Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The nearest neighbors are OMJ all the way, Israeli in fact. Knitted kippot, Hebrew in the house, the works. So it was no small surprise, at last shabbos lunch, when I discovered their oldest son attended a Chunyuki Chaim yeshiva. This has been the source of more than one mirthful moment, as his parents revealed over the shnitzle and cold-cuts:

1. The boy's name is Netanayle. The teachers insisted on calling him Nesonayle (See 1 for the reason.) Parental intervention was required after the boy came home in tears. The compromise was "Tani."

2. At bar mitzvah this yeshiva requires a hat for davening. On the evidence, the school does not require a minyan for davening. More than once, Tani forgot his hat, and was sent home from school, and thus forced to miss minyan.

3. When he is not in school Tani wears a knitted kippa, like his father. One afternoon, he was spotted by school authorities at Sunday mincha wearing his knitted kippa, and again parentel intervention was needed. "We don't want the school to aquire a bad name," said the principal. "Let me understand this," replied the neighbor,"You're worried your school's repuation will suffer if a student is seen at mincha davening?" (when I heard this story I was reminded of a great riff by Dave Barry. See 2)

4. When the time finally came for Tani to say good-bye to this yeshiva, and go on to Israel for his year of post-high-school study, the yeshiva thought he should go to Mercaz Hatorah or Torah Mee Sinai. The former was disqualified after his mother saw it ("If they tore the place down, it would still be a dump.") the latter was disqualified after his father met the recruiter ("The first words out of his mouth were 'our students get good shiduchim'") The family finally settled on Har Etziyon. The yeshiva was most displeased. "He should go to an American-style yeshiva," they sniffed.

Said my neighbor: I've had quite enough of American-style yeshivot, thank you very much.


1 - The consonent Tav, which is always pronounced as "t" by Israelis is pronounced "s" when it does not have a dot in the Ashkenazic pronunciation favored at American yeshivot.

2- I can't find it on-line, but it involved Dave getting a parking ticket, while gangsters sped by in their stolen, unregistered cars, laundering money, with one hand on their illigal machine guns, the other on their pit bulls, and piles of cocaine on the passenger seats. Not that he was bitter.


Lots of familiar stuff here...  

I don't really agree with the contents of your post but I'm not about to start a flame war.

Take care.
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