By Yeshiva Guy
In a tradition dating back to the opening of the doors of the first seminary way back when in the fifties, the second week of Elul is host to an ingathering of exiles, so to speak. I refer to the yearly migration of those known colloquially as “Sem Girls,” otherwise known as our holy seminary sisters. Yes, every year around this time they invade Geulah. They take Malchei Yisroel and transform it from the once sleepy Yerushlayimer shopping and food center it was into a yearlong virtual sleepover.
Somehow, the Ribono Shel Olam has seen fit to force us, yeshiva guys, and them to co-exist in the same space. And like many other things in life, this is something I don’t understand, yet I accept it. But I do have some things I want to get off of my chest…
Every year, we moan and groan about these issues. We go on the same diatribes, vent recurrently to ourselves, and wish things were different. Well, this year I’m determined to change all that. So below find some of the many things that you do to frustrate us. Kindly take note and refrain from doing so.
-Talk loudly on your pelephones about nothing. If you must do so, at least make sure to, slowly and clearly, enunciating every syllable, list off your fathers’ bank accounts so that I, too, can enjoy unlimited cakes from Moishy’s Bakery.
-Wear Crocs in public. This is not cool, and does not fit in with the bas melech image your teachers will be attempting to teach you over the next year.
–Daven Minchah on the street because shkiah “just…happened” and you have no place to daven. Either watch your watch, like we do, or don’t daven. As much as it may pain you to learn this, females are not bound by time-related mitzvos.
-Loudly barter with the shopkeeper as if he were deaf in your Americanized Harry-ess Ivrit that you think you’re proficient in. You’re not. Either learn and speak the language with the local accent, or stick with the English you don’t know. Trust me, the locals understand your English better than your Ivrit.
-Feel the need to litter the entire Yerushalayim with the yellow/purple/clear plastic/paper cups that you just got from Fro-Yo or Sam’s or Mitzei Uri. It’s nice that you enjoy them. It’s wonderful that you’re supporting local merchants and all, but really, what about recycling?
-Rave about Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky’s shiur last night that is definitely, positively, OMG, OMG, gonna change your life. We all know it won’t. And if it really was such a life changer, you wouldn’t still be sipping that Mitz Pri as you stroll down Yechezkel. People don’t eat/drink in the street. Not even sem girls.
-Feel like you have to go to the Machlis’, the Blind Couple, and every other chavayah during your stay here. You can still be Jewish without going to those people. I know, because I still am.
-Use the default ringer on your Disposa-phone that came with your seminary’s suggested student plan. Hashem gave you kids all that creativity and individuality to be able to create all those plays and singa-thons and dances and whatever. Express it. If I hear that la-di-dah-di-dah one more time, I may just…
-Feel obligated to take over Sam’s Bagels between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. every afternoon. How about just ordering your food and taking it back to your dorm, huh? I’ll arrange for the teenaged Israeli shibob with the knockoff UnderArmour spray shirt to give you an oversized bag so everyone will know you went…M’kay?
-Be scared to take Arab taxis. Your seminary giveret is bluffing you. The story about the girls who took one once and…yeah. It never happened. Sorry, I know Israel is much more exciting that way, but…
-Buy leather-bound Tehillims/siddurim for all of your cousins/aunts/uncles. That creativity thing? Again, demonstrate.
-And finally,under no circumstances are you to enter Pitzuchei Moshiach. PM is a male-only establishment. Aside from the narrow aisle issue, PM is just…well…sacred. Don’t defile it. Go to any one of the other fine nut houses.
So welcome to our town. Geulah is our turf. You can have Har Nof, Sortozkin, Minchas Yitzchak, Ramat Eshkol, and the other shechunos. But Geulah is our turf. We own it.
So adios, and see ya back in America.