March 1, 2005 | Issue 19

Rav to be Replaced by Robo-Rav

UMAN, UKRAINE — [] By early 2007, the Breslov sect of chasidim is anticipating that it will be led no longer by the memory of its single Rebbe, but rather by a machine they have dubbed, “Robo-Rav.” This step is in response to several constituents (okay fine, it was the two guys who hand out all the pamphlets) who demanded a replacement for their departed Rebbe, but acknowledged that a human would be too fallible for the position.

Robo-Rav will be capable of six trillion shailos and t'shuvos calculations per second, and will justly dole out shrayim to those deemed worthy of his divine touch. Robo-Rav is expected to cost just six million dollars, roughly the price of a Spinker spudik.

Breslov has contracted with the Microsoft Corporation for the operating system, which will be Windows-based and upgradeable. Microsoft is guaranteeing that by the 83rd software installation, Robo-Rav will be bug free and ready to operate within acceptable parameters. Robo-Rav will be WiFi compatible and will transmit his daf yomi shiur to the Palm Pilots of the Rosh Hakolels.

Robo-Rav will give his shiur at a docking-station shtender and will interface with the crowd using Microsoft Voice. The voice is fully modulatable in tone, timbre and volume up to 170 decibels, so the Robo-Rav will have no need for external amplification. Hence the congregation will be able to be yoitzeh from his brachos, because answering Amen to a brocha through a loudspeaker is questionable.

Robo-Rav’s main drawback is his power supply, a Toshiba battery that has only two hours of run-time between six-hour charging sessions. This is a problem for Shabbos, but having the Robo-Rav turned off means no one will accidentally seek to shake his hand, which is obviously muktzah considering his Robot status.

Robo-Rav's main benefit is that he will not be able to transmit herpes during circumcision via the act of metzitzah. For that purpose, Robo-Shamosim will make sure Robo-Rav's lips are kept shiny and rust-free.

F-Secure and Symantec have been tapped to provide integral security against viruses, worms, and hackers. Both firms have assured the Breslovers that they can protect Robo-Rav against unwanted intrusion. This was initiated in response to Breslov's fear of a hacker making his way into the Rav and instructing him to deliver satanic or anti-Semitic messages, perhaps even quoting Rav Nosson Slifkin, chas v'sholom.


Pencil Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded, and writes books from 5-9:


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