Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Ten TRS Commandments

If I didn't have a miserable little cold I'd be pretty happy right now. Imagine, I woke up with two possible things to blog about, and now I have two more. Oh, the joy! Plus the author of three of the guest posts on this here blog just got engaged. Mazel Tov! No wonder Fab Gal/Farbrengen/Kesem stopped commenting on here. She was involved in more worthwhile pursuits. Anyway, back to blogging. The first possibility is a treatise on the reeducation necessary to truly call one's self a TRSer, while the second is a favor for this blog's very first supporter and friend, for which I remain grateful. Hmm, maybe I can combine the two.

The first thing that is necessary to know is that fundamentalism is only tolerated if it makes sense to me. Zev Brenner refusing to comprehend what his guests have to say is not appreciated. Look, I get that he doesn't like Footsteps, but I have a hard time believing he never heard of them before what, Friday? It also strains credulity to imagine that he fails to see any good in their work. The first point is particularly troubling. Isn't Talkline with Mr. Brenner supposed to be at the forefront of Jewish talklininess? When the New York Times Magazine runs a feature article on Lubavitch, and features Malky Schwartz, he doesn't read it? How about when a controversial book prominently features her organization? Is he too busy reading Berger? And a couple of years ago the New York Times again ran a story on Footsteps; where was Mr. Brenner. The second point that rankled was his seeming inability to understand that not every person who fries out l does so because he was molested as a kid or because he didn't talk to the right rabbi who would undoubtedly have saved his soul if given half a chance. Why does he not get that not everyone gets what he gets? I love Lubavitch, but I don't expect everyone to love it too. And that's fine. Mr. Brenner evidently expects the world to love what he stands for, and if not, to try and love it.

This then is the first step to becoming a TRSer, realizing that everyone is different and that this isn't a bad thing. Do we really need a world populated exclusively by clones of me? I think not. One is more than enough. And the same goes for everyone else.

The second rule is that you have to love a simple Jew named Lipa Schmeltzer. I understand that he's not so popular among a certain element on this blog, but what can I do? He happens to be the best Jewish singer out there right now. Heck, I bet Miss Schwartz even likes him!

The third rule is that we're all adults, and as such we are expected to maintain a certain standard of intelligence. These standards include a basic knowledge of "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves", as well as an ability to criticize those who deign to litter our environment with ill conceived attempts at grammatical independence. I'm not calling for a general repudiation of all English innovation, but rather of those who fail to recognize the humor inherent to those who choose to strain the barrier that keeps the masses intelligible.In short, rule four: no contradiction shall remain unchallenged, and if the source of said contradiction points it out themselves, then all the better. Because remember, we are only as critical of others as we are capable of being criticized ourselves. In Mr. Brenner's case, it would be nice to see an acknowledgment that he doesn't know everything in the world. If Footsteps thought it necessary to have a rabbinical adviser then they would have one. The fact that they don't is telling: that's not their job. They aren't here to tell formerly-frum people why they should stay frum. They're here to help those people adapt to the outside world, an often scary place, especially if you're satmar.

This brings up the next rule: never, but never, but never ever ever ever eat satmar meat. Unless Mendys has nothing else, in which case it's ok. Here at TRS we believe that you should never let religion get in the way of life. By that I mean, when you see a woman drowning in your local water reservoir, don't call your local orthodox reverend and find out the propriety of saving her. When you're at Mendys and the turkey gumbo has mealmart fowl, don't swear it off. When you're at a movie theater and the guy next to you spills his popcorn all over your date...All right, that's taking things a bit too far. What the heck are you doing at a movie theater you frie yak? And another perfect segue into Footsteps. Yes, these rules are arbitrary. And that's probably one of things you hated about Judaism. Or just didn't like.

Whatever. Deal with it. You think the world out there is any less arbitrary, makes any more sense, has any more rhyme or reason? Well listen darling, it don't. Things are. That's just the way it is. Some of us like having a G-d be the source of those arbitrary rules. Others don't. Whatever floats your boat. Just don't expect me to get in and help you paddle.

What is this now, rule five? Six? Whatever. Whichever one it is it's pretty simple. Comment early. Comment often. Don't be afraid of doing stupid things. Don't do stupid things. Try to avoid putting too many instructions into a single rule. Realize that your planned "Ten
commandments of TRS" isn't getting anywhere near there. And realize that Zev Brenner is just trying to best he can to bring Jews closer to their father in heaven. Which is all I really ask of anyone.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Be a contrarian. Argue for the sake of argument. Don't shy away from confrontation just because the side you've gotten of an argument is clearly in the wrong. And one more thing: can someone please get me some normal tissues instead of this sand paper I'm currently dealing with? Thanks, I'd really appreciate it.

31 comments:

Nemo said...

Do I sense a revolution on TRS? Returning to the old ways?

And what's this Zev Brenner crap?

Anonymous said...

Who's engaged?

Dovid said...

"Unless Mendys has nothing else, in which case it's ok."- hold on, one sec, I thought everything in Mendys is Lubavitch Shchitah. Was I wrong?

Nemo- What were the old ways?

Crawling Axe said...

What happened to paragraphs?

Anonymous said...

Zev Brenner felt compelled to give the impression that he didn't know what footsteps was, to combat the anger of the frum community for having Malkie on in the first place

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
Sorry to hear about your cold (although your raging fever has apparently produced the kind of "fire and brimstone" post that your faithful readers have come to expect). Nice work. Feel better - LdT.

sarabonne said...

You should write when you're raving ill more often. Good post. Sorry about the tissue situation oh and get better.

Crawling Axe said...

I don’t know man. The world makes sense to me. As does G-d.

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: this post was a favor to a couple of TRS regulars.
Anon: Kesem Mia Nir to Yonatan Hetzroni.
Dovid: depends which mendys.
CA: the formatting is bad? Sorry. That's what happens when you write on an iPod.
Anon: did you listen to the show? It's not mashma that way. Though you are correct, Mr. Brenner would do anything to save his sorry hide, including throwing his invited guests under the bus.
LtD: Thanks.
Sara: reeducation going well?
CA: we're happy for you.

Crawling Axe said...

No, there used to be paragraphs. Then they disappeared from every single post.

Thanks.

sarabonne said...

I'm getting my "textboks" today.

LE7 said...

I'm glad you're posting like the fanatically frum TRS we all grew to know and love. Down with the infidels!

How come I've never been called out on my attempted grammatical independence insurgency or whatever?

(See? Look at how bad that sentence was).

Feel better Mr. TRS.

LE7 said...

(Want to know something cute? My personalized google advertisement at the bottem of the sidebar is for Lubav of WI right now).

The Kallah aka fab gal aka Farbrengen :) :) :) said...

BS"D
I heard that the blog world was oh-so-slightly abuzz with the news of my engagement, so among all the phone calls, emails, text messages, and facebook posts, I had to see what was going on in the blogosphere.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your mention of me, and b"H may everyone have the simcha that they need in their personal lives, whether it be a shidduch, children, parnosa, health, and any other haztlocha that is needed, and of course it should be with clarity and bring us to the greatest simcha of all, the coming of MOSHIACH NOW!!!

The Real Shliach said...

CA: I'm working on it.
Sara: we're happy for you.
LE7: with some people there's just no hope.
And yes, very cute.
Fab Gal: we are all course very happy for you, and appreciate the brochos. May you be zoche to build a bayis neeman b'yisroel, with all the goodness that such an entity entails.

LE7 said...

Farb, of course it was a-buzz.We were starting to wonder where you were...

sarabonne said...

I notice there are paragraphs now.

Mazel Tov Farb, thanks for the brachos, I'll see you soon! (do you know when your L'Chaim will be?)

EndOfWorld said...

Mazal Tov!

Maybe TRS is trying his hand at becoming the next onlysimchos...or the mazal tov section of crownheights.info, being as he is so buddy-buddy with webby....

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

mazal tov fab gal.

TRS, you're at yeshiva which is an institution of higher learning. It is a law of nature that institutions have to use sand paper instead of normal tissues.

Crawling Axe said...

You think chassidim of old had tissues? They had a shmata. And some mashka. And lots of herring.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: cold comfort you are.
CA: dude, you're obsessed.

LE7 said...

Yeah Axel you fit right in.

Crawling Axe said...

With herring? I like my coasters.

kesem said...

BS"D
Thank you all for the Mazel Tovs!!! Only simchas by us all, with n'eNow!

The Real Shliach said...

Amen. Believe you me, amen.

kesem said...

BS"D
So TRS, it's soon soon soon by you!

The Real Shliach said...

Um...no comment.

kesem said...

BS"D
Because it's soon soon soon B"H.
I'm a kallah, I know these things.

LE7 said...

Talk about making things socially awkward.

kesem said...

BS"D
Why would it be awkward? TRS should just say amen to himself, and when he gets his better half in the near-sighted future, I can say "I TOLD YOU SO" and wish him a hearty mazel tov on getting hitched!

The Real Shliach said...

As I said previously, "Um...no comment."