Jerusalem, Katamon: “Find me a Sephardi boy… that’s all I hear this time of year. Nobody asks if a boy is a serious learner, has good middos or if he has job prospects. All these girls want is for me to find them a Sephardi boyfriend before Pesach.” explained Malka A, known as the best shadchanit in Katamon. We had come to Malka’s with our friend Shevy, who was newly single.
“Nu? What happened with this last boy…the Moroccan?” Malka inquired. “I didn’t have feelings for him.” Shevy explained. “But it was so hard to break up with him before Pesach….I kept hearing about this delicious rice pudding his mom serves at the Seder….and the amazing Mimouna his sister always hosts. Do you realize how I spent every Motzeh Pesach growing up??? Standing in line at the pizzeria for undercooked slices!”
Malka comforted Shevy on the breakup, brought out her book of shidduch résumés and assured her that she would soon find a boy with everything she was looking for… and who would bring her favorite flavor of Doritos on Pesach Tiyulim. “What about this guy? He’s cute! What is he, Tunisian?” Shevy asked as she flipped through the book.
“Him? No, he’s not for you.” Malka replied. “You’re a brunette and he said he only wants to date blondes.”
“Disgusting!” Shevy yelled as she slammed the book shut and stormed out. “How can men be so shallow?“
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.
(photo credit: we got this from a government website so we should be OK)
By Chava Ewa
Last Updated 1/12/2020 at 11:30 AM
Jeru: Comfortable American Olim are definitely NOT looking forward to giving up their Pesach tzimmer in order to bring about the Messianic Era. How do we know this? The Daily Freier wandered around Machane Yehuda this morning asking random Jerusalemites if they were really truly ready for Moshiach.
“Of course I pray for Moshiach, it’s right here in my siddur. Don’t let anyone tell you that I don’t daven from my siddur properly.” said Moishy L., resident of The-Neighbourhood-Formerly-Known-As-Har-Nof. “You’re asking me if I want Moshiach to come? For sure I do, but like maybe after Pesach…because we’re renting this awesome Pesach tzimmer with a pool and a jacuzzi.”
“Of course, we want Moshiach and the Beis haMikdash… but like after the summer.” chimed in Ruchie, Moishy’s wife. “We already paid for our oldest to go to Yeshiva Extreme Sports Camp in America for bein hazmanim… do you realize how much that cost?? We’re Levites, and it would just be a shame if he had to leave camp because he was called up for Temple service.”
“But wait!” Ruchie suddenly exclaimed. “Does that mean we might need to leave here because Moshiach will tell us where each of the shvatim will live? Because I just spent three months shipputzing my kitchen! For sure I want Moshiach to come, but don’t you realize how long I spent picking out these tiles?”
“The Rambam tells us that even though he may tarry like the Amazon delivery man, Moshiach is definitely coming.” advised Rabbi Avi G., “If you want to be prepared for when we can offer the Korban Pesach, you’ll need my Haggadah.”
The Daily Freier can now confirm that although this post is satire, the Haggadah is very real, bearing the approval of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau and the badatz has carefully checked each page to ensure that no gebrochts has been used in the printing process. (Ok, we made that last part up…but you believed it for a second, didn’t you?)
Instead of paying our authors a living wage, sometimes we let them plug their producst or the products of their friends. So If you are interested in pre-ordering a copy of Hagadat haPesach, it’s $36, which isn’t much compared to the million billion shekels you will be spending on dry crackers and that Pesachdik gefilte fish that nobody likes. Pre-order your Hagaddah here!
Chicago, West Rogers Park: The Torah-observant world has been rocked this week by the disturbing news of Messianic Christians infiltrating their community. As reported in Yeshiva World News, “David and Rivkah Castello moved to West Rogers Park in Chicago a few months ago, and they dress, act, and behave like Frum Jews, and daven in local Shuls. Rivkah works as a babysitter for young children in the neighborhood.” David even had his hair in long peyot. Yet despite David and Rivkah’s intense efforts to blend in, alert members of the Community began to detect their deception after the couple vaccinated their kids began to exhibit suspicious behavior like showing up on time to community events. The Daily Freier was on the scene to get all the facts.
The Daily Freier then spoke with Yankel, who sits next to David in Mincha sometimes. “He kept bragging about his wife’s gefilte fish, which is really weird. But when he said that he was looking forward to Pesach ‘because of all the yummy matzoh‘, I alerted my Rosh Yeshiva. I mean, I also told him that David didn’t know how to unfold a plastic tablecloth.”
Yet if it were not for the keen perception of the Community’s women, David and Rivkah’s deception might have gone undiscovered. “I really liked Rivkah and loved her cooking.” explained neighbor Sarah Shterna. “But when she told me that the soup she served on Shabbat had been in her freezer less than 5 months? Well, something just didn’t feel right. Also, she didn’t start her Pesach cleaning until early March.”
As we spoke to Sarah Shterna, another neighbor heard our conversation and joined in to share her story. “I started to feel uneasy around Purim when we got their mishloach manot and it didn’t have a “theme” or a poem attached.” noted Devorah Leah. “But then Rivkah showed up to my son’s Bris at 10…. after I told her that it started at 10.”
The Daily Freier asked Devorah Leah about David and Rivkah’s future in the Community. “I’m not sure. The deception really hurt our feelings.” Deborah Leah thought for a moment and continued. “But if they ever try to do this the right way, their level of effort trying to act and look more Jewish than the Jews means they have the potential to be even more annoying than most converts.”
Oh Hi There! So you’re attending the Daily Freier’s annual Passover Seder? A-Ma-Zing! Can’t wait to see you! Because this year our Seder is going to be a Very Special Episode. You see, we hid the Afikoman somewhere in Dizengoff Center! That’s right, somewhere in Tel Aviv’s labyrinth of an Urban Mall lies the Afikoman!
Is it in that weird store that sells candles on that ramp near the tattoo place? Maybe, Maybe Not.
Is it in that little shop that sells pop-tarts? Not saying.
Jerusalem: In a tale reminiscent of the classic Passover song “Had Gadya”, the entire Israeli economy came precariously close to collapse on Erev Pesach because of a Yeshiva student’s delinquent cell phone bill. “I didn’t realize our economy was so fragile and that everything could be wrecked by one flaky guy.” noted Karnit Flug, Governor of the Bank of Israel. “Or maybe I should have known better than to depend on an 18-year old Yeshiva Bachur.”
The near-miss economic meltdown started when Yeshiva (No, not THAT Yeshiva) student Shimmy R. failed to pay his phone bill for several months. “I was really absorbed in my Torah studies, so I just kinda forgot.” explained Shimmy. “What I mean is, a few guys from my dorm went to Tzfat to learn with this amazing kabbalist and um… there was some awesome weed and um…. then suddenly I get a frantic call from my cellphone company telling me that they are going bankrupt unless I pay my bill immediately.”
As a result of Shimmy’s delinquent bill, Pelephone, the Israeli company providing his cellphone plan was unable to make payroll. “We’ve been in the minus for months… you know, like all Israelis.” explained Pelephone Spokesperson Yisroel B. “So when we didn’t get our money from Shimmy, we fell into the really bad minus… like minus minus… and couldn’t pay our employees.”
As a result, none of their employees were able to do their weekly shopping. “We have seven kids, so I’m always WORKING!” Programmer Hillel K. explained. “I mean, I need to pay hundreds of shekels a week for yogurt alone!” Consequently, grocery chain Osher Ad found itself short of funds and unable to pay its suppliers. “We’re in the minus sometimes.” explained Osher Ad manager Meir P. “But somehow this past month, we fell into the really bad minus and the bank couldn’t extend our credit to pay Osem and Strauss and all those food companies.”
As a result of their unpaid invoices, the major Israeli food manufacturers were unable to meet their obligations to the tax authority. “So, we skipped a month of paying Maas Hachnasah, what’s the big deal? Doesn’t everyone do it?” explained Yossi K., lead accountant for Osem Foods. “Israel is a big country with lots of taxpayers, so it’s not like the whole Bank of Israel was waiting on us to pay our taxes, right? That’s just crazy.”
“So yeah, I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but yes, the entire Israeli economy fell into the minus… like the really serious kind of minus” noted Ms. Flug. “And we were counting on the cash from Osem to keep funding the government and yeah…it almost didn’t happen.”
In a dramatic twist, Shimmy finally did stumble out of his stupor and paid his cellphone bill and the cellphone company did pay their employees and the employees did go to Osher Ad and Osher Ad did get enough revenue to pay its suppliers and the suppliers did make their tax payments to the government and the government did have enough to get out of the minus….at least for this month.
It is the time of year where we pause to commemorate the campaign of War Crimes and Dispossession against the Ancient Egyptian People that some refer to as “Passover.” Now many years ago, a group of Rootless Cosmopolitans known as the “Israelites” decamped to the Nile Delta, a region that my friends in the Muslim Brotherhood say is quite lovely. At first the Egyptians showed the traditional generous hospitality that I can only hope to emulate when I have the precious opportunity to offer Raed Salah tea on the House of Commons Terrace.
Yet in a scenario that would not surprise any of the members of my secret Facebook group, this gang of “Israelites” acquired an unseemly amount of power and influence over their Host Nation. This disturbing turn of events rightly frightened Egypt’s respected Pharaoh, a man I would consider a friend. Seeking to make Ancient Egypt “For the Many, Not the Jew Few”, Pharaoh chose to engage the Israelites in a constructive dialogue which included a rigorous regimen of outdoor exercise and civic improvement, a scenario that gardening allotment enthusiasts like myself would find rather refreshing indeed.
Yet despite Pharaoh’s very wise plan of action, the Israelites continued to prove a nuisance to a comprehensive Middle East peace. Therefore, Pharaoh attempted a different course of action concerning the male children of the Israelites that at first seems a bit brash, but was deemed moderate by my friends in Hamas. But once again to the surprise of nobody, the Israelites found clever loopholes to flout the legal edicts of Pharaoh’s Government. And sadly but not surprisingly, the Israelites were able to manipulate members of Egyptian society, to include Pharaoh’s well-meaning but naive daughter, who rescued the future Zionist War Criminal known as “Moses”.
This “Moses” character was offered the very best of Egyptian hospitality, yet chose to repay his hosts by murdering a somewhat zealous Union Shop Steward in the midst of reprimanding a wayward Israelite employee. The criminal fugitive then fled into the desert where he had some sort of psychedelic hallucination concerning a burning plant, upon which he got the daft impression that he was to lead a criminal work stoppage against Pharaoh. Moses then set about subjecting the Egyptian people to an escalating cascade of War Crimes that are sadly reminiscent of current events in Occupied Palestine today.
Finally, Pharaoh chose to simply wash his hands of this troublesome lot, and generously offered the Israelites a military escort to the Red Sea. Moses promptly drowned the Egyptian soldiers, showing once again a level of perfidy matched only by the Netanyahu Regime.
To add insult to injury, this War Crime is still celebrated today in a holiday involving bland crackers, excessive drinking, and children extorting their parents for cash. Now I don’t know what exactly goes into this “matzoh”, but some of my friends in the Labour Party have some very interesting theories on this subject indeed.
Excuse me, did you say that Passover celebrates the Jewish people’s flight from Egypt to Israel? OMG. Sorry, but I’m a little #Triggered by what you just said. Because it’s actually a stand against Colonialism and Islamophobia. No, really. It’s in our Haggadah.
Hey don’t sit there! That seat’s taken! What did you say? For the Prophet Elijah??? Oh don’t be silly. It’s for Rasmea Odeh!
So now it’s time that we wash our hands of the whole Farrakhan misundersta……wait, sorry. We’re just “washing our hands” washing our hands. With water. My bad.
Now it’s time for the Plagues. Go ahead and dip your finger in the wine (Don’t worry, it’s not from “Israel”!).
3) Gal Gadot’s popularity!
4) The cultural appropriation of Palestinian hummus!
Manhattan: America’s Progressive Jewish Community is currently reeling from some very very disturbing news: the publication of a Passover Haggadah that only……wait for it…..tells the Story of Passover. Random House recently published a Haggadah written by two prominent Rabbis that purports to tell the story of the Jewish People’s escape from bondage in Egypt without any allusions to Donald Trump, Gun Control, Fracking, or a $15 Minimum Wage. Well if you think our Woke Jewish Brothers and Sisters were going to take this development lying down, you are sorely mistaken. A protest tent was quickly erected outside of the publishing house and a 24 hour protest vigil began. Were there guitars? Of course there were. The Daily Freier stopped by and spoke with a few select members of the tie-dye tallit gang to get the Real Story.
“There is absolutely nothing in this so-called ‘Haggadah’ on Climate Change.” fumed Rabbi Allyssa Finkelstein-O’Neill. And yes, she made “air quotes” with her fingers when she said “Haggadah”. Rabbi Finkelstein-O’Neill leafed roughly through the Haggadah until she found a particularly offending tract. “There! King of the Universe??? Really? You are literally supporting the Patriarchy! The entire book is just one big Hate Crime. And don’t get me started on the word for “husband” in Hebrew.”
As the Daily Freier walked past a number of protesters wearing pink kippot shaped like Tel Aviv’s Shuk HaCarmel, we met up with a food co-op manager named Dylan. “I really can’t be in the same room as this book. It is literally everything-phobic. I mean, How can they justify a Haggadah that contributes absolutely Nothing to the intersectionality debate? Plus, the entire Plagues section needs a trigger warning….Also as a vegan, I refuse to sing Hadgadya….And no surprise here, but the book fails to mention Mike Pence once!”
The Daily Freier then spoke with a cantorial soloist named Elyse. “To tell you the truth, my issues with the Passover story go WAY beyond the Haggadah. Like, Moses telling Yithro’s daughters that they can use the well because he said it’s OK? I mean, mansplain much?” Elyse continued. “This whole Holiday just reminds me that I’m literally offended by everything. I’m just glad I have enough copies of the J-Street Haggadah from last year.”
A spokesperson for the protesters said they intend to remain at the site indefinitely, “Or at least until we get bored with singing Shalom Rav“. Also, in an attempt to break down boundaries, tomorrow’s protest might even include some tallit on men.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.