November 1, 2004 | Issue 15

Shtiebel Unveils Plans to Replace Mechitzah with Security Wall

BROOKLYN, NY — [] A local shtiebel, whose official name has been long forgotten, has unveiled plans to build a new security wall in place of its existing moveable wooden mechitzah. The move came after a particularly ugly few weeks starting with the infamous Kleenex incident three weeks ago.

Reports are sketchy about how the argument began. One has 68 year old Mrs. Greenstein and the 98 year old rebbetzin (whose official name has long been forgotten) fighting over the last Kleenex in the tissue box. Another report cites that Mrs. Greenstein tried to pass the box of Kleenex over the mechitzah to her husband with the bad cold, which incited the wrath of the rebbetzin. Some believe that the rebbetzin was upset because a good portion of Mrs. Greenstein was in the men’s section. Others claim that she felt that the reason why Mr. Greenstein had the bad cold was because Mrs. Greenstein didn't cook a proper chicken soup the day before.

Technically, the box of tissues was not even a box of Kleenex but a cheap single ply imitation.

In either case, the fight ended with Mrs. Greenstein falling into the third mechitzah panel from the back and knocking it down right onto 72 year-old Mr. Rosenberg's head. As it was almost mussaf, Mr. Rosenberg's mouth was already full of herring from kiddush. The impact of the mechitzah caused the herring to fly out and land inside 73 year-old Mr. Cohen’s cholent. Mr. Cohen did not notice.

There were no major injuries resulting from the Kleenex incident, but multiple people benched gomel. This gave Mr. Rosenberg enough time to restock his plate with herring from the kitchen.

Two weeks later, the shteibel had its first bar mitzvah in eight years. The men were pelted with rock candy from the ezras nashim. Again, there were no major injuries, but a lot of extra aliyahs for both the simcha and the needs of the gomel-bentching people. Mr. Rosenberg had plenty of herring and Mr. Cohen did not notice the candy landing in his cholent.

Due to these and other events, the shtiebel will replace its mechitzah with a two foot thick floor-to-ceiling cement wall. The gabbai of the shul says that this is a good investment, as with the way things are going with chumrahs, in a year or two, theirs will be the only kosher mechitzah in town.

The men's side will still not have any tissues.


Pencil David Friedman prefers two ply tissues, two ply toilet paper, but not two ply yarmulkes.


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