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It was the week of Tisha BAv and everybody was about to say the Tachnun prayer. They started with 'VHu Rachum.' To which Menachem cried out, 'It is not Maariv.' The rest of the Wise Men and Women reminded him that 'VHu Rachum' is part of Tachnun, in the mornings, as well. To which Menachem responded, 'I have such a Zechut (an honor) to be part of such a wise community.'
To which they responded, 'We should all cry out during Tachnun.'
Tachnun Before Tisha BAv?
It was at this moment that Yankel, or Yankel Tzvi Ben Mendel Simcha as his friends know him (a nickname they gave him), jumped in and abruptly stopped everybody, 'But we must not say Tachnun. For the Artscroll says you don't recite "from Rosh Chodesh Sivan until the day after Shavuos (some congregations do not resume Tachun until 14 Sivan); Tisha BAv; 15 Av;...' And he continued to stress, 'There is a semicolon between Shavuos and Tisha BAv.' And all of the Wise Men and Women asked why he read the parenthesis.
Never had the Wise Men and Women confronted such a perplexing question, such as raised by the Artscroll Siddur.
What Do We Do?
Shprintza explained, 'We cannot say it, for Yankel is correct and he said "don't recite."' 'Recite' is proof of prayer, as the Wise Men and Women concluded 'we must not pray.'
But what does the Artscroll mean?! Is Tisha BAv in the month of Sivan?! And they discussed. And nobody wanted to say Tachnun if they didn't have to. 'That is a wise decision,' shouted Lazer. So, they went to the rabbi.
They came to the rabbi with the issue. 'But the Artscroll says "from Rosh Chodesh Sivan..." and there is a semicolon.' And Rabbi Fishel said, 'The Artscroll means that you don't say it on the day of Tisha BAv.' And Reuven shouted, 'That's why he's our rabbi.' And all cheered.
The Rabbi Explains
In fervor, all listened to the rabbi, as he elucidated and gave a pilpul on the meaning of '; Tisha BAv;' He told them that it means we don't say Tachnun the week before Shavuos. Rabbi Fishel explained, 'But the semicolon separates them. It is the week of Shavuot, semicolon. If there was a comma and an "and" after the second comma, then it would mean the week before Tisha BAv as well.' And the Pshat on Semicolons was given.
For months the Wise Men and Women were trying to figure out how Tisha BAv was in Sivan and not in Av.
And the community stopped searching for a new rabbi, as they knew Rabbi Fishel was the wisest rabbi of all. To quote Sarah Shaindel, 'Only such a wise rabbi as ours can offer an exegesis on the Artscroll's notes to Tachnun. Such a clear commentary on the Artscorll's notes one has yet to have heard. Not even Rashi, the great commentator, did he give a Pshat on Artscroll.' To which Reuven shouted, 'And that's why he's our rabbi.'
And from then on, Rabbi Fishel had to deal with questions as to why some Artscroll Siddurs didn't have Tehilim in the back.
Yankel continued to protest, as he could not figure out why there was a semicolon. And to this day, nobody knows what a semicolon means.
The community was not happy. They were all hoping to get out of saying Tachnun. As the Wise Men and Women pointed out, 'Tachnun is way too long and it makes us not want to come to shul. Not saying Tachnun makes us happy.' It was also pointed out that nobody cared about Pinchas and Freida's wedding. They were just happy they didn't have to say Tachnun that morning in shul. To quote, 'That is a Simcha.'
Lazer injected, 'I haven't eaten challah for two years, in fear that I will have to say Birkat Hamazon.' To which the Wise Men and Women agreed, 'It is almost as painful as having to say Tachnun.'
The Artscroll read, 'Some communities say this.' Duvidel asked, 'What does "some communities don't say" mean?' To which Berel the Gabai responded, 'Communities that don't show up to shul on time.' 'Exactly,' responded Yankel. To which Fayge shouted, 'That's my Gabai.'
And all were so proud of their Wise Rabbi and Gabai.
Years later, they bought new Siddurs and fired the rabbi.
Throughout the land, they couldn't find another Shprintza, with no other name attached. Just a one named Shprintza was not found. They found Ruchel Shprintzas, Sarah Shprintzas, Bayla Shprintazas. But no Shprintza. And that is why they all know her as Shprintza.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.