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This is exactly the scene at the shul we were at for Taanit Esther. No moral to the story. Just a great scene with the characters from the shul. A great scene for the kids at the day school to act out.
INT - SHUL - DAY
Everybody in the shul has been fasting all day. They're hungry and at shul for Mincha, the afternoon prayer. Nobody is happy. They walk into shul a schlumpy. They grunt at each other.
Congregant 1: Ahhhhh.
Congregant 2: Ahhhh. Been working all day at the factory. The fast is killing me.
Congregant 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7: Food.
Congregan 3 walks in, the only cheery guy.
Congregant 3: The fast is about Teshuva. Repentance. It's about being with people and getting along. Rebuilding the Beit Hamikdash through love of your fellow Jew.
Congregant 2: I can't stand this guy.
Congregant 3: You're supposed to feel good.
Everybody looks at Congregant 3 not happily, and grunt.
INT - SHUL - DAY
Everybody is in the middle of the silent prayer, the Amidah, and saying the additional prayer of penitence for H' to answer us on this day of our fast, the Aneiny prayer. Somebody says the beginning of the prayer out loud, to remind people to say the additional prayer and to show off that he remembered to say it.
Congregant 4: Aneinu H' Aneinu.
Everybody acknowledges. Congregant 4, and give him a thumbs up or a fist of approval. They continue praying the silent prayer. Congregant 4 smiles with self-contentment and pride.
All continue praying. From the hallway, you hear a big crunch. Definitely potato chips. It's heard by everybody, while they are praying. Another crunch is heard. People start looking at each other and get back to praying. Another crunch is heard. All of their prayers are interrupted. They can't concentrate. The guy starts eating faster and louder. People are looking at each other. You start to hear the bag now crumpling. He hear the guy crunching more on the chips. You then hear the crescendo, the guy drinking the rest of the chips. There is silence for a second, everybody gets back to the Amidah, silent prayer. Congregant 2 finished the Amidah and walks over to Congregant 1. You hear another crunch.
Congregant 2: They're happy.
The sound of the rest of the bag crumpling is heard. People are interrupted in their prayer again and show frustration, looking at each other. There is a moment of silence. They are all back praying the Amidah with Kavanah, intent. Twenty seconds later, you hear another chip going into the mouth with a loud crunch.
The crunching continues at a fast pace. Everybody is finished and walks towards the door.
INT - SHUL HALLWAY - DAY
Baruch, the one that has been eating, is sitting outside opening another bag of chips. He has three bags open out there. Another crunch is heard. Baruch is sitting outside the door of the shul, in the hallway, has a table setup right there, full of food and drinks. The Minyin (the men praying) walk outside and see the guy. He is now spreading peanut butter on celery and an apple.
Congregant 1: It's Baruch.
Congregant 5: Do you eat anything silent? Maybe a rugulach?
Congregant 6: He has Kichel there.
Congregant 2: Can we get some of that?
Baruch: It's a fast day. How can you even think about eating? It's shameful.
Congregant 5: You're eating.
Baruch: You have to wait till the fast is over. I'm sick. I have to eat. The doctor said I need the nutrients.
Congregant 2: Then why are you eating chips?
Baruch: Are these not nutrients? Look at the bag. There's a box that says 'nutrients' right here. And look. Celery and apples.
Congregant 1: But you're eating chips.
Congregant 5: Should he be eating nutritious food? It's a fast day.
INT - SHUL - DAY
Everybody goes back into the shul. The Chazin begins the repetition of the prayer, outloud. Baruch keeps on eating. Takes a bite of the celery.
Congregant 1: Everything he eats is loud.
Congregant 5: You can't have Kavanah (proper intent) when Baruch is eating.
You hear Baruch start chewing his apple, and you see him smiling. The happiest man on the fast day, as he is sick.
Congregant 3: That’s how you’re supposed to be on a fast day.
We pan back outside and we see Baruch eating chips again.
Eating outside the shul on a fast day is the next level of funny. Hearing the chips added another layer to the regular scene of angry people. Brilliant timing. All these fatigued people and they hear this guy outside munching on the food.
Being sick on a fast day is not that bad. It also interrupts Minyin.
Don't try to talk about repentance or love of your fellow man on a fast day. People only want to talk about the day being done. Nobody causes hatred of Jews more than a happy guy on a fast day. That is what causes baseless hatred and why the Temple was destroyed.
In the end, Congregant 3 was hungry. Something about hearing chips brings hunger.
Nobody feels better than the guy who calls out the Aneinu or the Yaleh vYavo when it's Rosh Chodesh. You can feel that pride when they call it out. The people who said the Aneinu silently feel like idiots for not calling it out, when they could've been a star. The shul pride lasts for days. Almost as much pride as the guy who clops the table to scare everybody into saying the Yaleh vYavo.
Happiness for the congregants started after Megillah reading, when people started eating. They still grunted at each other.
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He said he was only giving ten percent to charity. They called him a Mayser.
You get it? Miser. Mayser. Mayser is a tithe. They sound alike. If a Mayser was a type of person, it would work. He'd be a Mayser who gives Mayser. The Mayser would be a Miser.
Respect for our members of Hatzalah. What these guys are willing to do to drive a car on Shabbis... That guy on the right looks too comfortable to save anybody. The guy on the left is the one I would want showing up. He’s got more keys, and that’s the sign of a Hatzalah man that knows what’s going on... I respect them stopping and posing for the picture. It’s a great photo. I just hope the guy they were on their way to made it. (photo: hatzalah.org)