Jerusalem, Baka: As Israelis find themselves under lockdown, people are learning all kinds of new things about their neighbors.
“I called the police because I thought my upstairs neighbor Ruchie was running an illegal Gan. Turns out she just has nine kids.” noted Malka D, a retiree living in Baka. “I heard Uncle Moishy songs blasting all day, constant yelling, and every week the Makolet guy delivered 10 boxes of Cheerios, 12 packages of yogurt and 8 bags of frozen corn schnitzel.” confided Malka, who insists that she doesn’t meddle in other people’s business. “Who needs so much frozen corn schnitzel except someone operating an illegal gan during lockdown?” (Writer’s Note: I need that much)
When asked why she had jumped to conclusions and didn’t maybe consider that her upstairs neighbor had a large family, Malka explained. “I met her when I moved into this building, she’s a preschool teacher and her husband works in a grocery store. They don’t have money! Who would have a bunch of children if they didn’t have money? That’s just ridiculous!”
Ruchie, of course, forgave her neighbor for the misunderstanding. “I’m learning about my neighbors too!” Ruchie admitted. “I just learned that my next door neighbor is Sephardi! All this time, I thought she was from overseas and that’s why she mispronounced Hebrew words… you know what she calls the Koisel? You know, the Western Wall? She says “Koh-tell”… that’s crazy, right?”
Tel Aviv: The Israeli NGO “Keep Olim in Israel” celebrated tonight as the number of Olim (recent immigrants) leaving Israel has statistically reached Zero for the month of April. The Organization was founded several years ago in an attempt to help Olim acclimate to Israel. They even helped streamline Israel’s law for converting your foreign Drivers License. The Daily Freier spoke with Keep Olim founder Liami Lawrence via Zoom about this success.
“Nobody’s leaving!” enthused Liami. “It’s all because of our advocacy and the counseling services we provide!“
The Daily Freier asked Liami if maybe there was some other factor out there that was limiting the ability of Olim to make Yerida, but he refused the premise. “What are you talking about? This is all goes back to the line of candidates we ran in last year’s municipal elections!“
The Daily Freier pressed the point, that maybe there was perhaps another reason that people were no longer flying from Israel for the past few weeks. “No, No, No.” he replied. “Olim aren’t leaving because we have created an online community that supports one another!“
We asked Liami one more time if just maybe there might be something else telling Olim “Now youse can’t leave“, but he said he was right in the middle of an episode of Shtisel and ended the interview.
Tel Aviv, Allenby: We celebrate many heroes of the Corona Epidemic: Police, First-Responders, Doctors, Nurses, Grocery Store Workers, Postal Employees, Delivery Drivers, Soldiers. Yet there are some heroes who have gone unnoticed: people who refuse to be afraid and continue to maintain their routine. One such man is Danny, a Tel Aviv man who somehow just managed to cut in front of you at the Super Yuda near your house while still maintaining proper social distance. The Daily Freier was at the scene to witness this symbolic act of defiance against Covid-19.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes.” explained line-cutting victim Adam H. “He’s truly a professional. I’m not even angry. That was….. majestic.”
We then asked Danny just how he was able to perfect his fine art. “Believe me, It’s not easy.” he explained. “But we’re Israelis. This is not my first crisis.” Danny continued. “With a proper understanding of Physics, anything is possible.”
When asked about his plans for the future, Danny indicated that he prayed for an end to the Government’s restrictions on movement, so he could get back to his routine of almost hitting you with his scooter while you walk on the sidewalk.
Tel Aviv, The Old North: Israel is abuzz today with exciting news… The Daily Freier hired Omar Barghouti. That’s right, the founder of the BDS Movement has signed with the #1 Voice in Anglo-infused Israeli satire! Mr. Barghouti, long known for pushing a hard line on Boycotting the Jewish State unless, like, you know, it personally inconvenienced him, will now be a full-time writer. In fact, Omar hit the ground running by submitting a satire piece to the Jerusalem Post entitled “If Israel develops a Corona Virus Vaccine, you can take it.” The Daily Freier spoke to its writing staff on what Mr. Barghouti’s arrival meant to them.
”OMG, this guy is amazing.” noted Yekutiel Bornstein. “I hope he doesn’t mind that we used to say he looks like a chubby Buster Bluth.”
Aaron Pomerantz was simply in awe of his new colleague. “He’s so full of shit…. it’s….it’s…. Majestic.“
Of course, there have been some growing pains along the away for both sides, as Editor Yuval Weiss explained. “We asked him to do a satire piece where he pretends to study at Tel Aviv University….. and then he reminded us that he no-kidding studied at Tel Aviv University.”
Also, Mr. Barghouti will have to deal with the fact that our Unisex Restroom has a sign that says “Occupied”.
Ramat Beit Shemesh: “I’m not saying I want to catch that virus (chas v’shalom…tfu tfu tfu) but do you know if the breakfast buffet at that corona hotel is any good?” Speaking under the cloak of anonymity, several religious mothers of large families have been making some not-so-discreet inquiries about the Corona Hotels, asking about the facilities, (separate men’s and women’s hours at the pool, right?) kashrus (better hechsher than the Chiloni Corona Hotels, right?), and whether they would provide non-kitniyot Pesach food.
“We could never afford to go away to a hotel for Pesach, but imagine if we happened to catch this virus? (chas v’shalom…tfu tfu tfu) I wouldn’t have to cook for Pesach, or clean, and the kids would have a break from being cooped up at home.” said Gittel F., a mother of 11 wistfully. “But yes, I would stay in that hotel… I consider it a civic duty. Don’t ever say that we wouldn’t do our civic duty!”
Another segment of the population is also eagerly eyeing the Corona Hotels. “Do you think there might be single girls there?” Jerusalem resident Raffi R. inquired. “I’m not saying I want to catch the virus (chas v’shalom…tfu tfu tfu) but girls these days have been so weird you know… like they don’t want to go anywhere near me or touch me… it’s been soooo hard to get a hookup. At first I thought they all got religious and were Shomer Negiya or something!”
Jerusalem: According to Israel’s Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, Jews should not leave their homes in order to kasher cooking utensils or burn hametz (foods deemed unkosher for Passover), which religiously observant Jews do every year the morning before the holiday. As part of the national effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, Israel’s Chief Rabbis ruled that Jews must instead gather all such products in their kitchen and eat them down to the last crumb.
“In lieu of our usual traditions, eating every last bit of hametz is the only way to guarantee both a safe and kosher Passover.” said Yosef at a meeting with leaders from the Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. “Drastic times call for drastic measures.”
According to Jewish law, no bread or leavened products may be eaten or kept at home during Passover. But some communities are finding this new ruling particularly difficult. Ashkenazi Jews, whose recent ancestors resided in Germany and eastern Europe, are forbidden from eating kitniyot, a term that refers to many grains and legumes. This made Rabbi Lau’s ruling particularly shocking.
“Drinking all my beer and eating all my bread is one thing.” lamented Yechezkel Abelman of Jerusalem. “But there’s 4 days left before the holiday. How are my wife and I supposed to eat five kilograms of rice and wash them down with twelve cans of lentil soup?”
“Instead of burning hametz, we must prepare ourselves to burn calories.” explained Yaakov Litzman, Israel’s Minister of Health and follower of the Ger Hasidic Dynasty. “Those who find it difficult should soften their bread by dipping it in water.”
Of course, not every religious leader is going along with the new ruling. Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky of Bnei Brak is considered a high authority in the Haredi world, and has vowed to defy the ruling.
Some believe Rabbi Kanievsky’s headstrong approach is due to core disagreements over religious interpretation. Others believe it’s because he is yet to discard five jars of extra crunchy Skippy peanut butter he has stashed in his home. No matter the reason, some of his followers were more enthusiastic about his “live-and-let’s-get-sick” approach.
In mid-March, after ordering his hundreds of thousands of followers to defy the Health Ministry’s Anti-Corona directives, he changed his mind two weeks later. “If he’s going to change his mind again, I’d rather he do it in the next day or two, so I have time to digest.” said Yoel Friedberg of Bnei Brak. “Corona or not, if I show up full to the Seder, my mother might kill me anyway.”
Meanwhile, religious leaders across Israel and the Diaspora are already preparing other holidays for the impact of COVID-19. If the pandemic stretches into the fall, building a Sukkah may involve dismantling your living room furniture for the wood.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.