Our view of the Galile

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Com-Purim-Mise; Rabbi Schwartzes Top Ten Tour guide List Purim 5772

Outsights and Perspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend, and future tour-guide and Rabbi in Karmiel"

March 7th  2012 -Volume 2, Issue 18 –13th of Adar 5772

Rabbi Schwartzes annual Top Ten List…

In life there are occasionally compromises that have to be made. Nothing is ever black and white-even if your name is shvartz (black). In married life this is even more so. For example my wife-god bless her- wanted to live a nice quiet stable life and I’m compromised and only moved our family from New York to Iowa, Virginia, Seattle, and then to Israel. Notice how we never moved to any countries or states where kosher food was inaccessible (although there were quite a lot of pigs in Iowa and I still have a hard time figuring out what is kosher in this country since seemingly every other person puts another kosher symbol on a product because one as we know is never kosher enough.), we never moved to a place where our family we in mortal danger (although some may argue that New York is close), and we always lived in places where we made good friends and were part of special communities. See, that’s what I mean by compromise. Figuring out what you really want to do, than raising the stakes of what you present that you want to do and than negotiating back to what you really wanted and where the other party/partner feels O.K. I have been given in to. In Israel that is also known as grocery shopping.

Even at an early stage pre-rebbetzin I understood about compromises. My parents who wanted me to become a doctor (there are many healthy people out there today that are quite grateful that I did not go that way) sent me to a yeshiva who of course presented an alternative career choice for me. “become a Ben- Torah- a Torah student” was what I was told would be the ultimate right choice for me. I did remain in Yeshiva for many years and when I did go to college of course it was Touro College-which sounds like Torah. There I received a degree in finance-which assisted me throughout my life in understanding the principles of why I have no money. Something about getting a real job. Eventually though as this conflict grew greater and greater and as my family moved to Israel-the one country in the world where Rabbis don’t really get a salary-maybe because every other guy here is a rabbi; perhaps that’s why there’s so many kosher supervisors. I realized that it was time to find a career (or three) that was of course a compromise between what my parents wanted for me, my Rabbis wanted for me and of course my wife and my children wanted for me. Which is why I became a tour guide.

See, I realized that both my parent and Rabbis wanted me to work with something that had the letters TOR in it. TORah or docTOR and my wife wanted me to constantly to go to the sTORe for her and my kids were really just looking for me to out of the house for most of the week. If you put that together with my college education at Tour-o College, it was really a no-brainer. In truth the story of Purim is really all about Tor as it says that Esther became the Queen when here Tour came in-“u’v’hagia Tour Esther bas Avigayil dod mordicahai-ai-ai-ai” which of course after the unsuccessful Tor’s of the various other Na’ara V’Nara’a  that were mentioned. Of course as well we have the story of Haman giving Mordechai a tour of the city on the kings horse. And we even have at the conclusion of the story Charvona giving Haman and his ten sons a beautiful birds-eye view of the streets of Shushan from the gallows.

So I am a tour guide. As a result I have chosen to dedicate our annual world famous Rabbi Schwartz Top Ten List this year to why when you come to visit Israel, or if you know of anyone coming to Israel, or if you can even pay someone or force them by gunpoint to come to Israel they should use me as their Tour guide. So here you go-drum roll-please….-
Rabbi Schwartzes annual Top Ten list of the year-
10) Biblically- Joshua who was from the tribe of-you guessed it- Ephraim- was the first person to lead the jews into Israel- It’s all in the name and the tribe- and we here at Ephraim tours have been doing it the longest
9)  Gastro-intestinally- do you really want a skinny tour guide that is not going to know where the best shwarmas, falafel and restaurants are?

8) Experience- Having been a rabbi for many years-I am an expert at making up true stories about historical facts and biblical and Talmudic quotes that are sure to fascinate you and that you have definitely never heard before.

7) sense of community- the more tours I have a week the shorter my Shabbat sermons are as I have less time to prepare them. My congregants will reward you heavily for this and you will receive their undying appreciation.

6) Religious- Being a staunch Hareidi Jew I can represent to you all of the terrible things that has happened to the Jewish people as the result of the secular government of Israel and the terrible persecution that we suffer under on a daily basis and how Moshiach will only come when we all leave the army and learn Torah all day long and sit on the back of the bus.

5) Zionism- being a staunch religious Zionist- I can represent to you all of the terrible things that happen in Israel as a result of the Hareidi Jews not serving in the army and being parasites off the community and their not supporting the incredible blessing that we have of having a Jewish State which is in fact the beginning of the Redemption. You may sit in the front of the bus on this tour.
4) Christianity- Being a staunch Christian- I can represent to you… just joking but you get the point. My kippa can change.

3) Financially- think of all the money you have saved since I stopped fundraising from you for my various previous kollel and outreach efforts. You know you don’t want me to have to go back to that business.
2) Jewish  Guilt- Think of all of those poor people that have lent me money to buy a house here in Israel that are waiting for me to pay them back.
Think of my poor starving children who survive off the leftover chulent from shabbos and the Bamba snacks that they mooch off the Israeli cats- I mean kids that go to school with them. Think of all of those stores my wife wants to shop in and can help the entire economy of Israel with. Think of my mother who doesn’t sleep at night wondering if her son will ever make an honest living or if he will remember to brush his teeth or if he will remember to say Shema before he goes to sleep or if he will get rid of his socks with holes…..

10) Fear- some suggest is the greatest motivator- You know those weekly E-Mails you receive from me each week that clog your inbox and that you quickly delete. I know your address- and I have plenty of extra spam I can send your way… Artscroll new book of the day, Vitamins that will enhance your life, and lots of friends from Nigeria, Hodu to Kush that really have been trying to get in touch with you about millions of USD$ that is being held in your name.
Have a Good Shabbos and spectacularly joyous Purim. Wouldn’t you just rather go on a fun tour?

So there you have it the Top Ten reasons to use Rabbi Schwartz as your tour guide. In truth there are about 50 good reasons why having me guide you around the country would be a good idea but in the spirit of compromise I only mentioned the ten most important ones. But I will add one more reason from my perspective why I hope that I might see you here for your next tour in Israel. It is so I may personally express my gratitude to you for reading my email each week and particularly to those of you who have sent me back feedback- (and better yet sponsorships or just money in general J). May Hashem bless all of you with a happy, joyous purim and may we all soon merit a grand Tour from Eliyahu Ha’navi as Hashem returns us all back to Eretz Yisrael
Have ecstatically, euphoric Purim
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


As part of our training to be full-fledged licensed tour guides the ministry of tourism feels it neccesary for us to go on tours to un-cool places as part of our course so that you will know never to bring anyone there, or as a place to bring people to who do not tip you well the first time that you guided them.
The following is a list of some places that fall into that category-or places that Rabbi Schwartz would never take your family
NEBI MUSA- do not be fooled Bullwinkle the moose is not buried here on the way down to the dead Sea. Rather it is a mosque where some muslims who really did not read the Torah that well (or the Koran for that matter) decided that Moshe is buried. We know he never came into Israel. They forgot.
Via De Larossa-the way of the Cross- Old city Jerusalem, they slammed the J-man here- they built a church, they beat him here – another church, he fell here- another church, he bent down to tie his shoe another church, he was crucified here- two really big churches. If you like hearing about Jews getting beaten up and killed Yad Vashem might be the better place to go.

Sartaba- really hard miserable hike for a few hours by the Jordan river valley. You get to the top and there are some stones that might be part of hasmonean fortress. At that point you might want to jump off.

The mens mikva in Geula on Friday afternoon- I won’t tell you which one. Just know that you might need a shovel to get in to the water. Part of it’s miraculous powers is that you can go in fully clean-shaven and come out with a beard. And those that merit to come out alive are rewarded with the promise that they will not die without having thought about doing teshuva one day.

I Like Purim because making noise in shul is a mitzvah

Question: Why didn't Esther receive Mordechai's e-mail, warning her about Haman's plan to kill the Jews?
Answer: She had an AchashVirus.

No comments:

Post a Comment