Weekly Parsha Review Laced with Humor and Sarcasm from The Oisvorfer Ruv

Ki Saytzei 2011: Uncle Sam Wants You!

uncle-sam-we-want-youRaboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:


Uncle Sam wants you!!!

The year is 1964, the Oisvorfer is but a young lad, and the United States is nebech in the throes of the Vietnam war. The draft was real and yeshiva bochurim (boys) approaching 18 were all nervous about being drafted and sent over, it was mandatory back then. The U.S.  had this crazy notion that they could fly over to Saigon and kill off the North Vietnamese; another such war is raging 47 years later in Afghanistan only this time there is no draft.  Ober the Yeshiva boys had no interest in serving and es farshtayzich (it stands to reason) that Yeshiva bochurim were quite clever and that no governmental agency, even the Defense Department could outsmart these masmidim who all enlisted in what was then known as ‘the draft dodging yeshiva program.’  Even sitting in Yeshiva seemed like a better alternative and that’s exactly what they did. And do I tell you all this stam azoy (just to waste your time)? Avada nisht. Grada (it so happens) these tidbits are very relevant to this week’s parsha of Ki Saytzay.  Ober, is war necessarily bad or are there fringe benefits?

Raboyseyee…. in Parshas Ki Saytzay which you’ll have the pleasure of hearing this shabbis, we learn that war is nisht azoy giferlich (not so terrible). In fact had you Oisvorfs stayed in Yeshiva without losing interest in the heylige toirah or would you at least have opened a Chumish during the summer months when we lain and learn this special parsha or would you have paid attention to the laining instead of always schmoozing with your chaverim about the stock market, other narishkeyt (BS) and or loshoin horo – chas v’sholom, you too would know what I’m about to share with you:  War is gevaldig, perhaps mamish gevaldig! War is great! And even better, are its spoils.


How could this be, you ask? How could war in any way be beneficial to one’s well being? Tuh Sh’mah (come and listen). And in order to chap all that we’re about to learn, we’ll bring down from the Toirah mamish, from Rashi, The Rambam, the Gemorah and maybe others.. But first….

Moishe Rabaynu is on a roll and this week he outlines, some in detail, others not, a whopping 74 Mitzvois. Nu, you don’t have to be a math wizard to chap that 74 over 613 is more than 10% and that’s quite a high percentage in just  this one parsha. Given the success and the comments received about the Oisvorfer’s new format; overview first , followed by an inyan or two for deeper discussion, let  me begin by apologizing for going off the derech this week; not the first time, if you chap. Ober as you’ll read in just a moment, there are mitigating circumstances. Raboyseyee, so excited am I about the selected topics that we’re going to dispense with the parsha overview and if time and space permit, we’ll  efsher (maybe) come back and discuss other highlights; unlikely.


Ershtens (first of all): for 56 weeks I’ve been imploring you to learn the heylige toirah, at least listen carefully during laining as it’s mamish gevaldig. But did you listen? Avada nisht! Ober after you read this toirah, that will zicher not be the case; of this I am quite zicher (certain). In fact this could be the tipping point. So quiet will you be that the Rabbi and Shul President may mistake you for dead, a stiff mamish. And after reading this week’s toirah they might not be wrong, if you chap. Soon enough you’ll be  running for your Art Scrolls and other meforshim to see with your own eyes if what I’m writing is mamish emes- Toirah Misinai . And with that teaser and oisergevenytliche (outstandingly good) introduction, lomer taka lerninn (lets learn). Nu, have you been aroused to the point where you can’t control yourself, if you chap, and want to hear it all now? And that’s precisely what the beginning of the parsha is all about: uncontrolled arousal!


Says the heylige Toirah: “When you go out to war against your enemies and HaShem your G-d gives them into your hands and you capture the spoils. And you see among the captives a woman Yefas Toiar (of beautiful appearance) and you desire her, you may take her for yourself as a wife.”(Devorim. 21:10-11- check it out).


More law:  “You shall bring her into your home, and she shall shave her head and let her nails grow. And she shall remove the garment of her captivity from upon herself, and stay in your house, and weep for her father and her mother for a full month. After that, you may be intimate with her and possess her, and she will be a wife for you. And it will be, if you do not desire her, then you shall send her away wherever she wishes, but you shall not sell her for money. You shall not keep her as a servant, because you have afflicted her.”


Nu, where do we begin?  How are we to understand and chap what we just read? Is the heylige toirah allowing rape on the battlefield? It’s mashma (understood) that the RBSO knew  that most  men are chazerim (pigs), especially on the road and especially on the battlefield. Moreover, the Toirah is describing the man in uniform; the solider, whose gun is always loaded and cocked, if you chap.  Shoin!  The RBSO chapped that the eishes chayil notwithstanding, once at war, the minuval in you would quickly slither out, if you chap, and that far away from home, you would immediately be lusting after another, rachmono litzlon (heaven forbid).  Wait there’s more:  The RBSO seemingly also understood that we Jews are  not fighters- we prefer eating a piece of kugil, talking or even suing our fellow Jew;  war is not for us. Who cares if the land was occupied by the Chiti, Yivussi, Perrizi and other Umois Ho-oilom (other gentiles); didn’t we need shabbis goyim?  The RBSO in his magnificence also understood that the average yeshiva bochur would mamish rather learn a good Rebe Akiva Eyger, a Toisfis or even Mussir, instead of waging war. What to do? Problem solved! He came up with an incentive plan, one that was guaranteed to succeed. He incentivized all males by decreeing that it is permissible for a man at war (only certain kinds) should he , in the heat of battle, set his eyes on a beautiful woman, to stop and be mezaneh (have relations) with her. Gevaldig and gishmak (tasteful) mamish.


From the very specific language used in the heylige Toirah, it’s more than mashma  (of course understood) that  one may not cheat on his eishes chayil with a dog.  Is it taka emes that one may only violate a beauty? Does she have to be mamish a 10?  Avada this subject is also discussed in the Gemorah where it’s concluded that if the  soldier happens to fall for not such a beauty, he may in fact chap her as well (not in addition to, but instead of: One shiksa per soldier limit.) In fact so specific are the instructions that even the heylige Gemorah cannot find ways to prohibit the act. Rather the Gemorah  discusses such mundane topics as whether the soldier can have his way with her but once, or is a second coming also allowed, before other rules kick in. In fact Rav and Shmuel have a machloikes (argument) about whether he can have an encore or is one gunshot more than sufficient to release his powder, if you chap. Of course this too was never a real issue because practically speaking – when it comes  to a hot beautiful shiksa, who can’t answer the bell for round two?


And how do you like that? How many times in the last few weeks have I implored you to learn Sefer Devorim? Why our yeshivas spent time teaching us about korbonos in Sefer Vayikra, I never chapped and it’s no wonder we fell asleep during Chumish.  Do I really need to know about the Korban Chagiga, the Chatos (sin offering), and so many others? Ok, maybe the Chatos!


Noch a mol (one more time): The Toirah is teaching about war games and the real spoils of war. Seemingly the grand prize is the Yifas Toiar, the beautiful woman.  Rashi and others chime in and state that  this unusual behavior  was only allowed to appease the mighty Yetzer Horo (evil inclination) and as you all nebech know, quite mighty he is. Moreover,  had such behavior not been permitted, Jewish soldiers would have ignored  the law and taken the matter into their own hands, so to speak, and ignored the prohibition, loi olaynu, say it’s not so please. In other words: understanding the human nature of the minuvil soldier and his inclination to lust for another woman, especially on the battlefield, has somehow suspended the laws of morality otherwise set forth all over the toirah. Nice, but does everyone agree that it’s so or do some argue that it’s all a big misunderstanding and the toirah and the Gemorah meant something altogether different?


Ober says the Rambam and others quite clearly that the soldier may taka shoot his gun  with her for the first time right there and then, once he finds her.  Rashi and RambaN say farkert (opposite): they insist that the first shot can only be taken after the thirty-day period.  In any event, what boggles the mind is how the Toirah, the revealed will of the RBSO, can condone such behavior as an appeasement to man’s evil inclination.  After all, the Jewish soldier is fighting  a Milchmes Rishus (optional war) and   had to fulfill very specific standards just to meet eligibility requirements.  He had to be married and have a child.  He had to have a house and a vineyard.  In other words, the Jewish soldier going off to fight an optional war was an older and more settled kind of fellow and not your typical hot blooded yeshiva bochur., or was he?


Rashi is a shtikel conservative  on this topic and  states that in addition to waiting a full 30 days before he can be with her, he must avada take her to his house where she meets the family, and  until he  gives her a haircut ,a manicure and some new clothing.  A haircut and a manicure nu, dos luts zich farshteyn (this seems logical.) Ober, it’s quite obvious that the soldier is mistama not bringing her home to meet his wife and kinderlach and is zicher not waiting one full month to shtupp some yiddishkeyt into her. There are, of course, many questions on Rashi’s opinion and most hold that all the other requirements come into play only after the soldier already empties his gun, if you chap, and is now considering her a keeper; he wants to marry her (in addition to his Jewish wife.)


One thing is zicher: there’s absolutely no discussion at all about what to do if you capture an ugly shiksa and taka why not? It’s poshit: who the hec wants an ugly shiksa and who would lust for that? And who would want to bring that home? This entire section is about lust the soldier feels in his hoizen (pants) for the hot shiksa beauty and seemingly the heylige toirah understood that these things can happen. In fact, many of you also know that this happens daily even if not at war. Nu- thankfully, Yoim  Kippur is just around the corner. Also, if you get chapped, you can always tell the eishes chayil that you just came back from the war zone. And if you don’t but are still epes in the mood, you can always consider declaring war. Many of you chazerrim  declare war weekly if you chap and seemingly you do.  Ober the emes is that the Gemorah as we discussed above does have a discussion about whether or not, this act is also permitted with  average looking booty. And before you go off bad mouthing the Oisvorfer: hey…I’m just repeating thoughts and discussions written in the Toirah, by Rashi, in the Gemorah, discussed by the Rambam and many others. It’s all ok for the Rambam to say that the soldier can bang the shiksa, though he’s married as is she, though she’s not Jewish and he is, though it’s mamish rape, but if the Oisvorfer wants to teach his thousands of  talmidim, to inspire them to learn the heylige toirah, a few will zicher get bent out of shape. Shame on you!

Says the  heylige Gemorah  (kidushin 21b) azoy: that it’s indeed a chidush (breakthrough) that the toirah allows the Jewish soldier, be he a Koihen or anyone else, to have sexual relations with the beauty he just chapped in the war; it mamish gives a whole new meaning to the word chap.Ober and as you can only imagine, there are many nagging questions which remain. Why does the Toirah grant a reprieve and allow the person to indulge his evil inclination? Aren’t we supposed to rise to challenging occasions and  beat back the Yetzer Horo? Not that I listened, but that’s what my rebbe taught me.


Moreover, how can the heylige Toirah allow a the Jewish soldier to take a shiksa (gentile)  wife just because she’s taka beautiful?  Is beauty the toirah standard? Un noch a shaylo (yet another question):  We have previously been taught that  the only soldiers allowed to fight in optional wars were those that were sin-free and were completely righteous; tzadikkim mamish.  And why would these pure innocent souls want to be involved with such schmutz?  Ver veyst  (who knows) but after weeks and weeks of learning about the loi sah-says (thou shall not dos), zicher learning about what we can do, is a reprieve mamish.


Wait, here are more questions: Ershtens (first of all),  if the Toirah is simply allowing the man to succumb,  to his Yetzer Horo,  why not point, shoot and leave her be?   Why is there a follow up procedure? Why  must he take her into his home and put her through an entire process of change, which must be as traumatic upon the other members of his family as it is on the woman? Who is mezaneh and brings home the evidence? Ver veyst? I’m just reporting the news.

Ober Raboyseyee Medrish is so beautiful and gishmak. Says the Ishbitzer Rebbe in his Mei Shiluach (Vol. 1) “that one who distances himself from the Yetzer  Horo and guards himself from sin with all his might, until he cannot guard himself any further, then if his Yetzer overcomes him and he does an action, it is certain that this is the will of the RBSO.”   In other words, when a tzadik is tempted  by an aveyro (sin), one for which he has no normal desire, and as much as he tries to overcome the temptation, he cannot, thus he commits a forbidden act, almost by unconscious compulsion, then we should know that it was the RBSO’s design that such an act occurred.  And he continues…. this is what happened to Zimri to cause him to take the Midianite woman Cozbi in full view. We must understand that the RBSO created both the Yetzer HaToiv and the Yetzer Horo  and that both Yetzers serve the RBSO with equal vigor. Is that great or what? Yet another excuse for your minuvildike behavior: it wasn’t me, it was the yetzer horo! I fought and fought but you know my dear how strong that Yetzer Horo is and I just lost the battle. Seemingly, it must have been the will of the RBSO. Caution: don’t try this at home!!


Efsher (maybe) you’re still wondering about this permissiveness to marry a hot shiksa though she’s married to someone else? And efsher you’re wondering why they did away with the draft? Or efsher you’re wondering where to sign up? Does Uncle Sam want you?? Efsher you’re wondering if you’re too old to make aliya and voluntarily enlist; efsher you’ll get lucky on the battlefield, you minuvil.


And efsher you’re wondering why  the Charedim have been avoiding the Israeli army all these years, zicher I am. Wouldn’t it be more economical for them to enlist than spend so many thousands paying for the services of  the local zoinas? And couldn’t we incentivize them the same way the heylige toirah has? Is it possible that they skipped this entire sugya of the Gemorah ? Mistama yes.


And how can we solve this issue, the same one plaguing every government since Levi Eshkol was the country’s first Prime Minister? Ershtens, I would reprint (with permission, of course, from Art Scroll and other publishers) daf 21b of the heylige Gemorah  Kidushin in large block letters. I might even include pictures of potential war booty, such as the ones described in the heylige toirah. Next: I would have helicopters fly over Bnai Berak, parts of  Yerusholayim and other neighborhoods infested with ladigayers (lazy good for nothings)  and drop the materials. You can only imagine the response. Shoin: problem solved. Gishmak mamish!


Avada it would be good to learn the rest of this very rich parsha, but how will I get you to focus with your mind still on the war zone? It cannot be done.

A gitten Shabbis

Yitz Grossman

The Oisvorfer Ruv

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