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We started recycling now at Kiddish. Choolante doesn't taste as good on paper. It's much tastier on plastic. The paper materials are not appreciated by me or anybody that doesn't like scraping up paper into their dish. There is a top layer on every paper plate that naturally skims off into the stew. Stuff doesn’t taste as good with a paper fork. either. Even wooden forks soak in the herring; not good for the potato kugel.
The good thing about the recycling concept is the compost pile. Bernie's table throws out a lot of rugulach. Seeing how much is thrown out, the rabbi decided that we have to start rationing Kiddish pastries.
The kids still pile up their plates and that has to stop as well. They think their plate is a compost lesson. So, they set an example by showing how much Bernie's table wastes. This is why I'm against education.
We hosted a singles Shabbat at shul this week. Sadie is convinced that all single men have asperger's. She knows they would be married if they didn't talk.
It's awkward hosting the singles. I feel like we're rubbing in the good life of marriage and kids they don't have. I believe the mothers put on a baby stroller parade to help all the single women understand that life has passed them by. I've never seen these mothers smile before. They're usually dead tired. This parade didn't help the feeling of depression among the single women.
Kaddish is still off sink in the shul. Got a new guy going at a third of the speed. We have to say two Amens now. It’s our duty.
One Kaddish finishes and the next Kaddish is still going. Some of the new members like the Kaddish canon. They're really into the coming in at the wrong time to every song. It appears that's how they harmonize as well. The round table singing thing, where different people start at different times has brought too much fun and bad singing to the congregation. For Kedusha, during the repetition of the Amidah (silent prayer), the Chazin was singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat.'
After much discussion, the board decided that there will be no more retired seats. Even if you are president of the sisterhood and don’t get in fights, they won't retire your seat. Nonetheless, you can fight to keep your seat, and yell at the board. Francine did that when they gave her Yom Kippur seat to one of the new members. The board called it 'giving.' Francine called it 'stealing my seat.'
It’s not financially worth it to retire the seats, even if we don’t want the people as members. Retiring seats before somebody is dead was a discussion, as they wanted Bernie out of the shul. It was decided that you can't give Bernie no seat if he hasn't robbed anybody. They figured that if you can give him an Aliyah, you can give him a seat. Which is why the rabbi wants to oust the Gabai.
Planning shul Tu BShvat Seder has been going well. I'm just happy that we don't have to worry about the food. We bought the dried fruit five months ago. It's fresh. We might even be able to use it next Tu BShvat.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
Shabbat Shalom My Congregants and Single People Looking For A Community to Like Them
The new Davener is going so slow. I understand that there are Chiyuvs. We have obligations in our shul, but it's too slow… I learned a whole Mesachta of Mishnah last Chazaras Hashatz… It was a very slow repetition. We have to move. The Davening... Davening is praying, Simcha. If you don't know how to move back and forth at a proper sway, you're not...
If we don’t move faster, people are going to start thinking, and they’re going to think they shouldn’t be here… Yes. We shouldn’t be listening to a Chazin who is meditating… Saying Kaddish is not there to take away the lives of other people. It’s there to commemorate the life of a family member… You don’t commemorate a lifetime with a repetition of the Amidah that takes a long time…
Paroh sends out the Israelites… When he did it, it was quick.
(Shemot 13:17) H' doesn't take them straight to Eretz Yisrael. H' takes them around… They would’ve turned right back if they saw the wars… Have you ever seen a war? You don’t just walk into one of those and start making new friends... Sadie would. Because she's friendly. She's made it through the sisterhood, she can make it through any battle... She even went into the compost pile to get a rugulach. I respect her. She's a warrior.
H’ gives the Israelites time to mess up more, before taking them into the Holy Land, where they will have a chance to mess up again. The same reason we fired the custodian this past week. He messed up more and then again, and then didn't sweep again. Then used the rabbis computer to download sermons… You give a relationship time to develop, time to mess up. And then you fire them...
We left Egypt, but H' leads us not through the Philistine land, as we would have seen war and turned right back around (Rashi). Kind of like Mr. Appelman when he noticed that he was going to have to stay for the whole davening this week. Stepped in the room, got the look for Kaddish quorum abilities, and then he jetted. Sometimes you have to be the 10th man, Mr. Appelman. People are dependent on you... I know. His Kaddishes are long. It’s a long battle to make it through those…
A 10th man is needed… Not in this community. Nobody showed up for services on Thursday....
Not ready to be a community yet. Not ready to work together. Not ready to put aside are fears of not being slaves and serving H' as one unit... As we always see the sisterhood fighting in the kitchen… They’re one unit, Frank. They fight as a unit… They're not slaves. Slaves don't fight. They're not ready to battle yet... The sisterhood would take you down so fast Frank. Thelma has been hitting the gym.
I am talking about teamwork here. H' saw we needed time as a nation. We needed time to be a team… The sisterhood could've dealt with war. They're not afraid to fight. The men of this shul are scared... Show up for Minyin. That's all I'm asking. It's a fight to get a Minyin...
The singles have taken too many long routes already. Get married... Yes. That's the point. You step around the whole thing. You're tiptoeing. Ask them out... Stop being alone. It bothers everybody just as much as Felvel's long Davening.
Yes. We are wandering in the desert, because we are not developing our relationship with Gd. The single people, here for the singles weekend, can’t develop a relationship… You lead them the wrong way. You take the girls to a dingy pool hall, you’re not going to get the next date… It scares them, Chanan.
But we have to develop that relationship as a people. As one nation who can be independent enough to depend on H'...
Were the Jews wandering in the desert?... That is a question. That is not the answer. That is why it is phrased as a question. Even written with a question mark... They definitely were not ready to lead themselves.
When will we be ready to stop fighting in the kitchen, start being a 10th man and to travel in that desert, so that we too can have that relationship that you kids sitting in the first row have shown you don't have... Sitting there on your the phone. Surfing... Composts are not the answer for a relationship with Gd... If you plant on it, OK.
It's Shabbat. Talk to somebody. Stop being shy. Be part of the people and develop a relationship... It'd be good if you met in person. All of you singles are here. Get a number...
Be a team. Married people are a team... I know the women got no help pushing the carriages today...
We needed time to be a team. We also needed commitment. The bones of Yosef were a commitment... No. We don't need time to figure out that we need a youth director. We don't need time for you to come to Minyin. You need to commit. That means you wake up. You don't need 300 years to work up your fervor to come to Minyin... Or to choose a youth director. Exactly. Singles will commit to run youth groups... I know it's frightening, but they love kids. They want kids. I saw one of the young ladies eyeing the baby carriages. They might even take a carriage... To have it.
(Shemot 13:19) They take the bones of Yosef, because Yosef ‘made the children of Israel swear, saying, “Gd will remember you, and you shall bring up my bones from this with you.”’ We need to take oaths that people will show up on a Thursday morning for shul.
Yosef made them swear they would remember… You remember nothing Bernie… We'll remember the long Kaddish. It's painful.
Does this congregation remember my last raise?... Exactly. I don’t either. It was a long time ago.
We shouldn’t have to swear to remember people. You’ve forgotten the singles. Look at all of them… They’re lonely… Yes. They smile here but not at home. When you have your kids saying, ‘I love you mom,’ they’re watching it on a Netflix series… Because they have nobody to say, ‘I love you.’ They are solo. Nobody around. Just a roommate using the same bathroom. It's disgusting...
We remember Michel. We want to remember Michel... We don't want to remember the other members. That's why their seats aren't retired...
When they traveled, the word used is Nachem, which means to lead. It means to camp. It also means to comfort. (Shemot 13:20) ‘… and they camped in Eitam, at the edge of the wilderness…’
The Hebrew word for camping is comfort. Glamping is not proper for Jewish people. As we see at the beginning of the Parsha, Jews will just turn around. The Jews would go right home… If Gd took them glamping, they would've went right back to Egypt. If you don’t see a hotel, that’s not a vacation, Shmuel… The Jews would’ve went right back to Egypt if they saw the Pelishtim and non-running water… Exactly. They complained about the lack of running water in the desert every day. Moshe had it hard. Think about what I have to deal with when the Kellogg's Corn Flakes are finished at breakfast... Frosted Flakes are too sweet for them now.
The Torah continues (13:21) ‘H’ went before them with a cloud in the day, to comfort them…’ Yes. It means to lead them… I’m a great leader. That’s why you’re all comfortable on the new cushioned chairs, donated by the Smithowitz family…
You have to comfort people. Learn how to visit a Shiva house for crying out loud... You don't roll up with the bass blasting in the car... It's not comforting, Fiona...
You have to comfort the single people, or we’ll lose more of them to the Jesuits... Intermarriage. Everybody wants comfort… It’s not comfortable to be a 40 year old single and to get one key to share with somebody… Hosting is not enough. They need access to your house… One key? The guy was waiting for the other to finish hitting on the girl. He even went over to him and said, we have to get back home and go to bed... You made them look pathetic... Those two guys are meeting nobody. Look at Shawn and Zev. No chance. Meeting nobody... Exactly. A place to sleep alone. With another dude.
Single people need comforting. They’re in mourning too… They just don’t hold everybody up with a long Davening....
One key to the house?! Have you forgotten they’re singles… They’re not kids. They’re singles. You host them, you give them their own key… Let’s say they meet somebody… You can’t treat them like children. Sitting them at the kids table at the Bar Mitzvah… They’re single. They’re not kids… Kids are not singles…
The guy had to yell out. Does anybody know Evan Keesh. People that he was asking for quiche.
No matter what, it’s going to be hard.
(Shemot 14:1-8) With all the comfort of an easy travel, they’re still chased by the Egyptians. The Mitzrim ask, ‘What have we done, that we send out the children of Israel from being our slaves…’ Nobody is chasing you. Chanan. You are 38. Just get married. There are no Egyptians chasing you. You might as well settle…
Single people are not your slaves… We are slaves to a slow davening. It's not comforting and I don't feel the cloud, or the fire, above the ark, when Felvel leads services. Very disheartening...
They decide to chase the Jews, ‘And the children of Israel went out with an upraised arm.’
It's hard to say goodbye. To give up control. That's why they sit on the board... They just sit. If they had to stand on the board, they wouldn't be there. It's too much effort to stand... Committees don't take effort. You sharing your opinions and doing nothing, kills energy, Fagye... The singles aren’t crazy. They need an upraised arm to tell them that they have no chance with...
Your kids are crazy. They run around the shul...
Comfort them. The singles need our help. Tu BShvat is tomorrow. Make it good with ladies. Comfort them. Bring them some fruit… Not dried fruit. That doesn’t comfort anybody. The dried stuff kills the stomach. Bring them fresh fruit. A fruit basket. They love baskets. Women love wicker... It's not Tu BAv... Did Tu BAv ever work for you Chanan?... Exactly. Work with Tu BShvat...
And it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday as well, we all have a dream that these people will finally get married…
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
The rabbi put Kaddish and mourning in a whole new light for me. I am now more willing to tell mourners they're doing stuff wrong. It used to be hard for me to tell somebody, who is crying and sad, that they are doing it wrong.
I backed out of the sisterhood. They scare me.
Very awkward Friday night singles event. Nobody met. They were all standing with their clicks. They looked good and stylish, but not approachable. One guy tried to break into a click and join a conversation. The girls had to explain to him what a click is. A click is apparently something to keep the single women happy.
The girls walked out looking good, with no guys.
I also think it was weird to have the married people at the event. The girls were imagining our husbands without Tallises. The guys were imagining the women without Shaytels. I think all the singles thought we were a conversation full of divorcees, raising our children together. I've brought up the idea of us being a Kibbutz shul, but the board is too lazy to plant anything.
The rabbi was right. The singles aren’t crazy. If more women wore head coverings in the shul, we wouldn’t have the problem of the men hitting on all the married women. The men hitting on the married women didn’t help the single women’s morale base.
I think the singles heard the rabbi’s message when he brought it home and said that they’re alone and with nobody. Nobody to tell them they are loved. I think that was truly a strong message. When people cry during a sermon, you know the rabbi is doing a good job.
Also, telling them that nobody is chasing them, like the Egyptians. That they should settle. That was brilliant. Very strong messages.
The rabbi tried helping them by telling them to get numbers, right after he told everybody they have to keep Shabbat to connect with Gd. To be a religious Jew who is hitting on a women, you have to be really good with numbers. Encyclopedic.
The rabbi's advice was totally correct. Women love wicker.
Singles having to be a certain age clarified it for us all. We now know that you’re not considered a single till you reach forty. Before forty, you're a potential spouse. You're a bachelor or bachelorette. Forty makes you an adult who has no chance, a single.
Once they reach forty, I will stop sitting the singles at the kids table.
The parents are still not watching their kids.
The women's head coverings have been quite unique recently. Now, baseball hats are a thing in shul. The bedazzled baseball hats are still baseball hats. One of the women said bedazzling is classy. You can't make a baseball hat classy. It has no place in shul. And then they have bedazzled logos of their favorite yeshivas on the hats. It's not Shabbisdik.
The shul glamping program for Tu BShvat last year was a disaster. Nobody wanted to connect with the land, even if that meant a heated cabin with a private bathroom. If camping is at all involved, our congregants are not comfortable.
Nobody ate dried fruit at the shul’s Tu BShvat Seder, later in the week. I think the reason why the dried fruit needs to last so long, with the two year expiration date and all the preservatives, is that nobody wants to eat it. I am certain that nobody likes the dried plums.
There is no Seichel, common sense, in our congregation. One key to forty year old single men to share. Glamping. Shiva house visits, like they're going to party. Recycling at Kiddish. Paper and wood forks are disgusting. Slow davening. Dried fruit. Long services. Baby carriages piled up at the entrance to the shul. And they wonder why people aren't coming.
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I was going to do Kaparos before Yom Kippur, but I chickened out.
You get it? Kaparos is the tradition of placing your sins on something else, the day before Yom Kippur, traditionally a chicken, and waiving it. He chickened out of the chicken. He might've done it with money in the end. But that would still be without a chicken.
Designated stroller parking area. Something every shul needs, so I can get through the entrance on Yom Kippur... Truth is they should have stroller parking all the time. The entrance is always blocked.
Problem: Merv and Bernie will end up parking there. They already take the disabled parking spots and walk just fine. When it comes to parking, every member of our congregation is disabled.
Side Note: Figured out why so many kids come to shul on Yom Kippur. Because they get to eat in shul on Yom Kippur.