This afternoon my family and I paid a visit to Byerly's in S. Louis Park where I beheld, for twenty six dollars, "Death by Chocolate." Crazy, no? The cake was half the size of cakes which cost half as much, and yet they had the chutzpah to display it prominently... Who knows, maybe it's worth it. Maybe it's not.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
In other news, certain nefarious individuals have requested that I read Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. I told them that a roommate of mine at RCA read Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them): A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, and that I wouldn't want to stoop to his level. They weren't impressed.
Tomorrow morning I fly, and to celebrate, here's a nice little post originally published on November 15, 2007, entitled Story time with Uncle Shliach:
Can we cue the corny music please? It's time for stories! Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, fearless leader of the Lubavitch Yeshiva-Wexler Learning Institute, and all-around genius, gave us, the Shluchim of YHSTC a Shiur yesterday. It was very interesting. The part that I wrote down was of course the stories, so here goes: The Tzemach Tzedek was once provoked, and he made a quick mental search through the entire Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi to figure out if he was Halachicly allowed to get angry. What's the point of the story? It's just cool.
Second story: People once asked the Friedriker Rebbe, Lubavitch is Mekarev (brings in) many people, but doesn't it say in Shulchan Oruch (Code of Jewish Law), in the fourth section, Choshen Mishpat, that there are only certain people who we bring closer, and there are some who we even push away. How could Chabad bring in everyone indiscriminately? The Rebbe answered, "First let me deal with every person with the first three sections of Shulchan Oruch, then we can discuss the fourth." Point of the story? Chabad is all about love, baby.
Third story: Reb Mendel Futerfas once said, "Why by the orthodox world is an engagement celebration called a "Tenaim", literally "conditions", while in Chabad it's called a "Vort", a saying? Because when a Bochur leaves Yeshiva, it's a descent for him, from the rarefied air of Torah learning down to the corporeal world of our mundane lives. This is helped along by the Yetzer Hora, the evil inclination. So by the rest of the orthodox world, they make conditions, have a give and take with the YH. But by Lubavitch, we tell the YH what's what. He has no say." And nowadays, Lubavitch doesn't even have a Vort, we have a Lchaim. Why? Because even talking to the YH can be dangerous, so we just say Lchaim. Point of the story? With yourself, no love, you've got to be firm.
And the fourth story? Here goes: Reb Yoel Teitelbaum, the Divrei Yoel, former Rebbe of Satmar, was once asked why in the Torah, the laws of personal dealings, Parshas Mishpatim, comes right after the giving of the Torah, in Parshas Yisro, while in Shulchan Oruch it's the final section? So Reb Yoel explained. We try to avoid a court case, the application of the final section of Shulchan Oruch, because it's strict judgement, and someone's bound to get hurt. Two people can't both be right. So instead the Rabbis try to make a compromise. But when it comes to Torah, you must immediately know right from wrong, there can be no compromise! The point of the story is, even Satmar has some cool stuff.