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Longest Torah reading. The rabbi fell asleep. Young kid was reading. There was no celebration. It was painful and had the rabbi talking about responsibility. The child messed up the words. Shim failed his exam on the US states. He couldn’t remember them. How can he remember 176 Psukim? I think it’s the most verses in the Torah.
We have only One Kohen. But he’s been telling the Levis what to do. It’s been a relative hazing process the past few Parshas. The Kohen even made the Levis wear masks when washing hands. He says that he’s in charge and all carrying must be done for him.
The shul is very dirty. Need to bring in the laundry.
The cleaning team cleans nothing. Still sanitizing. Not cleaning anything. That started recently. They’ve
Now, we’ve got to get stuff cleaned and the Levites don’t take care of the shul’s property. The garden needs a cleaning. There’s weeds everywhere. Frank said it’s weed season, but those are last year’s weeds.
People don’t do their jobs, and nobody knows what their job is.
Rabbi Menedelchem’s Sermon (Drasha)
Shabbat Shalom my Congregants
(Bamidbar 4:23) ‘From the age of thirty years and upward, until the age of fifty years you shall count them, all who come to join the legion, to perform service in the Tent of Meeting.’
We need people of age when it comes to holy work… The Levites started from 30… You learn before that… Have you seen the teachers at the day school? They’re twenty-five… Not ready for service… Teaching the kids like they know. They haven’t even learned yet… That’s why we have Bar Mitzvah boys thinking they can layn (read from the Torah)… It’s a service… Yes. You get paid for teaching. But it’s a service.
Great when we had to wheel in Hymie… The kids learned something that day. They learned to respect their elders… You throw people into these jobs. That’s why the secretary can’t answer a phone call… She has no idea how a touch tone works. She thinks the shul should have a cell number… We need older people…
For carrying stuff. Gershon carried (Bamidbar 4:25) ‘the curtains of the MIshkan and Tent of Meeting…’
Carrying the Torah is important… No. We don’t take the curtains off the ark when the Levi gets an Aliyah. We don’t have the Levi carry the curtain to the Bima (stage where we read the Torah)… Around 3,000 helped with the curtains… They all wanted to help… We can’t even get two out there to wash the Kohens’ hands for Musaf… Nobody moves… You’re 42. You can move… It’s the only service you do. You can’t sing. You can’t teach, because the twenty-five year old Israelites and Samarites are doing that at the day school… No. We’re not lifting the shul and carrying it…
Curtains is their focus… They focus on curtains… That’s what Gershonites do… Kehatites do tables... You can't do curtains and tables. You've got to master curtians first... That's how you get shoddy jobs... We need focus in this shul… Everybody needs a task… The kids need to learn to clean... They can't clean yet. They're too young...
The curtains are an embarrassment...
Tafkid. We have responsibilities… You, in the back left section, have a responsibility to not interrupt…
They carried the curtains… Carrying the Torah… Pick the right people. It’s a task…
You could take some of the linens to the laundromat. We made a nice kiddish… Mow the lawn… It’s an embarrassment… Carrying the curtains to the cleaners is the Levis’ job…
Gershon, Kehat and Merrary. I understand that you’re not Levis, but your parents named you that. You can help with some of the cleaning tasks… You’re also in charge of the new shul extension project… Your parents gave you the name, because you’re triplets. It’s beautiful. Now you have to work together… Live up to your namesake… Lift and transport stuff. Start a moving business... I understand it’s hard, as your grandparents are Sid and Shmuel… I get it. Gershon, Kehat and Merrary are not your grandparents, but you have a task… It’s your name. I know you’re from the tribe of Judah. But your parents didn’t name you that… Learn how to use a lawnmower… The garden needs servicing...
After 50, the service ends. You get a bad back… If you’re in shape, maybe we can get some extra years out of you… No. Max should not be using the handicap parking spot… Your wife passed away. You don’t inherit a bad back…
Age is a factor in our responsibilities… Bernie. You forgot to get the Kiddish cup last week… At 50 they retire… They relax. They go down to Eilat…
Aliyahs are given to old people… Old people do stuff, but they don’t carry anymore…
You have a decent back beforehand. You mow the lawn before you’re fifty… That’s why the grass is high. You don’t wait till your abilities run out, and you have to hire people, to get a decent looking lawn... You have abilities. Work it until you get older…
Why don’t the Kohens carry?... I feel like we have a Korach here. Asking questions. That’s not the point… No. We’re not moving the shul again… We have an excellent building… Last time, we hired movers… None of them were Levis…
Why is a 15-year-old leading services now?
Tzachi can lead services. He’s Israeli. Different decisions. He defends Israel… That’s his task… I get that he’s twenty-one, but he has a very deep voice for some reason… I think he talks from a different part of the mouth… He’s here now. How can he defend Israel from here… He defends our shul from poor Hebrew…
You’re a Levi. You need to bring the Parochet (the curtain by the ark, Aron HaKodesh) to the cleaners… You’re in charge of the ark cover, do it… Exactly. You’re carrying it… We don’t let you open the ark, because you might die… The shul is a Beit Hamikdash Miat, a small temple… You want to take a chance opening the curtain?... Let the Kohen do that…
No more complaining that the Kohens don’t help… They’re Kohens. The Kohens are Kohens...
The lawn is A chilul H.’ An embarrassment… Who’s going to mow it? What teenager can we get to mow the thing?
Rivka's Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem's Drasha
The Rabbi separated tasks in the congregation
He made the Levites take in the shul linens to the dry cleaners. The Tallises were also brought by the Levis. The washing of Kohen hands was to be entrusted to the Gavny family.
He didn’t let the Levis open the curtain. I think that’s just because he didn’t like the Levis in the shul. None of them have good voices and the rabbi wants them to help more with the gardening. The giveaway is that the Israelites open the ark and none of them have died from it yet. Most of them have passed away from natural cause. Many have had high blood pressure. Our shul’s members have an average resting systolic of 170.
The ark opening was supposed to be the Kohen's job, but he didn’t feel he should work.
The Kiddish is the sisterhood’s job. No sisterhood has been voted in, so nobody knows what that means. We’ve had no Kiddish the past month. The rabbi is mad about this and he is blaming the sisterhood. Nobody feels bad.
The lawn mowing went to the Simchovitzes.
No more Hagba for people over 50. You could only lift the Torah until 50. They found drool on the scroll one Shabbat.
The Simchovitzes wanted to know what lawn mowing had to do with the Temple service. A chutzpah. The rabbi explained that you needed a decent lawn to erect the Tabernacle on.
No Torah reading by anybody under thirty. Bar Mitzvahs were called off and the boys just got an Aliyah. The rabbi literally stopped the Bar Mitzvah boy the following week and told him he can’t read.
Aliyah list was made. Had to honor people right. Many Hosafot, additional Aliyahs for calling people up to the Torah, were added. This allowed everybody to be honored. Aliyahs were cut into three verses; calling up people every three Psukim. There were 59 Aliyahs. One Shabbat it was decided that the Bar Mitzvah boy was too young to get an Aliyah. It was too important of a position. He ended up getting Galila (rolling of the Torah). At his Bar Mitzvah, he got no Aliyah and was told that he was being judged for everything he did. He was very sure to role that Torah perfectly. It took him fifteen minutes to get each part of the scroll wound just right.
After that, the rabbi decided to let the Bar Mitzvah boys layn again, as the rolling took even longer than their painful reading of the Torah. He decided to let Bar Mitzvah boys make mistakes too. He also called off Hosafot, saying that he didn’t realize how much time it took care about people getting honored.
The rabbi also gave up on caring about what the Levis did. He realized they were useless, as they brought the curtain to the wrong cleaners. The dry cleaners put the curtain in a regular wash and could never get out the wrinkles. They said they cutting fit the curtain on the board, and ‘there is no ironing board for ark curtains.’ It’s good we didn’t bring in the drapes.
The whole Levite fiasco was letdown, when the rabbi realized he could only find eight to help bring it to the cleaners. It was nowhere near the 2,630 the rabbi was hoping for.
Gershon, Kehat and Merarry are still mad that they can’t wash the Kohen’s hands. They’ve always wanted an excuse to leave shul during Musaf on the holidays.
The shul strongman competition was won by the Israelites, but they don’t have the requirement to carry stuff. The rabbi is now making all Levites hit the gym. They 35-year-old Levis can’t even do Hagba. Not even three columns. It’s pathetic.
The rabbi is scared of the Israeli. He came two weeks ago and his voice is very deep. He sounds like he commands the rabbi when he asks him questions about Jewish law. He asked if he had to bring a new pot he bought to the Mikvah. The rabbi thought he was commanding him that it had to be brought to the Mikvah. The rabbi took it and dunked it himself.
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Wearing Israeli flags. Showing their support for Israel at the rally in DC. It would’ve been smarter if they brought coats. Based on experience, flags don’t work as good windbreakers.