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Pesach is next week. Don't forget it like you did the Freidberg Shiva.
Sell your Chametz. You don’t need a yard sale this year. Fill out the sheet at the shul and cover it in your home. The yard sales last year, of pasta noodles, was pathetic. It had the whole of Topeka asking why Jews can't donate food to the pantry, like decent humans. Let's keep our leftover food sales private, to lessen anti-Semitism.
No dropping off your Chametz at the shul. There are Jews in the shul too. We understand you want your stuff out of your house. We don't want it. Please also stop dropping off books and pans you don't want anymore.
Shabbat HaGadol Drasha will be long.
The Shabbat visit sing-alongs to the nursing homes are now required to have participants under the age of eighty. Last time the shul visited, the facility was worried that too many new people were looking to be admitted. They said they couldn't handle such an influx, and they didn't want Bernie there.
Rabbi Mendlechm’s Sermon Excerpts
Shabbat Shalom My Holy People…
I’m feeling impurity. Like an uncleanliness in the back left of the shul… It just smells really bad… Pesach is coming. The least you can do is shower…
A lot of nasty talk about others… It's called Lashon Hara, Bernie. We understand that Fran has not done well by the Kiddish, and Mark and Menachem are still fighting over who is better at leading Shacharit. We don’t talk about others, even if our youth director is scaring the kids… Menachem is better for scaring people into saying Ya’aleh vYavo. He does bang harder. It’s still Lashon Hara, even if we all have to watch over the youth director like a hawk, to make sure our kids are safe… Though, all the kids did say Ya'aleh vYavo.
How do we become pure?... First. You stop talking. You have to ask how you got Tzara’at. Lashon Hara is probably it. Sitting in the back left is how you get Tzara'at… Ask how your home grew that mold on the shingles… And soap. Use soap to clean for Pesach...
(Vayikra 14:2-7) The one who received Tzara’at comes to the Kohen on the day of his purification. There are birds slaughtered... He's not going for a question. It's not a planned thing. People don't plan on Tzara'at... Shmuel could plan it daily. He could plan a Kohen visit daily, with the amount of Lashon Hara he speaks... You do a little slaughtering. That's the beginning of the process...
(Vayikra 14:9) On the seventh day he shall shave his hair. Apparently, he needs to shave his haughtiness. His hair… Michael is showing off his hair again. We understand you’re young and you don’t have alopecia… It stands out in the back left. Look at all the men… They have no hair, and then you're rubbing up against them with your curls... I understand you can't control it. Nobody can control that much haughtiness...
(Vayikra 14:10-21) On the eighth day he takes two lambs. One for… Yes. It’s a service. Becoming holy is a process. Seven days of separation, and then more slaughtering...
Stages. That’s how you become holy. There are stages to purification. After the first day, he sits for seven, isolated… We don’t just let him back in the camp… Of course, he showers. You can’t let somebody back in the camp smelling like Tzara’at.
The back left has a Tzara'at odor. Stinks of Lashon Hara... Tzara'at smells like Tzara'at...
We need more isolation in this shul. If there was no Kiddish club, there wouldn't be such paleness... A very pale congregation...
Now our camp has to clean. Stages... To get rid of the plae, a little more time outside... To get rid of the impurity from your home... Chametz is impurity. Your home is full of breadcrumbs...
Pesach is coming. Cleaning is overwhelming and I feel the impurity in your homes. There are stages to Passover cleanliness… You spray later on. You start with the dusting. First stage is get the top. Like the hair that has to be shaved. Head first… You clean your hair first and feet last. Top to bottom… If you were a Metzora, head first. Your home is a Metzora... Everybody is talking Lashon Hara about it...
The house goes, dusting, then wiping, then carpet, then hard floor… Who wipes before they dust?... Then skip the dusting. Wiping is the shaving of cleaning. Who doesn’t know that?!… Of course you use sprays. Sprays are a necessity. Why do you think they have Kosher sprays... You don't eat it. It says not to eat it. But you could, if you wanted... It's Kosher... Dusting is like combing the hair. Getting out lice...
Selling Chametz is the final step of cleaning… It’s like a bad garage sale, where you don’t even put the stuff out for people to take. It’s more like a house sale, where the people can’t get in the house… Dropping off Chametz at the shul is not a stage in cleaning your house… There is no Kiddish coming up this week...
Getting Chametz off your body is the step before any of the stages... Disgusting and filthy...
Before all the purification, you have to stop talking… He’s still talking. That wasn’t even a hint. Shlomo. I was looking right at you… The first stage is to stop talking… That’s why they’re separated from people. You talk when you're with people. I think we should separate the back left… You don’t stop talking. And then you smell bad too. You should each pray in your separate room… You never smell bad to yourself. This is why the Kohen got involved. He let them know they were still dirty... Dirty with Tzara'at. We should have smell check Gabais.
Why does the Metzora need his head shaved as part of the purification. (Vayikra 14:9) Kli Yakar teaches that he shaves ‘his head, and his beard and his eyebrows,’ because of his sin. The head represents haughtiness that he thinks he is better than the person he talks bad about. The beard represents the mouth that speaks the Lashon Hara. They eyebrows represent the narrowness of his seeing that leads him to jealousy and wanting to destroy another’s reputation...
You shave your head, because you’re bald. It blends better. That has nothing to do with your humility, Baruch... Just get a haircut Michael... If you don't it's isolation. Nobody wants to see it… Back left....
Shlomo. That's a unibrow. A huge eyebrow. The amount of jealousy in that one brow... If you had two brows...
You come to the community clean shaven, without haughtiness, narrowness of site, and a huge beard that you're talking out of... It's about being one and not whacking people with your hair, Michael. There is no 'eight inches of hair' in 'team'...
You join the community. You come out for the sing-alongs to the nursing homes. You do things for others. You clean. You smell good. You don’t sit in the back left… You get a haircut before Pesach…
We’ve got to get rid of that stuff to ensure that the process of purity happens... The stages are supposed to make us better. If you donated your Chametz to the shul, we would've had an excellent Kiddish this week... Packaged. Not perishable Chametz, that is good for Kiddish. Canned green beans doesn't help Fran make a decent Kiddish... Cheesecake is a nice thing... Not this week. It's already Pesach... Give it to the food pantry. Just make sure the packages are sealed... Closed is not enough. They can't take closed cottage cheese that's been open...
Take a step back and don’t be all high on yourself… You’re not above cleaning. You have a messy home.
Cleaning is the lowest thing for a haughty person. But a clean home. One that shines is respectful… Now you’re having an ego about your clean home. That’s the problem. You…
The yard sales were a bit embarrassing. Half a box of noodles for sale was the lowest I have ever seen somebody go. The only justification is that the noodles last way after the expiration date.
The congregants are going to have an ego about something. Be it their dirty home, their clean home, their humility. They are going to be haughty about it. I don't know if we'll ever have thin eyebrows that don't narrow our views of others. Shlomo's brows are huge.
The rabbi’s start to his sermon was brilliance. How he called everybody holy and then said they’re impure, only our rabbi can do that.
There is not much purity in the shul. It’s very dirty. They haven’t vacuumed the halls since last Pesach.
The rabbi's hair has been thinning. I feel it's important to note that, before discussing Michael.
Michael wasn't embarrassed. If the rabbi embarrassed anybody it would be forbidden. But he doesn’t embarrass people. He just tells them how wrong they are.
The rabbi insisted that everybody get haircuts. Some think it had to do with the Omer coming up, where we have a tradition to not get haircuts till Lag BOmer, around thirty-three days away. I think he just wanted us to get rid of the haughtiness. He’s a bit bald himself. His hair is at least thinning. And he feels that thinning hair has a lot to do with humility. Michael’s hair is always flopping around.
Haircuts can also help with the hygiene in the back left. What’s amazing is that many are very bald, and they still have egos. I don’t know how the Kli Yakar would explain our membership. Some of them do grow their hair out to the sides. Very far out to the sides. The older men might get their haughtiness from their eyebrows.
All anybody in shul can talk about is Michael’s hair. It’s not just his haughtiness. It is the Lashon Hara. You can’t see over his huge bush of hair. It stands a good foot over his head. It kills conversations. Parents have lost their children in shul because of it. They couldn’t find the kids. You have to part his hair. And when you part his hair, he takes it as though you want to give him attention.
The youth director took the six year olds on a camping trip. Insisted their parents didn’t show. He told a scary story about a bear, with a flashlight. Then, a bear showed up.
Pesach is now 'Cleaning Awareness Month' in our shul. It's the first great initiative of our sisterhood. The issue is that nobody made it past their home, so the shul is still dirty.
It’s good the rabbi announced that Pesach is coming up. The Freidberg home’s lawn is a wreck. I hope they clean it. I don't care if it's Chametz or not, they need to clean.
It’s good the rabbi shared his cleaning technique. The people needed that. The Friedbergs definitely need some lessons. Starting from top to the bottom. ‘Wiping is the shaving of cleaning.’ Profound and brilliant at the same time.
The rabbi also shared the cleaning concept of starting at the top. There are so many practical lessons in our rabbi's sermons. Starting at the top is just another amazing practical lesson. It works for homes, showers, who you give the honors to on Yom Kippur. For Yom Kippur, you look at the top of the donation chart; you give those people the Kavods, honors, first. Never let a low chart person open the ark for Aleynu.
For the Friedbergs, the rabbi should've mentioned that you then clean the outside of the house, so that you can then mow your lawn.
People are still dropping off stuff at the shul. They feel that because Pesach is a religious holiday, and it’s a religious thing to get rid of Chametz, they should bring their Chamtez to the shul.
The shul nursing home visits are depressing for the residents. I don’t think the people in the facility like to see people in worse shape than them. Nobody seems to want to see Bernie.
The Pesach class wasn’t attended by anybody. They were all cleaning.
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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.