The 5779 Purim Gazette

The 5779 Purim Gazette

A compilation of "breaking stories" from the Jewish world crafted by the characters, Professor Essie Fresser and Rabbi Farfalle Gebrotz.

Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to the AJT.

Israeli Anti-Kvetching Drug Approved by FDA

For years, Israel has administered a popular medicinal antidote to chronic complainers, malcontents, inconsolable tots and moody teens. The drug, commonly known as Sheket, was developed several years ago in Ra’anana, Israel’s famous research center. However, only recently has the U.S. FDA approved it.

Dr. Ben Zadrine, head of pharmacology at NIH, had this to say, “We expected that kvetching would diminish with the legalization of medicinal marijuana, but that remedy tends to render patients excessively mellow. What we needed was a drug that parents, teachers and coaches can administer without fear of causing side effects. Sheket safely puts a stop to annoying whining for up to four hours, giving needed respite to family, neighbors and educators.

A second Sheket plant at Kibbutz Cham M’Od, well known for its navel oranges and cutting-edge drug research, is currently working on a cure for picky eaters and recycling resisters.

Perplexing Cave Discovery in Negev

A group of senior adults touring a large cave in the Negev came upon a Beer Sheva  archaeology team which was attempting to interpret puzzling drawings on the walls. Former American Sharon Sharalike, 76, a fan of vintage film and a distant relative of Shemp of the original Three Stooges, immediately identified the actions depicted in the faded pictures. “That one is two men thumb-wrestling,” she pointed out, “and it looks like that fellow is giving his companion a noogie.”

Ms. Sharalike explained several other drawings, to the delight of her comrades and the confusion of the archaeologists. When the Americans in the tour group demonstrated the actions depicted in the cave art, the Israelis readily grasped the intricacies of thumb-wrestling but balked at receiving noogies.

Discovering the ancient roots of Stooge shenanigans served as proof of King Solomon’s claim that “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

News from Iran

An Israeli undercover investigator, cleverly disguised as a sanitation worker in Teheran, was sifting through the garbage of the Iranian Archives building. Fluent in Farsi, adept at wrapping a khaffiah (headdress), and dressed in rags, secret agent Benzion Ben Zion learned that Iran was in the process of removing and destroying all evidence of a Jewish presence in Persia. Ben Zion’s mission was to find indisputable documentation of a vibrant Jewish community dating back to ancient times.

Amid the detritus, Ben Zion was stunned to discover a cache of fragile parchment portraits of regal personalities created during the reign of King Ahashveros, including depictions of Mordechai, Esther and Haman in the city of Shushan.  Pictures of Esther and Mordechai weren’t very surprising, but the depiction of Haman was totally unexpected. Not only did Haman’s long cloak lack pockets, his ears were not pointed, and most amazing of all was his head covering. Haman, in full regalia, wore a muffin-like turban. He did not sport a three-cornered hat!

Safely back in Jerusalem, after completing a period of de-lousing, Ben Zion appeared before the Ministry of Education and the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis. It was unanimously agreed to surreptitiously destroy the drawing of Haman. The iconic, (though inaccurate) triangular hamantash thus endures.

Biblical Animals in Atlanta

Something clearly went awry when serial entrepreneur, Pete N. Repete, stocked his planned Biblical Zoos in a number of Atlanta neighborhoods. “After my successes in other venues, it was time to bring my favorite biblical animals to Atlanta, Ga. You have to believe me when I tell you that I thought the periphery and gates were secure,” Repete admitted. “Obviously, I was wrong.”

Giraffe sightings in Norcross and Alpharetta necessitated the engagement of a recently-recruited fleet of trained rescuers, many of them graduates of the Yerkes Unmanageable Animals Division.

“They were ravaging my trees!” resident Ruth Less reported. “You bet I’m the one who called the authorities!  Don’t I have the right to live without giraffes in my front yard?”

A different response came from her neighbor, Silva Phil Ling. “The giraffes did a great job cleaning my home’s gutters! I guess they like the taste of wet, matted pine straw!”

“We thought we were done with all these untamed animals,” Police Sergeant Ann Appel Ahday said wearily to this reporter. “Camels in Cabbagetown, asses in Piedmont Park, and horned rams in Decatur are depleting our energy and destroying our nets.  Two of our most dedicated officers needed heavy sedation from the stress of corralling porcupines. And now we have to deal with giraffes!”

The local ASPCA has been tasked with finding loving permanent and foster homes for the animals, and Chabad of Greater Atlanta has generously organized a kosher animal rescue corps.

As we went to press, a plethora of ravens and doves were menacing boaters at Lake Lanier. Birders from North Carolina and Belize are en route to count and document the fowl.

Shabbat Plan Debated at Rabbinical Council

Shabbat often coincides with enticing secular activities such as concerts, sporting events, trips, and early-bird mega sales. Disagreement may result within a Jewishly observant family when a sundown-to-sundown chunk of time conflicts with other interests.

Rabbi Hume R. Meeh, known for his certification of the somewhat nebulous food category “Kosher Lite,” presented a unique solution to the issue, and carefully explained it to The Council of Caring Clergy (CCC). The plan, Shabbat-Flex, would allow individuals and families to dedicate a 25-hour portion of each week to prayer, study, socializing, reading, dining and napping, and this time period would be of their own choosing, accommodatingly flexible, conveniently scheduled week by week.

“Why should anyone feel deprived when one’s weekly holy day conflicts with other fun activities?” Rabbi Meeh asked the assembled rabbis. “Just because Shabbat as the seventh day of the week was etched in stone by the Almighty thousands of years ago, does that mean that today’s Jews have to miss anything that we want to do? I think not!”

Although several rabbinic leaders left the conference in order to get home in time for Friday night services, the debate continued through the weekend. Shabbat was subsequently moved to Monday evening through Tuesday evening.

The plan will be put to a vote by the lay members of participating congregations, who are expected to ratify it. A final decision is expected by Purim.

Best-Seller Penned by Jewish Mother of Eight

Golda Myne, a Dunwoody mother of eight, found an antidote to the realization that no one in her family ever listened to her.  Undaunted by the passive resistance of her husband and children, she decided to document her storehouse of useful, homespun knowledge. Myne knew in her heart of hearts that her wise advice and pithy suggestions would one day be appreciated, if not by her own kin, then certainly by more astute others. To this end, for 25 years she maintained an ongoing log of her heretofore unheeded wisdom. Culled and annotated, she called the useful trove “I Told You So, Didn’t I?” As a bonus, she included recipes for nutritious meals her family didn’t like.

As she expected, Myne’s book is a best-seller, both a Hadassah and an Oprah selection, and podcasts of her appearance on morning TV shows went viral.  The apron Myne wears on the book’s cover was copied by Butterworth patterns and her split-ends, graying hair is called “disarmingly charming,” “the real deal” and “classic” by the fawning press.

Myne will speak at this year’s Jewish Book Festival, and she will sign books at an outdoor kiosk at Avalon on Mother’s Day, where they will feature Golda’s Tuna Tarts, Golda’s Trout Toronado, and Golda’s Sardine Sambuca Surprise.

read more: