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If you heard the Chazin this Shabbis, that is what it’s going to be like for the High Holidays. We, the board, want to apologize.
Give the rabbi a break. A little space. When he's walking, please stop following him with questions. The rabbi has stated he will file for restraining orders against congregants who have too many questions. He would also like you to know that when he's walking on the treadmill at the JCC, he does not want to have conversation.
Rosh Hashana Resolutions Our Members Should Make: I will not chew with my mouth open. I won’t eat deli on the airplane, even if I brought the sandwich because I was worried I would not get the kosher meal. I will not eat Chinese food on the bus, because it smells almost as bad as deli. I will share the armrest during the High Holidays, even though the guy that sits next to me only shows up once a year.
Selichot are this Saturday night. Maybe be a decent person. Maybe show up to Minyin. Maybe ask for forgiveness once in a while. Maybe mow your lawn and trim your hedges so the neighbors don’t hate you.
Rabbi Mendelchem's Drasha Excerpts
Shabbat Shalom My Pupils...
To all those here. Much respect. It is Elul and it is the time to ask for forgiveness. With our Chazin, who takes way too long for everything, and this week being a double Parsha, the pain you are suffering should be an atonement. You've done a positive action for once...
(Devarim 30:2-3) ‘And you will return to H’ your Gd and you will listen to His voice... And H’ will return your captive and have mercy...’ He will return us to Eretz Yisrael. We won’t have congregants following us everywhere. We’ll be redeemed from having to deal with the members of Beis Knesses Anshei Emes uSefillah. We won’t have to deal with a Chazin who thinks it’s a good idea to do a two hour Selichot at midnight.
We will be redeemed...
Redemption would be great. I’m just looking for congregants to stop following me.
First we return, then H' will return us to Israel. First you have to do an action... I can't do everything for your Shloimy. There is no intermediary between you and H'... I'm trying to get you to stop following me home from Shul with questions...
Redemption comes after we return. You have to do something first. Then H' will help us. You have to put in a little effort, unlike the board who does nothing useful.
You have to resolute. Maybe you can stop coming to me with annoying questions.
Stop chewing with your mouth open. Nobody wants to sit next to you during Kiddish...
H’ promises us we will do it... No, you haven’t repented. Hanging out at The Stop... Stop taking credit for hanging out with your buddies and drinking. That's not Teshuva.
You have to put in some effort. Unlike the effort you put into showing up to shul on time.
The effort you put into prepping for football games. Why you have the Bills Rams colors on you...You’re not even going to the game. You live nowhere near LA. Do you dress up to bother your wife?!
Rosh Hashana is coming... Yes. I’m talking about Teshuva. I’m not talking about who you should pick for the game. You don’t come to shul to pray for a fantasy win...
It’s going to be a painful holidays with the Chazin. Having to hear him should be our atonement.
(Devarim 30:6) ‘H’ your Gd will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, to love H’ your Gd, with all your heart and all your soul, that you may live.' You don't decide if you live... You decide if you do Teshuva. You decide if you're going to bother me on the treadmill. You decide if you're going to bet on a game... Make it good. Circumcision is done by Gd. You have to show Him love and try to not be annoying… Maybe decide to show up to Minyin on time. Maybe share your armrest. Circumcise a bit of your armrest, to share it…
Ibn Ezra teaches that the circumcision of the heart is that Gd will remove the spiritual impediments that get in the way of full repentance. Like congregants and Bernie...
H’ will assist us. After we put in some effort and return. If we don't mess up the services, He will help us get out...
You have to do for yourself. Stop following me. I can't get two minutes of a Shpatzir without somebody attacking me from the side with questions about the new chapel project...
Let me walk. I need a circumcision so I can walk without getting harassed by a congregant..
‘That you may live.’ Are we truly living here? Are you living when you pick a running back and they get injured in the first quarter?!… Are you living if Sam and Bayla are chewing next to you…
Teshuva helps you live. And you need to be strong to do Teshuva. Michel can’t even do Hagba.
The problem is you don’t believe. (Devarim 31:6) ‘Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid and don’t be broken from before them, for H’ your Gd, He that goes with you, will not release you and will not forsake you.’ You need a bit of belief in Gd. You have to know that He is there to circumcise you… Yes. Even after the eighth day Gd can circumcise us again… If we know Gd is there, we can be courageous and strong. We know that there will be a day where we can walk to shul without being harassed with questions about Selichot and how long Davening will be this Rosh Hashana. A day where congregants will understand that they have to show up on the second day to hear Shofar. Congregants that are smart enough to know you don’t blow on Shabbat. A day where you don’t have to answer questions about which tuna is more environmentally sound…
That’s why you’re weak and you can’t do it. You have no belief. You think that you’ll be lost without a whole row to yourself. You’re too weak to share… I saw you lose the elbow fight last Sukkot...
Being strong and courageous. You don’t show your strength by elbowing the guy next to you in the chest and knocking him off his chair... You have to open up the seats for other people on the High Holidays.
You need to be circumcised again. Either that, or we’re going to get pews…
Israel doesn’t have enough space for people to not share.
The rabbi always talks about Teshuva, repentance, on Shabbat before Rosh Hashana. The resolution message is very good. Rachel needs to hear it. She has to resolute to not talk during Davening, and to be less annoying.
I think another resolution our congregation can do is to only tell decent jokes this year. The amount of time I have been stuck listening to bad jokes by Merv, it’s not right.
The ‘change’ message was very good. Just change. That was the rabbi’s message to the congregants. I believe he said ‘don’t be you’ at some point. I believe that was the most important message for Sam.
The message of effort went nowhere.
Nobody in the shul puts in any effort. The Machzorim (High Holiday Siddurs) on Rosh Hashana were in storage. Nobody put them out. People had to go to storage during Rosh Hashana services to find the box and take a Machzor. We had people that had never been in shul before treasure-hunting prayer books in the dark. Then, they couldn’t find the key. So, random people we never saw at shul before broke down the door.
I believe the rabbi's idea of redemption is not having to see congregants.
The resolution ideas to resolute went nowhere. They still carry around disgusting smelling food. And they all chew so loud. With the way they hum while they eat, it’s like a wind-instrument section. You can't sit next to any of the congregants at Kiddish. And I know there will be armrest fights again at shul this Yom Kippur. The way they fight over the armrests. One turned from elbowing into a full-on wrestling match. Himelstein ended up pulling the chair out of the bolts and slamming the other guy with it.
The way the fight continued was 'you only come once a year.' And then the other responded, 'That's why the rabbi likes me.'
Most of the men are not used to sharing seats. They still put their stuff on every seat in the row, to ensure nobody sits next to them. One seat is there for the guy’s glasses.
The Stop is a hangout for mid to late twenties. A parent opened it and figured that the clientele would get the message to stop. They were used to telling their children to stop. I know this, because they’re always yelling at their kids in shul. They figured that telling their clientele to stop before they came into the establishment would get across the message that whatever they’re doing is wrong. Anything they’re doing.
They truly follow the rabbi. I saw a woman Follow him all the way to shul. I have never seen the rabbi walk so fast. Yet, she kept up with him. Her Yenta abilities are amazing. They even allow her to speed walk. She went two miles out of her way. The congregants are willing to walk an extra two miles just to share their complaints. One went on for forty five minutes about the new faucet in the bathroom, and how the handle isn’t long enough for them. One congregant followed the rabbi eight miles to ask him if she bet on the Cincinnati Bengals.
I don't know how you run up to somebody on a treadmill. But they do it.
The rabbi put out a restraining order on all congregants. He is finally able to go to the JCC and get a decent workout in.
The rabbi has put out stay away orders to the congregants. However, that just sounded rude. So, the board left it at restraining orders. Now the rabbi has his job in perpetuity. The shul will never fire the rabbi. They’re too afraid that he’ll sue for harassment.
The Chazin was painful. I am very much with the rabbi.
They care about football. The members come to shul to pray for a fantasy win. This past Shabbis, the rabbi got no questions about the High Holiday services. All questions were 'who's going to win week one?' A good dozen members asked if they should pick the Jets.
Mark has a Bills cape. Like he's the team superhero fan. We live nowhere near Buffalo.
One of our members is going for Smicha, rabbinic ordination, now. They're looking to become a community rabbi. They asked our rabbi if they should study psychology and counseling. The rabbi suggested that he study scouting reports. That is useful.
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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.