Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #154 (3/24/18) – DimonaLand

Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #154 (3/24/18) – DimonaLand

airs March 24, 2018 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:

Shalom, Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of March 25, 2018.

What does Israel really need? What’s missing from the land of milk and honey? Oh, some would say peace between Jews and Arabs. Others might suggest curing cancer or irrigating more of the Negev. But a couple of Rabbis have a different idea. They say what Israel needs most of all is a theme park.

No, I am not kidding. A story in the Jerusalem Post explains that entrepreneurs have been visiting Eretz Yisroel in the hopes of building a Jewish equivalent of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In fact, planning is well under way for a 60-acre tourist attraction in the heart of Dimona—a city which, until now, was best known for housing the secret arsenal of Israel’s nuclear weapons. What better place to bring kids for a Hebraic vacation or, as I call it, Shlepcot.

The theme park will consist of five “worlds”: “World of Spirits, World of the Jewish Nation, World of Society, World of Time, and Oasis.” Someone got lazy with the last one, there. (Either that, or Noel Gallagher is really out of ideas.) But this is beautiful – Lea Malul, CEO of the project, told the Jerusalem Post, quote, “The park will have the same rides and the same layout as Disney World but with content. It will be 90% fun and 10% content.” Because God forbid Jews should have 100% fun at anything. No, always gotta make room for disappointment and boredom. Even at Passover, a happy holiday where we escaped from slavery and entered the holy land, we pour out 10 percent of our wine glasses. Why? Because Egyptians died, and we’re not supposed to celebrate too much. So now they’ll have a theme park where the last 10 seconds of the roller coaster slows down for a physics lesson.

But seriously, although the original idea for Shlepcot was put forward by a New Jersey Rabbi, the venue won’t be one of these biblical passion pageants. Nevertheless, it will promote Talmudic values. For example—and again, this is right from the Jerusalem Post—the popular Splash Mountain ride will include a theme of six work days and then, after the drop, a calm zone representing the day of rest. There’ll also be a People of the Book Roller Coaster. Which I guess means that Genesis and Exodus go really fast, and the last three books go two miles an hour and put you to sleep before Deuteronomy. They also might consider branding the long lines in the hot sun as representing 40 years in the desert, and making The Haunted Mansion Leona Helmsley’s old apartment.

If the project goes forward, developers expect the surrounding area to be built up with shopping malls, hotels—I’d say falafel stands are a good bet. More importantly, officials from Dimona hope to make that city an international destination. Said one official, quote, “Every year, four million cars pass by en route from Beersheba to Eilat. We want them stopping in Dimona.” What they don’t say is that the city was originally settled by North Africans and later got an influx of Russians. So the theme park will have both rhythm and fixed elections.

Here’s one more quote from Malul, the CEO: “Jewish history is mostly sad – with the Holocaust and so on.” I love that, `the Holocaust and so on.’ Like she’s browsing through a catalogue. But, she says, “this will be a unique way for Jewish values and learning to become fun.” Well, 90 percent fun.

Most promising is the idea that this park will not have Mickey Mouse or Goofy but “alternative characters who will represent the heroes of tomorrow,” unquote. One can only imagine: Ephraim, the plucky lizard. Stingy Duck. Winnie the Jooh. Captain Shnook. Shmuella DeVille. Shimon E. Cricket. And of course, Lilo and Stitch, the stitch being part of grandpa’s hernia operation. And I guess you need seven dwarf-equivalents: Yitzi, Chaiki, Shloimi, Rivki, Doc (who is a Jewish doctor), Gassy, and Grumpy because, let’s face it, Grumpy was always the Jewish one anyway.

Jokes aside, I am all for anything that brings joy and tourism to Dimona. And if some shmegegge employee accidentally pushes the wrong button, and instead of starting the Magic Carpet ride blows up half of Lebanon? Well, that would sure be worth the price of an E-Ticket.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. (sings) “Leave a small tip after all, leave a small tip after all…”

(c) 2018 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #153 (1/14/18) – Jokes for the New Year

Airs Jan. 14, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom, Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of January 14th, 2018.

Since we’ve just begun a new year, I don’t wanna get into race and immigration and fires and floods and Kim Jong Un and Palestinians and black dresses at the Golden Globes . . . I just wanna have a little fun. Let’s keep the brightness of the shanah chadashah going with something this old Rabbi loves almost as much deli meat: jokes. Jokes with a Jewish perspective.

For example, my cousin Irving is an actor in New York, so, of course, he’s unemployed. He gets a call from his agent who says, “I’ve got a job for you. It’s a little unusual, but it pays well, and it uses your mime skills—which, let’s face it, how often, right?”

“Great,” says Irving. “Where do I go?”

“The Bronx Zoo,” says the agent. “And bring a banana.”

So, warily, Irving makes his way uptown and checks in with the zookeeper, who says, “Here’s the deal: Koko, our 38-year-old gorilla, died over the weekend. While we’re waiting to buy a new ape, we don’t wanna lose the crowds. Your job is to dress up in a gorilla suit, go in the cage, and act like a monkey. Fool everyone, and you’ve got the gig for a couple of weeks.”

With no better prospects, Irving agrees, gets in the cage, eats the banana, and starts behaving in an ape-like fashion. And he really gets into it: jumping around, mimicking the crowd, throwing his feces, swinging on the bars. In fact, Irving is so method, he climbs on a rope and tries to swing himself to a tree branch. Unfortunately, he loses his grip and falls into the lion’s cage.

“Gevalt!” screams Irving. “Help me, help me!” as the lion strides towards him. Suddenly, the animal rears up on its hind legs, crouches over Irving and whispers, “Be quiet, schmuck! You wanna get us both fired?”

Now, this is not, per se, a Jewish joke, except for the schmuck part and the out-of-work Jewish actor part. But we can say the perspective is Jewish-esque because it concerns people doing whatever they must to get by. Heaven knows, and heaven does know, what the Jewish people have endured and the sacrifices they’ve made, just to survive in ancient Egypt, or 15th century Spain, or the Warsaw Ghetto, or the 15-items-or-less line at ShopRite. If that means letting someone in power make a monkey out of you, at least the gorilla eats and lives to swing another day.

Now, from swinging we move to skiing, and the Olympic tryouts in Montreal. Vying for the last spot to get into the Olympics were three champion skiers: an American, a Muslim, and an Orthodox Jew. In the final qualifying round, each athlete was allowed to have his trainer place something on the course to motivate and inspire them, which they did.

The trials begin, and the American zips down the slope in record time: 45 seconds. Then the Muslim shusses down the same course: 43 seconds. He’s on top. Finally, the Chassid starts his run, and everyone’s waiting and waiting and waiting. Five minutes later, he finally crosses the finish line.

So the athletes are on their platforms, and the reporters ask their trainers what happened. The American trainer says, “Well, at the starting gate, I put a pile of money. This was a reminder of the commercials and endorsement deals he’d get if he makes the Olympics.”

The reporters then ask the Muslim trainer, “Hey, congratulations. How’d you motivate your athlete to win?”

The trainer says, “Simple. At the finish line, I held up a giant poster of 72 virgins. Who wouldn’t wanna ski towards that?”

Finally, the reporters turn towards the Jewish trainer. They say, “Yankel Bernstein was favored to win this race. Instead he made the slowest time ever. What happened?”

“I dunno,” said the trainer. “I certainly tried to make him feel at home here in Montreal. That’s why I put a mezuzah on every gate.”

This silly but adorable joke gives us another insight into the Jewish character. Looked at one way, we can see that religious life is filled with time-consuming, seemingly unnecessary rituals: do this, wash that, don’t eat that, say this prayer, go to that shul. But we also receive great comfort from engaging in the same activities, in the same way, that our great-great-great and not-so-great grandparents did. More importantly, this joke reminds us that there’s always time to stop and take a moment and center yourself in the universe. Buddhists might set aside a meditation break, Arabs kneel and pray five times a day, Protestants have their four-o’clock gin and tonic. So for a Jew to plant a shmutchka on a Torah scroll when going into a room? Whom does it hurt?

Okay, time for our final joke. Benjy’s been working for the company five years, never had a raise. His wife hocks him and hocks him, so finally, timidly, he goes up to the big boss and says, “Look, I don’t wanna make trouble, but my wife says we need help with the bills, she says I deserve more than I’m making, she says I’m entitled to ask for a raise.”

The boss looks at Benjy and says, “Tell you what: come back tomorrow; I’ll give you the answer.”

“Okay,” says Benjy. “But why not now?”

The boss says, “I have to ask my wife.”

If you are married, I do not have to explain this joke. If you are not married: please, go out and live a little for the rest of us!

Meanwhile, the rest of us will regale ourselves with jokes, and start the new year with a spring in our step and a wiggle in our payes. And may we be blessed with that luxury for just another 51 weeks.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2018 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #152 (1/1/18): Farewell 2017

Airs Dec. 31, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of January 1, 2018.

Hard to believe, but the tumultuous, ridiculous year of 2017, or, as I like to call it, 5777-5778, is coming to an end. We’ve made it through 365 days without a nuclear war, an ice age, and a new Renny Harlin film, so why grouse?

As I did last year, I have chosen to summarize the events of the past annum in a poetical-artistical form, so I hope you will bear with me as we bid shalom to the current year and, well, shalom to the next. Seriously, whoever invented Hebrew really dropped the ball on word coinage. Anyhoo, here goes:

`Twas the night before New Year’s and throughout this great land,
Americans took about all they could stand

The country was split between blue states and red
And folks on each side wished the other side dead

The Democrats never imagined they’d lose
To a man who refers to the truth as “fake news”

A man who will speak without filters or grace
Though he could not repeal and he could not replace

And so, onto migrants Trump’s temper did fall
But Mexico said, “We won’t pay for your wall!”

“Now, folks,” said The Donald, “I’m just getting warm!
I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll do tax reform!”

And just before Christmas, the bill it did pass.
It’s great for the rich, not the poor and middle-class.

The stock market soared, the jobless claims fell
And still we all feel like we’re going to hell

Big hurricanes drowned with their winds and their waves
And statues came down `cause their subjects owned slaves

The national anthem brought teams to their knees
While Hollywood drowned in an ocean of sleaze

Oh Spacey, oh Keillor, oh Lauer, oh Franken
A few should get jailtime, the others a spankin’

The Democrats grinned when Fox News canned O’Reilly
Till the axe fell on Schwartz, Hockenberry, and Smiley

And suddenly hashtags were filled with “Me Toos”
Against a whole passel of rich, horny Jews

Yet Hollywood shlock remained vegetative
“Star Wars” 26 – how innovative!

But at least cinema took our minds off our woes
Prince Harry did, too, when he chose to propose

But still there were shootings by Muslims and crazies
With Jason Aldean fans all pushing up daisies

Now, that Vegas massacre was not by a Muslim
But they sure got mad at a Jewish Jerus’lem

And speaking of mad, how about North Korea
Which seems like it’s ready to start World War Threea

The pundits were urging our chief to stay calm
While Rocket Man threatened to liquidate Guam

But Trump was no Scrooge, no fiend out of Dickens
Why, he tossed paper towels at wet Puerto Ricans

He railed against Clinton, he’s threatening DACA
He kisses hot women but won’t use Binaca

He seated Neil Gorsuch upon the high court
To make it much harder for girls to abort

He praised Neo-Nazis so white folks were mollified
And all his appointees were ultra-unqualified

That said, he bombed Syria for murder by gas
So why does he Tweet and kiss Putin’s ass?

O.J.’s a free man until his next trial
And Mary Tyler Moore turned off her smile

This year we lost Domino, Berry, and Petty
And Allman and Cassidy and enough already.

2018 is just up ahead
With midterm elections to fill us with dread

The Winter Olympics will bore us with thrills
So doctors, please don’t ban our opioid pills

We’ll need them to get through each day and each night
Happy New Year to all, and to all a “La-La-Land.” I mean, “Moonlight!”

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. Shana Tovah!

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #151 (12/24/17) – Jerusalem

Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #151 (12/24/17) –  Jerusalem

Airs Dec. 23, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of December 24, 2017.

When you think of Israel, what’s the first place that comes to mind? Haifa? Jaffa? Ramat Gan? No, shlemiel, we think of Jerusalem. The holy city. Home of the ancient temple and the Wailing Wall. The place Jews have lived and worshipped for centuries. The site of both the Israeli Parliament and the Holocaust Museum, not to mention the markets, the Old City, the zoo, and my retired gastroenterologist. All are part of the Jewish fabric of this Jewish city in the Jewish state of Israel.

Did I say Jewish? Goddamn right, I did. Israel, the itty-bitty country that has been the unofficial Jewish homeland for 5,000 years and the official one since 1948, has a capital, and that capital is Jerusalem. Bill Clinton said it, Dubya Bush said it, Obama said it. Donald Trump said it but, unlike the others, acted upon it. And of course, the left wing goes into an orgy of self-righteous, ignorant misery. Many among them are self-hating Jews who won’t be happy until the Arabs push us into the Dead Sea. Or, as I’m sure the Muslims would prefer, push us into the sea, dead.

But here’s an example. If the governor of New York State wants to move the capital from Albany to Rochester, is it a big deal? No. It’s still New York. If Colorado wants to move its capital from Denver to Fort Collins—big whoop. The same goes for Israel. If the United States wants to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, why not? Jerusalem is not occupied, it’s not rented, it’s not on a 100-year lease; it’s a city in the Jewish homeland just like Paris is for France, like Rome is for Italy, like the Candy Kingdom was for the Land of Ooo. We can all despise Kim Jong Un and wish him dead and disarmed, but even then, we don’t tell him the capital of North Korea shouldn’t be in Pyongyang.

Hostile Arab nations and ignorant assuagers of terrorists have no business telling Eretz Yisroel what do with its own land. I can get along great with my next-door neighbor, but she better not tell me how to paint my living room. And she certainly can’t move into my bedroom . . . unless her tits are spectacular. And with all due respect to Mahmoud Abbas, his tits are unimpressive at best.

I have said time and time again on these Rabbinical Reflections, that Israel is a teeny-weeny country, the only land in the world that is specifically earmarked for the tormented Jewish nation. We are surrounded by enemies, and in world history, any place we’ve gone that has been nice to us can turn on a dime—look at Germany, Spain, Russia, CNN. Even the United States, the greatest country in the world and the best second home Jews have ever had, offers no guarantee. With Donald Trump and his half-Jewish family, we’ve got a friendly administration that puts its matzoh where its mouth is and will protect us against the Arafats and Bin Ladens and Al-Assads. But a president lasts four, maybe eight years. And who knows what comes after? Had Jimmy Carter been reelected, he would have cut Israel in half and let the PLO bomb us into Olam HaBah. We all know how well that peanut-picking putz dealt with Muslim extremists.

I have also explained in my sermons, and on my TV program, and in my highly acclaimed easily tour-able stage show that the Arabs own millions of miles of land spread out over 22 countries— not to mention countries in Africa and Asia whose populations are mostly Islamic. So when Palestinians say they have nowhere to go but Gaza or the West Bank or Jerusalem, they’re full of hummus. They could go anywhere if their Arab brothers and sisters would only let them. But no. Palestinians demand the one place they can’t have. And the Arabs send terrorists and lethal commercial airplanes into our country because we refuse to fall onto their carpets and bow before their shariah law.

And for those of you who say that Jerusalem should be an international city, a place for everyone because so many religions have sacred spaces there, I say, sure! Jerusalem already IS an international city. When has Israel prevented a Christian from stopping by to retrace Jesus’s mythical childhood and death march? And every year, millions of Muslims peacefully worship at the Dome of the Rock or the Al Aqsa Mosque, or the amazing falafel stand just outside Beit Hanina. And if Israeli police check the Mohammedans’ bags for explosives, wouldn’t you? Turn over Jerusalem, or half of Jerusalem, to the Palestinians, and within one generation, mark my word (or my many words), the place will be off-limits to outsiders, not to mention dangerous and probably mixed up in some Arab civil war.

So shut up, liberal lokshen heads, and up yours, United Nations. If calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital hurts the so-called peace process, well, the Arabs had 70 years to make nice. Instead they made trouble—all over the world and with no end in sight. 128 countries in the UN General Assembly think America has crossed a line simply by acting on the true, the fair, and the obvious? Fine, let them live without American money for awhile. Next time there’s famine in Bangladesh, or flooding in Indonesia, or a shortage of ladyboy hookers in Thailand, see how much aid they get from Lebanon or Sudan. Maybe they’ll airlift you a scorpion and a hundred Korans.

In the meantime, thank you, Donald Trump, for doing what’s right and what has been right from the beginning. And don’t let Roger Waters, Danny Glover, the aptly named Lupe Fiasco, Emma Thompson, Samantha Bee, and other celebrity know-nothings sway you with their blather. If these Hollywood types were so concerned about partitions, why didn’t they put one in front of Harvey Weinstein’s dick?

Oh, I know. Harvey Weinstein’s Jewish. And I’m not proud of that. But I am proud of our president, and considering that so many other things he and the Republicans have done are stupid, scary, and crazy, I’d call this oasis of sanity— you should pardon the expression—a Christmas miracle.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York, and maybe someday in Yerushalaim shel zahav.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #150 (8/20/17) – “On Both Sides”


Airs Aug. 20, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By.  Youtube:

Shalom Dammit!  This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of August 20, 2017.

Nazis are bad. I just thought I’d get that out of the way in case you didn’t know. Nazis are bad. And just so we’re clear, within the realm of Nazis, I also mean the KKK and White Supremacists. Bad, naughty, bad.

See? Wasn’t that easy?

Not for the president. At a time when the United States needed a leader who could spout soothing platitudes about standing up to the bad guys, President Trump painted everyone as bad guys. And then he started saying that some of the bad guys were good guys. In doing so, he’s made himself a pariah even among Republicans who forgave him for seven previous months of crazy.

And what kills me is that much of what Donald Trump said after the Charlottesville slugfest was both defensible and sensible. In his first statement after the event, the President said there’s no place for bigotry and hatred in America, and that we should all unite as one people. I dare anyone besides David Duke and Mel Gibson to disagree with that. And Chuck Schumer, just because disagreeing with Republicans is how he gets his oxygen.

But Trump also wanted to make a point about law and order. Remember: the guy went to a military academy and grabs his ankles every time a general walks by, so for him, a peaceable kingdom has more value than a righteous one. So he said, Look, you had one side showing up for a rally with torches and sticks, and another side meeting them with bats and pepper spray. When they got too close to each other, it was like a Jerry Springer picnic. And Trump was saying, very clearly, that both sides came to rumble. Instead of the Sharks and the Jets, you had the rights and the lefts. If Antifa hadn’t shown up, the alt-right would have had a non-eventful event. But the militant anti-fascists did come, saw a bunch of racists and Jew haters two feet away, and went to town. If you wave a red flag in front of a bull, you better hide your china. Which mixes two metaphors but still makes more sense than Donald Trump’s next speech.

That’s where the orange one doubled down on the douchebags. Two days after reading a prepared statement saying Nazis are bad—took him two days, but he managed it—he tried to re-re-clarify his pronouncements on the mutual violence in Charlottesville. How did he do that? By saying—and I kid you not—that there were good people on both sides. Which means that white supremacists holding confederate and Nazi flags, shouting “Jews will not replace us”—some of them were okay dudes.  And he wonders why even Fox News anchors are having a crisis of conscience. Well, the ones who haven’t been fired for sending dick pics.

Turns out it doesn’t matter who is trying to corral the President—Sean Spicer, John Kelly, the Mooch, that sexy siren Sarah Huckabee—they’re all dealing with a man who says the first thing that comes into his head, which is so filled with orange peroxide, there’s no brain left. If there were, he’d realize that what he was trying to say was simple. In Charlottesville, you could divide the situation into two elements: ideology and behavior. One side had an evil ideology; both sides engaged in inappropriate behavior.

I’ll put it another way. Let’s say Trump pushes through his budget next year and cuts meals on wheels for the aged and handicapped. So a million old people march on Washington. Along with  some cripples who roll on Washington. And they protest the cruelty of denying support to those who need it most. And the protestors are so mad, they start bashing young people with their canes and hurling their diapers into the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial. Worst of all, they destroy the ratings of the Hallmark Channel by missing a whole day of “Diagnosis Murder” reruns.

Now, ideologically, these geezers are on the side of the angels—with whom they will be consorting soon enough. They have right on their side. Not alt-right, virtue-right. But behaviorally, they’re wicked, and should be arrested as soon as the first colostomy bag hits the Potomac.

So you see that moral evil can be separated from physical misconduct. A well-spoken Nazi in a suit and tie is still a Nazi. A heart surgeon who speeds through a red light still deserves a ticket. And a President who usually means well can keep doing things that make us want to impeach him.

We’re in for a long national conversation about pulling down statues, taking down blogs, and everyone being fed up. But take heart, America. It’s only 41 more months to the next presidential election. And if we can just manage to stay out of a nuclear war, that’s more than enough time to bounce back from a civil war. Isn’t it?

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.


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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #147 (7/9/17) – Wailing Wall

Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #147 (7/9/17) –  Wailing Wall

Aired July 9, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of July 9, 2017.

It is no secret that I love Israel. If I were to make a list of things I love, Israel would be number three, right after hot pastrami sandwiches and hot Natalie Portman. What can I say? I like sex and sandwiches. But Israel comes third—higher, even, than my wife and family, who come a distant fourth. And because I love Eretz Yisroel, I have railed many times against those who criticize the country for its treatment of the Palestinians—who do not belong IN Israel if they don’t follow the rules—and against those who bitch that America spends too much money on Israel. Because, you know, Israel’s Arab neighbors are such a friendly lot and have done so much good for us.

All that said, the past week has been a painful one for Zionistas like myself. First of all, we were reminded that Israeli politicians aren’t perfect when former Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, was released from prison after serving 16 months for taking bribes. Far be it from me to pass judgment on someone succumbing to the temptation of taking a money-stuffed envelope; heck, you could bribe ME with a stuffed cabbage. But we expect more of our leaders and doubly more of our Israeli leaders. If Israelis wanted to be saddled with a corrupt politician who cared only for himself, they’d move to New Jersey.

But Olmert is old news; the new news is the internal fight, in Jerusalem, over the Wailing Wall. See, everyone can pray at the wall of the great temple; they just can’t pray together. Men can daven in one section, and women can pray in a smaller area by the parking lot that’s also too close to the elevator and the ice machine.

A year and a half ago, secular leaders from the U.S. and Israel met with current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and begged him to create a nook by the Western Wall where gentlemen and ladies could pray together. Not the whole wall, just a portion that would no longer be segregated by sex or gender.

Feminists, liberals, reform Jews, reconstructionists, and deconstructionists like myself welcomed the compromise. It would keep Israel in the modern era and also make it easier for families and tourists to nag each other in the same place at the same time. So in 2017, who could object to this? The ultra-Orthodox, that’s who. This politically formidable and staunchly conservative group, who were key in keeping Netanyahu in power, will accept absolutely no compromises: women on one side, men on the other, Caitlin Jenner in the basement. The chassids forced Netanyahu to reneg on his deal, which infuriated all the moderates. As David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee put it, “The Kotel belongs to all Jews worldwide, not to a self-appointed segment.”

To be fair, Jews everywhere count on the uber-Orthodox to keep the faith—literally. With so much assimilation and intermarriage and pressure to be a nationalist first and a Jew second—it’s kind of nice to have a bunch of yidlach still living in the 19th century, resisting modernity, and reminding us there’s a core of bible-based tenets that have carried us for 5,000 years. Let’s face it, the Amish are ridiculous, but they make the best pretzels and furniture, so we’d miss `em if they all packed up and moved to rumspringa.

But Israel was not created by America and the U.N. solely as a place for black hatters to study Talmud and suck down welfare. Eretz Yisroel was founded as a refuge for all Jews, blown sideways by the diaspora, decimated by the Holocaust, and crying for a safe homeland in the place the Torah says we came from. Among all those Jews, some work on Saturdays. Some like a ham sandwich. Some even intermarry or listen to Mannheim Steamroller. To disregard the lifestyles of these people as not being Jewish enough for Jerusalem smacks of reverse discrimination. Worse, American Jewish groups worry that Netanyahu’s bowing to a tiny segment of his population could drive a wedge between secular American Jews and Israel. Already, mega-philanthropist, Ike Fisher, a real-estate tycoon and AIPAC poobah, has suspended donations to the country because of what he calls this quotes “act of contempt.” That’s millions of dollars at stake, folks. Dollars that could be paving Israeli roads, providing health care, building me a satellite shul in Haifa—hey, a guy can dream, right?

So I must join with other Rabbis of my persuasion in objecting to this reversal by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his kowtowing to an obdurate faction: a group so right wing, they make the Tea Party look like SDS. And look, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not such a big deal to ask men and women coming to the holiest place on earth, to stand a few yards away from each other. I mean, when you go to the gym, do you share the same locker room? No! Much as I would like to. But it’s the principle of the thing. Jews are not a monolith. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and curves. Favoring one sex over another, however subtly, is just not in keeping with the egalitarian spirit of a people who know all too much about arbitrary separation.

So Benjamin, Benyamin, Benjy, Benihana: do what’s right for Israel, rather than just for your career: let men and women pray together in Jerusalem. If God doesn’t like it, He can shake the wall and spit out the little pieces of paper. Or just move the wall to the U.S./Mexican border and kill two birds with one stone. Well, a thousand stones, but you get my drift.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2017 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.

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Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #145 (3/11/17) – Purim Jokes Anew


Airs March 11, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of March 11, 2017.

Happy Purim, everybody! It’s the one day of the year when the world is actually supposed to be crazy, rather than the accident we live in day to day. As such, it’s something of a tradition on this most happy holiday for me to eschew ranting, bitching, and beating various dead horses, and to just tell a couple of jokes, with a bissel of Talmudic commentary. Well, Talmudic-style commentary, since I’m too busy to actually read the friggin’ Talmud. (pause) Oh, as if you aren’t.

Anyhoo, we begin with a charming joke about infidelity. Murray the accountant has been lusting after his secretary for months. Finally, she gives in, they take the day off, go to a hotel, and spend hours boinking and shtupping, moaning and groaning, coming and going. They’re so exhausted, they even fall asleep. Suddenly, Murray wakes up, it’s 7:30 at night.
They start frantically dressing, and as they get out the door, Murray hands the girl his shoes and says, “Do me a favor. Take my shoes, go to the lawn, and rub them all over the grass and dirt. Do it!” She does. He says, “Great, don’t panic.” Drives her home and makes a beeline for his own house.
In he walks at 8:45, and boy, is his wife waiting for him. “Where have you been?” she screams in his face.
“Honey,” he says. “I’m not gonna lie to you. For the last ten hours, I’ve been in a hotel room with my hot secretary, and we’ve been having wild sex in every possible position. I’m sorry.”
Murray’s wife looks down at his shoes. Stares at them. Says, “You lying son of a bitch; you’ve been playing golf!”

Please note that this joke is not meant to be instructional or tried at home. It does remind us that marriage is a sacred institution, but even more sacred is the need for men to have their own corner of time and space. Doesn’t mean, chas v’chalil, they should be committing adultery—or certainly not childrenry. But an activity that is theirs and theirs alone. And ladies, remember, the good news is that for men of a certain age, golf is a helluva lot more manageable than an affair. For one thing, you can hold your shaft up for three hours without having a heart attack. For another, it’s more fun to pick up your balls from the green than to pick up your balls with tighter underpants. And finally, if you land in the wrong hole, you just get a drink at the bar instead of needing a penicillin shot.

Moving on. So last week, I’m visiting a big synagogue in Manhattan, and I have to use the bathroom. So I go downstairs, big men’s room; I try one stall, the door won’t open. So I try the next one, it’s fine, I go in, sit down.
I’m just getting settled, when a voice comes from the next cubicle. “Shalom! How are you doing?”
“Oy,” I think. But to be polite, I answer, “I’m fine, thank you very much.”
A couple seconds go by, the man says, “Well, what are you doing?”
What am I doing? I tell the guy, “I’m taking a poop! What the hell do you think I’m doing?”
Immediately, I hear the voice say: “Listen, Chaim, lemme call you back. I’ve got this schmuck in the other stall answering everything I say.”

Nu, so what do we learn from this joke? We learn that we can get so wrapped up in our own heads, we automatically assume everything around us revolves around us. The truth is, most of the time, the opposite is true. We are the moons orbiting the sun. The best we can do is not to collide with each other, fall in, and burn up. Put another way—since I mentioned poop—we’re just flies circling the manure. The best we can do is not collide, fall in, and come out smelling like Greeley, Colorado.

Okay, last one. Out of sheer curiosity, because he’s never been, Avi Cohen decides to visit a church. He goes in, unpacks his t’fillin bag, puts on a yarmulke and tallis, and sits. He figures, “I can pray my own prayers; I just like the atmosphere.”
However, when the priest starts the service, he sees Avi, and the first thing he says is, “Would all non-Christians kindly leave?”
Avi hears this, but he’s in the middle of the sh’ma and doesn’t move.
Again, the priest calls out, “I’m asking, please, would all non-Christians leave?”
Avi, in the middle of prayer, doesn’t acknowledge; doesn’t budge.
Finally, turning red, the priest barks out, “Will all Jews please leave my church!”
At this, Avi removes his kippah, his tallis, stuffs them away, leaps out of his chair, and marches towards the exit. On the way, he grabs a statue of Jesus and says, “Come boychick. They don’t want us here anymore.”

This is, of course, a reminder that in an era when Christians and Jews may wind up being pitted against each other over abortion, Palestinians, school prayer, thin-crust pizza vs. Chicago style. It’s good to remember we all need each other. Christians wouldn’t have a religion without us. And we wouldn’t have much traction in our current government if the goyim didn’t believe that Israel was necessary for endtimes. So, Jews, stop panicking. If anti-Semites are knocking over some headstones, if the alt-right is somehow making skinheads feel like they’ve got decent hair—it sucks, but don’t get sucked in. On this Purim holiday of 2017, celebrate what we can, and keep an eye on what we can’t.

Remember, too, that the president has a Jewish son-in-law and a converted Jewish daughter, and that the majority of our countrymen stand with us. Countrywomen, too. After all, what is a pussy hat if not a hamentaschen for the head?

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. Purim Sameach!

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