If you spent any time in Israel you probably are at least one shabbos meal at the Machlis family, known world wide for their hospitality crammed into a small space with the most random of random people and a chance to make contact with some seminary girls that don’t frequent the drunken madness scene that we call Town.
My room at Ohr Someyach overlooked the pathway that lead from the street into the section of Maalot Dafna where the Machlis Family lived, I used to wake up and watch all the random people floating by until I decided to check it out for myself. The Machlis Family was a great fallback plan for us Ohr Someyach students who didn’t get high or drunk on Friday night because when you went to Ohr Someyach you knew you would have to fend for yourself when it came to the food. Fact is that it was a running joke that Ohr guys would go to discovery at Aish Hatorah just to eat their food – and its true Aish is way wealthier and had way better food, I myself checked out one of their brainwashing sessions on the day I knew they would be having schnitzel and mashed potatoes and it was well worth the mind altering session of irrefutable proofs to try and get you to sign away your brains.
But shabbos was different, you couldn’t always get a meal at the Kotel, it was known that Jeff Seidel could smell a yeshiva guy a mile away and would not get you a meal if he knew you had one waiting at yeshiva no matter how bad it tasted. When I didn’t hit up the kotel or friends I went to Machlis, because there was free food, weird people and the very distant possibility of hot seminary girls.
I’m a guy who likes my space, I always push the utensils and plates of my neighbors down the table and give myself all the room, if possible I take an end seat, if not I get up and pace in other rooms during the meal – this is not possible at the Machlis family, they cram people in similar to the way they have people called “Pushers” who work for the Tokyo subway system that are assigned to cram people into the train so they can close the door.
I remember one time this guy got up in the middle of the meal and threw a bottle at Rabbi Machlis, he tried to throw him out and needed backup, I saw the guy again and again and he would always start a fight – yet they let him back in the door – I could tell it really pained the Rabbi to kick someone out. I am sure I could have stood on the table and dropped my pants and he would have let me stay, I didn’t contemplate this (I think more along the lines of: what if I cursed out the head rabbi right now)
One time everyone was seated and this whole crew of cute single girls popped in, the only place for them was in the back table with us Ohr Someyach guys, the Rabbi hesitated, he didn’t need a bunch of cracked out sex fiends to work their magic on some innocent seminary girls but he had no choice, I had noticed that they tried to keep the men and women separate, I wonder if the shidduch crisis changed his mind.
Last week I was asked if I ever went to Rabbi Machlis for a meal, when I responded yes this dude from Facebook commissioned me to write a post to try and raise money – I only agreed because I had the ability to make it funny and informative. Either way the Machlis family needs to raise $300,000 by July 15th or else they will have to close down their operation. I have been asked to post the following link so that some of you may donate something to help in their amazing work, and yes I made a donation. Please visit The Machlis Campaign website and help them continue to help thousands of Jewish folks in Israel and beyond.