Monday, March 26, 2007


Buckle up people and get ready to scream.

Twice a year the chassidish community takes the entertainment world by storm. Roller coasters dip hundreds of feet with payos flapping in the air and sheitlech threatening to tear free and expose the secret of synthetic veibelech. Daunting spooky houses are fed whole schools by the classroomfulls, and mish-mashes get attacked by dizzy, blinking, boys that brave the ride over and over again. The train stations seethe with baby carriages. Museum lines consisting of shtreimlech, tichlech and restless children extend all through NYC or Washington DC. The wax forms of forbidden people are suddenly greatly admired, touched, and wowed, almost as if there’s a clue as to who they represent. Whole neighborhoods huddle around a borrowed computer to watch the riveting Al Naharos Bovel, yet again. Young families sit around in parks systematically goint through their plastic baggies of matzah. Even the shy Williamsburg streets get blocked off to host a mini carnival of its own. Women of all generations attend slide presentations; hollering loudly at the emotional balei teshuvah returning to her biological father, who, incidentally, is wearing the most hideous stick-on beard and baggy knickers.

So. Obviously. Chol Hamoed’s around again. God bless.

Throughout the year entertainment isn't very popular in the Chassidic society. You'd see a group of Yeshiva escapees take a park here, or a couple sans their children (or formal headgear) take a park there. I wasn't brought up really knowing date nights, movies, music, books, sports, eat-outs, great vacations or other healthy activities that typically need to take an important position in life.

I feel that entertainment is underrated. Without it, people never learn what they love, what they're good at, or what the hell they are rooting for (Vats deh score? Nee, Vats deh score hu?!). People don't get to bond together over therapeutic activities. We don't learn to refine our own taste, share hobbies, and air out after a tired day, week or year. Instead, growing up I got to enjoy a shpatzir to the bubby, building blocks, leminashin-puncher and Dertzeilung Fin Tsadikim stories. Later they were replaced by backing the ninth grade class in camp with heart and soul, 'groups' and for the particularly nasty stage, talking in hushed tones about, wink, the Korben Mincha siddur. Eventually it got even more exciting with shopping, countree, shopping, bikur cholim parties, EPTs, shopping and shopping.

It is so bothersome to me, that when Chol Hamoed does come around I celebrate it with exceptional flair. Just to show the world. Plan away, even if nothing comes of it.Entertainment is good for you.

Get crazy! Be spontaneous! Say 'gantz' Hallel on Chol Hamoed - the day is worth it...



socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Wow I never had that kind of chol hamoed day gosh look how much I miss lol.

Anonymous said...

your postings get funnier than funny yet again!

Anonymous said...

Oy! girl this is NOT a way to celebrate CH.... Hang on to my wagon I guarantee you a natural high...

Most of us who have fun all year round especially summer don't really obsess over fun during CH..

Huh? Roll in camera?? Where did you get stuck? 1970's? Keep doing a great job blogging and i'll buy you a digital camera as a gift of token for entertaining the hell out of me....

SemGirl said...

"Entertainment is good for you. "

I just went to a shiur last week, and the Rov said there is no Yiddish word for entertainment. He claimed that you dont get Yiras Shomayim or Kedushas HaMoed from going to the circus.

Translation: there are always floors to be washed and cakes to be baked...

mosernefesh said...

That was a very funny post. You are a hundred percent right. But waht should we do on CH.... maybe the yeshivos should open so couples could enjoy the day alone....

Anonymous said...

Like sem girls rav said:
There is no word for entairtainmet.

Like my rav said:
Entertainment, shmintertainment!!!!

and this for you and your skeleton.
entertainment was invented by the yevunim!!!
Yimach shmum.

yingerman said...

OK OK so where didja actually go?
Please I'm rather desperate!

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Shpitzle –
On a more serious note, I think an outing can be very important in that it can bring families closer together by enjoying each other’s company without the usual distractions of everyday life. On the other hand, to much of any good thing isn’t good, both for practical and spiritual reasons.

Leapa said...

Great post! If you were a yiras shomayim like Rebbetzin Leapa, you would understand that chol hamoed is modern, and the kids are too old for that anyway.

Of course, shopping at Roosevelt Mall is no problem.

Here's my post on the subject from two years ago (you'll probably get to there in another year or two):

Anonymous said...

Oy am I going to feed your ego again.

Another one of your posts where you take a day in our life and lay it out in such a funny humorous way with great detail, that nothing is left to add.

"Yoilish wants to....." who cares about Yoilish today, chol hamoad the (rotziger shtinker) kiddies rule over us and schlep us by the noses... its their time of the year, you can have you fun any other day of the year, today it's about them.

From experience I'd say that not that what looks exciting is the place that will be enjoyed by the kids, we have been to many expensive noisy exciting hot-advertised attractions and the kids didnt enjoy...

I am not talking about the parents, our reward is usuulay a spliting headache, and occasionaly the kid's stamping with the little feel... it wasnt worth it.. es iz goornisht vert geven...

I prefer doing something relaxing and spending the time "with" the kids, something like "central park" or even the local swing and slides parks, play with them, sit and spend time with them, a ride on the ferry, they enjoyed such things more then the big concerts in NJ or long rides to hershy park etc.

We also did visits to Toys R' Us, and explain the kids that they can spend the money better here then in cony island or ausbery park where fun lasts a few hours and its over, get yourself a toy and enjoy it as long as you wish...

Tatty-Mommy spending time with the kids in a relaxed manner, is something you dont get to do often during the year, and the kids value it and enjoy it, prepare a nice story, game, and enjoy the Mceggs and mclady (changed lately to baby) fingers togather.

Michelle said...

have a nice holiday!

Mindy said...

this if the first time I can so identify with you. I'm cracking up. the whole teenagers gossiping about the korben mincha sidduer... lolol

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

SW FM - You can come with us this year! I betchya we'll arrive to the same place this year again – home, that is.

frumbabe - ;*)

JBF - LOL, you have a keen sense for details. Yeah, I have a digital by now. How entertainment has changed, and how fast!
I do think you're gonna have a heck of a time.

Semgirl - Zoog your Rav or Rebbee to learn some Yiddish, before he gets too busy learning into his peshetle.


Mosernefesh - Ah! If only! On this world, you don't get such luxuries. All you have is your bedroom door and earplugs.

Exele - And hard work was invented by the mitzriam…
We seem to be copying that pretty gladly. Maybe the mitzriam weren't as advanced as us, but they invented the idea of working to work instead of working to produce.

Yingerman - Oh, god, you must be rather spoiled if you can't realize that someone can actually go --- nowhere. Doesn't it work that way for you? Am I the only one whose CH plans keep on running on a treadmille only to arrive, well, nowhere?!

Independent Frum Thinker - Oh, ditto. I agree. The problem isn't there isn't really where to go or much Kosher outlets. It's time they stop banning every sort of entertainment.

Leapa - LOL, actually, I arrived to your blog just about now, given that I don't have to take my kids along or ask my husband to drive me. (I actually take a trip almost daily.)

Well said. I feel the exact same way about Chol Hamoed! I think I'd like to join the wife (and maybe the checkbook?). Couldn't hurt to find entertainment in shopping – yet again!

Nuch a Chossid - Wow, some great suggestions. A whole post in itself! We should frame these family oriented plans and hang it in beth medrish.

Michelle - Nice holiday to you too (be it EggMcEaster, or EggMcPesak)!

Mindy - Hey, long time! Glad to see you around! (In the event of cracking up… remember to hide the larger piece for afikomin. Oh, I'm so one-track minded!)

Anonymous said...

Good thing there's only one whole day chol hamoiyed this year

Anonymous said...

Chol hamoed sounds like our house except our kids know they’re not going anywhere and moan all day about what yenne (rebishe einekel etc etc) is allowed to do…… any advice?
Really enjoy your posts and it got me thinking while cleaning
Why am I suffering from the 10 makos before it’s even seder nacht
My raw and red bl**dy hands and fingers make sandpaper unnecessary.
Frog in my throat from yelling at husband, kids, cleaning lady and innocent and charming delivery boys.
Erev yontef and Erev Chasenes are mesugal for kids having lice. Why don’t the school realise that mothers of children with lice cannot cope with having kids sent home from school. If mothers had the time to comb and comb and comb then the kids wouldn’t have got lice in the first place! What on earth are schools for?
Vilde Chayos, this is what neglected children become on Erev Pesach, dirty, starved and foraging for food ,and the fights…….(who needs zoos on chol hamoed?)
Still to come.
Make up and moisturising routine thrown out with chometz. Anti wrinkle treatment will begin when I am 84. The spots and pimples on the baking tray that I am cleaning are not eingebakkene chometz but a reflection of my face.
When I plan to give the kids to eat chometz in the garden or take them out to the park it starts hailing down the minute they arrive home from school
I have found cockroaches mouse droppings rat droppings moths birds nest, h*ll who needs arbe?
This is the black, black, depression, why am I working so hard? Who needs it? Who cares?
Makos Bechoirois
Hashem Yerachem

And the answer is
Avodim hoyinu
The yiden were saved because sheloi shinui es leshinom levushom and shemoisom

And I think of all that I have done wrong

1 I swear in English… Sh*t! ( or was that Yiddish?)
2 I don’t wear seams on my washed out taupe 70 denier shtrimpf
3 I refused to call my daughter Yente Tsortel after shviggers Babbe

Any advice appreciated must get back to the oven

Baal Habos said...

You're good and getting gooder! A git yuntif

David_on_the_Lake said...

Great post!
I have to tell you..I like that lately we've been renting out our own Parks..and makes for a much more relaxing trip...
I used to hate whispering all day..nuu chillul Hashem...stop..chillul hashem...and cringing everytime some chassidish kid throws a rock at the monkeys in front of horrified

Anonymous said...

alles shoin mitgemacht ,

HAHAHA!!!! Poor woman..Thanks for the laughs..Loved it..

OMG WOMEN!! What will men do without them??!!

Anonymous said...

Baal Habos said...
You're good and getting gooder!

Come on... she is the GOODEST, the BESTESSS of all the bloggerses.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Can I have that in writing please? I will take you up on it. Shpitzles home is an outing for me :).

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Alles Shoin Mitgemacht - Thanks for a fantastic, hilarious, painfully true comment (post).

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

Shpitz a groisse shkoyech!
I gotta read this again on Yontif and be mekayem "vesumachtu bechageychu".

Can I print it on Chumetz free paper? (with a shinui of course)

Tizki leMatzos

frumhouse said...

Great post!! Hope you make it out the door for at least one day of chol hamoed this year.

Anonymous said...

great post! u must be one very side splitting spitzel lady. nyc dont know what hit them with all hasidim running about, kinder, 10 of em all dressed alike, funny scene. yourokimok

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Yawwwwn. Hey, I’m sure it’s not too late to comment on comments. It’s not chatsos yet. Like everyone, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with other stuff (watching episodes of TV shows online. No? That’s not what everyone else did?)

Let it be known that my falcha fish and chremzlech are ready! Kull difchin yesei veyechel!

Anon - One day chol hamoed, hmm. Don’t be too hasty. The kids are probably just about mapping out “Friday”. You’ll be surprised what missions they’re assigning to that little day.

BHB - :) A goodest yom tov to you!

David - You have a point. Even if our kids are behaving just like, well, kids, we’ll still be preoccupied with turning them into robotic Kiddush Hashem people. When we’re around just ourselves we can let them go crazy without caring.

Ex(ele) - Awww! And for THAT you’re getting a wish for the Goodestestest and Bestestestest yom tov!!

SW FM - Of course! At shfoi chamoschu we open our door wide. Walk right in. Wear a white coat. Go over to the tall becher and drink some homemade must. I’m sure the men will be pleasantly surprised at Aliyahu Hanuvi’s gender.

CYL Teitelbaum - What the heck is chumetz free paper? Matzoh boards??!

”Tizki LeMatzos” - LOL! Zeyer Gershten!

Frumhouse - Oh, pray for me!

OMG! Saindy! - We haven’t seen you in what? Millions of moon years! I’m so glad you’re still OK! It’s really good to hear from ya!

Unknown said...

Hi Shpitz, How is chala-mode coming alog. My wife was just came back from her adventures with the city bus and telling me how disgusted it was to see the orange and egg peels laying around all over the bus and the goyim where busy F'ing the jews.