June 12, 2024
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June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Purim is like a poorly-refereed football game because in both cases, the spectators eat, drink and boo. Of course, the booing on Purim occurs during the reading of the Megillah whenever the name “Haman” is mentioned. Such booing can be deafeningly loud, leaving many in the audience wishing that they never hear the name “Haman” again, which perhaps is an appropriate result.

One would be hard-pressed to identify other instances in life wherein booing is not only authorized but encouraged. During the reading of Parshat Zachor, there is no booing of Amalek, a group that deserves endless jeering. During the reading of Sefer Shemot, there is no booing of the Egyptians or even Pharaoh, though they too deserve a boo. On Chanukah, we cheer the Maccabees but we do not boo their opponents. On Yom Kippur and other fast days, we do not boo food and on Passover we do not boo chametz. On Sukkot, we do not boo permanent structures and on Tu B’Shvat we do not boo loggers.

The question is: are there moments in everyday life that warrant booing? If yes, how many boos does each moment deserve, one (Boo!), two (Boo! Boo!) or three (Boo! Boo! Boo!)? Below are some examples of boo-worthy incidents, each registering a single, double or triple boo on the boo-mometer.

1. Disappointing shul announcements regarding the post-davening kiddush

“Today’s kiddush will be sponsored by the shul.” (Boo!) “Today’s kiddush will be pareve.” (Boo! Boo!) “Today’s kiddush will be postponed to next week.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

2. Terrible excuses for not wanting to go on a second date

“You’re not wealthy enough.” (Boo!) “You’re not famous enough.” (Boo! Boo!) “You’re not subservient enough!” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

3. Insulting names for a gym’s work-out class

8:00am—From FAT to FIT (Boo!)

9:00am—From SAGGY to SVELTE (Boo! Boo!)

10:00am—From FLAB to FAB (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

Bonus Boo!—11:00am: From PLUMP to PRISTINE (Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!)

4. Elderly parent guilt-tripping an adult child

“You haven’t called me in the last three weeks. I could have been sick and you wouldn’t know.” (Boo!) “You haven’t called me in the last three days. I could have fallen and you wouldn’t know.” (Boo! Boo!) “You haven’t called me in the last three minutes. I could have been alone, without anyone to guilt, and you wouldn’t know.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!!!)

5. Ridiculous teacher complaints during a parent-teacher conference

“Your child asks too many questions.” (Boo!) “Your child keeps trying to think outside the box.” (Boo! Boo!) “Your child fails to act obsequiously to curry favor with me” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

6. Inappropriate summer camp activities

“Today we are going to learn how to conduct an illicit late-night raid.” (Boo!) “Today we are going to give unflattering nicknames to each member of the kitchen staff.” (Boo! Boo!) “Today we are going to build a hot tub for the camp director’s private use.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

7. Awful names for a new kosher restaurant

“A new kosher restaurant is opening. It’s called Shvach.” (Boo!) “A new kosher restaurant is opening. It’s called Chazari.” (Boo! Boo!) A new kosher restaurant is opening. It’s called Farshtunken.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

8. Silly methods for creating a seating chart for the High Holidays

“This year, High Holiday seating will be based on each person’s social media presence, with all influencers in the front.” (Boo!) “This year, High Holiday seating will be based on compatible body odors.” (Boo! Boo!) “This year, High Holiday seating will be based on each congregant’s height, with the shortest in the back and the tallest up front, thus creating a reverse stadium seating effect.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

9. Pulpit rabbi announces bizzare new rules

“From now on, all congregants will donate 10% of their income to my cholent fund.” (Boo!) “From now on, all congregants will donate 20% of their income to my discretionary fund.” (Boo! Boo!) “From now on, all congregants will donate 30% of their income to my indiscretion-ary fund.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!)

10. Fake news

“Teaneck and Bergenfield will be combined into a single town: Teafield.” (Boo!) “Schnitzel + has been renamed. The plus sign (+) has been replaced with a ‘greater than’ sign (<) and the restaurant is now called Schnitzel < All Other Schnitzel.” (Boo! Boo!) “The Jewish Link is now available only via skywriting and smoke signals.” (Boo! Boo! Boo!) Bonus Boo!: “From now on, Letters-to-the-Editor may not be anonymous but they may be pseudonymous. In addition, all Op-Eds will be authored by a guy named Ed.” (Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!)

Final thought: A Band-Aid helps a boo-boo but not a “Boo! Boo!”

Send comments or criticism to [email protected].

By Jon Kranz

 

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