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The rabbi was gone and the shul was packed. Finally. People came out to shul. I think they thought there wouldn't be a sermon.
He mailed in his sermon and Hymie read it. What's amazing is that the breaks were perfect. He knew exactly when Bernie and Fran would interrupt. It's a talent. More than he knows the Torah, he knows how annoying his congregation is.
We had some new Simchas in the congregation. However, they didn't announce it, because nobody gave enough money to sponsor Kiddish. There was a Bris. That was a huge party. A lot of happiness. They even had a Shalom Zachor to welcome the new son on Friday night. A Shalom Zachor is where the dad leaves the wife alone with the newborn boy and gets drunk on Friday night, with his buddies, in order to welcome the newborn.
There was also a newborn girl, to the Flomowitz family. Nobody knew about it. They could've done a Simchat Bat to welcome the girl. A Simchat Bat is where you celebrate with nothing. It's a party I have never seen people at. They could've at least done a Kiddish. It seems like the Flomowitzs were not happy. As if it was a letdown. Mr. Flomowitz sat at home and drank alone, in embarrassment. People have to be more prideful of the girls.
People are afraid to wear coats to shul. It seems like Fran and Saul think that once the coat is in the coatroom it's anybody's to take. They see a green coat and it's now theirs, as their coat was foresty and almost green.
The shul trip is being organized as we write, for a third time. The last two shul trips didn't work. So, the rabbi is reorganizing it and calling it a different trip. He said he needs to do research, so he has to travel. He really used it as a vacation to get away from the members.
What happened on Purim? The little kids were heckling the rabbi’s announcements. I don’t think the kids were drinking. They were five and six years old. Snobby little ones. These kids don’t say 'hi' anymore. Just walk right past you. Very moody. They look like little drunks walking around the shul. Some of theses kids are annoying. I’ve got favorite nephews and nieces.
Had the dad come to the front to pick up his kid. The dad grab is a big shul move. You pick up the kid and carry him out. It has to be a scene. Love the scene. We get to see the discipline that dad forgot to do at home. It's the number dad move in shul, generally used to get out of a sermon. The grab and carry out. It's a swoop. Almost as important as clopping the table for Al HaNisim and YaAleh vYavo. The swoop was miraculous as the kid was dressed as Superman. The cape was flying, as per the great speed of the dad swoop.
I believe most of the congregants got extremely heavy over the day of Purim. Old double-breasted suits came out for Shabbat. It's that Mishloach Manot post Purim fat from the candies.
People need to get away after Purim. I think the shul trip will sell. Which is why I am starting a Jenny Craig. The congregants are going to buy it. They always diet before vacation.
I would've given Jenny Craig food in the Mishloach Manot, had I not wanted to make money on the business. Them gaining weight on Purim is my number one sale. I love the holidays. We always put on weight.
Youth convention this weekend. We're excited there will be people at shul. The kids have to come. They have a meal after Minyin. They also have some of the main kids doing stuff throughout the day. A few of them are going to be Laying (reading from the Torah). So, most of our members are going to not come. Nobody wants to hear these young kids read. It's not a 'Read for Tomorrow' programming, where we need to sit for an extra forty-five minutes, to give the kids a chance. They're going to end up shul members who complain Davening takes too long, in twenty years. My kids went through it. They don't Layn anymore. They learned their lesson.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
Shabbat Shalom My Bunch…
You shall keep the Shabbat. I am saying this, because many of you don't… Nothing to do with the Parsha. Just keep the Shabbat for once... I saw your car, Tzvi... It was moving... You were driving it... I saw you. You waved at me and said 'Good Shabbis'...
This week's Parsha begins with the words 'Command Aharon.' The Olah, the elevation offering, was lit all night… If you did anything all night that is not watching TV, drinking and sleeping through morning Minyin, maybe you wouldn't need commandments... (Vayikra 6:2) ‘Command Aharon and his sons.’ It was a command ‘Tzav.’ A Tzav to keep Shabbat, Tzvi… If you weren’t commanded, would you have come to Megilah reading?... Nobody has joined the shul trip, because it’s not a commandment… You have to also command the kids. They do nothing, unless if they are threatened. You’ve got to tell them it’s a sin… The parents do nothing nowadays... They don't even threaten nowadays. Not even a 'if you say that one more time, you don't want to know...' That's why the kids turn out like this... It's that not wanting to know that 'you don't want to know'... Look at them...
We have the convention here this weekend. It’s an honor to host the kids and to try to make them into good Jews who understand the commandments… Their parents do nothing… That's why they send them to conventions. To get rid of them... They send them to camp for the same reason. You see. Lin's parents hate feeding her on Shabbat.
Rashi teaches, The word Tzav- Command, is used to hasten, or speed something up... Faster than how you walk to shul. I've never seen anybody walk so slow...
It must be done quickly, because money is involved in the Olah offering, Unlike the day school which has not had one parent who paid tuition this year… We should command the kids to pay too... The parents don't pay tuition. They all go on vacation... ‘Aaron and his kids’… When money is involved people become weary. Such as when we do the Yizkur appeal, many of you pledge a lot of money, and then the synagogue never sees it. A lot of weariness. Years of weariness. It's amazing how the Berksteins can't even answer their phone when the office calls. Too much energy to click the answer button...
That's why they have that new twenty-four hour fundraiser, Match the Grant, at the day school... They know you'll give nothing if you think about it. They get in and get out, and you don't even know its them calling. One call, they got your credit card number, and now they're matching your money up against Milton Dufray's inheritance of the steal manufacturing plant of the Midwest...
Animals are not always cheap, and that makes for a financial loss. I'm trying to find a good deal on dog food, if anybody knows, as my daughter cannot part with her only friend, and I cannot afford this puppy she got. Raisel, please take Mapu out for our sermons. I do not understand why we have to tell the ushers to keep the dogs out... I can care less if she's my daughter, have her buy some bones... Again. We must command children... If I thought about it, we wouldn't have got the dog. That's why she spent the whole day crying...
The shul office manager should cry when calling you. Maybe you'd pay your pledge...
The loss of money stops people when they think of it. Hence, we never see the donations that have not been donated… I am sure you wanted to pay your dues, Mr. Feldstein. But then you thought about it and you noticed money was involved, you ran... Yes. You ran fast. That's not the message...
I have to work on accounting for the Feldstein's needs, when they interpret my sermons... You always create a commentary that suits... What about when you learned that people should purchase goldfish, because you had a goldfish farm and you wanted to make money. I was talking about the fifth day of creation. Not goldfish. All about money...
You might lose money if you don't work on Shabbat, or if you don't go to the country club, or don't go shopping on Shabbat. Or don't park across the street and walk to shul. But these are the Mitzvot. Commandments... You can't do a shorter Shabbat. That's not what 'Tzav' means... You are commanded. Think about them and when your rabbi is invited over to your home, maybe you do want to put up some steak. Make it a nice Shabbat dinner. Put your money where your tradition is. And don't be a cheap...
Pinny won’t even pay to come out to the singles meals. Chanan. You should’ve done the singles trip to Spain… I don’t know why they chose a trip to Spain to meet Jews from New York…
You didn’t even give Matanot LaEvyonim… The gifts to the poor, for meals on Purim is a Mitzvah, Rachel. Don’t get me started on the pathetic Mishloach Manot. I would’ve burned that stuff on the Altar... When was the last time you sponsored a Kiddish… We made the grandkid announcements so much… No more announcements until you sponsor… I understand that the Kichel doesn’t cost five dollars a Kichel, but it’s expensive… It’s a donation, Rachel. You sponsor Kiddish, so we can fund the Shul trip... That's how sponosrship works.
H’ has to tell us it’s important sometimes… Because you people don’t get it. I have start every sentence at the morning Minyin with ‘It’s important…’ You people think nothing is important… You rush to get to shul… You don’t run in the shul. You don’t saunter and then start running once you hear the Chazin, to get out of shul…
It’s a command. (Vayikra 6:2) Yes. This one is important. It was lit all night, ‘and the fire of the Altar should be kept aflame on it.’ The flame keeps going… Last Lag BOmer you couldn’t get the fire lit for more than eight minutes. We couldn't even get through one decent folk song... Because there was no bonfire... The eternal light, above the Aron, ark, here is not… You need to pay electric bills. The electric bills were paid in the Temple…
You kindle wood on it in the morning (Vayikra 6:5). The elevation offering also caused the peace offering fats to ‘go up in smoke.’ (Vayikra (6:6) ‘A permanent fire shall remain lit there, it shall not be extinguished.’ Always elevating... We elevate. When dues are paid, we elevate... We can't cook a decent choolante if we don't have the gas for the stove. Basically, you pay the bills...
And the Kohen dresses correctly for the job… Our Kohens come up there like schlumps... Your Tallis didn't even cover your arms, Dr. Cohen... A Kohen doesn't wear a scarf Tallis... Their for the youth, and the nonFrum... That's Kyle, from Wichita. He's not religious. He thinks it's cold in the shul...
No. Meal offerings are different… They were all done in the Tabernacle and Temple… Aaron’s kids brought it. Yes. His family. That is the same... Families that eat together, stay together... (Vayikra 6:7-11) The meal offering used flour. Three fingers full. That was the measurement… One finger isn’t enough for a meal… It was a measurement of Aaron’s children’s fingers… Levi fingers aren’t the same… No. You can’t measure with a Yisrael’s fingers. They're different fingers. This is why things are messed up here. You have roles and you have different natural abilities. Yisrael’s can’t measure flour right… Then let’s see you bake, Simcha… It’s a ‘satisfying aroma.’ Frankincense is a good aroma… If Rivka used frankincense in her baking, it would come out decent. Frankincense and correct finger measures...
The Kohens eat the leftovers. Jewish tradition of eating leftovers began with Moshe and Aharon… They didn't have freezers back then. It was at most a day. The sun got to it... They eat it in the Courtyard of the Tent of Meeting… It has to be a holy place. They take it out of there. Yisraels, with bad measurements can't eat it. That’s why I eat my food in the office. It’s far away from the congregants… I would rather sit at a table alone than at a table with people who can't measure.
Holy people have to eat the offering. They become holy if they eat it… Yisraels can’t be holy. Congregants are not holy… Don't eat my shnitzel.
I just hope you got these kids a decent dessert. They like the creamy stuff… In this shul, not all Yisraels should be baking… You can't even offer these kids a pudding, and you want to be able to join the meal in the courtyard...
Meal offerings are not leavened… Pesach is coming up soon and you’re asking about leavening...
Shabbis is a commandment. You have to keep it too, Tzvi... And eat Challah... I know it's leavened. It's Shabbis...
Does everything have to be a commandment? Here are some shul commandments: No offerings brought in the shul… Have to wait for the Temple. Kiddish has to be decent. Bernie. Stop talking. Sadie is correct. Whatever she says, you have to do. This kid, in front of me right now. The same one that heckled me on Purim. She cannot be wandering around the shul during my Sermon… As cute as it is… People have to sign up for the shul trip... Donations have to be made when you flip a tab. It’s a vow… You can’t make vows and not keep them, even if nobody listens to Fran… The back left cannot drink more than three shots on a Shabbat morning… Even if it’s a club… Keep the Shabbat and make it holy... Singles have to chip in for dinner every once in a while... The board has to pay the electric bills, so we can have an eternal flame...
And no more sauntering. It’s a command...
You can't eat certain fats... Human fat cannot be eaten, even if you put it on over Purim, due to Mishloach Manot...
You took their coat... I understand it was the same company... Just because it's in the coat room, doesn't make it Hefker. That's probably a sin offering... No stealing coats. New command. No taking coats from the coatroom, unless it is yours.
And do it all fast. Come to Minyin fast. Return the coats you stole. Now!
I am enjoying my vacation right now, keeping holy, down here in Florida... I know the shul trip is to Europe and Israel. I'm doing research for it... There are flights from Florida to Israel. I know that now.
You see. The youth listened more than the back left. Fourteen year old listen better than you Frank. Command. Listen to my sermons.
I hope the youth learned something from this sermon... Don't be like Bernie...
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
Hymie is not a fast reader. That sermon took an hour and a half. Double the time the rabbi usually takes to get out his message, that we have to show up to shul on time.
We need numbers on coats or lockers. People just take the stuff. Stealing is a sin, but when it comes to coats, they think that it's mixed in with all the others, so you can steal it. There must be a Halachik leniency when it comes to merged items.
I wouldn't trust my mink in the coatroom. They would see that thing and feel like it's theirs too, as they have winter coats, and that is close enough.
We are having real problems convincing people to give the money they pledged. All the shul hears is, ‘We didn’t flip the tab.’ Everybody denies flipping the tabs on the appeal cards. There must be an underhanded tag flipper running around the shul on the holidays.
Those Matching the Grant campaigns have me feeling worthless. Our whole community has to chip in to match Milton's donation. He's all high on himself now, thinking that he is more important than the whole community. The shul office would agrees. And he even gives more than he flips.
The rabbi's explanation of sponsorship made all the sense in the world. It also helped clarify why the youth were being served rice, when they spent $240 on their Shabbat convention. It even helped explain why they ended up staying in homes and crashing on the shul floor, instead of staying in a hotel. It's important they know that their money is going towards seniors programming, and gin rummy in the afternoon, and not to their convention. The rabbi is all about messages.
Commanding to hasten stuff is such a beautiful message. I hope the Chazin caught onto that message. He hastens nothing with his repetition of the Amidah prayer. The elevation fire offering would've lost its fire by the end of the repetition.
Commands make life move a lot faster. I'm always thinking about sales. If somebody commanded me to buy the shoes, I would be in and out of Walmart. Now, I spend two hours figuring out which pair to get, because nobody tells me what to do.
'Families that eat together, stay together.' What a brilliant quote from our rabbi. I heard that the Orthodox Union adopted it as their slogan a few months back, thanks to our rabbi's brilliance. The reform and conservative say 'that sit together.' Orthodox now says 'that eat together.' Eat together and fight together.
Shmulik was standing the whole time Shira read the rabbi’s sermon, with his arms crossed. Shira took over the reading of the sermon fifty eight minutes in. All the kids listened out of fear of Shmulik. They all ended up also keeping the laws of Shabbat, as Shmulik and the security guard were extremely threatening looking.
And they went to programs real fast, out of fear that they would see Shmulik with nobody around. Shmulik was hired by the NURY youth movement, as a senior scary guy.
Due to the rabbi's message, all the men in the back left ran to Kiddish club. I don't think they caught the message of doing things fast. They definitely took their time coming back to shul. Definitely sauntering.
The shul trip command was brilliant. People ended up signing up. From then on, the rabbi started commanding stuff he wanted done. He commanded the board to give him a raise.
A new command of the rabbi's was that all families had to send their kids to summer camp, as the kids were all turning into bad Jews. At summer camp, they wouldn't be around their parents or Bernie, and all would be well.
The kids all started keeping the commands, as Aharon’s did. They listened to Sadie. They even gave the rabbi a raise. They paid more for youth programs. They even found camps to go to, that week. As I heard from the parents, the camps the kids found were very expensive. And that didn't bother the kids.
As my argument about focusing on adults for programs and not kids was taken to heart, we had a lot of injuries. The bouncy house for the seniors wasn’t a good idea. In the end
All in all, it was an amazing week. The youth group convention was nice. There were a lot of pictures of friendship taken, and a lot of headleaning for the pictures. Leaning and neck out sticking. You're able to tell good youth group kids by how much their head sticks into the picture, closer to their friends. I noticed that their bodies were not part of the group, but their necks and heads were.
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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.