BREAKING: New Tznius Regulations Released for Parkville Heights

Dear Parkvillians (Parkvillites?)

I know we’re all enjoying the warm weather this spring, the new line of TZNIUS spring fashions at Tzippi’s LaRouchey BOUTIQUE that leave you feeling just like you’re in FRANCE and our wonderful darling CHILDREN (for those who have them).

Yet as a Parkvillite myself, I can’t help but notice the TRAGEDIES s going on around us this spring and wonder what we can do to prevent them.

There’s old man Niereberger’s phlebitis acting up and his son’s gonorrhea, which is also acting up. There are the many BEE STINGS from which our wonderful darling children are suffering day after day, with no RELIEF in sight.

Then there’s little Yitzi Weinberg who got drunk on raisin wine and slammed his tatti’s PORSCHE SUV right through the front window of Parkville Delicious Pizza Parlor on Motzi Shabbos. The insurance rates are HORRIBLE.

And there’s the sad case of little Shuey Goldstein who learned to curse from YouTube and now swears like a foul mouthed sailor ALL DAY. And it isn’t funny!!!

Also there’s stuff going on in Eretz Yisrael all the time, but we don’t pay attention to it, unless we’re going to VACATION there for Pesach. (In which case we cancel the flight.)

When we see tragedies like this all around us, our first reaction has to be, what can we, as ignorant but well off LADIES, do about it?

On Yom Kippur we focus on Tefillah, Teshuvah and Tzedakah.  But every day for us it’s more important to focus on another T word, TZNIUS. After the last Parkville neighborhood tragedy, when Chezki Zibblestein turned on a fire hydrant which smashed through our front window and soaked our European imported designer sofa cover fabrics, to help me understand how to cope with this tragedy I turned for answers to Rav David Eigenstein.

First I caught his wife who told me to call back later, during dinner. But Rav David was never home, so I kept calling and calling, until he finally picked up at 3 AM, heard me out and told me to SHUT THE HELL UP AND NEVER CALL HIM AGAIN. At first I was insulted and decided to cut down his Purim basket next year from 200 dollars to only 150. But then on sober reflection I decided that I needed to take away an IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON.

What Rav David was really telling me in his TYPICALLY ABRASIVE way was that I needed to incorporate more Tznius into my life.

Now in consultation with the Ladies Board of Parkville Communal Institutions Authority, (Chanie Mittrager, Yintzie Blinstein, Kizzie Baranover, Mintzy Blaumlach and Dalli Glintzlacher) and with Rav David Eigenstein, in an advisory capacity… we have decided to take upon ourselves the deep well of moral responsibility to issue NEW TZINUS REGULATIONS FOR ALL OF PARKVILLE AND THE SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES.

For the sake of our WONDERFUL DARLING CHILDREN, from now on please observe the following Tznius regulations on a day to day basis to avoid being shunned as a DISGUSTING DISEASED PARIAH by your loving friends and neighbors… and help us avoid the manifold tragedies that can come from TZNIUS VIOLATIONS.

1. Ladies are to avoid walking within 12 feet of an uncovered open window in their own homes. Within 8 feet of an uncovered closed window and within 4 feet of a closed window covered over with heavy dark wool.

2. Photos should only be taken by a close male relative, unless they are extremely unflattering photos.

3. Our own unscientific study shows that most pritzus and lashon hara occurs in phone conversation between the hours of 2 and 3 PM. That is why no phone conversations should take place between those hours unless something very important needs to be ordered over the phone.

4. Bathroom windows should be removed and tastefully mortared over.

5. When encountering a surveillance camera, please walk in a circular path to avoid having your image imprinted on its lens.

6. Driving is non-tznius. Chauffeurs are tznius.

7. Sex in the City DVD viewing parties should in the future not include any men.

8. Ninjas are tznius, as they are all covered up and sneak around. Pirates are not tznius, as they wear little and make a lot of noise when they walk.

9. Tzippy’s LaRouchey Boutique (run by my dear friend Tzippy Boimelstein) has the most stylish and fashionable Tznius spring fashions around. Not shopping there is a definite Tznius violation.

That is all for now. If we think of anything else, we’ll put it in next week’s bulletin.

By the way I notice many Parkvillians are tossing these bulletins straight into the trash or using them to scoop up dog doo doo. I just want to reach out to my neighbors and say that this is very wrong and if you keep doing this YOU AND YOUR LITTLE DOG WILL BOTH BURN FOREVER IN HELL. Yes I mean you Mrs. Schneiderman. I know you think you’re so important because you went to college and read the newspaper. Well let me tell you something, Charles Manson went to college too and look where he ended up!

Bizchus of us doing these things, may we merit a trouble free summer with no sunburns or bee stings anymore for our WONDERFUL DARLING CHILDREN

With much love and regrets.

P.S. Let’s meet on a Yeedle Cruise

Malkie Chazzerstein

Parkville Ladies Association of Communities Authority

Wickedness, Food Prices and Hasgachas

We learn in Gemara Megillah 17B that the ninth bracha of Shmone Esre, Birchat Hashanim, was instituted in interpretation of David Hamelech’s tefila in Tehilim to break the power of the wicked by providing a generous harvest so that food prices cannot be raised by the wealthy over the poor.

Birchat Hashanim is really a Tefilla against high food prices. An idea that might seem silly to some people, but shouldn’t seem silly now.

The idea was that if you had a large bountiful harvest that price gouging would become impossible. The problem was that David Hamelech never had to deal with Hasgachas. Breaking the power of the wicked is a lot tougher, because no matter how plentiful food is, you can always raise prices in the frum world.

As I wrote not long ago Gefilte fish has passed 7 dollars. Now that’s junk fish scraps. Anything with beef in it is sky high, even if it’s beef patties which run anywhere from between 5 to 8 dollars a pound. Again junk meat and scraps. Beef franks are somewhere in the half of that range at 2.50 to 5 bucks.

Are those real prices or are they jacked up prices? I don’t work in the industry so I have no idea, but I have my doubts.

The problem is that the days when the Rabbis viewed economic fairness as part of their role are done. They ended some time in Europe. Today’s Rabbis don’t interfere in business or in price gouging. After all the rich make money, they give tzedaka and that’s supposed to even everything out. Except it doesn’t.

Tzedaka was never the ideal. Tzedaka serves to correct a problem that exists, but the ideal is to help lift up the burden on the donkey before the donkey falls under it. Which was why Chazal stepped in against economic exploitation. When the Kohanim jacked up the prices of Korbanot, Chazal reduced the number of required Korbanot. The Kohanim folded. The people won.

Using Birchat Hashanim as a prayer against economic exploitation in food prices is part and parcel of what Chazal stood for. Hasgachas, particularly chumras in Hasgachas, mean you can expect to pay higher prices no matter how plentiful the food is.

I’m all for Hasgachas when necessary. I’m all for buying from fellow Jews first, but not at the cost of lining some bigshot’s pockets so he can then give a fraction of that money to some Yeshiva and get a plaque for it. That is not how Chazal wanted a Jewish society to work.

They wanted a just society in which you had to give less Tzedaka because there were less people who needed it, not a society where the rich could squeeze people and then dole out a fraction of that money to Yeshivas and the poor. That’s a hypocritical system and it’s a bad one. It’s the Christian order we lived among for too long, the one that venerates the “poor” by keeping them poor while the clergy and the rich make the occasional gesture and benefit. It’s not a Jewish system.

A Real World Guide to Shidduch Definitions

MALE

A Real Learner – He has over 400 gigabytes of naked Asian girls on his Mp4 enabled cell phone and a plan to never work for the rest of his life.

He’s Interested in Chinuch – He has no clue or plan for the rest of his life.

His Grandfather is Related to the Chofetz Chaim – His grandfather once read a book about the Chofetz Chaim and memorized the pertinent details.

He’s Really Good with Stocks – He wants to blow your dowry on IPokerWinnings.com.

He’s a Very Sensitive Boy – He watched Titanic 9 times and cried every time.

He Spent a Year Learning in Israel – He Spent a Year Smoking and Flirting with Natasha who works in that booth at Machane Yehuda in between sodas.

He’s a Very Erliche Boy – He hasn’t figured out how to have fun yet.

You Never See Him Without a Sefer – You never see him without his protective camouflage.

He’ll Make a Great Father – His emotional age is around 7.

He’s a Very Handsome Bochur – He weighs 250 pounds with his cell phones and eats pizza with his hands.

He’s Never Looked at a Girl – He might be gay.

He Wants to Live in Israel – He thinks wife beating might be legal there.

FEMALE

She’s a Very Artistic Girl – She likes to freeze dry macaroni and paint it different colors.

She’s a Real Balabuste – She’s looking forward to spending all day watching the Home Shopping Network while the Polish maid cleans.

She’s Very Low Maintenance – She only throws one irrational tantrum a day.

She’s Very Loving – She’ll be IM’ing a guy in Canada before your Shana Rishona is up.

She Loves Children – Sex terrifies her.

She’s a Real Role Model – She’s always in charge of deciding which girls to snub.

She’s a Very Special Girl – She’s insane and we’re all frightened of her.

She’s Very Caring – She uses baby talk to adults.

She’s a Real Catch – We’re desperate.

Her Family is Very Erlich – Her family hides their TV antenna behind a potted plant.

She’s So Full of Life – She weighs 300 pounds.

TRANSGENDER

Don’t Let This One Get Away – The sucker’s falling for it.

I Can’t Say a Single Bad Thing – There’s too many bad things to say just one.

Don’t You Wish You had a Doctor in the Family? – Don’t you wish you had a spouse you have to make an appointment to see.

They’re a Real Go Getter – They’re a user.

Who Can Forget? – Who can remember?

I Hope You Like Cats. – Run, run now.

The Whole Damned Shidduch Crisis

Let’s get this straight, there is no Shidduch crisis. There is a crisis in function when it comes to meeting and dating people. The whole name “Shidduch Crisis” alone tells you what’s wrong. It’s not a marriage crisis, it’s a problem centered on shidduchim. Get rid of the Shidduchim and you get rid of the “crisis”.

The whole reason we have a “Shidduch Crisis” is because we’re American Orthodox Jews living under two clumsily grafted together dating systems, one half American, one half Eastern European.

The Shadchan was a great way of bringing together two families for marriage based on social class and money, aka Yiches und Gelt. It worked great so long as the two people had little say in it didn’t care too much who they married. And by great, I mean it worked as badly as any other system for meeting and marrying someone.

But today American Orthodox Jews, at least the ones who can speak English and pay sales tax, actually care about who they marry. They actually want to get to know them and to make sure they can live with them. It’s not just two families making arrangements and working out the down payment. It’s two people, with feelings, personalities and expectations. And the Shidduch System wasn’t built for that at all and grinds to a slow and painful halt.

I’m not advising what to do to fix the “Shidduch Crisis”. I’m advising people not to be stupid. The Shidduch system was never built to do what is being expected of it. The Shidduch system worked and works only when people are minimally selective, when both sides can be reduced to a simple checklist of bank statements and Yichus. But nobody today marries a 200,000 dollar bank account and the great-grandson of the Divrei Something. You marry a human being, a human being you get to know and maybe even love. And there’s no checklist for that.

If every business had to recruit employees by calling a mean old woman in Boro Park or the Five Towns with a jotted down list of names of potential employees who they had to wait months to interview… business would grind to a halt.

Hell even if every business had to recruit employees through professional recruiters, but couldn’t go out and look for employees or put out ads or accept walk ins, business would grind to a halt. And then there would be a “Business Crisis”.

That’s all the “Shidduch Crisis” is, a crisis of function. When a system stops working, you either reform it or throw it out. But that’s not what the Frum world does, because the Frum world continues to insist on treating every bit of Narishkeit that was adopted along the way, every social custom, every tradition from 18th century Poland as Torah Mi’Sinai. American Orthodox Jews want the benefits of the American life while maintaining the customs of the Eastern European life. The resulting compromises produce hypocrisy and dysfunction. Pushed hard enough they produce crisis.

The solution to the “Shidduch Crisis” is not Tefilot or keeping the Mitzvos of whatever, though those all might be helpful, particularly to individuals. The solution to stupidity is to stop being stupid. The Shadchan system cannot be expected to do what we want it to. Not even if every married frum woman in America pitches in. Trying to cover over the resulting misery with talk about Bashert and Everyone has their own Nisoyon, won’t do it either.

Don’t look to me for solutions, but if you must have one, let me give you a Torah answer, that no frum person will accept. Yaakov Avinu met Rachel by a well and kissed her and impressed her by lifting a giant rock. Moshe Rabbeinu met his wife by a well and saved her from a bunch of hooligans. Calev met his wife when she saved his life while he was on a spying mission in her inn. Then there was David Hamelech who won the hand of his wife by bring in the castrated body parts of the king’s dead enemies.

Does that sound daring, romantic, too much like romance novels? We all know Yidden don’t act that way. Except they did and do. Men and women always have and always will remain the same. For better or worse.

The Shidduch system has blip all to do with religion. Every culture has two ways that marriages happen. The social structured way that involves careful family negotiations and have more to do with dowry and the in laws than the couple and the unstructured way that involves men and women meeting and falling for each other, wisely or unwisely. Many more traditional cultures proscribe the unstructred route. The frum world mostly does. Some try to structure it with dances and organized meetings. Back when we were Am Yisrael, before we were “Yidden” and groveled before every ridiculous European and Babylonian Goyische custom we picked up and hugged close to our chests, on Tu Be’av the girls danced in their white dresses waiting for a man to come to them.

No doubt there was a shidduch crisis then too.

So You’re Single? Stop Whining About It.

So today I came across another blog post by a whiny single and it’s like all the rest. To spare you the emotional pain of linking to it, I’ll just break down what singles complain about.

1. People setting singles up

2. People not setting singles up

3. People asking singles if they’re single and trying to set them up

4. People not asking singles if they’re single and want to be set up

What singles really complain about is being single. But by singles I don’t mean people who aren’t married. I mean people who can’t stop talking about wanting to meet the right person to marry. I’m single but I’m not a Single. In other words I’m not a whining neurotic obsessed ball of pain that can’t stop spewing up like a beached whale with food poisoning and a wide blowhole.

What should the “community” do for singles? Zero. Zippo. Absolutely nothing. Yeah you heard me right.

No wait, I’m wrong. The community should do one thing. It should get out of the way. It should dump the idiotic social mores and restrictions. Let people date. Let people meet up at work. Let people from different hashkafos date. Socialize boys and girls in their teenage years. Have actual dances.

Either that or match them up by random lottery, parents income, yichus and shoe size and marry them off to each other at 13. One or the other because it’s the stupid attempt to find some middle ground that partakes of the stupidity of 18th century Eastern Europe and the modern day American dating scene that’s the problem.

If you’re an average or above looking woman or an average earning or above man, there’s no reason you can’t get married. You’ve chosen not to get married, because of insecurity or refusal to lower your standards or living in Nome, Alaska. Good for you. I’m a big believer in free will but your problems are changeable.

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t some “Settle and Get Married” post. I don’t care what you do, I just want you all to stop whining about it.

If you want to look for the perfect mate, have fun because there isn’t one. If you want to look for someone it feels right with, remember that gamblers spend their life savings on horses and casino wheels that feel right to them. It’s an emotion and like all the other emotions bouncing around in your head, it’s the whole problem.

You aren’t going to find the perfect guy or girl. You’re just going to find the one you’ll be willing to settle for after 5 years of JDate misery and the “big revelation” then will be that you had to go through all that suffering and bad dates in order to learn to lower your expectations. Because guess what, life sucks.

The perfect guy and girl you marry will be just like the rest when the hormones wear off and the cute things they do stop being cute. Then you’ll have to learn to live with them anyway and try to like them or at least not hate them enough to chop them up and throw them off a bridge. Welcome to married life. It’s what you wanted. Now you’ve got it. And stop whining about it.

Women and Sex Have Become the Absolut Vodka Ads of the Frum World

Remember the Absolut Vodka ads that established an iconic brand by creating a cutout of a Vodka bottle. The Absolut Vodka bottle might not have shown up in the ads but it was there in negative space.

Women have become the negative space of the frum world, their very absence highlighting their constant presence.

In the Tznius mindset women have been reduced to sex and sex is the great negative black hole enveloping the frum world and reshaping everything around it. Gender segregated streets, pictures of women photoshopped out of newspapers, new tznius standards, the rise of pornography and new Kol Korehs warning about immodesty. These are the borders around the Absolut ad, the great dark space we try to avoid looking at lest we fall hopelessly into it.

Why do we fear that darkness so much? It isn’t simply a fear of women but of control. The Gedolim need to control us and we wallow in so much guilt over the excessive churmas that the darkness has come to represent our own inadequacies. The extreme has become the holy, forgetting that the other extreme of Kedusha is Kedeisha.

By turning women into sex objects in the name of Tznius, we have fragmented personal relationships and marriages and the fabric of our society. We’ve denied ourselves access to the talents and contributions of half the Jewish people and patted ourselves on the back for it for our self-righteousness, our self-discipline and self-sacrifice, refusing to admit that behind it all is fear. Not fear of women but fear of our ourselves.

Jewish Press/ Resnick: I Hate Stupid Haredi/Chassidish Bashing

Now reg readers if I’ve got any know I do my share of windmill tilting here taking on Haredi and Chassidish nonsense. I don’t spare no sacred cows because I only care about the truth. But what I can’t stand is this kind of stupid elitist bashing you see in MO circles.

Here’s the difference

Real criticism: The whole premise of Chassidism is grounded in creating separatism in Judaism

Stupid bashing: I once saw a Chassid go into a porn store. All these people are phonies and fakers and their shtreimels are just a disguise.

Now guess which category Elliot Resnick’s “Truth and Certain Jews” on the Jewish Press blog belongs to? Now I’m happy that the Jewish Press every now and then challenges conventional orthodoxy. I’m glad they publish Chananya Weissman of End the Madness, I’m less glad that they publish Marvin Shick’s tedious observations but I’m all for criticism of frum communities. But Elliot Resnick’s piece is stupid and bigoted.

Why? It uses the typical bigot’s tactic of condemning by example. It takes two supposed incidents involving Chassidim and uses that to paint a portrait of an entire community and that’s ignorant and dishonest. Let’s look at this.

“Why should they exaggerate?” I asked him, knowing that the JTA is a professional agency, not a propaganda operation.

It was to this question that I received his “Why shouldn’t they exaggerate” reply.

To be honest, his question rang so strange in my ears that I had a hard time formulating an answer. And then a few minutes after the conversation’s conclusion it came to me: Why shouldn’t they exaggerate? Because doing so is false!

This point is obvious of course. But not apparently to this ostensibly religious Jew. To him, the question wasn’t why someone should depart from the truth, but why one would ever tell the truth in the first place.

Hey Elliot, here’s a possibility you haven’t considered. Maybe, instead of being some sort of fundamentally dishonest individual, the Chassid just didn’t trust the JTA? I know Elliot that you probably get down on your knees and worship the JTA three times a week but most of us think it’s a shoddy and sloppy agency that slaps together stories with obvious mistakes and bias.

It’s a warped mind that takes someone’s statement that he distrusts an organization as proof that he’s incapable of not lying. If one of your buddies at a West Side Synagogue gave you that same shrug and dance about the Bush Administration, would you assume that he and everyone there are a bunch of ethically defective people who can’t tell lies from truth? No and the reason you wouldn’t is culture. And the reason you assumed the worst here, tossing Dan Le Kaf Zechus overboard is culture. And he’s made the classic bigot’s mistake of portraying another culture in the worst possible light.

Unfortunately, some Jews, including — or perhaps especially — Chassidic Jews, will make sure never to shake a woman’s hand and to always faithfully wear a black hat but lie (stretching the truth is perhaps a more delicate term) with astonishing ease. When one witnesses such behavior one wonders what makes these people so religious after all.

What a stupid question. What makes any of us religious? Is Elliot under the impression that being religious means being perfect? The same thing that makes Elliot religious, makes the lying Chassid religious. That Chassid stretches the truth in business, Elliot stretches it on the blog of the Jewish Press.

But what exactly is Elliot’s basis for claiming that Chassidim are more likely to be liars, zippo. So he’s got lying and motzi shem ra which puts him behind the hypothetical lying Chassid in the gehenom sweepstakes.

The impulse among many to come closer to God by becoming better Jews is laudable. However, these Jews and all Jews should attach greater importance to basic Biblical values and laws, such as the value of truth, than they do to ensuring that their tzitzis are clearly visible to all.

Yes they should. And perhaps Elliot Resnick should attach greater importance to such basic Biblical value and laws as Lashon Hara, Motzi Shem Ra, Rechilus and fun stuff like that. I mean it’s laudable that he has the impulse to come closer to G-d by calling Chassidim a bunch of dirty liars who steal other people’s yogurt but maybe he can learn some Chofetz Chaim now and then.

Unfortunately, the following story tells it all:

You just know with an opening like that, that what follows will be the Klansman’s equivalent of that black guy eating a stolen watermelon story or the illegal Mexican collecting welfare. Yes Elliot please tell us your anecdotal story that will reaffirm your prejudices. Please.

The next day, finally understanding the sad reality of present day Jews, he wrote the following: “Not chalav yisrael.” The milk was untouched.

Ha ha. No see get it. They care about Chalav Yisrael but not about stealing, cause they’re all thieves! Now let me tell the one about the negro who tried to cash a welfare check. Or how about the single Modern Orthodox guy who asked if his girlfriend could go the Mikvah. Let’s slander everyone based on some second hand milk stealing incident in the name of preaching morals to them. Why don’t we all spread some more sinas chinam so we can bring Moshiach in a thousand years or so.

Oh by the way, if that bottle of milk was at the Jewish Press offices all he had to do was write an RCA Hasgacha on it. Heh