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

Shmini 2015 – Who Killed Jesus and When?

Who killed JesusRaboyseyee and Ladies:

Who killed Jesus and when?

The Oisvorfer is back safe and sound from San Juan though a shtikel heavier, where he, the mishpocho, along with the shver and shvigermeister and other family members spent Pesach. More about the program and some of the interesting people the Oisvorfer met this year, in an upcoming Special Edition, stay tuned.

Shoin!  As in Pesachs past, once again, the buffet was mamish overpowering. Many, the Oisvorfer included, came home, daringly stepped onto our scales hoping for a decent result only to find that our chazerish non-stop binge eating over the eight day Yom Tov caught up with us; oy vey. Of course it did! Givald! Are you suddenly surprised that it’s you instead of your portfolio that is making new highs? Did you think even for one minute that you would eat like a chazir four plus meals daily, interrupted only by the tea room, the bathroom, sleep  and shul, that the calories would somehow melt away and disappear while you were either driving or flying back home? A nechtiger tug and fugetaboutittt! It’s time to pay up by fasting, jumping on the treadmill or anything else that will help burn a few calories, if you chap.  Though we made all sorts of promises, mostly to ourselves, to control our food intake over this very long Yom Tov, most of us failed miserably. Why? Because when it comes to chapping, even food, most lose control. We are chazerim, period end discussion! The smorgasbord, like your yetzer horo for other forbidden zachen, if you chap, is ever so powerful. Rarely is he beaten. And as the Oisviorfer has told you over and again: Many good people have successfully walked away from business deals, even good ones, also from relationships – mostly not such good ones- ober no man and few women have ever walked away -for the entire Pesach- from a good shmorg or buffet. The battle of the buffet, like the shul kiddish or a the shmorg at most weddings, remains a losing proposition.


Shoin, speaking of eating, it’s in parshas Shmini where the RBSO will very specifically delineate what we can and can’t eat. Too bad He didn’t tell us how much or when to stop. Zicher we’d be lighter and healthier. We will take a look at the kosher food industry and efsher why the RBSO gave us these laws, a bit later ober ershtens…..

Every year as Pesach rolls around, so does Easter, a Yom tov celebrated by the umois ho’oilom (the goyim) and epically the Christians, Catholics and others that follow Jesus. The frequent overlapping of our Pesach and their Easter week merits a few words. Growing up orthodox from birth or, maybe even from conception, ver veyst, we were taught precious little about Jesus. In fact we weren’t even allowed to utter his name, instead having to refer to him by various nicknames. And if we did, de-mama took out the holtzene lefel (wooden spoon) she specifically set aside from the free unsolicited bidika kit she received from the yeshiva seeking a solicitation, and reminded us that we are never to call him by his real name. Shoin after a few good chamalyas (beatings) from the lefel, he was thereafter always referred to as yoshko, whatever that means.

Nu it so happens that our lives, the lives of the Yiddin, and those of our fellow brethren are intertwined, mamish. Though we believe only in the RBSO and they in Jesus as their savior, we do have something in common. Many of us make travel arrangements for Pesach and many of them do the same for Easter week, whatever that is. This mixing has a yearly deleterious impact on our pocket books. Goyim and Yiddin are both vying for the same seats. First on the plane and then poolside where again we have to go out of pocket to schemer (bribe) the pool help to reserve our seats just in case we decide to sit out. Of course Yiddin can’t just sit anywhere though the sun is kiamt everywhere. Yiddin need to survey the pool area and then decide specifically where they want to sit. Once the monumental decision is made, they of course want to sit in the very same spot everyday of their vacation because chas v’sholom (heaven forbid) should they not, all sorts of giferliche calamities might befall them. Nu, what would be so giferlich if daily they sat in different poolside locations? Ver veyst! One thing is zicher: if the husband or man of the house doesn’t successfully secure the desired lounges for the eishes chayil, it’s och and vey to him. He’s a good for nothing and tan or no tan and  no matter how good he looks, one thing is zicher – he will chap that day, that night and every day. Abuse that is!  Shoin, it’s a minhag yisroel (custom) going back decades that once a Yid puts down his/her towel on a particular lounge, he/she was koinah (acquired) that area for the entire vacation. How was he koina? Through a kinyan not too dissimilar from the kinyan he made when selling his chometz to his local rabbi/chometz agent. There he picked up the hanky, here he puts down the towel. Shoin, fartig! Who can argue with a minhag yisroel? And who can argue with the power of a kinyan? Es far-shtayt-zich (plainly understood) that if one can transact multimillion dollar deals by lifting a handkerchief, al achas kaka v’kama (even more plainly understood), that one can reserve, and even own a lounge chair by draping it with a towel which is 100 times the size of a handkerchief! Also thicker! Case closed!


And every year as the Oisvorfer is trying to chap some bargain airfare to his Pesach destination, along come the goyim who insist on traveling to all the same spots and drive up the fares. Shoin! Because goyim habitually book their travel many months in advance and because Yiddin either cannot make up their minds about going away, or, are waiting for a sponsor, or, are still hondeling for the best price with at least two different Pesach programs, and generally don’t make up their minds until mamish weeks and sometimes days before the Yom Tov begins, it’s the Yiddin being forced to pay the higher fares. Antisemittin mamish!  In the end, the Yiddin are forced to do something which grizzshes them (turns their stomachs) the entire Yom Tov: pay nebech full fare!  Yikes, it hurts so badly and mamish a broch. Shoin; Yoshko and his followers are still exacting revenge and inflicting pain on the Yiddin. Luz up shoin (leave us be please)!


Yearly as Easter and Pesach approach, old TV shows and movies are shown about his life and ultimate demise. According to the great Achroin, Wikipedia, at least 30 movies about this nice Jewish boy –or, was he an oisvorf mamish- were already made and kimat every few years a new book is published.  Movies about him continue to fascinate and mamish a few weeks before Pesach, Bill O’Reilly, he of the Fox News Channel and grada a big oihave yisroel (supporter of the Yiddin), produced and released a new movie titled ‘Killing Jesus.’ In his promotional materials, he promised to tell the truth about how Jesus died, bud did he? And while many theories abound about his ultimate demise, most have the Yiddin killing him or at least somewhat involved. We continue to pay the price for these rumors. Ober could this mamish be the emes?

Grada, many people assume that his Last Supper was taka a Seder, the ritual meal held in celebration of the Pesach. And taka according to Gospel (Mark 14:12), Jesus prepared for the Last Supper on the “first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb.” Shoin, let’s play it out Gemora style. To do this correctly and if you attended yeshiva, avada you would know that you need start by having your thumb on either hand pointed downward. As you move your hand from left to right and from down to an upward position, the thumb will move its way upward thereby helping you to chap this logic. Here we go: If he and his disciples taka gathered together to eat soon after the korban Pesach was sacrificed, what else could they possibly have eaten if not the Pesach meal? And if they ate the korban Pesach, they must have held a Seder. Shoin, case closed. Seemingly he was taka alive and well as Pesach began and all seem to agree that he was dead soon thereafter. Fartig! What taka happened? Who killed him and when? Moreover, three out of four of the goyim’s best sources for such information (canonical Gospels) all agree that the Last Supper was held only after the Jewish holiday of Pesach had begun. And even more, one source lists no fewer than 14 distinct parallels between the Last Supper tradition and the Passover Seder. Yikes!

And here is the clincher: this past Pesach while in Puerto Rico and while on line at the buffet waiting for some kosher le’pesach pizza and sometime later at the bbq, again on-line to chap a shtikel fleish, if you chap, the Oisvorfer developed his own theory as to how he was taka efsher killed and died, mistama during Pesach. Es dact zich mir (I think) that Yoshko, either as a single or with the mishpocho, was a guest at a very early iteration of today’s Pesach programs. What happened next? He arrived to dinner a few minutes late and found a huge line at the buffet. Ober he was Yoshko, also Jewish and refused to wait on line. He cut the line and shoin! The Yiddin of that generation, very much like they are today, would hear nothing of the sort and were quite unforgiving. Yoshko, shmoshko!  Shoin, a few minutes later, he was dead, fartig and kaput! It’s one thing to borrow money from your chaver and never pay back, it’s another to chap something else, if you chap, ober cutting the line at the dinner buffet is seemingly y’horage v’al yovor (one should give up his life before transgressing) and that’s exactly what the Yiddin did to him. Hence his Last supper was taka on Pesach! Shoin, end of story. Plausible? Why not? Go prove otherwise.

Ober Raboyseyee, the Oisvorfer has some givaldige news for you: it so happens that next year, Pesach 2016 and Easter 2016 will not coincide. Be on the look-out for bargain airfares as you plan ahead. Mark your calendars now and remember that Pesach 2016 will (once again) begin on a Friday night, on the 22nd  of April and that Easter Sunday will be marked by the goyim on March 27th, geloibet der abishter (thank the RBSO). They taka won’t coincide ober farvus nisht (why not)? And before we answer that question, also take note that Purim 2016 will be celebrated on March 24th. Now the Oisvorfer will tie this all together mamish so gishmak.

The answer is complicated, rooted in two millennia of history, and based partly on the difficulties of calculating dates according to the Jewish calendar, and partly on the desire by the goyim (Christians) to forge a new and separate identity. Bikitzur, the Christian Holy Week normally coincides with Pesach, with Easter occurring on the Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. Shoin, now you know? Not! Ober during Jewish leap years like next year limoshol (by way of example), Pesach is typically pushed ahead more than a month, leaving Easter and Good Friday to contend with Purim, a holiday typically spent at home. The bottom line: cheaper fare and empty lounges.

Want more detail? Here we go. According to the Jewish (lunar) calendar, the beginning of each month corresponds with the new moon being reborn – the moiled- so to speak. Two weeks later, we see the full moon. Ober solar and lunar months don’t match, and over time, the yomim tovim (religious festivals) would fall in the wrong season were it not for the adoption of extra (or intercalary) months. The Jewish time-keeping system uses what is known as the Metonic Cycle, which allots 235 lunar cycles/lunations in 19 years. Considering 12 months the norm for each year, this results in an extra month (Adar Shayne) more than once every three years. Thus, there are 13 months in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of each Metonic cycle. The years with extra months can be referred to as leap years ober not all leap (or regular) years are the same. A leap year might have 383, 384, or 385 days while a regular year might have 353, 354, 355 days. Yeshivas in Brooklyn did not teach us this information.

Shoin, here we are kimat on page four and we forgot to mention that we’re back to the parsha after a shtikel hiatus for Yom tov which somehow usurped the regularly scheduled parsha of the week. Welcome to parshas Shmini where we will read about a few unpleasantries that befell both Moishe and Aharoin, oy vey. Aharoin lost two sons and Moishe was unceremoniously fired from the kihuna for a sin he committed back in parshas Shmois. Seemingly, the RBSO doesn’t forget and that cannot be good news for most of you. And why are bad things happening in Shmini and how should we have known? Nu, let’s now go back to the first three words of the parsha, they are ominous mamish. Says the heylige Toirah azoy: Vayihe Byoim Hashmini (and it was on the eighth day). Our rabbis concluded, for reasons we will chap just below, that the word Vayihe (and it was) more typically than not, portend danger. Bad things are about to happen. Hey, didn’t the moiel use epes a sharp instrument on your 8th day? He did! Grada, over Pesach a fine gentleman the Oisvorfer met in shul who rattled off more jokes in eight days that did Henny Youngman in his prime, told the Oisvorfer that he was giving serious consideration to drinking from the kois Eliyohu (Elijah’s cup) at the seder, but then recalled what happened to him that last time he sat in Eliyohu’s chair. He reconsidered!

We have previously covered this parsha, four times in fact, and discussed the myriad reasons given by the medrish as to why the RBSO took the lives of Nodov and Avihu. We also covered Moishe’s sin. Check out the archives at www.oisvorfer.com for more information. Taka a shameless plug, why not? There is some good news in Shemini; we’re just about done talking about various korbonis (sacrifices) that people could or did bring, especially the sinners. More good news: korbonis are no longer relevant at least until the Moshiach arrives and after his arrival, ver veyst? Grada this topic of whether or not korbonis will make a comeback, and if yes, what role modern technology might play in the newly minted Beis Hamikdash, is hotly debated between the Oisvorfer and his next door neighbor. Let’s wait and see. In the meantime, Eliyohu was again a no-show at the seder and for now at least, there is no immediate visibility for korbonis. Some are very frustrated with his continued absence; one family decided not to pour him a cup of their finest wine at the seder. Instead they filled a cup of diet coke. Did he know the difference? Ver veyst and veyter gigangin (let’s move on)!


It’s in Shmini (towards the very end of the parsha), where we find a list of the permitted and forbidden animals, fish, and birds. Permitted for food that is. The Yiddin, in their quest for holiness, are limited in which animals they may eat. Say the heylige Toirah (Vayikro 11:2) azoy: “These are the living things which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.” Animals must have cloven hooves and chew their cud. Vilde chayis, if you chap, are for pleasure only, if you chap, but not to be eaten!  Fish must have fins and scales. Eating shshi seems to be a new mitzvas ah-say , maybe #614, ver veyst.  There is a long list of forbidden birds, mostly birds of prey; most domesticated birds are permitted.

Why did the RBSO give us these kosher restrictions? Mistama to help the Yiddin. With their diets? No! Halt kup (pay attention) and you will quickly chap how the RBSO in His magnificence and wisdom, in but a few pisukim, gave birth to and inspired the entire kosher gisheft (business). How He mamish understood that many thousands of Yiddin, otherwise ladigayers (lazy good for nothings) would need a parnosa (job) and how as always, He came to their rescue. How? By delineating kosher from not, He created a need for mashgichim (kosher supervisors) and a plethora of organizations and rabbis that offer hashgochis, the kosher stamp of approval (at a hefty price of course). Indeed, it all started right here in Shimini and that Raboyseyee, is why it’s so gishmak to learn the heylige Toirah. Out of a job or profession? Read the mitzvois, all 613 or 614 of them. You too can become a Toirah inspired entrepreneur.

Kosher is big business; nothing much more is bigger. It’s all about the food we eat; where we buy it, where we eat it, how it’s prepared, when we eat again, and how much we eat. Entrepreneurs, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, caterers, party planners, chefs, shoichtim, butchers, mashgichim, waiters, dishwashers and so many others are employed in this industry. The RBSO is great!

Avada we chap that the kosher laws as we know them today were greatly expanded from the few verses covering this industry. They continue to evolve so that newly inspired Toirah entrepreneurs can also make a living and today, they are a complex set of gastronomical do’s and don’ts, mostly don’ts. What was kosher for your parents and maybe even for us a few years back is treif today and if your kids eat that tarfus, they can’t marry my kids. However in the heylige Toirah, these halochis only fall into three basic guidelines: Do not consume blood, do not mix milk and meat, and eat only the permitted animals. This third area, permitted (and forbidden) animals, fish and birds and even flying insects, are described in this week’s parsha. The RBSO in his wisdom gave us quite clear instructions; they are quite easy to follow.

Speaking of kosher and non kosher fish, say hello to bioluminescence.  What the hec is bioluminescence? Seemingly it means that very small fish creatures light up when you swish a paddle or a stick through the waters in which they swim. And where does one find such things? Over in Puerto Rico where the companies running these tours claim that this is an unusual sight and there are few places in the world where one can encounter this bioluminescence. Shoin, one night last week, the Oisvorfer and 29 others took a one hour bus ride to what was billed as one of the most spectacular sights in the Caribbean waters to witness hundreds of tiny star-like bioluminescent plankton scintillating like a starry sky. In plain English, or in theory, it’s supposed to work azoy (like this): As one waves his/her paddle through the waters, the fish give off or, are supposed to give off some light. We were to be mesmerized by the tiny glowing specs of plankton or Dinoflagellates which are unicellular marine plankton also known as fire plants. Did they cooperate, did this happen? Are they kosher? Shoin, we boarded kayaks, paddled for twenty minutes in total darkness through the mangroves and finally reached the bay area. We were set to enjoy the sight of bioluminescence. Ober the fish were not cooperating. They gave off kimat no light. Ober the RBSO sent out the moon which, though waning from its full size on the 15th of Nissan was still shining quite brightly. The bottom line: aroisgivorfine gelt (money and lots of it, in the toilet) though playing bumper kayaks with mamish dozens of other kayaks all looking for some lighted fish, and slamming into trees because the Oisvorfer’s kayak partner, though blessed with not one but two PhD’s, mistama forgot to study paddling 101, was a fun experience. The emes is that while she was paddling, the Oisvorfer was deep in thought about this week’s Toirah and was relaxing. Some say that the fish give off more light when the moon isn’t as bright, ver veyst. And being crustaceans, they are not kosher.   While on fish………mistama you didn’t know that fish are considered the most holy of the species. Unlike other species who, even in their kosher manifestations need some tikkun (rectification), the fish needs none. A fish does not need to be ritually slaughtered or have its blood removed as do its land cousins, the behaymis (animals). Moreover, the well behaved fish were unaffected by the mabul some call Mai Noiach (Noiach’s flood). Taka why? Says the medrish azoy: While the people of that generation were quite shlect (very poorly behaved), some even engaged in out of the box sexual activities, including bestiality -loi olanu- with the behaymis (animals), the fish did not join in the festivities.  They maintained their purity and were thus saved. Gishmak!


And listen to this shtikel kabolo (mysticism): in kabalistic literature, the fish is used to symbolize the tzaddik, (righteous person). How so? Says the good book azoy: Many people are nebech guilty of misusing their gift of sight. They look at the halb nakita mydlich (scantily dressed girls) at the beach, the pool, on TV, cable, the internet, live and other places. Some are more machmir and look only at in-gantzin-nakete-mydlich on these mediums. Gantz giferlich! In kabalistic understanding, the anatomical feature of the eyelid on a person is an allusion to this need, to at times shut our eyes and avoid seeing improper things. The tzaddik, however guards his behavior, intuitively avoiding such situations, and actually needs no such safeguard. He is thus symbolized by a fish, a species which has no eyelid. Gishmak!

And this week, the heylige Toirah taka makes distinctions between kosher and non-kosher fish. A kosher fish has to possess both fins and scales. Our good rabbis of yore tell us that these elements can be likened to crowns atop the fish, attesting to the kosher fish’s higher spiritual status. Furthermore, such fish tend to swim in the upper expanses of the ocean where the water is more pure. Mamish gishmak. They also describe fins on the fish as the appendages that allows it to swim. Appendages are helpful, if you chap. The scales are like the fish’s armor. They are small, overlapping shells. And listen to this: every fish that has scales is automatically assumed to have fins.

Shtlelt zich di shaylo (the question arises) azoy: zicher you all know that the heylige Toirah contains nothing superfluous, not even one extra letter. So the rebbe told us while beating us with his shtekin. Ober if every fish that has scales has fins, why does the heylige Toirah specify that a kosher fish needs both scales and fins? Mamish an excellent kasha. Ober our sages explain cleverly explain azoy: there is no reason to specify the fact that fish have fins other than to “increase and enhance the study of Toirah” (יַגְדִּיל תּוֹרָה וְיַאְדִּיר ).  Shoin, settled!


Rebbe Akiva likened the Yiddin to fish swimming in the sea of Toirah. There is seemingly an intrinsic link between fish and the essence of the Toirah, which specifies fins for the sole purpose of enhancing and beautifying itself. And says the RambaN azoy: fish with fins and scales usually swim close to the surface of the water, thus experiencing air and water simultaneously. This is what makes them kosher. Fish that do not have fins and scales live closer to the seabed, and are more liable to illness, rendering them unfit to eat both physically and spiritually.


A gittin shabbis-

Yitz Grossman

The Oisvorfer

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