Monday, July 21, 2008

More MS

It was nice to see that rovingrabbis.com finally posted my shtuff today. I'm still not entirely sure how it's going to work; can I rely on them to read TRS and cull new shtuff for the official MS blog, or do I have to work on that myself. Anyone who's employed by Chabad.org and can answer these questions is encouraged to do so. Meanwhile, time as usual paused for no one, and today was another exciting day of Merkos Shlichus.
Yossi and I started the day with some cold-calling, which is about as enjoyable as running your hand through a metal shredder, pouring salt on the stump, and then licking the resulting (Kosher) mess. Quick question for my readers; if human meat were Kosher, would it have the Halachos of meat, fish, or chicken? Back to more pleasant thoughts, if only slightly. In order to give you the true flavor of MS calling, I'll provide some (almost) real-life transcripts for your reading pleasure:

TRS dialing...
Ring...
We're sorry, this number does not accept blocked calls.
(Presses 0)
Please wait while we connect your call.
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Hello, we're not home right now, please leave your name and number, bye.
TRS says: "Hello, this is Rabbi TRS (no, I don't actually say TRS. I'm just writing that to preserve the shred of anonymity that I still possess) calling from Chabad of Litchfield, just wondering if you'd like to possibly discuss Judaism or Chabad or anything in between at any point. Our number is (whatever it is), and I'd love to hear from you. Thank you, bye.
________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Ring...
Hello?
Hi, this is Rabbi TRS from Chabad calling, and-
From who?
Chabad.
Why are you calling at dinnertime?
Because it's the best time to reach you.
You know, that's really-(Hang up)
__________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Hello?
Hi, this is Rabbi TRS calling from Chabad of Litchfield, how are you doing today?
Good (warily)
I'm visiting northwestern Connecticut this summer with a friend looking for Jewish people, and I was wondering if you'd like to-
Do you know who I am?
No, not quite.
I'm the past-President of Temple (don't ask me to recall, because I can't). We have three Rabbis here, and two cantors; I don't think I'll be needing your services.
Well, bye bye then.
_____________________________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
TRS hangs up
______________________________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Hello?
Hi, this is TRS calling from Chabad, how are you today?
Hang up.
______________________________________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Hello?
Hi, this is TRS calling from Chabad, how are you today?
Good (warily)
Glad to hear that. I'm spending the summer traveling around the state with a friend looking for and talking to Jewish people, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in meeting us?
You don't think I'm going to allow a stranger into my home, do you?
Well, I'm a student-Rabbi from Chabad-
I've had a problem with a stranger calling me recently; I'm sorry, I hope you understand.
Yes, of course.
______________________________________________________________________________
TRS dials...
Ring...
Hello?
Hi, this is Rabbi TRS calling from Chabad, how are you today?
Who?
Chabad. I'm a student Rabbi who-
A student what?
Rabbi. I'm a student Rabbi from Chabad of Litchfield and I'm spending the summer going around-
Can't you tell I'm hard of hearing? Speak up!
Hi, my name is TRS, and I'm a student Rabbi from Chabad of Litchfield spending the summer going around northwest Connecticut finding and speaking to Jews. Would you be interested in meeting us?
You know, I just got back from the hospital, and I had a broken leg, and-
Oy!
And (well, a little more conversation; that "oy!" was me was the clincher) I'd love to have you come visit me.
____________________________________________________________________________

As you can probably tell, it's been a lot of fun so far.
This afternoon we went to the Waterbury hospital and I put Tefillin on a guy who can't speak with his mouth; it didn't matter, because his eyes spoke louder than words ever could. Funny, you read a sentence like that, and think, "Man, TRS is being trite and illogical, eh?" Funny thing is, it's the truth. He really did communicate with his eyes.
After that we stopped at a local mall and picked up a tie each from Burlington Coat Factory. I got a hot sky-blue number, while Yossi went for a more staid English-school style (as he put it) clothing accessory. Mine isn't quite as shocking and classy as my famous orange and pink ties, but it worked on the short notice provided.
With our brand new ties resting comfortably in a plastic bag in the back seat we attempted to navigate Waterbury traffic; it only took us half an hour to go two miles, which made us very nearly late for an appointment with a guy in Torrington. His Hebrew name is Mendel, if that's any help. The building his contracting company is housed in has glorious exposed brick walls and polished yet aged wood floors. In case anyone wants to build me a house, make sure there's lots of exposed brick and wood floors. Thanks.
Anyway, turns out he's a really nice guy, and we sat and talked for about 45 minutes. We talked about the usual things: why we're on Merkos Shlichus, Yeshivas we've been to, the local Jewish community, his family, our family's, how Chabad dates, when we're gonna date, etc. At the end he put on Tefillin, which was a great end to the day.
And that friends, was that.

8 comments:

Nemo said...

Human meat is %100 pareve

The Real Shliach said...

Well then, with Halacha clear, let's dig in!

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. TRS: you have now made me feel extremely guilty. My response to cold callers (assuming they even get through as I don't even bother to answer the phone if I don't recognize the number) is to hang up without even responding. (In my defense let me say that usually these are people trying to sell me a new roof, better plumbing, or collecting for some unheard of charity etc.) I'll try and be more polite in future. While the value of cold calls remains questionable (even in the most aggressive marketting circles), having spent some time in hospitals, I completely and utterly congratulate you on your efforts there. Unfortunately those who cannot speak or even make themselves understood (especially the elderly) are ignored. Your experience putting Teffilin on that person is well understood in terms of what it must have meant to the individual - just that event makes your entire summer worthwhile. Keep up the good work!
Very respectully yours, Leo d' T.

Anonymous said...

LTD!! Long tine no hear! Welcome back to TRS! (Boy, have you missed a helluva lot of action!)

YochananG Aust said...

when i went on MS i used to tell them that part of our rabbinic education was to visit the Jews in .... area and to speak to them about what they think of the future of Judaisms in ... area the good thing was that when you spoke to them they are more willing to talk since they think they are doing you a favor (which is true)and then when you are in there house keep the topic on the future and they are going to tell you their opinion that is very liberal and we hope we can get a little of the real stuff through to them

The Real Shliach said...

LdT: All I'd say is that as much as you don't like receiving cold calls, people don't like making 'em.
Anon: Ditto
Yochanan: Yup. I did this last year, and it seemed to work; so far we've been doing a combo package of talking, which seems to have some results.

Cheerio said...

every time i look at this post, i laugh!

The Real Shliach said...

Finally, the response I was looking for. Yippee!