Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Cops and Rabbis_Abridged

Cops and Rabbis_Abridged

Ratings: (0)|Views: 6 |Likes:
Published by binhersh

More info:

Published by: binhersh on Jun 10, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/10/2010

pdf

text

original

 
Cops and Rabbis (or Dear Kindly Rabbi Krupnik)
1
Cops and Rabbis (or Dear Kindly Rabbi Krupnik)
Here is an excerpt from the original screenplay of a famous Broadway musical:
Riff: Why, if it ain't Lieutenant Schrank.Jets:- Top o' the day, Lieutenant Schrank.Riff:- And Officer Krupke.Jets:- Top o' the day, Officer Krupke. Lt. Schrank:- I’ll give you the top o' the head.Officer Krupke:- Hey, you, get down. 1
st
Jet:- But we're havin' such fun.2
nd
Jet:- We enjoy the playground. Riff:See, it keeps us deprived children off of the foul citystreets.
And a bit later:
Lt. Schrank:...you're gonna start makin' nice with the Puerto Ricans fromnow on... 'Cause if you don't... and I catch any of you doin'any more brawlin' in my territory... I'm gonna personally beatthe ... out of every one of you...
Anybody know who Lt. Schrank and Officer Krupke are?That’s right, they are policemen.Anybody know who Riff and the Jets are?That’s right, they are a gang of street punks and Riff is their leader.Riff and his gang are very polite to Lt. Schrank and Officer Krupke. But they are not verycooperative with them. They do not seem to respect these hard-working civil servants verymuch. You see, Lt. Schrank and Officer Krupke give them advice that they do not ask for;advice like “Hey, you, get down” and “you're gonna start makin' nice with the Puerto Ricansfrom now on.They don’t feel like getting down (especially when such role models as Lt.Schrank and Officer Krupke tell them to) and they certainly don’t feel like making nice to thePuerto Ricans. They don’t like anybody telling them what to do. Nobody does. And sincethey are always crossing paths with policemen whose job it is to tell them what to do, theyharbor a chronic dislike for policemen.I was once reflecting upon this part of the production and I had a nagging thought thatsomething about this act seems eerily familiar. I have heard this story before. Perhaps this particular scene is not so original. After perusing a much, much older book, I came across it -the original chareidi version of this performance. I like to call it South Side Story
1
and hereare the main characters:Gang Leader -Riff van Korach1
st
Jet – Dathan ben Eliav
1
This refers to the South side of the Tabernacle where this story took place.
 
2 One Above and Seven Below
2
nd
Jet – Abiram ben EliavFirst Police Officer – Lieutenant Moses Schrank Second Police Officer – Sergeant Aaron KrupkeIn the early part of the story our Riff van Korach and his gang have a few tiffs with the“police”. Lieutenant Moses instructs him to put a set of fringes with a single blue woolenstring on the corners of his cloak. Riff gets his whole gang to wear blue woolen cloaks withno fringes at all. Further, Lt. Moses instructs him to place a parchment with two passagesfrom the Torah on his doorpost. Riff has his gang put complete Torah scrolls in the roomsinstead. For some reason, Riff and his gang do not feel like being very cooperative.Ironically, it is not because the task is difficult that they do not comply. If anything, their approach is the more costly and difficult one. The issue is simply that that do not want any“policemen” telling them what to do.This concept is more clearly illustrated by Riff’s two favorite henchmen, Dathan and Abiram.Just like Officer Krupke says to the Broadway Dathan and Abiram “Hey, you, get down”, Lt.Moses tells the original Dathan and Abiram “Hey, you, get up here!” And they are just aseager to comply - “We will not come up! If you must preside over the people, must you preside over us, as well?”
2
Incidentally, this is not the first altercation between Dathan andAbiram and Lt. Moses. They had crossed paths years earlier when Officer Moses was just arookie walking the beat. What respectful greetings did they have for him then? “Whoappointed you an officer and a judge over us?”
3
Guess Officer Moses wasn’t wearing his badge.A bit further along into these productions we see just how deeply this sentiment of chronicdislike can penetrate one’s soul. Let’s get back to the Broadway version.Riff is upset that there is another gang of punks who inhabit his territory (the aforementionedPuerto Ricans). He does not savor competition so he sets out to challenge the rival gang andits leader into a decisive “rumble” which I suppose means a duel with multiple duelists oneach side. To formally arrange this rumble he holds a “war council” with the rival gangleader at the local soda fountain. Things start to get a bit rowdy and Officer Krupke shows upagain:
1
st
Jet: Top o' the evening, Officer Krupke.Officer Krupke (to Riff):You!Riff: - Me, sir?Krupke: - Yeah, you. Didn't you hear me?Riff: - Yes, sir. I got twenty-twenty hearin'.Krupke: -Then why didn't you answer me?2
nd
Jet: -His mother told him not to answer cops.Krupke: - Wise apple, you want me to run you in?2
nd
Jet: - Indeed not, sir. Krupke:I oughta run all you punks in. What are you standin'around here for?
2
Numbers 16:12,13
3
Exodus 2:14
 
Cops and Rabbis (or Dear Kindly Rabbi Krupnik)
3
Riff: You see, sir, we're afraid to go home. Such a bad environment.
Eventually, Officer Krupke gets called away before managing to disperse the gang and, beinga musical, the gang erupts into a cheery song all about Officer Krupke which bears theunmistakable message: Get offa my case!The story is quite similar in the chareidi version. The minute that Riff van Korach is out of earshot from Lt. Moses and his partner, Sgt. Aaron, he erupts into his own song which relatesthe following fable:
4
There was a poor widow who lived in my neighborhood with two daughters. Her sole possession was one small field which was her lone source of sustenance. She wasabout to plow her field when in walks Lt. Moses and warns her, “Take heed not to plow with an ox and an ass together.” When she was ready to plant, again comes Lt.Moses and warns her, “You may not sow your field hybrid crops.” Eventually, itcame time to reap and Lt. Moses again admonishes, “You must forgo
leket 
(gleanings),
 shikcha
(forgotten bales), and
 peah
(one edge of the crops).” When shewas ready to store the produce the friendly Lieutenant informs her, “You areobligated to relinquish the priestly portion (
teruma
), and separate the first and secondtithes.” The widow suffered all this in silence and obeyed the authorities but when sheevaluated this she determined, “It is not worthwhile for me to maintain this field andto undergo this burden.” She thereupon sold the field and bought two lambs in order to profit from their wool as well as from their offspring. When the lambs first give birth, comes Sgt. Aaron and demands, “Give me the first born, for so it iscommanded…” Later, when she was about to shear the sheep, Sgt. Aaron demands,“You are obligated to me the first shearings, as G-d has commanded…” Says thewidow, “See how far I have fallen into a trap and cannot get out!? Let me slaughter the sheep!” As she slaughters the sheep, Sgt. Aaron returns and says, “I am entitled tothe forearm, the jawbones, and the abdomen.” Says the widow, “Even when Islaughter the sheep I am not free of him. I will consecrate the slaughtered sheep andnow we will see his response!” After she consecrates the sheep Sgt. Aaronapproaches and says, “Now, I am entitled to it all because the Holy One has said, ‘All
cherem
(consecrated properties) in Israel will be for you.’” And so he takes it all fromthe helpless widow and she and her two daughters are left with nothing and die of starvation.
Quite a tale, isn’t it? I must comment that, since it is not entirely implausible,
5
 it makes animpression. And it does not exactly portray Lt. Moses and his Law Book, nor the generalchareidi lifestyle, for that matter, in a positive light. Now, we may think that such a HydePark soap box speech wouldn’t draw too sizable a crowd but the indications are that our Riff van Korach drummed up quite a following. And do you know why?It’s because he was able to appeal to the most basic and fundamental of human emotionalneeds. It’s the one that I talked about in the introduction to this book. It’s called
4
Yalkut Shimoni 750
5
Some points are a bit implausible. Like most cases of those who slander Jews and chareidim bymisrepresenting the facts, the picture is tainted by leaving out some minor details. For one thing, the obligationfor the “first shearings” does not take effect with less than five sheep whereupon each fleece must weigh at least12
 sela
for a total minimum of 60
 sela
. At that point the requirement is to give 1/60 or one
 sela
out of 60 (lessthan 2%). Secondly, the second tithe remains the property of, and is to be consumed by, the owner. Thirdly, asmuch as this poor woman was obligated to surrender 
leket 
,
 shikcha
, and
 peah
, if she is truly poor she is eligibleto receive
leket 
,
 shikcha
, and
 peah
. Thus, in a real case scenario, the “system” does more to ensure her survivalthan to starve her to death. Of course, the whole story presupposes that G-d ignores her and does not reward her loyalty with material blessing. This denial of G-d’s providence is the hallmark of the seven below.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->