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If you want to blame anybody, it's the Gabai's fault.
The shul fundraising dinner will be $80 for singles. $90 for couples. $98 for families with five children. If you have more than five children, the fundraising dinner is free for the family. We've tried to keep single people and divorcees away from the community, but we have decided that we will allow them to remain if they pay a lot.
If anybody has an idea for a name for the shul fundraiser, other than 'shul fundraiser,' please write the office. We just ask that 'shul fundraiser' is part of the name, as nobody will give money if they're not directed to explicitly. We were thinking of calling it the 'give money to shul shul fundraiser.'
New Rule: You have to say high to people. You're not allowed to pretend like you don't notice people in shul anymore. No looking away. Our congregation is too small for people to think they're important.
From now on, only classy events. All shul Simchas must start in a room where you're not going to eat. It has been decided that telling people to move to another room is classy.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon Excerpts
Shabbat Shalom My Flock...
(Bamidbar 8:2) The Menorah was built from one solid piece of gold, hammered out (Ramban)... Can we get a decent contractor in this place. We've got a guy with chisels, drills, chainsaws... He does nothing. He just breaks stuff... He makes holes... He couldn't hammer a circle. The Menorah was hammered out... It's not clay. You can't mold it with your hands. It's not like the romantic scene in Ghost... Made from one piece. It's not eighty pieces put together...
No reason for Chaim's artwork to be more than one piece. It's not like Chaim's drawing is the Statue of Liberty... He tore it up. That’s why it’s in sixty pieces… Why is it hanging in the shul hall? With a thumbtack?! It's in sixty pieces... It’s not art. It’s a child that had a tantrum… It's not supposed to be in pieces... It does represent the dividedness of our shul, where there is no unity... Because nobody wishes anybody a 'Good Shabbis.' They look at you and wish you an awful Shabbis... The look says it all...
(Bamidbar 8:3) He kindled its lamps towards the face of the Menorah. The wicks of the branches on the side faced the middle. Again. Focused on unity. Oneness. Focus... Why do I constantly have to answer these questions? If you focused... Focus on the Torah reading for once... I don't know what you're talking about... I know you're louder than the Bal Koreh. The one reading the Torah ends up facing you... It's a stop talking look...
The Menorah was connected. Pointed to the unified middle... Your head is turned and I am talking. You face the lectern when the rabbi talks... That's the unifying source. The Torah is read... Yes. You listen to it. You face it and listen to it. You don't talk and not say 'Good Shabbis'...
From now on, we need symmetry... I'm not saying Aharon was an artist... He would've done better with paper mache than the Hebrew School kids. That paper mache sculpture thing is so off. Is it a shoe?... Than why is it in the entrance to the shul?... Abstracts don't count. My signature is an abstract... I write my signature poorly. Exactly. That's the point. It's not a piece of art hanging in the shul. The Menorah was beautiful and hammered out. A fine work...
'As H' commanded'... That's how Aharon lit it. It was a good work... Did H' command you to be single? No. That's bad work on the dating front... Alone. A sculpture all by itself. A poorly done piece that H' didn't command... Get married...
That's why it looks good. God knows art better than Chaim... The Levites followed H's directions. That's why they don't have Jewish artifacts that look like shoe moldings... It’s a door stopper... Yes. Your kids are shameful, and there's a reason they didn't take over for the Bachurs.
It was the way H' showed Moshe, that's how it was made (Bamidbar 8:4). If they followed directions, it might be art... Have you seen the Menorah by the Kotel? Beautiful... They would not put up Simcha's art. Or an abstract that looks like a messed up foot...
The problem is that people think they're important. There is no room for creativity when you're commanded to do stuff the right way... The wood slab and nut Chanukiah is not cool... Even single people don't use it...
(Bamidbar 8:16) 'For they are given over to Me from among the children of Israel, instead of those that open the womb, the firstborn...' The Levites took the place of the Bachors, the firstborns... They messed up. The Bachors messed up like Chaim… We don’t hang up everything the Bachors do, because they messed up. Why are we hanging up all of this art work?... The same way the Bachors were substituted out, we must substitute out all the messed up artwork in the shul...
We need to find congregants that take the place of the members...
Kids need to listen in Hebrew school before their place in shul is lost. They're going to lose their place if they don't listen... Their art wouldn't be this messed up if they followed directions. If they followed instructions, they wouldn't be making self-portraits that look like... Does this look like Sima?... Yes. This thing in my hand... Well. It says her name on it. This is her self-portrait she drew in art class... I know, it looks like a cat... We will substitute them... A substitute wouldn't help this work...
They are holy to Me. We need people that are holy to this congregation... You've messed up like Bachors... You even get mad when new people join. Like you can't get enough attention... You're worried your spot will be taken, because you don't listen to the Mitzvot... The Mitzvot of decent art. And you don't do your part... The Ner Tamid, continual light, is neon... They didn't use neon in the Temple, Bernie.
Real art comes from oneness. Connectedness... Single people aren't connected... Even single people wouldn't make a wood slab and nut Chanukiah. It looks pathetic... The concept of art is off in this shul... You're not cool, because you're a Bachor. Even if single people wouldn't take your place... It's because they're single.
Connectedness through Torah. Torah in the middle. The Levites were connected to God, to the people. They followed directions... How can you be connected if you don't say Hi? If you don't listen to your rabbi... I am standing right here. In the middle....
We need to connect through something. The sisterhood can't even agree on which Danish is the best.
Raising the Levites is what we do. If we can raise funds... Raising money for gifts.
Gifts are not a charity. If you would give something to the shul's building fund... We're not hanging Rachel's pinata outside the shul... Whatever the paper mache thing is. It looks like a mold.
Stop giving the shul stuff you don't want. It's not art... The building fund is to keep the building in tact, heat and to keep up the tent over my parking spot...
No more gifts. Only donations of money. No artwork. Unless if God commands it... If you don’t want it in your home. We don’t want it. Did God ever say to give Him your trash?... That was gold and silver. Find jewelry...
It's not art. Don’t throw it on the shul. If you got ripped off on a print, keep it... I understand that you were supporting a young artist in Tzfat...
If you just smiled and were kind, that would bring unity and focus... They don't want to be with you. Your Bachorness...
The rabbi has went back to referring to us as sheep and cattle.
It's amazing how our rabbi always finds a way to ask for money. That's what makes him great. That and his ability to make everything holy. Only our rabbi can bring Patrick Swayze into a sermon.
In the end, people gave nothing. They said that if they can't drop off their kids' artwork, it's not worth it. For the building fund, the shul hosted a garage sale for all the trash the members dropped at the door. The rabbi couldn't stop people from dropping off their kids' memories, and they were scared their children would see it in the garbage.
The Bachor and Levi point was beautiful. The rabbi's member exchange for people that don't come to shul. was passed by the board. The idea of members paying and other people coming instead of them is appreciated by all. The board members stopped showing up all together.
The shul art is off. The rabbi didn't mention the ark cover this time. There is so much wrong with the pieces up in our shul. We have to stop taking donations. Until they understand that donations can only be money, no more donations. The paper mache was a donation from a parent trying to get their kid's art out of the house. It's embarrassing. Chaim's mom didn't want the family name on the piece, but her son felt so good seeing it in shul. Now the name is on the piece and the family is embarrassed. Rightfully.
They tried getting rid of the artwork, but nobody wanted it.
I think the problem started when we opened the shul food pantry. People thought they could start dropping off anything they don't want. I had no idea people were so against sardines. Why they buy them is still a question. Many poor people are not happy receiving the artwork of third and fourth graders.
What’s on the pieces at the shul? Nothing Jewish. A picture from Italy. No Jerusalem stuff. Most of the art is a child's profile. I think they make them draw that in school, and the parents don't want to hang it in the home. Very untalented children. I can't imagine that the teacher told every child to draw abstracts.
We had a class on the different looks. The head nod from side to side is disappointment. That's the only head nod the rabbi gives. I don't know how the class was confusing. You never shake from side to side with a smile. It's always with closed lips of rage.
The rabbi had to explain that the down and up head nod is a greeting. Yet, the up and then down can be disappointment.
Single people have to pay a lot more for everything. We try to keep them out, but they pay. Now, that they pay, we give them awkward looks and try to not sit with them. The problem is that the shul dinner organizers sit them at tables.
The addendum to the you have to say hi to people rule, is that you don't have to say anything to them, if they're single or divorced. Giving them head nods from side to side is encouraged.
The people in our congregation don't greet each other. I feel like its turned into a Minyin they're trying to keep people out of. They're trying to keep the numbers under 10.
A conversation of important and cool was had. It was decided at by the board that you can't be important or cool in our congregation, due to the numbers of people who care.
The rabbi blamed it all on the Gabai.
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They met for coffee on their Shidduch date. A few minutes later they were engaged in drinking.
You get it? Engaged to get married. They're just drinking. Engaged works for both. Coffee leads to engagement.
That sidewalk is known as a great pickup spot. Check out the guy putting on the moves. Great line. ‘Nu. You going to Ma’alot Dafna?’ It works all the time. Many people have met their Bashert due to buses showing up late...
The other couple is killing the vibe. They've got to give some space. They’re the same people that sit next to the date at the coffee shop. Single people need space. It's awkward talking about how many kids you want in front of other people.
(photo: Adam Jones, seen on Wikipedia)