Monday, October 31, 2011

Hilchos Shkoyichgeben (AKA “Thanksgiving”)

Originally published on on 10/28/11:

Hilchos Shkoyichgeben (AKA “Thanksgiving”)


The MaMaB (Martin M. Bodek)


Mesoyreh: One must engage in a seudah to celebrate the heiligkite of the yuntif. It’s brought down in the May Achuz that this heilig day is heiliger than Chalamoyd and Hoyshanarabba combined!

Lechatchilah: One should sit down for the meal after plag hamincha, but before tzais, so that it take place at a time when the original nayce of shkoyichgeben occurred.

Bidieved: If you are chasidish, you can have it any time during the day, because, as the SHL’A famously said, “We are not aware that there are clocks in heaven.”

Mehadrin: One should invite guests, wear a kittel, drink four cups of cranberry juice and remember to recite, “He oyf anya.”

Mehadrin min hemehadrin: One should wear a belt with a large buckle instead of a gartel and the children should all wear their hats with new Native American names, like “Shlepping Ausvorf” or “Pear Fresser.”


Mesoyreh: One must watch football to be truly yotzeh oynig yuntif.

Lechatchilah: One should be makpid to watch an entire football game, whether or not his wife needs help in the kitchen with loading the turkey in the oven.

Bidieved: If one can’t watch the entire game, one should at least be sure to watch one Geico and one Budweiser commercial, and will be soymich on poskim who hold that this is the minimum choyv to be mekayim the mitzvah.

Mehadrin: Tzadikim should go the football game itself, and it is mutar to pay one Shabbos meal’s worth to purchase the tickets.

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: One should jump from the stands and run down the 50-yard line. If security tackles you before you get to the field, you're not yoytzeh yidai chavoosoy.


Mesoyreh: One should be makdim all his neighbors besayfah poonim yoofis.

Lechatchilah: One should say “gobble gobble” to at least two different neighbors. This must be done by day, as the ness of shkoyichgeben happened during the day.

Bidieved: If one is tired from shlepping the turkey all the way from the store, into the car, up the steps, onto the counter, one is allowed to say “gobble” to one neighbor.

Mehadrin: One should insert “gobble” into his sentences like the Smurfs put “smurf” into their sentences.

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: One should say nothing but “gobble” all day, while bobbing his head back and forth, waddling and birthing turkey eggs.


Mesoyreh: The Korban Turkey should be eaten on the last Thursday of choydish November.

Lechatchilah: One should eat turkey.

Bidieved: If one is too poor to eat turkey, one should sell his wife’s jewelry to afford it. If one could never afford jewelry for his wife, one may sell his children into child labor until he has enough earning to buy a turkey. If one has no children, he may enslave his wife. If one’s wife is too weak to apply rivets to cars coming off the assembly line, one may substitute chicken.

Mehadrin: One should have turkey with Wild Turkey.

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: One should have turkey with Wild Turkey while running a local Turkey Trot, acting like a turkey, and at the end of the seudah, singing “L’shoonoo haboo b’Turkey!”


Mesoyreh: One should partake in a parade to be yoytzeh the concept of “Seesee v’simchee.”

Lechatchilah: One should sit down in front of his monitor with his wife and children with hot chocolate in everyone’s hands.

Bidieved: One may leave the room to do his usual morning learning, but his wife must be certain to call him back in to see all the good parts.

Mehadrin: One should sit on the couch from beginning to end, with a bedpan if necessary, to be sure to hear every word. If one misses a word of the broadcast, one may visit his shaygitz secular neighbors to review the broadcast on the treifineh yaytzer horah that is called the DVR, loy oolayknee.

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: Equal s’char is given to those who work on themselves all year to be able to watch the Rockettes without succumbing to hirhurim and to those who look away every time they show up, but are still careful to hear every word.


Mesoyreh: It says in parshas Vayiglach that one should eat the seasonal harvest foods on yom nutnimtoda.

Lechatchilah: One should consume turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie.

Bidieved: If one is already poor from buying Chanukah gifts, one may be lenient and consume pigeon, yams, cranberry juice, zaft from a gefilte fish jar, and whatever the shaygitz neighbors left over from their Halloween pumpkin carvings.

Mehadrin: One should use the turkey used for kaporos shloogin and shechted by a chasidishe kohen, sweetened sweet potatoes, cranberry peach mango juice, galleh and pie slung into his stomach from a punkin chunkin machine.

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: One should do all this while dressed like a native american pilgrim and pardoning the turkey while watching football on his monitor, the parade though his neighbor’s window, The Discovery Channel’s Punkin Chunkin on picture-in-picture, while saying “gobble gobble” to the neighbors, who are now calling the cops because the guy next door is seriously unstable.

Martin Bodek is co-founder of, beat reporter for, surname columnist for and proud proprietor of his own new bookstore. Browse around!:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grand Opening of My New Store!

Okay fine, it's not a STORE store, it's a virtual store. And alright, it's not a general store, it's just a l'il ol' bookstore. And nu, it's not really a full bookstore, it's actually one shelf. And whaddyagonnado, it's not even a full shelf, it's just two books. But hey, I gotta start somewhere, right? And hopefully, I'll be adding to that shelf in the near future.

So please drop by new bookstore - er, shelf, and browse around (which is easy to do, considering the amount of selections):

To celebrate my grand opening, I'm offering both books at 50% off for a limited time (also, until 10/28, "BURIED305" gets you another 25% off).

I've also set up a sister store on Amazon. This is where you can purchase Kindle versions of my books, see my book-related tweets and be apprised of my book reading events (G-d willing soon speedily in our days) if that suits your fancy:

Thank you, as always, for your interest.

-Martin Bodek

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Monday, October 10, 2011

The 2nd Annual JRunners S.I Minyan - Oh, and Half Marathon Too

The 2nd Annual JRunners S.I Minyan - Oh, and Half Marathon Too
Martin Bodek

It promised to be a hot, hot challenging race. While other runners prepared with several heat-acclimation techniques, the JRunners tried an alternative tactic: fasting for 25 hours the day before the race. It seems to have paid off, as several of the 24-strong field set PRs and some 1/2-marathon virgins put in some excellent times.

It was still rather cool as the minyan got underway, but as the day rose, the winds died, the sun got hotter, the ezras nashim got more chatty, and at race time it was already somewhere around balmy. It was going to be tough going.

What's a JRunner if not tough? All of us came back in one piece in the following order:

Gamss Moishie M26 BROOKLYN NY 1:31:01 6:57 PR by 5:47
Mittel Yitzchok M34 PASSAIC NJ 1:31:14 6:58
Pancer Joseph M41 BROOKLYN NY 1:31:23 6:59
Ovits Mordechai M34 BROOKLYN NY 1:31:39 7:00 PR by 7:56
Bressler Yaakov M18 BROOKLYN NY 1:33:08 7:07
Friedman Israel M42 BROOKLYN NY 1:39:01 7:34
Goldberg Miri F30 HIGHLAND PARK NJ 1:39:49 7:38
Bodek Martin M36 PASSAIC NJ 1:43:15 7:53 PR by 4:11
Maltz Martin M37 BROOKLYN NY 1:44:20 7:58
Katz Matt M33 BROOKLYN NY 1:44:55 8:01
Pupko Sruli M28 BROOKLYN NY 1:47:23 8:12 PR
Kohane Ariel M40 NEW YORK NY 1:47:38 8:13
Wilhelm Michael M30 BROOKLYN NY 1:47:49 8:14 PR
Nath Howard M30 BROOKLYN NY 1:50:39 8:27 PR by 7:41
Wulliger Abe M27 BROOKLYN NY 1:53:47 8:42 1st 1/2
Itzkowitz Shia M20 BROOKLYN NY 1:58:46 9:04 1st 1/2
Silver Shelly M46 PASSAIC NJ 1:59:00 9:05 1st 1/2
Saperstein Avi M34 BROOKLYN NY 2:00:04 9:10 PR
Rosenblum Chesky M49 BROOKLYN NY 2:03:03 9:24
Rand Charles M34 BROOKLYN NY 2:19:07 10:38
Pittinsky Jonathan M42 PASSAIC NJ 2:26:18 11:11
Balas Dave M41 BROOKLYN NY 2:27:26 11:16 1st 1/2
Feldman Chanan M39 BROOKLYN NY 2:28:54 11:22
Lebovits Abraham M30 BROOKLYN NY 2:29:24 11:25 1st 1/2

Notice the times of the top (core) four runners? They traded places regularly over the last three miles. It was intense and positively frantic! They all finished within 38 seconds of each other! Wow!

Virtual pretend make believe awards (that will be real one day!) were handed out to the following during our breakfast sponsored by Mordy Ovits and family:

The OK GO There He Goes Again Award - Moishie Gamss: Moishie repeated his accomplishment of the 2011 JRunners Relay Race: he started way behind (this time, a corral behind where he was supposed to be), fell behind for a bit past the midpoint, and then powered strong to sneak ahead of an unsuspecting lead runner even as it got hotter. Gamss did all the scorching though. Helluva performance, especially considering the drag from those funky glasses.

The BTO You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Award - Yaakov Bressler: Yaakov, all of 18 years old with no fat that can be detected (hence he was shivering mightily before the race), placed 2nd in the 12-19 age group for the entire race!!! The sky's the limit for this guy!

The Isley Brothers Who's That Lady? Award - Miri Goldberg: Ms. Goldberg showed up like a ghost, said a quick hi, beat the pants off of most of the JRunners field, and disappeared after the race. She's listed as one of us because she's Jewish and she runs, and we're not that picky about who joins our little club. Miri, y'all come back now, y'hear? This time, stay.

The Frank Sinatra It Was a Very Good Year Award - Martin Bodek: He lost 20 pounds, strapped on Vibrams and, finally after 14 attempts, broke his 12 year old Half Marathon PR. It was the last standing PR at any available distance that was left to fall over the past year. Now he wants to break each and every one of them again. Little does he realize he'd have to lose another 20 pounds and go barefoot. Uh oh...

The Hall & Oates He's a (Marathon) Maniac Award - Sruli Pupko: Proudly wearing his Marathon Maniac t-shirt - earned by running two marathons in fourteen days - Sruli got tons of recognition from fellow runners who know what it takes to earn club membership. But we really know why he got his props. It was that bloody nipple. It was um, hard earned.

The Charles Dickens Great Expectations Award - Abe Wulliger, Shia Itzkowitz, Shelly Morris, David Balas and Abraham Lebovits: Each of these men ran a half marathon for the first time ever, and each of them did very well. Shia actually set 2:10:00 as his goal going in, and demolished that by twelve minutes! David says he couldn't run 13 feet a year and a half ago, and now he did 13 miles, pushing hard all the way. We now expect all of you to continue moving up the ladder. JRunners only ascend in accomplishment.

The Veeoohaftoo Liryeachoo Koomoychoo Voos Iz Mantz Doos Iz Dantz Award - A half dozen JRunners: A keen eye might note some incorrect biographical information in the runners results chart above. This is because several runners ran with bibs of other runners, and some ran with multiple chips. All this so that nobody would be oiver ba'al taschis. Yet another reason we were zoyche to just a fantastic showing.

Martin Bodek is the beat reporter for Buy his books though (, because this gig pays him squat.