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On Yom Kippur they read the English part of the service. They called up Sharon and she read it as a reading. That is all the she understands. They started with this new English reading. It has picked up, as people find the service more meaningful as a reading.
I'm amazed how she sits in shul with no idea how to read Hebrew. She just sits and spaces out. Sits there for three hours every week, spacing out. Finally, we start the reading in English and she understands it. She was glowing. It's the new tradition in the shul. They even had a reading about the Lulav. Something about the 'spine of our people, the pole of our lives.' It did sound more meaningful as a reading. People were hugging their four species of Sukkot.
With the readings, now the shul is becoming very touchy-feely. There was dancing in shul at the Friday night service. It wasn’t even Simchat Torah.
The rabbi gave a speech on Simchat Torah. That was not appreciated. Even so, the rabbi said it was necessary for the meaning of the day. It went along with the touchy-feely theme.
The big herring fiasco of last week is still not resolved. Mr. Himelman brought herring to Kiddish. He didn’t sponsor the Kiddish. However, he brought herring and wanted it to go out there. Nobody knew there was herring. He took it and poured it into a bowl and got it on Sadie. Nobody is happy with this herring right now, but they are all eating it. I believe the real anger started when Mr. Himelman was screaming, 'I bought the herring. It is hear now. Where are the crackers?!' He didn't buy crackers, by the way. Thank Gd the shul had extra crackers.
The kids got lost at Sukkah Hopping.
The Teens are back from the summer and everybody is scared. All teens scare the older people in the congregation. ‘The hoodlums are here.’ That’s what Bernie said when he saw his granddaughter and her friends. Some of the old people almost had a heart attack. Teens are scary.
People were worried that other teens attacked the teens on the Sukkah hop. At the last board meeting it was proposed to send teens away to summer camp all year until they are in their early 20s and don't scare society anymore. Frank suggested that at least Michael not show up with his scary long hair.
A lot of new people coming to the shul. The security guard chased away a good Jewish boy with tattoos and piercings. Now, the kid who got chased away is saying the shul is anti-Semitic and racist.
The rabbi thing has been getting to the rabbi. He now believes he has a calling. Now that he really cares, the community is thinking about getting rid of him. He’s been giving sermons everywhere. I heard that there was an extended line at the scan yourself checkout at Kroger’s. He gave a sermon about how life is like waiting for death. People have stopped Krogering.
The rabbi says it was for meaning. I think he gave his sermon because everything he says now is in sermon form. He has to stop changing the world, before another herring fiasco takes place.
They were throwing candy on the floor for Simchat Torah. It wasn’t even a Simcha and kids pants are gone. Ami filled up a garbage bag with candy. Wouldn't share it.
There was too much drinking on Simchat Torah. Ben, has been drinking a lot at shul, and denying it. That is when you know they are drunk. We just wanted the truth, as we noticed the bottles missing from the Kiddish room. He's denying it, saying he can drink a lot more, his hair is messed up, shirt is unbuttoned, got the tie off to the side, eyes glazed.
Rabbi Mendelchem’s Sermon
Happy Simchat Torah My congregants.
Don’t want to hear it???
Dancing to Kabbalat Shabbat? It’s too much. We’re not doing Kiruv... We're not bringing people closer to Torah here. The meaningful stuff must stop...
You dance on Simchat Torah. That's a designated time for dancing... I want to get home for Friday night dinner, Bernie... The dancing adds an extra fifteen minutes, with the Nay Nay Nays...
And we come to an end. What a Bracha… Moshe blesses… It wasn’t a ‘have a year of blessing.’ He puts thought into his blessings, Bernie. It’s not just ‘Shabbat Shalom uMvorach’… Dan was leaping from Bashan… That’s how you bless. You tell the truth. They messed up… Blessing for this congregation is ‘You should not be as annoying as the back left section.' That is my blessing to you, as we finish the Torah on this Simchat Torah. Don't be annoying like... And they're not even here. Are they drinking again?..
The great line is right here. (Devarim 33:4) ‘The Torah Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yakov’… I wouldn't call this a congregation... The back left section is out drinking all the time. They think Simchat Torah is a Kiddish club... Yakov. That’s Israel… No. We don’t call it Yakov, because nobody would fly to Yakov. It sounds like a messed up country. Not one Birthright trip would’ve went there… Schottenstein would not fund visiting Yakov for the first time… You don’t say it every morning, because you don't understand the heritage of the Torah. That is why we have to stop dancing on Friday night and start dancing tonight... It's Simchat Torah...
That’s the foundation of our connection with H’ at Sinai. It’s the Torah from Moshe... It's not cooking kids.
R’ Mordechai Gifter, as brought in Artscroll explains that an inheritance is belongs to people to use ‘as they please’... I know they passed away. You could've paid their dues... Your grandmother never paid dues. You could've paid them and held off on the vacation... Vacationing is not an inheritance... R' Gifter continues to say that a heritage is ‘the property of generations before and after; it is incumbent upon the heirs to preserve it intact’... That's why we are not selling the shul...
This shul is apparently an inheritance. I see how the back hallway is not preserved. The awning is disheveled... You use the money for stuff like a community quilt and that is what happens. The Torah is a heritage... Yes. You take it on vacation...
The shul has to be kept intact... It's not your inheritance. If it was, it would have the Milky Way in the ceiling... The shul will not be a planetarium... Herring is our heritage. Mr. Himelman was correct. You eat herring with crackers...
(Devarim 33:5) H’ became King when we ‘the tribes of Israel were in unity.' What unifies us is dancing not on Friday night... We can’t chase away other Jews with messed up quilt wall hangings. It's about bringing people together. It's about hopping to Sukkahs together... We must preserve Gd's kingship. The Sukkah walk was great. Older people can't hop. That was the best program we ever had. It unified everybody, as we lost some of the teens... Teens were hopping and the people we want in the congregation were walking. That was unity... That made us a congregation. When we lost the teens...
You can't have unity when the Challah s placed all the way on the other side of the Sukkah... You wash inside and then can't talk to all the people you're passing on the way to the Challah... Nobody thinks it's the Challah. Fran knows you don't want to talk to her...
Unity is when single people meet. Simchat Torah is the perfect time... It's social, Bernie... We're not mixed dancing this year... The security guard did not help with unity... I don't think we will see Gd's Kingship in this congregation if Jews are not allowed in...
My bracha to the children is more candy.
More alcohol is not a blessing… Kingship doesn’t last around you holding a Torah all tipsy… Nobody wants to unify with you, Mark. Not when you're leaning on them, tell them how much you love them... You drank too much Mark...
The one handed Torah grab switch to the left was an impressive move… Your hagba was also impressive under the influence. But we are looking to preserve the Torah. Not to puke on it… It is our heritage, along with Airhead taffys... No. You can't do with it what you want... It's not going to Kiddish.
Rivka’s Notes on Rabbi Mendelchem’s Drasha
The rabbi gave his whole speech as a reading. It was more sentimental and solemn than usual. He read it from a paper and had excellent cadence. People said it was meaningful.
It is clear that the kids had no idea it was Simchat Torah. They knew that there was candy. The taffy was gone. The little pellet gushers were gone. They didn’t hear the Torah. They were out during the reading of vZot HaBracha, eating the candy.
The security guard chased away the Jews. The security guard is not Jewish. I don't think anybody knows that.
A meeting was held to not have scary people staring down Jews when they enter shul. Because of this security guard, Jews are being blamed for being anti-Semitic. I believe the new security guard is an anti-Semite. He placed himself in the perfect position to be an anti-Semite. Jews are always going to shul. He can hate more people in a day.
Somebody had to explain to the guard on the next shift that many Jews have piercings too. The security guards now know that Jews can have tattoos, and Jews are sinners. That security guard should’ve realized that Jews are sinners the first Shabbat, when Sadie asked him to park her car.
Everybody left shul on Simchat Torah wanting to dance. I think they were too tired from Friday night dancing. And then, once they dealt with Mark and his drinking, and not finding herring crackers, people were not up for dancing in shul. COVID might have had something to do with it as well.
The herring was used for Simchat Torah, and the cousins that came to visit and dance for Simchat Torah are allergic to fish. I think that the whole fish thing on Simchat Torah had everybody down.
That was the first speech that has ever been given on Simchat Torah. Rabbi Mendelchem said, ‘It’s a Parsha. Should we forget it?’ That was his statement. The question mark denotes a statement.
He also said it with a high pitch. It was a very strong statement. And we lost members.
The rabbi’s plea for a Birthright trip did not happen. To this day, people are still amazed that Yakov and Yisrael are the same thing. The rabbi has had to give eighteen classes on how Yakov and Yisrael are the same person and the same nation. He also had to give Torah dancing classes, as the Jewish grapevine does not work with the two-handed Torah hold. People also didn't touch Torahs correctly on Simchat Torah morning, when they were doing the Walk in Torah Raise Bang. Herring eating was another course the rabbi had to give. Nobody in the shul can balance their herring correctly.
We may not have a Kiddish luncheon next Simchat Torah. Too much food was left on the floor. Mark spilled everything, as he fought his hangover with more alcohol. The kids left all their candy wrappers like a trail to Ami's bag of unshared candy. How they all got to Ami's bag that he wasn't sharing was amazing. I think Ami just left it there, like he did the lollipops he was licking and leaving all over the carpet. The rabbi stepped in cake. Spent the next two days showing everybody the bottom of his shoes with mousse on it.
Kiddish Club is still going out. That happened on Shabbat Chol Hamoed. The rabbi made an executive decision to stop services when they are out. They’re now taking a break when Kiddish Club goes out. Minyin stops when they go. The non-alcoholics play foosball. The rabbi also brought in an air hockey table.
This new plan got many people off alcohol. Especially the teenagers who used to join the Kiddish Club. I think they’re just drinking faster and then coming to play foosball.
Simchat Torah had some drunk kids running around. That was disturbing. The parents said, they want their child to enjoy the holiday or forget it.
Nobody met on Simchat Torah. It turns out that due to the rabbi’s sermons everywhere people couldn’t meet. He came into the hallway, where a shidduch was happening, and started talking about holy matrimony. I think he believes he’s a Jewish priest.
Everybody is becoming more religious now. The young couple who’s about to get married, isn’t touching anymore. She told him that she loves him and wants to be Shomer Negiah (not touching). Because it’s a meaningful relationship, she wants to be Shomer Negiah just with him. She has dated every other guy in the community. Only with him does she want to be Shomer Negiah. Ben is now looking at every guy in the community with contempt. It all happened because the rabbi gave a speech about saving the physical part of the relationship for marriage. He’s worried that if she still loves him when they get married that she will never touch him. He's given up. He started eating herring.
I think that whole sermon by the rabbi and the Shomer Negiah results is what got Ben drinking in the first place.
Kiddish setup is off. Got to put the challah near the door. I am surprised the people still don't get that. I am happy the rabbi dealt with that in one of his sermons. They placed the Challah on the other end of the Sukkah. So now, you have to walk past everybody, after cleaning your hands, dissing each person, not talking to them. That's why there is no unity.
I was gone for the first days of Sukkot and all goes haywire. One week and Kiddish setup is messed up already. I got involved in helping at Kiddish, because I couldn’t stand listening to the kids’ Anim Zmirot. Teach them the stuff beforehand. I feel like every Shabbat, we have to watch a Bar Mitzvah lesson. Then the toddlers opening the ark is another nightmare. These kids need to get down the strings. It's like watching the non-religious people on Yom Kippur in shul.
Herring is still the issue in the shul. As Mr. Himelman said, 'I didn't tell anybody I brought it, and I didn't sponsor Kiddish. But they should've smelled it.'
The shul now has cases of backup Tam Tams, just in case herring is on premises.
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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.