Yitzi the Cheat - Thursday, April 19

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 3:39pm -- Rabbi Shalom Lewis

Rabbi Shalom LewisI remember a conversation I had with my father years ago about his Yeshiva days. For whatever the reason he was in a nostalgic mood, I was nearby, and so he shared anecdotal memories with me about his many classmates. It was a diverse group and he brought to life personalities I had never met. It was a pleasant father-son interlude as I listened to the stories he wistfully told, his mind wandering back decades to The Bronx. Perhaps fifty or fifty-five years ago, I recall with crisp clarity one of his colorful recollections, Yitzi the Cheat. Yitzi refused to study. Never cracked a book. But Yitzi, as Ab told me, was a creative genius when it came to cheating. He figured out ways to smuggle answers into an exam room that were brilliant. His trickery was legendary and carried him through high school. The rabbis knew of his devious ways but never caught him in the act. His energy, boundless. His inventiveness, cunning.

My father concluded his reminiscence with an observation about Yitzi. “If he spent as much time on studying as he did on figuring out ways to beat the system, he could have done well as an honest student.”

From the Grand Concourse and Topping Avenue to Gaza.

Hamas is a morally depraved organization that has not a smidgen of honor. Not a speck of decency. Elected to run the Gaza Strip years ago they have run that sad patch of land into the ground. (I also place blame of the foolish electorate who voted in this monstrous government) Hamas has taken millions of dollars that could have been used to build schools. Hospitals. Housing. Roads. Millions that could have been used to repair the crumbling infrastructure. Instead, they start unwinnable wars. Send in suicide bombers. Intifadas. Knife attacks. Car attacks. Build rockets. Terrorist tunnels. Mobs to break through security fences. And now, the latest creation, weaponized kites to float into Israeli airspace. If Hamas spent as much time on repairing the broken Gaza Strip as it does on figuring out new ways to attack Israel, life for the two million residents would be vastly improved. Instead, the treasure and the resources and the creativity is used in the maintenance of evil not in the promotion of good.

Yitzi was a cheat who squandered his talent on chicanery.

Hamas is an unholy organization who squanders its assets on human suffering.

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