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Preview: Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein

Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein



Words Of Torah Dripping With Sarcasm and Condescension



Updated: 2017-12-10T22:15:16.233-05:00

 



On the Passing of a Tzaddik

2017-11-30T17:31:59.085-05:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================On the Passing of a Tzaddikמִי-הָאִישׁ, הֶחָפֵץ חַיִּים;    אֹהֵב יָמִים, לִרְאוֹת טוֹב.“Who is the living being who seeks life, who loves the days of his life, to see good”Rabboisai,We are gathered here to offer our respects at the passing of one of the Gedoilei HaDor, the leaders of the generation, Reb Betzalel Kupkayk. Reb Betzalel left this world the same way he lived it - Enjoying the wonders of nature, the world created by Hakdoishboruchhu.How do we sum up the life of a Tzaddik? We, of course, are discouraged by CHAZAL, our sages, from offering Hespedim, eulogies, for a Tzaddik. However, we are encouraged to celebrate and remember, and discuss the lessons of a life well spent, learning Toirah, doing Mitzvois, and killing small animals.Reb Betzalel was born under challenging circumstances. We know little about his early childhood, but we do know that he was instinctively drawn to Toirah. My Bashert Feigeh Breinah immediately recognized his potential and encouraged that he be taken in by the Yeshiva, even though we had agreed not to bring in any more wards of the Yeshiva, Reboinoisheloilumdammit. When I first learned of Reb Betzalel’s arrival, I was concerned that he would be a bad influence on the other Lamdunim. But in this one, solitary thing, this one time, ever, my Bashert was right. Reb Betzalel was very special and brought great wisdom and insight into the Yeshiva.Reb Betzalel’s early days were spent learning BiChavrusa with Reb Yoisaiph Katsky, ZTL, often in animated Machloikesin that occasionally led to knocking items off the table and the shelves. Both Reb Yoisaiph Katzky and his protege Reb Betzalel Kupkayk were particularly fond of Shabbos, and every week waited patiently at the Yeshivah Shabbos table for Shirayim of chicken or fish.But the most profound relationship that Reb Betzalel had was of course with Reb Shmiel Kalbasavuah, SHLITA. They spent years as Chavrusas and constant companions, learning Toirah and taking walks together. Indeed, their mutual affection mirrored that of Dovid HaMelech and Yehoinasan. And it is true that Reb Shmiel was known to occasionally exhibit physical affection for Reb Betzalel, but as it was consensual, we need not discuss it here. (And, no, we are not removing Reb Shmiel from his current position at the Yeshiva. He is neither Matt Lauer nor Charlie Rose.)Pirkei Avois tells us “Asei LeCha Rav, U’Knei LeCha Chaver”, assign yourself a Rabbi, and acquire for yourself a friend”. People have forever wondered what the latter part of the phrase means. Does it refer to an actual “purchase”? Most people hold that, no, it is metaphorical for personal engagement and commitment, for investing value in the relationship. The relationship between Reb Betzalel and Reb Shmiel was indeed a synthesis of both aspects of this equation.Legendary are the long walks shared by Reb Shmiel and Reb Betzalel, with Reb Shmiel often running ahead to ensure that Cossacks, Nazis, or squirrels were not waiting around the corner. On their walks they would often discuss the intricacies of Halacha. What is the earliest one can light candles on Friday night? When laying Tefillin, can you respond to text messages, or does that count as a Hesach HaDaas? When you find scraps of food on the street, do you need to check Hashgacha, or should you eat them immediately, lest this be the last morsel of food you will ever eat?While Reb Shmiel is the better known Poisayk, rendering Halachic decisions across a broad range, Reb Betzalel himself, in his own quiet, modest way, established a territory in which he shared his Halachic output. H[...]



On Rabbis and the Employment of Reason

2017-11-10T09:30:27.451-05:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================On Rabbis and the Employment of ReasonRabboisai,I would like to start this week’s Drasha by describing the Reboinoisheloilum:No, there is no typo, you Minuval! I did not fall asleep at my keyboard, or smoke too much Besamim, if you know what I mean. I simply followed the tradition of the RAMBAM who declared that you can only describe Hakadoshboruch by what He is Not.Now, the RAMBAM of course was a Sefardi, so he was certainly hardly an Erlichah Yid. He worked as a physician to many, including to the principle advisers to Salah A Din, the Muslim conqueror of Eretz Yisroel who chased out the Crusaders Yemach Shmum. So instead of learning thirty hours a day like a good Jew, he was busy engaging in Bittul Toirah by saving lives. What a waste of time! All of his patients are undoubtedly dead by now, so the RAMBAN passed up the eternity of Toiras Moishe Rabbeinu to engage in what was only a temporary fix, at best. This is certainly not the choice any of OUR Gedoilim would have made, of course. Can you possibly imagine Reb Auerbach, SHLITA or Reb Kanievsky, SHLITA stopping leaning over their Gemarrah long enough to wipe up their drool?But the RAMBAM cannot be all bad. After all, Art Scroll wrote at least one book about him. And he did, of course, only learn medicine from the Gemarrah and while sitting in the Bais HaKeesay. Which is where I developed my Value Investing strategy when I was a teenager: How to take something small and make it bigger until it shoots out a big payoff...But RAMBAM’s basic premise requires a thoughtful analysis, at least long enough to fit three pages so that I can cross the line “Write a new Drasha” off of my To Do list, and I can get to the next item on my list: “Whatever is in the headlines, blame Hillary and Oibama”.The RAMBAM, in his day, was confronting a reality that was in many ways quite similar to our own. Jews were persecuted in some places, yet found safety in others. Religious traditions within Klal Yisroel were becoming divergent. People were beginning to allow the beliefs of modernity to impact their Emunah in the Aimishteh. And women were beginning to assert their right not to be treated as sex objects by covering themselves with Burkas, donning metal chastity belts, immersing themselves in the Mikvah, and avoiding any man whose last name was “Weinstein”.To the RAMBAM, a key concern was the literalism that had infiltrated the Jewish perception of The Divine. He believed that people who took Biblical references such as “the hand of God” or “the finger of God” as literal walked a treacherous path leading to a form of Avoidah Zarah, idolatry. He believed that anthropomorphism of the Reboinoisheloilum was a falsehood and was, in fact, dangerous, and that Hakadoshboruchhu could never be understood in human terms. He even went so far as to say that most prophetic confrontations with the Aimishteh in the Toirah were not actual encounters, but the product of inspired dreams, perceptual imagination, or LSD flashbacks.At the center of the RAMBAM’s focus was the need to find the balance between faith and reason. For the RAMBAM, the Toirah was a one time gift given to Klal Yisroel through Moishe Rabbeinu. The Toirah was not a rule book designed to outline reward and punishment, as these were human concepts. To the RAMBAM, the Reboinoisheloilum exists beyond any human understanding and is outside of the realm of human activity. The RAMBAM believed that the Toirah’s primary purpose was to provide order and structure to society. That was the role of Faith. However, understanding of the Divine, while never fully achievable, was the essential higher o[...]



Simchas Toirah Drasha

2017-10-11T13:17:00.809-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Simchas Toirah DrashaRabboisai,This week we celebrate the conclusion of Sukkois and the completion of the annual cycle of Kriyas HaToirah by getting stinking drunk and dancing with members of the same gender.Rav Moishe Chaim Luzzato asks: Why do we dance with other men, which is a clear violation of Lifnei Iver for Mishkav Zachor, an unacceptable temptation that may lead to playing “bury my Sukkah pole in your Schach,” if you know what I mean?There is a famous machloikess that addresses this question. Reb Yisroel Salanter comments that the completion of the Toirah cycle is meant as an Ois, a microcosm, of Oilum Habbah. With the completion of the Chamishei Chumshei Toirah, we experience a moment that is a foreshadowing of Biyas HaMashiach and Oilum Habbah, the dawning of the Messianic era and the World to Come. As such, we know that when Moshiach comes, many of the Halachic restrictions of Oilum Hazeh will fall away. Just as Tisha Ba’Av will shift from being a day of somber mourning to our greatest day of celebration, Biyuh SheLo KeDarko with another man will shift from being an “abomination” to a “Mitzvas Asei SheHazman Grummah.” It will also be a great way to reward your Chavrusa for knowing all the latest dance steps to “Zara Chaya VeKayama.”Rebbe Nachman MiBreslov proposes a similar approach. He suggests that we do not dance in celebration of completing the annual cycle of reading the Toirah, since in ancient times much of Klal Yisroel followed a triennial cycle, completing the Toirah in three years. Rather, Rebbe Nachman states that we dance with other men to signal the end of the long holiday season. He writes in his famous treatise Likutei MoHaran that “Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Toirah clarify the essential differences between men and women. At this time of year, while men are busy trying to eke out a living without being fired for missing work, building the Sukkah, preparing the Arba Minim, etc., their wives are constantly calling them with requests, such as:-- ‘Reuvain, can you please pick up bok choi on your way home from work’-- ‘Shimoin, I don’t think we have enough dessert for the fourth meal we are hosting; can you pick up some brownie mix?’-- ‘Layvee, I have to stay late at the office; can you come home early to give the kinderlach a bath?’”Says Rebbe Nachman, “If I can trade being called fourteen times a day by my wife and being incessantly hen-pecked in exchange for engaging in Mishkav Zachor with another man, I will gladly play catcher in Biyuh SheLo Kedarko with a big sweaty Yeshiva Bochur named Lazer.”However, the Vilna Goyn suggests that Rav Moishe Chaim Luzzato and Rebbe Nachman MiBreslov probably spent a bit too much time hanging out at the Mikvah on Erev Yoim Kippur. He writes farkhert in Chuddushe HaGruh, “In Klal Yisroel, we don't have homosexuals. We don't have that in our Kehillah. In Yiddishkeit, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it.”Instead, the Gruh points to the seasonal nature of Shaloish Regalim as the true reason we celebrate on Simchas Toirah. He notes that just as Peysach is Chag HaAviv – the Spring Festival, and Shavuois is Chag HaBikurim – the Harvest Festival, Shmini Atzeres -- and especially Simchas Toirah -- celebrate something critical in the calendric cycle of Klal Yisroel and of Kol HaOilam Kooloh in general.To make his point, the Gruh cites a famous machloikess. The Tur asks, “What is the most important Aliyah during Kriyas HaToirah?According to Reb Yoisaiph Karo, the most important Aliyah is Rishoyn, the first Aliyah, since it is the Al[...]



Sukkois Drasha

2017-10-04T11:33:11.510-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Sukkois DrashaOn this holiday, the yuntif of Sukkois, we wave fresh fruit at the sky for seven days, and eat in an open air beehive. We cap it off by dancing cheek to cheek with a bunch of bearded men. (I have a date with a talmid named Yerachmiel; I hope I get lucky!) According to Chazzal, Sukkois is the time when Moshiach will come. And according to Reb Hai Goyn, it is the holiday when you are supposed to separate yourself from the secular world. He cites as proof the fact that you are forced to take off so many work days right before end of year reviews, you might as well start polishing up your resume.The RI holds that Sukkois is actually a celebration of homosexuality. When Klal Yisroel were preparing for the long winter, planting in the fields by day and sleeping in huts at night, at the end of a long day they would sit down bichavrusa (in pairs) and study a little Talmud. One minute they are on daf yud baiz, amud alef, and the next minute they are on the floor, committing Mishkav Zachor. And who can blame them? I get excited by a gevaldik Toisfois myself!The RI cites various Sukkois practices as proof for his position:- We wave our phallic lulavim on the faces of all the other men, boasting about how ours is the biggest in the shul;- Alongside our lulav is our esroig, where the gemarrah tells us that the more bulbous and full of veins, the better;- We commit a sadomasochistic act with a handful of willow branches; - We dance around the Toirah with other men, our fingers firmly entwined with others' hot, sweaty, hairy hands.However, most Rishoinim disagree with the RI, referring to his rather abrupt departure from his position as director of the all boys Orthodox summer camp in Northern Lithuania (although they settled out of Baiz Din, so no one can prove a damn thing).The RIF points to the beauty of the Sukkah celebration as a unique mitzvah within Yiddishkeit. Fresh fruit. The outdoors. Many Rishoinim hold that you should live in the Sukkah for eights days. It says in the Gemmarah that Rish Lakish would move into the Sukkah, and use it as an excuse for not having to deal with his mother in law all week. Rav Ashi, on the other hand, insisted that his mother in law sleep in the Sukkah, and take one or two of the kids with her.The Sukkah offers many opportunities to be Hiddur Mitzvah, to go above and beyond the letter of the commandment. It is customary to decorate the Sukkah with pictures and other decorations. (Vooz iz givehn plastic fruit, anyway? I understand the Reform decorate their Sukkahs with shrimp.)According to Rabbeinu Tam, it is actually a Mitzvah Dioraisa to buy Christmas decorations in January at fifty percent off, to be used in decorating the Sukkah the following year: Flashing lights. Ornaments. Candy canes. Indeed, one year the Vilna Goyn decorated his Sukkah with a nativity scene he bought for six dollars.There are other things that one can do with a Sukkah. A Braisah brings down a story of Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah, who, as a teenager, had the roof removed from his family's minivan so that he could drive down to the beach and be mekayaim the mitzvois of pleasuring his girlfriend and eating in the sukkah at the same time. What a tzaddik!Yet the most beautiful element of Sukkois, and the aspect most shrouded in mystery, is the mitzvah of esroig. I still can't figure it out. It looks like a lemon. It smells like a lemon. It even tastes like a lemon. But it costs as much as heroin. How come it is easier to buy fresh peaches from Antarctica than it is to buy an esroig at a reasonable price? And how many times [...]



Yoim Kippur Drasha

2017-09-29T13:00:44.433-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================Yoim Kippur DrashaYou good for nothing Menuval, you have sinned all year long, and now you are going to pay for it!From Kol Nidrei at sundown until the blowing of the Shofar, you will be cramped into an overcrowded room surrounded by unshowered, unshaven men whose empty stomachs are growling louder than the chazzan. But look at the bright side: at least you get your exercise. Between the frequent and incessant beating of your chest and the four instances of full kneeling, you have become a Moslem Tarzan. Shkoiyach.Chazzal spent many, many hours contemplating the true meaning of Yoim Kippur, while awaiting the horses to reach the finish line. There is a famous machloikess (rabbinic debate) in Yuma on the subject between Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel. Bais Shammai holds that the true commandment of the Toirah is that you should sin all year long, and then repent on Yoim Kippur. Bais Hillel, on the other hand, holds that you should strictly avoid sin all year long, and then enjoy a nice honey glazed ham right after Kol Nidrei. Of course, this is one of the fourteen instances when we hold like Bais Shammai (along with such critical issues as not using toilet paper on Shabbos and the infield fly rule.)The Reshoinim struggled to define the metaphor by which we can understand how the Jewish People should look upon a single day in which they can redeem themselves for past mistakes and plan for the next year without the aid of a good tax advisor or financial planner.According to the Rabbeinu Tam, Yoim Kippur is like an all day telethon, where the Aimishteh is raising funds and support for the coming year, and you are asked to contribute of your soul. The ROISH disagrees, using the same metaphor, but reversing it. Says the ROISH, YOU are hosting the telethon, and are appealing to the Rebboinoisheloilum for his support, and you refuse to go off the air until He is ready to write you a check. (And if He pledges 75 dollars or more, you'll send Him an autographed CD of Luciano Pavoratti in concert.)The RIF holds that the true metaphor for Yoim Kippur is that of the annual performance review. Hakkodoshboruchhu is your manager, and at review time, He reaches out to your colleagues, your superiors, your subordinates, and your clients, soliciting feedback on your performance. He looks at your numbers. He checks how often you have been absent or late to shul. He then synthesizes the information and decides your fate. Will you be terminated? Will you get a raise? Will you get a better bonus? Will you get a hot new secretary?But how can you protect yourself as the Aimishteh's employee? How can you best ensure a positive year? According to the Pas Akum, this metaphor explains one of the age old questions, which is: Why does Sukkois so closely follow Yoim Kippur? Say the Aimishteh decides to terminate you. What can you do? Can you prove wrongful dismissal? Says the Pas Akum, we stand before Hakkodoshboruchhu four days after Yoim Kippur and wave our phallic looking palm branches at heaven as if to say, "if you terminate me, I'll sue you for sexual harassment!" And in the current politically correct environment, even He has to be careful.We prepare for this holiest day of days with the greatest degree of sobriety. We set aside Ten Days Of Atonement for spiritual introspection. We say Selichois, special prayers beseeching the Aimishteh for forgiveness. We blow the shoifar, which is intended to strike an internal chord of repentance. And we wave a live chicken over our heads.In the time of the Second Temple, there was a great debate[...]



Roish Hashanah Drasha

2017-09-19T17:32:01.664-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Roish Hashanah DrashaI have recently returned to the Bais Medrish in my Yeshiva, where our talmidim are studying twenty-two hours a day in preparation for the Yomim Noraim (High Holidays), as well as for their upcoming Real Estate license exams.This week we will celebrate and embrace Roish Hashanah, the New Year, pray for forgiveness of our past sins, and moan about the need to pay extra for seats when we are already spending too much as it is on annual synagogue membership.In a famous Mishnah in Masechta Roish Hashanah, Rabban Gamliel asks why synagogues charge for seats on the High Holidays -- shouldn't they embrace all who attend services and not put up any potential barriers to their participation? In the Gemarrah, Rav Pappa builds on this question, pointing out that Jewish communal responsibilities also include Yeshiva tuition, kosher food and paying off the annoying schnorrers who show up at our doors uninvited. So why must shuls engage in Lifnei Iver and chase away any returnees to the faith?Toisfois offers a gevaldik answer to this question, based on lessons we learn from Yaakov and Eisav. As Eisav returns from a day of hunting empty handed and hungry, Yaakov tricks Eisav into surrendering his birthright by giving him a bowl of lentil soup in exchange. Says Toisfois, we must choose to be like one or the other -- either fiscally bankrupt like Eisav, or morally bankrupt like Yankif Avinu. And clearly most shuls in our day choose the latter.This rabbinic shakuvetaria (discourse) very much helps to define and capture the essence of our existential quandary at this time of year. The question really is: why do we have one special point in the year for repentance and renewal; are we not always encouraged, and even invited, to improve ourselves, or to at least make a healthy donation? Indeed, what is the nature of the choice that confronts us? How does Roish Hashanah help us along a new path?(And an additional key question is: why was I assigned THAT seat, next to that guy I can't stand, and so far from the aisle that I may as well pee in my pants during mussaf?)The classical answer is that the sound of the shoifar-- the ram's horn -- is intended to awaken within us our innate desire to embrace the Aimishteh through repentance and the fulfilling of Kol HaToirah Kooloh. Clearly, whoever came up with this response never heard the shoifar blown in the Yeshiva where I received Smicha (rabbinical ordainment), where, to insure that each shofar note is 100% koisher, they repeat the blows again and again. And again. And again. It's enough to make the Rosheshiva himself pray to Yushka for salvation.Reb Hai Gaon offers an alternate answer, suggesting that Roish Hashanah is like a woman getting a facial. Sure she can put on makeup every day, but the act of spending eighty-five dollars to get her pores cleansed makes the meeskeit at least FEEL prettier.Rabbi Akiva Eigar points to the three central themes of the Roish Hashanah liturgy as providing the answer: Malchiyois, Zichroinois, and Shoifrois. Malchiyois represents the father, Zichroinois the son, and Shoifrois the holy ghost. Of course, Reb Akiva is known for his secret affinity for Catholicism and his attraction to hot nuns.But the Chassam Soifer points to the same three themes. He says that Malchiyois, the theme of the Kingdom of heaven, is like your father, who, no matter how successful you have become, is always ready to tell you what a disappointment you are. Zichroinois, the theme of heavenly remembrance, is like your mother, who, no matter[...]



On Teshuvah

2017-09-15T12:11:14.521-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================On TeshuvahRabboisai,There is a famous story in the Zoihar Hakadoish that describes the ritual in Shamayim whereby the Ain Soif delivers an annual report immediately prior to Roish Hashanah before a joint session of the Sefirois, the Malachim, the Tzaddikim, and the Neshsamois of the unborn. The Zoihar also reports that one year, during this annual gathering, Hakadoshboruchhu noted that the world was expected to have a peaceful year, without any additional persecution directed at Klal Yisroel. Suddenly, the spirit of Nosson HaNavi shouted out, “You lie!” towards the Aimishteh. Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon forcibly removed Nosson HaNavi from the room, and after numerous apologies to the Reboinoisheloilum and his Chief of Staff, the Buddha, he was banished to Eretz Yisroel, where he is fated to spend all of eternity as one of the guys who do random ticket inspections on Egged busses.There is also a Medrish in Medrish Tanchuma that talks about the annual PYW (Pumbedisa Yeshiva World) Awards. One year Rava was honored with the “Chiddush of the Year” award for his “Yeyush Shehlo Mida’as Loi Havei Yeyush” insight. As he was standing at the Shtender to accept his award, Rav Huna burst onto the Bimah and screamed out to the crowd of Yeshivah-Yingeleit, “Sure, Rava, your Chiddush was okay. But Rav Ashi really deserved the award for his ‘Yoim Toiv Shaynee Shel Goliyois Does Not Apply In Antarctica’ Chiddush. No offense, Dude.” After being booed off the Bimah and having a sandal thrown at his head, Rav Huna apologized for his outburst and blamed his behavior on the Besomim-laced mead he had been drinking all day, and also on the fact that he had not been adequately molested by his Rebbe when he was a teenager.Finally, there is a famous story in a Gemarrah in Gittin that describes the detailed ruling associated with the Bavel Open, the annual sporting contest where leading Rabbis would throw turbans at each other across the Bais Medrish in Sura. The Gemara notes how one year Rav Chisda was disqualified in the quarterfinals against Rav Pappa by the line judge, Mar Zutra, when he threatened to “ram his turban so far up Mar Zutra’s ‘Bor’ that Mar Zutra would have to make an Eirev Chatzayrois every time he needed to go to the bathroom on Shabbos-Koidesh.” He later explained that he had been misunderstood, and that he really meant that Mar Zutra would need to make an Erev Tavshilin before eating on a Shabbos following a Yoim Toiv. But Rav Chisda finally apologized to Mar Zutra after Rav Shayshess threatened to make him pay a fine of thirty thousand zuzim and three goats. Shoyn.I share this collection of stories as we engage in the spiritual exercise known as Teshuvah – repentance. Every year, after a full twelve months of being Mezaneh with hot shiksas -- at least in your mind you Minuval, after eating pork or shrimp or lobster, or cottage cheese that’s not Cholov Yisroel, Chass V’Sholom, or after murdering your neighbor for 12 dollars in loose change, cutting up his body into little pieces, and burying the pieces in the backyard between the rose bushes and the apple tree, near where you once buried the bunny rabbit that your cat had killed just to shut your children up already, Reboinoisheloilumdammit…. Ummm…sorry. After a year of committing Aveirois, you get in front of Hakadoshboruchhu, and ask Him for forgiveness.But, as in the famous stories in the Gemarrah and the cosmic history recorded in the Zoihar, you must ask yourself, “Is m[...]



Parshas Kee Suhvoh

2017-09-08T09:50:02.113-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Parshas Kee SuhvohThis week's Parsha, Parshas Kee Suhvoh, features the most acidic chapter in the entire Toiras Moishe: the Toichecha, or Rebuke, in which Moishe Rabbeinu lays out the negative consequences of Klal Yisroel disobeying the Rebboinoisheloilum. The punishments include death, insanity, poverty, exile, children taken away from parents, impotence, and significantly higher taxes.Let's be perfectly frank -- You do not want to go to Shul this week to hear the Parsha! Stay home, put your feet up, watch a pay-per-view, do a little mitzvah with your wife, do a little work in the garage, unstop the toilets, change the cat litter, clean for Pesach eight months early -- anything to not have to listen to this Parsha. And if you do you go to shul, bring plenty of reading material.Why, the stuff in this Parsha is so harsh, it can even get my mother-in-law to stop talking for a few minutes, Imirtza Hashem.A Gemarrah in Baba Metzia cites a Braisa in which Rabbi Akiva asks: Why is Hakadoshboruchhu so damn angry at Klal Yisroel all the time? Rav Huna answers that when we were young, the Aimishteh once sent us to the store to buy eggs, but we never gave Him back all the change, and he has held a grudge ever since.However, Rabbi Abba suggests that the Rebboinoisheloilum’s anger is linked to the definition of the Jews being the "Chosen People." Rabbi Abba cites the traditional view of Shir HaShirim in which the male Hakadoshboruchhu sees Klal Yisroel as the nation chosen to be His wife. And when a Jew is unfaithful and does something against a direct command, such as worshiping idols or eating fish and meat with the same plastic fork at a Kiddush, He gives in to His uncontrollable jealous temper and smacks us around a bit. Rabbi Abba goes on to say that we really did deserve it, and promise not to tell the neighbors how we got our black eye, just that He should please not do it ever again.Rabbi Abba quotes a beautiful Medrish that says that in the heavenly realm of the Aimishteh, where He sits on His throne of fire surrounded by angels playing harps, violins, flutes and accordions, as the human world recites this Parsha once a year, after each Passuk the Rebboinoisheloilum responds "One of these days Alice, one of these days! POW, right in the kisser!"Rava disagrees. He suggests that indeed Klal Yisroel was chosen, but not as a wife. Rather, we were chosen to be a pet dog. And just like a pet dog, we require discipline whenever we go on the carpet. And we shouldn't complain, because if He ever really tires of us we might get dropped off at the local pound.Abaye agrees that we are like pets. However, he suggests that we are more like a pet goldfish. We are surrounded by other fish, some larger and some smaller. We get fed once a day if we're lucky. We have little or no real interaction with our benefactor. Other fish are constantly nipping at out tailfins. There is poop on the bottom of the tank and algae building up on the walls. The filter breaks down once in a while. And the best we can hope for is that at the end of 120 years we will die a natural death and be flushed down the toilet. Says Abaye, this Parsha is the best reason yet to convert to Catholicism. The only reason he doesn't is because he would rather have someone nipping at his tails than fondling his fins, if you know what I mean. (Clearly Abaya had never met Motti Elon.)Commenting on this Gemarra, Reb Saadya Goyn offers a completely different interpretation. He suggest[...]



Parshas Shoiftim

2017-08-25T14:58:20.032-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Parshas ShoiftimRabboisai,Reading this week's Parsha, Shoiftim, left me confused and bleary eyed. So many topics to cover, so little time. True testimony. False testimony. True prophets. False prophets. Magicians. Conquest. Egla Arufa. Moishe Rabbeinu must have had one too many cappuccinos that morning. I suspect he might have even been on speed, Chass V'Sholom.In this week’s Parsha, Moishe Rabbeinu tells us that a defendant can be convicted of a crime through the testimony of either two or three witnesses. But the Parsha tells us this law in two separate places. What's Pshat?According to a Mishnah in Yuma, Moishe repeated himself because he was showing signs of early Alzheimer’s.But according to a Gemarrah in Yevamois, the first mention of the rule about witnesses refers to legal testimony and the judicial system. But the second mention of the rule is brought down by the Toirah to teach us something not about law, but about marital relationships: While marital relations between two people, a husband and a wife, are sanctified in the eyes of the Aimishteh, He doesn't mind if every once in a while you bring in a third partner to "spice up the cholent."Commenting on this Gemarrah, Toisfois points out that the second reference in the Parsha to the rule requiring two or three witnesses is juxtaposed to the rules of conquest: In the section immediately following the second mention of the rule, the Toirah tells us that when you conquer a foreign land, you should slay all the males, but keep the women and children for yourselves. Says Toisfois, the Parsha wants to teach us an important lesson: When you do have a third person join you in your marital relations, the Toirah suggests she be a hot shiksa. And the Toirah teaches this within the context of discussing military conquest so we will know that a little Bondage and Discipline is okay.The RIF, however, holds, that a little S and M may be in order as well, as long as it does not lead to bloodshed, which would instantly raise up a Chashash of Nidah and spoil all the fun, Chass V'Sholom.However, the Bais Yoiseph holds that the entire Gemarrah of Yevamois must have been written when the Amoraim were having a "bad day," and that Toisfois and the RIF were too busy thinking with their Bris Milahs.The Bais Yoiseph holds that the reason the Toirah repeats itself on the rule about witnesses is to warn us that if we hire two false witnesses to testify in our favor during a tax fraud hearing, we should always hire an extra witness, just in case one of the witnesses turns states evidence. He brings as proof the whole, strange Halacha of the Egla Arufa.As the Toirah states, if an unidentified dead body is found between two towns, and a murderer is not identified, the elders of the towns must sacrifice a lamb as part of a proclamation of the towns' innocence. According to the Bais Yoiseph, this is clearly a situation involving a cover up, and the Toirah is encouraging you to have some false witnesses up your sleeve who are willing to testify against some unwitting scapegoat.But the Hesech Hadaas (B. 1280 -- D. ?) states that the Egla Arufa has no link whatsoever to any other topic in Parshas Shoiftim. Indeed, he holds that the Egla Arufa really belongs in Shmois, following the drowning of the Egyptian Army in the sea. He holds that the Egla Arufa symbolizes the random victimhood that characterizes human existence. The Jews in Egypt. The Egyptians in the sea. Klal Yisroel. A[...]



Presidential Endorsement by Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein: Donald J. Trump

2017-08-18T12:46:42.489-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Presidential Endorsement by Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein: Donald J. TrumpRabboisai,What a busy week it has been, in my role as Rabbinic Advisor to President Donald J. Trump SHLITA. He has done such a terrific job mediating the cultural debates in American society, and has shown his Solomonic Wisdom by sawing the baby in half , AKA dividing the American People. But this is not a problem, as most are descendents of immigrants anyway.I have had the opportunity this week to have lunch with fellow leaders, including the Grand Wizard of the KKK and the New Fuhrer of the American Nazi Party. I found them to be gracious and polite. And non-demanding. Indeed, they never asked me to pass anything over from my side of the table, and refused to eat from any plate that I touched.Our conversation focused on was the single greatest American. The Grand Wizard claimed that the greatest American ever was Robert E. Lee, given his distinguished record in the US military and his leadership of the army of the Confederate States of America. The New Fuhrer suggested that the greatest American was Henry ford, given his contribution to the mass production of cars and his publication of important histories of Jewish conspiracies in America. I, on the other hand, argued that the greatest American was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, given that he took his responsibility as a politician to screw the country quite literally, as he has tried to have sex with every woman who ever walked into the White House as long as Jackie had her back turned.In any case, I did not have time to prepare a new Drasha for Shabbos, so I am resending my presidential endorsement of Donald J. Trump SHLITA, as I believe that like all good Toirah, it is timeless.In any case, I wish you a Gutten Shabbos now, as I have to run off and polich the silver Kiddish Becher in my china cabinet and the bronze statue of Jefferson Davis in front of my Shul in time for Shabbos.Shoyn.---------Rabboisai,Shtayt in Passook, it says in the Toirah: Sefer Republicans, Parshas 2016 Presidential Race, Perek Lamud Chess, Passook Aleph through Passook Yood Tesssss:(א) Vayoimer Donald El Billy Bush Leymor -- And Donald sayeth to Billy Bush, saying. (ב) "I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.”(ג) “Whoa,” said, Billy Bush, who was also knowneth by his nickname, Burning.(ד) “I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Donald said. (ה) "And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.” (ו) “She wanted to get some furniture.” (ז) “I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’” (ח) “I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married." (ט) And Donald paused thoughtfully. (י) "Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”(יא) At that point, Donald and Burning saweth Arianne Zucker, the actress waiting to escort them to the town well.(יב) “Your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple,” said Burning.(יג) “Whoa!” Donald sayeth. “Whoa. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her.”(יד) “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them.” (טו) “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” (טז) “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.[...]



NEW: On Sacred Secret Traditions

2017-08-04T16:52:21.735-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================NEW: On Sacred Secret TraditionsRabboisai,I would like to start this week's Drasha by sharing a true story. This past Shabboskoidesh I was engaged in a fundraising trip to a small Shtetyl in Eastern Europe. After Davening, where there was not a complete Minyan, I sat down with three members of the small Kehilla for Kiddush and Moitzee. Discussion spread from comparing Jewish life in the vibrant communities of the United States to the struggles to maintain and sustain a form of Jewish life in a community with only remnants of the robust Jewish life that horrifically disappeared in the Shoah.At one point, a senior member of the Kehilla asserted that there are many rabbis who believe that Israel's ongoing struggles with the Palestinians, HAMAS and Hezbollah were in fact the cosmic result of the many Jews in Israel who do not observe the Mitzvois. I retorted that what my new friend stated was a philosophical opinion, one which I do not share. I commented that sitting here in the tiny communal remnant of an Eastern European Shtetyl, the notion was impossible to believe, as it was comparable to stating that my family and six million others were slaughtered because of the Reboinoisheloilum’s anger about the Reform Movement or some other such nonsense occasionally voiced by some Rabbonim. I noted my personal belief and the normative Rabbinic dictum that we cannot understand the nature of Hakadoishboruchhu, His, thoughts, or His actions.The debate went on for a 20 minutes or so, in civil voices and an air of mutual respect, with me referring to the RAMBAM's description of the Aimishteh as being beyond comprehension, and the Kabbalists' efforts to illustrate the nature of the Reboinoisheloilum-head as far more complex than the simplistic linear explanation of the Toirah: If the Jews are good, good things happen to us; but if the Jews misbehave, Hakadoishboruchhu "hides His face". For such simplistic logic did not hold true in history any more than it holds true today.After Benching, the four of us walked through the traditional Jewish Quarter, and the oldest of the group pointed out the store that was once his mother's bakery, prior to the Shoah.Shoyn.-----RabboisaiKlal Yisroel is on a downward spiral. Here we are, in the midst of what many feel is a period of Reishis Smichas Geulasainu, the dawn of our redemption, but Klal Yisroel cannot help itself. Just when Eliyahu HaNavi is circling on his flying ass, looking for a place to land, you Menuvals always seem to find some way to screw it up.I was recently visiting some Talmidim from Lakewood. They are Tzadikim - they never miss a Mincha, even behind bars - and they reported that in the federal penitentiary there are Yidden who shave with a blade. A blade!!! Why, that is a Dioraisah!!! What can these people possibly be thinking?!?!Similarly, when I walk the streets of Brooklyn and Yerushalayim I see women who go with their hair uncovered. It is difficult enough for a man like me at this time of year to hold off from masturbating like a monkey while walking down the street, but to be tempted by the fruit of a woman's follicles is beyond what I can bear. (I personally think that the federal government should pay for Sheytels - It would likely significantly lower infidelity, and some rabbis even hold that it would decrease breast cancer.)On rare occasions I visit the Goyim in Teaneck. Once upon a time, I refused to d[...]



On Optimism and Shivas Tziyon (The Return To Zion)

2017-07-21T08:49:18.399-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================On Optimism and Shivas Tziyon (The Return To Zion)Rabboisai,The following is a true story. I was walking by myself on the back roads of Gush Etzion many years ago - the roads that are not paved, that go through ancient vineyards built in stepped irrigation. These roads may even date back to Roman times.As I was walking -- in my cocky teenage walk -- an older Arab man came up to me. I thought to myself, "Rebboinoisheloilum, now I am going to die. Shema Yisrael AdoiShem Eloikaynu AdoiShem Echaddddd." Instead he gave me a large batch of grapes, and refused to take money for them, no matter how much I insisted.Such is the nature of the Arab Israeli conflict. It defies basic understanding, because it is rooted in emotion, not rationality.-----Rabboisai, one of my Talmidois reached out to me in despair last week, ruing the latest events in Israel and Gaza. In this case, it was the believed capture of an Israelis soldier. "When will it end?" she asked. "Is it hopeless?"Rabboisai, a late uncle of mine, a veteran of the early days of the State, used to make a half joke about Israel: He said that the pessimists in Israel speak Yiddish. But the optimists speak Arabic.I never quite understood what he meant. But given that he was born in China (Mamish!), was raised speaking Russian, was taught English and French in school, and learned Hebrew and other languages later, I am surprised that he could form a cohesive sentence in a single language.My uncle's experience, as a purely secular Jew, was quite typical of his generation. After making Aliyah with his parents and brother, he helped build the State. He likely never learned a piece of Gemarrah in his life, so never had the joy of diving into a Gevaldikkah Toisfois after a quick dip in the Mikvah, never had the pleasure of engaging in a Machloikess with his Chavrusa, and undoubtedly never undertook the Mitzvah of Shiluach HaKan. He never wore a Shtreimel and his wife never wore a Sheytel. Yet he was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, and died as a Jew. He served in the army, as did his children. He paid his taxes. And when he went to the Oilum Ha'Emes, he left children and grandchildren to continue his legacy. His experience is typical.-----Do you, you Minuval, believe that modern Israel became magically populated with Jews one day, who answered the call to come live in their ancestral homeland? No, you Vilda Chaya! Shivassss Tziyoin, the return of the Jews to Zion, has been a long, drawn out process of at least 150 years.Even before Theodore Herzl, there was the First Aliyah and the Second Aliyah. There were Chareidim who came and settled. There were indigenous Jews who can trace their ancestry in the Land of Israel back centuries.And then of course there were the waves of immigration: Following the pogroms of the early twentieth century; in the days leading up to the collapse of Jewish life in Germany; during World War II; after the hell fires of the Shoah, before Statehood; and wave after wave of immigration following the establishment of the State -- survivors from Eastern Europe, Jews from Western Europe, Jews from Egypt and Iraq and Morocco and Israel and Yemen and elsewhere in the Arab world. Jews arriving in secret waves of Aliyah from Romania and Argentina. Jews from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. Jews who continue to arrive today...To what is this phenomenon comparable?On[...]



Parshas Balak

2017-07-06T21:51:31.330-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================Parshas Balak In this week's Parsha, Parshas Balak, we are provided a welcome respite from the usual rigmarole of the Toirah -- no Moishe Rabbeinu, no Aharoin the minuval, no vilda chaya Klal Yisroel -- until the very end of the Parsha. No regulations regarding sacrifices or other Priestly responsibilities. No critical laws that continue to enrich our lives until today, such as the prohibition against eating creeping insects while having relations with your father's wife on Yoim Kippur. The RAMBAN asks the obvious question: why does the Toirah veer away from focusing on Klal Yisroel, the Chosen People, the Goy Kadoish, and focuses instead on Bilaam, Balak, and a talking she-ass? What’s Pshat? The Tzitz Eliezer suggests that the Rebboinoisheloilum was suffering from writer's block, and was forced to plagiarize a script he found on the Internet in order to meet His tight deadline. But the Schvantz Mordechai vehemently disagrees, saying that the Aimishteh was renowned for delivering his scripts on time, but that union issues with the Screen Actors Guild resulted in a walk out by Moishe and the rest of Klal Yisroel, requiring some quick rewrites and recasting with low cost fill ins ("scabs" in Yiddish). By Parsha's end, of course, the strike was settled, just in time to enjoy the usual hijinks of Klal Yisroel being smitten by a plague that killed twenty-four thousand. He cites as proof a medrish in Yechezkel Rabbah suggesting that the reason Moishe wasn't allowed into Eretz Yisroel was because his affinity for labor was expected to make Yehoshua's right-wing coalition unstable. So what of Bilaam and Balak? The Gemarrah, in discussing this Parsha, notes how strange it is that Bilaam is portrayed by the Toirah as having a personal relationship with Hakkadoshboruchhu, referring to him by name, and mentioning several times that Bilaam had His personal cell phone number. Says the Gemmarah, according to a Bas Kol (a voice emanating from heaven), Bilaam was in fact not associated with the Rebboinoisheloilum at all. Says the Bas Kol, "The Aimishteh denies that any alleged contacts with Mr. Bilaam took place at any time, and expresses that any alleged leaks were certainly unintentional and not a violation of Federal law. As well, Hakkadoshboruchhu has engaged a private counsel, and will have nothing else to say on this matter at this time." Rav Huna rejects the Bas Kol, citing credibility issues arising from previous high level leaks that took place following the "Golden Calf" affair. Instead, he suggests that the Bilaam story is actually a legend created by the author of the E text in order to support Israelite claims of manifest destiny over Moabite territories by referring to Bilaam, a historical Near Eastern shaman. Unfortunately, Rav Huna disappeared without a trace before he could prove his theory. Rav Ashi suggests, however, that Bilaam did indeed have a relationship with the Rebboinoisheloilum, but tried to exploit that relationship in order to develop his own following and offer an alternative religion, a substitute to Toiras Moishe. He points to a medrish that says that Bilaam was supported by a band of nerdy looking teenagers who were always doggedly handing out deceptive looking fliers in the subway during rush hour advocating membership in “Bedouin[...]



On Unity and Division in Klal Yisroel

2017-06-22T21:25:05.912-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================On Unity and Division in Klal YisroelRabboisai.I am writing a special Drasha for you this week in light of the current circumstances in Klal Yisroel.I was eating a salad yesterday that I bought from a Glatt Koisher restaurant when I ran into one of my colleagues, Rabbi Herschel Schachter, who suggested that because there was broccoli in my salad, and broccoli may contain microscopic bugs, I am like Zimri Ben Salu HaShimoinee, leading to a perversion of Klal Yisroel. And only he, in the role akin to Pinchas Ben Eliezer, has the courage to halt my sinful actions by disemboweling me with a spear through my midriff.I responded to Reb Herschel that by pointing out such an inconsequential Narishkeit, he is like Yeruvum Ben Nevat, splintering Israel into a separate communities, and in doing so is creating false idols reminiscent of the Kruvim on top of the Aroin HaKoidesh, only with larger Schvantzyls. And I suggested that Hakadoishboruchhu is destined to take His revenge on Reb Herschel and his male descendants, probably by ruining their Tzitzis in the washing machine and by making their Shmaasers wilt on Mitzvah night.Rabboisai, we are living at a time when Achdus Yisroel Einenah, the unity of Israel is no more. Once upon a time Klal Yisroel stood united around Har Sinai to receive the Toirah from Hakadoshboruchhu. There was thunder. There was lightning. There was music. U2 opened, followed by Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Then came Lady Gaga and Lipa Shmeltzer. Then Joe Cocker and the Miami Boys Choir, followed by the Toronto Pirchei. And then Jimi Hendrix brought down the house with his psychedelic guitar rendition of "Zarah Chayah V’Kayamah".After saying "Na'aseh V'Nishmah" Am Yisroel waited together for Moishe Rabbeinu to ascend the mountain, and stayed encamped at the base of Har Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights. Klal Yisroel was connected as never before. Men learned Toirah all night. Women recited Tehilim. Kids played card games. The was hookah. Local Sinaitic Besomim were passed around, and lots of Leytzonois V’Simcha Dioraisa, A.K.A. LSD. Free love reigned. Six months later thousands of couples got married, Boruch Hashem. And three month after that thousands of babies were born, Kenayna Hurrah! It was a time of peace, love, and understanding, Man!!!But not today. Look around at the divisiveness that defines Klal Yisroel:The secular in Israel are trying to force their evil will upon the Ultra Orthodox by compelling the Chareidim to contribute to the State through participating in military or national service and pursuing employment. The Ultra Orthodox are resisting a change in the status quo and believe that due to their Toirah study and piety, they are entitled to have large families, be exempt from the army, refrain from secular education, and be supported by the State that most of them are ideologically opposed to.The progressive Orthodox are trying to expand the role of women within traditional frames of reference, while the traditional Orthodox are opposed to innovation, and see such changes as outside the scope of tradition.In Israel, the left seeks to make territorial concessions in exchange for a political arrangement with the Palestinians. The right seeks to preserve Jewish sovereignty over the traditional territories identified with ancient Israel.We are at odd[...]



Parshas Shlach

2017-06-16T14:05:50.534-04:00

THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================You are receiving this because you have subscribed to the NPOJ newsletter: Words of Torah Dripping With Sarcasm and Condescension.To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Rabboisai,Before I deliver my weekly Drasha, I would like to respond to several comments sent my way over the last two weeks. "Why" people have asked, "have you not published in the last two weeks? Have you become a Meshumid, or even worse, a Reform Jew?"Well, truth be told, there is a simple answer: I WORK FOR A LIVING!!And do you know why? Because you, my beloved Talmidim, are a bunch of good-for-nothing Mamzerim! How many of my books have you bought? How much have you contributed to my Yeshivah? It breaks my heart, especially when I read about the great wealth accumulated by several charlatans... err... great Rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel.http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/forbes-presents-the-richest-rabbis-in-israel-1.435748http://www.forbes.co.il/rating/list.aspx?en6v0tVq=EERebboinoisheloilumdammit! I expect you Talmidim to be buying my books and sending me checks left and right so can make this list next year!Otherwise I will no longer pray to Hakkadoshboruchhu on your behalf, hand out magical amulets, or give out Red Bendeleh strings to wear around your Schvantzyls (or your wrists, if you are a woman, Chass V'Sholom). Instead, I will daven for you to have erectile dysfunction or sagging Tzitzim.Pinky-----Parshas ShlachThis week's parsha, Shlach Lecha, is one of the most confusing Parshiyois in Kol Hatoirah Kooloh. Takkah, I had to read it three times to make sure it wasn't the latest issue of the National Enquirer. Or even worse, a Medrish.Moishe Rabbeinu sends twelve spies into Eretz Yisroel to determine the fertility of the land, the vulnerability of the local populations, and the volatility of interest rates. The Meraglim come back and claim at first that the land is fertile, but the locals are too intimidating. They later change their story to say that the land itself does not provide adequate sustenance. Why can't they make up their minds, those Mishagayim? Only Yehoshua and Culayv are optimistic about Klal Yisroel’s ability to conquer the land.Confusing point #1: What could these people have been thinking? I mean, why would Yehoshua and Culayv be interested in Eretz Yisroel? How about Madagascar? Or Dubai? What about Miami Beach? Or Brooklyn?Also, as the spies were surveying the Promised Land, why didn't the Meraglim note that the hotels are overpriced; the people are rude; it's hard to find a decent kosher meal in Tel Aviv; oh, and HALF THE POPULATION WANTS TO FREAKING KILL YOU!!!!Takkah, according to a Medrish in Divrei Hayamim Rabbah, the Meraglim never even made it into the heartland of Eretz Yisroel. Unbeknownst to Moishe Rabbeinu and the Bnei Yisroel, the spies secretly went down to Eilat and spent seven days on the beach ogling at the topless Scandinavian women.Confusing point #2: When Klal Yisroel, those Behaimas, panic and long to return to Egypt, the Reboinoisheloilum decides to kill them all. Moishe Rabbeinu pleads for their lives by using a somewhat surprising argument: (Bamidbar, Perek Yud Daled, Possuk Tess Vuv-Tess Zayin) “... if you (the Aimishteh) shall destroy this People in a single instance, the nations (of the world) which have heard of you will say, 'Hakadoishboruchhu slaughtered this People in the desert because He was unable to bring them into the Land which he swore to them...'"In other words, "What will the Goyim [...]



On the Whole Heter to Fly To Saudi Arabia On Shabboskoidesh Thing

2017-05-30T10:21:12.442-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================On the Whole Heter to Fly To Saudi Arabia On Shabboskoidesh ThingRabboisai,What the Tashmish HaMitah!!There is a great deal of speculation out there about who gave the Psak Halacha to Jared and Ivanka enabling them to take off in a plane on a Friday and arrive on Shabboskoidesh to Saudi Arabia. The speculation can end. It was me, the Rabbinic Advisor to President of the United States Donald Trump SHLITA.(And by the way, I have also been given a second title: Christ Killer Advisor to Vice President Mike Pence.)People wonder about the legitimacy of the travel Psak. They wonder about the Halachic elements in the decision. The worry about the precedent it sets in the mind of the Gentile public re: Sabbath observance. And they contemplate how to get a similar Heter next time they go on vacation.Shoyn.I know that such people are asking these questions Lishmah. However, I fear they may also be subconsciously driven by dislike for President Trump SHLITA, and are applying their ire to every aspect of the current Administration, professional and personal. Why, some even wonder if President Trump was born in this country, and insist on seeing a birth certificate, given the fact that his father was from Kenya and he was educated in a Midrassa in Indonesia. Who ever heard of such a thing?!?!Yes, some of my friends, friends with whom I share many sensibilities and a similar world-view, in seeking "personal scandals" such as whether Jared Davened towards Mecca or Jerusalem while in Saudi Arabia, have begun to sound like a progressive version of Fox News. Only without the sexual harassment. I hope.Indeed, I did give a Heter to Jared and Ivanka to fly on Shabbos. And I would do it again. Here is my Halachic reasoning:In Beraishis, at the beginning of Parshas Vayayra (Genesis, Chapter 18), Avraham Avinu receives guests. And how does he entertain them? Does he offer them Meal Mart food? Does he order in from the Koisher Dunkin Donuts? No, you Mechutziff!! Shtayt in Passuk, "VaYikach Chem'ah V'Cholov, OoVen Ha Baker Asher Usuh, VaYitain, Lofneihem; Ve'Hoo Oimaid Aleihem Tachasssss HuAitz, VaYoicheilu". "And (Avraham) took butter and milk, and the calf that he had prepared for them, and set it before them; and he stood by them under a tree, and they ate." (Pasook Chesssssss; Verse 8).Now, as it turns out, these three "guests", we soon find out, are messengers of the Reboinoisheloilum. And how do they respond to the fact that Avraham Avinu served them Basar and Cholov, milk and meat? Did they accuse Avraham of being a bad Jew? Did they abandon their mission on behalf of Hakadoishboruchhu? Do they - not so politely - refuse the food, and ask for uncut vegetables on a paper plate and plastic cutlery? No, you Menuval! The three messengers ate the food, and they enjoyed it!Does anyone suggest that Avraham was not really observant? No, you Mechutziff! Members of Klal Yisroel cite this story all the time as a role model for behavior - Hachnassasss Orchim, showing hospitality to guests, even strangers. They also refer to the story as the best way to convene an Amway gathering.We see from here that there is flexibility when circumstances call for it. The interests of humanity, in this case offering hospitality to strangers, can take precedence over Ha[...]



NEW -- Chadash Assur Min HaToirah

2017-05-19T09:37:35.783-04:00

To subscribe, send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Chadash Assur Min HaToirahRabboisai,This week I had been planning to share with you the ultimate key to bringing Moishiach, the Shaym HaMephoirash, the ineffable name of Hakadoishboruchhu that has been passed down in my - MY - family, as I am the direct descendant of Moishe Rabbeinu, Eli HaKoihaon, and Yirmiyahi HaNavi. And in invoking the Name in this Drasha, in this large virtual Kehillah, I was going to trigger the Yemai HaMashaich, the Messianic Era and the End Of Days. It's about time, don't you think?In my role as President Donald Trump's Advisor For Spiritual Afffairs this week, I discussed my plan with President Trump SHLITA, and he though the idea was "Terrific!" He even wanted to know if we could brand the Third Bais HaMikdash as the "Trump Temple".However. President Trump inadvertently shared the Shaym HaMephoirash with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador a week ago, and as they tried to use this ultimate weapon in their Zil limousines on the way back to the Russian Embassy, they upset the Reboinoishoilum, who only allows the use of the Shaym once in a generation. So Moshiach-Tzeit, the era of the Moshiach, will have to wait.Damn.But the good news is that some of my investments in Canadian real estate, the defense industry, and privately run prisons will now have time to grow in value. Baruch HaShem.Shoyn.----We start today's Drasha with a series of questions. Please bear with me; I know that you have the attention span of a Goilem who just drank six Espressois... errr... espressos.------ The Mishnah asks: "Ma'Amusai Koirin Ess Kriyas Shma Ba'Arvin?" From what point can we start reciting Kriyas Shma at night? I am not going to recite to you the entire Machloikess; if you are not intimately familiar with this very basic Mishnah, you should probably stop calling yourself a Jew and start worshipping Yushka, since you are an Am Ha'Aretz and add no value to Klal Yisroel whatsoever. Unless of course you are willing to write a big check, and then we will praise your value as a supporter of Toirah and Klal Yisroel and as a communal leader. Kenayna Hurrah!!-- We also have an adage in Klal Yisroel that begins, "Tuhdeer V'She'einoi Tuhdeer..." - When one has to prioritize the order of a liturgy, which comes first - the common or the uncommon? Again, I am not going to tell you the answer. You should know the answer, otherwise you should not be reading this Drasha, because you are not qualified to be a Jew. Instead, you should be fixing cars and doing projects that require sheetrock.-- When someone has a son, he has the opportunity to engage in the greatest Mitzvah in Klal Yisroel - LeHachnisoi Ess Bnei LeBrisoi Shel Avraham Avinu - to connect his son to the eternal covenant that Avraham Avinu forged with the Reboinoisheloilum. How does one do this? By having a Moihel perform a Bris, a circumcision, on the eighth day of life, or as soon after as possible in the event of medical complication. And what does the Bris include? The key ingredients are: Circumcision, Metzitza BiPeh, and and serving bagels and lox.You may raise concerns about the practice of Metzitza BiPeh, a practice during which the Moihel draws blood from the site of the circumcision with his mouth. Opponents of this practice [...]



Parshas Emor

2017-05-11T17:41:29.368-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Parshas EmorRabboisai,I strongly suggest you read this week's Parsha at your own risk. "Why?" you ask, you Minuval. Because a month hasn't even passed, and we are back at Pesach again. Reboinoisheloilum, I am still recovering from throwing my back out while removing the car seats from the minivan. It's a good thing too I cleaned under the seats in the car -- my Yetzer Hara might have tempted me to break into the car after the second Seder to snack on the two crushed M&Ms on the floor.Why do we prepare so intensively for Pesach? According to Rabeinu Tam, we commemorate slavery in Egypt by spending six hours marching up and down the stairs to the attic to bring down the Pesach dishes while our wives stand over us barking orders (those Amharatzois).Meanwhile, Rachmana Litzlan, our wives absolutely exhaust themselves watching the cleaning lady prepare for Pesach. Uchinvei!The RAMBAM in Mishnah Toirah asks an incisive question: Instead of selling our Chametz to a Goy, why can't we just temporarily sell our religion to a Goy? This way, he can have the opportunity to get the Mitzvah of celebrating Yetzias Mitzrayim, while we get to eat a little Traifus, paint easter eggs, and have relations with a hot Shiksa for seven days (eight days in Chutz La'aretz). But the RAMBAM concludes that if a Goy had to eat Matzah for eight days, he would end up hating the Jews even more than he already does.In truth, why do we stop our Pesach cleaning at our abode and our cars? A Gemarrah In Masheches Peshachim Daf Chuff Aleph, Amud Baiz asks: Why don't we clean out our bodies of the Chometz we pump into them 51 weeks a year? Indeed, Rav Ashi holds that this is the reason that Bechorim fast Erev Pesach, and that to get the full Mitzvah, people should stick their finger's down their throats during Bedikas Chometz.But further in the Gemarra, Rav Yoisi disagrees, saying "Ain Oichel Achar Oichel", that since the food is already eaten, we hold that food cannot be eaten a second time, so there is no such requirement. However, Rav Yoisi does go on to tell a story of how one year he told his wife that he needed her help cleaning for Pesach, since Halacha required him to expel ALL possible bodily fluids. And due to her extreme gullibility, she helped him three times that night. What an Aishess Chayill! Unfortunately, he slept through much of the Seder the next night, so he never dared to do it again.My personal belief is that celebrating Yetzias Mitzrayim is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the Einiklach. Beyond cleaning, you get the Mitzvah of preparing the Matzois and the Ka'arah. During the Seder you are unified with all of Klal Yisroel in celebration. And after the Seder, while cleaning up, you lament the fact that your damn mother-in-law wasn't accidentally left in Mitzrayim.But the timing of this week's Parsha raises a key question about the overall structure of the Parshiyois of the Toirah: Why don't they follow a more intuitive order? Why does the Toirah place individual sections out of chronological order, as well as offer multiple repetitions of various episodes and sections?The standard answer, given by Rashi, is that Moishe Rabeinu, like any good representative of Klal[...]



Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimer

2017-05-04T21:22:28.881-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Ask Rabbi Pinky: Al Sfiras HaOimerBaruch Ata Idon’tknow,Heywhereareyou Melech HaOilum,Asher Kideshanu BeMitzvoisav Vetzivanu,Al Sfiras HaOimer.HaYoim Shmoinah Esrei Alaphim U’Masayim Chamishim Yoim,SheHaym Alpayim Shaish Maois Va’Sheva Shavuois, VaEchad Yamim LaOimer.Rabboisai,Unlike you, you Minuvals, I have not lost count of the Oimer, ever since I was a Kleinikel. I count Sefirah with a Bracha every day, never missing except for that one time in college when I got lucky with that hot shiksa (Boruch Hashem for tequila!). But, thankfully, I was able to count Sefirah the next morning without a Bracha, as I was putting on my Tefillin in Christine’s apartment.Which brings us the Shailah I address this week:Yoineh Vuv asks: “Rav Pinky -- May a woman shave her Makom HaErva during Sefirah?”Yoinelah – This is a Gevaldikkah Shailah! You are Mechavayn to the exact question asked by the RALBAG, the great Medieval Talmidist, Mathematician, and dispenser of at-home Brazilian services to the housewives of Avignon, France.Before I address your Shailah, Halacha Lemaiseh, I would like to address the overall topic of Sefiras HaOimer.What is Sfiras HaOimer? We know that from the perspective of the Toirah, we are required to count seven weeks from Pesach to calculate the start of Shavuois, Zman Matan Toirasainu. According to Rabbi Yoichanan, cited in a Braisah brought down in a Gemara in Makkois, this is because 49 days is the length of time required for matzah constipation to be flushed out of the system, so we can be fully prepared for the lactose intolerance brought on by cheesecake on Shavuois. But according to Rabbi Yishmael, as mentioned in a Tosefta in Moiaid Kattan, seven weeks is the amount of time it takes for a man to be able to come home from a hard day’s work without having to worry about his wife waiting at the door, barking orders at him about bringing those last three pieces of stray Pesach china up to the attic.The Oimer was originally grounded in the agrarian cycle of Eretz Yisroel. Later, it came to represent the period of time between Yetzitas Mitzrayim, the Exodus, and the giving of the Toirah. But of course it has also taken on a whole latter day symbolism of semi-mourning. A Gemara in Avoidah Zorah tells us that during Sefirah, we mourn the deaths of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva. There is, however, a machloikess as to why they died.According to Rav Huna, they died of a plague brought upon them because they lacked Derech Eretz – they did not respect each other. They insulted each other with harsh words and dismissive language, the kinds of things you do all the time, you good-for-nothing Minuval Vilda Chayas.However, according to Rav Sheyshess, Rabbi Akiva’s students actually died fighting in the failed Bar Kochba Revolt, the second rebellion against the Romans from 131-135 CE. Rabbi Akiva is quoted in the Yerushalmi in Tainis as pronouncing Bar Kochba to be the Moishiach (this is true, by the way). Many of his students enlisted to support the military effort, and to get the government sponsored tuition assistance needed to pay for Rabbi Akiva’s Yeshiva, Yeshivas Ohr HaMaskoiret.Finally, Rav Puppa holds that t[...]



Parshas Shmini

2017-04-20T21:58:22.389-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Parshas ShminiRabboisai,I have been asked by many of my Minuval talmidim why I publish reruns of Divrei Toirah I have shared in the past. I point out every time to these Meshugaim that if you do not complain to the Baal Koiray every week about rereading a Parsha you just heard last year, then you should not complain about these Divrei Toirah.Incidentally, if you must know the truth, the reason why you are not receiving a new Dvar Toirah this week is because you did not Daven with the proper Kavvanah last week. Hakadoshboruchhu was watching your every move, you Vilda Chaya. He saw you joking around with your friends in Shul and sneaking a peak into the Ezrass Nashim to check out the visiting talent. He also saw you eat that sucking candy without making a Bracha, you Chazer. Consider this a warning. The next time you violate the Toirah, the Aimishteh may send transcripts of your Facebook conversations with some hot shiksa to your wife. You may not fear the Reboinoisheloilum, but I know you are terrified of your Ballhabuster. ------------- Parshas Shmini In this parsha, Shmini, we read about traifus. Lots of it. Pigs. Camels. Flying insects. Eagles. Bottom-dwelling-non-finned-non-scaled-fish. Reboinoishelolum, it makes my mouth water! In fact I am currently lobbying the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the RCA, the OU, YU, JTS, the UJA, the ADL, the JCRC, the JDL, AIPAC, the WZO, the JNF, ARZA, the HUC, the Kof-K, the Triangle-K, and Amit Women to officially change the name of the parsha to "Parshas Mouthwatering". So far I have only heard back from two organizations: the Triangle-K, which wants to negotiate pricing, and the HUC, which thought the name of the Parsha actually is "Parshas Mouthwatering". According to the RIF, the enactment of traifus restrictions is one of the ultimate tests of being a member of Am Yisrael. After all, it must be delicious! Indeed it is fair to assume that the Aimishteh created all of the taboo creatures with the delicious traifus-goodness baked right in. He must have taste-tested it too, to make sure he got the recipe just right.Oy, what I wouldn't give to be a goy right now, so I could have no rules or restrictions! I would walk right into the local McTraifus, with my girlfriend Christine O'Reilly by my side, and order a bacon double lizard burger with deep fried owl, and wash it down with a vanilla milk shake. Actually, as long as I am immune from all of the commandments spelled out in the Toirah, make that my boyfriend Philip O'Reilly. We would eat the night away, and then go back to my place to worship Avoidah Zara, shave off our sideburns, and put on some shatnez.But alas, Shver tsu zein a Yid, being a Jew comes with a price. WE have a covenant with the Reboinoishelolum: We follow His rules, and keep His mitzvois, His chukim, and His mishpatim. And as a reward, we get to spend our entire lives being persecuted.However, what happens when we don't follow the rules? The parsha tells us of one such occurence. Aron Hakoihain's good-for-nothing sons offend the Aimishteh and get burnt to a crisp. But what was their aveirah?RASHI cites one suggested explanation, that Nadav and[...]



Pesach at the White House

2017-04-13T13:50:22.266-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEINhttp://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky====================================================Pesach at the White HouseRabboisai,Greetings from my office in the White House, where I served as "Special Advisor to the President on Unleavened Affairs" leading up to Pesach. I am proud to announce that my title changed after Bedikah at the White House on Sunday night to "Special Advisor to the President on Bedikah Affairs". Prior to Passover, this involved inspection for Chometz. But for eleven months of the year I will be inspecting "women bleeding from their wherever". The good news: I have been able to find a vendor who can produce Bedikah cloths with the picture of the White House emblazoned on them. (Thank you cousin Mendy!!!) Which just goes to show that when President Trump talked about "grabbing women by the pussy", he was actually speaking in support of a Mitzvah Dioraisah. What a Tzaddick!!It has been quite a wonderful start to Pesach. I had the pleasure of leading the annual White House Seder. Jared recited the Kiddush. Ivanka hid the Afikoman. And President Trump Tweeted the Four Questions. The tradition of holding a White House Seder was actually established by that anti Semitic Jeremiah Wright loving Islamic fundamentalist Former President Barack HUSSEIN Oibama. His Seder used the ubiquitous Maxwell House Haggadah that many of us grew up with. But President Trump has evolved the tradition. Donald Trump's initial instinct was to use the official Starbucks Haggadah; unfortunately, there is none. However, Starbucks would be happy to sell you a vanilla soy iced frappicino with an extra shot for $30 dollars. Which may sound expensive.... unless you have ever ordered a cup of coffee in Trump Tower.Steve Bannon suggested an alternate Haggadah - the Der Sturmer Haggadah. In it, Klal Yisroel are easily distinguished from the other nations because of their hooked noses, their money bags, and their portrayal as rodents. And the Egyptians are recognizable by their blond hair, blue eyes, and muscular features. But we decided against the Der Sturmer Haggadah because the liturgy was edited to read "Shfoich Chamuscha Al HaYehudim...". So that was out.So we finally settled on creating our own Trump Administration Haggadah. In it, Jared is portrayed as the Chacham, the Wise Son, Steve Bannon is portrayed at the Rasha, or the Wicked Son, Betsy DeVos is portrayed as the Tam, or Simple Son, and Sean Spicer is portrayed as the She'Einoi Yoidayah Lishoil, the Son Who Is Incapable of Asking Questions. According to a commentary by RASHI, this son refers either to a very young child, or to a complete fucking moron.Indeed, many of us found out on the Second Day of Yuntif in the newspaper or after Yuntif about Sean Spicer's declaration in comparing Bashir Assad to Adolf Hitler, that, "Someone as despicable as Hitler … didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons." This is of course 100% accurate on multiple dimensions: 1) Hitler indeed did not use chemical weapons in combat, likely owing to his trauma from trench warfare during WWI; 2) From the Nazi perspective, Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russian Soldiers, Communists and the countless others murdered with Zyklon B gas were sub-humans, so were[...]



Ask Rabbi Pinky: On the Laws of Pesach

2017-04-07T14:22:13.084-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================Ask Rabbi Pinky: On the Laws of PesachRabboisai,In anticipation of the upcoming Yuntif, I would like to address an issue related to Hilchois PesachThe Anonymous Minuval" writes:"Rav Pinky,"Am I allowed to perform oral favors on my wife on Pesach if she has a yeast infection?"Well, my beloved, gutter-minded talmid, this is a delightful question that I have been asked several times before, all by members of the Ashkenazic tradition, since, as everyone knows, Sephardic Jews have not subscribed to this approach to marital fulfillment since the expulsion from Spain in 1492.With regard to your question, yeast is not in and of itself chometz (leaven), but is in the category of chometz-related matter. Hence, Chazal would certainly hold that you could NOT perform oral favors on your wife, though you are not required to dispose of her during Pesach.However, if you are of the practice of performing oral favors on your wife with the aid of a chometzdikkeh food, say -- pudding, the issue becomes more complex. BeDiyeved, there are those that say that the Halacha would view this as similar to yeast, or a kli (a cooking utensil), and, therefore, you may keep your wife in your possession, as long as you do not perform oral favors on her during the course of Pesach.Lechatchilah, however, if we consider a wife's private parts as food, and therefore, having been exposed to the chometz, the privates take on the nature of chometz, since chometz is not battul afilu be'elef (is not considered insignificant, even if it is an infinitesmal fraction of the food in question), then you must dispose of the chometz prior to Pesach, preferably by burning.However, in our day, our Rabbis have determined an alternative approach, as we use with other valuable chometz investments. You are allowed to sell your wife's Erva to a gentile, provided you not benefit from it for eight days. And, of course, you have to provide access to the gentile at any time that the gentile so chooses to take possession of the chometz.How is this contractual arrangement made? There are those that are more lenient, and say a verbal sales agreement is enough to drive the exchange of possession. However, the majority of Achroinim hold that there has to be a symbolic physical transfer of possession. In real estate sales, this is typified by a kinyan sudor, or exchange of possession using as handkerchief as a proxy. In this instance, however, an exchange of your wife's underwear would be the preferred mode.As well, the Rabbis note, it is customary the night before Pesach to include your wife's Erva when performing Bedikas Chometz in your home. Your wife will certainly welcome the feather. But just be careful with that wooden spoon!Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval---------Rabbi Pinky SchmeckelsteinRosheshivaYeshivas Chipass Emmess[...]



Pesach Drasha

2017-04-07T13:53:01.126-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================Pesach DrashaRabboisai,I am preparing this Drasha as I pack for my departure to serve as the officiating rabbi on a Pesach vacation. After resisting many such offers for years – hotels in the Catskills, Florida, Arizona, Cancun, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Antarctica, I was asked to fill in for a colleague on one of these Pesach getaways. My good friend, Rabbi Shloimee Glandolowitzberg, was committed to a venue, but had to cancel at the last minute because he had something caught in his throat. So I will now serve as the official rabbi on the Roy Cohn Kosher LePeysach Gay Cruise to the Greek islands. Strangely, the organizers have suggested that I come without my Basherte, Feigeh Breinah, insisting that I will have a lot more fun that way. So she will be with the Kinderlach and Einiklach, while I sacrifice by bringing Toirah to a community of Erlicheh Yidden. Indeed, I had originally declined the offer, since I was planning to be in Eretz Yisroel for Yuntif. I explained to the organizers that Pesach is Klal Yisroel’s celebration of exiting Egypt and traveling to Eretz Yisroel, which, as the Toirah tells us, is “Eretz Zuvass Chuluv U’Dvash”, “a land flowing with milk and honey”. But they responded that the cruise will be quite similar: It will be flowing with something that looks like milk, and something else that almost has the texture of honey, but comes out of a tube. I do not know what they mean, but I look forward to being Mekayaim a new Mitzvah!In addition, they told me that there were some additional Minhagim on the annual cruise that I would find interesting. Apparently, instead of dipping only two times – Ein Mol In Zatlz Vasser, Un Ein Mol in Charoisess – they dip a third time, after the Afikomen and Chad Gad Yuh, and suggested that I might enjoy it. Again, I am not familiar with such a Minhag; perhaps it is a Sephardic custom. But I can certainly appreciate the Mesiras Nefesh of maintaining a local Minhag. Pesach is a time of different behaviors and liturgy and cuisine. We spend more time preparing for Pesach that we do actually celebrating it. Great credit goes to our wives for their commitment to creating Butey Ne’eman BaYisroel, good Jewish homes. In my own home, my wife takes charge of all of the Pesach preparation. She does all the planning. She does all the shopping. And even if she does not do all of the cleaning herself, she makes certain it is all completed. What a Tzadeykess! I knew last Moitzee Shabbos she was preparing to turn the entire kitchen over for Pesach when, immediately after Havdalah, she began ironing her Gestapo uniform. By the time we had Kashered the stove, the sink, and the counters, put all the Chometz dishes away, and brought down all of the Pesach dishes from the attic, I was ready to throw myself against a electrified barbed wire fence.But, as we know, Pesach is not simply a personal or a family celebration. It is a communal one. Ashrenu that in our generation we can embrace Pesach in a way that previous generations could not. Why, a hund[...]



On Cleaning Up America

2017-03-31T13:00:31.685-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================On Cleaning Up AmericaRabboisai,Greetings from my office in the White House, where I have been appointed by President Trump as the Special Advisor to the President on Unleavened Affairs.Since taking on the prestigious responsibility, I have appointed a team to search the White House and all members of the Executive Branch to search for small pieces of bread, cookie crumbs, and any possible leaks about our non-discussions with Russia throughout the election campaign and during the transition. And I am delighted to announce that to date, no crumbs appear to exist.People have suggested that the Trump Administration is off to a bad start, with the Russia scandal in the air, the healthcare reform bill being DOA, and "Twitter" becoming a dirty word. But what do I say? I quote Moishe Rabbeinu when he said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!"Wait, that wasn't Moishe - That was Yushka! Nevermind.And so, I sit here in my office in the White House leading efforts to look for Chometz. Thankfully, due to the fiscal prudence of the new president, we had no headcount budgeted for my staff. However, we were able to borrow from the budget for "grounds keeping" at the White House, and have diverted the Mexican grounds keepers to come inside and search for bits of tortilla, burrito, and enchiladas, and next week I will sell them my Chometz. Then when Pesach is over I will buy back my Chometz and then expel the Mexican grounds keepers from the country.Never mind that they are third generation American citizens - I cannot be bothered with such minor details. Of course, we have a big week coming up, with a vote in the Senate on the Supreme Court nominee. As the Toirah tells us, "Tzedek Tzedek Tirdoiph" - "Justice justice you shall pursue". RASHI asks, "Why does it say 'you shall pursue' instead of 'you shall find’?" And he answers that the Toirah is trying to tell us that we only need to "appear" to pursue justice, just to deal with public pressure. But, like Klal Yisroel in the desert, if you run in circles long enough, you can turn a quest that should only last a couple of weeks into forty years of aimless wandering. In the case of the Supreme Court nominee, this means that the Democrats will reject the highly qualified Republican nominee, after the Republicans last year stonewalled the highly qualified Democratic nominee. And at this pace there will be no more Supreme Court justices, as the eight sitting justices die out and the Senate cannot agree on replacements. And then we will no longer have to deal with "activist judges" or that messy "checks and balances" thing anymore. Shoyn.Rabboisai, all too often in Shul and in the Bais Medrish I hear people being critical of the President of the United States. "He is a liar"; "He colluded with the Russians"; "He has a temperament unfit for the presidency"; "He has no idea what he is doing". And my response? Of course, I look to the best source of contemporary political commentary and insight in the world -- The Toirah given to Moishe Rabbeinu o[...]



On Contemplating The Future

2017-03-24T16:49:59.555-04:00

To subscribe,send an e-mail to NPOJ8@YAHOO.COM with the word "Subscribe"====================================================Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rabbi-Pinky-Schmeckelstein/621655891273622====================================================THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rabbi_Pinky ====================================================On Contemplating The FutureThis week's Drasha will be a little more serious than you prefer. Shoyn. If you write a nice check to the Yeshiva and dedicate next week's Drasha, I will be happy to write as many Bris Milah jokes as you like.---Rabboisai, I keep coming back to the same theological quandary. (If these words are too big, you Minuval, I suggest you buy a dictionary.)I am reading a book about the Shoah and the mass killings in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Western Russia, and elsewhere in the space between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The book is called Bloodlands, and is an award winning book by Professor Timothy Snyder from Yale (AKA "The Ponovitch of New Haven). It focuses not just on the Jews, but on the murder of non-combatants overall - from Soviet organized purges and starvation campaigns that murdered millions of innocents, to the mass murders committed by Nazis - not just of the Jews, but of many others. In total 20 million deaths.20 million deaths. Buried in that statistic are my own immediate family - grandmother, aunt and great grandmother, who died either in execution pits or the burning of a Shul. And doubtless countless of more distant relatives whose names I will never know. 20 million human beings. Try to contemplate that number. I cannot - and you certainly cannot, you Mechutziff because you have the brain the size of an Arbis. (To you so-called-Jews who do not have the rich background of thirty years in the finest Yeshivas in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Israel, and Madagascar, that is a "chick pea". You should be ashamed of yourself.)So - mass murder. The statistics are dry, but they carry our own flesh and blood, and the deaths of millions of others. Murdered by soldiers and operatives and agents and locals inspired or seduced by twisted ideologies, or who were themselves turned into animals.So I keep coming back to the same quandary - Where was the Reboinoisheloilum? I have written in this topic many times. It is one of the great unanswerable questions, and the responses of those who would blame the victims for so-called "sins" or Jewish secularism for some Divine punishment are cynical and offensive efforts to explain the unexplainable. Here is a typical exchange:"Why did Hakadoshboruchhu murder Klal Yisroel and many others?""They were punished because some Jews became secular.""You mean that the Aimishteh murdered millions of people because a few Jews ate Tarfus and were Mechalel Shabbos?""Of course! Plus they probably never made tea on Shabbos without using a Kli Sheinee, and they might have even worn Shatnez!""Oh, that definitely justifies it now!"Schmucks. And so - anyone with the slightest bit of common sense must come back to the same quandary - Where was the Reboinoisheloilum? No one can be faulted for contemplating some obvious possibility answers: Perhaps He does not exist. Perhaps He is not engaged in human affairs - the Hakadoshboruchhu of the RAMBAM and many others. Or perhaps He died. Ich Vais...--[...]