A few years ago, I was dragged to an engagement party. Thank goodness it was over. Of course, I wasn't going to go in, as it was... mixed (whispered). I did take a peek inside the famous "shul" hosting the shindig. I couldn't help it; I was intrigued....
Well, after my anticlimactic peek, I escaped back outside, leaving behind a dwindling pontification about kevunnah during particular days of S'firus haOimer. Colors like purple and chartreuse also fit into it somehow. But I didn't stick around long enough to find out why.
Whew! Fresh air! Not for long, though, as I couldn't help but catch the conversation between my [not anymore] friend and some woman he knew. They bumped into each other, while I was inside the "shul." Actually, it wasn't really a conversation, but more like a monologue....
I'm giving a shee'eer. You should come to my shee'eer. Did I tell you I'm giving a shee'eer? Yes, Rabbi so-and-so is away, so I'm giving his shee'eer. You could learn a lot from my shee'eer. You should really come to my shee'eer. Why aren't you coming to my shee'eer?
I can't even pronounce the word shee'eer. Can you? Did she perhaps mean shi'ur? My gaivah-radar alarm went off almost immediately. So, I stayed off to the side, pretending to admire the architecture of the "shul." It was a good thing, too. No one could see my eyes popping out of their socket.
Oh, and before anyone starts harassing me about this irritating incident involving a woman, let me just say that it would irritated me equally if it had been a man.
I once overheard another women say something like the following. Once again, it could easily have been a man.
He's a raaaaabbi. He has smeeeeecha. Are you a raaaaabbi? Do you have smeeeeecha? You don't have smeeeeecha. YOU're not a raaaaabbi. You have to stand for a raaaaabbi. I heard a raaaaabbi once say that you have to, so that means that you do.
It seems that she was talking about some kid taken off of his skateboard, given the Sha"S in English to read, taught how to dress, to shuckle and to give a good speech. And, voila! You're a raaaaabbi.
Just for the record, I am all for providing kids on skateboards with Torah education. Better to let them keep their skateboards and provide them with a real Torah education, than to make him a pawn of some "raaaaabbi's" empire.
I felt sympathy for this woman. She didn't know much about Judaism. Not knowing is one thing. But she thought she did. And, I don't think she wanted anyone to tell differently. She's stuck,...like a lot of us are in various ways.
Where do these people come from? Oh, yeah, 2.000 years of galuth....
We are in big trouble spiritually.