Shmot, Exodus Chapter 1 And Medical Tyranny

Exodus, Chapter 1, verses 21 and 22. The context, Pharaoh had just commanded the midwives to kill Israelite boy babies in secret as they were being born. The midwives disobey, and do not kill the babies. Then the verse says:

“And it was that because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. And Pharaoh commanded his people saying, “All boy babies shall be thrown into the Nile, and all girls shall live.”

Who made who houses? The classic explanation is that God made the midwives houses for not murdering the babies. But that makes little sense as a simple explanation. God doesn’t build houses for people, generally speaking. But Abarbanel provides a very different explanation, and a much simpler one. He says:

It can be explained that “he made them houses” does not refer back to God, and has nothing to do with any benefits given to the midwives mentioned above. Rather, it is connected to what is written afterwards, “And Pharaoh commanded his people saying, ‘All boy babies born should be thrown into the Nile.'”

The meaning of the verse then, is this: That when the midwives made excuses as to why they didn’t kill the babies, Pharaoh tried to remedy the problem by building official and recognizable government sponsored birthing centers, so that everyone should know that this is a birthing center, so that every woman in labor could go there and get a midwife. While commanding this, he told his people that when they hear a knock at the birthing center, they should take the baby and throw it in the Nile.

Abarabenel on Shmot

When the government wants to commit atrocities, it uses medical infrastructure to do so. And the reason why Pharaoh built those houses, is that he wanted to thin out the Israelite population.


Relishing Our Victory at the Battle of Kindergarten

Despite the title here, I don’t want to make it look like I’m a בעל גאווה, a guy who just loves “winning battles” and stepping on the Covidians. I do not enjoy these fights. They make me sick, to tell you the truth.

But I do get a glimmer of relish, knowing fully that I am on the right path and that as long as we – my wife and I – keep moving in the right direction, that God will help us in going there. Just like Abraham, who had no idea where he was going, he just went, and ended up in the right place.

Anyway, after the initial Battle of the Kindergarten, we were walking away, feeling nauseous. I do not particularly enjoy fighting verbally with kindergarten teachers in front of children. It’s really, I mean REALLY not my thing. But these are crazy times, and we have no choice.

We were very emotionally flustered, on the verge of tears. And then the small comforts came from Heaven. The first person we see is a guy on a skateboard, a friend of mine, who’s on our side. I was glad to see him. We told him briefly what happened. He smiles. As we keep walking the next person to see us is in a car, rolls down her window, it’s a friend of ours who hosted our first “maskless minyan” so we could pray without masks on High Holidays 2020. We told her briefly what happened, and she cheered.

My wife had an errand to run that same day, and she picked up a hitchhiker on her way. He was wearing a mask. She bravely told him to take it off, no masks in our car. He thought she was joking. She was not joking. She told him to take it off or get out. He would not take it off. She stopped the car and for the first time ever, kicked a hitchhiker out of the car.

As soon as he was out, it started pouring. For about 2 minutes. Then it stopped. He got what he deserved.

Anyway, we had enough signs we were doing the right thing.

So, we go to the kindergarten this morning. The teachers greet us respectfully. We respond respectfully. We sit down, with our 4 year old daughter, to do a puzzle. We do the puzzle, nobody says a word. The adult that was lecturing us about “endangering hte children”, seems she’s staff, said not a damn thing.

We finished the puzzle. We get up to leave. I walk over to the head teacher and I say, “Thank you very much for the respect you have shown us today.” Very formally, very coldly. She responds, “Thank you as well.”

There are no illusions. She knows we are at war. She knows she has lost. She has capitulated. There is nothing in just war more satisfying than showing cold respect for your opponents. These people are slaves. And we have shown them that we are not. We are masters. Of ourselves.

When a slave sees a master, they obey. That’s what they do. Use their nature to win.

How We WON The Maskless Battle at Kindergarten

Another day, another battle. We won at the pool. We won the battle of the Covid tests. We won the Battle of Supersol and Battle of the Maskless Shabbat.

Today, we won the Battle of Preschool.

We have a four year old daughter. When the End of the World as we Know It happened, my son was 5, in kindergarten. He is now in 2nd grade. I used to play a game with him at kindergarten before leaving him for the day, in the mornings. From March 2020 until today, I didn’t play with my son, nor have I with my daughter in the mornings at preschool.

Today, my wife and I decided to open up another front. We went in to the preschool, without masks, we sat down, and we played with her. For the first time in nearly 2 years, we played with our child in kindergarten.

We were immediately harassed about masks. Told to put one on. We said no, and kept playing. They move all the other kids away from us, as if we’re endangering them. Then another adult comes in and says we’re endangering the children.

“I don’t want to fight with you,” she says, “but you’re endangering us all.”

“Then stop fighting with me and be quiet,” I say.

There was a back and forth for a while, something about obedience versus rationality, we finished a puzzle with my daughter while being attacked. It was very unpleasant.

“There are rules,” says the adult. Not sure if she was staff or not. Uh huh.

We walk out, my wife not feeling well emotionally about this. Neither am I. I don’t want to attack anyone.

We get home, and there is city security at our gate. He used to be my neighbor. He asks if we had problems at the kindergarten this morning. I say no. He says something about masks, I say we are exempt. He asks if we have an exemption in writing, I say you’re not allowed to even ask that.

He says he wants to talk to me for my own good, as a friend. I say I don’t see you as a friend. I see you as an enemy. Then he gets mad and says, “OK, now I’m changing my tone with you!”

“Oh no, what do I do now? You’re changing your tone!”

“Look,” he says, “You come into the kindergarten again without a mask, and you’re going to get a really big fine!”

“Good,” I say. “Go ahead. Fine me. I’ll fight it in court.”

He turns his back, and starts to walk away. As he’s walking out, he says, “You’ve always been a couple of idiots!”

Heh, he couldn’t resist a childish swipe after a smushed his ego.

Hours later, I go to pick up my daughter. As I get close to the kindergarten, there are three cops waiting for me. I know these cops. One of them is the Chief. They booked me back in December for bareface and never gave me a ticket for it though. He knows me. The basic points of the conversation, skipping the dumber portions of the back and forth. It took about 3-4 minutes I think.

“What’s your name?” he says.

“Did I do something?”

“You’re talking to a cop. Tell me your name.”

“Do I have to answer that? Tell me what I did. Can I pick up my daughter?”

“I know you. We’ve met before. You can’t come into a Kindergarten and yell at people. It’s bad for the children.”

“I came in to play with my daughter and they told me I was endangering children.”

“Look, next time you just say you have an exemption from masks and that’s it. You can’t just go in to a kindergarten, disrespect the teacher in front of kids, because later the kids grow up and think they can stab policemen.” (Yes, he actually said this.)

“I’m against violence. But I’ve said I am exempt many times before and they still bother me.”

“I will tell the teacher that you have an exemption and not to bother you then.”

“So I can come in tomorrow, to the kindergarten, without a mask?”

“Yes, just be respectful.”

“Of course. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate this conversation and I respect you.” I say. I’m serious. This cop is sort of reasonable. Still trying to intimidate me, but sort of reasonable.

I pick up my daughter and go home.

There are no Covid rules. It’s all a sham. Just keep acting as if they do not exist. Because they don’t. I wonder what I’m going to fight next.

Kindergarten conquered. כיבוש ארץ ישראל.

How We WON The Battle of The Covid Tests

I danced and won at the Street Battle of the Maskless Shabbat. My wife won the Battle of Supersol. Our whole family fought and won the Green Pass Battle at the Pool. September 30, 2021, we fought, and won the three-front battle of the Covid Testing at the Schools and Kindergartens.

This battle was a crazy one, and it was the scariest one. It was the only one we announced our attack in advance. We were told that in order to send our kids to school and kindergarten, we would have to show them a negative Covid test, or our kids would not be allowed in. So we called both the principal and the kindergarten teacher, and we announced in advance that we were going to fight them. That we were not going to back down. We were going to send our children to the school and kindergarten they are registered for, without a Covid test, against the tyrannical mandates of the Israel Ministry of Health, and the next move is up to them.

If you do not understand why it is such a crime against humanity to require disease testing on healthy children in order to get into school, then stop reading this article. It is not aimed at you. I am only speaking to those who understand the importance and sanctity of human liberty and of the principle of innocence until proven guilty, and of the holiness of one’s ownership over his own God-given body. If you don’t get that, then you are not worth talking to, so leave.

For those who understand, let me put it simply. Last year it was forced “declarations of health” on a piece of paper. This year it’s Covid testing and nasal rape. Next year it’ll be forced injections for babies toddlers and children. We made a big mistake last year not fighting the health declarations. We just filled them out. That made this last battle that much harder. We still won, but it was not easy. Had we refused the health declarations, the path would have been much easier to winning this battle. But for those who do not fight nasal rape of children now, you are going to have a very hard time fighting forced “vaccinations”. But for us, I hope it will be easier, because now they know where we stand, and they know we know they are cowards and backed down.

Just like my kids are no longer bothered about masks because they refuse to wear them, all you have to do is win once and it gets easier.

First let’s go into the completely asinine nature of the “mandatory Covid testing”. It is only once a week, and those that don’t go to school on the day it is required, do not have to submit one on any other day. So it is very easy to avoid, and it won’t prevent the spread of anything. We could have easily just not sent our kids on September 30 as so many parents refused, and rightly. But this was about taking a stand, and letting them know we will not submit nor will we run away anymore. Come get us, you empty cowards. You are all empty, none of you believe in what you are doing. As Worf said of the Borg, “The Borg have no honor nor courage. And that is our greatest advantage.” Hollow automaton obedient shells.

So last night I called my son’s teacher, a man I do have respect for. He is a very good teacher. I can tell he does not like this coercion, but he does not have the fortitude to endanger his job to fight it head on. I feel bad for him. But I can tell he understands. I call him and tell him very clearly, I am sending my son to school tomorrow, without a test, and I expect him to be accepted and taught as normal. I told him that if my son is not allowed into school, what happens to him will be his responsibility and the school’s,  and that he, the teacher, will be guilty of denying my son a Torah education and Bittul Torah, cancelling Torah, one of the worst sins that can be committed by a Jewish educator specifically. I said to him on the phone that he will be judged in Heaven for this, and I know that the Holy One Blessed Be He is watching him, and watching me, and God sides with me. I am sure of it, period. What about you?

No answer to that.

But he said he understood but my son cannot come to school without a test.

“He is coming, whether you like it or not.”

That was the end of the conversation.

Then the principal calls my wife’s phone about 5 minutes later. I do not like this man. Perhaps I would respect him under different circumstances, but he was in full bureaucrat empty soulless mode. He asks me in a dumb tone, “I hear that there is something you do not understand about the testing mandate tomorrow? What is it that you don’t understand?”

I found this question to be insulting and idiotic, so I began to lose my temper completely, instantaneously. I told him I understand perfectly, and then I got real nasty. I was taken over by something and I went on autopilot.

I told the principal the same thing I told my son’s teacher. That he’s coming to school without a test, and anything that happens to him will be the school’s responsibility. The principal responded that there are laws and he has to follow the law.

“You are hiding behind the law. My son is coming to school tomorrow and there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you try I will hold you responsible.”

“Your son is not coming to school. You cannot send him here without a test.”

“Yes I can, and that’s what I’m doing.”

This yes-no-yes-no-yes-no sending him not sending him went on for about 2 minutes straight. I wouldn’t let him get a word out. Then he ups the ante. He says to me if my son shows up at school without a test and I refuse to pick him up, he will call the police.

Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere! A bureaucrat punches, I counter. “Go ahead. You do that. Call the police on a boy who wants to learn Torah! I dare you, you empty nothing!”

“Your son cannot come to our school. You can send him somewhere else, but not here.” he reiterates.

“You’ll be seeing him tomorrow. Make sure you remember the number for the police.”

“Is this conversation over?” he asks.

“You haven’t hung up yet, so I will say again. I am sending my son to school tomorrow without a test. I suggest you call the police on him.”

He hangs up the phone. I scream into the air.

At this point I get weak, adrenalin rush over. Fear overtakes me and I have doubts. But my wife is adamant that we now must follow through. If we don’t, we’ll look like idiots and we will never win another battle, and there are many more that need to be fought. This is one and done. We lose one, we lose them all.

In the case of my two older girls, my wife asked the oldest’s teacher if she agreed with this policy. She replied that she does, because “we’re all in this together” we are “all Klal Yisrael” (common Israel) and other Marxists platitudes, and in any case it doesn’t matter what she thinks because these are the Health Ministry guidelines and my daughter is welcome in school if she has a negative test. My wife wrote back that this is communism, not Judaism, and basically cut the crap.

Anyway, we wake up the next morning and we tell the kids we are sending them to school ourselves. We drop the four year old at her kindergarten early. She walks in, no challenges. We drive the two other girls and my son to their schools, about a 20 minute drive. We drop the girls off first, and tell them that our car will be in the parking lot down the street if they can’t get in.

We park the car, and my wife gives my son a pep talk, to just walk in past the guard and be brave. He starts walking, and comes back crying that the guard won’t let him in because he didn’t take a test. I’m not sure what actually happened here since we didn’t want the school to know we were there as well, so we weren’t with him when he crossed the gate. I suspect he just got scared and turned back. At this point my fear takes over and I’m thinking we should give up, but my wife gets possessed and insists he try again.

Meanwhile, the phone rings. It’s our local government education bureaucrat woman, who insists that we must come back to the kindergarten to pick up our four year old girl, because she does not have a test. My wife screams at her that there is no way she is picking her up early. She is healthy, and she will pick her up at 2pm when the day is over as normal. Screaming back and forth. I’m holding the baby. The only line I remember from her side was, “I’m her mother! I decide what goes into her body! Not you!”

Eventually the woman hangs up on my wife after giving up fighting with her.

Meanwhile, my wife, who now looks a bit crazed, takes our son back near the school gate and tells him to try again, just walk past the guard. This time he makes it through. 2 minutes later, the phone rings again. It’s the principal I had a screaming match with the night before. (I’m shortening this dialogue to the main points.) I tell my wife I cannot talk to him. I’m out of energy. She answers the phone.

“Your son is here. You have to come and pick him up.”

“No,” says my wife. “You have to let him in. He has come to learn Torah and be with friends. He belongs to the State now, which says we must send him to school by law, so you are responsible for him now by law. You cannot turn him away.”

“You can do homeschooling, you can’t send him here.”

“No, I can’t, because I’m just a stupid immigrant with a Masters in education but I don’t have the resources. He is healthy. If he was sick I would not send him to school.”

Meanwhile, back and forth yelling for about 5 minutes, repetitive, attrition. Then my wife says, “He already had Covid and now he’s fine.” For some reason this changes the direction of the conversation, and we do not know why.

“Really? When did he have Covid?”

“On Rosh HaShanah.”

“Well, OK then, that’s fine with me. He can stay.”

We were trying to figure out why he buckled at that. We believe it is because a letter came through at that moment from the Teacher’s Union saying that it was unlawful to turn away a child from school if the child did not get tested. But I’m really not sure why he buckled.

So we have just the girls to worry about now. We drive back to their school a block away, into the parking lot, and we see them outside, alone, behind the gate on the school property but not in the building.

I asked my oldest what had happened later when she got home. Apparently, what had happened was that as she was walking into class her teacher who my wife had been texting with the night before, actually slammed the door in her face as she (the teacher) was totally flustered to see her there.

Apparently they took my two daughters out of class and kept them outside alone, gave them a bucket of paint and told them to “do an art project”. They refused. That’s when we showed up and saw them from the other side of the fence. This was about an hour into the day already. We whistled them over and asked them if they want to just come home. I was ready to give up. But just then, as I was sure we had lost, we hear an adult voice call them over and say they can come inside now. And so they do. And so we drove off, 4 year old in kindergarten, two older girls in their classrooms, and my son in his school.

We won this one, but only with God’s help at the last second. Every time I was about to give up, my wife stood up and refused to back down.

Every battle gets harder. But the victories become more significant.

We spread the word to our groups that we had won. And then reinforcements came. Other parents who were keeping their kids home that day arrive, and send their kids to school, knowing we cleared the path already.

Hopefully next time we will not be alone. The next battle will probably be the battle of the vaccines, and we are going to need more troops.

Be brave and know that our enemies are essentially empty. They do not believe in what they are doing. They have neither honor nor courage. They have no conviction, only fear of retribution. They are merely obeying. But we believe in right and wrong, and we believe in the God of Israel, not as some fake religious concept to make ourselves feel better, but as a real force that is watching our every move. Because He is. And that is our greatest advantage.

In Memory of Robert Wenzel, The Titan of San Francisco

The Titan of San Francisco has fallen.

The liberty movement has many leaders. There are the political leaders like Ron and Rand Paul. There are organizational leaders like Lew Rockwell, social leaders like Tom Woods, and academic leaders like Walter Block. Robert Wenzel was a unique kind of leader. I would call him the consummate intellectual street fighter. He was a boxer of the mind. Built like a fighter, wrote like a pit bull and armed with the gift of a strategic and tactical mind that rivaled Sun Tzu. Robert Wenzel was the philosophical and liturgical Bruce Lee of liberty.

It’s said that Bruce Lee was the master of muscle contraction of all things. He could pack more power in the shortest of punches than any man on Earth. That was Bob Wenzel. He could knock you out with one tiny hit and you’d be on the floor before you even realized he threw a punch.

He had a depth and breadth of intellectual vision that was hard to describe. He could get quick and concise points across with so few words, right down to the root of a point, that made everyone else’s writing look like a flowery waste of time by comparison.

Bob had more influence on my day-to-day life than any other libertarian. I say that simply because ever since I discovered EconomicPolicyJournal from Lew Rockwell, out of which grew TargetLiberty, I visited them every single day I used the internet, literally without exception. My mundane, everyday life will be very different now that he’s gone.

Now when I type the letter “e” on my browser and the autocomplete fills in economicpolicyjournal, a lump comes to my throat. Sometimes in the middle of the day I remember something he wrote and a tear falls from reddened eyes. I have to cry for a few seconds just to let it out. And then I continue walking.

Bob got me through the insanity that was 2020. Without his calm, collected, rational mind, I may have completely lost it. As the world has turned into a progressively (pun intended) more frenetic insane asylum, with people now literally dressing up as lunatic germophobes complete with ridiculous masks over their faces and most people shooting themselves and their children up with wildly experimental drugs, Bob’s was the steady voice of stability and strength I turned to when I felt I was on the verge of going completely mad. He was never hysterical about anything, not even masks or experimental vaccines. He was simply levelheaded and logical.

I remember on a particularly bad day, Bob knocked me back to my senses with one of his signature punches. You see, for Bob Wenzel, this whole craziness has been nothing more than an educational experience about defiance. How far can you push back against lockdowns and mask mandates, and how best to do it? Who are the easiest targets, and what are the most practical approaches? He saw it all as an exercise of libertarian muscle to prepare for the future. He gave his suffering readers a guide to doing battle in an age of totalitarian madness.

In my neighborhood I come across people who really battled in this war together with me, people for example who literally ran to the local police station to badger the cops after they heard I was booked for refusing to mask up. I embrace these people when I see them now in an understanding that only war buddies in the trenches have, I would imagine. I feel like I was on the front lines with them being shot at by lunatics, that we really saved each other’s minds.

I feel exactly that way about Bob too, except Bob wasn’t just a foot soldier in the field. He was certainly that, but he was also a general, directing battle orders to blazing pockets of liberty resistance all across the world. I call him the Titan of San Francisco because only someone with titanic mental stillness could possibly roam around the Ground Zero of totalitarian lunacy that is San Francisco and simply observe it with a keen sense of level-headed intellectual interest.

He had no desire, it seems, to move to Florida or Texas. He stayed in the trenches, behind enemy lines. He did it for us, because he could handle it, while most of us simply cannot. He knew it was ugly, but he loved to study the ugly, to find its weak points. To probe it. He had that unique ability. He never really complained. He just analyzed and moved forward.

There’s another thing about Bob that was singularly unique. I can’t think of any other libertarian in the world who did not belong to any specific “camp” within the movement. Bob was a lone wolf that disparate parts of the liberty community came to for wisdom. He was entirely his own thing. He stood entirely on his own and shone brightly because of it.

Bob Wenzel had this incredibly keen bird’s-eye view of liberty and political strategy and how the two could be woven together. He could spot a fake instantly, direct us against going down a wrong path he saw as dangerous, and sounded the alarm to us all when he saw the movement making what he thought was a mistake. He wasn’t against reaching out on principle across enemy lines though. He was able to discern when the liberty movement could and should unite with a different group against a common enemy, and when it was inappropriate to do so.

I did not agree with Bob on everything, but I was always 100% sure of two things when it came to Bob’s stance on any issue.

  1. I knew he would always arrive at his conclusions from consistent principles. This seems like an obvious point for libertarians, but it’s not. There is almost always some position on some issue that just doesn’t seem to fit, an outlier you just can’t understand why or from where. So usually you just let it go as some quirk. With Bob, all his positions were entirely thought through, logical and internally consistent without exception. He gave you his entire reasoning process from the beginning. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you always knew where his positions came from.
  2. This is even more important. Bob was not one to take a position on something he didn’t know much about. If he did not know all the facts about any area of controversy, he would be honest about it and say he didn’t know enough to take a stance. The intellectual honesty required for that is immense.  

Bob also had some serious moxie, chutzpah. I think he may have been the only street libertarian in history to get himself invited to the Federal Reserve to speak. He took full advantage of the opportunity and finished his speech with the only poetic flourish I ever heard him use. When a pit bull intellectual street fighter gets poetic, you know it’s got to be good. And boy was it. He closed his epic speech with a call for all the fed officials there to “leave this place to the four-legged rats.” Whenever I’m overwhelmed with sadness that he’s no longer here to guide me, I think of that line, laugh to myself, and it fills me with strength.

Finally, I want to address a touchy subject. With God’s help I’ll do it appropriately. I’m a Biblical guy with a Rabbinic background. When I see leaders I automatically compare them to Biblical figures. Bob Wenzel died during the week of the Torah portion of Beha’aloscha in the book of Numbers. In that portion we read these verses:

Numbers 10:29-32

Moses said to Hovav son of Reu’el the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, “We are going to the place that God said He will give us. Come with us and it will be good for you, for God has spoken well for Israel. [Hovav] said to him, “I won’t go, for only to my land will I go.” And Moses said, “Please don’t leave us, for you know our journeys in the desert and you have been our guide. If you come with us, the good that God said he will do for us, will be for you as well.”

The medieval Rabbis, the Rishonim, ask what Moses meant by that last statement. What good, exactly? Both Hizkuni and Nachmanides say that Moses was giving Hovav an inheritance in the land to live alongside the Israelites as allies. And so they did.

But there’s another question here. What is this name, Hovav? In Exodus, the name of Moses’ father-in-law is Yisro, Jethro. In the Torah it seems this one guy has seven different names and it’s unclear why. He’s like this mysterious shadowy character, a supposed priest of Midian who can’t even afford security for his own daughters to draw water from a well. Moses had to save them, which is how he met his wife.  And yet this mysterious guy is extremely influential.

Jethro is the one who gives Moses advice on how to organize a society politically. Initially Moses was judging all cases by himself, killing himself with the entire burden. Jethro, AKA Hovav, tells Moses this is a very bad idea and this wise Midianite sets up an entire administrative judicial system for Israelites which they followed in the desert.

When I think of men like Bob Wenzel, I think of Jethro, the man with a shadowy identity, the man with seven different names. Nobody really knew who Robert Wenzel was. He supposedly had different names as well. But you know another Biblical character whose name we never knew? Moses. Moses was obviously named by his mother Yocheved who hid him from the Egyptian government for three months, but we do not know what that name ever was. The name “Moses” was given to him by Pharaoh’s daughter when she found him in the basket floating in the Nile.

Bob was certainly a mysterious character, but those that would criticize him for maintaining that mystique are shallow, superficial, and basically whacked out of their minds. We knew him as Robert Wenzel, whatever his name may have been. He was a gift to this world, and I thank God for putting his soul here for 63 years.

I was honored to be called “the Great Rafi Farber” on EPJ just a few days before he died. I hope I can live up to that honor. I will do my best. In my final correspondence with him, I asked him for a review of an article I wrote arguing that Mises’s monetary regression theorem implies that the very existence of fiat money is actually a logical impossibility, and all of what we call “fiat money” is actually just gold substitutes inflated to varying degrees. I asked him if I got the logic right on that or if I was missing something. He responded, “Hi Rafi, This will take an extended reply, so give me some time.”

I wish I could Bob. But time is not mine to give. I was really looking forward to your Bruce Lee smackdown, if that’s what was coming to me.

Last thing. I recall one EPJ post where Bob said that if his blogs help inspire many libertarian foot soldiers but only a handful of leaders and generals, he will have considered his life a success. I’m no general, at least not yet, but perhaps I’m a battalion or division leader or something. Without Bob’s guidance I would not be where I am today. His life was a smashing success.

Bob, you were what Jews call a Gadol HaDor, a great man of his generation, and your work deserves to be canonized in the Misesian libertarian tradition forever.

I love you Bob, and I miss you. Yehi Zichro Baruch. May his memory be for a blessing.

Take Off Your Mask And Remind The World Of Your Humanity

Last Friday night, January 8, 2021, for the first time in my life, I prayed to my Creator. In a vacuum it’s a strange statement to make for me because I’m an Orthodox Jew who “prays” three times a day. But I never really knew what that meant until Friday night. Here’s my story of how it happened.

I hate masks. I hate them so deeply it’s impossible to put it into words. But I’ll try. When I see a mask it’s like a gut punch to my soul. In Hebrew, the word for soul, Neshama, is the same as the word for breath – Neshima. It has the same root. According to Genesis, when God gave the first man life, he breathed life into none other than his face. Life is breath. It is a Divine kiss from the Creator.

It’s so obvious now that masks do absolutely nothing health-wise against this virus that it’s not worth repeating. What masks are – their entire essence – is pure dehumanization. You order someone to cover his face, and you are telling him to cover his humanity, to hide his soul. If you cannot see someone’s face you cannot see what they’re feeling or thinking. You can’t see them smile or frown. They become blank. You can still say words to people, but you can’t really communicate.

I know dehumanization when I see it. I know it well. Whether it’s a yellow Star of David on your chest, a tattooed number on your arm, stripping you of all clothing and shaving your head, or a damn mask right across your soul, it’s all the same thing. Your rulers see you as less than human. They always have. Now it’s just more obvious. To some of us at least. You are not a person. You are now simply a vector for disease.

I live in Israel. It’s a complete, absolute mess here. We are on our third lockdown, our children are becoming progressively emptier, people are committing suicide from the loss of their lives, their families and their livelihoods, and Israel is supposedly “leading the world” in mass experimental vaccination against this nothingness, as if Jews are once again lab rats for the testing of Dr. Mengele’s insane proclivities. No, I am not an antivaxer. My kids are vaccinated with the standard complement. But I know what this is. This is mass experimentation on human lives and I will not be part of it.

Leave it to the political Zionists to be proud of something completely crazy like this and broadcast it to the world as if it’s some kind of great accomplishment. They always do that, the political Zionists. Look for bragging rights like some snot-nosed kid who just knows that he’s a singularity of pure infinite awesomeness when he doesn’t realize everyone else knows he’s just a little nothing pisher.

Last Friday Jews read the first portion of the book of Exodus. In Hebrew, the name of the book is Shmot, or simply Names. “These are the names of the children of Israel who came down to Egypt,” the book begins. Then it lists all their names. Why? We already know their names from Genesis. The answer is that the book begins by emphasizing their humanity. Their individual names as people. They are about to be the victims of vastly expanding state power and mass murder. They are about to be gradually enslaved to the point where they will be forced by the state to drown their own baby boys in the Nile. But they all have names for the love of God. Do not forget that, begins the book of Names.

I am working on a serious personal project right now. It is a libertarian commentary on the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, gathering all relevant liberty sources from the medieval Rabbinic commentators. I’ve been stuffing notes in the margins of my holy books. I am calling the work “Liberty on the Tablets”, or in Hebrew, “Herut Al HaLuchot”. My books are now covered with beautiful highlighting in different colors.  One color for points of economics, principles of ownership and property and such. Another color for issues of State power and points of political philosophy. It’s going well, thank God.

In this portion, I came across a hauntingly beautiful comment by Nachmanides. He notes, among other commentators, the peculiarity of Exodus 2:1-2. The decree to murder all Israelite baby boys is now in force at this point. The verses read, “A man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. She became pregnant and gave birth to a boy, and she saw that he was good so she hid him for three months.”

What’s the peculiarity exactly? Simply that this is about the birth of Moses, and Moses was the third child of Yocheved and Amram of Levi, not the first. Miriam was the first born. Aaron the second. Moses was the youngest. So on the face of it, this verse doesn’t make any sense. The simple explanation, the pshat as the Rabbis call it, is that the births of Miriam and Aaron are simply skipped here because they are not relevant to the story. Yocheved and Amram were married beforehand, and this is not exactly purely chronological.

But there is another possibility, a deeper explanation, the so-called exegetical drash.That is, this is actually speaking of the remarriage of Yocheved and Amram. What happened, say the Rabbis, is that Yocheved and Amram initially separated in despair when the government decree to murder all baby boys came into force. They couldn’t bear the risk of having another baby and so they got a divorce.

Here is where Nachmanides comes in and quotes the Talmud. The Talmud in Tractate Sotah tells the story that Miriam, the oldest, was the one that insisted her parents get back together and have another kid. Miriam was a prophetess, and she foresaw that their next baby would save Israel. But not only did she insist. She made a small wedding party for her parents. She made a wedding canopy, and they went through the wedding ceremony all over again. And Miriam and her then two-year-old brother Aaron, too young yet to understand what was even going on, danced and danced with happiness around their parents in the midst of this terrifying and crushing despair and fear.

Because of this defiant party and this happiness, Israel was redeemed, says the Talmud. I highlighted that one with two colors earlier in the week, thinking of defiant dancing and parties and happiness in the midst of evil lockdowns against life itself.

I have a tradition in my family that I dance with my kids to a Sabbath song Jews sing on Friday night called Lecha Dodi, after I come home from synagogue. It’s a poem about welcoming the Sabbath as if she is a beautiful bride and we are all getting married to her. It is probably the most famous poem about the Sabbath ever written.

So last Friday night, I leave my house and I immediately break the law the moment I pass my gate. I do not wear a mask, of course. Ever. So I head to the only place where I can sit and pray with other Jews without being harassed about my exposed face, my exposed breath, my exposed soul that everyone can see and that I proudly show to everyone. It’s an outdoor quorum of Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic Jews. We are not allowed to pray inside anymore. I am not a Chabad Hasid, but these are the only ones who leave me alone unmasked and don’t give me dirty looks, God bless them.

One Chabadnik gets up and starts giving a Dvar Torah, a point on the Torah portion. This Jew, I notice, was not wearing a mask. It was beautiful. He asks a simple question. “Who were the ones throwing the babies into the Nile?” Good question. Who, actually, physically, picked up these newborn baby boys and threw them into the Nile river to die? He quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe of course, who said that it was the fathers who did the horrible deed.

Why the fathers? Simple. They were making a logical calculation. Either they kill their own sons, or their whole family gets murdered by the government. You can’t really fault them. It makes sense. The same thing is happening now. We are all killing our children with these lockdowns, he says. Sitting them in front of screens all day, depriving them of life, killing them slowly, because we do not want to get fined and shamed by the sick Israeli taskmasters.

Until someone puts his foot down and says “Enough!” this will not stop. If you think the “vaccine” is going to do it, you are deluding yourself. And I thought back to Miriam, insisting her parents get remarried and have another baby, and the defiant wedding party she threw her parents, and how Moses was born. Enough. I thanked him for his words. They were beautiful. We then begin the Friday night service.  A few minutes later, we are about to begin the Lecha Dodi poem about the Sabbath bride.

Now, there happens to be a bad guy who lives on that very street we are praying on. This guy is completely rabid nuts about masks. He poses as a religious Jew, dressed in Sabbath clothing with a hat and long coat kaputteh and the whole shebang. (I wear a black leather jacket.) This guy calls the police on anyone he can identify who is not wearing a mask. I know him. He knows me. As Lecha Dodi is about to begin, I see this guy walking down the street, eyeing us. Most in the quorum are wearing masks. Then he sees me. I am not. We make eye contact. And Lecha Dodi begins. My wedding song I dance to with my kids about the Sabbath bride, begins.

I’m not a big dancer, not in public at least. All of the sudden, almost as if not even by my own volition, I feel my legs starting to take steps towards this man. I cannot stop them. Step after step, my legs pull me to him inexorably. I do not know what I’m doing exactly. I have no plan. Our eyes are still locked in eye contact. I cannot tell what he’s thinking, of course, because he has a mask on.

Then I start singing loudly as Lecha Dodi goes on, right at him. He starts walking along in the middle of the street. So I follow him, singing louder. And then I start jumping. And dancing in circles around him while singing Lecha Dodi as loud as I can as he walks down the street. I know everyone is looking at me, and everyone else is singing, too. I’m clapping, jumping as high as I can, singing at the top of my lungs along with everyone else cheering me on, though I am the only one dancing around him. I must have done 10 laps around the guy at least. A furious, ecstatic wedding dance and I just cannot stop myself.

He gets to his house and I break off, sitting down in a chair on the sidewalk, out of breath. Lecha Dodi is over and people shake my hand and pat my back. I’m wondering whether I did the right thing. I’m having doubts now. What happens now?

Then the next part of the evening service begins. This part is called Ma’ariv. There is a part within it called the Amidah, or “The Standing” where the worshipper begins by taking three steps forward into the presence of God, and prays silently, feet together, with everyone else in the group, taking three steps back when finished. During the Amidah, one is forbidden to talk or move or even signal to anyone. The Amidah is a conversation with God and must be completed without any interruption.

Ma’ariv begins, so we have only a few minutes until the Amidah begins. A few minutes pass and I see a police car turn on to the street. That mask fiend, dressed as a religious Jew, obviously broke the Sabbath to call the police on me. A religious Jew can only break the Sabbath when lives are literally at stake, mind you.

Right before the policeman gets out of the car, the few people without masks quickly slap them on. Except for me. I never carry one. I know exactly what’s about to happen now.

He walks towards me. He’s about 30 seconds away from me now. And we have about 30 seconds untilthe Amidah begins. My heart is thumping. Did I do the right thing? Or did I do something stupid? I lock eyes with the policeman. He reaches me. 15 seconds.

“Put a mask on,” he says.

I nod no. You can still nod signals until the Amidah begins.

“Corona!” he yaps.

I stare at him.

“I’m talking to you!” he barks. 10 seconds. I keep staring. Heart hammering.

“Then move to the side,” the cop barks again. “Don’t be next to anyone.” The guy next to me moves away. I stand completely still, staring the cop down.

And then I felt what I can only describe as a Divine shield falling all around me, protecting me, blocking the cop completely out. I knew at that moment that I had done, and was doing, exactly the right thing.

The leader of the prayer group then chants, “Amen,” signaling that the Amidah will now begin. I take one last look at the cop. I close my eyes. And I take three steps forward into the presence of the God of Israel. And for the very first time in my life, I pray.

When I open my eyes, the cop is gone, and tears of happiness and relief are streaming down my exposed, unmasked face.

Everyone, all human beings with a soul, I call on you, I implore you. Don’t let them dehumanize you. Do not wear that yellow star like a slave. Take your masks off. Show the bastards you are a human being, that you have a face, that you have a name, that you have a soul, and that they will not succeed in destroying your humanity. And if you are on lockdown, get up. Get out there. And dance!

A Sexual Reading of the Book of Esther OR Esther the Black Widow

I’m going to try to make this פירוש (interpretation) as צנוע or modest as possible given the racy subject matter here. If you can’t handle frank discourses of a sexual nature then go read something else.

I notice something new every time I read the Megilla, the Book of Esther. This year I had a question I was pondering for a few hours until it clicked during my Purim Seuda (party) yesterday. Esther 8:3. The context – Haman is already dead but the law sanctioning a coordinated genocide against the Jews on 13 Adar is still in force. This is a big problem. The verse reads thusly thus:

וַתּ֣וֹסֶף אֶסְתֵּ֗ר וַתְּדַבֵּר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַתִּפֹּ֖ל לִפְנֵ֣י רַגְלָ֑יו וַתֵּ֣בְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ לְהַֽעֲבִיר֙ אֶת־רָעַת֙ הָמָ֣ן הָֽאֲגָגִ֔י וְאֵת֙ מַֽחֲשַׁבְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר חָשַׁ֖ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים׃

Esther continued and spoke to the king. She fell to his feet and cried and begged him to get rid of the evil of Haman the Agagite and his plans that he cooked up against the Jews.

Why did Esther suddenly beg like a child? Why did she cry? Up until now she’s been cool as a cucumber, seductive and subtle, plotting and calculated. Why did she suddenly let go and fall at this fat zhlub’s feet like someone with no control over her emotions? What happened here?

What Men Really Want

Imagine the King of Persia. He’s all powerful. He can have absolutely anything he wants. Sex, drugs, alcohol, power, any woman of his choosing at any time. What is the ultimate sexual fantasy of such a man? What does he really want?

A man like that, where everything comes so easy, he wants a challenge. He wants a taste of being controlled, since he’s so busy controlling everyone else all the time. Controlling a woman in the bedroom is boring. What he really wants is a woman who is hard to break. A woman that can control him and twist him around her little finger, make him beg.

Being a woman married to an all-powerful man like that is extremely dangerous. You’re a beautiful woman and you twist him around your finger a little too tightly, and he can get frustrated and kill you. That’s what happened to Vashti. The king calls on her to dance naked in front of his drunken friends. She can’t say yes because then the King would lose respect for her as just another sex slave. Her only shot is to say no, but she doesn’t do it skillfully enough. She rejects him flat out, without hinting of any reward later. He is totally pissed. He kills her.

Enough of these strong-willed challenging women. They are too rebellious. Now, he wants something new. Someone who will obey. He wants a total submissive.

Enter Esther

Esther enters the scene, a quiet submissive girl, totally acted upon from the start, no will of her own at all. All the verbs in Hebrew relating to her at the beginning are in נפעל, passive form. She is taken by force to the palace. She is completely obedient. She listens to everything Mordechai tells her to do, not saying a word to anyone about being a Jew. She does absolutely nothing on her own initiative. She only dresses up exactly as Hegai, the Minister of Sex Slaves, tells her to. All the other women ask for this or that article of clothing, toy, accessory, whatever it may have been. They all want to flaunt something, play up their strengths, show how strong, creative, kinky they are. Esther is the only one who plays the quiet, modest, unassuming submissive obedient sex slave. She flaunts absolutely nothing. She is ready to simply obey. Esther 2:10:

וּבְהַגִּ֣יעַ תֹּר־אֶסְתֵּ֣ר בַּת־אֲבִיחַ֣יִל דֹּ֣ד מָרְדֳּכַ֡י אֲשֶׁר֩ לָקַֽח־ל֨וֹ לְבַ֜ת לָב֣וֹא אֶל־הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ לֹ֤א בִקְשָׁה֙ דָּבָ֔ר כִּ֠י אִ֣ם אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֹאמַ֛ר הֵגַ֥י סְרִיס־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ שֹׁמֵ֣ר הַנָּשִׁ֑ים וַתְּהִ֤י אֶסְתֵּר֙ נֹשֵׂ֣את חֵ֔ן בְּעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־רֹאֶֽיהָ׃

When it was Esther’s turn – daughter of Avichayil, uncle of Mordechai who adopted her as his daughter – to go to the king, she did not request a single thing other than exactly what Hegai the king’s Minister of Sex Slaves, told her to request. Esther charmed everyone who saw her.

Of course, the king falls in love. Here is the perfect obedient submissive who will shut up and do what I tell her.

The King Gets Bored

Except, the king totally forgets about his truest, deepest sexual desires. He starts getting bored again. He now misses the strong-willed coy tease who can really drive him up the wall. Vashti was good at that. But Esther? She’s just a boring slave. That charmed him at first, but now it’s getting old. He stops having sex with her. He hasn’t slept with her in a month.

That’s when serious trouble starts brewing. Esther has to step up, Mordechai tells her, and save the Jews. She has no choice. She cannot hide in the palace. If she even tries, says Mordechai, salvation will absolutely come for the Jews some other way, but Esther and her whole family will surely die.

She tells Mordechai, of course, that she hasn’t been with the king for 30 days now. He has lost interest in her. If she goes to the King’s court without being called, she is liable to get killed, unless the king saves her life by touching her with the head of his golden scepter.

At this point, Esther completely changes one hundred and eighty degrees. No more submissive house wife sex slave who just sits there and follows orders. Now she has to really up her game or it’s all over for her and Mordechai.

She prays and fasts and has all the Jews of Shushan pray and fast with her, for three days. While she’s fasting and praying to God, she thinks, he’s lost interest in me sexually. I can’t just go in there and start begging and pleading. That will not work. He doesn’t want a beggar. I need a plan. I need to show him I am not just some submissive boring obedient sex slave. I need to show him I am a queen. But not only a queen. I need to show him I am his queen.

She takes a deep breath, and puts on her full queen’s attire. It’s time to be a ruler. It’s time to be a powerful dominant monarch. It’s time be risqué. It’s time to show the king, carefully and seductively, that she is more than just a pretty face and a boring obedient sex slave.

Esther 5:1:

וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֗י וַתִּלְבַּ֤שׁ אֶסְתֵּר֙ מַלְכ֔וּת וַֽתַּעֲמֹ֞ד בַּחֲצַ֤ר בֵּית־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ הַפְּנִימִ֔ית נֹ֖כַח בֵּ֣ית הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וְ֠הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁ֞ב עַל־כִּסֵּ֤א מַלְכוּתוֹ֙ בְּבֵ֣ית הַמַּלְכ֔וּת נֹ֖כַח פֶּ֥תַח הַבָּֽיִת׃

On the third day, Esther put on royal attire and stood in the king’s inner courtyard across from the king’s chambers. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, across from the entrance.

The king looks across and sees what he was sure until now was just this shy, pretty, submissive, obedient and boring slave, approaching him uninvited, dressed like absolute royalty. She’s risking her life. He knows it. She knows it. He knows that she knows it. Wow. This is no sex slave. This woman is actually confident and possibly dangerous. All of the sudden his golden scepter wakes up again and he remembers his real sexual desires, repressed for so long ever since he acted like a drunk idiot and killed Vashti.

The king is really intrigued. There’s a subtle grin on his face. He extends his golden scepter and Esther touches it. What does this woman want from me? It must be really good. Otherwise she wouldn’t have risked her life. Where did she get such courage?!

Speaking very respectfully, teasing, even subtly weaving in orders with some gall, mixing her former obedient submissiveness together with her now tempered steel will, she invites the king to a drinking party. With Haman. Esther 5:4 (emphasis mine):

וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ ט֑וֹב יָב֨וֹא הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְהָמָן֙ הַיּ֔וֹם אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי לֽוֹ׃

Esther said, “If it please the king, the king and Haman will come to the banquet I have prepared for him.

“Oh I will come, will I? Ordering me around, this sudden queen of mine? What’s all this all of a sudden? The banquet she prepared for him? Who’s him? Me, or Haman? She risked her life to order me to a party she made for him? That’s hot. And a bit worrying. What is going on here?

Then, at the party, the king is almost begging her to tell him what’s up. But there’s not enough sexual tension yet. She dials it up even more. She speaks even more carefully. She changes the language ever so slightly. Every word, every pronoun is designed to drive him crazy. Esther 5:8:

אִם־מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֜ן בְּעֵינֵ֣י הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְאִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ ט֔וֹב לָתֵת֙ אֶת־שְׁאֵ֣לָתִ֔י וְלַעֲשׂ֖וֹת אֶת־בַּקָּשָׁתִ֑י יָב֧וֹא הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ וְהָמָ֗ן אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם וּמָחָ֥ר אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֖ה כִּדְבַ֥ר הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃

If I have found favor in the eyes of the king, and if it please the king to grant my request and to do my will, the king and Haman will come to the banquet I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do what the king asks.

Prepare for them now? Both of us?! AHHH! I can’t take it anymore! This woman is driving me nuts! How am I going to sleep tonight?

Of course he doesn’t sleep that night. We know what happens that night.

At the party the next day, Achashverosh is about to lose his mind. What does she want? TELL me already! What does Haman have to do with any of this?!

Here’s what I want Achashverosh, says Esther. I want my life. I want my people to live. That’s what I want.

What? What are you talking about? Who wants to kill you?! (This guy hasn’t slept in two days, remember. He’s really worked up in more ways than one.)

Esther pounces. She sinks her teeth in. She shows the king she can attack viciously. That’s who she really is.

“It’s that evil prick over there who wants to kill me! Haman!”

The king completely loses it and leaves the party to cool off. Meanwhile, Haman falls all over Esther begging for his life. The king comes back, seeing this scene, ramped up sexually out of his mind, thinking his wife is being raped. “Get off the queen! NOW!” he screams, “You sick murdering wannabe rapist!

The King’s Sexual Fantasies Finally Fulfilled

At this point, Haman is out of the picture, but the decree to kill all the Jews on Adar 13 is still on the books. It’s at this point that Esther pivots again and fulfills the very deepest part of Achashverosh’s sexual desires.

See, a king like Achashverosh doesn’t just want a powerful woman who’s good at ordering him around in the bedroom. He does not want Vashti. Neither does he want a total boring submissive slave. What a king like that really wants, is a strong, confident, and powerful woman that he can ultimately break and turn into a begging pile of tears, just at the right time.

Esther goes in for the kill. She begs. She pleads. She cries. 8:3-6:

וַתּ֣וֹסֶף אֶסְתֵּ֗ר וַתְּדַבֵּר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַתִּפֹּ֖ל לִפְנֵ֣י רַגְלָ֑יו וַתֵּ֣בְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ לְהַֽעֲבִיר֙ אֶת־רָעַת֙ הָמָ֣ן הָֽאֲגָגִ֔י וְאֵת֙ מַֽחֲשַׁבְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר חָשַׁ֖ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים׃

דוַיּ֤וֹשֶׁט הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְאֶסְתֵּ֔ר אֵ֖ת שַׁרְבִ֣ט הַזָּהָ֑ב וַתָּ֣קָם אֶסְתֵּ֔ר וַֽתַּעֲמֹ֖ד לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃וַ֠תֹּאמֶר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ ט֜וֹב וְאִם־מָצָ֧אתִי חֵ֣ן לְפָנָ֗יו וְכָשֵׁ֤ר הַדָּבָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְטוֹבָ֥ה אֲנִ֖י בְּעֵינָ֑יו יִכָּתֵ֞ב לְהָשִׁ֣יב אֶת־הַסְּפָרִ֗ים מַחֲשֶׁ֜בֶת הָמָ֤ן בֶּֽן־הַמְּדָ֙תָא֙ הָאֲגָגִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּתַ֗ב לְאַבֵּד֙ אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּכָל־מְדִינ֥וֹת הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃

וכִּ֠י אֵיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בָּרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־יִמְצָ֣א אֶת־עַמִּ֑י וְאֵֽיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בְּאָבְדַ֖ן מוֹלַדְתִּֽי׃

Esther continued and spoke before the king. She fell at his feet and cried and begged him to get rid of the evil of Haman the Agagite and his plot against the Jews.

She said, “If it please the king and I have found favor in his eyes and the matter is fitting before the king and I am pleasing in the kings eyes, he will write to rescind the books of Haman son of Hamdata the Agagi who ordered the genocide of all the Jews in all of the king’s empire!”

I just can’t bear to see the evil that will befall my people. I cannot suffer the loss of my nation! PLEASE!

If the king can just give her what she wants, he knows he will not regret it.

The Jews Attack

But he can’t! What he can do, though, is let Esther and Mordechai write whatever they want in his name. And he does. And they do. The Jews can now defend themselves against their attackers on 13 Adar.

Esther’s fury inspires all the Jews of Persia to band together and attack. The Jews get together, fight, and win, killing 75,000 people throughout the empire and 500 in Shushan. They don’t touch the disgusting spoils. We don’t need any of your S&$! and we’re not doing this for any material gain. We’re just killing you because you all deserve to die. No other reason at all.

One Last Twist of the Knife – Esther the Black Widow

Black WidowBut it’s not over yet!

The King loves his new wife, and asks her what else she wants from him. Tell me. I’ll give it to you. Anything.

Esther has a smirk on her face. She doesn’t want anyone to ever believe that the Jews are just one and done. No. We will not just fight for one day only and then call it a day. We are not that predictable.

No. Esther the Black Widow makes one final request. Let’s twist this knife deep, she says. Let’s make them bleed. Let’s do it again! 9:12-14:

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֗ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֡ה הָרְגוּ֩ הַיְּהוּדִ֨ים וְאַבֵּ֜ד חֲמֵ֧שׁ מֵא֣וֹת אִ֗ישׁ וְאֵת֙ עֲשֶׂ֣רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֔ן בִּשְׁאָ֛ר מְדִינ֥וֹת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ מֶ֣ה עָשׂ֑וּ וּמַה־שְּׁאֵֽלָתֵךְ֙ וְיִנָּ֣תֵֽן לָ֔ךְ וּמַה־בַּקָּשָׁתֵ֥ךְ ע֖וֹד וְתֵעָֽשׂ׃

וַתֹּ֤אמֶר אֶסְתֵּר֙ אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֔וֹב יִנָּתֵ֣ן גַּם־מָחָ֗ר לַיְּהוּדִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּשׁוּשָׁ֔ן לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת כְּדָ֣ת הַיּ֑וֹם וְאֵ֛ת עֲשֶׂ֥רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֖ן יִתְל֥וּ עַל־הָעֵֽץ׃

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְהֵֽעָשׂ֣וֹת כֵּ֔ן וַתִּנָּתֵ֥ן דָּ֖ת בְּשׁוּשָׁ֑ן וְאֵ֛ת עֲשֶׂ֥רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֖ן תָּלֽוּ׃

The king said to Esther the Queen, “In Shushan the capital the Jews killed and annihilated 500 people including Haman’s 10 sons and whatever else they did in the rest of the King’s empire. Now What else do you want and I will give it to you. What is your request and it will be done!

Esther responded, “If it please the king, let the Jews of Shushan fight again, tomorrow, just like today, and I want you to impale the dead corpses of Haman’s sons on spikes!

The King ordered that this be done. An order was given in Shushan and Haman’s ten sons were impaled.”

Kill them again. One. More. TIME. Oh, and hang those rotting corpses of Haman’s sons for EVERYONE to see. And to know. And to fear. 

Achashverosh loves it. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Shushan Purim is all about. For Jews. What’s the message for the gentiles?

Mind the Jews and Do Not Kick Us While We’re Down

The ending of the Book of Esther is tragic. Chapter 10 makes me want to cry. The exile is not over. Esther is stuck as a permanent sex slave to a maniacal king, whose first move after this whole episode is to raise taxes on everyone, even the islands. The book ends with praise for Achashverosh, but it’s obviously tongue in cheek. The first edition of the Megillah was scrapped, probably for being too honest and politically incorrect in terms of the Persian regime’s true behavior. We only have the second, censored version, full of sarcasm, code, and surreptitious mockery of the government.

According to the Gemara, Sanhedrin 74B, Esther never actively participated sexually with Achashverosh. אסתר קרקע עולם הייתה – Esther was merely plowed earth, so to speak. She was passive. It is not clear if Achashverosh ever really got what he wanted from her behind closed doors. He may have, in terms of transposing her public behavior in that period onto the bedroom, but actively during, it is not clear. In any case, Esther probably hated his guts, and was stuck as a slave for the rest of her life in the palace. Achashverosh could rape her freely, knowing who he had. That’s where the story ends. It’s very sad.

But the message to the gentiles, is clear. The Jews are in exile. It looks like God has rejected them. They have assimilated and they’re drinking together with the Persians. But a warning from God – punishing the Jews is for God only. Do not come close, and do not assume I have given up on them. They are Mine, says God, so back off. If you try anything, I’ll come after you. They will always be protected. I’ll make sure everything is set up perfectly for you to ultimately fail even before you try to make a move. Esther became queen long before Haman ever plotted to kill us.

So don’t mess with the Jews. Don’t mess with Esther the Black Widow, that absolute vixen sexual genius who knows how to drive a king totally insane. You will regret it. We are not submissives.

We are geniuses. We are God’s people. Now keep your distance. Purim, especially Shushan Purim teaches the world to stay away from us. Be respectful. And be afraid.

And for us, we must remember that just because we are protected from Above, does not mean we are free from punishment, or that everything will be OK. It might not. So stay vigilant.

Happy Shushan Purim, world.

An aside: After Martin Luther יימח שמו failed in converting us to his protestant BS, he called on all of us to be burned alive. And he specifically called to expunge the Book of Esther from the Bible, since it lacked “spirituality” in his words.

Martin Luther…what a ₱μ$$¥!

If Hollywood ever does the Book of Esther, Scarlet Johansson, the hottest Jewish actress ever, in my opinion. Whew!

With Sanders Leading in Iowa, the Script for the Destruction of American Jewry Gets Completely Predictable

Bernie Sanders is a communist Jew. Like Marx or Trotsky, same thing. He’s leading in the Democratic primaries. He loved the USSR.

The Federal Reserve has printed about $5.5 trillion dollars since September 17th when the overnight repo markets blew up and interest rates skyrocketed to 10%. This is not an exaggeration. The details are available at the New York Fed’s website. Just do a historical search since September 17, download the excel, use the addition function on the last column. It’s between $75-100B a day now, without stopping.

This bubble is in its final stages.

If Sanders wins the primary, and is elected on the eve of the collapse of the biggest bubble in human history, with Alan Greenspan, Ben Shalom Bernanke, and Janet Yellen all pumping it for 30 years, and Jared Kushner playing war chess with Yishmael, and Bernie Sanders as president, what do you think happens to the Jews when the tzoah hits the fan?

I’m going to America in June with my family. It is very likely that this will be the very last time I ever set foot there.

Jews, gather your stuff, and get ready to get out of there on a moment’s notice. If Sanders is elected, get out. You’ll have from November to January 20. We are in the home stretch here.

Our New Daughter’s Name, Rimon Hadasa, OR, What Do Purim, Pesach, Circumcision, And Wood Skewers Have In Common?

Thank God, we have another daughter. Everyone is healthy and the birth went well, though there was a scare that turned out to be nothing in the end, caused by a broken monitor that had a team of doctors rush in to do an emergency C-section. But the midwives stopped that and got control of the situation, got a new monitor, everything was fine, and 10 minutes later she was born. I was sitting at home working when my parents called to say Natasha was in labor and I should get to the hospital. So I leisurely started putting on my shoes and was starting to head out. By the time I got to the car my father came around the corner and asked me how many pounds is 2.8kg.

“Huh?” I said, “Already??”

She came out fast. It was the first birth I actually missed, but it’s OK. It was a good thing I wasn’t there during the emergency C-section scare. I would have freaked out. My mother and mother in law handled it all pretty well.

We named her on Shabbat, Rimon Hadasa Farber רימון הדסה פרבר. Here’s the story and meanings behind it.

Natasha’s grandfather (poppy) Murray, משה בן אסתר, passed away last year. He was 90. About a day or two before he died, we found out that Natasha was pregnant. It was a surprise for us, but a pleasant one. It was way too early to tell anyone. We had just found out, but we decided to tell grandma and poppy anyway because we all knew he was slipping away and he should know before he died. So on his deathbed, through Skype, we told him that we would name the baby after him.

We wanted an ‘R’ and ‘M’ sound in the name for Murray, and picked Rimon, Hebrew for pomegranate. I myself am named for two great grandmothers Raizel and Feigle, hence the R and F in my own name, so we did a similar thing here. Hadasa, Rimon’s middle name, is Queen Esther’s Hebrew name. Esther was her Persian name.

We were quite hesitant about the name Rimon at first. We liked it personally and it sounds nice to an American ear, but we both knew that to an Israeli it sounds like “hand grenade” which is another modern meaning. That wouldn’t have been a problem by itself but we also have a daughter named Serach (שרח) which is a name I love because I love the character and the story behind her. She is Asher’s daughter, Jacob’s granddaughter, who is mentioned in the list of 70 people going down to Egypt in Breisheet and also coming out of Egypt in Bamidbar. According to some sources, she – not Ruth – is the first convert, adopted by Asher. Given that she’s mentioned both going in and coming out of Egypt, she lived at least 210 years, and some Midrashic sources say she never died.

Anyway, we call her Serri and she is beautiful, I mean really. Many times Israelis stare at her and tell me that, and then ask her name. And I say her name is שרח. Then what usually happens is that they correct me and say something like “In Hebrew it’s pronounced Sarah, not Serach.” And then I have to insist that her name is not Sarah, and that I know my daughter’s name, thank you very much. I’ve had to do this many times, and those are the easy encounters. At worst, they look at her, tell me she’s pretty, and ask me her name, I tell them שרח, and they say, “Why did you give her such an ugly name?” Those are the really “Israeli” Israelis.

See, in Hebrew, Serach sounds like מסריח , which means “stinky”. We knew this. It has absolutely nothing to do with the name though, and we weren’t going to let that stop us from giving her a name that we actually wanted and admired.

Anyway, two days after Rimon was born, before she was named, I was at the post office with Serri and the same thing happened. We were the only ones there and the two clerks, both women, commented that’s she’s pretty and asked her name. I tell them Serach. And again, they correct me and say it’s not pronounced Serach, it’s Sarah. And again I insist that I am not a stupid American who doesn’t know Hebrew, I know what my daughter’s name is, and her name is SERACH. Asher’s daughter. It’s in the Tanach, in Hebrew.

“How do you spell it, with a ה or a ח?” one of them asks.

“A ח. שרחחחחחח,” I emphasize and extend the ח.


“Yes, really.”

Then I made a mistake. They ask me if she has any other sisters. Absentmindedly I say that she just got a new sister two days ago.

“And what’s her new sister’s name?” they ask.

Not thinking, since you’re not supposed to tell people the name before the naming, I tell them “Rimon”. And they look at me weird, saying with their eyes, “Well here’s a crazy American naming his daughters ‘Stinky’ and ‘Hand Grenade,’ like one of those postmodern hippieish people who are into homeopathics and whatnot.“

A lesson – not telling people the name before the naming is important, because it can create doubts.

We were going to name her on Thursday but I didn’t wake up early enough for the 6:15 minyan, thinking that subconsciously maybe I was having second thoughts. So we thought it over again Natasha and I, and we decided, definitely Rimon. Here’s why.

I’m not the kind of person that looks into “signs from heaven”, but I don’t discount the possibility of them, or of God trying to tell me something, just an ordinary person. So the following I’ll just say that maybe God was trying to get me to name her Rimon, and maybe I’m just reading into things, but then these are pretty crazy coincidences. Interpret however makes you feel comfortable, but this all happened.

When we were first settling on Rimon, Natasha asked me where the word appears in the Torah. I remember it is featured a lot on the clothes of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, and remembered part of the verse describing his tunic because it repeats. פעמון ורימון פעמון ורימון are the words I remembered specifically, and that the pasuk must be in Tetzaveh or Pekudei, or both, which describe the whole priestly wardrobe. So I looked it up and sure enough, it’s there, in both places, slightly different in each place. Here’s the one from Pekudei:

וַיַּ֛עַשׂ אֶת־מְעִ֥יל הָאֵפֹ֖ד מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה אֹרֵ֑ג כְּלִ֖יל תְּכֵֽלֶת׃ וּפִֽי־הַמְּעִ֥יל בְּתוֹכ֖וֹ כְּפִ֣י תַחְרָ֑א שָׂפָ֥ה לְפִ֛יו סָבִ֖יב לֹ֥א יִקָּרֵֽעַ: וַֽיַּעֲשׂוּ֙ עַל־שׁוּלֵ֣י הַמְּעִ֔יל רִמּוֹנֵ֕י תְּכֵ֥לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָ֖ן וְתוֹלַ֣עַת שָׁנִ֑י מָשְׁזָֽר׃ וַיַּעֲשׂ֥וּ פַעֲמֹנֵ֖י זָהָ֣ב טָה֑וֹר וַיִּתְּנ֨וּ אֶת־הַפַּֽעֲמֹנִ֜ים בְּת֣וֹךְ הָרִמֹּנִ֗ים עַל־שׁוּלֵ֤י הַמְּעִיל֙ סָבִ֔יב בְּת֖וֹךְ הָרִמֹּנִֽים׃ פַּעֲמֹ֤ן וְרִמֹּן֙ פַּעֲמֹ֣ן וְרִמֹּ֔ן עַל־שׁוּלֵ֥י הַמְּעִ֖יל סָבִ֑יב לְשָׁרֵ֕ת כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה׃

The robe for the ephod was made of woven work, of pure blue. The opening of the robe, in the middle of it, was like the opening of a coat of mail, with a binding around the opening, so that it would not tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, twisted. They also made bells of pure gold, and attached the bells between the pomegranates, all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates: a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe for officiating in—as God had commanded Moses.

Now, about two weeks before she was born, when we were already mostly set on Rimon but I was still having some doubts, our community was honoring the חברה קדישא, the “Holy Gang,” volunteers who clean and dress the dead for burial. Thanks to my friend Ezra, I am on the Chevreh Kadisha. The week the shul was honoring the Chevreh was Parashat Pekudei, the Parasha about the Cohen Gadol’s clothing. They gave me שלישי, the third Aliyah, which begins with that exact passage about pomegranates and bells all around the Kohen Gadol. In no other place in the Torah does the word Rimon appear so frequently, five times in three psukim! I am imagining that God is ringing off the pomegranate bells that this is her name. Ding ding! Use it! פעמון ורימון פעמון ורימון OK OK I get the point!

But it didn’t stop there. Thursday night the next week, our parents are both with us helping to watch the kids, waiting for Natasha to give birth. The city is hosting a dinner at a nice restaurant for the Chevreh Kadisha and their spouses, and Natasha and I finally get to go out on a date to a nice restaurant without the kids thanks to our parents.

We go out to the “Chevreh Kadisha Party” and they present a gift to each person on the Chevrah Kadisha. It’s a cutting board. Here’s a picture of it:

Pomegranate Cutting Board

Rimonim all over the place. I get the point. Her name is Rimon. Rimon is coming.

The pomegranate has plenty of Halachic and religious significance. It’s the fifth fruit of the 7 Biblical fruits of Israel, which is the most well known aspect of the rimon. I won’t go into everything here, but there is one obscure importance to pomegranates that most people are not familiar with. Mishnah, Psachim 7:1

כֵּיצַד צוֹלִין אֶת הַפֶּסַח, מְבִיאִין שַׁפּוּד שֶׁל רִמּוֹן, תּוֹחֲבוֹ מִתּוֹךְ פִּיו עַד בֵּית נְקוּבָתוֹ, וְנוֹתֵן אֶת כְּרָעָיו וְאֶת בְּנֵי מֵעָיו לְתוֹכוֹ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, כְּמִין בִּשּׁוּל הוּא זֶה, אֶלָּא תוֹלִין חוּצָה לוֹ

How is the Pesach offering roasted? We bring a skewer of pomegranate wood and stick it into the mouth and through the anus, and place its legs and entrails inside of it according to Rabbi Yosi Haglili. Rabbi Akiva says “This would be a kind of boiling. Instead we hang the entrails outside of it.”

Why pomegranate wood? Because the lamb must be entirely roasted by fire, and not by a material that the fire heats up, like a skewer. So we can’t use a metal skewer, which would get too hot and cook the meat that was in direct contact with the skewer. We also can’t use just any wood, because wood tends to sweat moisture when heated, and the escaping water would boil the meat at the point of contact rather than the fire roasting it. So pomegranate wood specifically is used because pomegranate wood is dryer than other woods and doesn’t sweat when heated.

Now, consider this. Every Pesach sacrifice needs a fairly long pomegranate wood skewer. That’s a lot of skewers. What must that have been like? Well, on Succot in Israel there these big open markets of the four species lulav, etrog, hadas, and arava and there are different kinds, different levels. Mehudar (pretty), super mehudar (super pretty), plain kosher, really big etrogs for those who want an extra beautiful one, etc. Hiddur mitzvah, getting the biggest and most beautiful, is a big thing with the four species. People are really into it. I’ve even seen a guy with what must have been at least a 10 foot long lulav. (Haha, yeah yeah, laugh it out.)

Imagine what Pesach would have looked like during the time of the Beit HaMikdash when everybody did the Korban Pesach. There must have been huge markets selling long sticks of pomegranate wood, some of them decorated maybe, carved with shapes in them, maybe pomegranates, plain kosher, mehudar, super mehudar, all that stuff. These things were probably given as gifts also. I can imagine in people’s homes at that time beautiful decorated pomegranate skewers for each Korban Pesach hung up on walls and such, one for each year, burnt edges, clean middle. This is what Pesach would have actually looked like, and very few people are aware of it, that pomegranate wood skewers were such a big part of the Passover holiday. The pomegranate to this day remains a very popular decoration in shuls and Jewish homes. (Cutting board case in point.)

Essentially, you cannot do the mitzvah of Korban Pesach correctly without a skewer of pomegranate wood. It’s there in the middle of it all, hanging it all up, stabilizing the whole animal, but not influencing or interfering with the process of the roasting at all. It knows its place. Unassuming, humble, but central to the whole mitzvah. Doing its part by staying cool, not sweating, and letting what needs to be done, get done, so the mitzvah can be completed. I hope Rimon ends up being just like that.

One last thought. We have one son, Efraim. We call him Fry. I struggled doing a brit milah (circumcision) on him, because that violates the non aggression principle, the holy of holies of libertarian halacha. This is what I wrote about that:

And in the end, Judaism forces me to be a minarchist, of a sort. To draw a line from my own personhood instead of from something outside myself. To have just a little intuition of my own. I circumcised my son without his consent, and thereby broke the NAP, the holy of holies of libertarian law. I hated it. I cried. And then even I, the uncontrollable libertarian radical teeming with hatred of the State, drew a line from within to circumscribe power. I did, and will do brit milah, and that’s it. I can’t explain why in any logical terms other than God told me to. And I will not go any further than that into the realm of power over other men. Not ever. Not one inch.

I didn’t want someone else to be my messenger for an act that I found problematic. It felt cowardly, so I did the cut myself. (The mohel did the setup obviously. I just did the cut.) After that, though maybe I shouldn’t have in retrospect, I asked God not to give me another boy because I just didn’t want to do that again. (Yes, I would have done it again if it came to that.) I only circumcised because I believe God told me to do it. That’s it.

What does this have to do with Rimon? Well, there are only two positive mitzvahs that failure to do them results in Karet, spiritual excision from the Jewish people. Very bad punishment though I don’t really know what it means. It’s just below the death penalty. One mitzvah is Brit Milah, circumcision. The other is Korban Pesach. They are both blood mitzvahs, the blood of circumcision, and the blood of the Pesach lamb that was smeared on the door posts in Pesach Mitzrayim. These two mitzvot tie the Jewish people to God in blood. This is what is referred to at a Brit in the pasuk בדמייך חיי, בדמייך חיי. By your blood you will live, by your blood you will live, repeated. One blood for circumcision, one blood for Korban Pesach.

Just like פעמון ורימון פעמון ורימון. A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the Kohen Gadol, who actually executes the Pesach sacrifice. I’ve done the first blood in Brit Milah. And we named Rimon after the second, and after Murray, and after Murray’s mother Esther, Hadasa.

To an Israeli ear, Rimon is a boy’s name, another reason we were initially hesitant to name her that. I know two women named Rimon though, so I knew it wasn’t exclusively a boy’s name. Perhaps though, the fact that it is seen as a boy’s name is appropriate in retrospect, since she is named after the Korban Pesach, the parallel to a Brit Milah.

Born between Purim and Pesach, she has a name related to both, Rimon Hadasa. Related to circumcision, related to Murray, משה בן אסתר, and related to the blood mitzvot that tie all Jews together and to God.

And there is no fruit juice more deeply blood red than the blood of a pomegranate. Another Jew has come into the world. Thank God.


The Life-Changing Magic of Dumping Your Crap On People In Need

We’re KonMarieing the house. We decided to do this when our 10-month old baby who can neither walk nor read books about the Japanese art of tidying, took a book about the Japanese art of tidying off the bottom of an abandoned bookshelf in my parent’s house, and handed it to me, as if to say, “UB-YON!”, which is the only thing she knows how to say.

The KonMarie method of tidying was invented by a crazy Japanese lady named Marie Kondo, who was so obsessed with tidying as a kid that she would spend her recesses in grade school organizing the classroom bookshelves by hue instead of normal kid activities like eating Tide pods, which would probably make sense for someone obsessed with tidying. Her entire approach to tidying is to THROW. EVERYTHING. OUT.

She’s one of those weird success stories of someone with an extreme mental illness who made millions by convincing everyone else that they are the ones who are actually crazy, God bless her.

So you KonMarie your house by giving it a surprise enema so that all the garbage you have ever accumulated in your whole life – minus the things that you really actually wanted to find – end up on the floor in a pile that vaguely resembles your house on any given day anyway, except this time you did it on purpose. You have to empty out every drawer, cabinet, chest, closet, panel, safe, crawlspace, sinkhole, and portal to the Upsidedown.

Then you put on your HazMat suit and start picking the things up one by one and feel them intently in your hands, provided that these things aren’t oozing radioactive gunk and none of them have infected you with flesh-eating disease, at least as far as you can tell. If they have, then you need to get a new HazMat suit.

The idea of fondling all the junk in your house is to better determine if it “sparks joy”. If something does spark joy, then stop fondling immediately before anything dangerous happens and make sure you have no gas leaks. If it doesn’t, you either throw it out (KonMarie it) which Marie Kondo recommends, or you KonMarie it onto somebody else, which Marie Kondo warns you never, ever to do because it is inconsiderate, but…well…you know…Pearl Harbor.

My sister-in-law has been into the KonMarie method for years, but I never realized until now that we’ve been the KonMarie dumping ground for all her junk this whole time. We’ve since KonMaried all the stuff she’s given us back to the garbage, just like Marie Kondo says to do, because I listen to Japanese voices when they tell me to do things.

Now that my house is much emptier and I’ve fondled all of my stuff more thoroughly and intently than I ever thought I was capable of, keeping only what sparks joy without blowing my house up, I’ve come to understand a lot about opportunistically dumping junk on unsuspecting people in need.

I came across a Facebook post recently that announced that a local preschool was collecting donations for a family in real dire straits but not the band.

The story is typical and could happen to any of us. The wife is in the hospital, there’s a new baby besides a 3 and 6 year old now home alone with their in-way-over-his-head father who has to watch the baby so he can’t go to work and can’t KonMarie the kids onto somebody else, so they have no money and they’re desperate. So the post says thusly:

“We are collecting clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, and used towels, and money for the family.”

Under any other circumstance I would have considered this type of post to be very thoughtful. But having just finished Konmarieing a lifetime’s worth of accumulated junk, I suddenly understood that this poor family was about to be turned into a KonMarie Ground Zero Landfill at a time when the last thing they need is everyone else’s useless accumulated crap.

I found myself wondering, acutely, what exactly a family in dire need could possibly do with old clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, and used towels. After thinking about it for 3 seconds, I knew the answer. The father is home alone with the kids. He probably did not consult his wife because he didn’t want to feel like an idiot asking what he was supposed to do now, because that would mean getting yelled at. So he called one of his wife’s friends who people generally call who’s into community type something or other and she’s really uppity and “does things”. Here’s how the call went:

Dad: We’re in a bad situation. I can’t work and my wife is in the hospital and I’m alone with the kids and I don’t know what to do and I’m freaking out!

Poster: Oh wonderful! I can organize a donation campaign for you! I’ll post it on Facebook and get the local preschool to collect stuff. What else do you need? Clothing? Old shoes? Stuffed animals for the kids?

Dad: Uhh…sure yeah that sounds great. What else do I need?

Poster: What about towels?! We can collect towels for you!

Dad: Yeah, towels…Towels are great…

Poster: Got it. What about money?

Dad: Definitely money.

In all seriousness, the family probably lost all their stuffed animals when the wife went to the hospital. Maybe the kids lost all their shoes overnight now that their mother is temporarily out of commission. Maybe they threw all the towels in the compost bin in an ill-advised game of Towel the Compost and the father can’t clean the towels because the kids ate all the Tide Pods and he doesn’t know how to use the washing machine. Maybe he thinks he’ll burn down the house if he pushes the wrong button, like what happened last time and his wife yelled at him, which is why he needs all that used clothing.

Have you ever seen a used clothing drop off point? In my city there are many of them, and they’re always bursting full of old clothing that nobody ever picks up. It just sits there for years, evolving, a testament to the out-of-control clothing epidemic in the West.

There is, and this is totally true, a now former used clothing store that closed down (or as we like to say in the West “Clothesed Down”) because it became overridden with too many clothing donations and the owner just abandoned it.

This used clothing store died, it was literally suffocated, by people dumping their clothing in a rabid KonMarie frenzy. Now this former store, located right next to the beloved municipal tax agents, has bags of clothes literally vomiting themselves out of its windows, and people are STILL dumping clothes there. The rule of thumb is, if you see a mountain of used clothing, add to it as fast as possible in order to usurp city dumping ordinances.

I wonder how high the mountain of used clothing and old shoes and towels is just outside this poor man’s house now. What if all the crap was KonMaried right in front of his door while he was out visiting his sick wife and he can’t get back in his house without hiring a crane? Worse, what if the donations came when he was IN his house and now he’s barricaded in by the KonMaried refuse of the entire neighborhood? What if the police never rescue him because they think his house is now just another de facto legalized dumping ground for used clothing?

Somebody get me my HazMat suit. I’m going on a rescue mission.