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Rabbi Fishel taught the Mishna of Sukkah a few years back, in which it teaches that the Sukkah must be at least 10 fists (tefachim) high and not more than 20 cubits (amot) high. The class lasted many hours, as nobody knew what a cubit meant. Raisel explained what amot are, but nobody understood how that was a cubit, as they were different words. Shlomo said, 'I have never heard anybody measure in cubits. I build all the time and the tape measure doesn't mark a cubit.'
Upon learning the sizes of the Sukkah, Yankel Tzvi Ben Mendel Simcha, known as Yankel for the sake of limiting the time it takes to get his attention, threw out the tape measure and broke the shul's ruler. He said, 'We must build this Sukkah according to Halacha, Jewish law.'
Menachem insisted, 'I have a hand.' And so, they built the shul's Sukkah with Menachem's hand. It was 85 Menachem fists. They stayed away from cubits as that was too confusing.
Questions came into the Wise Men and Women about the new town laws of Sukkah building, and Menachem went from house to house to help them build, as he had a fist.
All knew that Menachem's fist was what you measured with. Menachem was getting calls from all over the province. Calls for bookcases. Calls for correct ladder sizes were coming in. Itzik's Renovations And Moving hired his fist. The local bike manufacturer has his fingers on retainer.
The following year Menachem went to Uman for Rosh Hashana. The Wise Men and Women were stuck. Duvidel said, 'But we all have fists.' To which Bayla yelled, 'You fool. Menachem has a fist. Yes. Do you have Menachem's fist?' And all kicked Duvidel out of the meeting for his foolish ideas.
One townsman had the audacity to build a Sukkah without Menachem's hand. He said that it was the same size as his Sukkah last year. 'How could we be sure of that?' asked Berel the Gabai. Fayge jumped in, 'My Gabai is amazing. He is correct. We don't have Menachem's hand, so how can we know?' The townsman responded, 'They're the same sheets and slats.' But the Wise Men knew that slats can change size.
And that Sukkot was celebrated with no fists, and no Sukkahs.
The following year, Menachem went to Uman for Rosh Hashana again, but one foolish member insisted that the walls were all the same as as they were. There's always one unintelligent new member at the meetings. Menachem wasn't there, so they were the wrong size. Thus, there was a crisis again.
The only other measurement in town was Shlomo. Shlomo insisted that he as a fist. At least he told everybody he did. That met much argument, as his hand is not as big as Menachem's. Raisel was not convinced that Shlomo could measure 40 Menachem fists on all sides. Shlomo's hand business was ruined from then on. Raisel ruined his living.
This past year, one new member of the board proposed using a ruler that he found in one of the children's backpacks. The child was studying in a school that has been banned by the Wise Men and Women since. He knew the dimension in meters. They refused, telling him 'We cannot build this Sukkah without Menachem's fist.' And they kicked him off the board with his ludicrous ideas of heresy. Berel the Gabai announced to all, 'As Jews, we measure with fists and arms. That is the only way to be exact.'
The Wise Men and Women studied more Torah together, which led to more problems. A ruling was sent to all that it was forbidden to use rulers, tape measures and yardsticks, as they are not mentioned in the Oral Law of the Jewish people.
Yankel is still mad at Menachem. He broke the ruler in hopes of making a business of his fist.
The word got out and advertisements were placed in the paper asking, 'Does anybody else have a fist?' The Wise Men and Women of Chelm are searching for more Menachem fists. If you have a handbreadth, they would appreciate your letting them know.
Menachem is not allowed to travel anymore.
This Rosh Hashana, they are praying that Menachem will be around for Sukkot, and not stuck on a construction site, for use of his hands and arms.
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He said he was only giving ten percent to charity. They called him a Mayser.
You get it? Miser. Mayser. Mayser is a tithe. They sound alike. If a Mayser was a type of person, it would work. He'd be a Mayser who gives Mayser. The Mayser would be a Miser.
Respect for our members of Hatzalah. What these guys are willing to do to drive a car on Shabbis... That guy on the right looks too comfortable to save anybody. The guy on the left is the one I would want showing up. He’s got more keys, and that’s the sign of a Hatzalah man that knows what’s going on... I respect them stopping and posing for the picture. It’s a great photo. I just hope the guy they were on their way to made it. (photo: hatzalah.org)