Friday, October 31, 2008


In wonder and amazement the cry comes up, "Could it be? Is it possible? Does TRS blog?" In answer to these questions I have but one word: Salaam. Yes, I am back, and better than ever, chiefly because my brain is crammed full of fascinating shtuff, chiefly regarding Siman 87 in Yoreh Deah, but also featuring a respectable amount of this week's Torah Ohr. That is correct, I can honestly say that I've been shteiging away in Morristown. Now I can understand that some of you out there are getting scared, and thinking that the TRS you have known and loved is slipping away. Well, fear not friends, because even though I'm taking this year seriously, I'm still the fun-loving (sometimes anyway), cynical (if it suits me), anti-authority (oh? I'm the authority now? well...), mustard-loving blogger that I've always been.
So how is Morristown going? Honestly, it's great. I know that in about three weeks I'll be really frustrated with Smicha, and that in three months I'll be really frustrated with Smicha, and in three years I'll wonder what the whole production was, but for now, I'm satisfied. Of course, some people aren't too happy. My friend Yossi, for example, is peeved that he was told to replace his patterned Yarmulkeh with a boring blue one. "The Rosh was OK with it! Wilshanski was OK with it! What's his problem!" I'm not empathizing as much as I should be, I know. If I was told to discard my beloved ches nun " nun Yarmulkeh I would also be peeved. Of course, that would give me an opportunity to try out my latest design- ches, ches " nun, ches nun " nun. If you don't get it than it's probably just as well. Still, I'm trying to figure out where I should be from? From Uman I know I'm not. Hmm...well, I was born in Boston, maybe that would work!

Moving right along, shall we? We're just days before the election, and it seems that everyone is desperate for it to be over, even the mainstream media who are the ones responsible for this whole mess in the first place. Funny thing, these mainstream media. The conservatives are convinced that they're out to get them, the liberals are convinced that they're out to get them, and the media are convinced that they're out to get them. Some people are convinced of Obama's essentially bad politics, while others believe that Mccain has the prowess of a monkey flying around in a post-prandial illusion brought on by one too many victimless crimes.
The truth, of course, is that everyone is missing out on the really important point. If I was interested in spreading my name far and wide, then I would find some completely irrelevant point and proclaim that IT was what really counted, and thereby make my fortune and ensure my everlasting talking-headedness. As it is, I, like everybody else, have no idea what the really important point is; the difference is, I'm honest enough to say so. And what are we left with then? Not a whole heck of a lot. One side will win, the other will lose, some things will change, others won't.
Rabbi Chaim Schapiro, who heads the Smicha pogrom (CH"V!) in Morristown, is always telling us that we have to look at the big picture. Guess what? If you look at the big picture, people will be born, people will die, and at the end, all you have left are your good deeds. So in the big picture, it really doesn't matter what happens.

Certainly it is very vital that the right thing happens. The right thing in this case is the right person. It is extremely important that the right person wins this job. Which job? The right job. Because if the wrong person wins the right job, or vice-versa, the results will be catastrophic to say the least. Why is it so important that the right person win the right job? Because the right people said so. You know, if the right people know so much, why don't they run for President? Why do they only criticise others? Do they know something the rest of us don't? But getting back to the important news... Oh yes, so as I was saying, it's very important that all the right things happen. If they don't, then who knows what will happen?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Minor annoyances

It often happens that I'll sit down to blog at midnight (or somewhen) and I have no idea what to write, even though throughout the day I had many good ideas, simply because I've forgotten them. Tonight however there is no worry of that, if only because I'm supposed to be packing for New York, and then Morristown. I'm taking a little time off that because it's quickly becoming a very annoying process. How is it that I'm paying forty dollars so that I can put two bags underneath the airplane, and I can't fit everything in? Is this normal? And it's not like I'm bringing crazy stuff either. It's just clothing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I knew something was wrong the moment I walked into the door, and realized what it was as I chanted Havdala tonight. The problem was that I didn't have a hang-over, and I didn't plunge immediately into bed upon coming home. What kind of Simchas Torah is it where I can make Kiddush on Mahke three times and never feel the effects once? What is the world coming to?

Still, basically, Simchas Torah wasn't too bad at all. It wasn't quite as inspiring as it has been in previous years. There was no great Farbrengen which brought the gathered throngs to instant repentance, nor any pithy wisdom which could reduce the most inebriated baalaboss to tears in nary a moment. Sure, it's great to hear local exalted figures belittle themselves and say, "I'm so full of #$%&" over and over again, with innovative invective at every turn, but after a while it begins to wear. "All right," I wanted to say, "I can accept that you are full of it. In fact, I'm convinced. But can you stop focusing on your own shortcomings for a little while and try to actually accomplish something?"
This reminds me of the old joke, where a Rabbi on Yom Kippur gets so inspired that he cries out, "Oh G-d, I am nothing!" The chazzan, not to be outdone, follows suit with, "Oh L-rd, I truly am nothing!" The gabbai doesn't wish to be left out of the fun, and he too screams out, "Oh G-d, I am nothing!" The Rabbi turns to the chazzan and says, "Huh, look who thinks he's a nothing."
Yeah sure, we're really proud of you that once a year you pretend that you recognize your own shortcomings, but hello? Does anyone really care? We all know that we're a bunch of morons, and most of us are drunk enough to think that we want to change. And what happens instead? We end of eating crackers and salsa (the chips were all stale-for shame!) and drinking Cherry Coke Zero because no one can come up with anything intelligent to say.

Of course there were some nice things about Simchas Torah this year. We danced with the scrolls, made Kiddush, screamed at each other, got annoyed by hordes of little brats who seem intent on ruining as many lives as possible. And what was the whole point of this exercise? That our kids should stay frum. All right, I don't have any kids. And if I did I would certainly object to them being called brats. Be that as it may, why do we have this whole shindig? You think we do it for out health? Have you seen the state of our liver?
No, we make this whole production because we want our kids to stay frum. All right, so we enjoy it too, but that's only a fringe benefit. And sometimes it can be even more annoying to write royally than it is to read it. And pretentious too.
That's a problem. I hate sounding pretentious, and I know that in the past I've failed miserably in this regard. Who am I to tell anyone else to do anything? Of course, this attitude can have negative consequences. Last night someone asked me why they should go to a Lubavitch BT Yeshiva versus any other BT Yeshiva. I told him that he should go to a Lubavitch institution because we're better. This was of course after I had made Kiddush. I then proceeded to tell him that of course every Jew thinks that his Judaism is better. So what's the difference? We know we're better. Except that everyone knows they're better. So what's the difference? We learn Chassidus. So does Breslov. We learn Chabad Chassidus, plus we're not always high. Who says Chabad Chassidus is the way to go? We do. And they say that Breslov Chassidus is the way to go. Plus they're always high.
Fine, but at the very least we're far superior to Misnagdim. After all, we learn Chassidus, and they learn Mussar. Of course, a Misnaged will tell you that this is exactly the reason why his way is better. And how about the modern orthodox? At least we're not Judaism-lite, right? Ahh, but the MO will tell you that the only way for a Jew to be successful is to integrate himself into the world. And that way is the best.

Perhaps, at the end of the post, the only thing to do is to quote Rashi (which I will now fail to do) in today's Chitas, when he says that at the end of the day, all the Jewish people are blessed, and they're all wonderful, etc. etc. etc.
Isn't it nice to be able to clothe a lack of strong moral value in a cloak of Judaism? And if this can be said of Jews, why not invite the whole world into the mix? Why can't the whole world, devoid of malice and money, just be friends?
If you think I'm pandering to the Obama camp, trying to avoid being one of the first against the wall when the revolution comes, then...

Monday, October 20, 2008

By your leave

So here I am, home from a marathon Devarim/Tehillim session. It's Hoshana Rabba, the last time for us to repent for our numerous sins. Of course, you can do it on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah too, but it's not quite as fun. What could possibly be better than hitting willow branches on the floor? Of course, there is a lot to be said for making Kiddush, but most of it is better said after Kiddush is made, and since that won't be happening over here for a couple hours yet, you're out of luck. Not to worry, because what's coming up is almost as good.

That is, nothing. Long and bitter experience has taught me that in many cases, the very best thing that can possibly be said is nothing. It is almost never necessary to have the final word, and usually, it would have been much better to have no word at all. And with these words of wholly unoriginal wisdom, I'll leave you be.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Barack Obama comes to Joe TRS' door, and Joe TRS says, "Hey, Mr. Obama, under you, my taxes will stay in the exact same place!" Obama says, "Well, ain't that dandy?" Joe TRS says, "But still, I have to think of some reason why you're bad." Barack says, "Shoot." Joe TRS pulls out his shotgun, but the secret service stops him before he can do anything. At the trial the judge asks Joe TRS, "Why did you try and shoot the President?" Joe TRS responds, "I didn't! All I did was pull out a gun! Since when is that illegal?" The judge tells him that it is. Joe TRS wonders if the second amendment has ceased to be. The judge tells him that it doesn't apply in this situation. Joe TRS is saved when he's pardoned by the President. Or so they say.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TRS-The Simchas Beis Hashoeva Edition

Here in beautiful TRSville , where the stock markets never crash and the cows never cease to give milk, Simchas Beis Hashoevah (hereafter forever known as SBH) is quite the joyous occasion. All the notables of the town get together in the Sukkah of one or another, make a blessing on the food, the drink, and the tabernacle, and then rapse gloriously on the joys of religious servitude. After they've done that for, oh, thirteen seconds, they begin to talk about slightly more interesting things. One member of our little congregation enlightened us most tremendously on fifteen uses for superglue that are not explicitly mentioned on the tube, while another told us about his new book, "Chalomos fun Tatten". Of course, in these troubled times, when every American fears for all that is right and good, there are two topics, inextricably intertwined, that all SBHs eventually come to: the election/the economy.

But, as you may have figured out by now, I'm bored sick of both of these. Instead I'll deal with a topic that came up in Adath Israel Synagogue's annual Pizza in the Hut celebration and convocation, emphasis on the latter. I was talking with our local holy man, and he mentioned his disgust with the present situation; the present situation, in this case, is the shocking lack of Tznius that he sees in our fair city. I commended his holiness, but also represented to him that if our fair city was indeed in the throes of a most shocking decline in spiritual valuation, then we probably weren't doing too badly. He asked me if this was what we had come to, that we were satisfied with, "Oh, it's not too bad-it's much worse in other places." I didn't really have a response to that. What am I supposed to say?

After thinking about this for a good two minutes I realized a couple of things. A. It's a topic that deserves a lot of attention. B. It's something I can blog about. Woohoo!
There's an old Peanuts where Linus is happy with a C+, and Charlie Brown is berating him, "Is this the way we can succeed? What would the world look like if people settled for a C+?" Linus answers, "What does the world look like?"
Anyway, it's far too late in the night to answer these questions, and anyway, I'm not in a philosophical turn tonight. Besides, is there an answer? Should we simply strive for the greatest heights and console ourselves with mediocre accomplishments? Anyway, I will relate an amusing anecdote and with that bid you my fond farewells.
Tonight I chatted with a couple of friends on Gmail. In one chat I defended John Mccain and Sarah Palin, saying that they are G-d's own messengers, sent to save our planet from a doom worse than the most infernal hell Dante could have imagined. In the other chat I defended Barack Obama and Joe Biden, saying that they are G-d's own messengers, sent to save our planet from a doom worse than the most infernal hell Dante could have imagined. Does this mean that there is something right with me?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poetical jaunts

T'was the night before Sukkos, not a creature was stirring,
except for this annoying midge on my screen, that I'm too kind to kill
the sukkah was built,
the schach set upon it,
the lulav and esrog waiting to be picked up four minutes before Yom Tov.

T'was the night before Sukkos, the clouds gathering above
thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow,
that's why the sukkah was put up today.
Of course, I have to help build some other sukkahs tomorrow
so I'll still get wet (probably).

Twas the night before Sukkos, and I'm blogging away
trying to think of words to rhyme,
and sound epithets to carry the day.
No one will mind then,
if I close up shop now,
return to prose,
that greatest cash cow

In other news, I'm happy to clear up the possible confusion that resulted from last night's post. The fact of the matter is, a well respected member of my Shul made a scarily accurate prediction on Shabbos, and he desires this fact to be known in the wider community. He would also like to inform my general readership that the Kiddush this past Shabbos was indeed shoddily planned and haphazardly executed. The truth, in this case, was as terrible to behold as the food was to eat.

And now I suppose I have to leave you all with some final words before the '69 edition of the Feast of Tabernacles commences. As Rabbi Gershon Grossbaum said on Shabbos, "Don't arrange some guys who Farbreng until 2 every night, wake up at 12, Daven until 3, go on Mivtzoyim at 4:30, and are done by 5."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why bother?

Humanity as a whole is a rather unwieldy group. There's so much homogeny, with just the right amount of insanity to make everyone appear uniquely qualified. Are we not assured that every member of our race is good for something? What then are we to think when we realize the futility of it all, the brain-deadening actualization of our worst fears, the acknowledgment of a complete lack of forethought on the part of so many people when they first began to birth.
In a nutshell, wouldn't we be better off without, oh, ninety seven percent of the world's population? That would still leave us with many millions, and with the right mix, I'm sure there'd be a little bit of everything needed for any planet to function in a relatively reasonable manner. It could surely be no worse than the way it's functioning now. Yes, I understand that some people would object to their friends and relatives being taken away, but they would soon come to understand the absolute necessity of the undertaking; if they didn't, they'd be taken away too.
Now, I'm not proposing just any run of the mill new world order here, no garden-variety brave new world for me. No, what we have here is a brilliant new solution to the world's problems. We all know that the economy is in shambles, that the war in Iraq is stretching on interminably, that major riots are threatened for November 6th; the question is, how can we solve this problem? I believe, and as your new leader I hope to achieve, a new and equitable solution for all peoples.
Some may scoff at my ideas, and others may wonder at my lack of planning. "How," they wonder, "is the dear boy to accomplish his stated goals, of ridding the world of all that ails it, if he can't even craft a sentence properly?" People who ask these impertinent sorts of questions will of course be among the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Still, their questions are valid, and will doubtlessly be answered someday.

All the above was originally meant to be a rant against people that I currently dislike, but I felt bad about cursing them out, and instead settled for some insipid hash. Fortunately, I have the old stalwart, the economy, to keep me going strong. For what seemed like the tenth Shabbos in a row, all people could talk about was how badly their stocks were performing. It's like, "Hello!" Can't anyone think of anything better to talk about? Like how the Kiddush this week was pathetic (and it was), or how certain people's predictions about certain ecclesiastical figures were right on the money? The former was (probably) not the fault of the sponsoring side, but the latter certainly was.
And thus does a thorough waste of time conclude.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Introspection follows

A report has reached TRS that when the tenth man came to the Minyan this morning, the Rabbi said, "The tenth man is called a 'tsenter'. The eleventh is called the 'Pisher'. Why? Because before he comes, no one can go to the bathroom." Cute, no?

It appears that our Yom Kippur prayers were successful. How do I know? Let's just call it manly intuition. I understand that some people might be skeptical of my claims of special powers, and even more skeptical of my writing anything worthwhile reading. Well, let me be the first, and possibly the only, one to assure you that in fact a particularly scintillating post will be forthcoming. Some day. I feel like a music producer, telling his adoring public that the new CD will be out by Chanuka-no, Tu B'Shvat, I guarantee it-Purim at the very latest-did Pesach really just make that whooshing sound?-Lag B'omer, or the price goes down by a dollar-unavoidable delays, out by Shavuos-will Elul do?-joy, it's here! Sukkos!-sorry that the quality is so low, we were rushing it-next one will be far superior, out in six months.

In other news, it was nice to go on Drudge tonight and see that the market again lost lots of people lots of money. I'm finally beginning to be sobered by all this money shtuff. Seems to me that when TRS starts taking things seriously, you know that life is pretty bad. For example, this Yom Kippur, I only really took one prayer seriously. Yes, of course I Davened everything, and quite nicely too (If I do say so myself), but only one was my heart really in it. Unesaneh Tokef is truly an awesome prayer, but so are all the others in the Yom Kippur Davening. What made me take this one seriously is that many years ago, when I was a wee little thing in eighth grade in Torah Academy in S. Louis Park, MN, I had a teacher named Rabbi Yaakov Waxman who taught us the story of Unesaneh Tokef. And when he read it out to us, he was crying.
I was thinking about this today, how a little action someone does nearly ten years ago can have such a profound affect now. All right, so my having a little Kavanah during Davening is hardly a "profound affect", but I do flatter myself when I believe that Rabbi Waxman was not thinking that he would accomplish this with a couple tears, teaching a bunch of spaced out and bratty eighth graders. It really makes you think about all the little things you do, whether you're having a positive or negative affect on someone, and how that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Sure, a lot of times you're actions carry no apparent weight. What I mean to say is, just because you do something it doesn't mean that anyone will ever remember it; most people can hardly recall their own actions, let alone others. Still, obviously everything you do affects everything else, and sometimes, people might even recognize this. And it's nice when you're able to say, "Yeah, that was a good thing there," because all too often we're able to say, "Man, that was rather moronic."

Sorry about all this introspection shtuff at the end here. It was kindly meant.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Money makes the world go 'round

In just a few hours, we'll all be fasting. What a pleasant thought. In slightly fewer hours, we'll all be gorging ourselves. A slightly more pleasant thought. And for the foreseeable future, we'll all still be wondering about the financial situation. This is especially relevant because Nemo, that faithful reader of ours, has been waxing lyrical about the monetary pain and suffering he's currently enduring. A reader asked, "What about G-d?" Why are people so convinced that they have the power to affect their wallets? Doesn't everything come from the Big Guy in the Sky?
The answer to these questions is, "Of course, buddy, but not so fast there." Yes, everything comes from G-d, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't work. It doesn't mean you shouldn't worry about the provenance of your next lunch. Sure, we have to have the faith that everything will turn out just swimmingly, but at the same time, if you put no effort into your labors, then what will be? Not a whole heck of a lot.
At the same time, it's important to note that in fact G-d does run the world. When you're in trouble, pray to Him. Ask of Him. Set up a lunch meeting. But don't rely on him and fail to do anything yourself. As our holy books say, you've only got to make a vessel for G-d's blessing-but you've got to make a vessel. If you fail in that respect, then it's going to be pretty tough to eat lunch at an expensive restaurant.

Moving right along, the upcoming presidential election has inserted itself into our collective conscious like a varicose vein in a prematurely-aged leg. I don't know if anyone is truly half as enthusiastic as they say about it, and I doubt if anyone truly doesn't care. That is to say, we're all bored to death, and wish it were all over with and we could get back to the important things in life, like figuring out a decent place for tiffin. Tonight was the second debate, and of course, the Democrats say that Mr. Obama won, the Republicans say that Mr. Mccain won, and the independents know that they wasted nearly two hours of their life listening to two grown men fighting like little girls on a Manhattan playground. What does this have to do with Yom Kippur? I haven't the faintest idea. All's I know is, it's rapidly approaching, and few of us have done our proper repenting. How do I know this? Experience.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that everyone gets written and sealed in the book of life, love, and Lchaims, and that y'all make some positive resolutions in your lives, like cutting down on consumed fat and writing more comments on this here humble blog.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Murder in the streets!

So I just got back from another exciting episode of Kapores at Lubavitch House. It was scheduled for 8:00. Then for 10:00. We got there at 10:00 and they told us, "half an hour." At 11:05 the truck pulled up. At 11:15 it began to rain. At 11:25 we left.
While the whole situation was a bit annoying, the cloud did have a magenta lining. For example, I got to argue with someone about Lubavitch, Breslav, and Rav Kook, which was quite exciting. It was also nice to see everyone all gathered together. Normally, people come, stay for ten minutes, and scram; this time however, people came and had to stay. This meant that we were joined by a (relatively) vast multitude from S. Louis Park. I felt like I was in Lakewood! Still, it was rather shocking that they came to an event which featured Rubashkin chickens. Have these people no morals?
That was another disappointment. I hoped that PETA would come. What fun is it to do Kapores if there aren't any crazed PETA activists around, video-taping abuse and making trouble? I mean, do they not like us? Do they think that we're any less worthy than Crown Heights? Heck, somehow my chicken's leg got broken, but no one came over and compared ME to a Nazi. What is this world coming to?

Meanwhile, in other news, I just finished a very disappointing story in Binah Bunch. The first part was great. The second? Stank. Basically, some kid finds an old piece of jewelry, with a letter dated Friday, 28 Tishrei. Kid says, "Hey, something's fishy." In the next issue, they continue the story. They sit around contemplating the piece of jewelry and discover that it has some sort of secret compartment with pictures of old family members. And the letter? Was intentionally written by grandpa so that whoever found the bracelet would puzzle over it.
I mean, come on! Couldn't they think of a better solution? The premise is tremendous, if a little obvious, but that's ok, because this is a kiddie magazine. But to have such a pathetic solution? I guess the writer just couldn't come up with anything better, which is a pity, because I waited a whole week to read the next installment. Oh well, what are you going to do?

And in other other news, this whole financial markets thing is getting tough, eh? You go to sleep at night and wonder what more bad news there'll be in the morning. See, if you just do what I do and go to sleep in the morning, then this won't be a problem, though I understand if some people aren't able to implement this plan of mine. No, I'm not like Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, who throws a tantrum every time something doesn't go her away. I'm more like Strom Thurmond or Ronald Reagan, who didn't have a clue, regardless of what was going on. That's correct folks, the best way to the weather the current storm is to ignore it. And what if you're like 99 percent of the world and you can't?
Hey buddy, this is a blog, not an advice column. Still, I understand that in treacherous times like these people look for proven leaders, and I'm happy to represent myself as one. So. Where was I? Oh yes. If you can't ignore the issues, and it's giving you ulcers?

As Ohad would say, "Just think positive and problems melt away." Oh, the Dow is below 10,000? You know, I remember the first time it went above 10,000. People were pretty excited. And now it dips a little, and they're not excited? Just because the government just stole another 700 billion out of your pocket, you have to be all peevish? Where's the love?

Attempts are made

So tonight I spent a lot of time making a madlib for everyone to enjoy, and it came up an unmitigated disaster. First of all, it's a pain to make. Writing is easy enough, but then trying to figure out which words to take out? Too few, and it's not funny. Too many, and it's no funny. No fun. Then the HTML for some reason doesn't want to work. And the formatting is all wrong. And I made way too many things to fill in. The worst thing about my little adventure is that the website I tried to make it in, mymadlibcreator, is cute, but it's buggy. And it made me buggy. Bichlal, getting the tenses right is almost as difficult as anything else. So anyway, there goes three hours of work down the drain, and now I'm left with not a whole heck of a lot nothing. I could just quit and go to sleep, but that would antithetical to my whole vision and being. No, my task now is to soldier on.
On the other hand, I could just reprint a rather alarmist article that I just read. Yeah, I think I'll do that. Oh, and the links are from me.

Here is a speech of Geert Wilders, a Dutch Parliamentarian and chairman of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York, introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem. The speech was sponsored by the Hudson Institute on September 25.

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that's new to me.

It's great to be in New York. When I see the skyscrapers and office buildings, I think of what Ayn Rand said: "The sky over New York and the will of man made visible." Of course. Without the Dutch you would have been nowhere, still figuring out how to buy this island from the Indians. But we are glad we did it for you. And, frankly, you did a far better job than we possibly could have done.

I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe? Patriots from around Europe risk their lives every day to prevent precisely this scenario form becoming a reality.

My short lecture consists of 4 parts.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe. Then, I will say a few things about Islam. Thirdly, if you are still here, I will talk a little bit about the movie you just saw. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem.

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and Trafalgar Square and Rome's ancient buildings and maybe the canals of Amsterdam. They are still there. And they still look very much the same as they did a hundred years ago.

But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world, a world very few visitors see - and one that does not appear in your tourist guidebook. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration. All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear "whore, whore". Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin. In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. A Dutch study reported that half of Dutch Muslims admit they "understand" the 9/11 attacks.

Muslims demand what they call 'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. Our elites are willing to give in. To give up. In my own country we have gone from calls by one cabinet member to turn Muslim holidays into official state holidays, to statements by another cabinet member, that Islam is part of Dutch culture, to an affirmation by the Christian-Democratic attorney general that he is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. Some prefer to see these as isolated incidents, but I call it a Muslim intifada. I call the perpetrators "settlers". Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies, they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries.

Politicians shy away from taking a stand against this creeping sharia. They believe in the equality of all cultures. Moreover, on a mundane level, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

Our many problems with Islam cannot be explained by poverty, repression or the European colonial past, as the Left claims. Nor does it have anything to do with Palestinians or American troops in Iraq. The problem is Islam itself.

Allow me to give you a brief Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah's personal word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the trouble starts. Every word in the Quran is Allah's word and therefore not open to discussion or interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times. Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent.

The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world - by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages - at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other morality than the advancement of Islam. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad. There is no gray area or other side.

Quran as Allah's own word and Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam. Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means 'submission'. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

This is what you need to know about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe. For millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14 centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam "the most retrograde force in the world", and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran.

Which brings me to my movie, Fitna.

I am a lawmaker, and not a movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam. The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes.

Now, from the day the plan for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. First, there was a political storm, with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan, and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell-out.

A plethora of legal troubles also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands because of Fitna.

Now, I would like to say a few things about Israel. Because, very soon, we will get together in its capitol. The best way for a politician in Europe to loose votes is to say something positive about Israel. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel. I see defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: "Islam has bloody borders". Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel. It is Israel.

It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam.

This is the most painful thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe's history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: "the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom."

If there is hope in Europe, it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves. Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and media establishment.

Over the past years there have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom, the public does not. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity. I don't think the public opinion in Holland is very different from other European countries.

Patriotic parties that oppose jihad are growing, against all odds. My own party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all similarly-minded parties in Europe. They are fighting the liberal establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one voter at the time.

Now, for the first time, these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe's last chance.

This December a conference will take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together, and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will only admit parties that are solidly democratic.

This conference will be the start of an Alliance of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support.

This endeavor may be crucial to America and to the West. America may hold fast to the dream that, thanks tot its location, it is safe from jihad and shaira. But seven years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero, following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe's children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We can not squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.

This is not the first time our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed.

These are not times in which to take lessons from appeasement, capitulation, giving away, giving up or giving in. These are not times in which to draw lessons from Mr. Chamberlain. These are times calling us to draw lessons from Mr. Churchill and the words he spoke in 1942:

"Never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy".

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adventures in fund raising

So at one time today I thought that I had a whole post on Chassidus vs. Mussar worked out, and life would be all hunky-dory. I'd type it up, post it, and go to bed. Then I discovered that in fact my post would not answer, and that's why I'm writing now. If you're lucky, you'll get a well-thought out post; if you're not lucky, it'll look like Thursday night. So here we go!

There was an article in New York Magazine which explained why I'll never be the next great American Jewish writer. See, I'm an American, and I'm Jewish, and that disqualifies me. All the really great writers are immigrants, and they wrestle with their religious fates as if they were characters in an arena somewhere in Ohio. Me? I'm as American as Apple Pie, and I'd as soon wrestle with my religious fate as attend a wrestling event somewhere in an arena in Ohio.

So what's an aspiring writer to do? Faced with this utter lack of external resources and an equally disastrous lack of internal fortitude-but wait, is that so true? Have I no experience, no mind-bogglingly dull toasteds that I can trot out at a moments notice, writing with all the flare of a man who has the past behind him and the future rosy with a nice little tint of jello.

Sorry, it appears that Thursday is upon us once again. But seriously, it does appear that the age of the great Jewish writer has left us. Having existential angst caused by a lack of existential angst is all fine and dandy, but it's pretty hard to make a living writing about it, unless of course you have the knowingly ironic touch. No, something more is required. Greatness comes not from a comfortable middle-class existence, but rather from hardship and privation. You have to suffer for art. Of course, I have no great aspirations to art, but would instead be perfectly satisfied with a comfortable living. The government bailout, for example, would be much better used by me than any Wall St. fat cat. Just think how much our glorious union would benefit if I had seven hundred billion tax-free dollars at my disposal. Our economy would positively shriek for joy as I lay down the cash for a few minor purchases, i.e. a BBJ, a house, and perhaps a couple of helpers around the house.

Writing is no easy trade. Not for us is the security of the office nor the excitement of the racetrack. And some people envy us our seeming indolence. The truth is far different of course. When we're not busy peppering our blogs with helpful/humorous links we're busy saving the world one pen at a time. I understand that these great humanitarians (that we are) are often unappreciated, and their (our?) work is maligned under the most false of pretenses. This is not a cry for recognition-"I don't need your eighteen dollars!", but rather a desire to truly understand the process behind making a quick buck off an unsuspecting public yearning to be cut free of the bonds which tie it irrevocably to those barbarians up north. So yes, give me your tired, your poor, your hungry huddled masses yearning for semi-decent literature at an exorbitant price. Open for me the eye of a needle, and I shall open for you my wallets (you can drop the cash there, or deposit the checks directly to my account. Please see my secretary for credit card payments).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still in my salad days

As I sit here blogging, there are two people debating about 600 miles away. I'm not listening, nor watching, because honestly I have very little patience for this type of activity. Instead I'm listening to Lipa Schmeltzer's Oichiloo (in honor of Mussaf) and blogging (but you figured that last one out already). Oh, now I'm listening to the Miami Alumni sing Ilu, my one guilty pleasure in these ten days of awe that we're all currently experiencing in one form or another. OK, that song has ended, and now it's Ana Elokim from Chaim Israel. If you're scared that today's post will focus solely on my iTunes library then I'm sure you'll be happy to find out that this is not the case. No, today's focus will instead be on something that is so vital to America that it surprises me greatly whenever it's left out of the Salade Croustillante Terre et Mer which is the media's treatment of the important issue which are facing us. It's funny, I search Google for "complicated salad recipe" and all I can find is recipes that promise to deliver great taste without the complication. Hello, doesn't anyone ever want complication in their lives? Am I the only one here who wishes to take a serious look at this country's salad-eating habits and produce a truly spectacular salmon and scallop terrine with frisee salad. I don't even know what a terrine or a frisee is. And yes, I know that scallops aren't Kosher, though many people do seem to cook them with Kosher salt. In case anyone is interested, I'm currently listening to the Yossi Green Medley from Hasc 20, which happens to be one of the most beautiful medleys of all time and space. I am not joking.
One of the many things which can occasion an upset stomach is the overeating following a day of penitential fasting. Another cause of distraught tummys is the reading of material calculated to give offense in the strongest manner to anyone who subscribes to the beliefs occasioned therein.
Here's an interesting little piece from the middle seventies. Enjoy.


This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.

If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which followed a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.

Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.

If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or fell it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens.

Here are the main points again:

Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished.

Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for 14 days or more.

We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.
And that is the end of this edition of TRS. Remember, in the event of a nuclear blast, do not leave your computer for even a moment. In the event of a financial catastrophe, the likes of which the world is currently enjoying, do not leave your chair. TRS will be along to save the day, as soon as he's figured out the menu for Yom Kippur lunch. Again, I repeat, do not leave your chair. The economy is in shambles, it's all (insert your favorite jello flavor here)'s fault, and there's nothing you can do about it. So stay tight, and remember that the only thing we have to fear is the the government itself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Snarks in 5769

One of the great joys of festivals is the ability to eat at different people's tables and meet new people in the process, along with the obvious pleasures of a truly spectacular brisket. This Rosh Hashanah found me sitting at a table with a family of three, with a fourth on the way. He's Jewish, she was converted by our reformed brethren, and there child is in the local Lubavitch preschool. Any more information and I'd be sued for invasion of privacy, so instead I'll lay out some of the conversation. In fact I missed this part of the conversation, as I had to go to Mincha and Tashlich, which may have been just as well. Regardless, I later received a full report from the host, so here goes something.

The Mrs. started off by wondering why Jews can't just all get along. What's the sense in all our fighting? Why can't, for example, the orthodox accept a reform conversion? More to the point, why can't they accept her reform conversion? Why is her son not Jewish enough for them? If she has another son, why can't he have a Bris in our orthodox Shul? And why can any Joe Shmoe off the street walk into Shul on Yom Kippur, eating a BLT and smoking a cheroot, and we'll accept him with open arms, while she, paragon of Jewish virtue, is refused?

I know what I would have said to these honest queries, and I'm rather glad that I wasn't able to respond. I assume that she wouldn't have been prepared for my snark and cynicism. Why can't all Jews get along? I would answer, "What would be the fun in that?" I'm not sure that my outlook on this particular nook of life is the ecumenically correct one, but I simply thrive on conflict. In fact, most people do. What would be point if we all agreed? The media, for one, would die a slow and painful death. This itself would provide a modicum of entertainment, but after that?

And why can't the orthodox accept a reform conversion? Because it's not good enough. I know this sounds terrible, and that's why I'm glad I didn't get the opportunity to say it. I understand that you worked hard for it. I understand that a large segment of the Jewish population thinks you're Jewish. I also understand that as long as I don't think you're Jewish, well...who cares about my opinion? No one. Heck, even I don't care too much about my opinion. Still, I do tend to follow the prevailing winds, and in this case, I think that they auger no good for those who have not become part of our faith in the orthodox fashion.

And how about her son? Will the Cheder at some point say that he can't continue in the school unless he undergoes a proper ceremony, complete with prick and acceptance of the 613? Is this fair? I don't rightly know the answers to any of these questions. Obviously, this situation is unique, and quite complicated. There is one thing I can posit though: Life is unfair. Deal with it. Similarly, why is it that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew, no matter the level of observance? Simple. Because no matter how much some people don't want to acknowledge it, Jews are different. We have a Jewish soul. Once you have it, yeah! And if you don't have it, then you either have to arrange to get one or arrange to get out.
In this situation of course, I'd be the first to publicly preach tolerance, in the Merkos-approved manner of course (whatever that is). But sometimes, you have to tell people the truth. I'm glad that I wasn't able to respond on this occasion, because it probably wouldn't have accomplished anything, and anyway, she probably knows all of this anyway. Still, it might very well have been entertaining, and that to my mind is worth a lot. Oh well.

Meanwhile, in other news, I was walking with Rabbi Moshe Feller and we were discussing the various things. This is probably one of those occasions where what he said was intended for my ears only, but there's an old Chassidic tradition of releasing classified information to the public, and I would hate to go against Chassidic tradition.
He said that without Chassidus there's no way a person can understand Davening. "What do the misnagdim think when they Daven," he asked, "What do they know of Shema? Nothing!"
He mentioned that Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff always introduces him (Rabbi Feller) by saying, "He learned in Torah Vodaas," as if that makes him Kosher. Once Rabbi Feller said to him, "Cut it out! Yes, I learned there, but then I saw the light!"