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The Spirit and The Letter

Overall Judaism doesn’t concern itself as much with attitude. It’s mostly about endless laws that you either did or didn’t do. Usually the laws pertain to actions, sometimes to intention, like the obligation to concentrate fully during the first blessing of the Amida prayers.

More rarely, it gets involved with attitude. Examples that come to mind include the directive to not end Shabbat or holidays immediately at the time, to take your time when taking three steps backwards in your Amida service, and in general to “worship God with Joy”.

I have written in the past about the loopholes in Jewish law, and how absurd they are, and I am again struck by this when the parallels are more stark. My grandfather just died, and they rushed to bury him before sundown, and then “sit Shiva” for about 5 minutes so as to shave off one day from the 7 days.

If Shiva is a good thing, if it’s the word of God and good for you, does it make sense that 5 minutes is enough to do it? If God really has your best interests in mind with every law he gives you, why do you spend so much time and effort getting around it? I’m reminded of all the times Orthodox Jews just didn’t eat bread, to avoid the need to say a long convoluted blessing afterwards.

Why is ending your Shiva as soon as you possibly can, different than rushing out of Shabbat at the earliest possible opportunity?

It’s telling, every time Orthodox Jews do whatever they can to avoid the laws that supposedly “enhance” their life. It’s an indication that deep down, or not-so deep down, there is a sense that the whole thing is a burden.

Which makes sense, because you’re taking a set of laws that range from absurd to actually decent and then applying them as a blanket law for everyone to follow equally. I think Shiva is actually an emotionally intelligent way to process grieving. Forcing people to do it for exactly seven days, not so much.

And so the law loses its spirit, and the followers of the law lose theirs.

Der Judenstaat – FINAL (3).doc

Hear me out. (No good idea ever started with that, did it?)

What if the entire Zionist idea was just a first draft for an even more Final Solution?

At the time, Zionism was revolutionary. And it has had its benefits, to a degree.

(Although if World War II had broken out after the founding of the State of Israel, I’m not sure how much of a difference it would have made of the Jews of Europe.)

But it’s also had major issues. It’s founded on colonialism1. It’s elitist and combines politics and identity. It’s been used to justify treating many citizens as second class, and oppressing many others.

An ideal that was initially pragmatic, with Argentina being a suitable alternative, has been subverted by many as a 2,000-year-old dream, a prophesy, a birthright, a shitton of entitlement to a specific patch of land. And so far, that part has been going swimmingly.

The only part of Zionism I can really resonate with is the premise that there will always an excuse to hate the Jews, regardless of circumstance, and therefore we must consolidate as much power as possible so that we can act for our own self-preservation.

The principle stands that no one cares about you as you do about yourself, and as a collective, we can’t count on any true allies because the winds of change can shift at any time.

‘Murica the great

Here’s my suggested solution, and we could begin to implement it today.

Jews should make a point of settling in America, focusing specifically on shithole states that no one wants anyway. I’m looking at you South Dakota and West Virgina. States that have large amounts of land and not many people living in them. We could make them flourish. We’ve already done it in a desert.

We should focus on states that have outsized influence in elections, and reach a critical mass so we have extensive control on the state level. Jews basically run New York while still being a minority, subverting its educational requirements to allow religious children to get almost no education. This would be even easier to do in states with less population, and maybe for less nefarious gains?

Someone in Wyoming has 68 times more influence in the US senate than a person in California2. I’m thinking Main and Vermont and other top tier states. (And if shit really hits the fan, we can always flee to Canada. No way Canada can safely hold the ground if we rush them from multiple locations and then apologize.)

I call this plan Der Judenstaaten – as in, the Jewish states. Plural. We can have multiple, as long as it’s not just ours. See? When you share everyone gets more.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

This is something we could start tomorrow, borrowing from the parts that worked well in the Zionist playbook.

Buying up large swaths of land.

Encouraging immigration to specific areas. Sponsoring visas like our life depends on it.

Existing Jews who already living in other states can make the move.

The Term Aliyah would finally make literal sense: we’d establish Nefesh B’Nefesh B’Nefesh to encourage “Aliyah to the Northern States” with the help of propaganda videos. I’ll write them another set of lyrics for an inspirational song, free of charge.

Turns out this was not my masterpiece, but rather a first draft for an even better idea.

We won’t have a full army like we do now. But you know what we could have, what America is a perfectly set up for? Guns. Lots and lots of guns. Every Jew could own like 173 assault rifles. Wait, make that 18. For Chai.

Illustrative Photo.

They could go to the shooting range religiously, the Rabbis could invent laws about it, I know they have it in them (Blessed art thou, Lord, who commanded me to own this gun and to shoot it at my enemies.)

We could have overly-militarized police forces driving around in surplus army vehicles.

You gotta admit, this looks pretty cool. And super professional.

We’d have our own national guard that would answer to our own one-of-us Governor, with a name like David Eisenstein.

America’s constitution is such that it awards outsized power to the individual, and at the very least, the Jews would be able to put up a fight before going down.

Isn’t that the point? Masada, Warsaw ghetto, etc. etc.? No one can guarantee Jewish continuity, not even the state of Israel. We just wanna die trying. Antisemitism? Bring it. Fight us in the mountains of West Virginia. We’ll dig tunnels and use converted mines, Bar Kochba / Hamas style. Let’s look to Waco, Texas, for inspiration.

You know who has set a precedent for this? The Mormons. They have their own promised land, right in the USA. They came there to escape persecution. They are incredibly powerful and wealthy.

You know who else? Scientology. Even the FBI knows not to mess with Scientology, and we could teach them not to mess with us either. I’m just pointing out that you don’t need your own country to be untouchable. Power can be obtained in many ways.


There are several benefits to this approach. I call this part the Triple Daled.

Development. There’d be a lot more room for expansion. America is a vast, vast land. If we outgrow one state, we can organically expand into another. There are far more resources of many varieties that can be tapped into. I dunno, maybe we’ll find out we really like mining? We never really tried that before.

Diversity. These states wouldn’t be exclusively for Jews. Anyone could inherently live anywhere. And this is good from both a human rights perspective and for the benefits that diverse thought and influences can bring. Homogeneity has some real downsides, bro.

Delegation. Jews are really good at some things, like being wealthy, too smart for their own good, and controlling the media. They are not good at others, like fixing their kitchen sink and being humble. Expecting the Jews to do everything themselves looks about as good as the Israeli government currently does, so having some of the federal stuff handed off could be a really good idea.


What should we call this thing? It’s important that we get disproportionately fixated on this and attach too much of our identity to this ideal. It should become more than a means to an end, but rather an end in and of itself.

Here are my suggestions:

Nighilism – Nigh means close, and here it can refer to the fact that “close enough” is fine, you don’t need to be perfect. It also can refer to our constant doomsday expectations of how bad things are about to be (even though you never had it this good) as in “ the end is nigh”.

Neonism – as in, we’re even newer than Zionism. Also, Neo, The Matrix, Zion, really cool gunfights, etc. Still one of the coolest movies ever.

We’ll have our own flag, of course, and it’ll have loads of stars on it. It’s just that they’ll be six pointed stars. I can’t emphasize enough just how many stars it will have, and how just how six pointed they will be. Yes, it can even be blue and white, if you want. See? I’m open to suggestions!  

We can use AI to design it!

If you will it…

How much of a dream was Zionism, when it was founded? How impossible did it seem? By comparison, my suggestion is a piece of cake.

So when Jews regularly speak about Israel as their final frontier, that “they have nowhere else to go”, remember, that was the exact feeling in 1897 Poland.

As other visionaries have said before me, “if you will it, it is no dream.” Why can’t we apply this same abundance mentality (see, I’ve been doing my Instagram) to creating an even better future?

Don’t be so specific, Bob

I don’t buy into the need for a specific piece of land, or specific form of government.

Perfection is the enemy of the good, and I don’t know if you noticed, but Israel isn’t perfect either, if you look really closely. Like, with a magnifying glass.

So too, settling in the States won’t be perfect. We won’t have complete autonomy. We wouldn’t be able to freely allow anyone to immigrate to the country, at least initially. But we’d have a strong lobby, and who knows, maybe we’d get special immigration exemption for Jews. Like I like to say, if you will it…

We wouldn’t be able to guarantee the safety of every Jew, anywhere in the world. But we can’t do that now either. It’s not like the Jews were all chill while under the rule of soviet Russia. And it’s not like Jews aren’t dying for being Jews in Israel.

In Conclusion

If you take one thing from this post, it’s that I am a fucking visionary. You can bury me next to Herzel when you exhume both our bodies, and bury us in Nebraska.

I just solved the entire Jewish problem over breakfast and can continue on with my day.

And while in exile in Costa Rica, while suffering greatly, like all political visionaries.

If you take two things from this post, it’s that just because things have been done a certain way, doesn’t mean it needs to continue that way. Some open-mindedness and creativity goes a long way, especially if you stop seeking perfection and some messianic vision of a Utopian future and instead go for incremental improvement that takes everyone’s needs, abilities, and rights into consideration.

Even non-Jews.

  1. Under Herzl’s direction there was created a few years later the Jewish Colonial Trust… the “Colonial Trust” and its affiliate, the Anglo Palestine Company had a key role in the actual implementation of the Zionist Project, and eventually became Bank Leumi, one of Israel’s main banks. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Judenstaat) ↩︎
  2. https://jasonmkelly.com/jason-m-kelly/2020/12/29/the-unequal-representation-of-small-states ↩︎
  3. https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/09/youll-never-guess-how-many-guns-the-average-gun-ow.aspx ↩︎

Fighting from The Rear (aka My Ass)

Growing up, the narrative that Ultra Orthodox Jews (aka “Charedim”) had as to why they weren’t serving in the military was that they were actually performing their own crucial service – they were protecting the country spiritually.

The harder they studied and prayed, the more protected the soldiers on the front lines would be.

This idea has of course emerged during the current conflict, with the help of AI illustrated art, with gems such as these:

It’s hard to express just how offensive this attitude is. Go tell a soldier freezing his ass off on the frontline, go tell a veteran missing his legs, go tell the parents who lost their child, that your studying from a 2,000 book in your airconditioned hall, studying very hard, mind you, is akin to their sacrifice.

The fact remains that Ultra Orthodox Jews suffer almost no causalities in Israel’s major altercations. There are families in Israel who have a tradition of losing multiple family members – a grandfather in 1956, an uncle in 1973, a son in 2009. Israeli society is pockmarked with these societal wounds – and orthodox Jews have largely been spared them.

I don’t care if these opinions are espoused by people who also served in the military, which is sometimes the case. Hats off to you for your military service. Now shut up and don’t pretend you’re still serving when you’re back in front of a book.

I’m also not here to say that everyone should serve. I believe the decision to die for a country is a personal one. I support people who choose not to, for any reason. But goddamn, don’t pretend to be involved when you’re not, and don’t pretend to be part of a solution when you’re doing nothing, and definitely don’t claim to have made one iota of the sacrifice made anyone who has given years of their life, or their life itself, to protect others.

The Book of Brutality

The barbarism displayed by Hamas on October 7th horrified, the world, as well it should.

Who harms innocent non-combatants, women and children like that? Who takes innocents hostage? Who acts with such coarse brutality?

It is scary to see where humans can end up when lose touch with their own inner compass. It’s almost always some external idea that takes hold of a collective and causes them to lose their collective shit. More often this idea looks like a book, and more often this book was written by God.

Here are some gems from this book, where every word is holy, where people are named after its characters, where 10 year old are taught to read its verses 24 times.

In our current example the book happened to be written by Allah. But there is another book with some similar opinions, and that one was written by Hashem:

  • Numbers 31:7,9 And they gathered upon the Midianites as God had commended and they killed every male… and the sons of Israel took the Midianite women and children prisoner, and they looted their animals and possessions.
  • Deuteronomy 25:19 – ... you shall erase any trace of Amalek from beneath the heavens.
  • Samuel I 15:8And Samuel captured (the Amalek) king live, and killed the rest of the nation by sword…
  • Samuel I 22:19And Nov, the city of Priests (King Saul) killed by the sword; men, women, children, nursing infants, animals.
  • Psalms 137:9 ..blessed is the one who grabs your infants and shatters them against the rocks.

Apologetics time! Here’s the point where you explain that Amalek is a metaphor. That it pertains to enemies long dead. That practically you don’t do this kind of thing.

Here’s the thing with interpretations – anyone can interpret them as they wish. I was raised with the knowledge that Amalek was the Nazis. Now it’s Hamas. It’s an idea, representing “the enemy of the Jews” whoever that might be, and it can be applied to any people or ideology at will. And once applied, it justifies the indiscriminate killing of men, women, and children.

This is not just an abstraction. Here is the verse above written on an artillery shell being fired in Gaza. I can support bombing Gaza right now. I cannot support invoking the bible to justify doing so. To be fair, this was written by a random soldier, not a decision maker, but it’s an expression of an ideology that can, and is, making its way to the top of Israeli government.

Yes, we’re not at a point where Jews are indiscriminately killing babies for its own sake. Historically, over the last 2,000 years, we’ve been the victims, not the perpetrators. But it is these ideas, validated by a book, that causes people to lose their own sense of reason, their own moral compass.

It justifies fighting to the death on barren mountaintops, claiming ownership of land we haven’t lived in for 2,000 years, treating those who are not chosen by this book as second class citizens. And we see this in Israel on the daily – the more identified the people are with this book, the more outlandish their views of how they may to treat others.

As long as these verses are celebrated as cultural, historically significant, or the word of God, we create an opening for these words to be wielded at the hands of whatever fanatic currently has the the power.

The Cult of the “Tolerant”

For the most part, I identify as left-leaning. In many ways, I am more critical of Israel than the average Jew.

But I have long been aware of the dangers that far left ideologies pose – the prioritization of minority rights above all else, the justification of violence when it’s convenient (BLM riots).

There is a deep hypocrisy inherent in all of it, one that seems to come from a place of a lot of privilege: one where you get to sit in an ivory tower and prioritize minutia while losing all sense of nuance to the complexities of the real-world.

Yes, Israel was founded on colonialism.

What do you propose to do about it?

Where would you like 7 million people who have lived there for 80 years, to go?

How do you propose Israel create a two state solution with a terror organization that refuses to recognize its right to exist?

How do you imagine tearing down the “apartheid wall” will play out for millions of civilians?

You, who will raise the roof at the misgendering of a pronoun.

Who will go to war over a culturally misappropriated kimono.

Who will cancel someone’s career over an ill-timed joke.

You can’t find it in you to condemn the intentional killing of a baby? The kidnapping of a grandmother?

Ironically, it is the far left that is the most tolerant of religion, especially Islam, when it is actually radical Islam, and radical Judaism, that have led to the most violent flare-ups in much of Israel’s history (and radical Islam is a far bigger culprit).

So why don’t you shove your open minded views up your own ass until you can learn to apply them evenly across the entire population, until you can foster a modicum of self-awareness, until you can learn to tell the difference between shades of evil, even if it doesn’t make you look quite as virtuous to all those you are trying to signal to.


Velvel couldn’t stop dreaming about Magda Pritzovsky.

Every Sunday, he’d see her headed to the Greek Orthodox church with the extra little crosses on top of the crosses. Extra Christian.

She would always go with her father. He had a long white beard and reeked of potato vodka.

He looked like Rasputin.

She looked like a potato.

And yet, that was all he could think of. Feeling up her moist pushka. His shmeckl harder than a week-old challa.

Velvel knew what he was doing was wrong. He should be fantasizing about Yentle the Gefitefishmonger’s daughter. Or about Feige, the Rabbi’s niece who’d been adopted after the last pogrom.

And here he was, salivating over a common pushka.

He knew he must be the most evil yeshiva bochur in all of Poland.

But he couldn’t stop.

One day, when the cravings were getting too much to hondle, Velvel found himself sneaking into the yeshiva kitchens. It was Friday afternoon, the cholent was already on the fire. The herring was in the corner, pickling hard.

Velvel looked around guiltily. He reached into the herring shlocher and pulled out a handful in his bare hands. Unzipping his pants, he thrust his shmeckle right into the thick of this makeshift pushka…

Oh what bliss!

It was so slimey. So cold. So briney. Velvel did not last long at all.

He returned the herring back to its rightful place, and hurried gultily back into the study hall.

He made sure to drop an extra zrotl into the pushka, to atone for his sins.

The Flag of Conflict

Even in this time of crisis, I am incredibly conflicted about the Israeli flag. 

I completely support Israel’s right to defend itself. To strike, and strike first, at those who intend to kill Jews. The intentions of those who live in Israel’s own backyard have become crystal clear to many in the world – a reality that has been obvious for decades for anyone who grew up in Israel.

But, I am deeply opposed to nationalism. Identity around a piece of land feels primitive to me. 

Yes, Jews should have a way to defend themselves, since the world has proven time and again that they’ll do little to protect anyone who is not their own citizen – this manifests in genocides and massacres of minorities all over the world on a constant basis. 

But this defense should be pragmatic. 

It need not root itself in a history 2,000 years old. It doesn’t matter that your ancestral origins were from the Middle East if every part of your DNA screams Eastern Europe. You might as well go a few thousand years further back and lay claim to Africa, where we all come from. 

It need not be on one of the most contested land on earth, surrounded by enemies, on badly defended borders. Couldn’t you have picked a place with more trees? More space? God, I’d wished you’d picked Uganda. Or even Alaska. Antisemitism would have undoubtedly remained around the world. Pissing off Muslims by occupying land they used to occupy? Such a dumb move.

It need not root itself in belief or practice. Hitler killed non-religious Jews. He killed people who were only Jewish on their father’s side. There’s no need to inherently uphold Jewish practice, laws, or traditions to sustain the Jews ability to defend itself. Letting a minority group of Orthodox sit on the sidelines and study ancient books while forcing primitive laws on the masses is absurd. By all means sing the songs and eat the food, but don’t pretend that this is a core part of what you need to defend yourself. 

It need not root itself in some unique premise of Jewish uniqueness or superiority, the neverending “Jews have made outsized contributions to civilization.” You mean specifically Secular, Ashkenazi Jews who left most of their primitive beliefs behind? If that’s your clause, maybe you should leave Sefardi and religious Jewish out of it?

By all means defend yourself. But fuck, this was a dumb way to do it.

And, as I’ve said before, don’t pretend you had a right to this land. The entitlement of Europeans showing up in a foreign land and claiming it as their own is a colonial act, although one that is certainly not unique to Israel. Israel should not be held any more accountable for its colonial history than the US, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, or Turkey. Let’s not even mention England who fucked the world up more than almost any other country combined. But, having a little perspective, and removing religious entitlement from the equation, will go a long way in understanding and validating the Palestinian perspective. 

As an aside, because I’ve been accused of not being overt enough about this and only criticizing religious Judaism: fuck fundamentalist Islam. Fuck fundamentalist Christianity. Fuck any religion that puts the word of God above basic human decency, that looks to anything but their own conscious to determine what is wrong and right. And therefore, fuck fundamentalist Judaism too, which attributes outsized importance to a barren pile of dirt because “God promised it to you.”

My parents failed to instill inherent Jewish identity in me, because they tied my identity so closely with religion. Tradition was not upheld for sentimental, feel-good reasons, it was kept because God said so. This land was important not because it was part of some long-held Jewish dream (which I don’t think is enough to justify moving back anyway), but rather because it was a holy patch of land. So when I left religion behind, there was very little left. I should be proud because Hitler wanted to kill me? What a dumb thing to fixate on.

Again, especially because tensions are high, I’ll reiterate that Hamas should be destroyed, and the average Palestinian civilian in Gaza is far more complicit than the average Israeli in condoning violence – both in celebrating the deaths of innocent civilians (something that the average Israeli systematically does not do), being opposed to peace, and voting for Hamas in the first place.

This is not the place for moral equivalency. The average Palestinian is far less open to peace than the average Israeli, as has been demonstrated in the Palestinian behaviors during multiple peace attempts, and in the types of violence they engage in. 

But that damn flag. 

It represents Jewish identity (what does that mean?), culture (I have bad associations), religion (fuck that), genetics (inarguable), nationalism (this is a really lame piece of dirt to be fighting over), colonialism (usually denied), entitlement (bad), pride (good, but I don’t relate to it), all rolled into one. I don’t know how to navigate something so nuanced with something so blunt.

Can I have half a flag? One blue stripe and maybe a triangle? 

Can we rename it something other than the Star of David, since David was a barbaric asshole? 

Can it be an eight-pointed Star of Peace or something?1

Symbols are helpful. Simple symbols convey points clearly and effectively. But Israel and Jewish identity is anything but simple, and I resent needing to pick a side.

  1. Some interesting historical info I discovered on Wikipedia is Herzl’s original proposal was for a flag completely devoid of any traditional Jewish symbolism: “We have no flag, and we need one. If we desire to lead many men, we must raise a symbol above their heads. I would suggest a white flag, with seven golden stars. The white field symbolizes our pure new life; the stars are the seven golden hours of our working-day. For we shall march into the Promised Land (Me: da fuq Herzel, promised by who?) carrying the badge of honour.” 

    In May 1948, the Provisional State Council asked the Israeli public to submit proposals for a flag and they received 164 entries. Initially the council had wished to abandon the traditional design of the Zionist flag and create something completely different, but they ultimately didn’t go through with this.


Rabbi Chananya said: who is a dumbass? he who walks four cubits without his head covered.

And Rabbi Akashya said: no, he is a bitchass cracker.

Rabbi Yishmael said: why are the people the Galilee called Freedom Farters? Because they have poopy buttholes.

And Rabbi Shmarya said: in our town we called them poopy faces.

Rabbi Chanina said: it was told to me by my grandfather, who heard it from his grandfather, that we called them poopyface buttholes.

Rabbi Srachya son of Ptachya said: he who is walking down the field and looks up from his book to notice a tree is motherfucking fool.

And Rabbi Abba son of Pappa said: both he is a fool, and his son is a fool, and his son’s son is the biggest fool.

Shammai said: three things God hates – he who changes lanes without signaling, he who jumps ahead at the DMV, and he who drives recklessly like a fucking retard.

Hillel said: on three things the world stands – big hunks of steak, potato kugel, and apple strudel.

And some say: matzo ball soup most of all.

Rabbi Avtalyon son of Chanoch was once lying under his teacher’s bed while he had sex, and remarked: my, what big ass cheeks my Rabbi’s wife has.

Said his Rabbi (Some say it was Rabbi Elazar the Shamoan, some say it was Rabbi Elazar the Gilboan): he who sneaks a peek has no share in the world to cum.

Rabbi Gamzu of Eltzafan said: who is beloved upon God? he who accepts others without judgement, is kind to all people, and greets everyone with a goddamn smile.

Sorry Not Sorry

I hate this time of year.

I hate personal growth that gets scheduled on a calendar. A month where everyone goes on their best behavior, like they’re being audited by some heavenly oversight authority.

I hate scripted apologies. A specific time of year wherever everyone needs to ask everyone else to forgive them at the exact same time.

Aww, isn’t it nice that there’s a time a year where people work to become better people and rectify any social inequities?

No it isn’t.

Every day is a day for personal growth. Interpersonal dynamics deserve more importance than a general “please forgive me” posted to Facebook. This smacks of pleasing a god at a specific time of year who might judge you for some sin on an invisible ledger in the sky.

Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening here. You only want to become a better person, to ask for forgiveness from man and god, so that you get another good year to be your mediocre self.

The way I see it, there are four kinds of interpersonal transgressions:

  1. Those that you have forgotten about, or didn’t realize you’ve made, in which case it’s the other person’s duty to remind you.
  2. The one where you remember, but aren’t sure if they have. You’ll need to gently inquire if they are waiting for an apology from you, or if you’ll just be making worse by bringing this up.
  3. The ones where you both know about the issue. Why are you waiting until a specific time in the year to work through this? Go to therapy, do the work, apologize when you’re ready.
  4. The ones where both of you have forgotten. The vast majority of offenses fit into this category. Only god remembers. So why are we even talking?

Then there’s the obsession with actually being forgiven. As if that’s in your control. Asking over and over again, as though groveling has ever brought healing to another person.

All you can control is the apology, specifically the personal growth that should be underlying it.

The behaviors that must speak louder than your words.

Freidom Fighter Profiles a Famous Kiruv Rabbi

In the hyperbolic style of Mishpacha Magazine. Inspired by bullshit like this.

Mild mannered and unassuming, most people looking at Gedalya Halevi Fleagenkrautz would not realize the man is truly one of the main leaders of the generation, a gadol who has brought thousands closer to Yiddishkeit.

In the corner, a scrawny looking teenager wearing an adidas tracksuit and a black velvet kippa balanced precariously atop his gelled hair spikes, hunches over a sefer.

“Just a few weeks ago that boy was doing drugs under a bridge. Now he’s learning tosfos,” beams Rabbi Fleagenkrautz.

This city didn’t used to have a single shul, he explains. Now we have 40 of them, most of them built in converted bomb shelters.

“You see that man?” Points out Rabbi Fleagenkrautz. “Years ago he was an officer in the special forces. He Faught in the Yom Kippur war, shlom hagalil, and multiple operations. When he finished, he was a well-paid bezeq employee. Now he sits all day in front of a shtender. He traded his physical salary for a spiritual one.”

Rabbi Fleagenkrautz’s key to success his love of all Jews. “When Rabbi Fleagenkrautz talks to you, it feels like someone is really listening,” explains his talmid, Shraga Abulafya. “You realize he’s not doing it for his own interests, he just cares about you. He’s pained by Jews out there who don’t know the beauty of being meticulously careful about discarding their toenail clippings.”

“It’s a sign that something metaphysical is at play here. It’s mamesh a miracle,” says Abulafya, in his signature accent of a Sefardi person trying to imitate an Ashkenazi dialect. “That an sefardi from Morocco get into Beis Shraga? Who would have believed it?!”

“The people who come here are lost. And not only are they lost, they are idealistic,” proclaims Fleagenkrautz. “They want to change the world. And I tell them, you want to change the world? Lock yourself in the beis medrash all day. This is the impact the world needs. Solving poverty, disease, and war, all starts with Tosfos”

What is truly impressive about rabbi Fleagenkrautz is that he’s not Ashkenazi. And yet, despite this tremendous setback he’s gone on to be a huge Talmid Chocham. In his youth, he studied under Rabbi Yeruchom Groizenberg of Beis Sharaga, before becoming Rosh Kollel of Heichal Hasimcha in Deal, NJ under the auspices of Elyokim Machluf.

“We truly are winning this war, smiles Fleagenkrautz. We’re decimating the secular way of life. It’s a battle of love, and we’re crushing the enemy one daf gemarah at a time.”

Current Weather in Hell

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