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We are asking people to put away their Siddurs. It appears that congregants are good at taking the Siddurim and Sefarim off the shelves. They are just not good at putting them back. Members have asked, and the rabbi has given the Psak that a chair cannot double as a bookshelf.
We want to apologize for some of the messed up names in our congregation. Betzalel Zalman makes no sense. It sounds off. Zalman Betzalel would sound better. And we apologize for that. We also apologize for Bracha Faiga. Hector Schwartz also makes no sense. We’re sorry.
This Shabbat is the Schulman Bar Mitzvah. If you want an Aliyah don’t show up. Last Bar Mitzvah refused to celebrate Merv’s Ninetieth.
Celebrating Birthdays last week are Kim, Sharon, Mark, Bill and Yankel. Fred and Marcie are also celebrating their anniversary three weeks ago.
We are celebrating the Yahrzeit of Shmiel Simchovitz this week. Nobody liked him. There will be schnapps served.
Rabbi Mendelchem's Drasha Excerpts
Shabbat Shalom My Pupils...
(Shemot 18:9) ‘vYached Yitro.’ Yitro rejoiced. Yachad, same word as one. He was one with the good H’ did, rescuing the Jews from Mitzrayim. He connected. You are happy when you connect. When you see something good, you rejoice and connect. Nobody has ever connected with our shul board...
When you come into a shul where nobody says Hi, nobody connects.
So Yitro is now part of our people... Because he rejoiced. He was a pleasure to be around. Unlike Betzalel Zalman. Zalman should be first. With a name like that, Zalman Betzalel. And Hector. Change your first or last name... I don't know. It just doesn't seem to fit.
What can we rejoice in? Bernie didn't make it to shul this Shabbis.
What do you rejoice in? Definitely not Mitzvot. Definitely not coming to shul on time.
Nobody is rejoicing with Zalman and is offbeat singing... Yes. I am judging. It's bad. Almost as bad as putting Betzalel before Zalman.
(18:13) Moshe is judging the people alone... Because he had no help. Have you ever seen anybody in this shul help? Have you ever seen a board member lift a hand? Have you ever seen the Gabai not talking?
(18:14) Yitro asks him why he does this all alone. Like any father-in-law, he lets the son-in-law know he’s doing nothing right... He doesn’t know that nobody in his congregation volunteers. Yitro is the leader of a people who know how to use tools... Maybe the Jews back then knew how to use tools. I can tell you, they weren't members of this congregation. Michael can't even build a prefab bookcase... Our janitor has problems putting together the prefab tables. He can't figure out how to get the rings to slide down...
(18:17) Yitro tells Moshe, ‘The thing you do is not good.’ I have been telling that to the board for years. But nobody listens to me.
Yitro then tells Moshe to have other people, leaders, judge the people as well. How many times have I told this congregation to be more judgmental?! I'm not the only one who sees how annoying the back left section of the shul is...
(18:23) If they help you in this judging ‘you will be able to last, and also the nation will arrive at its destination in peace.’ If people helped every once in a while, and I didn’t have to do everything alone, I would maybe want to be here... If you all put away your Siddurs every once in a while, the shul would be at peace. If you all weren't so annoying...
I can’t do everything alone. It is getting hard having to sit day and night, listening to you people. Very hard. Painful. Especially Felvel... Be happy you're married. I have to hear about the kids. We all know they're an issue. We see them in shul...
'My back. The cousins are coming. I need to shovel...' Get a doctor...
Help. At least do something... Last time I asked for help, you brought in a cleaning service... I was asking for help with youth groups. I can't give sermons and lead this community while running youth groups... What where they going to do? Clean the kids with a vacuum?!
It’s about everybody participating in a positive way. Doing your jobs correctly... If you were able to hold a job down Marcie, you would pay dues... Yes. Paying dues is a help. It at least helps me feel like I am here for a reason... To get paid. Listening to this congregation is not what a Jewish boy should do.
We're talking about helping. About doing your job as a Jew.
You can’t even put away your Siddurim correctly. Pinchas has to put them away for you. He’s the only one who was educated to clean up after himself... You take the Sefarim off the shelves. You’re good at taking. Then you’re good at leaving it for somebody else...
I get it. There are a lot of issues that need dealing with, because the board is full of a bunch of idiots.
Why can’t you announce anything on time?... Birthday announcements for last week?! They passed. You should announce 'stuff you missed because we don't help...'
People wished an ‘I’m sorry I forgot your birthday’... Who remembers birthdays? We have announcements to let us know we’re supposed to say we care.
And then Tu BShvat was a week late. Nothing is on time... This is why nobody is ever in shul when we start. It's your announcements.
Speaking about birthdays, I believe our shul likes Yahrtzeits more...
It's about not having to do everything yourself. It's about sharing responsibility...
Even during a Simcha you can share the Bima... What are you going to do when the Pintzkowitz kids run up for Anim Zemirot... Are you sure your cousins can take them down, along with Mr. Harvey Pintzkowitz... I know he’s up there too. I don't know if the third graders can take down Mr. Pintzkowitz...
We do want to wish the Schulmans a Mazel Tov. We hope the Gabai has an easier time than he did last month with the Schwartz’s cousins. Calling up Mateo, Santiago and Alvaro Ben Eduardo was not easy.
At least Yankel is a Jewish name. Yankel Ben Rodriguez... I don't know why his Jewish name is a Cental American last name. And I don't know why it's not Zalman Betzalel.
The rabbi said that working at this shul is not for a Jew. I have to agree. No Jew should feel required to show up to Davening on time.
The rabbi was branded a racist for telling Hector his name didn't fit. And the rabbi responded with, 'Shaindel Heimowitz. Your name doesn't make sense either.'
The names in our shul make no sense. You never put a Zalman as a middle name. And Mark Yankel Smith. Something is wrong with our membership.
Hector Schwartz. No Hebrew names in that family. Hector Ben Mateo Ben Julio. Ben is the only Hebrew part of these people's names. They don't even try. The family is South African. I don't know how they got those names.
Nobody cleans up after themselves.
Pinchas is sick of putting away the Siddurim. He is now putting them back in spite. He curses while he's putting them back. Some people kiss a Siddur when putting it away, Pinchas is saying 'Bernie that piece...'
Seeing the birthday names, I am starting to feel like I’m at a Baptist shul. Does anybody in our shul have a Jewish name. Even Betzalel comes off as not Jewish when our Gabai calls him up. A midwestern accent was not made for Jews.
They decided to start announcing birthdays late. I think it has something to do with not wanting to buy cake for the members anymore. The board decided that nobody likes birthday cake. We now get babka every week for Kiddish and everybody is happy.
The rabbi is correct. Nobody cares about the birthdays. We need a warning to be able to pretend like we remembered. Now we have to wish an excuse, with stuff like, 'I was thinking about you... I messed up the date... No. I showed up for my doctor's appointment on the second, on the day of your birthday. But I forgot what date it was.'
The congregants appreciate the Yahrzeits more. They like celebrating when people die more than when they have to see them at Kiddish.
At Shmiel Simchovitz's Yahrzeit they handed out Yahrzeit candles for people to drink out of. It's turned into a tradition. I think I have a set of Shmiel Yahrzeit glasses. In our community it's trendy.
When people have a Simcha they never share any of the honors. I think they’re worried their relatives will have to deal with listening the rest of the congregation. We all know how painful that is. So, they have their family do all of the Aliyahs and their families lead the services. This way they don't have to justify the heretics to their cousins.
I thought the lesson Yitro was telling Moshe was to involve other people, then they will join and all will be better. I like the rabbi’s take though. It is our congregation's fault.
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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.