Friday, June 22, 2007

Honesty, Decency, Integrity

Heard behind the pargod: (heavy Williamsburg accent, broken English. Rolling R’s – translation follows) “Naaaaah, ich hob gefregt a sha’alah! Ich hob gefregt der roof aub men meg zogen a lign kdai tzu nemen disability insurance. Er hot mir gezogt “men meg? Es is a mitzvah!!!” (Nooooo, I did ask a shaila about it! I asked my Rov whether it is permissible to lie in order to collect disability insurance. He told me “Is it permissible? It is a Mitzvah!!!")
PS – from the context it was quite clear that they weren’t talking about a little white lie to get around some bureaucratic obstacle.

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A "modern", affluent person, from a mostly modern neighborhood, who eats in places that most “frum” Jews wouldn’t (at least if they’re being watched), recently started prancing around his 4th cousin, the heilige Rebbe of …. Working in an lucrative, well respected company, where he’s probably the only Jew – certainly the only frum one, he started growing a beard a few years ago – and now ZZ Top can be jealous of him. He’s having a family occasion this week. Given that he happens to live a bit far from the cherished Holy Cousin, he arranged for all his 180 guests to spend Shabbos in the shade of the Holy Rebbe, his distant relative, a good hour’s drive from where he lives. I’m sure they’ll enjoy tremendously. I’m also sure that the heilge Rebbe’s bank account will not grow at all after the sentimental encounter.

PS -
This should chas veSholem not be construed as any kind of criticism of Hassidim or Hassidism, chas veSholem. I am not a kalter Litvak, in fact I hate Litvaks. I only love Hassidim. I also hate MO people who are not decendents of Hassidim. I very strongly oppose criticism of people just because of their communal adherences. It's just that these things happened to happen to people who happen to be Hassidim SHLIT"A. Actually, I shouldn't even have mentioned it. Forget it, in fact they weren't even Hassidim at all.

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