Friday, April 14, 2006


The Gadol Hador ( posted the entry below, just before leaving for the week.

I think the post is charming. It deserves a wider audience (his blog readers are usually NOT gentiles - I suspect that many gentiles are scared of stuff that they don't recognize - just like folks from the plains states distrust all fish that ain't tuna-inna-can).

There are some expressions you might not understand without help.
These are (in order of appearance):

Yom Tov = Holiday, religious festival.
Shver, shverre = Father in law.
Bnai Yisrael = The Jews.
Halachah = Talmudic laws and legal code.
Gedolim = The plural of Gadol. A great Talmudic mind.
Mussar = Meaningful godranting, moral message harangue.
Shmoozen = Intimate discussions, often by a rebbe to his devotees. Talks.
Yetziat Mitzraim = The getting-the-heck-out-of-Egypt.
Eretz Zovas Chalav uDvash = A land (eretz) flowing (zovas) with milk (chalav) and honey (devash).
Kollel guys = Married men still studying for a year or two after getting hitched.
Seforim = Books.
Chumras = Restrictions, more severe practises.
Mekayem = To adhere to, cleave to, be obedient to (as in the phrase "Tzaddik gozer ve Hakadosh Baruch Hu mekayem - the Tzaddik implores, and G-d gives in).
Hiddur mitzvah = Santifying the commandment; making the commandment beautiful.
Maykil = Lenient.
Moshiach = The messiah.

The GH's entry:

Monday, April 10, 2006
Pesach Hotel!!!

Well folks, it’s that time of the year again. All the MO (Monied Orthodox) go off to spend Pesach at fancy shmancy hotels, leaving all the complainers like Marvin Shtick to complain about how this isn’t in the spirit of Yom Tov. I’m not one of the Monied Orthodox, but I do have a generous shverre (thanks FIL!), so I shall be joining the ranks of the wealthy and will be stuffing my face for 8 days straight, morning noon and night, and often in between too.

But why are these people complaining? I thought Pesach was all about liberation from slavery? Leaving my day job to go spend 8 days in a luxury resort seems quite liberating to me! I think it’s exactly in the spirit of Pesach, especially if the generous shverre is paying. Kinda like God supplying the Bnai Yisrael with Manna.

Just wait, in 500 years I bet it will become the accepted Halachah that you MUST go to a Hotel for Pesach. Gedolim will give inspiring mussar shmoozen about how the only proper way to symbolize Yetziat Mitzrayim to Eretz Zovas Chalav uDvash is to perform our own personal Yetziat Mitzrayim and go to a hotel, Eretz Zovas Jelly Fruits and Coconut Macaroons.

Kollel guys looking for extra income will write seforim on Pesach Hotel Chumras, that to be really mekayem hiddur mitzvah you should go to a 5 star hotel. (MO will be maykil on 4 star). I also expect chumras and halachos on the minimum number of times to visit the Tea Room between meals, and the proper attire for the pool on Yom Tov afternoon. The MO and the UO will argue about the proper destinations, the MO will say it has to be in Israel, the UO will say Florida is fine until Moshiach comes.

Anyways, I shall be leaving shortly to somewhere warm, near a body of water. Could be Israel, could be Florida, could be Spain. Maybe I will see some of you there? I'll be the guy reading Torah Min HaShamayim by Heschel (possibly with a fake dustjacket depending on the crowd), and also I still have to finish 'The Emergence of Ethical Man' (and about 200 other books). I'll also have a big bowl of jelly fruit and coconut macaroons. Yumm.

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For some seriously good stuff (or absolute kefirah, depending on your background and how little you've managed to escape from it), please visit the Gadol Hador at:

Do read the comments underneath his posting. That's often where the meat of the matter is hashed out. And mostly that's even better than listening to a questions and answer session, or reading the transcripts of lectures. Halfway between flow of consciousness ranting and brilliant debate.
Learning is not a project with a defined end-point, but a continuous process (and sometimes, learning is also happily reading the angry objections and snarky comments. But it is never dull).

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Another very worthwhile lecture hall in the internet Yeshiva can be visited here:
It too provides great stimulation.
If you are a republican (chosvechollilleh), it might give you bile. In which case I definitely recommend it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, NOW I get the appeal of the Godol Hador post earlier! The contrast between expectation and reality.

Poor man. Next year better.

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