was a commitment to revealing the True Toirah, not the simplistic understanding that an ignoramus like you might derive from your limited knowledge.

Given the crisis within Klal Yisroel today, I, the RAPAS, Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein, have decided that it is time to put in writing the modern hidden truths of the Toirah that have been handed down to me by my father who received them from his father who received them from his father who received them from his step-father; his real father was a well hung blond Cossack. In doing so, I am revealing the Sacred Secret Teachings of the Wise Elders Of Zion, so that these understandings will not be lost to a generation caught up in Narishah Zachen.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 1: Always obey every single Mitzvah Bain Adam LaMakoim – the commandments between man and the Reboinoisheloilum. That means: Daven three times a day (five, if you are Moslem); put on Tefillin; eat only Koisher food; go to Mikvah; wave a live chicken over your family’s heads Erev Yoim Kippur; never carry on Shabboskoidesh; shake a palm branch and 300 dollar lemon at the sky on Sukkois; do not wear Shatnez, you Shkutz, and if you have to shave, Chass V’Sholom, please use an electric razor, but only after sending the electric razor to my brother-in-law to he can dull the blades to the point where you have get a cleaner shave using a piece of cardboard or dental floss.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 2: Always judge the religious observance of other people. Since Hakadoishboruchhu is busy dealing with the messes in Syria, the Ukraine, and the Trump White House, it is up to you to ensure that your family, friends, and neighbors are observing the Halachois according to YOUR standards. And if they are not, please tell everyone you know – it is not Loshon Harrah because they are sinners who are going to hell.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 3: There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to observe any of the Mitzvois Bain Adam LeChaveiroi – the commandments between man and man – as long as you do not get caught.

-- Overcharge your clients – just don’t get caught.

-- Try to sleep with your neighbor’s wife – just don’t get caught. (And for Aimishteh’s sakes, wear a… ummm… Kishka Skin.)

-- Cheat on your taxes – just don’t get caught.

-- Illegally file for Welfare, Unemployment, Section 8, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and every other government paid social benefit – just don’t get caught.

Sacred Secret Teaching Number 4: If you do get caught, Chass V’Sholom, always remember to use one or more of the following responses:

-- Blame the victim. (“He seduced me! Yes, he was only 8 years old, but he had the maturity of a Bar Mitzvah Bochur!”)

-- Talk about the good that Klal Yisroel do. (“So what if we received a few extra dollars from the government; we take care of our community through Hatzollah, Shoimrim, and Bingo Night.”)

-- Blame anti-Semitism. (“This is a specious allegation! Why do you think that there was voter fraud in favor of the Orthodox Jewish judge who will redistrict in favor of Orthodox Jewish real estate developers? So what if the judge got 100,000 votes in a district with only 45,000 registered voters, and none of them are Jewish or could afford housing in the proposed new real estate development! THIS MUST IS ANTI-SEMITISM! Damn that Oibama!!”)

---

Rabboisai,

If we follow these Sacred Secret Teachings that I am passing along to you Talmidim, we can ensure that the Reboinoisheloilum will never “hide His face” from Klal Yisroel again, even when we are sitting behind bars.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Menuval


---------

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Thursday, March 01, 2018

On the Reboinoisheloilum’s Relationship with Klal Yisroel

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On the Reboinoisheloilum’s Relationship with Klal Yisroel

Rabboisai,

I have a splitting headache. Yoimum VaLailah, day and night, I study Toirah, all so I can educate you ungrateful Minuvals. And what is the thanks I get? You talk during my classes, you doze off while reading my Divrei Toirah, you fall asleep on the floor during my Shiurim, and you don't even write me a check. How am I supposed to keep the lights on in the Yeshivah, provide Yayin for Kiddush, Ner for Havdalah, Pas for Orchim, and Condoms for all of my Talmidim?

In a world with a challenging economy, we must all pitch in. The world is changing. Newspapers are disappearing. Retail stores are going out of business. Technology is evolving rapidly. But none of this should affect Klal Yisroel, since Toirah is timeless.

We are told in the Mishnah "Asey Lechah Rav, U'Kne Lecha Chaver" - "establish for yourself a Rabbi, and acquire a friend". What's Pshat "kney", "acquire", as in “purchase”? In this Mishnah there is a Kal V'Chomer, an implicit derivative command: If you are to acquire a friend, how much more must you spend on establishing a Rabbi!

So by reading this e-mail/ blog you acknowledge that you have selected me as your Rabbi. And I expect a little compensation. Monetary compensation. Buy my books. Send me flowers. If you’re a hottie, maybe send me your Gatkes to inspect, Eppis. But even more so, pass along my Toirah to others, write me a check. Seek my advice, write me a check. Get my input on a real estate deal, write me a check. Get a quick Psak from me, write me a check. Have me make a few phone calls to get your son out of prison, write me a check. 

I am now preparing my third book, scheduled for the spring. I am struggling with the title and would like the input of my beloved Talmidim. Here are a few options:

-- Toirah MiSinai - The Thread of Tradition From Antiquity To Our Day

-- Etz Hadaas - The Blossoming Tree of Divine Wisdom

-- Moishe Emess VeSoirasoi Emess - How Following the Path of Moses Will Make You Irresistible to Women

-- David Melech Yisroel Chai Vekayam - Using King David's Method to Sustain Larger Erections and Great Staying Power

Please offer your input. And as you do, write me a check.

-------

Rabboisai

We live in a very confusing time. Our ancestors, may they rest in peace, lived much simpler lives. Most were poor. Most were uneducated. They worked very hard for the little they had. Some aspired to Toirah greatness, but most were satisfied with following the rules, the Halachah, as they understood it. Some sought input from local rabbis or prominent rabbis or itinerant rabbis. But most led simple lives – Davening three times a day, keeping Shabboskoidesh, not eating pork – no matter how inexpensive and tasty it was, and howling at the moon once a month. 

Many had exposure to the Gentile world. Depending on the time and place, the relationship was largely commercial. We sold them eggs. We bought their produce. We ogled their hot farm girls. Occasionally anti-Semitism reared its ugly head, in business interactions, in interpersonal relations, or in pogroms. But our ancestors struggled through their simple, but imperfect lives. Until it all ended with a mighty, cosmic “wham bam thank you ma’am” delivered with a German accent.

Jump to today. The post Holocaust generation has become enamored of its own self-righteousness. The State of Israel has become confused by its own formidable strength juxtaposed with its continued vulnerability. Toirah has become not a luxury for the very few but the forced course of the many. The teachings of the itinerants have become mainstream, as people have embraced the eccentric as normative. The irrational and the mystical have too often won out over nuanced common sense. 

Rabboisai, it is time that we have that talk I have been meaning to have with you. 

Have you ever wondered why Klal Yisroel is still here? If our ancestors kept their loyalty to the Reboinoisheloilum, despite all the hardships, despite the poverty, despite the pogroms, what happened to the simple Biblical equation and contract with Hakadoshboruchhu: We keep His Mitzvois, and in exchange He does not send in the Cossacks, the Moroccans, the Crusaders, or send us to the gas chambers? And if the Aimishteh’s intent was to destroy us, once and for all, why can’t He just get it over with, for Reboinoisheloilum’s sakes? Why do we continue to exist as a People and a Nation? What does it all mean?

Even further: Why do we continue to worship Him? Why SHOULD we continue to worship Him? After the destructions, the expulsions, the massacres, the persecutions, the pogroms, and the Shoah, why should we offer Him our thanks? Does He really deserve our thanks? Does He deserve our praise? How can we in our right minds and good conscience declare “Hodoo LaShem Kee Toiv Kee leOilm Chasdoi”?

These fundamental questions are the core essence of the existential Machloikessin debated by Chazal, accompanied by side bets, smoking Bsomim, and late night runs to KFC for chicken nuggets and gravy to help take care of the munchies.

-- According to the ARI ZAHL, Hakadoshboruchhu is not directly involved in human affairs and cannot be held accountable for anything that happens, ever. He, or rather, It, is a complex entity made up of different forces, the Sephirois, which have their own interactions, elements and personalities, as well as limitations. Through the act of Tzimtzum – Divine withdrawal – the force that is the Aimishteh created a space for humanity to exist. In addition to housing humanity, that space has a gym, a pool, and a party room, though you typically have to reserve it a month or so in advance.

-- According to Reb Yisroel Salanter, however, the Reboinoisheloilum is indeed involved in the activities of the world. But He is not trying to kill us all, just to torture us. Reb Yisroel would often tell his Talmidim in Bais Medrish: “As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport” (a quote from King Lear, you ignoramus). However, according to Reb Yisroel, Hakadoishboruchhu’s murderous rampages against Klal Yisroel are not without reason. We read in Tehilim Nun Tess (Psalms 59) a plea for deliverance from Israel’s enemy, and a curious plea to the Aimishteh: “Al TeHargaim, Pen Yishkachu Ami; HaNiamoi B’Chaylcha V’Horidaimoi, Maginaynu Adonoi.” “Slay them not, lest my people forget, make them wander to and fro by Thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield” (Pasook Yud Baiz, Verse 12).

According to Reb Yisroel, the Reboinoisheloilum is punishing Klal Yisroel for rejecting Christ, His Messiah, and we are destined to remain the “wandering Jews”, an example to all the nations of the punishments that await those who do not accept Christ as their Lord and who do not write checks to Jimmy Swaggart, contribute money to Joel Osteen, or engage in… errr… Biyuh Sheloi KeDarkoh with a local Catholic Priest who likes to give “private lessons” to naughty little boys. Reb Yisroel, of course, made this declaration as he was dating a red headed Hungarian beauty named Christine. He later foreswore this position, and insisted that Klal Yisroel was being punished for not drinking Cholov Yisroel endorsed by his Hashgacha.

According to Reb Levi Yitzchak MiBardichev, Hakadoishboruchhu is indeed trying to kill us all. He detests our arrogance and our money lending and our collecting of interest. He hates our political and social involvement, our pride in achievement, and self-absorption with which actors, models, athletes, politicians and other public figures are Jewish, or might have a Jewish parent, or might have once given Metzitza BiPeh to a Jew. He has had it up to HERE! 

So, according to Reb Levi, the Aimishteh has decided to… ummm… have adult relations with us, and has employed Hitler, Stalin, the Cossacks, Hezbollah, Iran and all of our other tyrannical persecutors to hold His…. ummmm…Bris Milah throughout the process.* However, the Reboinoisheloilum is losing His touch. He is trying to destroy us all, but every time He gets close to wiping us out we get taken in by a nice Gentile family who raises us as their own and protects us, those anti-Semitin.

-- On the other hand, Reb Shomo Kluger holds Farkhert. According to Reb Shlomo, the Aimishteh is actually rewarding us for our loyalty! All of the nations who are evil and who deny His dominion and who are not MeKayaim the Sheva Mitzvois B’Nei Noiach are the ones who will suffer when they are sent to Gehenim to have their Schvantzels used as wicks in the Menoirah of the Third Bais Hamikdash and their Makoim Ervahs used as Bsomim holders. But we, Klal Yisroel, His chosen people, will all sit alongside the Reboinoisheloilum in Shamayim, partaking in His Toirah, eating of the Levyoson, and drinking shots of Schlivovitz. But to earn our seats at His table we must have all of our sins expunged from our records. So it is to our benefit that we are tortured and expelled and persecuted. Sticking our ancestors in the gas chambers was an act of Divine mercy and kindness. Thank you, Hakadoshboruchhu! 

-- However, Rav Shimon Schkop holds that this question is not legitimate, as it is the product of Jewish self-obsession. Surely we have a history of being persecuted, suffering through oppression, pogroms, and outright massacres, massacres that defined cruelty in the twentieth century. And if indeed Jewish history were unique, we would have no right to thank the Reboinoisheloilum and praise Him and sing “Hoidu Lashem Kee Toiv Kee Leoilum Chasdoi”. If indeed we were singled out like no other nation, then we could truly conclude that the Aimishteh has made a mockery of us.

But the harsh reality is that we are not the only people, the only nation, the only ethnic group, the only religious group who has suffered – through both human hands and the cruel fate of nature. Here are a few examples:

-- In the middle ages there was the terrible Black death, the Bubonic Plague, during which 30% of China and 50% of Europe died, all in all 100 million people.

-- The Native Americans – a group that encompassed 100 million people before the incursions of Westerner settlers – lost over 90% of its population through massacre and disease.

-- The Turkish Genocide following World War One targeted not only Armenians, but Assyians and Greeks as well. The result was the murder of over 1,000,000 Armenians, 750,000 Assyrians (Assyro-Chaldeans), 350,000 Anatolian (Turkish) Greeks, and 70,000 Turkish Kurds, with many more dispossessed, driven from their homes, and sent into exile.

There are indeed many other examples. Why, in the last twenty years alone there have been genocides, in Bosnia Herzegovina and Rwanda. And there have been fearsome natural disasters. 

So, what should we make of this, and how should this fact influence our own relationship to the Reboinoisheloilum?

I am reminded of a Maiseh Shehoya. Reb Aharoin Kutler was learning in the Bais Medrish in Vilna with his father in law, Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer. One of his their students came running in declaring, “The Nazis are coming! You must run and hide.” Alarmed, Reb Isser Zalman began to gather his Gemarras and other Sefarim and run for shelter. But Reb Aharoin did not get up.

“Aharoin”, Reb Isser Zalman said, “Why aren’t you getting up to run into hiding with me?”

Reb Aharoin replied, “All my life I have wanted to be like Rabbi Akiva, who waited all his life to be Mekayaim the Mitzvah of dying Altz Kiddush Hashem.”

“Then you are a Schmuck” Reb Isser Zalman said. “Rabbi Akiva only knew of the Toirah Shebichsav and the early learnings of the Toirah She’Baal Peh. You, on the other hand have the benefit of much more wisdom: The Mishnah, the Gemarah, the Rishoinim, the Acharoinim, and most importantly, the writings of Charles Darwin. Even in a world permeated with Kedushah, we are still subject to the laws of Survival of the Fittest. So get your ass out of that chair before Adolph turns you into a lampshade.”

Recognizing his father-in-law’s wisdom, Reb Aharoin ran into hiding, and was later smuggled to America in a case of matjes herring.

Klal Yisroel are indeed the children of the Reboinoisheloilum, as are all other human beings. Yet our physical and cultural survival over the millennia is unique. We are not immune to the rules of nature or the evil impulses of mankind. But we are still here. We are like Hakadoishboruchhu’s teddy bear: He sometimes walks around with us under His arm, He sometimes drops us, and He sometimes forgets us. But we can still hope that when He goes to sleep at night He will tuck us in right next to Him, so that we can live to see another day.

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* Rashi: In Provantz – “God is fucking us, and Hitler, Iran, etc... are only holding His Schvantzyl.


Ah Gutten Shabbos You Minuval.

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, February 16, 2018

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THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN

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NEW: Ask Rabbi Pinky: On the Forbidden Amongst Us



Rabboisai,


This week I answer and actual Shailah from a Talmid. E.LT. asks:


“Rebbe Shlita,


“I've been struggling with a question for a long time and was not able to find a good teshuva. Perhaps you can help.


“We live in a frum world!!! so frum that I think we've moved to the right of G-D. We have kollelim, ass-kanim and chesed organizations galore. In matters of tznius I see see klal yisroel getting so frum that pretty soon we will be going to chasunas where the chosson and kallah have yichud in separate rooms. We've acheived all this progress while sending the message that we shun the outside world and don't buy into their shtusim and ideologies.


“However, when I think about the common day kollel arrangement, where it becomes the responsibility of the wife to support her husband in kollel, and there was even a machlokes recently if they should be matir the cherem Rabeinu Gershom and allow men to marry two wives so they would be better supported in kollel, we attribute this progress to our mesorah handed down for generations. However, really it's pumpt fahrkert, in truth we can view all this progress as endorsing western ideology and specifically feminism. Can you think of a single movement in America that has sent more women into the workforce and made women the bread winners for their families?


“I would be honored if you bestowed upon me your menuval smicha that is saved only for very few.


“Sincerely, an emesah menuval


“Good Shabbos” 


———


My beloved Talmid, thank you such much for your Heiligah Shailah. You raise some very important issues, and, to be honest, I would have Responded to you earlier except, Rachmana Litzlan, the Reboinoisheloilum cursed me in that I still have my hearing, so I was busy being talked to by my Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, and as my hearing is perfect, unfortunately I do not have a hearing aid that I could turn off.


As I see it, there are three essential questions here:


1) Are we succumbing to the pollution of Westernized thought by allowing, even demanding, that our wives support us financially while we sit in Koilel in front of a Gemarrah, browsing on our mobile phones?

2) Should we be able to marry more than one wife, so that we can sit in Kollel and live our lives at the level of comfort that we deserve?

3) What is the proper role of women in Yiddisheh society? Was the invention in women Hakadoishboruchhu’s ultimate screw up - the creation of a distraction that would lead us to give into our Yetzer Harrah’s every. single. time?

This is a lot to answer in one sitting, and I am afraid that I am going to have to charge you double what I typically charge. Please be prepared to write a very big check out to the Yeshivas Chipass Emmes Rabbinic Discretionary Fund, made out to "C.A.S.H." which I use to support the unfortunate among Klal Yisroel in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic about twice a year.


Answering your first Shailah:  YOU ARE A TOITAL... ERRR... TOTAL AM HA’ARETZ!!! Do you think that the Goyim invented the concept of women working? Of course not!!! They stole the idea from us!!!


From time immemorial, it was the women who supported the men in Klal Yisroel! 


In the Toirah, how did Eliezer know that Rochel Imainu was the intended for Yitzchak Avinu? Why... she had come to the well to get water for her asses, but gave water to Eliezer’s ass first. 

She was working!!!! 

She could have been home, having her nails done, and have asked her Goyta, her Maidservant, to get water for the animals. But, she knew, as a Tzadeikess, that future generations would be looking to her as an example. So she went to get the water herself!! Indeed, according to a Medrish in Beraishis Rabbah, she also worked as a Sheytelmacher, even though Sheytlach had not yet been invented!!!


And how do you think that Yankif Avinu was supported when he was studying in Yeshivas Shame V’Eyver? Sure, that Koilel came up with a little money, but times were tough. Tuition was expensive. His Rabbeihim has to make a living too - and he had terrific Rabbeihim! There was Reb Phil, who when not teaching the advanced Gemara shiur would play basketball with the Buchrim. There was Reb AdoniBaal, who taught Mussar, and who was known for giving the most inspiring Mussar Shmuzin in all of Mesopotamia. And there was Rabbi K, who showed special attention to the Buchrim who had special needs by showering with them and paying them money to engage in “special Mitzvois”.  After all, the Yeshiva was calls “Shame V’Eyver”. 


But Yankif, when he was in Koillel, was supported by his two wives, Rochel and Leah. But, you may ask, didn’t Yankif attend Yeshivas Shame V’Eyver prior to coming to live in Lavan’s house and marrying Lavan’s daughters? Well, you Mechutziff, as everyone knows, Ein Mukdam Oo’Meuchar BaToirah! The Toirah does not follow chronological order! And as there is no reference to Yeshivas Sham V’Eyver in the Toirah anyway, because the concept of a Yeshiva in Canaan is completely absurd, who are you to argue with me?!?! 


And... need I mention, that Moishe Rabbeinu first met Tzippoirah as she was drawing water for her own asses, but gave Moishe’s ass to drink first? Again, THE GOYIM STOLE THE IDEA FROM US!! They stole the idea of the Toirah from us. Many, like the Pope and the leaders of ISIS, cover their heads because they stole the idea from us. And every time a Gentile embezzles money, it is because he store the idea from us as well!!


Shoyn.


With regard to your second question, come now... do you really want to be married to more than one woman? Seriously? 


Are you not familiar with the famous Moshul referred to by Rabbi Yitzchak in Baba Kamma about the man married to an older woman and a younger woman. The older woman pulled out the man’s darker hairs, and the younger woman pulled out the man’s grey hairs. The result? The man was made bald. 


Does a Ben Toirah really need to be Mevatel Toirah in order to engage in mediation between his “sister wives”? No! This is at least one thing we can learn from the Mormons. Rather, if there are economic challenges, then the wife of a Ben Toirah studying in Koilel should stop being so damn lazy and get a second job. Or a third job. Or a fourth job.

 And the man? If he has needs that his one wife cannot address, he can always go to a Pupka for a hand job. Or a blow job.


Finally, with regard to the creation of woman, was this an error on the part of the Reboinoisheloilum? Well... Hakadoshboruchhu is perfect, but He intentionally created a world with imperfections, and our mission as Jews is to engage in Tikkun Oilum, fixing the world. So, we engage in Mitzvois. We give Tzedakah to the poor. We feed the sick. We invest in the undervalued.


And how do we engage in Tikkun Oilum with regard to women? We do not acknowledge them!! In my publications, I have NEVER featured a picture of a woman, ever! And Baruch HaShem, magazines like Mishpacha and Ami do not have pictures of women. And what happens if, Chass V'Sholom, there is a picture of a woman in a group that cannot be removed? Why, then, her face and body should be blacked out, so that the image will not bring a Ben Toirah to sin. I do not know about you, but every time I see the picture of woman in a magazine or a newspaper or on a billboard or on the packaging of a box of pancake mix, I cannot stop myself from masturbating like a Chimpanzee trapped in a monastery. 


And indeed, finally, someone has recently been Mekayaim the Mitzvah of blurring out the faces of women in graphic pictures from the Shoah. I mean.. seriously... do we really care that women were killed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe? Do we care about their names and their faces? Consequently, I implore you, my Talmidim, to engage in a letter writing campaign to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, and the United Nations to reduce the estimates of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust from six million to three million. Because half of those killed were only women, so we simply needn’t count them. As long as we are blurring out their faces, we should blur out their memories as well!! In fact, we should return 50% of reparations to Germany!


Finally, some of you may be asking, “but Rebbe, you refer to your Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, all the time. Aren’t you a hypocrite?” Menuvals!!! Do you think I treat my wife as an equal? No way!! She supports me, with her jobs as a teacher, a Mikva lady, and a massage therapist, but at home, she knows her place! When my Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, is in the house, she must walk around in blackface, and refer to me as “Massah Pinky”. “Feigelah, can you please make me my breakfast?” “Yessir Massah Pinky, and would you like me to bring your slippers as well before I leave for my three jobs this morning?”


Now THAT, my Talmidim, is an Eishess Chayil!”


Ah Gutten Shabbos You Minuval.

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess