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The Three Weeks are upon us, and we learn the Second Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred. You cannot hate people without a reason. We must hate people basefully. And we have hated many this year, with good reason. They are annoying, and they deserve to be hated. This past year, I have found more annoying people to hate, and they all show up to shul. They're all part of the community.
In the vein of the Three Weeks, join me on this year's journey of finding ways to not hate these people at shul. Hopefully, they'll stop, and we'll have peace. In the meantime, let's work on justifying their behavior, in hopes that we will be able to hate them a bit less by understanding them.
Huge Plate of Desserts, Loaded At Buffet
Oh. That's where it all went. Yes. I'm resentful. They took it all. Yes. There's no more mousse for you.
You must understand. They're thinking about the rest of their table. They're loading up for all the other people at their table, who don't realize they can get up and pick out their own Danish. That's what they told me, when I saw the huge pile of rugulach and a plastic bag in their pocket. 'It's for the table.'
And why should their friends have to get up to pick out their food? You don't put on weight like that. What would be the point of the buffet then?
This is why you don't spend Pesach at a hotel, with the community. Forget about Bar Mitzvahs. At Simchas, I don't even try to get the chocolate balls on a stick. One table has them all.
Their Siddur in Your Neck at Shul
They didn’t think that putting the prayer book on your chair would be felt by you, when you sat. Sticking the hardcover into your neck. Flipping the pages and your hair. Pushing the Siddur forward and back while they sway.
Why they leave it there, after you give a half-back-neck-turn look is beyond me. The half-back-neck-turn look is a clear admonition. They must have a reason for not caring about you.
For Shalom, peace amongst Jews, I once took the Siddur and smacked them. Education. People hated them less after I smacked them with their Siddur. I do what I can to bring Shalom.
Inching Their Plastic Chair Back in Shul
The shul is too poor to afford space and decent chairs.
There's no other way to make room for yourself. They have to push their chair into you, to make room for their Amidah (silent prayer). There isn't enough room for everybody to take three steps back in the section. Do you want them spending half hour piling up the chairs? Do you want to have to be part of an interior design team, figuring out building plans in the middle of prayers, so that the whole section can do the Amidah?
As long as it's subtle, they're giving you a chance to not assume that they're moving their chair into you.
People that Still Get on My Back About COVID
I am sorry if I can't not shake people's hands and hug them. I am sorry if I still can't figure out what six feet is. I am sorry if you have to see my face. I hope that doesn't make me evil. But you've really got to calm down. You're making shul a really annoying place to be, with no membership. You can't get a Minyin if people aren't allowed to come. I'm not a scholar, but I figured that out myself.
You have to understand them. Maybe they're worried that you might be a republican.
People Who Don't Share Your Political Views
Without them, you couldn't hate anybody. Without them, you couldn't call anybody a fool. Without them, you'd have nothing to post. These are people you should love.
People Who Say ‘I am Offended’
Everybody in shul is offended now. See 'People Who Don't Share Your Political Views.'
I think I offended everybody this year. They were offended by my political beliefs, even though I didn't share my views. Something about the way I look says that I disagree with stupid. And that offends people.
Maybe they weren't educated. Wouldn't you be offended if you tried sharing a thought that made no sense? Wouldn't you be offended if you sponsored a Kiddish and David came to tell you that you shouldn't have purchased eight pounds of Kichel?
Doesn’t Move Away from the Kiddush Table
If they moved away from the table, then you might get to the choolante too. You would do the same thing if you got the spot.
Any Member of the Community
Hate them. You're going to hate them. Just find a decent reason, so it's not baseless. Maybe they were called up to open the ark, when you should've been. That's a reason to hate. As long as you're at shul, you're trying.
Person Screaming at the Person Reading the Torah
Maybe if the guy gets yelled at and reprimanded, he will prepare more next time. More people should be screaming at the Torah readers.
Guy Messing Up the Torah Reading
Sorry. I can't find it in me to love him. He's slowing down the services and more time in shul causes more hatred. This is probably what happened at the end of the Second Temple period. The Levites were adding on songs, people were spending extra hours at the sacrifices, and fights broke out because the Gabai messed up whose lamb should be next.
Woman with Huge Hats at Shul
Maybe she's worried about the sun coming inside.
It's hard to not hate these people. I'm trying real hard. And there are more people to hate. It might be jealousy of the people with the huge plate of rugulach and Danish. And jealousy is also forbidden. But we must do what we can to not hate, even if we're stuck with the Kichel.
Please know that all of these people deserve to be hated. They're the reason that we haven't witnessed the building of the Third Temple. Even so, let's do our part during this time of the Three Weeks, when we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temples, and give them a chance to explain themselves. Try not to hate them, so we can bring them closer to normal. Try. And remember, as long as your hatred is baseful, it's fine.
I am trying. I am trying to help bring redemption here. In the spirit of the Three Weeks and Shalom, may we witness a redemption without these annoying people.
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That is how the punchline of a Jewish joke should look. Like you're questioning something, dealing with serious stomach issues, or giving a sermon.