Tel Aviv, Yehoshua Bin Nun Street: A prominent local Yeshiva has just come out with a bombshell of a Rabbinic insight: that there is in fact a Hell in Judaism, and if you park on the sidewalk you may well be on your way there yourself. You see, compared to our Christian and Muslim friends, Jews have tended to downplay the whole “Hell” thing because we get all of our suffering out of the way in this world. Yet just last week a Yeshiva located in South Tel Aviv saw a groundbreaking Dvrei Torah on the subject. The Daily Freier spoke to the young scholar, Nachum W., about his insights on this important topic.
“The Torah teaches that HaShem loves all of us”. Nachum explained. “Except whoever parked in front of my building last night so that I had to turn my body sideways just to get to my mailbox. That guy? He’s basically Amalek.”
The Daily Freier challenged Nachum that his drosh seemed overly harsh, but he was adamant. “Whoever does this is committing a Chilul HaShem. Bu they don’t care. It’s almost a contest to them sometimes.” Nachum continued. “It gets worse every day. Honestly, these people act as if they have a Government Permit to behave like this.”
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, we noticed that we really shouldn’t hurry, because someone had double-parked in front of our car so that he could get some cigarettes from the Makolet and say hi to his friends.
Beit Shemesh: A recent immigrant to Israel is currently chasing her dream: to be named this year’s Most Annoying Convert to Judaism. Rakhel (NOT Rachel) is hopeful, but she knows the competition is tight. You see, converting to Judaism is about as simple as trying to move money from your bank branch in Tel Aviv to your bank branch in Haifa on the same day that you convert your American driver’s license while lacking your complete driving history since the age of 16. So the people who actually follow through on the whole Balagan in order to join the Most Hated Group of People on Earth™ tend to be…..ummm…. really driven. And umm….. really focused on letting you know just how Jewish they are. Anyhoo, the Daily Freier was also able to speak with some of her friends from before her conversion was complete.
“I love spending time with Rakhel and I’m so proud of her.” explained her old friend Devorah. “But ‘Baruch Hashem, I caught the bus at 5:00 Baruch HaShem.’ Yeah, I get it. Baruch HaShem….. Also last time she stopped by my house, she dropped off some pre-cut toilet paper, for just in case she’s ever here on Shabbat.”
In addition the Daily Freier spoke with George, a gentile co-worker who has known Rakhel for 6 years. “I don’t really understand Judaism, but I know that Jewish people always sell me their bread on Pesach and buy it back the next week. And I’m fine with that.” he explained. “But this year after Rakhel sold me her bread, she refused to buy it back the next week because she had stopped eating that hechscher.”
Finally, we were able to meet up with Rakhel after she finished buying a bunch of vegetables at the Shuk that she intends to cook into a stew and store in her second freezer before she serves it to you at a Shabbat lunch 11 months from now.
“I never thought I had a chance.” explained Rakhel as we sipped coffee in a cafe with a hechscher that is more strict than your cafe’s hechscher. “But then Neta won Eurovision and now I know that anything is possible if a girl puts her mind to it…… you know, it wouldn’t hurt Neta to dress a little more Tznius.”
We also decided to split a slice of carrot cake, and when it arrived Rakhel made the brachos. Really loud. Really Really loud. As the conversation continued, the Daily Freier noticed the sheer volume of Yiddish terms that Rakhel was inserting into the conversation, which was weird because she converted in a Sephardic Community. Also, she told the bewildered Coca Cola delivery guy that she was Shomeret Negiyah.
“This Derech has not been easy.” admonished Rakhel. “I had to give away all of my old dishes because they were once used for treif. Also the table that the dishes once rested on. And the clothes I once wore while eating treif. And oh yeah I needed to move apartments….. because treif.”
Ramat Giv’at Ze’ev: The highly anticipated planned Jerusalem suburb of Giv’at Ze’ev is being specifically built to meet the preening sense of entitlement very high standards of Israel’s Anglo Community, specifically those from North America. The development will have such Anglo-friendly amenities as large master bedrooms, closets (Note to our native Israeli readers: a closet is like a very small room where you can store things!), private parking, dishwashers, big kitchens, and a country club. Yet that’s not all. In order to truly capture the flavor of the typical North American Jewish community, the development will have two Shuls: one Shul that you go to and one Shul that you wouldn’t enter if they were giving out free salmon by the pound. The Daily Freier spoke with lead architect Danny C. to get all the details.
“We know how important it is for Canadian and American Jews to have a Shul that they can’t stand, so we proactively opened a synagogue here last month so that we could have it break apart into two rival Shuls just in time for the first homeowners to move in.” Danny continued. “Even though our Housing Development is still under construction, we moved in a Rabbi and his family, along with a Synagogue Board of Directors. That way, the Board will be able to not renew the Rabbi’s contract next month, and the Rabbi can then form a breakaway Shul just three blocks away and really get a nice bitter communal split going before the first family even moves in!”
Danny also explained that the new development makes it possible for homeowners to customize the synagogue they refuse to step foot in. Homeowners will get to choose 3 of the following options, with additional options available at NIS 10,000 apiece:
The shul is too big. It’s like you’re in a mall or something.
The shul is tiny. It feels like you’re praying in a closet.
The building feels dated, like something from the 1970’s.
The building looks like a spaceship. It doesn’t even look like a Shul.
The Rabbi hardly speaks.
The Rabbi won’t stop talking.
The Rabbi is a right-wing fascist.
The Rabbi is a left-wing idiot.
The cantor is quiet as a mouse.
The cantor is a giant showboat.
The women’s section is a bunch of gossips.
The women’s section feels like a morgue.
The mincha takes forever.
What is this a race? The mincha was over in 5 minutes.
My ex in-laws go there.
The kiddush doesn’t have enough food.
Did you see the portions at the kiddush?
Can you believe they called that a kiddush?
Don’t get me started on the kiddush.
While prices for the development’s homes vary based on size and location, Danny assured us that your friends will say that you paid way too much.
Tel Aviv: So I found a Shul really close to my new place in the Kerem. I know, FINALLY! It’s walking distance, and best of all, I can stop by the Shuk on the way home! Isn’t that great? And even better? They keep this really bright green light on when it’s dark out. No more getting lost! Too easy!
But I have to admit, I am like TOTALLY lost during the services. Last night at Arvit? It was like they were speaking a totally different language or something. I mean, I get used to people here making fun of the way I pronounce my “T” as an “S”. You know, “tushb’chasa v’nechemasa”. But these guys? I mean, they were polite enough, but they kept staring at me when I turned around and faced the door for the end of Lecha Dodi (at least that’s where I thought we were). Finally I caught up with them during the Aleinu when they all started bowing down. But get this, they stayed bowed down for, LIKE, a really really long time. I don’t know, maybe it’s a Moroccan Shul?
But everything was pretty chill. I mean, until I tried to do Kiddush at the Oneg afterwards.
Tel Aviv: It’s the question that so many men are asking today: “Is she Shomer Negiya or does she just not want to touch me?” Avi G., an office worker from Givatayim is unwilling to admit that Roni, his new co-worker is simply ‘not into him’. At all. “She must be some sort of religious fanatic who won’t touch men.” lamented Avi. “I mean, why else would she refuse to give me a hug?”
The Daily Freier sat down with Roni at Cafe Aroma for a nice girl chat, and she admitted that although she isn’t actually religious, a bit of Yiddishkeit is actually a good reason to avoid awkward social interactions with creepy male co-workers. “Avi is loud and tells bad jokes and his cologne smells like the inside of Tel Aviv’s central bus station.” she said “He kept inviting me for coffee, but he stopped since I told him that all the coffee shops around here have a bad hecscher. He tries to hug me, so I told him that shomer negiyah is very important to me.” Roni, who now goes by her new Hebrew name “Neshama Emunah Temima“, admits that pretending to be religious has lots of other perks. “I told my boss that I needed the day off for the fast of Asara b’Teves and he agreed…. I don’t think he even knows what the fast of Asara b’Teves is, but you know, it sounds plausible and hey… it’s a day off!”
In addition to the workplace, Roni’s status as a sort-of–baalat teshuva has proven invaluable in other spheres of life as well. “My roommate just got back from India and thinks that she’s a curry expert now… So pretending to keep Kosher is the nicest way to avoid eating her garbage kitchen experiments.” she explained.
Yet this new life did not come easy. “I took the bus to Jerusalem so I could to meet up with my frum American cousin Esty who is spending the year doing Sem. And I just followed her around for the day so I could copy what she wears and a few key phrases. Now I just pepper my conversation with phrases like Shidduchim, Refuah shelaima…. and a bunch of other things she showed me on A Sem Girl Says!”
Epilogue: Roni‘s co-workers have been very supportive of her new religious identity, although Fabricio, a former model and recent Oleh from Spain “with the really cute accent” was disappointed. “She seemed like a fun girl and I wanted to ask her out to the new bracelet bar. But you know…. I think she’s too religious. So instead I went with Maygal the Frecha office temp from Ashdod.“
Bnai Brak: Human rights groups are in an uproar today after Israeli police used extreme measures to break up a mob blocking traffic to protest the jailing of Haredi draft dodgers. With traffic at a standstill, police took the unprecedented step of bombarding the protesters with a combination of job applications, brochures for the Nahal Haredi religious combat unit, and applications for vocational/skills training, and thus forced the rioters to flee in panic. The Daily Freier rushed to the scene to get all the facts.
As police continued to disperse the mob and open lanes for traffic, on-scene Commander Mickey S. explained his team’s tactics. “So they kept running into traffic, blocking cars, and annoying our horses. We had no idea what to do. Anyway, after they called us Nazis and Shiksas for about an hour, I had an idea. It was like, I don’t know… what is the one thing that Superman hates? Kryptonite? So what if there was Kryptonite…. for work-shy professional tough guys who only act tough in big groups and when confronting lone female soldiers. And then we remembered the riots last winter. And the idea hit me: Jobs! These guys are scared to death of jobs! So we gathered up a bunch of job applications and started throwing them at the rioters. Worked like magic.”
For their part, the protesters were NOT happy. The Daily Freier caught up with one young man named Nahum as he hurried back to study (Ha Ha! Just kidding! He was smoking cigarettes and yelling at cops from a safe distance!). “This was inhuman! They acted like Nazis!” As the Daily Freier rushed to write down Nahum’s statement, he suddenly looked at our notepad. “Wait. Is that a job application? Get that away from me!”
As the rioters slowly drifted off, Nahum promised that they would return in even greater numbers tomorrow, just as soon as they checked to see if their monthly educational stipend checks arrived from the Government yet.
Washington, District of Columbia: A prominent local Rabbi was served with a legal summons today, accused by ‘Paper of Record’ the Daily Freier of stealing our dream journal. Rabbi Aaron Potek, leader of the Washington Jewish Community’s “Gather DC” group, is planning to hold Yom Kippur services in a beer garden. Rabbi Potek and former first lady Michelle Obama speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz “will co-host an alternative Yom Kippur service at Sauf Haus Bier Hall and Garten in Washington’s hip Dupont Circle neighborhood”. Which is great and all. Except his ideas bear a suspicious resemblance to theories and concepts first recorded in the Daily Freier’s dream journal and later fleshed out at our weekly staff meeting (also held in a bar, incidentally). Staff Writer Aaron Pomerantz explains.
When the Daily Freier asked the Daily Freier just what ramifications this theft of intellectual property would have on current operations, Aaron responded. “We were all set to run a satirical article right before Kol Nidre titled ‘Orthodox Rabbi to host alternative Yom Kippur service in beer garden.’ And the story was going to be amazing, complete with a female Reform Rabbi criticizing the Orthodox Rabbi for the whole thing being a bit too much. [REAL WORLD EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED]. Now, through no fault of our own, we have to scrap a great article…. This happens to us more often than you would think.”
Mr. Pomerantz ended his interview with an “Aaron to Aaron” warning to Rabbi Potek: “The Daily Freier is not afraid to pursue full legal measures in order to protect our brand and our intellectual property. Just ask Judge Rachel Freier.”
Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College, the Reform Movement’s theological seminary, has acted quickly to remove an aspiring Rabbi who failed to meet their program’s standards. Adam G. is a native of Chicago who has failed his mandatory Guitar Class, and thus now faces expulsion.
Dean Melissa Levy-McIntosh explained. “Adam simply failed to acclimate to our Institution’s rigorous standards. I mean, he speaks Hebrew fluently, which is great, I guess. But his guitar work was simply atrocious.” The Daily Freier challenged Dean Levy-McIntosh but she was adamant. “We gave Adam plenty of chances. We even supplied a tutor. And when his instructor informed me that Adam had not yet advanced past “Bim Bam”, I decided to sit in on a class just to make sure. Let me tell you, that was the worst “Shalom Rav” I have ever heard. Also, during the break I saw him approach a classmate and ask who Debbie Friedman was.”
Hebrew Union College has urged Adam to re-apply for the Autumn 2018 Class provided he goes hiking in the Berkshires and maybe takes some tambourine lessons.
Jerusalem, The Knesset: In a move described as “bold“, “courageous“, and “resolute“, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has vowed that despite going back on the Western Wall Agreement, he will continue accepting money from Diaspora Jews regardless of their level of religiosity or political stands. The Daily Freier attended a Press Conference in Jerusalem where Bibi explained his stand.
“Jews in the Diaspora, Make no mistake: No matter your stands on the Kotel, or conversions, or the Rabbanut….. we in Israel will never stop cashing your checks. And for those of you who are afraid that Israel doesn’t respect you, let me say again…. I will always cash your checks.”
After his Press Conference, the Prime Minister had a question and answer session, with Bibi providing the questions and answers. “In these days of a rising BDS Movement, what can we do to truly tell the World’s second biggest Jewish community that we are all in this together?” asked Prime Minister Netanyahu. “If you answered “throw Reform and Conservative Jews under the bus and renege on a previous agreement“, then award yourself a prize.”
Ramat Aviv: In a move described as “bold” and “daring“, the Ashkenazi Community purchased the rights to the Mimouna Holiday from the Mizrachi Community today. According to the one page flyer that they stuck in the little wooden box on the front of your seat in synagogue, the move has been planned since right after Passover, and was finalized to coincide with the arrival of Shavuot this week. Mimouna, the post-Passover Holiday celebrated by North African Jews, is known for its plentiful food and colorful costumes. And the Ashkenazim vow not to change anything. Except they’re going to make the food a bit blander and easier to digest. And the music is going to be toned down a bit. Especially after 10 PM. Also we’re going to need to make the music slower. And maybe add a fiddle. The Daily Freier stopped by Ashkenazi World Headquarters in Ramat Aviv to get the whole Megillah on this dramatic turn of events.
“We’ve always admired Mimouna.” explained Ashkenazi World Spokeswoman Miriam G. “Those nice dresses the men and women wear. The sweets. The music. So when we found out that the rights to the holiday were now up for sale, we jumped at the opportunity!” The Daily Freier asked Miriam exactly how this once in a lifetime opportunity came about. “So the legal ownership of Mimouna became convoluted over time, but our lawyers were able to untangle the chain of custody and determine that the rights were currently being held by a hummus place in Ashkelon that also fixes cars sometimes. So we put out some feelers and found out they were willing to sell. Then we designed a compensation package with 50% up front and 5 years of scheduled 10% payments from an escrow account, and Boom! We had a deal!”
Miriam went on to explain that while the Ashkenazim intend to maintain the spirit of the holiday, there are going to be some changes. “We want a Mimouna that is just as authentic but maybe a bit less chaotic.” When the Daily Freier challenged Miriam for details, she summed up the Ashkenazi plan thusly: “Reduced chances of losing track of your shoes at some point during the evening but with greater opportunities for getting bored….. Also my husband’s heartburn has been acting up lately so we may need to get rid of that dry ground red pepper that they put in everything. And our neighbors get up early to drive to Jerusalem each morning, so we need to be finished by 10 PM, maximum 10:30.”
Not surprisingly, this move has led to a few hurt feelings. “This is outrageous!” complained an irate woman named Maygal whom we talked to in the Rehovot train station. “Soon you Ashkenazim are going to take everything we have and make it boring and stupid. How would you like it if we took your Leonard Cohen or Barbra Streisand or whatever and added electronic drums plus sound effects from a dance club and then ran it through the sound system of a 2003 Toyota Corolla with tinted windows?” When the Daily Freier replied that this actually sounded kinda cool, Maygal shoved us and stormed off.
In any event, at least there will still be some sort of dance that involves everybody wandering around in a circle.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.