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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Purim Drasha


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Purim Drasha

Rabboisai,

Today we gather together to celebrate the most joyous of all the Jewish Holidays, the holiday of Purim. On this holiday, we celebrate the near destruction of the Jewish People and the exploitation of Esther's Hamalka's bisulta to enable their salvation by getting stinking drunk and trying to be mezaneh with our chavrusa when he himself isn't throwing up.

Chazal have often contemplated the deeper meaning hidden within Megillas Esther, the text that details the story of Purim. Why, they ask, is the name of the Rebboinoisheloilum not mentioned throughout the Megillah, while in contrast, Haman Harasha's name is mentioned so many times that people audibly bang their heads against the wall?

According to the RASHBAM, the Aimishteh refused to have his name attached to the story, as he was repelled by the Machiavellian activities of Klal Yisroel. Such actions include:

-- Mordechai saves the life of the king and doesn't even collect a cash reward (What's pshat with that?)

-- Esther curries the favor of the king by taking hold of his extended staff

-- Once victory is achieved, Klal Yisroel doesn't stop until they have murdered Haman's allies, hanged his sons, and raped his horses.

Says the RASHBAM, Hakkadoshboruch didn't need any of that, as He was still trying to live down the bad press from the whole ten plague thing.

The RITVA disagrees, noting that the RASHBAM dropped too much bsomim when he was in college and was prone to flashbacks while in the Bais Medrish. The RITVA suggests that the reason that the Rebboinoisheloilum is not mentioned is that Megillas Esther is simply not originally a Jewish story. Noting the similarity of the names of Mordechai and Esther to the Persian diety names of Marduk and Ishtar, the RITVA offers that Purim was really adapted from a pagan Persian holiday where Persians would traditionally drink heavily, exchange gifts of food, and kill their wives and replace them with younger women.

But the Toldois Aharoin disagrees with both the RASHBAM and the RITVA. The Toldois Aharoin offers that the Melech Malchei HaMelachim didn't want his name included since He was completely upset by the fact that no one could ever get His name right. He cites a beautiful discussion from the Zoihar: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yoichai, sitting around a campfire with his followers, tells them that one must try to know the Ain Sof, the unknowable aspect of the Omnipresent, by giving it a name. "What would YOU call the Ain Sof?" he asks each of his followers,

One follower responds "Rebbe, I would call Him 'Fred' because that is a name I can relate to, since I once had a dog named Fred, and a dog is man's best friend.". Another follower says, "I will call Him 'Spike', because the Jewish People have a Bris with the Ain Sof, and that is what I nicknamed my Bris Milah when I was sixteen years old." And so they went around the circle.

When the last of the followers had spoken, Rebbe Shimon addressed them. "You idiots," he said, "you cannot give the Ain Sof a proper name! He is unknowable. I spend 13 years in a freaking cave just to teach schmucks like you?" When Rabbi Shimon calmed down, he told them that the Ain Sof should be called the Aibishter, meaning in Yiddish "The One On High." since, according to Rabbi Shimon, "as He is unknowable, one would have to be high to think you can know him."

As the rebbe's talmidim nodded in agreement, Rabbi Akiva joined the group, and, upon hearing, the topic, began to berate Rabbi Shimon. "You would call the Ain Sof 'Aibishter'?" Rabbi Akiva asked. "Everyone knows that He should be called 'Aimishteh', which means in Aramaic 'Where is He when you really need Him?"

Says the Toldois Aharoin, as the Aimishteh didn't want to get involved in the argument, he decided to adopt a low key approach in the Megillah.

I, the RAPAS, would like to offer a new answer to this question. The Rebboinoisheloilum's name is obscured from the Megillah so Klal Yisroel would know that some time we have to solve our own problems. We cannot rely on a deus ex machina, an external solution, heavenly or otherwise, to resolve the most challenging issues of our day. We must use our own intelligence and creativity to devise and implement our best alternatives.

Take for example the issue of peace between Klal Yisroel and the Arab world. Some would say that we should give up all of the West Bank in exchange for peace. Others would say that we should not give up one inch. I would like to humbly suggest that in exchange for real peace, we should be prepared to make sacrifices, even painful ones. However, it should be clear to all sides that not everyone will get what they want. But in the spirit of compromise, I am certain that we can reach an understanding.

Consequently, while I am not certain what we should do with the West Bank, in exchange for real peace we should give Brooklyn to the Palestinians. And if calm prevails there, we can talk later about giving back other territories including the Kiryas Joel, the Five Towns, and Teaneck.

Ah Freilachin Yuntif, You Minuval

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Thursday, March 10, 2016

On Klal Yisroel's Leadership Paradigm


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On Klal Yisroel's Leadership Paradigm


Rabboisai,

It has been a busy week here at Trump headquarters. We have been running out of people to offend, and are struggling to come up with new ones. We started with Mexicans and Hispanics in general, moved on to Muslims, and embraced White Supremicists - thereby offending blacks and Jews. And Reboinoisheloilum knows, we set our targets on women.

We have boasted about our sexual prowess, thereby insulting religious social conservatives, and attacked China and Mexico while manufacturing Trump branded goods in China and Mexico, thereby offending everyone with any brain matter left.

So all that leaves are non-ethnic males with no brains - that is our core Trump target voting segment. Sheygitz Am Haaratzim... The kinds of people all of our Jewish ancestors came to America to get away from.

But this is the voting block that will "Make America great again." Boruch HaShem - the Moshiach is about to arrive, and he has small hands, a Groisseh Schvantzyl, and quite a bit of alimony to pay. He even shared his great wisdom through the failed Trump University.

And like a king, he often speaks of people getting on their knees before him.

It sounds like Shloimoi HaMelech all over again.

Rabboisai, when we think about the different leadership models for Klal Yisroel, we open up a historical Shailah: Who in the long history of Klal Yisrael were considered to be the best class of leaders? Were they the Avois, the forefathers. Were they to the Shoiftim, or the Koihanim, or the Neviim, or the Kings? Were they the Persian or Greek overlords, or the Chashmonaim, or the Sadducees or the Pharisees? Were they the Tannaim or the Amoraim or the Rabbis in general? Were they the leaders of the Jewish Federation, or AIPAC, or other Jewish organizations?

Or were they the great Roishei Yeshiva, or, Chass V'Sholom, the great Chassidic Rabbeihim?

The answer of course comes from the first Mishnah in the first Perek in Pirkei Avois.

משה קיבל תורה מסיניי, ומסרה ליהושוע, ויהושוע לזקנים, וזקנים לנביאים, ונביאים מסרוה לאנשי כנסת הגדולה.

"Moishe Rabbeinu received the Toirah from Hakadoshboruchhu on Sinai and passed it on to Yehoishua, who passed it on to the Elders, who passed it on to the Prophets, who passed it on to the Men of the Great Assembly."

The Mishnah later tells us that the Toirah was passed on to the various Tanaim, in a chain of tradition. And by Toirah, the Mishnah is not speaking of obscure teachings given on a mountain, but of the actual mantle of the leadership of Klal Yisroel.

Let us note: The Toirah, according to the Mishnah, was not handed down to the Koihanim, the priestly class, or to the Kings - from the House of David HaMelech or any other line. It also does not speak of lawyers, or investment bankers or accountants or Jewish studio executives or Malcolm Hoenlein for that matter.

Farkert! Our model for leadership, as defined in the Mishnah, idealizes Moishe Rabbeinu as the penultimate leader of Klal Yisroel. And by not mentioning the Koihanim, the Mishnah envisions Aroin KaKoihain, the Minuval, as no more than Moishe Rabbeinu's bitch.

Moishe was the soft spoken one - the Toirah tells us how Moishe declares to the Aimishteh, כי כבד-פה וכבד לשון, אנכי, "I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue". This is traditionally understood by CHAZAL to mean that Moishe either had a stutter, had burnt his mouth in a miraculous incident where some angels forced Baby Moishe to put hot coals in his mouth - believing them to be glowing jewels, or that Moishe suffered from Cerebral Palsy.

Meanwhile, Aroin HaKoihain, the Vilda Chaya, never know when to be quiet. For example, during the Chayt HaEigel, did Aroin HaKoihain, the Mechutziff, urge Klal Yisroel to be patient and wait a little longer for Moishe to descend from the Har Sinai? No! He gathered all the gold jewelry from Klal Yisrael and fashioned an Eigel HaZahav, a golden idol shaped like a calf. In addition, he used the extra gold to put gold caps on his teeth and many chains to wear on his neck and wrists and renamed himself "Notorious AHK". In fact, according to a Medrish, when Yehushua Bin Nun protested to the Cheyt HaEigel, Aroin responded, "Yo Yo Yo, Shut the fuck up you motherfucker or I will put a cap in yo ass!!" He then set off with his posse and they spent the night at the most expensive Midianite clubs, which he left at 4:30 the next morning with three leperous women on his arms.

There is a beautiful Gemarrah that talks about the political struggles in Judea. Rabban Gamliel was the Nasi, the President, of the Sanhedrin, but he acted in a disrespectful fashion to Rabbu Yehoishua, and was removed from his position and was temporarily replaced by Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah. The only reason Rabban Gamliel was not impeached permanently was because the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, as they were too busy debating whether circumcision was the most important Mitzvah in the entire Toirah or was an anachronistic practice of genital mutilation. (They ultimately ruled that it was a Mitzvah, since Jews always insist on getting 20% off on everything.)

This story appears twice in the Gemarrah, in both the Babli and the Yerushalmi. The Yerushalmi has a slight variant on the story. In the Yerushalmi version, Rabban Gamliel asked all members of the Sanhedrin to raise their right hands in solidarity with him, in something akin to a Hitler salute. According to this same Gemarrah, during the period of his temporary removal from the Nasiut, Rabban Gamaliel took the time to get married to his longtime companion, Eva Braunstein.

So what do we learn from these important incidents in the history of Klal Yisroel? We learn that leadership is not equated with being the loudest or most obnoxious person in the room. Sadly, this is not a lesson that Steven Pruzansky has taken to heart. Leadership is also not necessarily based on popularity - Rabbi Yoichanan Ben Zakkai's polling numbers were very low, but he is credited with saving Yiddishkeit by moving the center of scholarship from Jerusalem to Yavneh. And fifty years later, Rabbi Akiva’s and “messiah” Bar Kokhba’s popularity ratings were at an all-time high when they led the Messianic rebellion against Rome, until Rabbi Akiva ended up as a Roman lamp shade, Bar Kokhba ended up as a puddle of blood at the last stand in Betar, and the Jews were banned completely from Jerusalem for the next few centuries.

So, from the perspective of CHAZAL, the penultimate model of leadership is to be like Moishe Rabbeinu. What does that mean? The first Perek of Avois brings down numerous members of CHAZAL citing examples of model behavior:

-- Hillel: נגד שמא אבד שמא, דילא מוסיף יסוף
“One who advances his name, destroys his name. One who does not increase, diminishes.”

-- Shammai: אמור מעט ועשה הרבה; והוי מקביל את כל האדם, בסבר פנים יפות
“Say little and do much. And receive every person with a pleasant countenance.”

-- Rabbi Shimoin Ben Gamliel:
כל ימיי גדלתי בין החכמים, ולא מצאתי לגוף טוב אלא שתיקה; ולא המדרש הוא העיקר, אלא המעשה; וכל המרבה דברים, מביא חטא.
“All my life I have been raised among the wise, and I have found nothing better for the body than silence. The essential thing is not study, but deed. And one who speaks excessively brings on sin.”

-- Also from Rabbi Shimoin Ben Gamliel:
על שלושה דברים העולם קיים--על הדין, ועל האמת, ועל השלום.
“The world is founded on three things: On law, on truth and on peace.”

Rabboisai, these are the Heiligeh words of CHAZAL. However, they are all dead. We have now entered a new leadership paradigm, and I can tell you, from my seat in Trump headquarters, we ARE going to Make America Great Again. Here are a few actual quotes from our candidate that represent the new leadership paradigm for Klal Yisroel:

-- "My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure; it's not your fault."

-- “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

-- “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”

-- “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

-- “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”

Rabboisai – We are privileged to live on the dawn of a special period, when we are about to embrace a new leadership paradigm for America and all the world. And with the help of the Reboinoisheloilum, Donald Trump will return America to the pristine country it once was – A lifeless arctic wasteland.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess

Friday, March 04, 2016

On and Off The Derech


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On and Off The Derech

Rabboisai,

I would like to share my great news with you as I bid farewell to my role as Rosheshiva of Yeshivas Chipass Emess. This will be my last Drasha, since I just made twenty million dollars on the stock market yesterday. Those shares I bought a couple of weeks ago have shot up, putting me on easy street. Yessirree! All the Mitzvois, I have been doing all these years, all those selfless acts designed to rescue the Holy Sparks from the Sitra Acha. My commitment to the Reboinoisheloilum has finally paid off, big time!

So no more wasting my time writing Toirah for ungrateful Schmucks like you in exchange for your meager pennies! Go get your Toirah from Aish, or Chabad, or Pat Robertson, or Joel Osteen or Glenn Beck for all I care... So long, suckers!

Oy Vey! My stock holdings just fell in value by twenty million dollars. Since I am totally without sin, it is as clear as day that Hakadoshboruchhu has decided to bring punishment on the innocent because of the Aveirois of you Mamzerim. Damn you all to Gehennim!

Ummm… needless to day, I was joking a minute ago when I called you Schmucks and Mamzerim. I was testing you, and you clearly passed the test. Congratulations, my beloved Talmidim!

Rabboisai, we live in a volatile world. Stocks go up, stocks go down. Regimes rise and fall. Yet Klal Yisroel is a constant. The Democrats hold the Presidency and the Senate, and the Republicans own the House and a majority in the Supreme Court, but Klal Yisroel is a constant. The Likud is in power today, and no one knows who will lead the next coalition. However, Klal Yisroel is a constant. Mubarak and Khaddafi are unchallenged autocratic rulers one day, and then sit in a cage, or in some hole somewhere hunted like an animal the next. Yet Klal Yisroel is a constant. The skies are sunny and clear one day, and we are pumping water from our basements and Bussay Medrish the next. But Klal Yisroel is a constant. My Bashert, Feigeh Breinah, on any given day may have a Taivah to be Mezaneh like a rhesus monkey, or, alternately, may have one of those combination locks from the Aron Koidesh on her Erva for the next week and a half. But Klal Yisroel is a constant.

What does it mean that Klal Yisroel is a constant? Is it because the Aimishteh has preserved us as His Chosen People? Yet, according to the Tzitz Eliezer, the Reboinoisheloilum tried his best to kill us in Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but simply failed because He ran out of quarters. And now He is trying to finish us off one bombing or missile or stabbing attack at a time.

Perhaps Hakadoshboruchhu preserved us as a form of public punishment and humiliation, as has been suggested over the centuries by numerous Christian theologians. Yet here we stand today as a people, strong economically relative to others, with our own State after two thousand years, with an outsized positive social and cultural influence well beyond our numbers. (And, you Minuval, can you PLEASE stop sending around those idiotic chain e-mails that proudly proclaim that Stalin, Khaddafi, Sarah Palin, and Shmuley Boiteach are all descendent of Jews. If these allegations are in fact true, it is a badge of shame, you moron!)

Many of us remain loyal to our heritage, yet only a fundamentalist buffoon refuses to recognize the human hand in the development of Yiddishkeit: From the formation of the Toirah from numerous texts written by multiple authors, to the gradual evolution of centralized monotheism at the end of Bayis Rishoyn and in Galus Bavel, to the emergence of Halacha through a long process of Biblical exegesis and philosophical debate, to the standardization of traditions and the creation of new practices and beliefs in the middle ages, to the adoption of the secret Kohanic handshake by the Planet Vulcan.

So, given the human role in the development of the faith, why do we even bother? Why don’t we just go after working out at the JCC on Saturday morning and eat some nice Traifus, perhaps some Chazer and overgrown cockroaches, washed down with some pig’s blood and a nice merlot? Maybe we should all marry hot Shiksas and worship that Sheygitz hanging from the Tzeylim in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or the white bread and mayonnaise eating Goy worshiped by Michelle Bachmann? Or perhaps we should abandon religion altogether and believe in an eternity that is without meaning, save for survival of the fittest or simplistic feel-good humanistic mantras concocted by angry vegans on acid?

Schmuck, if you think it’s all complete bullshit, why are you even reading this?

I know you believe that you are the first Jew to ever ask such questions, and are enamored of your own brilliance. Shkoiyach! But, rest assured, you are a total ignoramus. From time immemorial Klal Yisroel has struggled with our faith, with our relationship to the Reboinoisheloilum, with the general nature of the Divine, and with our Jewish wives’ primal opposition to performing Metzitzah Bipeh once the glass has been broken under the Chupah.

So, the fundamental question is: Is Judaism worth preserving? Is there indeed some intrinsic value to Yiddishkeit that justifies our actions and sacrifices: economic, social, and – dare I say – historical? Or is our heritage simply the historical baggage of the Opiate Of The Masses, a theological and cultural handcuff that tells us what to eat, instructs us how to behave, and demands that we cut off the tips of our Schvantzyls? (Although in my case that still leaves nine and three quarters inches. No wonder Feigeh Breinah is always invoking the “gag reflex” defense.)

These were in fact fundamental questions raised by Chazal almost two thousand years ago. According to Rav, there is nothing worth preserving about Judaism, and we should walk away from it and let it die the deaths of the ancient religions of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, etc.

But according to Shmuel, Yiddishkeit is indeed worth preserving, if only because without Judaism, hot Shiksas would lose their “specialness”.

So it really depends upon whom we hold by, Rav or Shmuel. But if we hold like Shmuel, and believe that there is something about Judaism that should be preserved, then we need a model that offers existential meaning to us and is able to sustain our heritage for future generations.

I am reminded of a Mashal, a parable. There was once a family with three children. One day, the parents decided to go out to shop for a new three thousand dollar Sheytel. Before leaving , the parents instructed the children not to leave the house. An hour after the parents left the house, there was a fire, Rachmana Letzlan. The first child panicked and ran far away, never to be seen again. The second child went out looking for help, but got lost, and did not bring help until it was too late. And the third child followed his parents’ instructions to the letter, did not leave the house, and perished in the fire.

To what is this compared? To the three mainstream Jewish movements.

The first child is the Reform movement, whose efforts to modernize and restructure have left the movement without an essential core. Without an established educational platform, or core set of fundamental tenets, the movement is gradually disappearing, despite a grand tradition of innovation and scholarship, as well as the hottest female Rabbinical students around.

The second child is the Conservative movement. The movement prides itself on its thoughtfulness towards synthesizing tradition and reason – preserving a core loyalty to the Rabbinic process while embracing key aspects of modern sensibilities and scholarship. Yet years of centralization and ideological meandering have left it a confusing mix of competing philosophies, leaving all but its die hard membership confused and ambivalent. And if you don’t believe me, go and attend an average Conservative service on a Friday night – you are likely to find more Jews at a Klan meeting or a Hamas fundraiser.

Finally, the third child is the Orthodox movement. What can I say? Nearly every family has a child with special needs. The following is an absolutely true story: I recall in the late 1970s debating a friend outside my black hat Shul about who was a better baseball team, the Yankees or the Mets. Of course, the Yankees were two-time World Champions at that time, and the Mets were consistently the worst team in baseball, and I was a Yankee fan. However, my friend, the son of a well respected rabbi, tried to argue through the use of convoluted Rabbinic logic how the Mets were a far superior team. That is the weakness of Orthodoxy: Most are incapable of balancing their passion and commitment with logic and rationalism. As such, they support a grand monument – a broad and rich tradition built over millennia by a diverse set of creative and occasionally brilliant thinkers, living in both ordinary and extraordinary times – with a foundation made of ice cubes: One warm wind, one obvious and completely logical question, one misuse of power, or one indefensible action by an authority figure, and the monument often comes crumbling down for the impacted individuals because of Orthodoxy’s tenuous foundation.

Rabboisai, many of our colleagues have chosen to go “Off The Derech”, but that in itself is a term that has a multitude of meanings. To those who have decided to reject faith and any form of Jewish identify completely, I offer only the best of wishes. But to those who struggle with their Jewish identities – with the nature of the Reboinoisheloilum, with the significance of Halachic practice, with the meaning of their heritage to them, I can only offer six words of wisdom: “Black and White” and “Shades of Gray”. What’s Pshat, you complete ignoramus?

In a digital world, the world of computers and other such Narishkeit, the underlying principle is the binary choice. Any individual data point is defined by either a one or a zero, a yes or a no. This is the true world of “Black and White”. In other words – There is a Reboinoisheloilum who dictated the Toirah to Moishe Rabbeinu on Sinai, who took notes using a full package of Bic ball point pens he bought at Staples (it was 40 days and 40 nights, you know). Hakadoshboruchhu sits in Shamayim wearing Tefillin all day, learning Toirah and reading the Jewish Press and the Algemeiner Dzournal while deciding who to reward and punish by measuring who said what Bracha, who went to Mikvah, who Davened with Kavannah (with no regard for whether or not he cheated on his taxes), etc. At the same time, the Aimishteh plots ways to give Klal Yisroel full control of all of Eretz Yisroel, so there may be an eventual return of all of Klal Yisroel to live in a Jewish theocracy led by Malchus Bais David and a Kehunnah descendent of Tzadok Ben Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aaroin HaKoihain, the Minuval, where we can all slaughter sheep and goats and doves when we are not busy learning Toirah 23 hours a day. Or there isn’t, and it’s all a bunch of bullshit.

Then there is the world defined by “Shades of Gray”. In this world we have a tradition, but this tradition encompasses a wide spectrum of ideas. The tradition has changed and evolved over time; it has sought to define the Divine and how we should relate to Him/Her/It. It has been a living tradition, an Aitz Chayim, that has had to respond to the often traumatic circumstances of our collective history, and has spawned revolutionary ideas that have impacted the world, as well as incorporated innovations and influences from other cultures. How one relates to this complex, nuanced world is a very personal calculus. There are rulebooks: The Toirah, the Talmud, the Shulkhan Aruch, but in truth, their relevance is subjective: Only you or I can decide what has meaning to each of us, and what we choose to do or not to do. You can go out and eat pork today—I guarantee you that you will not be struck down by lightening.

Similarly, you can decide to believe in a Diety that is All-Knowing and active in the affairs in the universe, or one that is somewhat constrained in Its ability to directly impact our world, as imagined by Lurianic Kabbalists (that is the circle of the ARI ZAHL, you ignoramus). Or you can believe in God as a force of nature, as envisioned by Einstein. Or in none at all. Or anywhere in between.

As well, it is within your power to decide what laws to subscribe to. If you believe that you relate to the All Knowing Reboinoisheloilum by wearing the hair of a hot Shiksa, Gezunteh Hait. But don’t do it because you are afraid of your husband or your father or your father-in-law or your brother or your sister or your children or your neighbors. Do it because it has relevance to you. The same goes for Tefillah, Shabbos Koidesh, Kashrus, and Shiluach Hakan.

Rabboisai, ours is a diverse tradition, defined in nuanced “Shades of Gray”. If Judaism offers no meaning to you, then absolutely walk away. Life is too short. But if there are elements that you personally find relevant, or which address a longing for spiritual fulfillment, then the heritage of your ancestors may offer answers, though not in the simplistic, binary, “Mickey Mouse” form in which many of us were raised.

I am reminded of a famous story about the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He was once planning his Messianic mission when one of his aides brought in a secular Jew for a one on one meeting. “How can I help you?” the Rebbe asked.

“I would like to ensure my reward in the world and the next” the Jew answered.

“Then you must pray three times a day and keep the Sabbath, your wife must light Shabbos candles and go to Mikvah, and you must drink a lot of chilled vodka” the Rebbe replied.

“But I am not prepared to alter my lifestyle” the man responded.

“Then you should make a sizeable donation to Lubavitch International” the Rebbe said. “And I will take care of everything else. Guaranteed.”

The man then took out a big wad of cash, and handed the Rebbe twenty thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills.

That night the Lubavitcher Rebbe took Rebbetzin Chaya Mushke and a few members of his inner circle out to celebrate. They all had the $9.95 all-you-can-eat special at the Red Lobster in Crown Heights, where the Rebbe passed around lobster claws as Shirayim. They then went back to 770 and topped off the night with vodka shots, as the Rebbe’s followers sang out “Yechi Moreinu VeRebbeinu Melech Hamashiach”, declaring him the Messiah King.

Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval.

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Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein
Rosheshiva
Yeshivas Chipass Emmess