יום ראשון, אוקטובר 09, 2005
Rabbi Arthur Scroll
Publisher, The Siddur
Dear Rabbi Scroll:
I am writing to let you know that I have discovered an error in your siddur.
Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur your wonderful, and generously endowed publication, calls for us to add this paragraph at the end of the Shmoyna Esray:
"B’Sefer Chaim, In The Book of Life, bracha v’shalom, blessing and peace, u’parnasah tovah, and good livelihood, n’zachair, v’n’kataiv l’fanecha, may we be remembered and inscribed before/by you, Anachnu v’chal Amcha Beit Yisrael, We, All of Us, All of Your People, Family of Israel, l’chaim tovim, ul’shalom, for a good life and for peace."I must say, Rabbi Scroll, when first I saw those words, my skin turned ghost-white, and I let out a scream of incomprehension. All year long we, the Torah True Jews, strive mightily to separate and distance ourselves from those lowlife bums, the rest of God's people, ie: the Family of Israel - and now you want us to pray that they should be included with us in the same Book of Life?
As you well know, the Torah True community has taken many steps to protect itself from contaminatiom. For example: (1) Non Torah True Jews are denied admission to our schools; (2) they are also ignored in the street (if one of them dares to greet us with a shabbos blessing, we reply with the traditional grunt/lookaway); and (3) best of all, we ignore them completely if they enter our shteebles, never extending a hand of welcome, and never God-forbid offering them the amud or an aliyah.
In fact, just last year, my own Torah True community had the opportunity to sanctify God's mame in this regard. Too many of those MO/YU-types had attempted to join our Torah True shteeble, so we responded-- in full and complete keeping with the verse "In the Torah True community hadras melech (the king is glorified)"-- by leaving to start a new shteeble, a shteeble we were careful to make even less inviting and less inclusive.
In light of all this Rabbi Scroll, I think you'll agree that your radical idea about all of us getting put into the same Book of Life is absurd. Therefore, I suggest you consider replacing the offending paragraph with this substitution: In The Book of Life, blessing and peace, and good livelihood, may we be remembered and inscribed before/by you, just us, your special guys, the Torah True Jews, (and for God's sake no one else), for a good life and for peace.
With Torah, Nevim and Ketuvim blessings, I am
Torah True Jew
יום שני, אוקטובר 03, 2005
King of Kings and Master of All I Survey
I am writing to confirm our deal for the High Holiday season.
As in past years, I will do the difficult work of attending shul, shushing the YU boys, and pretending to study Talmud during the boring parts of the service. When appropriate, I will also hum along with the chazan, using the authentic and Torah True "tum tum tum" and not that modernishke "la la la." In exchange for these holy offerings, I expect You to deliver the usual: Good health, well-behaved children, a docile wife, the awe of my neighbors, and a fat bank account.
This year, if it's not too much trouble, I would also like You to speak to our Rabbi -either in person or via a dream- about changing the start time for Shabbos davening to 9:30 AM, or later. Getting to shul by borchu when davening starts at 9 is just too much trouble, especially if I want a second piece of cake. If You can convince the Rabbi to change his mind, I'll repay the favor by purchasing a synagouge honor for myself during the Auction Service on Yom Kippur. You can let me know that you've gotten through to the Rabbi by sending me a sign. I suggest you cause that showoff ChaimMudcha Brecher to bid on something during the Auction. When I see that sign, I'll know you want me to bring additional glory to Your name by outbiding him.
Finally, I expect You will be overjoyed to learn that I am celebrating the New Year by accepting a new stringency. No longer will I refer to You in writing as "hay." From now on, I will follow the authentic tradition of our holy forefathers and represent Your name with the less personal and more respectful "daled." Yes, it will take some hard work and stressful effort on my part to make it clear to my friends and neighbors that I have stopped using the "hay," but considering all the favor You have shown me, it is the very least I can do. And I mean that.
With Torah, Nevim and Kesuvim blessings, I am
Torah True Jew