A Short Comedy / Short on Comedy
This Shavuot, many synagogues in the metropolitan New York City area used a new approach for the old tradition of all-night learning. Rabbis told people the subject of their talk in advance and invited members of the community to follow the speech with their own thoughts on the same topic. It would appear that the membership did not hear the titles very clearly.
- The Westhampton Beach Hampton Synagogue’s Rabbi Marc Schneier’s subject was “The pros and cons of being a rabbi’s son.”
A member of the shul misheard the rabbi and thought the talk was going to be about the “sun”, so delivered a talk entitled “Is using a tanning salon a sin?”
- At Nishmat, the rabbi chose to discuss: “50 nights: the Second Day of Shavuot.”
A member of the community’s topic was: “50 Shades of Grey: You Shouldn’t Do It.”
- Rabbi Pruzansky from Teaneck had a long lecture with handouts on “My Views on Voyeurism.”
A member of the board discussed “Oy Vey: what you hear at shul boards.”
- The new rabbi at the “Bayit” in Riverdale spoke on how “Black and Jewish Lives Matter.”
A politically active member of the shul debated “Obama: Milcheg or Fleishig?”
- The Spanish and Portuguese’s Rabbi Soloveitchik’s topic was “Is Krusty the Clown a good Jew?”
The president of the shul spoke about “Is a crusty old davening the only path for a good Jew?”
- Rabbi Fink from New Rochelle addressed the community about “Ranking Mitzvot: The most important mitzvah is building a mikvah (after the other most important mitzvah of building a really big shul).”
A member of the shul discussed “Ranking Mitzvahs: Who gets the mitzvah when you guilt your friends into writing a check to your favorite charity while you get some exercise?”
- Rabbi Lookstein addressed “Did the Shavuot heroine Ruth wear tefillin?”
One of the Baal HaBatim at KJ was confused and discussed “On Shavuot, can you use Rangers tickets?”
- At the YIWP, Rabbi Greenberg discussed: “Bikur Cholim: Making Time in a community with a hospital; rehabilitation center, old age facility and psychiatric hospital.”
The recipient of the shul dinner award gave his talk on “Bitter Chulent: Using lime in Mexican Chili.“
- A rabbi in Monsey talked about the hlichos of neighboring supermarkets.
An older gentleman spoke about the hilchos of using your neighbor’s pool.
- In Williamsburg a rabbi reviewed kashrut laws in “Shiksas in the Kitchen.”
A local caterer gave a Shavuot talk: “Blintzes: It don’t taste like Chicken.“
- JOFA published a long piece “Why the best Megillahs are all about Women.”
A man was invited to speak on “Why the best Megillahs are all about Women.”
- In Flatbush, a rabbi had a lecture on “Kissing Cousins: Tefillin; Tzizit and Mezuzah.”
A woman from the congregation spoke about “Marrying Cousins: When your Mother-in-Law is Your Aunt.”
- The rabbi of a Syrian synagogue in Deal, NJ spoke on an important topic: “The Conversion of Ruth and Conversions in our Community Today.”
No one else was allowed to address the subject.
- The rabbi of Manhattan’s B’nai Jeshrun discussed “Ten things I love about the UN.”
An old member who fought repeatedly with the rabbi and since left the synagogue was allowed to speak “How UNloving a hippie shul can be towards Israel.”
- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Englewood, NJ subject was “Keep Love in Marriage alive. “
The youth director heard something else and spoke about “Kippa logos from Marvel comics.”
- A rabbi in Great Neck, NY had an interesting lecture on “Evolution of davening and korbanot.”
A member of the shul discussed “Etiquette of using a cellphone for davening on the golf course.”
- The chazan from the Belz School of Music discussed “Breshit: It’s all about the Bais”
One of the students took a different approach and stated “I really like the treble”
- West End Synagogue, a Reconstructionist synagogue came up with the idea of learning for one-third of the night, from 11PM until 1AM. The plan is to learn next year from 1AM until 3AM, and then finish the cycle of learning in two years with 3AM to 5AM studies.
- A Conservative Temple from Long Beach Island noted the amazing coincidence of having Shavuot fall on Memorial Day, and sent an email to the community that Shavuot was cancelled, the Temple would be closed and everyone should enjoy Memorial Day at the beach.