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Advice to Politicians After NY Jewish Vote

All these klutzes and yentes rushing to NY for votes certainly have campaign staff doing Wikipedia research on Jews and how to get their vote.

Thus we get Cruz baking matzah

Cruz Banking Matzah

Hillary will probably visit New Square to pardon a few more of their criminals for their vote and Trump will say that he’s going to republish The Art of the Deal and call it The Shtick of the Handel.

But all these politicians should take a quick listen to the inimitable Shmuel Kunda for some political advice:

And Bernie Sanders should take some advice from Kunda as well: he should have stopped at de Blasio’s office for a token before trying to ride the subway.




Lessons From Yom Tov Season

Obama's sederI was never the rabbi type. When I’d listen to the tired old lessons drawn from the parsha, usually illustrated with the old king and prince trope, I’d wonder where the rabbi took his inspiration; did he really think this up on his own? Did he really draw that lesson from the parsha, or did he have to squeeze it out like a bad turd?

Well I’m thinking now that this business of drawing lessons from the parsha or the yom tov du jour comes with age, maybe, because I suddenly find myself thinking about what I can learn from Purim, or the upcoming Pesach, other than new, more creative excuses for getting out of the house while cleaning is underway.  [click to continue…]


Purim Blues

Purim in YeshivaAfter Shloime had fasted for 12 hours, put the half-shekel in the pushka, davened mincha, took a nap so they would have energy to dance all night, ran to the liquor store before it closed so they can get wasted, and pulled out the torn jeans they’d bought at the thrift store Shloime felt ready for the happiness that would envelop him that night.
Shloime looked forward to Purim all year; it was the one time that he felt comfortable dancing and singing with abandon in front of his friends and rebbeim. This usually reserved 12th grader wasn’t exactly a morose bochur, but he certainly wasn’t the ebullient type either. He tended to avoid the gym and the baseball field, opting, rather, to sit in his room and read the books he’d borrowed from the library.
He attended to his studies when he had to, he would even raise his hand du
ring shiur and ask a question, but he felt an uneasiness around his rebbeim, feeling like he was somehow apart, that he wouldn’t ultimately prove to be a source of pride to them.

But on Purim, after a few furtive sips from the double malt he would keep hidden in the Ginger Ale bottle, he would become a different person; he would open up like a rose in bloom, allowing everyone to look in. He would dance and sing at the top of his lungs. He knew he could sing on tune, enough people had complimented him on that, and through his drunken haze he had enough awareness to know that people admired his Purim antics.
Immediately after the megillah reading Shloime took off to his dorm room at a run. And, while everyone else shuffled out to the dining room to break the fast on franks-in-blanks and bourekas, Shloime took his first quick swallow of the scotch. This night was going to be great!
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“Just Sign Here”

FBI in MonseyNo one’s celebrating the FBI raids in Monsey, Kiryas Joel, Williamsburg and who-knows-where-next. No one with a heart, that is.

The fact is that frum schools simply cannot survive on tuition alone, as the posuk says “lo al halechem l’vad yichyeh ha’adam” (we’ll leave off the rest of the posuk for now because that’s partially responsible for the crushing financial burden in chassidish and yeshivish communities.) So what’s a school supposed to do if its parent body cannot afford to pay full tuition, its philanthropic pool is way maxed out and its alumni is helping pay their own grandchildren’s tuition with nothing left over to give back?

In the olden days they milked the lunch program, moving kids from school to school on inspection days to fill up every school’s lunchroom. When I was in school where they only had secular studies through 4th grade level (as you can tell), they had closets stacked with books through the 8th grade level. I don’t know this for a fact but I always assumed they must have claimed they were teaching all those classes, I don’t think it’s an unsafe assumption.

Those were the innocent days of petty theft. We’re on a whole new level now. [click to continue…]


Don’t Judge Judaism By The Jews

It’s curious but I’ve never heard anyone invoke that saying while touting the great things Jews do.

Conversely, while the saying “don’t judge Judaism by the Jews” is being invoked to do away with a Jew’s bad behavior, you never hear the excuser turn around and say “don’t judge the Jews by Judaism”.

It’s a curious world we live in.


Jews of JSwipe

Guest post by BJJgirl666

JSwipeI was recently shmoozing with my chavrusa, Shmuli Grosshmeckel, and (unsurprisingly) we ended up complaining  about our struggles in shidduchim.

I was complaining to him about how nowadays, though the advanced state of technology is supposed to make everything more efficient, unfortunately it made the world of shidduchim even more complicated than it was originally.

Shmuli asked me, “Have you tried JSwipe?”

I told him I have not, but that I was intrigued.

He proceeded to show me his profile. For the most part, judging by his pictures, like an erlich yeshiva bochur with great middos, but I got confused when he wrote something about being a “big spoon”.

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Gil Student Regrets Becoming a Rabbi

Gil StudentThe Klal Perspectives Jounal is always a treasure of ancient wisdom, repackaged, with its expiration date carefully erased and rewritten. The Fall 2015 issue is no exception.

I find it funny that the editor found this issue to hot to handle himself instead inviting Dr. David Pelcovitz to be the guest editor. The explanation for this guest editorship is as follows: “In light of the particularly profound psychological repercussions of internet use, Dr. David Pelcovitz was invited to serve as Guest Editor of this issue, and he graciously agreed. Dr. Pelcovitz is widely considered to be the Orthodox community’s leading expert in applying academic scholarship to the various social and psychological challenges of our time.” It’s funny because the discussion about internet usage in the frum community is no more a psychological issue than any of the previous topics handled in The Klal Perspectives Journal, if anything it is less so: I think the topic of the frum community’s response to the emergence of the internet is more of a sociological and anthropological discussion than anything else and that’s what this is all about, after all.

Anyway, Pelcovitz aside, the issue is a sociological goldmine of rabbis and other professional hand-wringers trying to figure out how to keep the frum in the dark – there’s information out there and the people of the book have too many reasons to fear information.  [click to continue…]