Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Why is it that when people see a "chushuva" or even a not so "chushuva" person get a kibud they have a natural inclination to make a rude sound.

"Yaamod Yankel ben Zalman, Shlishi"


What does a sound reminding us of the act of urination have to do with getting a kibud?

This question has been asked by numerous rabbis (I use that term loosely considering the current state of the cheif rabbanite in Israel) and has been answered as follows:
1. I'm so very impressed that my neighbor, the am haaretz, has been given shlishi that I have literally wet my pants. In recognition of this, I make a peepee sound.
2. My neighbor has recently had prostate surgery and needs all the encouragement he can get.
3. Pshhhhh does sound like peeing but it also sounds like something deflating. We direct this sound at our neigbor to let him know that he shouldn't let the kavod go to his head --- he should deflate his ego.
4. In a  similr  vein, it is brought down in a book written by some guy with a long beard that kibudim are typically given to chushuva people. Of course these people are generally no more chushuv than my belly button lint so it has become minhag yisroel to let them no that despite this kibud they are getting, they are still a bunch of pishers.
5. A pishing sound is better than a flatulation sound.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A new term

As noted in the last few posts, the NF now davens in a shul that has a very low tolerance for shtuyot which means that very little material has made itself available in the last 11 months since we moved.

But this past Shabbat was special --- Sitting through a complelty inoffensive shacharit   a new term was born.

Baal shacharit was an old guy with completly inoffensive and boring but tolerable nusach. But then when the Torah was taken out, he decided that despite the fact that there was a long double parsha and birchat hahodesh, it would be a good idea to sing Beh Ana Rachitz very very slowly. And then it dawned on me. the chazzan wasn't guilty of cantorial masturbation; No he was guilty of cantorial stupidity.

We managed to get through the leining and then the Swiss Army Thespian got up to daven musaf. He did the יהי רצון for ברכת החדש using the old school, שיבנה בית המקדש melody. The melody kind of makes me think of hava nagila, gefilte fish balls, electric blue carpeting, satin talitot and the Men's Club at a 1960s-era Orthodox/Conservative shul. But Swiss pulled it off ok and I suppose the melody is appropriate for the month of Av. He then correctly used the אלי ציון melody for יחדשיהו.

But then we got to Kedusha. Now, Swiss has mentioned to me a number of times that he is looking to win a golden shtender. But yesterday, Swiss did not win anything....

First he used the melody from אין לי ארץ אחרת which is both ugly and inappropriate for kedusha. But I could have forgiven him for that.....and then we had Sunrise/Sunset for the 2nd half of Kedusha. Oh barf!  Frankly, it made everyone feel icky all over.

As a general rule of thumb, we should try to keep Broadway and shul separate.

Sorry, Swiss, you have been gonged.