Miami: A local synagogue remains in a state of confusion after last night’s Megillah reading by local author and pundit Ben Shapiro. The Megillah reading, which recounts the story of Purim, normally lasts around 25 minutes. Yet thanks to Mr. Shapiro’s famous rapid-fire staccato delivery, last night’s reading ended in slightly over 4 minutes. The Daily Freier was on the scene to speak with dazed congregants as they tried to make sense of what just happened.
“I love Ben’s podcast and I’m really happy that he moved here.” explained a man named Josh dressed as an astronaut. “But somewhere around Vashti I just got lost…. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that he also slipped in an advertisement for Express VPN halfway through.“
“What just happened?” asked Itzik as he took a shot of Arak. “Was that Yiddish? I’m Israeli but I’m just as lost as you are.“
Yet some of the attendees were quite happy with Mr. Shapiro’s speed-reading. “On Purim, it is an obligation to become intoxicated until one does not know the difference between Haman and Mordecai.” explained Naomi, who was dressed as a cat. “I’m pregnant and can’t drink, so this was great. Ben provided me an opportunity to be just as bewildered as the drunk people.”
The Daily Freier asked Mr. Shapiro for comment, but he replied that he did not feel the need to disprove a counterfactual.
Tel Aviv (Surprise!): Summer might be over, but for Haaretz it’s still apparently Four-Twenty. That’s right, the uniquely ridiculous Lefty News Institution on the other side of town has apparently dipped into the edibles again, because they just discovered some new Gods that they will no doubt soon disappoint with their self-absorbed goofy schtick. You see, our friends at Haaretz are like a gift. A gift that once allowed us to write a story about a performance artist at a Haaretz cultural symposium who threw oranges at the audience and stuck a flag in his tuchus (This. Really. Happened.). So growing into a disappointment to other deities besides the Yud Hey Vav Hey isn’t really a stretch. The Daily Freier launched an intensive flurry of investigative journalism, tracking down several of these deities on their alternative planes of existence.
“I just feel that Gideon Levy’s writing is getting so…. derivative.” complained Thoth the Egyptian deity of Wisdom and Science as he languished on the shores of the Nile. “And don’t get me started on Amira Hass. She just seems nuts…..Can I say that? Is that offensive? My kid just came back from Oberlin and said that I’m ‘part of the problem’. I’m honestly having a hard time keeping track of the new rules.“
The Daily Freier then spoke with Ishtar, the Akkadian Goddess of Love and Beauty. “I like going out with my girlfriends on Fridays to check out a new cafe or maybe a gallery opening, so I still get the weekend paper delivered to my flat in Neve Tzedek. But their online English edition just seems insane.” Ishtar took a sip of her Tubi and stared into the distance. “So what’s Bradley Burston upset about this week?“
In order to ensure impartiality, the Daily Freier spoke with HaShem, who was dwelling just outside of Tzfat in a reality beyond human concepts of Time and Space. “I know that Schocken has been trying to bait me for years, so right now I’m giving him the silent treatment.” mused the Tetragrammaton as (your favorite pronoun) absentmindedly created a new marsupial. “For years I’ve been complaining about Haaretz to Thor, Quetzalcoatl, and Vishnu at our Sunday poker games…. now maybe they will see what I’ve been dealing with.”
As the Daily Freier was about to end our Zoom call with the Lord of Hosts, we could have sworn that we overheard The Creator offering to trade Haaretz to the Gentiles for Dolly Parton and Chinese food.
Bnei Brak: Despite the ongoing lockdowns, there are still some folks out there who refuse to stop living their best life. That’s right, all of the various and evolving Corona mutations just met up for an evening of speed-dating! You see, Rabbi Haim Meir Wosner, a senior ultra-Orthodox rabbi, died on Sunday at the age of 82 from COVID-19. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in Bnei Brak, creating the perfect forum for our friends in the Corona Mutation Community to have a “meet & greet” and just maybe meet that “special someone“. The Daily Freier was live on the scene while maintaining appropriate social distance protocols.
“I’m really looking for Mr. Right.” noted Sarah, an Olah Hadasha from South Africa. “I really want to meet a guy who has done a lot of traveling. Maybe a guy from Europe!” Sarah dropped her voice down to a conspiratorial whisper. “I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m naming my first child “Avi Ben SARS-CoV-2 VOC 2021-2/08” if it’s a boy, and “Rachel Bat SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01” if it’s a girl!“
While we were speaking to Sarah, a number of Olah Hadashot Corona Mutations from the United States seemed to be creating quite a stir. “OMG OMG did you hear that British mutation’s accent?” asked Leah from Boston. “It is SO. HOT.“
Wanting to learn more, the Daily Freier approached this very Eligible British Bachelor Corona Virus Mutation: Richard from Manchester. “I just love the atmosphere here. Even if I don’t get a date, it’s great to meet up with all my friends.” Richard scanned the room and continued. “All of the police barriers were getting in our way and preventing us from being ‘Single Ready to Mingle’, so I was really glad when the funeral guests removed them after 10,000 people showed up!”(Real World Non-Satire Alert: This Really Happened.)
Yet not everybody was so enthusiastic about the event. The Daily Freier spoke with “Melissa from Florida” who was busy trying to stop her girlfriend Sarit from making “a huge mistake” with a Corona Strain from Italy “who really gets around”.
“Uggh, there’s Yosi. Thanks but no thanks. I’m sorry, but that guy’s been with EVERY girl at my seminary. And now he just got back from doing who-knows-what in Dubai. Sarit needs to stay away from that guy.”
“But he seems NICE!” argued Sarit. “I didn’t notice anything wrong with him. He even told me his Hebrew name: Yosef Lo-Symptomati!“
As the party continued to fill up, we ran into Richard again and asked him if the police might break it all up. “Don’t worry.” he replied breezily. “Bibi said it was OK.“
UPDATE: A prominent Israeli psychic predicts that someone on Secret Jerusalem will be really really offended by this.
Jerusalem: A recent spate of COVID-19 infections has drawn suspicion of health department officials as several young religious men infected with the virus are insisting that they have not been participating in illegal minyamin, shiurim or attending weddings, but have in fact, caught the virus at a local gym.
A GYM in Jerusalem? What’s next? Actual Nightlife? At first, we thought it was an urban legend (much like the affordable apartment in Nachlaot or all those high-paying jobs where you don’t need to speak any Hebrew). But upon further investigation, we discovered that indeed there was a gym and that it has been a hotbed of COVID-19 infection.
We asked Yossi D, a young Charedi man from Bayit VeGan, how he found himself in a gym in the first place. “My Hebrew isn’t so good, I saw a sign that said “חֲדַר כֹּשֶׁר” and thought it was something religious… kosher room, right?”
Yossi described how he had the virus for days but didn’t realize. “I was a bit tired, feverish, and the food had no taste. It took a long time for me to notice because I’m Ashkenazi and I’m kinda used to it.“
In order to get all sides of the story, The Daily Freier stopped by the gym (which is now closed but somehow doing classes over Zoom. It’s complicated.) and we were greeted by Sasha, the burly ex-Soviet fitness coach. “Yossi? Yes, he is good kid. But I had to yell at him when he smoked cigarettes in between sets on the incline bench. Also, he kept asking where the coffee machine was.“
The Daily Freier asked Sasha if the Fitness World could accommodate a group of people who had their own lingo, were distrustful of outsiders, and strictly observed a long list of rituals.
Sasha put down the kettle bell, thought for a moment, and replied: “You mean like CrossFit?“
Lakewood: A pair of undercover policemen disguised as Religious Jews had their cover blown at this week’s protest in Lakewood after they said ‘Excuse Me’ when they bumped into someone exhibiting extremely suspicious behavior that immediately identified the men as outsiders to the Community. The Daily Freier has a bit of experience in writing about Undercover Gentiles, so we rushed to the scene to find out just what the heck was going on.
“Their phones were manufactured after 2004.” complained Nachum as he described the undercover cops. “Also, the one guy said he just came from a Simcha but he didn’t have any food wrapped in a napkin stuffed into his pockets.“
“I asked the guys for a cigarette, but they said they didn’t smoke. Crazy, right?” noted local Yeshiva student Moshe. “After neither of them tried to pull me into some kind of Multi-Level Marketing scheme for vitamin supplements, I ran away and called my Rosh Yeshiva.“
Moshe’s classmate Avi then joined in the conversation. “When Moshe asked for a cigarette, the cop accidentally dropped a membership card for…. for….. what’s that place where the Goyim lift the metal bars up and down until they’re sweaty?“
“A Gym?” added the Daily Freier helpfully.
“Yeah, that’s it. A Gym. No way were these guys for real…. well, that and when I said I was single he didn’t try to fix me up with one of his cousins.“
As news of the embarrassing Law Enforcement failure reached the media, the New Jersey State Police were rumored to be stockpiling black pants that don’t actually reach your ankles along with old beat-up minivans.
Editor’s Note: “Lakewood Undercover” would be the World’s Greatest Cop Show.
Tel Aviv: In the greatest change to Judaism in centuries, Israel has added an extra Yom Kippur. Yet it’s reserved specifically for scooter riders, because they suck their actions have posed a unique challenge to 21st Century Israeli society. Specifically: how does one repent for anti-social behavior if a single Yom Kippur is not enough? The Daily Freier walked over to the Tel Aviv Rabbanut to get all of the facts.
We were greeted in the Lobby by Yossi, the Rabbanut’s Director of Community Outreach. We asked him exactly what prompted this drastic action. “The rise of the scooter has affected us all.” he explained. “Bird, Lime, whatever. Remember when electric bicycles were the most annoying vehicle on the sidewalk? Good Times.”
The Daily Freier asked Yossi just how the Rabbanut could possibly change the Jewish calendar. “Why not?” he replied. “We have 3 Election Days this year. What’s an extra Kol Nidre?” Yossi thumbed through the Gemara looking for a specific passage. “This extra Yom Kippur…. it is a chance for you to repent for being such a… how do I say this without committing Lashon Hara?….. for being such a sociopathic ass.”
The Daily Freier challenged Yossi, noting that anti-social behavior takes many forms. “You raise a compelling point.” Yossi replied, as he pulled another book from the shelf. “Next year, bzrat HaShem, ‘Extra Yom Kippur’ will also apply to people who play matkot on the beach.”
In the spirit of diversity, Daily Freier will also be accepting repentance from those of you who park on the sidewalk.
Jerusalem: Israel’s Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman this evening gave specific details of a scenario where he would approve the extradition of accused child molester Malka Leifer to Australia. “Maybe if she voted for Lieberman.”
Ms. Leifer, a former Principal at an Australian school for religious girls, was charged with 74 counts of sexual abuse back in 2008. So the school reacted as any school would react, by purchasing her a short notice airplane ticket to Israel! Since then Ms. Leifer has claimed to be mentally incapable of being extradited to Australia for trial. Yet thanks to some undercover sleuthing, we learned that her mental incapacity is the funky kind where she can still go shopping, talk on the phone, run errands around town, and basically do everything normal people do. Fascinating, huh?
Anyhoo, the case has progressed about as quickly as the queue at an Israeli Post Office on a Thursday afternoon. The court called state mental health experts to testify as to whether Ms. Leifer is mentally competent for extradition. Interestingly enough, some experts who said she was competent then changed their mind and ruled that Ms. Leifer is not competent to stand trial.
Yet, and we really need to stress this, absolutely NONE of this was due to illegal influence or intimidation from Deputy Health Minister Litzman. No way. That’s crazy! Just because he has the power to affect the careers of State Mental Health experts. Or because the police recommended his indictment on this issue for “fraud, breach of trust, and impeachment in testimony.” We’re still not convinced. Besides, Mr. Litzman spelled out multiple scenarios where he would support Leifer’s extradition.
“If Malka votes for Lieberman, she can pack her bags.” Mr. Litzman informed the Daily Freier. “Or if she buys a phone with Internet Connectivity. Or, you know, if she breaks Shabbes.”
The Daily Freier admonished Minister Litzman that this case and his behavior was turning a lot of average Israelis against him, but he dismissed the charge. “They should thank me! Think of how many new Hilonim that we created with this case!”
Cincinnati: Last week’s Conference on Reform Judaism at Hebrew Union College apparently yielded a far-reaching and controversial ruling. Effective immediately, Reform Synagogues will also allow men to wear Tallit! As soon as The Daily Freier found out, we grabbed our funky oversized kippot and flew to Cincinatti for this historical occasion. We almost couldn’t wait until after Rosh Hashana to publish the story, but we somehow found the strength.
We first met with HUC Spokesperson Melissa T. about the big change. “This ruling is truly a symbol of Tikkun Olam. The very act of men now donning Tallit embodies the concept of Tikkun Olam.” The Daily Freier asked if she had anything to add to her statement. “Tikkun Olam!” she replied.
The Daily Freier then spoke to aspiring Rabbi Adam G. “This ruling is a real game changer. I can’t wait to wear tallit in my congregation as a new Rabbi….. I mean, just as soon as I get a passing grade in guitar class.”
Results from Israel were swift, with Prime Minister Netanyahu making a strong statement. “My message to American Jews is simple: Regardless of how you feel about today’s ruling, we in Israel stand ready to continue cashing your checks. And when it comes to questions of religious pluralism versus tradition, we in Israel stand ready to continue cashing your checks.”
UPDATE: The Reform Movement says it’s “too soon” to speculate whether they will permit Shabbat services without tambourines.
Brooklyn: Excitement was in the air today as a leading As-A-Jewish pundit took the plunge and embraced the religion of As-A-Jewdaism. Noted critic of Israeli policies Peter Beinart dipped into the mikvah at Brooklyn’s Congregration Gates of Self-Righteousness and became a part of the As-A-Jewish people. The Daily Freier was on the scene to share in the simchas.
As the Congregation waited for the ceremony to begin, machers from the various denominations of As-A-Jewdaism milled about in the Jewish Lobby: Bundists, Julia Carmel Bat Dolezal, IfNotNow, Jew-ish Voice for Peace, and some writers for the Forward. Then a hush fell on the crowd as Rabbi Ari L. Gold and Mr. Beinart walked into the room. Rabbi Gold welcomed the audience. “This is an amazing day for me As A Jew as we welcome Peter to the religion of As-A-Jewdaism. As a Jew I feel that Peter will be a great addition to our movement.”
The crowd remained silent as they waited for Mr. Beinart’s response.
“As a Jew I agree with you!” exclaimed Peter to wild applause.
Peter then gave a moving Dvar Torah, that felt kinda like a laundry list of why he thinks Israel sucks and kinda like a Taylor Swift breakup song. He mentioned Trump a lot. And Bibi of course. Also Marc Lamont Hill’s dreaminess. Honestly, there was a lot to unpack. But eventually he finished and then everyone went downstairs to the Social Hall/Food Co-Op for the reception. The Daily Freier was excited to ask the congregants about their fascinating religion.
“You see, As-A-Jewdaism has the same Holy Books as Traditional Judaism, we just interpret them differently.” explained Jesse from IfNotNow. “Also, we use a lot of Yiddish. Because Israelis don’t. And if we don’t know what a cool-sounding Yiddish word actually means, we use it anyway. Like ‘kvelling’. Because As A Jew!”
“Honestly, I never thought this would happen so quickly.” enthused Christine from Jew-ish Voice for Peace. “I mean, by converting before the High Holidays, Peter is giving up an incredible opportunity to write one of his “Crisis of the Soul” think-pieces for Haaretz about why some combination of the Kol Nidre service, Ivanka, and Breaking the Silence caused him to make this decision.” Christine lowered her voice to a whisper and moved in closer. “I’m telling you, even the bookies in Las Vegas were shocked by how fast Peter made the switch.”
Finally, the Daily Freier was able to talk to the man of the hour, Mr. Beinart. “I just hope that my actions As A Jew send a signal. You know, about my virtue. Oh, and also about the fast-growing religion of As-A-Jewdaism.” The Daily Freier asked Mr. Beinart if the conversion process was difficult. “Honestly, I’ve been on this road for quite a while, so it just felt natural.” Peter paused for a moment and continued. “Best of all, they didn’t make me do another Brit Milah because I was already an insufferable prick.”
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.”