I was sitting on the couch reading a copy of the Jewish Press, when my drunken charedi cousin walked in the room, it was purim so I gave him some slack. I was dressed up and ready to go to shul. Before I even realized what was happening my cousin slammed his hand down onto the table and demanded what a heimishe yid was doing reading the Jewish Prust as he called it. Of course he opened up a Pandora’s box, because I love to mess with people.
I also had never really knew that the Jewish Press was considered pornigraphic by Charedi standards, but here I had my drunken 17 year old cousin with those greasy behind the ears peyos yelling at me about standards and finding a shidduch. Then he started saying in a thick yeshivish accent- “what would Rav Shlomo think?” (Rav Shlomo Ganzfried is my great great grandfather- author of the kitzur shulchan aruch- for the unenlightened)
What is wrong with the Jewish Press I asked in a sincere tone? Of course I knew what they didn’t like, and then he started saying how the people who write for it aren’t all frum, some of them are even anti-frum and some of them are Lubavitch GASP. Of course this revelation made for an even more fun shabbos- because I had found out there was a Lubavitch basement shul in the area, and I hate the regular shul on Park Avenue, so I had decided to attend the Salloff shul instead.
On a side note, I was reading the (YWN) Yeshiva World News last week and saw that one of the letters to the editor- was an article calling for a boycott of the Jewish Press and asking that the frum community call it the “JP Crisis” proof of course that frum people love calling everything they don’t agree with a crisis. The article goes on to explain how the articles aren’t frum and that his wife had shown him something she found to be untznius- funny because if you were so frum- why would your wife call you over. Anyway I assume it was a pornographic sheitle advertisement- which seems to be all the rage.
By the way pornographic sheitle ads are not what you are expecting, in fact I would prefer the JC Penny underwear ads of the Sunday Times any day- but in certain sects the showing of a women’s face is bad, and in the shietle ads the women are hot- this of course is a problem because- God forbid we show a women’s face, because we may come to think badly about them. Anyway the comments on the YWN like always are somewhat freaky, but definitely worth checking out. Read the article on the Jewish Press Crisis
Back to my Charedi cousin. When it was time to go to shul I asked my aunt where the Luibavitch shul was, and all the sudden world war 3 broke out. My drunken cousin, his aunt, my aunt, they all started trying to convince me why I shouldn’t go to the Lubbies for shul. What would Rav Shlomo say was the drunken cousins argument- the Lubbies are lost and off the derech he said. Then he went into a yeshivish tirade about our cousin Yisroel who was a brilliant talmud chachum “until he went off the derech and became a Lubavitcher” He could have been brilliant but its all wasted now, supposedly.
Then my other cousin started saying stuff about fathers not wanting me to go out with their daughters if they knew I was hanging around Lubavitchers. Of course I had to just bring up that out of all the sects of Jews I liked Lubavitchers the most, and if there was cholov yisroel ben and jerrys and I didn’t have to grow my beard, I would have become one long ago. Uproar I tell ya, I had just lost all respect and they would try and mekariv me back to yeshivish.
I went to the Lubavitch shul on Park Ave and loved it, it was my first time in a shul in Monsey that I didn’t feel like a Space Martian. No little kids giving me the stare and no walk of shame to try and find a siddur. No kiddush, no visible women’s section. but the friendly people were more then worth it.