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In a new effort to bring Jews closer to their faith, community members are now required to invite people for Shabbat dinner. The reason Jews aren’t Shomer Shabbis is they’re too lazy to cook. Many people have promised the rabbi that they'll start keeping the laws of Shabbat if they receive free meals, and free tuition for their children along with free meals at school. For people to remain religious, it was suggested that all choolante have kishka. Otherwise, more Jews will stop keeping Shabbis.
Everybody should learn ‘VAta Banim Shiru Shiru.’ The shul is now using it at least twice every Shabbis. Until Shwekey puts out a better tune for Kedusha, that's what the shul will be doing.
Yasher Koyachs need a reason. It seems our congregants are commending people on jobs well done when they've done nothing.
No more using laundry as an excuse. We understand you have kids. You should still be able to show up for Minyin.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon Excerpts
Shabbat Shalom My Pupils...
Lech Lecha. Go for yourself. Maybe show up to Minyin... Go for the shul. Maybe join another congregation...
What does Avraham take when he leaves Charan?... Not laundry. He left with clean clothes. And he prayed with the community.
You put in the load and leave. You don’t stand there and stare at it… You can load the dryer later. You show up to shul… Avraham would’ve showed up to shul… Yes. They smelled bad back then.
I'm thinking about leaving this shul... I'm not a high school football coach. I can't even inspire you to come to Minyin. You'll be fine...
(Bereishit 12:4) 'Avraham was seventy-five when he left Charan.' We can't even get Bernie to walk up for an Aliyah in less than five minutes... He walked all the way to Canaan. Yes. He was in shape. Seventy-five and a spring chicken... Maybe Canaan is where they retired to back in those days. I think spring chicken was used bakck then. You saved money staying with your parents, but the weather in Canaan was warm. Doctors suggested...
Is that where you get it from Pinchas?! Get out of your parents’ house... I know you can save money like that. I know they do your laundry. They say that's why they don't come to shul... Tell your parents that laundry is not an excuse to not pray. They can't show up to shul because they have to take care of you?!
He did stuff when he was seventy-five. So you're eighty, Bernie. Nobody cares. Do something.
He left for Canaan. He left with a people. You won't even help setup for Kiddish... Leave the shul. Avraham's building tents, altars. He's doing stuff. You guys can't even help put together a bookcase for the shul library. How about carrying the choolante out for Kiddish??? 'Oh. My back.' Avraham had no moving company. No truck. He was the truck. They walked. They walked to their retirement, and then lived another hundred years... They lived for a long time. Probably because they weren't lazy and helped with Kiddish. And they didn't have to watch over their children... Maybe Lech Lecha is H' telling Avraham to get away from family. To run away from the children...
Even when you're old, you have strength. Bernie is just no healthy.
(Bereishit 12:5) He made souls in Charan... That's what he took with him. His built up wealth and the souls... He didn't just give up after he reached 50, like the Men's Club... You all gave up. Not one soul shows up... You put together the program, Frank. You put it together and you didn't even show... Then have a Shabbat meal. Make some decent BBQ, because you can't cook anything else, and have a decent Shabbat meal. That's how you make people religious...
You can make people religious if you're out of shape and lazy like Bernie. You build altars. Activities. You need to do stuff and feed them...
Do stuff. You're old. Go bowling. Play shuffleboard. Play BINGO. Watch Hallmark...
He did more than invite them for dinner. He took them on a trip to Canaan. Birthright. Free trips makes people religious too. Not just free dinners
He brought them, even though he had to do a lot more laundry... Laundry is not an excuse. Avraham didn’t use laundry as an excuse to live near his parents, so they could help him.
And he still showed up to Minyin... You guys will use anything as an excuse to not help with Minyin... You don't work. You're retired... You can at least cook. How about this. Go on a trip. Go on a journey...
And do something for your husbands. This isn't just about the men doing nothing.
(Bereishit 12:11-13) And his wife had his back. He tells her they're going to Egypt, so she should go in harm's way, so they don't kill Avraham. That's a wife... She has her husband's back, Rachel...
We're talking about Shalom Bayit of the shul, and Shalom Bayit of the home… Take a step up... Yes. Women also have to step up.
You make people religious with food, and good tunes. Let the Chazin know his tunes are horrendous...
'VAta Banim' is a great tune… That’s why I use it all the time.
There are no excuses. Do things right. You have strength when you're old... Some people, who keep in shape have strength... I know this is empowering.
You need to be empowered to empower others. Avraham was empowered. Who here is empowered?... Nobody? OK. Well. Let us at least focus on helping make other people religious. We need good food, activities, trips and tunes. And we need to present Frumness right...
Meaningful Yasher Koyachs make people religious... You have to congratulate people on a job well done right... Or nobody will be religious. You don't wish a Yasher Koyach when the guy bet on the right team. Yasher Koyachs are for positive reinforcement.
You can’t wish a Yasher Koyach for everything. He kissed the Torah… He pulled an ark curtain and kissed the Torah… The guy walked into shul and you said ‘Yasher Koyach.’ You should’ve said ‘Good Shabbis'... Good Shabbis and Yasher Koyach are not the same thing... And you should say 'Thank you' sometimes. Yasher Koyach is not saying thank you. It's telling the guy he did the right thing, for you... It's wrong. Even if you're the Gabai, you sometimes say 'Thank you.'
'VAta Banim' is a good song… When we do it for Na’aritzcha, that deserves a Yasher Koyach… Even if the words don’t fit and we have to say a bunch of words fast, it still desrves a Yasher Koyach... Because it's a good song. It's a good song and the Chazin isn't singing it. Maybe thank me.
Open up the curtain to the Aron is questionable. Pulling the curtain string to the ark really doesn’t deserve a Yasher Koyach... If it's the High Holidays and they paid two thousand dollars for it. Then, you wish them a Yasher Koyach...
You give free stuff. Avraham took care of his followers… That’s why they followed him. He had good food and he took them on a trip...
Shalom Bayit is with food
The rabbi’s new free stuff to make people religious campaign was nixed, as it came off as anti-Semitic.
The old people being able to do stuff was a strong message. It was confusing, as the rabbi kept on calling them old. But he said that you can still do stuff when you're old. They didn't help with Kiddish still. They also didn't help put the Siddurs back after Tefillah.
The rabbi did empower some of the older people to start exercising, so they can walk to Canaan. The exercise turned into a shul powerlifting team for the elderly.
The rabbi was trying real hard to get Bernie to move away. He wants him out of the shul. He even suggested Canaan, wherever that is.
After the sermon, congregants were trying to figure out where Canaan is in Florida. They were hoping for a decent price on a condo. As Milt said, 'If it's good enough for Avraham, it's good enough for me.'
When they heard that Canaan didn’t develop phase four yet, and there was no golf course, they decided to stay in Topeka.
'Do something for your husbands.' The rabbi was trying to get people to buy gifts for their spouses for Chanukah. It just got the wives mad. Next time, I think he will be better off telling the people to sacrifice their lives for Egypt.
When it comes to equality, the rabbi has to understand that women should never have to risk a life. Is chivalry gone?
He should've told the men to risk their lives. That would've gotten a better response. If the rabbi would've told the men to risk their lives for a decent meal, and to go shopping at Krogers, that would've been appreciated by all. That means the women. The message should've been that Avraham cooked for himself when Sarah was with Paroh.
The rabbi has been singing that song. He must’ve heard the ‘VAta Banim’ song recently. He seems to love it, and uses it for everything. He even used it for Kiddish.
At least he fits the tune and the lyrics. Or he tries. The tune doesn’t fit the words of all prayers, but our rabbi is a committed man, and he will use it for every song he sings. It’s his theme now. Like any good Balei Tefillah (somebody who leads Davening- not bringing the Chazin in here, because he's annoying and does his own thing- he doesn't lead), the rabbi has decided to never give into the words, and to keep the tune going no matter what. I’ve heard him throw in eight words to the last note of the song. He mistimes the words. But that is fine, as we know the tune.
To note: Nobody became religious listening to the 'VAta Banim' tune. You have to already be religious to appreciate it.
Shmuli wished the guy a Yasher Koyach when the guy came back from the bathroom. He was walking to his seat during Torah reading, so Shmuli thought he got an Aliyah.
The rabbi really hurt feelings saying that the opening the ark Yasher Koyach is questionable. The men of our shul feel like big Machers when they pull the string to the curtain.
I've heard the women of our shul say that their husbands never helped close a curtain in the house. For that matter, they have done nothing in the house.
Knowing that Avraham took clean clothes to Canaan. That's information that only our rabbi would know. Huge laundry discussions happened in the shul at Kiddish. Then, meetings were heald during the week. The meetings were held during Minyin. So, the shul couldn't get a Minyin.
Everybody is using Persil now. It's the new popular one.
No discussions were held about hosting people for Shabbat dinner. I think the congregants decided they didn't want more religious Jews in the shul. They wanted the non-practicing Jews to join. Later on, the board decided to host wine and cheese programs. They figured that would keep the new members not religious. They also charged for the event.
I fought with the board to have a herring and schnapps event. It didn't happen. I did what I could to support the rabbi and to try to help people become more religious.
Rabbi Mendelchem ended up staying. He decided to stay and didn't go for himself. I believe he got caught up in the sermon, thinking he would head out and go on a journey to a new congregation 'for himself.' He didn't find another job, and he couldn't ask for the raise.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.