A spinoff of activist pro-peace but not so pro-Israel group J Street has decided, after careful historical analysis, that had the Jew-hating Haman of the Purim story been around today, he may have been lauded as one of this year’s great pro-Israel personalities. The new group says that Haman—who didn’t have a first name, or maybe he just didn’t have a last name—was deeply committed to activism that involved the Jewish community of that time. Yes, he wanted to murder every last Jew. But viewed from a different perspective, Haman and his associates considered that strategy to be in the best interest of the Jewish community.
The group points out that if Haman had achieved his devious desires, it would have been impossible for any future anti-Semites to harm the Jewish people or, for that matter, the Jewish state. So Haman’s plan was ultimately for Jewish benefit.
Leading rabbinical figures have decided that the missing element in search committees’ ability to fill long-vacated rabbinical positions around the country is rabbinical guidance for these same committees. As a result, some shul committees are searching for rabbis who can provide spiritual direction to the process of finding rabbis.
Too many failed efforts have been recorded in this endeavor, and those involved in the process say that what has been lacking in a most pronounced way is proper spiritual guidance. “Sure, it is a kind of Catch-22,” said Ira Zicherman, head of a southern rabbinical search committee that just cannot find a suitable candidate to fill their more-than-five-year vacant position for a rabbi. “We have come to understand that we will not be able to find a rabbi without a rabbi.” So, he added, they seem to be stuck.
Where this goes from here is anyone’s guess. One observer, Freddy Yearsindadesert, said that he could just imagine where we as a people would be today if we had to vote on whether or not MosheRabbeinu should have led us out of Egypt, to Sinai, and then through the desert. The Jewish people might have been leaderless and still wandering in the desert in one way or another, or Moshe might have just been fired after being on the job 39 years. Where would that have left us? Twisting in the wind? Lost in space? Wandering in the desert?
Read Parashas Zachor
For First Time!
Overlooked by most news outlets was the phenomenon that many chareidim listened to ParashasZachor in their own shuls this past Shabbos for the first time in many years. For many years, Meah Shearim was eerily quiet ShabbosZachor morning. There usually is a mass exodus to the Old City to hear ParashasZachor being leined by an ardent Zionist. This is to comply with the opinion of the Chinuch.
There is a discussion among the poskim whether or not women are obligated in Parashas Zachor. The view of the Chinuch is that women are not obligated to hear Parashas Zachor. Making mention of the evil perpetrated on us by Amalek is a mitzvah that is limited to those who can and will fight against Amalek. Since women do not go to war, they are exempt from the mitzvah of mentioning the treachery of Amalek.
The Admorim have ruled that according to the Chinuch, men who will not serve in the army are likewise exempt from the mitzvah of ParashasZachor. They will not be the ones who will fight Amalek; consequently, they have no mitzvah to recall the war. Anyone who is exempt from the mitzvah cannot even be motzi someone who is obligated. Hence there was no one in Meah Shearim who could leinParashasZachor. This problem was alleviated by hearing Zachor from a Religious Zionist. Unfortunately, this brief display of achdus was shattered by the law drafting yeshivabachurim. Now they are obligated in Zachor and can lein for themselves. However, there are those who disagree. They say that since there is an option for community service, chareidi men are really exempt from the army and still should hear ParashasZachor from a Zionist. Alternatively, visitors from the United States may serve as the ba’aleikriah for the chareidi community.
Hevel HaYofi Sheitels:
The Beauty Is In The Price
Reports have it that a new sheitel place will be opening on Central Avenue this month. It will be called Hevel HaYofi Sheitels.
“The sheitels are modeled after the ‘Phyllis Diller’ prototype and embody the highest ideals of the simple reading of the 31st chapter of Proverbs,” remarked the new proprietor. “We offer wash-and-sets for $4.95.”
“We are the wave of the future, and represent the cutting edge of follicular mediocrity,” remarked Hevel HaYofi’s top stylist. “Some of the new styles are designed to stay tangle-free for a year, but here at Hevel HaYofi we have a new modality—we call it ‘Tangle Chic.’”
One customer remarked, “Whoever said that tangle-free is the way to go? Tangle is definitely in.”
Using a special proprietary system, the wigs are darkened at the roots at a fraction of the cost of the higher-end wigs. “What we do, essentially, is we darken about an inch of the roots of our sheitels with brown or black eyeliner or eye shadow,” remarked the owner. “It gives it a natural look—without the cost.”
Young Israel Launches
‘Got YILC?’ Campaign
The Young Israel of Lawrence–Cedarhurst has recently launched a new membership campaign employing the Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners Ad Agency, which opened up a New York office in 2013.
The ad campaign is called “Got YILC?” and is patterned after the highly successful “GOT MILK?” ad campaign that lasted over 20 years and was just terminated this past February.
“Got Milk? was one of the most successful ad campaigns in the United States, and we hope to capitalize on this to build the nation’s first mega-shul,” remarked the chairman of the expansion committee. “We have already begun this project with our monthly mega-kiddushes, and this is just the next natural step.”
To qualify for a mega-church one needs 2,000 people on an average weekend attendance. L’havdil, mega-shuls only require 1,800 in attendance.
“We are on the path to become the first mega-shul in the United States,” remarked the president of the Men’s Club.
The campaign will feature people in various situations involving a religious need. The person then would find himself in an uncomfortable situation due to no shul. At the end of the commercial, the character would look sadly to the camera and boldly displayed would be the words “Got YILC?”
Ads will be taken out featuring various famous Jews.
“We hope to begin with the entire Adam Sandler list, by offering them free membership in exchange for the rights to appear in the advertisements with the Got YILC message and yarmulkes and sheitels,” remarked the Sisterhood president.
A funny thing happened in New York on Tuesday. Protesters dressed in chassidic garb—beards, long peyos, black felt hats, and long coats—protested Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, claiming that Mr. Netanyahu does not represent all Jews.
Taking a page out of the Obama ISIS manual, Izzy Krazzy, a pro-Israel activist, said that just like those abusing Islam by utilizing violence in the name of the religion, the Jews seem to have a similar issue. That is, people parading as Jews and claiming to speak for the Jewish community—or a segment of the community—but really representing a position that is a betrayal and desecration of the name of G‑d.
“Sure, they look like Jews, walk like Jews, and sometimes talk like Jews,” said Krazzy, “but that does not mean that these are Jews.” He added: “These are radical Jewish positions and ideas and anyone who thinks that way is just not Jewish.”
He seemed to be saying that just as President Obama insists that there is no such thing as radical Islamists because if someone is radical they cannot be Muslim, we Jews have the same issue. These guys in Manhattan on Tuesday might have wanted to represent Judaism, but if they are calling for Israel’s destruction at this point in time and saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu does not represent us all in some fashion and in some way, then these are just not Jews.
Purim Shpielers, for sure; Jews, no way.