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Nobody is visiting the sick. I believe the sick people are much happier. The last time I saw Nava visiting the sick, she stared at them the whole time with a pout. It was the most condescending thing I have ever seen in my life, after hearing Frank say that Michael is good at basketball.
Teenagers have been giving the rabbi weird looks lately. Anything he says, they respond by giving each other a side-glance. It's very unsettling. I appreciate Max telling the kids they've accomplished nothing, and they're breaking out. They're fool of acne with weird voices and no accomplishments, and they still look down on others. Fran is still saying 'they're the future of our people.' I don't know if that is hope or if she is saying how the Jewish people may not survive.
They've got to be making the rabbi feel awkward. They're giving 'uggg' looks, with an awkward snarl. They think that's cool. His own niece started it. She was visiting and thought it was cool to make an awkward look anytime somebody over 40 talked. Double that with Mendy’s groan for Kaddish, and you have a very unsettling community where nobody wants to talk to anybody. His Kaddish is like hearing death happening in the now. He needs a shidduch too. You feel somebody died when you hear his bass groan. He should be a funeral kvetcher. He really brings the Kaddish feeling of the shul out.
After Mendy's Yahrzeit month (why he says Kaddish for a month, nobody knows) the shul had a much more jolly feeling.
Teenagers were probably the reason for the flood. In Noah’s time, it was probably those moving into their snobby 100s.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
Shabbat Shalom My Congregants.
The land was full of bad stuff. Like this congregation. This town is also full of bad... The hotel room break in was sad news here… I understand that nobody was in the room and the safe… The safe couldn’t be broken into… If they had digital codes back in the days of Noach, who knows?...
(Bereishit 6:11) 'The earth was corrupt before H' and it became full of robbery'. Not visiting the sick is robbing them of chicken soup... There is corruptness. That's why the youth group has such annoying kids in it...
Rashi teaches that corrupt means immorality and idolatry, and Chamas means robbery… The real question is how many of you are members of Chamas?...A little play on words for my fine congregants. Chamas and Chamas…
No. This is not political, Fran. Chamas means violence, cruelty or rapine…. Yes. They were doing everything wrong then too. When you are corrupt before H’, you are corrupt to other people… That's why teenaers snarl and Nava pouts... They were robbing each other Bernie… That means nothing to you because you stole the towel from the hotel… Have you ever met a teenager that doesn’t steal? Mine stole my sleep my whole thirties...
And look at you all now corrupting the world. Showing up to shul in your fitted suits, slicked hair and shaytels from India… No. It’s not made out of chickpeas. Chamas is not Chumus… I'm sure the members of Chamas like Chumus…
Back to the point of how each one of you robs the congregation of a new building when you don't pay dues. It is also immoral to be sitting in that seat Mr. Holzberg. The seat which Mr. Finblum and Dr. Horvitz paid for, for many years... They paid their dues Mr. Holzberg. They were not immoral, and thus they were not corrupt and hence they did not steal. Nor did they misappropriate funds… You stole their seat. That’s how you destroy shuls. Misappropriating placement of people … Yes. By taking people’s Makom Kavuah… That’s their set seat. You know who take somebody’s set seat? Chamas…
And did they rob their kids of an education, of Chinuch? No. They did not. Education of their children was important to them and that is why they sent their children to public school...
Corruptness leads to robbery. As we have all seen with lack of style in our congregation...
It was for this reason the world was to be destroyed, as H' said to Noach (Breishit 6:13), 'The end of all flesh is coming...because the earth was full of Chamas.'
You can't have earth without proper behavior. Look at them... That is not earth... It's because of corrupt behavior, such as talking during shul that the world was to be destroyed.
The same word used for corruptness is the same route as the word for destroyed... נשחתה…
You have already destroyed this sermon with your little whispering in the back there, as you have all destroyed this shul's Junior congregation by not properly choosing a good cantor. Melinda cannot do the Anim Zmirot, nor can Shmuel lead in the Ashrei... I went into junior congregation and it was pathetic. If our toddlers are singing this bad, imagine how much worse they will sound at their Bar Mitzvahs...
We allow them to lead Adon Olam, because they are in first grade and we have to give them a chance to learn. NO! We have to teach our kids correctly. Teach them what shul is really about… Dues, Bernie. Pay them... Mendy's groan is a good start...
Teach them how to listen to a chazan or we will destroy the community… Yes. It’s painful. But that is how the community… the chazan will be out of a job. Neither here nor there, but he should come up with some new funkier tunes... It is painful to listen to you because you sound like Kermit the Frog. That's not a tradition...
It is due to the corruptness of robbery, as Rashi notes, that the world is destroyed. Let us not rob our children of the experience of sitting and listening to a chazan sing his same tune, again... Your tunes don't change. Ashrei sounds just like the Amida. And then you join 15 words together… Because the tune doesn’t fit the words. You corrupt the songs with words that don't fit...
There had already been corrupted. H' wasn't going to destroy the world, because the world was already destroyed. When something is messed up, it's already destroyed. There is no use for it anymore. The quilt should've been gone years ago. You and your slicked back hair and shaytels from India... Are we closing down the shul? No, Mr. Holzberg has already closed it. Enjoy your seat....
You've already robbed people of the chicken soup project... You don't visit the sick. That destroys the world too... What else destroys the world? Not showing up to Minyin. Not learning. Not respecting your elders... You took her seat... You got up because she hit you with her wheelchair... You never visited her... Old isn't a sickness... She can't move...
(Bereishit 6:9) Noach was a righteous man ‘in his generation.’ We are not looking for a righteous man or woman. We are only looking for somebody who is better than this congregation…
We are now taking donations for the rabbi's discretionary fund....
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendlechem’s Sermon
The ending of the sermon brought everybody together. It really spoke to the congregants.
During announcements, the rabbi reiterated, 'It's stealing when you don't pay your dues and use them on a shaytel... We are now taking donations for the rabbi's discretionary fund....' He wanted more money for his new Shul Torah Trip program. He knew nobody else would go, once he added the Torah concept to the trip. He needed that vacation from the congregants.
Even my father said the play on words with Chamas went too long. It got to be too much when the congregants sincerely thought that Chumus planned the attacks on Israel last year.
I believe the rabbi lost most of us when he said ‘deluge.’ We’re not that educated. He could’ve said ‘flood’ and everybody would’ve understood. The rabbi believes it is more rabbinical to use words that nobody understands. This way it is closer to the Hebrew. We had a class last week where the congregants were trying to figure out what ‘firmament’ means. ‘Rapine’? Did he have to? People were pulling out legal books after shul, to understand the rabbi's sermon.
We started a Bikur Cholim committee. You start committees when people do nothing. This way they can talk about doing the thing they don't do. In this case, it's visiting the sick. They came up with a great plan to rotate not visiting people in the hospital.
The rabbi added visiting the elderly. He already knows that the congregants abandon their parents and throw them into nursing facilities to die. He's mentioned that a bunch in passing. He doesn't talk about that in sermons, as most of the congregants forgot their parents are still around. They would stay in for Yizkur, but they have a tradition of stepping out.
At one point, the rabbi had to argue with the Kiddish Club, who insisted on drinking during Yizkur. The rabbi got a lot of backlash for saying that it's wrong to drink when people are praying for their loved ones who have passed. Mr. Fishberg insisted that it made no sense to make Yizkur candles in shot glasses then.
After mentioning the elderly, the rabbi had to spend eighteen minutes explaining that they are not diseased. The congregants couldn't understand how being old isn't a sickness or a disease. The rabbi made it a point to look at any older person, other than Bernie, and they could see it wasn't a disease. As the rabbi said, 'Bernie is annoying. That is his disease. Don't catch that, or nobody will want to talk to you at Kiddish.'
The rabbi tried explaining how age is beauty. But our congregants are not that dumb. Nobody went along with that farce.
I hope these people don't visit the sick. If they do, they need lessons on how to be normal caring people. Nava has spent every committee meeting teaching people the importance of pouting and staring at the sick. She even went right up to people's faces to show them that there is a greater effect of staring when you are right up in the face of someone on morphine.
The shaytel issue of idol worshipping wigs is over. We just accept that everybody in the shul is probably an idol worshipper. This is why the rabbi only makes Kiddish on cooked wine.
The rabbi was correct about seat appropriation. Sitting Frank next to Bob and Paul causes way too many problems in the shul. Teenagers have to be separated as well, or you have a gang developing in the aisle. And then the rabbi finds himself looking at a whole section of people pouting.
Every appropriation in our shul has been inappropriate.
The teenagers are annoying. Everybody who is not a teenager in our shul agrees with that. We love the little kids though. We hate the teens and love the kid. Every person in our shul is hated at some point.
Our community took a census. We love old people and hate young people. The rabbi ran a Jewish Life Cycle class in which he showed us how you hate people in their teenage years. He ran that class for the youth group as well. Crux of the class: We love babies, then we buy them stuff for years, then we deal with teens while hating them, then we forget your birthday and want you out, then we expect you to get a job, then you become a jerk who wants to be a success, then we expect you to support us, then you lose all of your friends, then we all realize you are never going to be a success, then you realize you might as well not be a jerk anymore, then you get old and we like you again. The rabbi ended the class, 'Then we like you again, unless if you're Bernie.'
The youth group program the following week, Navigating Coolness, was given by Nava. She showed the teenagers how the pout is best done by those who learned to snarl as teens.
The rabbi blames the Jewish day school for this messed up generation. He told the principal that kids are not always right. That's the new concept. Kids are always right. They can't cross the street alone, but they are always right. The rabbi let her know that she is never right and kids give bad stock tips.
The toddlers need to work on their Adon Olam and ark opening. You can't tell me they are opening the ark correctly. They're definitely going to turn into annoying teenagers.
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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.