Sunday, March 27, 2005

Purim pashkevil here. (The quality is a bit poor; I'll try to put up a pdf shortly.)

I'll report the facts without trying to make them pretty. Here's what happened.

On Purim night, some time well after midnight (Israel time), when there were thirty or so drunken fellows at a tish in my home, I called Rabbis Uren Reich, Malkiel Kutler, Elya Ber Wachtfogel and Matis Salomon. My recollection of the conversations is somewhat vague. Perhaps Treppenwitz or others who were present can help (I used a speakerphone). I recall telling each of them that I (or a friend) needed to fly from China to the U.S. and was considering flying due East, but was concerned about flying off the edge of the earth. Since the gemara implies that the earth is flat (see Resp. Shvus Yakov 3:20) and each of them is on record as supporting the veracity of rabbinic science, I wanted to know what advice they could offer.

Most of the conversations were spent trying to persuade admirably protective Rebbetzins to pass the phone on to their "resting" husbands. Wachtfogel's wife suggested I fly West. Salomon's wife told me not to worry and he chimed in that his wife gave good advice. The rest is a blur. When asked point blank, none was willing to say that the earth really is flat but neither were they willing to say that it's not (Salomon came close and when I called him a kofer, he hung up -- wouldn't you.)

Yes, this is all very childish but it was Purim and I was quite drunk. And I did have some vague point to make about what they say they believe (chazal's science is correct) and what they really believe (it's not). But you already knew that.


Blogger Rebeljew said...

You guys sure know how to have fun on Purim! All people around here do is dance in circle and brag about how drunk they are. And most are in their 40s and 50s.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awsome idea for a prank call. This one will be a classic.

p.s. English translation of the poster, or pointer to one? I am sure I am missing >75% of the fun.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Nachum said...

The last line takes the cake. Don't get the last word, though.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of the more sober witnesses to this series of calls (I wasn't yet on 'the madregah'), I can attest to the reluctance of both Rabbis and Rebbetzens to tip the apple cart of conventional yeshivish wisdom. Access seemed to be the biggest obstacle to the aim of this exercise... which begs the question of what happens when someone has a really urgent question for these 'gedolim'?!

Maybe next year we go back to calling misguided Evangelicals... Brother Gordan's wife put him right on the phone (if memory serves) and he seemed to enjoy our rendition of 'Always look on the bright side of life'.


11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"which begs the question of what happens when someone has a really urgent question for these 'gedolim'?!"

1) Definitely,one of the biggest problems facing klal yisroel are the people who are flying from China to the US on Purim, and need to fly due east for life-and-death reasons, and thus need to reach a gadol posthaste.

2)What is someone with an urgent and important shaila doing calling R M Kotler or RMSoloman anyway? Or for that matter, any of the more respectable roshei yeshiva, who are Roshei yeshiva, not poskim? I don't think any of them are paskening shailos routinely. Other than the slifkin shaala, of course :-)

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Salomon's wife told me not to worry and he chimed in that his wife gave good advice. "

Should I be reaching the conclusion that his wife is not that bright that she put him on the phone, or is there some other explanation.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

As I'm sure you know, the Ancient Greeks demonstrated pretty conclusively that the Earth is a sphere and calculated its radius with surprising accuracy. Rabbinic intransigence on the matter might have been interesting at the time, but millennia later, you'd think people would have simply stopped listening by now. Oh, that's right, most Jews have; they're secular. Never mind.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous o.z. said...

saloman i would nt even ask the way to the bog.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Yonah Lazar said...

You are a bad human being. Why not call Norman Lamm and ask him a shaila in a sugya, see if he can answer.


10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a real shoteh and am haaretz the shvus yackov could swallow you without a glass of water how can you be such a bal gaiva?????????????

5:53 AM  
Anonymous yoeli said...

rabbi salomon will be remebered for helping thousands and for his deep machshavah as showcased in his seforim, and for your contribution of the sexed texed theory. i guess i see why you are mekaneh him!

12:03 AM  

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