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אחרי מות קדושים אמור 'After one’s death, say Holy things about them.’ A beautiful lesson learned from the order of the three Parshiot. Once people die, we have to say positive and beautiful things about them. Our rabbi focused this week on trying to see positive in members of the community who passed away. It was not easy for him, but he did it. Saying positive about congregants didn't happen. He could only say very negative stuff about the board.
In his class, Rabbi Mendelchem said, ‘When they are alive, some people are annoying as anything. There are a lot of sinners in this congregation. Bernie, I saw you eating at McDonald’s on the corner of Sinfield street. I won’t bring it up at your funeral, but I think now is a good time to address it. There is a sin of eating non-kosher meat. There is also a sin of eating like a pig.’
We skipped the reading of Kdoshim last week, due to Frank’s slow reading, so the rabbi focused on Kdoshim and being ‘holy because H’ is holy.’ He went on with what seemed to be another Drasha. ‘Are we holy or are we not? Are we created in H's image or not? Did Mr. Goldsmith ever pay his dues? Holy people pay dues. We have the potential to be Holy. That is why it is written as a command. Because most of you are not... How do we become Holy? Listen to your rabbi… Rabbis don't have to pay dues.
'Rashi notes, it's that we must separate ourselves from illicit relations and sins, for where there is lewdness, there is holiness... That does not mean to spend your days and nights away from your family, at the casino, not paying dues...’
The rabbi even brought up Cats & Dolls, as he was making his point about spending money on pets. It was an extra sermon.
I think he just continued the theme of people being holy, in his Drasha, which means going according to the bylaws of the shul. Nothing was mentioned about Mitzvot.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon (Drasha)
Shabbat Shalom My Congregants.
This week's Parsha, Emor, continues on the path of teaching us how to be holy, by telling the Kohens that they may not become impure in their role. The beedle hasn't showered in years... Gabai. Same thing... The Kohen has a role. In our roles, people must not be impure... I went to Mike's law office. Not one bottle of Purell... Not even sanitizer... At least the generic kind... Is 99.9% pure enough? I would like that other .1%...
(Vayikra 21:5-6) 'Ya'll shall be holy before H."' Being holy is about how you look... You're before H' Bernie. It's Gd.... How the Kohens look. Means that they shall not bring a razor to the edges of their beard, especially when you are missing a spot... I am just saying that people look disheveled… No cutting gashes... Learn how to shave... It's pathetic... You show up to shul with little tissues covering red spots... Exactly. You're using a shaver. How that happens?... You don't give yourself a haircut... It comes out horrible. Michael...
You chuch into a tissue... It's worse than a sneeze... It's disgusting... Disgustingness is not holy...
What we can do to be part of the Temple service? Look decent. You, the holy people representing the Jewish nation, must look decent... Are our leaders living up to this standard? Who is selling the clothes to these members of the Knesset? A sinner. The collars on these guys in the Israeli Parliament is embarrassing. They’ve got eight inch collars. It's like a tie to them... The Ben-Gurion collar...
Shall not make a bald spot. When I look around this congregation, I see many men who have the most embarrassing lack of hair I have seen in my life. It makes it almost impossible to pray... Constantly drawn to the glare bouncing off your heads... Mr. Goldsmith must’ve shined his head before Shabbat… The shul offers a huge bucket of gigantic kippot outside. Mr. Goldsmith, everybody in this congregation has a yarmulke.... To cover the baldness... We put those huge things out there for you, and of course Bernie, who has the European tradition of wearing nylon soup bowls.
Mr. Freedberg, keep the toupee on, we are serving H' now… The earmuffs look great… Put on the huge Kippahs… We have the big nylon ones to hide the baldness... It’s not holy because it’s embarrassing…
Men with blemishes may not serve as Kohanim (Vayikra 21:17-24) in the Beit Hamikdash. They may still eat of the sacrifices.
We do not discontinue our connection with the men and their wigs. We allow from them to join us at Kiddush, no matter how much their lack of hair makes them want to eat more. But we do not call up these bald men to the ark, for Psicha… It’s disturbing to the service and all of our attention goes right to the bald spot and the offsetting toupees... Glad we can clarify that... pay your dues…
So, no more becoming Tamei… Too much impurity… And we have to work out our Shidduch system… The singles are sitting there… (Vayikra 21:7) And no marrying harlots… We've been through this Pinny... I am worried about Shimmy and Karen… Very worried about Karen marrying the wrong guy… Singles need help... They can't make their own decisions...
We must look and act proper. That is what we are called on to do as Kingdom of Kohanim. We all serve in shul, except for Marcie, who hasn’t joined the sisterhood… Respect the shul… The Temple...
You have to look decent. You have to act properly. No being loud… They weren’t loud in the Beit Hamikdash… That’s why you could hear the little bells on the Kohen’s clothes. It was hush… No slamming doors… You slammed the door… Then you chuched. I have no idea how the chuch came out of your mouth. It was disgusting. Then you ran in the shul… You have to act properly and marry right… No. He’s disheveled… You chuch, you use sanitizer...
We are going to put together an appeal for decent clothes in the ladies section on the right, and the front left men's section... No used cans in the donation bin this time... Every charity event has had open cans in it... You're loading it up with used stuff... Fresh clothes... We cannot be impure before H' anymore... Run it through the laundry... At least Purell it...
Just give money.... You can find the cards at your seat... Wipe them down and flip over whatever number you want...
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
The rabbi's sermons are very interactive. I went to another shul later last week and caught the rabbi's sermon. Nobody talked.
He loves that teaching of saying good things after death. He wants to be able to say something positive about people.
Rabbi came up with a noise rule. No being louder than the Chazan. You can't really hear the Chazan. We've got five 'Amen' sections. Nothing is synchronized. He had other noise rules, he turned into law. He also said no shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded shul, even if there is a fire. You have to whisper that there’s a fire.
The congregation looked extremely disheveled this week.
The rabbi came up with another rule that helped the congregation. People cannot shine or buff their heads before coming to shul. They can only shine their shoes. He also purchased linen yarmulkes, as the satin and nylon was too shiny. The rabbi has been squinting for weeks.
He brought in a finishing school coach. The Tefillah didn’t improve, and she made everybody get bigger shirt collars. Though the chuching still took place, and the men’s section is still 80% bald, everybody in the congregation can set a table.
They tried only having good looking people called up for Aliyahs. Nobody else was called to the Torah. They started checking for blemishes. The shul supplied jackets and toupees to members who didn't bring a suit or hair. They were measuring facial features to ensure they are symmetrical. Once they realized you can't use a ruler on Shabbat, they gave up on the whole thing.
The rabbi started a singles campaign, due to his worry about people marrying the wrong people. I think he took the Kohen having to be pure and marrying right thing a bit too far. For his new campaign, he was shipping in singles, trying to help out Shimmy. The singles campaign was a huge success. Four divorces took place that week. Everybody was so excited to meet new people. The rabbis should’ve mentioned that the Kohens cannot marry divorcees. It caused a whole raucous, and we had to ship in people
Nobody donated money. They donated clothes. They thought it was a Goodwill drive. Only old clothes with holes. The rabbi loves the appeals. He has cards for every Shabbat, just in case he has a chance to ask for money. He even has an appeal card for his new pool, so he can give back to the community. He mentioned that you can only give back once you have.
Nothing was sanitizied in that bin.
The rabbi is now looking to open a McDuvid's
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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.