A second shout out and mazel tov to Ronie and Meyer Jeger upon the wedding this past Sunday of their son Yaakov to Ayala Mendlowitz.
A big and heartfelt mazel tov to Miriam and Yitzchok Tessler upon the wedding this past Tuesday evening of their givaldige son Mordechai, to Orah Vogel, she the daughter of Aliza and Mordechai Vogel. Who is Yitzchok Tessler you ask? A first cousin, the son of the Oisvorfer’s favorite tanta (Aunt), OBM, who passed away in August of 2014.
And another mazel tov shout out to our dear friends Jenny and Joey Felder upon the wedding this past Wednesday evening of their daughter Nina to Mickey Levinson, the son of Esty and Robert Levinson.
Mazel Tov to our friends Shani and Jay Gelman (she a devoted Oisvorfer follower kimat from year one), upon the wedding this past Sunday of their amazing son Nathan, to Orli Major, she the daughter of Tamar and Irwin Major. May the young couple be blessed with many decades of happiness.
In late breaking news (earlier this week), a big mazel tov to our friends Doba and Kalman Isaacs upon the engagement of their son Yair to Jenny, she the daughter of Joni Feller Schenkler.
And in a double mazel tov shout out we missed… mazel tov and mazel tov to Yonina and Ephraim Stern upon the birth of twin grandchildren, a girl and a boy, born to their daughter Ayelet and Dovi Fink. Mazel tov to both extended families and may the twins bring the entire family only nachas and joy.
Welcome to the world Fink 1 and 2, keyn yirbu. Mazel tov to both extended families and may the twins bring both families many many years of only joy and nachas.
Raboyseyee and Ladies:
Panties? What are they doing in this week’s parsha review? Yikes! Keep on reading and halt zich eyn (keep your pants on); you will not be disappointed.
Many of you remain uplifted, if you chap, after reading last week’s review and learning that soldiers, during a war effort, were granted permission -seemingly by the RBSO mamish- were they in heat, to engage, if you chap, (at least once) with a hot shiksa captive on the battlefield. Following such engagement, the soldier could, if he wanted to further engage, if you chap, or perhaps even marry his captive, bring her home to meet the wife and kinderlach while contemplating his next moves. WARNING: Enlisting in our times, and coming home with a hot shiksa, can be detrimental to your marriage -very- and mistama to your overall health and wealth.
It’s likely that a number of you spent the entire week conjuring up images of yourselves back in the midbar; guns in hand and ready to shoot. And mistama you thought to yourselves, azoy: OMG! Can this be? Was this emes? Is that what Moishe really told the Yiddin? Indeed it was. Perhaps you were looking forward to this week’s parsha, hopeful that Moishe had yet another pleasant surprise to share in the final days before his passing. He does not! The Oisvorfer regrets to inform you that parshas Ki Sovoy, which we will read and partially hear this week, contains nothing of the sort. It’s farkert (quite the opposite). Most of it is quite scary, even shreklich. Ober wait: Did the Oisvorfer just write ‘partially hear?’ What’s pshat partially hear? Nu, while it’s taka emes that many of you ‘partially hear’ kimat every parsha, the reasons are quite different. Mostly you only partially hear because, while the heylige Toirah is out, open and being read, you are either talking to a chaver on your left or right. At times, you are talking to a chaver on your left about the chaver on the right, and farkert. In other instances, you only partially hear, because at some point, you had enough of the shushing from the shul police, or from the rabbi interrupting the laining with a quick rant, because the talking has him enraged. Mostly though you miss parts of the laining because you’re out to the kiddish club a bit early, or stam azoy schmoozing in the lobby. Ober this week, partial hearing is by design. Our rabbis decided that listening to this week’s entire parsha can be detrimental to one’s overall health and well-being.
Many of you are avada aware or should be, that Ki Sovoy is most well known for containing 98 different admonitions, chastisements, and curses mamish. In very vivid and colorful terms, Moishe will describe just what the RBSO has in store for His people should they go rogue. Of course they eventually did. A few might recall that the Yiddin were previously warned -back in parshas Bichukoisai- where they were presented with 49 different curses coming their way. Why Moishe felt the need to repeat them and double them to 98, ver veyst? Were the people of his generation so bad? In any event, for reasons we have discussed in previous postings on this parsha (see archives at www.oisvorfer.com), our rabbis decided that it’s best that the 98 admonitions be read in an undertone. Efsher they were concerned about sudden spikes in blood pressure. Sudden spikes, if you chap, were seemingly ok in last week’s parsha only.
And the good news: In a few more weeks, most of you will be in shul klapping (beating your chests) while reciting several hundred ‘al cheyts’ for the innumerable sins committed in the past year. Hopefully, all will be forgiven and you’ll be free to roam the cabin and start all over again. They are quite specific and mistama many of you (us) are taka guilty of at least a few, if not more. A sampling of a few familial relationship the Yiddin were warned (again) not to violate were to be shouted out by the livi’im (Levites) after the Yiddin were to cross over the Jordan and into the Promised Land. This ceremony of sorts took place on the peak of Har Evol (atop Mount Evol). What was said? Accursed is an individual who lies, if you chap, with the wife of his father, for he has uncovered the robe of his father, one who lies with animals, avada one who lies with his own sister, and avada and avada, one who lies with his shvigger (mother-in-law). A full listing of those to be accursed can be found in our parsha (Devorim 27:15-26). The list is shocking mamish and one must wonder why Moishe davka had these particular relationships on his mind in his final address to the Yiddin (which grada begins this week), and if such activities were going on or even rampant among the Yiddin whom he had been shepherding these past 40 years. Let’s recall that such relationships were long ago forbidden; we read the entire list back in Vayikra (Leviticus 18: 6-23).
Ober, while Moishe was worried about the Yiddin violating close relatives, and animals, efsher even with good reason -chas v’sholom (heaven forbid)- and had these yelled out from the mountain peak, in our times, a few Yiddin, specifically one, has even greater concerns and is more concerned about what’s going on in the valley. He’s worried about peeking. So happens that earlier this week, a chaver handed the Oisvorfer a copy of the September 9th edition of the YATED NE’EMAN, a weekly decent sized yeshivashe newspaper published out of Monsey, N.Y. In a letter to the editor, he or she wrote azoy:
“I would like to bring to the attention of our choshuve noshim tzidkaniyos (respected and honored righteous women), that when a woman enters or exits a car, a serious breach of tznius can occur, usually unbeknownst to the woman herself.”
Well, blow me down! What’s he or she talking about? Let’s see (pun intended). And what is being discussed is shreklich mamish. Seemingly, the writer is concerned that men may chap a peek between women’s legs as they slightly spread upon entering or exiting a car. Is the writer onto something? Is it not the case that women, while getting into and out of their cars (mistama he speaks about women wearing skirts or dresses), need to swing their legs from behind the wheel, to the door side? It is. And is it also emes that at times, as they make this pivot, it could happen -say it’s not so please- that the unsuspecting woman might spread her legs ever so slightly yet still expose her underwear? Indeed it is! Wait: it gets worse. What about the many women who in summer months choose not to wear panty hose? And speaking earlier of the army and enlistment, let’s not forget to mention what could happen – say it’s not so- when certain women elect to go commando style, if you chap? Is it not the case that for a tiny millisecond, that these women could find themselves exposed and that some yeshiva boy or man could be found looking or peeking? Oy vey! Is this not mamish erva? And how many times have many of you chazerim mamish stopped what you were doing to watch a pretty girl or woman make mamish that move hoping for a sneak preview, if you chap, of this area? And to make matters even worse, how many times did you stand around hoping that efsher the person you were staring at, was mamish flashing you, if you chap, a signal? You are mamish chazerim! Was Moishe efsher concerned that such inadvertent lapses in tzinus (modesty) could lead one to illicit relationships with his sister, the shvigger, and or even his father’s own wife? What about mixed dancing? Oy vey! Is that why he had the Livi’im yelling from the mountain peak? Was he concerned about what might be taking place below. Nu, we have to assume that this was also an issue when camels were the preferred choice of transportation. Ober what to do? Should women no longer be allowed to drive cars? Should they even be allowed to enter and exit them as passengers? Is man so weak so as to lose all control mamish just because he chapped an inadvertent (yet gratifying) peek at a woman’s panties? what has become of us?
Ober not to worry because the gentleman or lady, let’s call them ‘Name Withheld’ and that’s taka how s/he signed the letter to the editor, is seemingly also a Toirah inspired entrepreneur. Let’s read the rest of the letter.
“To alleviate this situation, I have produced “Knee Kuvs” for women in Monsey. If someone would like to do the same for her neighborhood or town, I’ll be happy to help out, as I have already figured out the details, like the type of material, size, etc. This can be done for a zechus (merit) for, or l’illuie nishmas (in memory of), a loved one. I can be reached at 845 352 8549.”
For the non-believers, this letter to the editor can be found on page 119 of the September 9th edition. Shoin, if you long to be in the schmatta gisheft, or stam feel like investing, or efsher making partner in this enterprise, feel free to contact the writer. Of course, all these issues can easily be solved were the rabbis to decree that women should or must wear pants when entering or exiting their cars. Shoin and veyter.
Let’s get back to the parsha and cover one more topic.
Moishe describes the list of 98 curses that will befall the Yiddin should they stray from the RBSO. Illness, famine, poverty, and exile are the best of the bunch. And the worst of all sins the Yiddin could violate? Says Moishe “because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, with happiness and with gladness of heart, when [you had] most of everything.” (Devorim 28:47). What’s the difference between “happiness and gladness of heart”? What does joy have to do with it? Why is the lack of joy so giferlich? Don’t we know people that perform mitzvois regularly without much joy, if you chap? Ver veyst but that’s what we read and avada many of you, who have a litany of much worse chatoim (sins) on your list, chas v’sholom, are breathing a sigh of relief. Ober what’s taka pshat?
Says the Medrish: one of the reasons the heylige Toirah states why we will receive the curses of the Toichocho is because ‘you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart when everything was abundant.’ The direct quote is, of course, from the heylige Toirah (Devorim 28:47, if you don’t believe me) “tachas asher lo avadata es HaShem Elokecha bisimcha uvituv leivav meirov kol”.…… That’s why we’re getting these and many other curses, oy vey!! Can you imagine that all this Toichocho and the curses attached to them are coming our way because we weren’t happy? Because we didn’t serve the RBSO with gladness and goodness? Can you imagine what’s coming your way when the RBSO finds out about your wayward ways and how glad and happy you were taka mamish while performing them? When He hears about how you’ve been oiver (violated) on k’imat (almost) every single loi sah-say (thou shall not dos) in the Toirah, some multiple times each week since high school, loi olaynu? You’re done, finished and kaput!
Seemingly, the proper performance of mitzvois requires that we be happy during the performance, if you chap. And just going through the motions, is epes not enough, not acceptable to the RBSO, and for those who do just that, the rebukes and other zachen that await you are not fun. All these acts must also be infused with happiness, joy, and distinctly positive energy. Grada this sounds gantz gishmak (quite pleasing) if you chap; efsher time for a shmuz with the eishes chayil?
Nu, the Oisvorfer once heard from his Rebbe in between beatings, who heard it from another source, who efsher made it up, that pshat is like this: When a person performs a mitzvah and is happy about it, it becomes clear that he perceives that the mitzvah is being done not for the RBSO’s benefit, but for his own. And whenever we do something or anything for our own good, which avada gives us benefit and pleasure, we are happy. Shoin! Understanding that mitzvois go into our proverbial bank accounts (to be offset against the many horrendous things we do) invariably increases our zeal for their performance, and our attitude when performing them.
Said The Kotzker (among the leading Chassidic Rebbes of the mid-19th century) azoy: the words of the Toirah must be read with punctuation and vus meynt dos (what does that mean)? We need to insert a comma before the word, “happily.” And with that comma, the true meaning of the verse in which Moishe tells us that we will be severely punished because we performed without happiness, looks epes a shtikel different. Let’s see.
“Because you did not serve your G-d, happily.” In other words, not only did we reject the RBSO’s ways; we did so happily. We were naughty and bad and enjoyed being bad. Avada for such chutzpa, we deserve to be afflicted with the 98 curses. Gishmak mamish!
I don’t know if the RBSO meant all those terrible things, or was it Moishe that went off on his own, but OMG, he had quite the imagination to spew out all those curses. I can recall with clarity when my own mother washed my mouth out with a bar of kosher soap just for saying the word ‘Hell.’ Here in this week’s parsha, Moishe, at the advanced age of 120, is threatening us with very serious consequences.
So geferlich are these curses and predictions of gloom Raboyseyee, that perhaps you remember that there is even a Minhag Yisroel (custom) in most shuls, of course not in all shuls, because all, would by definition mean, that we all agree on something, and certainly that too is verboten and zicher never happened before, ever! Why? Because if all of the Rabbonim (Rabbis) were to agree, half or more would be out of work! Shoin! Nu, where was I? Oh yes: back to the minhag – yes, in most shuls, the prevailing minhag is to read the portion of the Toichocho, the Rebuke, in an undertone, and this demonstrates our discomfort with reading this portion of the Toirah in public.
Discomfort? Uncomfortable? Frightened, scared to death and curled up in the fetal position mamish, is a better descriptor! One must wonder however, what lesson can be derived by shying away from rebuke. Is being chastised for our misdeeds such a terrible thing? Although we should not be proud of our sins, perhaps it does behoove us to listen carefully as the litany of our chatoim (sins) are read from the Toirah. Perhaps this will then allow you gerferliche oisvorfs who allowed your parents to spend their hard earned monies to go to waste while you were busy running off to chap a movie or efsher worse- maybe you went dancing, mixed- chas v’sholom-, loi olainu, to examine your ways and repent from the hundreds of sins you committed. Taka why does the Baal Koreh (reader) recite these verses of rebuke in a hushed tone? Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t give a damn, and as long as I don’t hear them, mistama they’re not being directed at me personally. Perhaps the baal koreh is really a baal kery (a topic we covered a while back) or worse, and he needs to hear those chas v’sholom or, perhaps the person honored with the aliyah? In any event, if we can’t hear it, why bother reading it? When was the last time your father or mother or anyone else yelled at you in an undertone and hushed voice? When? Never! Says the Oisvorfer: let’s skip the whole thing and read a parsha we enjoy listening to; perhaps last week’s parsha one more time.
Very shortly we will begin reciting Selichos, or prayers of penitence for you poor excuses for yeshiva graduates. Why we say them, I don’t know. Do you even understand one word? Have you ever in your entire life said every single word of even one paragraph of these selichos? Says the Oisvorfer: Fugettaboutitt! Cut out the Toichocho and cut out the selichois: don’t worry, be happy! Yom Kippur is just around the corner, the RBSO loves his kinderlach, despite our less than exemplary behavior and we’re all getting a new score card!
A gittin Shabbis-
The Oisvorfer Ruv