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עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

614th Commandment Discovered – Remember the Purim Day to Keep it Funny

Posted by rabbiart on February 24, 2010

Inspired by a hilarious post on the Hebrew Union College alumni email list, I decided to have a mild bit of fun on Facebook. I wrote the Facebook post shown below. Since all my FB friends and devoted readers here are well aware of my passion for the Arava Institute and the 2010 Israel Bike Ride. I created this entry.

I just landed a $50,000 donation to the Arava Institute Bike Ride and wanted to share the news with all my FB friends. this is really exciting and I hope you share my excitement (.read…more…about..this..donation) over the fact that Purim is only three days away.

So far six people have been taken in by this post. They shall remain nameless, because we are not supposed to hold anyone up for public humiliation, even in private, and heck, they know who they are.

Upon closer research of the Torah and entire Tanach, I discovered that all authorities who claim there are 613 commandments are wrong.  These cases suggest that specific commandments contained in the Torah have penumbras, formed by emanations from those commandments, that help give them life and substance. The practice of “mukzeh” is contained in the penumbra of “Remember the Shabbes day to keep it holy.” The prohibition of assault and robbery is contained in the emanations of “Thou Shalt Not Steal”. The oral tradition provides: “The enumeration of specific commandments and aspects therefo shall not be construed to delimit or set boundary conditions, on other commandments to be practiced by the people.

In our tradition and the historical life of our people, we have had many controversies over these penumbral rights of “practical observance.”  (See ikar shtuyot op. cit. or listen to audio version for precise citation.)

The present case, then, concerns a relationship lying within the zone of practice created by several fundamental commandments. And it concerns a law which, in forbidding or failing to understand the use of humor on the said holiday in question, seeks to achieve its goals by means of having yidden take various texts, including the Facebook post mentioned inter alia without tongue firmly planted in cheek, or the greater failure of having neglected to read to the end of said post.

Respectfully submitted.  Rabbi Joker in Chief

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