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

Vayelech 2015

Kapparot-6Raboyseyee and Ladies:

Last minute business opportunities-

This week we begin with a happy birthday shout-out to the Oisvorfer’s son Zecharya Moshe Yehudah who was born bo bayom 24 years ago on Tzom Gidalya. Happy Birthday Zachary!

This week, as we have intermittently been doing these last few months, we begin again with our Sefer Toirah appeal. It so happens that this great mitzvah of writing a Sefer Toirah will appear in this week’s parsha of Vayelech -it’s mitzvah #613 out of 613- which this year also coincides with shabbis shuva (shabbis of repentance). On the last day of his life, according to most, Moishe will teach the Yiddin the penultimate (a big word for a boy from boro park) mitzvah as well as mitzvah #613, to write for ourselves a new Toirah scroll.

Says the heylige Toirah (Devorim 31:19) azoy: “Now, therefore write down for yourselves this song, and teach it  to the people of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be my witness within the people of Israel.” Shoin, exactly how these words about writing down ‘this song’ which one could assume meant either the song found in next week’s parsha of  (Ha’azenu), or, maybe even the best-selling single known as Oz Yoshir (the song of the sea) that Moishe composed after the Yiddin crossed the river, ver veyst. Many taka discuss these words and their true meaning ober along came the Rambam, the great physician and much more, whose son-in-law did not yet have a real job and shoin: He ruled that the true meaning of these words is that every person has the obligation to write his own Toirah scroll.  Ober given the facts on the ground back then and avada in our times, where many of you -most of you-cannot even read the Hebrew letters, let alone write them down, how was a typical oisvorf going to write his own scroll? Shoin, it’s gantz poshit (simple): Said the Rambam azoy: What the instructions really mean is that each of us is commanded to commission a soifer (scribe) to write the Toirah scroll for us. In other words: We pay a hired hand, the scribe, and he writes. We also pay for the party to celebrate its completion; the event planner is avada happy because you need to rent a tent, table and chairs. The caterer is avada happy because you need to prepare food for the event, as are many other vendors required to celebrate this great moment. After all, who cares about the Toirah scroll without a great party and plenty of food? Not many. In other words: Yet another Toirah inspired business opportunity, the last one. Ober what is the average person to do? What if he cannot afford to commission a scribe and pay the $50-60k the entire mitzvah may cost him and the mishpocho? What if the eishes chayil would prefer a few designer dresses and shoes instead? Not to worry: Our rabbis chapped that asking 50-60k at any one time might shock the majority of well intentioned men, may cause sholom bayis issues by angry women who might withhold their jewels, if you chap,  and decided that it’s quite ok to partner up in this endeavor. One can seemingly purchase as little as one letter in a new scroll and still get credit for the entire mitzvah.

And that Raboyseyee is the mitzvah you are being afforded by reading the Oisvorfer’s heylige review. The mitzvah to bring a new Toirah into the world to replace one lost to hurricane Sandy who visited with us a few years back and wreaked a shtikel havoc.  And said Rabbah in the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin 21b) azoy: Even though our ancestors left us a scroll of the Toirah, it is our religious duty to write one for ourselves as it said.  Shoin..and since you have in the past months and  year(s) violated so many of the Toirah’s heylige mitzvis, especially of the ‘loi-sah-say’ variety, if you chap, efsher you can chap areyn this great mitzvah as the big day of Yom Kippur approaches.

Back in 2008, a newly minted Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) was loaned out to a local institution. Unfortunately, this Torah Scroll was a victim of hurricane Sandy. It could not, despite herculean efforts, be saved.  In an effort to replace the Torah Scroll, significant funds need to be raised. The Oisvorfer is asking all his readers to participate in this, the last and 613th mitzvah recorded in the heylige Toirah which states that it a mitzvah upon each person to write one’s own Sefer Torah. And while this mitzvah may seem elusive to those who are not adept in Jewish calligraphy or don’t have the means to afford a personal Sefer Torah, you can get full credit by participating and purchasing even one letter. Of course, the more you sponsor, the more mitzvois you have and who among us and especially those who receive this email or logon to the site or find us on Facebook or get the review from a  friend, cannot afford to have a few extra? No one!

You can participate in this great mitzvah for as little as $5. Feel free to sponsor but one letter, word, posik (sentence), perek (chapter), a specific  reading, a complete parsha or even a complete Sefer (Book).  You can sponsor a letter for as little as $5. Of course we would like you to sponsor more than one letter but will be grateful for every single donation to this cause.

There are no administrative fees (a generous sponsor will cover the credit card processing fees.) Donate as little as $5 to purchase a letter in the new Torah, and the entire amount will be used for the Torah.

You can dedicate in memory of a loved one, in honor of a loved one, or for anyone you deem worthy. Making a simcha and spending thousands for a big party? Please consider adding at least $5 to help bring a new Torah into this world. Thank you!

To participate and to see the list of possible dedications, please click here.

Welcome  to parshas Vayelech and with its 30 pisukim, the shortest parsha in the gantze heylige Toirah.  Shoin, let’s take a quick peek into the parsha itself.  Though small in words, it does contain the last two of the 613 mitzvois that Moishe will teach before he says a final goodbye and passes on.  It’s Moishe’s birthday – the 7th day of the month of Adar. Some say Moishe was also born on that day.  He does not go quietly.  He has to date delivered, as stated above, 611 of the 613 mitzvois we are commanded to keep and not violate. Toirah inspired entrepreneurs have studied each one and created business opportunities, multiple professions and services. The RBSO mistama had all this planned out. We are His Chosen people and avada He wasn’t going to give us the heylige Toirah without some reward in this world.  The heylige Toirah is the best guidebook to business, in our times, in this century and in the last decades. The Yiddin have figured out just how to exploit each and every mitzvah. And this week, with the final two mitzvis, 612 and 613, he will set up yet another group of Yiddin so that they can make a parnoso while performing the mitzvah.

Vayelech contains the mitzvah of Hakhel, # 612,  and as mentioned above, the mitzvah for every Jew to reduce to writing ‘this shira’, #613. What’s Hakhale and what specific shira are we talking about?  Nu, lommer lernin: Hakhale, as practiced in modern times is the mitzvah that takes place once every seven years, at the conclusion of the shmitta year, during the Succis holiday over in Yirusholayim.  Based on the Toirah’s words, men, women and children are to gather – seemingly together – and to hear a public reading of Sefer Devorim. In modern times, this mitzvah is practiced on the plaza near the Koisel (Western Wall) where tens of thousands of Yiddin gather for the largest social mixer known to man.  It’s a place where people find each other, make new friends, ask each other about their hotels, flights and other small talk.  Boys ogle girls, people are squeezed in like sardines and in general, it’s a feel good event.  Ober what taka is Hakhale? Seemingly Hakhale was intended to remind the Yiddin of their glorious history, the commandments they are to keep and the principles they must live by.

Just last week we asked why the parshas of Netzovim, Vayelich, and Ha’azuni (30, 40 and 52 respectively) are much shorter than the others?  So far no one has suggested an answer ober by the time we were born, the die had been cast and the parshas already established generations earlier. And speaking of scribes (above), was it that Ezra fellow again? We can kler that this was the intention given that these parshas coincide with Rosh Hashono and Yom Kippur and the great minds that established the parshas had some rachmonis (mercy) on us and gave us a shtikel break from shul, ver veyst. Moreover, it was also decided that since Yom Kippur was the super bowl of fund raising, that it was efsher better to shorten the parshas so that our rabbis could be home focusing on banking and other financial matters that are of critical importance to the operations of their shuls and avada we are talking about money. They do this by working for weeks in advance on their Kol Nedri appeals where sinners and oisvorfs like yourselves feel mamish vulnerable, where they have us hoodwinked into believing that the tzedoko you pledge that evening will somehow buy your way out of the mess you are in with the RBSO for your errant behavior this past year.  Raboyseyee, let’s not forget that tzedoko is but one third of the ingredients required. Throughout Rosh Hashono and Yom Kippur, we will have and will be chanting these three words over and again: U’sishuva, U’sifila and Utzedoko. Seemingly we need all three and tzedoko seems to be the last.  Shoin, back to the short parsha and this piece of advice: If you are planning any more children, use a calendar; timing is everything. Your son will forever be thankful. Alternatively, join a shul where there are many young boys. You might just get lucky and have your son’s bar mitzvah deferred a few weeks. Hec you might get pushed from Ki Sovoy, and its curses to Vayelech. On the other hand, and this taka happened to the Oisvorfer’s own son, you cannot be a wisenheimer. So happens that the Oisvorfer’s oldest son was taka born on Tzoim Gidalya -24 years ago, mamish today as this review is being written (the fast for some fellow, a former Governor named Gidlaya).  Why we fast for him, ver veyst. Anyway, his son’s bar mitzvah was pushed off from Ha’azenu with its 52 pisukim, to Noach when it always rains and its 153 pisukim.

Raboyseyee, we are in the throes of the Aseres Yimay Tshuva (ten days of repentance) and Yom Kippur – the super bowl of forgiveness is right around the corner. We have few days left to make amends with the RBSO for sins we committed during the past year, sins we plan to transgress as soon as the opportunity arises, if you chap, sins we had in mind to commit but didn’t (yet), for sins we committed intentionally and for those we plan still to chap areyn before the proverbial whistle blows at the end of Ne’eila.  The big day is mamish around the corner. That being said, we are taught that the RBSO, knows how shelct you are and avada Knows that His Chosen people are a very difficult bunch to control. Moreover, Moishe will make mention of just how bad we are and how bad we will be in the future in this very parsha. He was nebech right. Ober is it our fault? Maybe we can blame the RBSO? He did create us with a yetzer tov and a yetzer horo (good and evil inclinations) and it so happens that the yetzer tov He gave us is a lazy good for nothing who doesn’t exercise and is not physically fit.  Ober the yetzer hora is robust, in excellent shape and can take down the yetzer tov at any time. The yetzer horah exercises regularly, likes being horizontal, if you chap.  It’s mamish not a match. Ober, we can take comfort in knowing that when He, the RBSO, selected us, it was by a process of elimination. Seemingly the other umois ho’oilom (the goyim) He rejected, were mistama much worse. Is that even possible?  Ober is it mamish our fault if that’s how the RBSO made us? Why He couldn’t give us a stronger yetzer tov, ver veyst? Ober, we remain His and the covenant – as Moishe told us just last week in parshas Netzovim – cannot be permanently broken.  Severely tested at times, efsher yes, ober broken, not!  The RBSO does avada hide His face and also slaps us around from time to time, also as described in this week’s parsha, but is still willing to forgive on Yom Kippur, wipe the slate clean and start all over again.  All we need  to do is ask. Yom Kippur is a  kiss and make up day though avada kissing and making up, or out, are avada verboten that day.  Seemingly, all we need to do is ask nicely. Having a shtikel kavona (sincerity) during davening would not hurt.  Many say that going to the mikveh (ritual bathhouse) and dipping seven times with a few dozen other chazerim, helps set the tone for tshuva. It’s a shtikel pre-cleansing in advance of our davening. How visiting a community mikveh where some come to prey on the unsuspecting and many gather just to schmooze about stocks, helps cleanse the soul, ver veyst? And if that doesn’t work, avada you can chap a chicken – not the one you chap all year round, if you chap, and waive it over your head several times. Exactly what that does besides scare little kids and exactly how that helps transfer our sins to the poor unsuspecting chicken, ver veyst. Ober Raboyseyee, let’s not forget that tshuva is big business; one cannot interfere.

mikveh22On the other hand, we also taught that the RBSO, does not forgive -a dip in the mikveh notwithstanding- for sins we committed beyn-odom-lachaveroy (between man and fellow man), and especially so if the sins took place in the mikveh, if you chap.  Shtekin abuse, if you chap, does not have a statue of limitations. Let’s also remember that Moishe will die before the day is over due to his own shtekin abuse and that was on a rock. Nu, imagine how upset the RBSO gets when one shtekin abuses others to just get his rocks moved, if you chap. As for forgiveness for other sins between man and man, or man and woman, or man on someone elses’ woman, if you chap, or woman on woman, we need to find the man or men, or the woman or women we somehow offended and ask them for mechila (individual forgiveness) especially if you were anywhere near the wrong mechila, if you chap. The RBSO, we are also taught does not appreciate clowns that ask His forgiveness yet won’t forgive their fellow man. It’s avada shver to forgive. Avada you are pissed off and cannot get yourself to forgive them ober think how pissed off the RBSO might be at you.

It’s taka emes, or might be, that someone taka wronged you, pissed you off; you are mad as hell, ober Raboyseyee, forgiveness is what the RBSO wants and if you want Him to forgive you and us- and OMG, do you and we need forgiveness- we need to be maver-al-midoisof (suck it up) and forgive others. Of course, you needn’t forgive unless the offender(s) make a serious effort to apologize and see what they can do to negate any harm they may have caused you, whether inadvertent or even if not. Nor must you forgive the money they stole or borrowed and never repaid. The bottom line: forgiveness is free.  Avada we can always forgive over Yom Kippur and resume normal anger the next day. Starting a new broiges, a new argument following Yom Kippur is quite easy.

Nu, speaking of tshuva and forgiveness, it so happens that it’s not that difficult a process. Here’s how. Ershtens we begin by committing a few big chatoim (sins) and enjoying ourselves during the process. That’s the easy part, the part most of you have already accomplished. You’ve excelled. Then as Rosh Hashono, the ‘aseres yimay tshuva’ and Yom Kippur approach, with time running out mamish, we need to regret our wayward ways and ask the RBSO to forgive us. We need to promise to do better next year. On Yom Kippur day we will also klap a few hundred ‘al-cheyts’ (beat our chests) while we enumerate the various sins we likely committed. And if we wake up the next day, we all assume the RBSO  listened to us, forgave us and wiped the slate clean.

f111007DV04And taka says the medrish (Yalkut Shimoine) azoy: Our chachomim (sages) asked the Novee (Prophet) what the proper punishment should be for a sinner. Said the Novee: death! Next they asked the heylige Toirah and the Toirah answered: let the sinner bring a korban (sacrifice). Finally they asked the RBSO and He answered: let the sinner do sincere tshuva and I will forgive him.

Ober sadly Raboyseyee, though many of you will taka do some tshuva on Yom Kippur, the reality is that many of you will go back to your wayward ways within days mamish. Some will begin by sinning immediately after leaving shul. It’s how the RBSO made us and azoy-iz-is (that’s just how it is). The RBSO chaps who we are with all our weaknesses and loves us anyway.

Shoin, the Oisvorfer and eishes chayil take this opportunity to wish all his readers worldwide now -hundreds of thousands mamish- a great shabbis and an easy fast on Yom Kippur. May you all be inscribed for a great year ahead. May the RBSO taka forgive you and avada and avada the Oisvofer as He has done for generations since He selected the Yiddin to be His Chosen people. We’re doing the best we can with the overgrown yetzer horo’s we have.

A gittin shabbis, and easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur-

Yitz Grossman

The Oisvorfer Ruv


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