In Monsey they have something called Shabbos Goy University other wise known as SGU. This is similar to those corporations that call their training programs university, McDonald’s and Target have similar situations for corporate managers. Unlike other communities, Monsey is rather spread out in area and each neighborhood can range from yeshivish to chassidish and everything in between. With these sort of discrepancies and different hashkafic realms it is important for each shabbos goy, or neighborhood security as the political correct environs of Rockland County demand, it is important to make sure each shabbos goy is trained properly in the techniques of shabbos goyisms.
With the shift to the right in ultra orthodoxy, it has become obsolete to merely run up to your neighbors house where they might be mowing the lawn and making small talk and telling them casually that your air conditioner was timed wrongly. First of all, the only non-Jews who live in Monsey are Hispanic and they are usually standing on Route-59 waiting for contractors to pick them up, and no one really does yard work around here anyway- either you are wealthy and cannot be bothered, or you let the bicycles and empty boxes of kedem grape juice pile up on your lawn stunting grass growth.
Obviously these reasons as well as the rash of chumros regarding inviting th shabbos goy to simply turn your lights on has created such issues that Rockland Community College, also known as RC-Squared created this program the Shabbos Goy University. It is an associates, and until New York State Chumra Board demands they need more training, all is quiet on the western front.
The training begins with a psychological assessment to see if the trainee can play with the fundamentals of reverse psychology. This means that when these “neighborhood security” folks are on patrol, they can tell right away what a person means, when they say “wow, shabbos goy, its really hot out today”, since this is Monsey people usually aren’t that friendly and any dope would take this to mean, “I need my air conditioner turned on.” It used to be that one would have to invite strangers into their house and the newly elected shabbos goy had to decipher what ten different people were trying to tell him. Then of course he may give up and a random elbow would fly up to turn on whatever was off while someone shouted SHINUI!!!
“Our food is all cold” obviously means for the shabbos goy to turn on the oven. As does “we cant see anything in here” mean to turn on the lights. But the ultra orthodox do not view these as valid heterim for telling someone to make you more comfortable on the day of rest, after all if you are turning on lights and cooking your food to comfort levels you are exerting yourself in extreme avoda. It does get harder when it comes to the lesser known of the 39 melochos, I mean how would one tell a shabbos goy to be “borer” for them? Or how would one tell the person to cut the birthday cake that has words on it, because you fear you may cut them? These issues are all dealt with in advance level courses that deal with things such as “what do they really mean?” and “which melocho do they want me to break for them?”
The program is so successful that I feel they should introduce courses for religious Jews on things like “cleaning up after yourself in the pizza store” OR “putting on blinkers when you stop in the middle of the road to pick up hitchhiking chassids” OR “An introduction to night walking safety”
BTW- I have created a new category entitled “Monsey” for all the happenings in my new place of residence.
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