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Anti-Semitism has reached new heights in the shul. The cleaning staff that comes in for the week blames the Jews for the dirtiness in the shul. One of the cleaning staff complained that they don’t want to come into a place that is dirty. The shul’s secretary told them that cleaning didn’t sound like the right job for her, as people are usually cleaning dirt. She told the rabbi she was offended, and she only wants to clean places that are clean. She loves cleanliness. To quote, ‘That’s why I got involved in cleaning.’ So, she’s also blaming the Jews for the dirt; the dirt and sacrificing children for Matzah.
At the minor league baseball game, somebody blamed the Jews in the front row for the loss. Asides from the fact that Pinchas caught the foul ball that would’ve ended the game, it should not have been blamed on Jews. The whole people was blamed for Pinchas. It makes me question if Pinchas should wear his Kippah in public. It appears that these local anti-Semites will blame Jews for everything. It’s always ‘those Jews.’ One anti-Semite stubbed her toe on the bus and yelled, ‘Those Jews.’
Now the kids are reading the Parsha sheets at the table. The rabbi’s plea to stop sending home sheets to be read has been overridden by the teachers. Now they’re having the kids read the Parsha Divrei Torah. It is so much worse. It went much quicker when the parents were reading. These kids read so slow. Which is why I suggested to have after school reading lessons for the kids; to help us get through Friday night meals in our town.
The new shul president is big on kiddish catering. Everybody is enjoying the food. The fact that the sisterhood has no say anymore is loved by all. Now, the sisterhood members have to fight with their spouses.
We started a community retainment program. The new concept is to keep people in the shul, once they come. We’ve extended Kiddish with dinner and then board games. The Chazin is doing his job. He's extended his notes. The rabbi is not a fan of the Chazin's role in retainment. He's not happy with the Chazin's role in the shul.
The youth group kids don’t leave shul at all. They stay all day on Shabbat.
The services are not the draw. People come for food. We retain people now with promised Kiddishes every Shabbat. We don’t allow people to take it home. If we did, they wouldn’t be in shul. We’ve noticed that the Bikur Choim Matzah Ball soup campaign draws more people to shul, when we serve it to the sick people at shul.
I suggested building an apartment complex at the shul. That will allow for more retainment as well. If they don’t leave, we’ll have a better chance of retaining them. If they leave, they might find another shul, or golf to do on Shabbat.
The rabbi converted four more people last week. That’s four more people that won’t pay dues.
If there were dues paid, we wouldn’t need Bingo. But we need the Bingo volunteers. Some are arguing its gambling. They suggested to have slot machines instead. People can play the slots when they come to shul, and the members would end up paying their dues.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
Shabbat Shalom uMvorach
We’ve retained new members… The food does it… Nobody wants your puns, Chaim. You chase away people with your annoying conversation… It’s not a retainer. We're talking aout retainin members… Money would work to retain members…
The new shul parking lot is going to be built two blocks away from the shul. That is where you all park on Shabbat already… This way, the shul parking lot will be used... Exactly. You shouldn’t drive on Shabbat. But we have to think about our members… We saw what happened at Sinai. When members making decisions, bad things happen…
The shul is now dirty as anything… Because you pick up nothing. Your kid eats half a lollipop and drops it… You don't pick up after him Mark. And now we've lost a cleaning lady... She doesn't want to work around dirt.
There’s been much fighting in this community this week. Many of you feel that Bingo is gambling, but there are people in this synagogue that understand the importance of a building fund… If you paid your dues, we wouldn’t need Bingo… The building fund is because you don’t pay your dues… Then help with something. Fix the leak. Get a wrench and fix it… All the fights about Bingo. And now you’re fighting about the parking lot being too far from the shul to have Bingo…
This week is when we see the constant bickering of Yaakov & Esav, like Sadie and Francine… The sisterhood fights… They were even fighting in her stomach... There were no Legos. No Weebles. No Tonka in there. But kids still fight. Rashi continues to say they were running different ways. Yaakov would try to run out when passing the Beit Midrash, house of Torah study. Esav would try to run out when they passed the house of idol worship (Rashi 25:22)… Torah was always around… Yes. Even before there was Torah. Before Torah, there was Torah. That was the Torah that Yaakov learned… How? I don’t know. But he learned it.
Good and evil can’t get along. Look at me and the shul’s president. Look at him. It’s a Shanda…
(Bereishit 25:22) Rivka asks 'If this is so (after living fine without having kids and not having to pay for their Jewish Day School education) Why is this happening me?' A question I ask myself about this shul every Shabbat… I see the evil and I see Sarah. One decent person in this shul, and she’s not on the board.
(Rashi) She wants to know why she has to deal with this pregnancy. Why a pregnancy that she will have to remind her children about every day of their lives?... Francine is still complaining about Mark. He’s seventy-two. Let it go… Why a pregnancy that the Jewish people will have to hear about forever? I've heard of mother's complaining of a hard labor. But this is millennia of complaints. The most talked about labor, and it doesn't stop....
It doesn't stop, because that fighting is still going on in the world, today. And that fighting is still going on in our congregation. Look at the sisterhood. And mothers are still complaining. And dads are still educating their children wrong and picking favorites. And the quilt is still right here. Ugly as anything… You fight it. You fight the evil and talk of it all the time. Bernie... When will it stop?
(Bereishit 25:23) H' tells her 'There are two nations within you.' Nothing positive. Nothing redeeming. Just that your kids are going to constantly bicker. Like the children of this congregation who... Mrs. Goldwitz, I don't know if you're disciplining your children at home, but nobody likes hearing the domestics in the middle of Musaf. 'Get out of shul!!!' You're screaming at the kids… I got scared... I’ve left the synagogue on occasion; scared you were screaming at me.
If there is any time for an abortion this is it....
Is that what we want in this shul? Two different people fighting all the time... 'Gambling is wrong,' they say. 'Fighting is wrong,' I say. We don't want a Jewish Edom experience. Now, I understand the shul has not seen much of the Bingo monies and many people claim the rabbi is siphoning funds...
Changes can happen. (Bereishit 25:21) Yitzchak prays for Rivka to have a baby, and she conceives. H’ has to accept our prayers… Be better. Be better than Michael and your prayers will be answered… You don’t even pray to have children. You have them and you don’t even thank H’...
Prayer can help with change. I am praying that people will raise money for the building fund… We need retention. We need liveliness. We need a Chazin who doesn’t… The tunes kill our retention efforts… Nobody cares if they’re meaningful. Are you at the Kiddish club? Do you hear the fights… The tunes are killing the shul. There would be no Bingo fights if the Chazin did a better Musaf…
We can make things better. We are here today praying. Is anybody praying to get rid of the Chazin?...
There are two ways to run a shul. Two different ideas. The messed-up way, and then there is listening to your rabbi… That’s the right way… Why are you listening to Linda? Who is Linda?... Less food is messed up… Bingo is not gambling. It’s hoping that you’ll win. Hope is prayer. It’s the thrill of yelling ‘Bingo’… It happens not very often. But when you have that thrill… Bingo is a fundraiser for the shul. Bingo is a Mitzvah…
Inviting anti-Semites is not the right way to run the shul… If they’re playing Bingo. It’s fine.
The point is that we can't run the shul the wrong way. There will always be hatred of good by the wrong way. Such as Bernie...
As Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, ‘Esav hates Yakov.’ Morty hates Max too. The cleaning crew hates to clean dirt… Yes. The cleaning staff are anti-Semites.
(Bereishit 25:30) Esav tells Yakov to ‘pour into me some of your red red stuff…’ He hates him, but he’s fine with him, as long as there is soup. Nobody fights when they’re eating soup… We need soup to retain the membership. We need soup at Bingo… A watery choolante is fine. Add some croutons to that… You never offered the cleaning staff Kiddish...
At least make some decent soup. Sharing soup can make it all better. It can bring down the level of hatred. Even if just for a day.
People will come for soup… Everybody gets along when there is enough soup… It’s winter. We don’t need gazpacho. How many times do I have to argue with Rachel about this…
No. That’s not the smell of lentil soup. That’s from Bingo… That’s smoke, you’re smelling… You can’t have Bingo with no smoking…
When you gamble, you lose stuff. When you’re going off a whim, you lose stuff. You make bad decisions. The shul quilt. Bad decision… Bingo is not gambling. It’s a fundraiser…
Esav would’ve parked in the shul parking lot… You retain people when they have a place to park. You retain people when you do Mitzvot, have a Bingo campaign, give them food, a decent lentil soup, and give them a place to park… We already have evil members not doing Mitzvot… The Chazin’s Musaf doesn’t retain… Soup. Lentil soup every Shabbis.
The new shul catering staff… We’re paying people now, because they cleanup after they finish. We can't retain the cleaning crew if we don't cleanup. They're mad about cleaning... The sisterhood was fighting too much… You never cleaned. You just fought about the Stella D’oros. A lot of evil. This is why the shul can't move along. Thank you to the president. Evil…
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
The rabbi’s speeches getting longer also helps retain people. The rabbi blames the Chazin for everything. Even the lack of retention is being blamed on the Chazin. His tunes do go real long. The long tunes keep people in shul though. There's something redeeming about the Chazin there, but the rabbi won't see it. Rabbis hat Chazins, to quote a Gemara somewhere.
The rabbi hates that quilt. He talks about it every Shabbis.
The following week, no kids came to shul. The principal reported that all kids in school that week were complaining that their parents were complaining about how hard it was to raise them. One kid, for show-and-tell brought in her birth certificate which had a handwritten ’30 hours of labor.’ Her mom kept that as proof. She showed it to her everytime she didn't take out the garbage.
Bingo wasn’t making enough money, so they consulted with a casino arcade. The religious themed slot machines in the front of the shul are a bit gaudy. Even so, there is no feeling like getting three Lords in a row. The rabbi got rid of that machine after a couple months, claiming that there is only one Lord. He then went on from the Rambam's teachings of one Gd, to reading Lord of the Rings to the congregation, to saying Lord of the Rings is forbidden. It was all very confusing.
The cleaning staff still hasn't helped clean from Bingo. They still call the people that come for Bingo, Jews. There might be a couple of Jews, but it's usually local people who can't afford the new casino in Faytville. They're convinced Bingo is a service. They won't accept that the caller is not a Chazin.
A few months later, we had to get a new cleaning crew. When they saw the place was clean, they noticed that they had time to dust. Dusting got them real mad.
The parking lot was built and it was a great success. The problem is that many of the more almost Shomer Shabbis members don’t like people seeing them park. So they started parking four blocks away. Himelstein is parking further away than his home. I think he has an issue with walking from his home on Shabbat.
The soup campaign started working. More members were coming to shul. The sick people came. The whole ordeal of delivering soup to their homes was over. They started coming to Kiddish. They got their soup and they were happy. More people in the shul got sick, but it was fine, as we had soup there. After a couple of weeks of people not feeling well, they added Matzah Balls to the soup and everybody felt better.
The sisterhood always fights. They make Kiddish and fight. If they went to the Kiddish club before going to set-up for Kiddish, they would be more relaxed. They're not even setting up anymore, and they still fight about the caterer. The caterer gave up after two weeks and let the sisterhood takeover the setup, so they could fight while doing something. We still have the caterer, to ensure that nobody gets injured.
The rabbi just got back from Israel. He went on a quick trip because he missed going for Parshat Chayei Sarah. He came back with the ‘uMVorach’ added to the ‘Shabbat Shalom.’
We learn that Yitzchak is told not to leave Israel, so the rabbi became very Israeli, and then left.
The shul needs a cleanup. People are letting things just stay on the floor. Kids drop stuff and that is fine somehow. These parents nowadays can’t parent anymore. They’re afraid to tell their kids they’re wrong. They’ll scream at the soccer referee. The soccer ref has kicked parents out of games for thinking their kids are the best. I was happy to see our rabbi adopt this method of getting the annoying parents out of the shul. The rabbi gave a red flag to Mark's mom. Finally. It's been ninety-two years.
A new fitness facility was built in the shul. There are no mats, just carpeting. The board refuses to change the carpet-look of the shul. It's tradition.
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My kids left half-eaten Chanukah gelt, and I was stuck with some Bitcoin.
You get it? A lot of times, Chanukah gelt is chocolate coins. People bite those, makin them bit. Bitcoin is...
The Christmas Tree Shop. Where I buy everything I need for Chanukah, including the paper dreidel.