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For when the national news is too antisemitic

The Schmear Weekly Newsletter: Issue VII
12 Adar | February 24, 2021

The time has come to celebrate... almost.

Tomorrow is the Fast of Esther, which means a few things. First, your weekly Schmear email came a day early. (Yay!) Second, Purim starts tomorrow night. (Wow!) And third, Passover starts in approximately one month. (Oof!) But we're not talking about that yet – we'll cross that sea when we get to it.

For those of our followers who are not yet familiar, the Fast of Esther is the day before Purim and commemorates Queen Esther's own fast before she approached King Achashverosh to foil Haman's evil plan. And if that still didn't make sense to you, Purim is a holiday where we remember how a drunk king and his teenage concubine saved the Jews from a genocide attempt, by eating the ears of the man who orchestrated it.

If you're still confused, check out this historic reenactment of the story – a timeless classic called "Veggietales: The Girl Who Became Queen," the best Christian retelling of a Jewish story since the New Testament.

We have some fun content to share with you today, and make sure you follow our social media to participate in our V'Nahafoch-o-thon Schmear headline contest tomorrow! (It's Nahafochu – your chance to make us laugh!) Check out our Instagram or Facebook story to submit a headline you'd like to see us publish!
(If you don't have socials, you'll still be able to find the submission form by following this link tomorrow.)

Have a meaningful fast and an extremely happy Purim! But not too happy. Stay safe out there, kids.

Lox of Love,
The Schmear Team

Scroll down to read about a rabbi who knows all too well about good and evil, a congregation getting a little too into the Megillah reading, an appreciation for Haman, and a game to make your Purim a little more exciting...

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Click here to check out all of our Purim content, and more!

Over-passionate Congregation’s Boos Starting To Hurt Megillah Reader’s Feelings

 

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Reports of Temple Sharith Israel’s annual Megillah reading event becoming progressively more hostile every year have been rocking the White Plains community, and Rabbi Danya Farstein has fallen victim to the brunt of the hostility. 

“At first, it was barely noticeable. The booing at the mention of Haman was maybe a little bit louder, the groggers shaken a smidge more aggressively. But then… I don’t know, it started to get more violent.” Rabbi Farstein told us of the Purim trend. 

“Eventually, the booing would start as soon as I got onstage. I thought it might be the congregants anticipating the story, and just really passionate about expressing their distaste for Amalek – but when I got a package in the mail full of rusty nails and a note spelled out in letters cut from a magazine, I started to feel like maybe I was the real Amalek.”

The boos and grogger spinning eventually became chants and hollers that overpowered the actual Megillah story. “It actually seemed to get quieter whenever Haman’s name was said,” shared a slingshot-wielding congregant who chose to remain anonymous. “Then, people started yelling very personal attacks at Rabbi Farstein. Like, really mean stuff about her personal life and her family. Someone brought up her husband’s arrest record, a public urination charge from college. The next year, people were yelling threats. Violent stuff, like shocking – even for a holiday where a man and his ten sons were all hanged in public for attempting genocide.”

When asked about the most recent Purim celebration, Rabbi Farstein said congregants abandoned noisemakers all together and just started throwing rocks at the bimah. The reason for the escalated violence during Purim is unknown, although it is speculated that in the last few years, more and more members have been pregaming the service pretty hard.

Click here to see this article on the website.

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Follow us this week (@theschmear_) to catch our
Ve'Nahafochu Headline Submission Contest,
as well as the new headlines we post frequently.
SCHPORTS:
Sports reporting you can count on
With Coach Tamar, subbing in for Coach David,
who has become too overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this job.

This week in Jewish Sports:

Congregation Beth El opened a bottle of scotch for Purim that Jerry Goldhart had been insisting they save for the Men's Club softball team's next win, but given they haven't won since the '80s, before the church groups joined the league,
it seemed like a safe bet.

We'll see you next week!
Opinion: TBH, Haman Could Get It


Have you ever read the Megillah and thought “Damn… Esther really went for the wrong guy”? Because honestly, I’m with you. Not that if I was in her place I wouldn’t have saved all the Jews, but if I’m being totally truthful, I might have gotten distracted once I was in that palace because, to be frank, Haman could get it.

Note: This article has been deemed "NSFS: Not Safe For Synagogue." In order to ensure the comfort of all of our readers, we are not publishing the full text here. If you'd like to read the rest, click here to see the full article on our website.

🥯 Bagel-o-scope  🥯
What your favorite bagel says about your future:
Plain - As Adar enters retrograde, you will finally find the courage to destroy the Amalek in your life and block your ex's instagram.
Sesame - Fasting for the whole day right before heavily drinking will surprisingly not be the reason that you embarrass yourself irreparably in front of all your closest friends this week.
Cinnamon Raisin - Beware of razors in your mishloach manot.
Pumpernickel - It’s been a full year and no one else has figured out you were the one that spread COVID to all of the Jews in New York. The planets are proud of you.
Everything - Saturn is in your 5th house. The stars say that you’re their best friend (and they will try to stop pulling pranks on you).
Blueberry - Remember that not all of your friends have read the Megillah before. It's considerate to give them a "spoilers" warning, before you discuss it.
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Chabad Rabbi Shoots Heroin Until Unable to Tell Difference Between Haman and Mordechai

 

WILLIAMSBURG, NY— Rabbi Dov “Wild Bear” Scharf took an unconventional approach to his Purim partying this year. In accordance with Halacha, on Purim one is commanded to become inebriated until unable to tell the difference between the two main characters of the Purim story – however, instead of bringing alcohol, this year Rabbi Scharf arrived at the annual Purim Kollel Sha-Bang with 300mgs of Black Tar heroin and a sterilized needle.

“After 40 years of Purim seudahs, telling the difference between Mordechai and Haman is just too easy,” said Rabbi Scharf. “You get tired of the routine, you know? Plus at this point I have a significantly higher than average tolerance to alcohol.”

In the past years, Rabbi Scharf has tried everything from jello shots to keg stands to ramping up his Taanit Esther minhag and fasting for three days before the party to get even more plastered. No matter the method, Rabbi Scharf was still able to differentiate the two characters. 

“I think I just know too much Torah,” he said, “so this year, I went all out to fulfill the mitzvah.”

Kollel students were not surprised to see their beloved Rabbi experiment with an illicit substance. A few students reported rumors of Rabbi Scharf considering experimenting with amphetamines next year.

While giving a vort later that night, avid Kollel student Yehoshua Goldman couldn’t refrain from drawing parallels between the Rabbi’s actions and the Book of Esther: “just like Mordechai, Rabbi Scharf took a ride on the horse.”

Kiddush Club
This is the part where The Schmear hears from YOU

We asked you for your Purim stories. Here were some of our favorites:
 
"I came straight from lacrosse practice to the Megillah reading (shocker right? Jew in sports). I ended up winning the costume contest by calling myself a jock. I guess the standards were pretty low. Got a giftcard though so can't complain."
-ZH

"When I was around 6 or 7 I decided to make a costume for my mom to wear. I spent a couple of hours cutting cardboard and gluing on string to make it perfect. The costume my mom thought I was lovingly crafting for her to wear? A trash can complete with Crayola marker stripes, "TRASH" in large black letters, and a wide lid to wear as a hat. Let's just say she wasn't too keen on showing off my hard work to the whole shul that year."
-NFA

"When I was in preschool, I made one of those graders where we put a bunch of dry beans in a paper plate and then folded it over and stapled it together. But the staples came apart, and the beans spilled all over our dining room. My dog ate a bunch of them and we were finding beans hidden in the carpet and in... other places... for a while."
-BT

"In middle school, I dressed as a hat rack. Plain and simple. I hung hats from all over my body. I thought it was so funny. It wasn't a pun or a joke or anything. It was just a hat rack."
-LB

5 Easy Purim Drinking Games To Make Your Mitzvah Fulfillment Lit AF

 

Purim is one of the best Jewish holidays for getting absolutely smashed – sure, we have four cups of wine on Pesach, but on this holy day we’re literally commanded to get blackout drunk. Here are some quick and efficient ways to take your holiday experience to the next level. 

 

1. Take a shot for every fandom-themed costume you see

Down one for every costume clearly recycled from comic-con – this includes, but isn’t limited to: Harry Potter, Star Wars, any superheroes, any Super Smash fighters, Disney princesses, Hamilton, Grease, and anything else people on Twitter won’t shut up about. 

 

2. Sit by your Rebbe and try to go shot-for-shot

No one goes as hard as a Rebbe on Purim. Try to match him if you can. Good luck. 

Editor's note: please only attempt this if you are a. Living in a country with socialized healthcare or b. Have good health coverage. Just make sure that getting carted off to the hospital to have your stomach pumped won’t put you in financial ruin. 

 

3. Take a shot every time someone boos for too long

There’s always that one guy in the congregation who thinks booing for longer than everyone else is super funny. It’s not. We want to hear Megillah and get the hell out of there. So, to make it go faster, take a shot every time that guy boos after the crowd has quieted, And hey, a couple “Haman”s in, maybe you’ll even start to find it as funny as he does.

 

4. Take a shot for every guy who dresses as ‘themself’ with a “Hello my name is ____” sticker 

Bonus points if it has a different name on it. We get it, you have no personality beyond “I’m like Jim from The Office.” Purim is a time for opposites, so this year why don’t you go V'nahafoch yourself into someone with an original idea for once? 

 

5. Fast for Ta’anit Esther

There’s arguably no better way to get drunk on Purim than to use the system that’s already in place. If you don’t eat or drink all day leading up to the festivities, your stomach is sure to be empty enough for the alcohol to shoot straight to your head. Get ready for a wild ride, and as an added bonus you’ll feel spiritually fulfilled by the knowledge that Esther herself instituted this fast for just this reason. 

 

Covid Purim 2021 Bonus: Take 3 shots any time someone draws a parallel between costumes and Covid masks 

This year’s hottest D’var Torah topic is the “We all wear masks” metaphor. It’s projected to be the most over-used concept across the board. If you really want to get sloshed, this is the way to go.

Click here to see this article on the website.

SEXY SCHMEAR OF THE WEEK
We're liberally expanding the definition of "schmear" this week
because these apple and cream cheese hamentaschen look so tasty.

Courtesy of: Julia's Pantry
Made your own Sexy Schmear lately? Show us here!
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