Dear Telz Angel: My rabbi is strange.

Rabbi Who?Sometimes I get emails from readers asking me about Hashkafa questions.  Here’s one that I could not answer, so you have to help me out.  I know you can.  He’s somewhere on the east coast — here’s what he telz me.

Dear Telz Angel

I wanted to get your opinion.  We have a new rabbi in our community and I’m wondering about his hashkafa.  I heard that you are knowledgeable in this area.  Let me tell you a bit about him and the things we now do in our shul.  Tell me what you think.

Since he took over, we stopped saying the prayer for the Israeli government on Shabbat.  We also added the extra phrase in Aleinu saying mean things about other religions.  In his speech last week he said that he appreciated that the Taliban destroyed the avodah zara statues that the Hindus use, and that we have a lot to learn from them about the laws of tznius, since they clearly know a women’s place is to be holy on the inside.  He thinks that they are misunderstood and are a model of frumkeit that we should look up to.

This year the shul did not mention when it was going to be Yom Hasho’a or Yom Ha’atzmaut.  In fact the shul calendar does not have those days marked (curiously it has Memorial day and July 4th marked off).  And he added something he called “Leil haIsur viHamirage” .  He said that there’s an old tradition to celebrate the travels of some old rebbee who rose to shomayim.  It takes place this year at the end of June.  I never even heard of this holiday.

Then at the last board meeting he suggested that instead of selling Israel Bonds at the yizkor appeal we should start selling the new PADICO Palestinian bonds since they seemed like a good investment (his father-in-law is a stock broker).  And after shacharis he mentioned that the proper way to bow for is to get all the way down to the floor, but it’s OK if we don’t.  He told us he learned this when he last visited Teheran.

Confused member of Toiras Reb Yoel Yusuf.

Dear Confused.

You might know that  I’m part of a biker gang — the Telz Angels.  Your rabbi is a member of our rival gang — the Guardians of the City — sometimes called NK for short.  The funny thing is that both gangs actually agree on lots of stuff — but like so many fights we can’t see eye-to-eye, even when we agree.  So it’s best that I recuse myself from this question given the rivalry and instead, I’ll ask some other people whom I consider experts in this matter.  I’ll post your question on to and ask the readers to comment on your ruv’s hashkafah.  BTW — when did you guys change the name of the shul to “Reb Yoel Yusuf”?  Are you still an OU and NCYI shul?


Dear fans, what questions or answers do you have for this guy?