Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hilchoth Festivus: Festivus shehal b'Shabbath Hanukkah

ב׳ לחודש התשעי תשס״ו

Thirty days before a festival, it is traditional to review the associated hallachoth, in order to observe it properly. Festivus falls on Shabbath Hanukkah this year. The last time Festivus fell during Hanukkah was 5763, and the last time it fell on Shabbath Hanukkah was 5760, seven years ago! So, it is particularly crucial to review the hallachoth associated with this special occurrence. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this Jerry Seinfeld Show created holiday, I will refer you to the Wikipedia entry for some introductory information, and to the Festivus Book with a forward by Jerry Stiller (Festivus founder and patron Frank Costanza), for more detailed information. Now, I was originally concerned when I saw that Festivus, held on December 23, coincided with both Shabbath and Hanukkah this year. But, then I realized that the calculation of the beginning and end of Festivus is according to the lu'azi (goyshe) calendar. When Shabbath and Hanukkah go out on Saturday night, it is still December 23, and still Festivus. The Festivus Se'udah is traditionally held at night anyway. Thus, there are no immediately apparent conflicts between nor amongst these holiday observances. 

Airing Of Grievances 
The airing of grievances takes places during the se'udah, the Festivus meal. Now, it is very important that one keeps oneself occupied during the Shabbath preceding, so as not to interfere with the Shabbath atmosphere, and its joyous nature. One may also not make not of grievances during Hanukkah, for similar reasons. There is a mahloqeth as to whether one may write the grievances down, at all, even before Hanukkah. I hold to the opinion of the Kalashnokover Rebbe, who rules that if one must write a grievance down, then it is not a "real" grievance. 

Festivus Se'udah Recently a question came up as to what actually must be served at the se'udah. According to the answer to this question is "whatever you want." However, there are those who follow the minhag of eating Paella, the kosher-adaption, of course, as this is both festive and Estelle Costanza's specialty. It is believed that this minhag is derived from the remez in Season 5, Episodes 82-83 when the Seinfelds avoid going to the Costanzas for Paella. A small minority hold to the minhag of including of a "big salad" at the table (Season 7, episode 116), in honor of Elaine. Although, these are mostly feminists who want to aggravate the situation by bring up one of George's biggest grievances, the one against the big-hairdoed, physical therapist character played by Michelle Forbes (That's Ens. Ro to you Star Trek: TNG fans.) who took credit for bringing Elaine the big salad, even though it was George who bought it for her. Others still, hold that soup is forbidden at the se'udah as it brings up images of George's traumatic experience with the Soup Nazi (Season 7, episode 116). There is no issue with the Festivus Se'udah serving additionally as Malaweh Malkah (lemavdil), as long as one has the appropriate kawannah (intent). 
Feats Of Strength The feats of strength may certainly NOT be performed on Shabbath (p'shita). This is not an issue this year. As previously stated, the night of December 23 falls on Mossa'ei Shabbath.

Festivus Pole One may not set up the Festivus Pole neither on Shabbath nor during the entire eight days of Hanukkah. Since the Festivus Pole is, according to patron Frank Costanza, "very low-maintenance," it should be easy to set up soon after Havdallah. It is assur to decorate the Festivus Pole. One who does so b'shogeg (mistakenly) must participate in the attempts to pin the ba'al habayith down. One who does decorates b'meizid (purposefully) is hayav to lashes. And, one who decorates the Festivus Pole with tinsel, which patron Frank "finds distracting,"...well,...let's just say, I'd watch my back if I were you! 

And with that Happy Festivus to all! And to all a good night!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Macho Settler Sandal Shitah

Mossa'ei Shabbath Parshath Hayyei Sarah 5767

Weekday SandalIt is the middle of fall. I have not seen any seasonal forecasts, yet, but it certainly feels like it's gonna be a much colder winter than last year. Last year, IMHO, was actually pretty mild, so much so that I wore sandals throughout the entire winter. The question is, will I be able to make through this year?

SlipperRecently at work, in Jerusalem, I was greeted with raised eyebrows when I mentioned that I only owned sandals. I do have a pair of slippers, as well as a pair of rain boots with a hole in one of the soles, but my primary footwear are sandals. I have a regular pair for the week and a nicer pair for Shabbath and Haggim. As my regular pair has pretty much fallen apart, my Shabbath pair has defaulted to my only pair. But, they're also falling apart.

Rain BootSo, the next question is, now that winter approaches, and I need some new shoes, will I break down and buy a pair of "real" shoes, as my colleagues might call them, or will I buy another pair of sandals?

My colleagues continued the now escalating confrontation, "What do mean you only own sandals?!"

Beginning to get a little annoyed, as work ended for the week, and I needed some serious sleep catch-up, I replied in a very sarcastic manner, "We 'settlers' wear sandals even in the winter."

I hate that word "settler," not because we're doing a misswah (ie. what we're supposed to be doing), but because our name-calling "brethren" in illustrious, limousine leftist communities like Ramath Aviv and K'far Shmaryahu refuse to wake up to the fact that they, too, are view as "settlers" by an increasing number of so-called, "international community" members, such as Muslims, their brainwashed, European lackeys, self-hating Jews, and other assorted self-destructive fools.

But, I digress....

My colleagues: "Oh, c'mon! Every one knows that all settlers own at least one pair of work boots! You can wear boots in the winter!"

This is obviously not true, as at least one "settler," myself, does not. However, his stereotype does have basis in truth. Work boots really are a necessity as a protection against nails, broken glass, and scorpions. That doesn't stop the kids in my neighborhood from running around with bare feet, though. Most every one involved in the building industry does own a pair of work boots.

Back to the set of questions at hand, to sandal, or not to sandal?

Certainly, it would assur (prohibited) to do anything which would be of detriment to my health. According to many, if not most, opinions, "Fashion Hallachah" dictates that I have reached an age at which it is mutar (permissible) for me to wear socks with my sandals. But, still....

Well, today, I suppose I was let off the hook from playing "macho sandalled-settler" this winter, as I saw my teen-aged, "Hilltop Youth" neighbors all wearing boots and other assorted close-toed footwear. Things change....

Shabbath SandalBut, the bottom line is that between work, commuting back and forth from the Shomron to Jerusalem, and finding time to sleep a few measly hours per day, I have to find the time even to get to a shoe shore, regardless of my ultimate decision.

So, when it gets cold enough, and I can't take it anymore, I'll probably make the time to get to a shoe store.

I'll let you know....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The New Eged Schedule: A sign of the next expulsion

Eged21 of the Eighth Month 5767

Last Sunday, 15 Marheshwan (Nov. 5), the new Eged bus schedule for the Shomron went into effect. Some buses were added; some service was cancelled. But, the main feature of the new schedule was the radical change in bus routes. Buses no longer travel the an unbroken trek from Jerusalem to the northern end of the Shomron, as previously covered by Line 473, ending in Netanyah and Line 474, ending in K'far Sabba. There is still one bus of the new Line 148 which makes the trek from Jerusalem to Immanuel at 6:30am, and Line 465 still connects Jerusalem with Qidumim, Karnei Shomron, and Immanu'el. However, the latter exits Jerusalem to the west, and travels north along the relatively new No. 6 expressway, avoiding the Binyamin Area and the heart of the Shomron entirely.

Bullet Proof Eged BusThe new, Line 148 from Jerusalem to the various towns in the Shomron, such as Shilo, Eli, and Ma'aleh Levona, now ends in Ariel, instead of continuing on to Netanyah or K'far Sabba. Those desiring to arrive in Revava, Yaqir, Immanu'el, Etz Hayim, Einav, Karnei Shomron, and Qidumim must get on another bus, either the new, Line 73 to Netanyah or the new, Line 74 to K'far Sabba. There have already been reports of passengers to Qidumim missing their connecting 73 bus in Ariel by a few minutes, thus causing them an additional 1 1/2 wait.

So, what's the big deal you ask?

While strengthing the University of Yehudah and Shomron, recently upgraded in status from "college," the new bus routes are also in preparation for the the next expulsion of Jews from the Shomron, may God forbid. With a simple snap of the fingers, the new, Line 148 can disappear, cutting Shilo, Eli, Ma'aleh Levona, Rehalim, and K'far Tapu'ah off from public transpotation. A simple change in route along Expressay, No. 6 will facilitate transportation of students from Jerusalem to the university in Ariel, who now appear to make up a substantial percentage of morning passengers on the 148.

Service will then continue north from Ariel via the 73 and 74, which "conveniently" and "coincidentally" travel within that idiotic, so-called security fence. (I call it the Hillul HaShem Fence.)

I predict that the first victim, though, will be the still existing, Line 477 from Jerusalem to Elon Moreh, stopping in Itamar and at Tzometh Tapu'ah. It used to go to Ma'aleh Levonah, but not anymore. This will be the first step, to cut off Elon Moreh, Itamar, Yitzhar, Har Brachah, and then K'far Tapu'ah, preparing for the next round of expulsions, may God forbid.

Service to towns in Binyamin, such as Ofra and Beth-El will continue uninterrupted, until such time the government decides to pull the plug.

This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations. The Eged bus company is subsidized by the government. Many of us pay only 50% percent of what the fare is reported to cost. Yet, do due to our "grand discount," our precious, bullet-proof transportation is at the mercy of the government.

Far be it from the YeSh"A (AKA: Pesha or Resha) Council to intervene and continue its bus serivce, which just stopped, even for a price. These collaborators without any mandate from the people, and who receive their budgets from the Office of the Prime Minister (How many of you actually knew that?) can not be expected to compete with their fellow government lackies over at Eged.

I say let's contract with a religious bus service (You may call them "Haredi;" I call them religious). But no doubt, the mamlachtim from Ofra and other towns would make a stink about that, in an attempt to cover up the collaboration with the government in the area of education, as well as transportation. But, that's the topic for another blog entry....

Bye-Bye EgedThe question remains: When we say bye-bye Eged, will it be because we will have found alternative transportation? Or because Eged has left us in the dust.


Read more on ths issue from Batya at Me-Ander:

The Public Be Damned!
In Suspense -- The First Day