Ask the Rabbis
Jeremy Goldscheider & Malina Sarah Saval
rabbinical offspring answer to Askmoses.com.
Goldscheider is not a rabbi. He is, however, the 34 year-old son
of a prominent East Coast Conservative rabbi with a vibrant Long
A documentary filmmaker who suffers stage fright when ordering fries
at a Burger King drive-thru (cooked in vegetable oil, theyre
kosher enough), Jeremy was not blessed with his fathers oratorical
skills. Neither was he granted the gift of Talmudic analysis. In
fact, Jeremy spent most of his career as a high school student at
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County sneaking peaks at the Playboy he
kept furtively folded within the pages of his Chumash. Jeremy also
plain sucks at creative writing, which is why he hired me, his stand-in
sermon scribe, to pen the introduction to his inaugural column.
The idea for this column came about six months ago. Jeremy became fed
up with the cluster of secular Jewish friends convening regularly at his
Los Angeles apartment barreling through lists of questions about Judaism
as though Jeremy were an ordained member of the rabbinate with a degree
from Jewish Theological Seminary. Ranging from the fairly ubiquitous"Do
Jews believe in the afterlife?" to the downright absurd"Can
I be both a Satanist and a good Jew?" Jeremy finally gave up
on trying to explain that being the progeny of a rabbinical scholar does
not make him one. So far as Jeremys friends were concerned, Jeremy
was the next best thing to an actual rabbi and maybe even better. Because
when it came down to it, the half-baked answers that Jeremy clumsily provided
resonated far more profoundly with the secular Jewish twenty-something
set than would have the correct ones delivered by Jeremys father,
Rabbi Harvey Goldscheider. What made Jeremy a double authority on second-hand
rabbinical text was that his older brother is also a rabbi, and an Orthodox
one living in Jerusalem at that.
There are many reasons that one should listen to a rabbis son when
searching for information on Jewish-related subject matter. For starters,
since lots gets lost in the translation youre bound to walk away
with half-truths and downright falsehoods, many of which are far more
clever and original than the fact-based explanations. And if youre
a young, fledgling, relatively unaffiliated Jew living away from home,
its often easier to practice a watered down brand of Judaism than
to abide by strict biblical law. Of course the best part of all is that
if you dont like the answers, you can always change them to suit
your own needs or go in for a second opinion.
Like with a real rabbi.
Malina Sarah Saval
Q. Can I be buried in a Jewish cemetery if I have a
A. First off, lets assume youre Jewish. If so, then the answer
is, yes, you can be buried in a Jewish cemetery if you have a tattoo.
Unless youve got a pictorial representation of Satan inked on your
bodyanything idolatrous in Judaism is strictly verboten even
a Chasidic black-hatter from the Satmer sect will grant you a proper Jewish
burial in the cemetery plot of your choice (I highly recommend Sharon
Memorial in Sharon, Massachusetts). You might also consider going back
to your tattoo artist and having some work done on that cross you got
needled onto you neck that self-hating, drunken, keg party night at Harvard.
Perhaps it can be turned into a Torah scroll or a Star of David.
Q. Do Chasidic Jews have sex through a sheet?
A. Chasidic Jews do not have sex through a sheet. They have it through
a brick wall with a hole drilled into it. Youve never heard the
joke about the Rebbe from Chelm whose you-know-what got stuck
mind. In any case, word on the Boro Park streets is that the Chasidim
actually have better sex than the common secular Jew because the physical
restrictions create a heightened sense of anticipation and sexual tension.
The sheet myth was used as a propaganda tool to cover up the sex secrets
of the Chasidim whose sexual prowess is said to rival even the most experienced
practitioners of Tantra.
Q. If Im a practicing Jew but my fiancé
is a German-born killer shikse with long, blond hair and blue-green eyes
and not an ounce of fat on her derriere, can we still be married by a
A. If Sharon Osbourne (non-Jew whose father is Jewish) can renew her wedding
vows to Satanist Ozzie Osbourne on MTV in a service officiated by Rabbi
Steven Carr Reuben, the President of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California,
then anybody can find a rabbi to do anything these days. As they say in
Los Angeles, so long as there is an audience, there is a rabbi to perform.
By the way, if youre a practicing Jew, what are you doing marrying
Q. Its my fathers yahrtzeit (anniversary
of his death) this Yom Kippur and Im supposed to say Kaddish. The
only problem is that and Im a struggling actor and Ive just
landed my first Tv commercial for Mercedes and the shoot in on Yom Kippur.
What should I do? Did I mention my dad is a Holocaust survivor?
A. No problem. Im sure your Holocaust survivor father is simply
sitting thrilled up in heaven over his beloved son forgoing saying Kaddishnever
mind Yom Kippur servicesin favor of filming a TV commercial for
a German car company. Go for it!
© Jeremy Goldscheider March 2003
& Malina Sarah Saval
Malina here- Maui Breaks
all rights reserved