Charedi Jews decry ‘Women of the Mall’
Highway now on holy ground
A newly formed right-wing Orthodox group protested against Women of the Mall, an organization of progressive women seeking to assert their rights to pray for bargains at one of New Jersey’s most holy sites, a Livingston shopping center.
The scene of the most recent confrontation is Daven Avenue, off New Jersey Route 10 in Livingston, just west of the Livingston Circle.
“It is completely improper for these supposedly Jewish women to gather here,” according to Rabbi Yankel TuFrum. “Besides, everyone knows that the selection at Nordstrom is not what it was, and why do you need to go to DSW when you can get free shipping from Zappos?”
A large gathering of women across many Jewish denominations, several wearing prayer shawls and carrying Torah scrolls, gathered last week in the grassy area of the jughandle U-turn under the street sign for the unassuming stretch of off-ramp.
“The Jewish word for praying is to ‘daven’,” says Rivkah Roundabout, vice president of Women of the Mall, “and that’s exactly what we intend now and every Rosh Chodesh [new moon], or whenever there’s a decent sale at Bed Bath & Beyond. We’ve all got our 20 percent coupons ready to go.” Over 75 women crammed into the small field, noting how easy it is to figure out which way is east.
The women faced harassment from a charedi group that massed at the gas station across the street, nearly causing a fight, and more importantly to a group of shoppers, a massive traffic jam that led to the closure of the parking lot. They insist that the prayer area at Daven Avenue is an Orthodox synagogue and must be treated as such. Others aren’t so sure.
“That double yellow line is barely a kosher mechitzah [partition separating men and women in a synagogue],” said Avraham Hornblowhard, representing the group that calls itself the Men of Route 10. “They can go pray at the southern part of Livingston Avenue.”
Both groups are coordinating with Livingston’s mayor and Township Council to formulate a compromise arrangement, but sources within the municipal government contend that legislators have relied on the old joke, “It’s like talking to a wall,” much to everyone’s consternation.
Davening for bargains
Trump expands brand here and in Israel
New look for Old City: President Trump purchased the Western Wall this week and plans to build Hotel Kotel above it. “All in good taste,” he assured Israelis.
Jerusalem —Israelis woke up Purim morning to discover that the Western Wall here now bears the name TRUMP KOTEL in giant gold letters resting atop the ancient stone.
In a secret deal signed last week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sold the historic limestone wall, a 2,000-year-old remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, to U.S. President Donald Trump in exchange for the American Embassy being moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Every Israeli knows that Jerusalem is the true capital of our nation, despite what other countries may claim,” Netanyahu declared at a hastily arranged press conference. “The relocation of the American Embassy to the Holy City sends a clear message to the world: Israel cannot be bought…unless it’s by Donald Trump.”
President Trump, elaborating on the agreement in a presidential tweet, said he plans to build a 60-story hotel above the wall. “It will be called the Trump Kotel Hotel,” he said, “and it will be huge—a huge convenience for tourists in Israel who wish to view this bigly sacred site, all done in good taste.”
The president said that visitors will be charged a “personal plea fee” to stuff their notes and prayers into the crevices of the ancient wall, which will be renovated so that they can accept all major credit cards for payment. “There’s no conflict of interest because my sons Eric and Don – or Don and Eric, whatever – will profit, not me.” He added that he “worked it all out” with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “so it’s all kosher.”
The president said the Trump Kotel would also put an end to the ongoing debate about women praying at the holy site. “I’ll build a wall between the women and the men,” Trump vowed, “and the women will pay for it.”
Where’s Teddy? President Trump’s new infrastructure initiative to create jobs includes renovation of Mt. Rushmore. Trump will replace Teddy Roosevelt with his own image. “All in good taste,” he assured Americans.
Trump also unveiled plans for the renovation of Mt. Rushmore, the iconic sculpture carved into the mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which presently features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
One artist’s rendition shows Trump replacing Roosevelt. “He never did anything anyway except ride around like a fat clown and carry a big stick,” Trump said. “Great American. True hero.”
The other drawing shows Trump, wife Melania (“classy broad,” the president noted), daughter Ivanka (“quite the Jewess, right?”), and son-in-law Jared (“fine lad, love the dimples”) in lieu of the four earlier presidents. (“Yeah, they’re fired. The past is history. Who’s gonna notice?”)
“It’s part of my infrastructure plan. Lots of new jobs. Everybody happy. And if Congress won’t pay for it, I will,” Trump asserted. “Charge it to Don or Eric. Either one. It’s going to be huge.”
Pew spews news of Jews
Washington — The Pew Research Institute this week issued yet another study on the American-Jewish community, which it described as “much loved and reviled — and that’s just among its own.”
Among the more revealing findings: Ninety percent of Reform Jews said they are committed to tikkun olam but 81 percent wanted to know what that meant in Hebrew.
Eighty-seven percent of Orthodox Jews said they see Donald Trump as the potential Messiah if you squint your eyes very tightly, and 74 percent of Conservative Jews believe the Pew Report was divinely inspired but written by men.
The next Pew Report on American-Jewish life will deal with two major issues: How Long Do Most American Jews Wait After A Meat Meal On Shabbat Before Checking Their iPhone? and Are Women Permitted To Sit At the Seder If They Have A Yeast Infection?
• Correction: The previous joke was awful, even just going by NJJN’s low standards regarding humor. We regret its inclusion.