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Rabbi came up with a psak, rabbinic ordination, that dog owners are selfish and can care less about people. ‘Put them on leashes’ is his new citywide campaign. Some of the local townsmen have an issue with putting people on leashes. Mrs. Milt is fine with it, as long as it's Jews. The rabbi didn't like that, as he said it sounded anti-Semitic. Though, he has brought the concept upto the board before.
His new campaign for putting people on leashes is because there is no other way to ensure they’re not using their dogs to scare people.
The no extendable leashes fight is on its way. There is consensus that dog owners use those to scare people. Make people think the dog is really being watched and on a leash, and then all the sudden the dog is right there, ready to bite your arm. I walked past this neighbor of mine at 210 West Doxin Street and she let the extendable leash go.
Neighbors is why there is hatred in the world. That’s why we have to have a Tisha BAv.
There is still Jew hatred in town. I believe it is part of the Tisha BAv experience for our neighbors to blame us for everything. We were blamed for racism just now, because we are Jewish. I think that is racism to blame us for being racist, because we are Jewish. Either way, I would rather get blamed for that then getting my arm bit. I definitely don't like dogs who try to bit me, or their owners, no matter what color they are.
Simon Says has been a big thing this summer.
I like the beginning of Moshe’s speech to the people, telling us that he can’t lead us anymore. I think our rabbi is feeling it. He needs a real vacation.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
Shalom My Congregants.
Moshe begins his final speech before his death with rebuke. As we all know, many of you are not perfect… Many aren't decent. Many of you are just not good people... I'm rebuking here... I'd be fine if this was my last speech...
Unlike Moses’ lengthy speech in which he goes through all the laws of the Torah, mine will only be 40 minutes… Already complaining…
The Shelah HaKadosh teaches that we don't just tell people 'you did this wrong,' because then they will hate you. You have to butter them up and tell them stuff like, 'a smart person like you did this?...oy, I can't believe that.' Then they will listen to you. As we learn from the Shelah, you should be condescending…
I say you're good... Sometimes I do... It's important to be condescending. Then they listen… Yes. You need to exaggerate. How else will they know you don't mean it? You have them think they are doing OK, with sarcasm... You know your lawn is messed up. The trimming is off... Let's start with praise... The back section over by Frank always shows up on time… I'm not praising you, Sadie. You always follow the services... I’m buttering up Frank's section… So they’ll listen to how messed up they are… I'm getting there.
Wise, caring people of this shul, who care so much for the next generation, who are smart, though you don't understand the prayers and don't read Hebrew, the congregants who want for their children's Jewish education and give no money to the Hebrew school, and care so much about your parents, who you never see, who you stick in a nursing home, with nobody who cares about them. Why don't you take a little time to learn some Hebrew so the rabbi doesn't have to announce every page? Why do you complain about the rabbi's parking spot... Hatred. Baseless hatred... I can’t deal with this. You need another leader. I've buttered up and you're still complaining about the canopy over the rabbi's parking spot...
I turned too fast?... No.
I can’t deal with this anymore. You need another leader.
(Devarim 1:9) Moshe tells them, ‘I said to you at this time saying, “I cannot carry you alone. H’ your Gd has multiplied you…”’ I can’t carry you anymore. I've been carrying this shul alone for too long. The other leaders do nothing… The community has grown so much. No idea how you've multiplied. We've lost all the good members.
Need other leaders… The gabai messed up. The president is thinking she needs to protest Jewish lives for her political career to take off. The Chazan is singing these tunes that are off... 'Yankee Doodle' doesn't fit Na'aritzcha. The head of the sisterhood still brings out kichel. The brotherhood is a local gang inside our shul...
You’re messed up. Your kids are…. Moshe found an easy way out. He was dying. He knew he would have to deal anymore and it would be Yehoshua’s problem… The sisterhood can't deal with it. If I left the shul in the hands of the sisterhood... Who is going to lead you to Israel... The shul trip to Israel last year was a ball... So what if we lost Saul and Thelma. You don't think that Jews got lost in the desert? You think Moshe was able to watch over all of them? There's a reason they were wandering...
That is how you are supposed to rebuke. As we have just seen, once you put in a little praise, nobody feels uncomfortable… You see. Everybody understands now how messed up. And they except it…
You would’ve listened to the spies... This is why we have Tisha BAv. H’ said that we cried about the big grapes the spies brought, we’re now going to cry forever… Yes. It was on Tisha BAv that the spies gave the report. Kind of like last fall when the report of no raking team coming to the shul came in. You all ran. Nobody helped... I broke my back. Slippage of a vertebrae suffices for a broken back. But I didn't cry. I didn't run away. I took upon myself the task, and now I can't lead you anymore... I've been carrying you on my back all of these years... I would love for there to be no Tisha BAv, but you still cry and don't help... No good leaders to take the community out of here... I've don't my part already...
Your kids cry all the time. Not even on Tisha BAv... I saw them crying in school... It was homework, Frank. You don't cry because you got homework... They need to stop complaining about the amount of candy. I give lollipops. They should be happy with that… Always complaining. I tried giving fruit, but they complained. It’s amazing how your children don’t want fruit unless if it’s in candy form… They complain... It causes Tisha BAv, Bernie. The crying...
As Tisha BAv is upon us… Yes. I’m detailing your bad Midot (character traits), so you can do repentance… repent for your sins. I beseech the heathens of this congregation to work together, let your friend know what they are doing wrong, so that we may not encounter more Jewish destruction because you are lazy and don’t care about your mother... Mrs. Himmilman, we know you are a lovely daughter and do care about the inheritance; however, I was just visiting your mother in the nursing home and she said she hasn’t seen you in 5 months... She was very happy about that. She says it was the happiest time of her life... Not having to lead this congregation, I can see joy at the end of the hallway...
May we have a Tisha BAv this year of redemption and support for the Hebrew school? A good Tisha BAv… First, let’s get rid of the leaders of the school who have messed it up and turned it into a sub-Sunday school… I feel like the school is being run by the shul board... That's how bad the leadership is...
Rebuke should not be done by all. That’s the problem with this congregation… You mess up rebuke. Even in your rebuke you sin… There is baseless hatred because you all are rebuking and you don’t know how… Where have you rebuked incorrectly
Rebuke correctly. Watch. Hey Frank, nice tie. Where did you get that? The Salvation Army… You see how now Frank is thinking about his tie and how he shouldn’t wear it. Rebuke…
This is why there is hatred in this shul. This is why people hate each other. You rebuke wrong, you don't help with the Israel trip fundraiser, and you you all take. Let her get to the kiddish table… I know you like the whitefish, Ethel…
You don't just jump into rebuke. It takes years to master it. Years of seeing Congregation Beis Emes uSefilah in action, to really no how messed up people are...
Rashi, quoting the Sifri (Devarim 1:3) comments on Moshe's speaking to the children of Israel now before his death. That is what the rabbi… When I talk with you all, I feel like I am around a lot of death. That’s why I rebuke weekly... Have you seen yourselves? Depressing. I see you wish a Shabbat Shalom and I'm thinking life might not be worth it... Smile.
There are four reasons why we do not rebuke people, only close to death…
Because we don’t want to rebuke and then do it again… You think I enjoy having to see Michael's haircut, every week?... If you were his congregants, Moshe would've always been rebuking… You complain about Kiddish all the time... The spies scared the Jews with grapes, and your kids are scared of fruit... You're scared the kichel will take out your teeth... Yeah. It's hard... Can you just get a normal haircut Michael? I would stop rebuking... In order that his friend doesn’t see him and get embarrassed… The non-mowed lawn is embarrassing… Now he's embarrassed about the ugly lawn, bringing down property value. Simmy’s grass would’ve been mowed sooner if his neighbor didn’t wait till he was dying to tell Simmy he ruined the neighborhood… It’s a forest now… That it shouldn’t be in your heart for him, and that he should leave from him in peace, as rebuke brings peace… I am just trying to make it all peaceful. You guys mess it all up… I don’t know what ‘in your heart for him’ means… No. It’s not an attraction thing... I can tell you that I am holding a lot in my heart right now... Because you...
This is why we have Tisha BAv.
And you all rebuke each other. Giving each other advice on how to live? Diet???? What do you know about diets, Bernie?... You diet, but you never take off weight... It's not a diet.
I know many of you are angry that the rabbi doesn't visit the sick enough. However, I do visit this congregation every Shabbat… Many sick people... And the mishebeyrachs are also very long…
I am sick of you and retiring.
Or close to retirement. I can be honest now
I understand many of you think I am young, but I am already 36 years old. I am getting old and tired. I have listened to you all for way too long. It is time for me to retire, as I have had too many years of arguing with the board about another raise. Your $300,000 has been invested well.
Thank you Donald for the help on the taxes. You used parsonage real well on that...
On that day, close to his death, Moshe speaks and says 'All that H' commanded him, onto them' the children of Israel. Moshe did not use that moment to get out his built up frustration, saying, 'You people didn't trust me.' He focuses on how they messed up to Gd... I remember the ark cover. I told you to not do a group embroider… You should've trusted me, for the H'. I see it every Shabbat… It’s a quilt…
Moshe used that moment to let the people know they have to be better… We have Mitzvot in this congregation... The Torah. It's the Torah, Bernie. Those are our Mitzvot.
It’s time to move on. (Devarim 1:6) As Moshe tells the people ‘H” our Gd spoke to us at Chorev, saying, “It’s enough of you sitting at this Mountain.”’ We get comfortable… We become content. Sitting in Topeka, all have it easy... Because you do nothing for the shul. You don't pay your dues. You lead nothing. You don't visit your mom...
Chorev is Sinai. We accomplished a lot there (Rashi) ‘made the Mishkan, Menorah…’ But it is time to move on… You have to move on. It’s time to move to Israel… You’re praying for the final redemption. Let’s do it. Everybody up…
This is why we have Tisha BAv. Crying and contentment. Crying because of contentment. Crying because the kids can't get candy... Because Ethel takes it all at Kiddish. You have to share Ethel.
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
Nobody got up. They were too comfortable. The seats at the shul are too plush. Nobody was going to move. It’s not like our shul is Mount Sinai. I don’t think we’ve accomplished building anything here. The kids made a Chanukah Menorah slab. They took a piece of wood and glued nuts to it.
The rabbi thought he was doing something revolutionary. Nobody cared. They were not going to go to Israel. If the earth would've swallowed people up, some of the congregants would've went on the shul trip for a week.
Nobody moved when the rabbi said ‘everybody up.’ Even the ones who didn't know it had anything to do with Israel. Most of the shul doesn't listen to the speech anyways. Bernie is too old. He’s not getting up or going anywhere. The kids thought the rabbi was playing Simon Says, and they didn't want to lose. There’s been a lot of Simon Says this summer too. It’s the new game in the community. We’re not athletes. The president of the board feels it's good movement. Though, usually most of the people get out when Simon says 'Hands Up,' and then they go and sit down. The seats are very plush.
The rabbi went a bit too quick from the buttering up into how bad the congregants are. He didn’t spend much time in the buttering up. I don’t know if the Shelah HaKodesh meant a quick sarcastic word. He definitely meant to be condescending.
I don’t think the rabbi put any bread on the compliment sandwich.
I’m not a fan of the compliment sandwich. The bread usually can’t hold the messedupedness of what’s inside. I saw how the heads of the Hebrew school did a compliment sandwich. It started with 'your child is trying real hard,' then it went into a thirty minute tirade on how Jackson can't pick up a word of Hebrew and how he starts fights and doesn't finish his lunch. I don't know how lunch was on the inside of the sandwich. It's not that negative. All I know is that Jackson's sandwich was extremely overstuffed.
Moving to Israel seems to be what the rabbi's message for ending Tisha BAv was. I think we can end this curse if we put extendable leashes on dog owners.
The rabbi didn’t move to Israel and he didn’t retire. Moshe’s move of telling everybody how bad they are before he died was a smarter move. The rabbi was hearing complaints about his comments about the congregants' children for weeks. He should’ve at least moved to Israel.
Between us, the kids are messed up. Jackson is the best kid in the community.
Moshe knew how to give a speech, and the rabbi has definitely mastered the Moshe style of telling the community that they messed up. The rabbis is right. The congregation is depressing. They walk into shul and nobody smiles. They're all worried Ethel will get to the whitefish and finish it. We already know that Bernie's going to down all the gefilte fish with his schnapps.
We had voting for all positions, as we need new leaders. Two people voted. The other people were too tired to raise their hands. Some thought they shouldn't as Simon didn't say.
I think Simon Says can bring people together. Make for peace. If somebody were to tell Ethel to get the whitefish and candy, she wouldn't. She's really good at Simon Says.
The rabbi said he was leaving, but he didn’t. He just really connected with Moshe’s message of not wanting to lead anymore.
I am also beginning to think that shorter speeches can bring our congregation together more. It’s one thing we all agree on; including the rabbi. If he starts to bring down the speeches to thirty minutes, we’ll all feel a sense of redemption. The following week though, the rabbi said that he gives long speeches so that we can feel what it is to be cursed in the diaspora.
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The Falafel of Etan
Israelis are very possessive of their falafel. Even when they have a shop, they don't like to share it… That's Etan. Standing over them while they eat. Making sure they don't run away with his falafel.