June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Pesach had finally come to the Moon. That’s right, Extravagant Caterers was hosting the first-ever Five Star, Glatt Kosher, Heimish, Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin Min HaMehadrin Pesach Program on the Levana! As expected, the program sold out in record time and even drew a waiting list of 200 families. Of course, Pesach On The Moon advertised the finest Jewish entertainment around, headlined by the super-talented Chesky Pomerantz. Chesky was a world-renowned singer and magician who was slated to perform six times throughout the chag. In the advertisements, Chesky wore his patented golden shtreimel and laser sunglasses to accompany his legendary smile.

Pesach On The Moon kicked off three days before the chag. The opening event was a Lunar Luau featuring a magic show from Chesky. First, comedian Benny Perla warmed the crowd up with a 10-minute routine about Kiddush Levana. Finally, Chesky took the stage to a raucous round of applause. He seemed to feed off the crowd’s energy and performed with an enthusiasm never seen before. Chesky concluded the show with his famous Disappearing Kugel trick, which drew a standing ovation that lasted five minutes.

Once the show was over, Chesky headed back to his room to change out of his shtreimel and sunglasses. He returned to the barbecue 10 minutes later looking like a regular person. For the next hour, Chesky sat with his assistant, enjoying the delicious food and talking about ideas for the next show. Throughout this time, Chesky expected to be interrupted by autograph and selfie requests. He was surprised when neither occurred even once, but said nothing about it. However, after the hour was up, Chesky went back to his room to get his laser sunglasses. He put them on and headed back to the barbecue. This time, people rushed up to Chesky, making all the usual requests. Chesky happily smiled and signed for the next 30 minutes, eventually excusing himself for the night.

Chesky performed once more before Pesach began, saving his best for the Chol Hamoed Extravaganza. His family arrived on Erev Pesach and settled in easily. The sedarim were wonderful (yes, there are two days of Yom Tov on the moon), and everything was great. One thing did bother Chesky, though. As one of the feature entertainers at Pesach On The Moon, he expected to receive an aliyah in shul, or at least some type of honor. Instead, he was passed over (pun intended) for every kibud, even though he made sure to wear his golden shtreimel. “Never mind,” thought Chesky. “The gabbai is probably waiting for the last days to give me something. Once he sees my Chol Hamoed show, there’s no doubt I will get a kibud. Maybe I should wear my laser sunglasses just to make sure.”

As you can guess, the seventh day of Pesach came and went without Chesky being honored in shul. At this point, Chesky was feeling hurt. “Did I not provide enough entertainment? Where is the recognition of my work? The gabbai himself asked me for a selfie, and I even taught his kids a magic trick. What’s the deal?” Chesky asked his wife, Chana, what she thought. However, she couldn’t come up with an explanation. “Chesky, don’t let it bother you. You don’t need an honor to know how amazing of an entertainer you are.” Chesky nodded in agreement, but was still bothered.

That evening, Chesky headed down to the beit midrash to learn. As he sat down to open his sefer, something caught his attention. The gabbai was learning with a chavruta, and Chesky could just make out what he was saying. “… maybe that’s why the Kohanim are not supposed to wear the Bigdei Kehuna outside of the Beit Hamikdash. The special clothing is not to honor them as being better or more special than others. The Kohanim wear the Bigdei Kehuna to honor what they DO! Wearing the clothing outside of the Beit Hamikdash would make it seem like it’s about them—like they are celebrities or something.”

Chesky was amazed. This was exactly the message he needed to hear. Yes, he was a great entertainer, but that didn’t mean he should be treated as being special!

The next day, Chesky ditched his golden shtreimel, fancy glasses and brightly colored suit for a more humble outfit. He arrived at shul on time, kept a low profile, and davened with kavana. Chesky didn’t get an aliyah, but the gabbai asked him to open the Aron for Anim Zemirot, which he was more than happy to do.


Yair Daar is the director of Student Life at Bicultural Hebrew Academy High School. He can be reached at [email protected]

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