Introduced and Presented to the Public for the First Time
By Henry Rasof F.A.S.B.S.A.
On Purim 5779
This interesting text, which I recently found in a crumpled old shoebox in front of a Chabad House somewhere in Israel, or maybe in Boulder—I can’t really remember—is so outré that some of you discerning readers might think it originally was meant as a Purimspiel (if you know what that is)—and indeed it might or might not have been meant that way. Whatever the case, you may be shocked to learn it indeed is Jewish, shocked not just because of its somewhat risqué content but because it has to do with Sukkot, our Fall festival, even though I am presenting it to you around the time of Purim, our Spring festival. The spiel—if it is one—is entitled The Kamah Sukkah and seems inspired by the famous (or infamous) Hindu book The Kama Sutra, a love-and-sex manual aimed at the Indian (from India) in need of guidance in such affairs. Try not to be confused about what you just read, will you, since the deep and weighty matters embedded in this ancient text are esoteric and as such intended only for the select few . . . like yourself . . . and deep and weighty matters must be presented in such a way as to discourage misuse by individuals who might be associated with the dark forces of the yetzer hara, the evil inclination. Therefore while reading this text, in order to inoculate yourself against such forces, be sure to read the text while leaning toward the right, the yetzer tov, the good inclination, whatever you might remember from the Passover seder, which for some reason seems to have the opposite instructions. Just be sure to lean the correct way during Passover, which is just around the corner, and to know which way that is, defer to your rabbi.
It is an odd book to emerge from a culture that seems, to this day, oddly puritanical, but that’s water under the bridge, and not the kind of bridge that may be holding your teeth in place. The naive reader will of course ask: What could such a book offer me, a modern, liberated Jew who knows everything about such matters, beginning with the biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply? I could answer that question very quickly and easily but decided not to, for reasons I can’t remember. Oh, before I forget: Sukkah can also be spelled Succah, but Kama and Kamah can never be spelled Comma or, God forbid, Calma or Calmah, but whatever your preferences or however deviant, the meaning of the text you are about to read—if you decide to read it—won’t change. I can assure you of that, but frankly, not a whole lot else. And one more thing, for the mystical numerological types among you—which probably includes you, since you are reading this in the Boulder Jewish News, the official or perhaps unofficial organ of the Boulder, Colorado, Jewish community, which comprises primarily mystical numerological types like yourself. Yes, I repeated “mystical numerological types” for emphasis, which as the Bible experts among you know is a biblical feature, although that has nothing do with this introduction, which also has nothing to do with introducing this year’s Purimspiel, whether or not it really is a Purimspiel, which I said already and probably will say again, for emphasis.
Moving right along: In case you are not familiar with Purimspiels or non-Purimspiels, I am going to refer you to the real McCoy, so to speak, even though the real McCoy is not Jewish and doesn’t speak any more, having been silenced long ago. To read last year’s real Purimspiel, click here on The Wonderful Cholent. But remember, this year’s story may or may not be a Purimspiel, whatever you or I or anyone else may think. I am referring you to the real Purimspiel in case you didn’t read it last year or, if you did, may have forgotten some of the details and so, horror of horrors, might be totally, utterly lost reading this year’s story, which I am sorry to remind you so soon may or may not be a Purimspiel, even if it sounds like one, and if you aren’t sure, you can try to read them both at the same time and see for yourself the difference and not just take my word for it. And, if you don’t know what a Purimspiel is, God help you, and if you do know what it is, God help you. And if you don’t know Who or What God is, so help me, God, you are in trouble, so help me, God, and no Purimspiel or non-Purimspiel, however authentic, can help, even if you don’t know what a Purimspiel or non-Purimspiel is, or, God help you, what Purim is, for that matter.
Now, where was I? Since I can’t quite remember, I will just move on along to the next thought that comes into my head.
This year’s labor of love, which as I said I found totally by accident (even though I was on the lookout that day for long-lost manuscripts like this one), is dedicated to the memory of my late father, Bernard Rasof (1918-2017), an engineering professor who also was a poet specializing in playfully humorous verse. And by the way, he collected crank letters sent to CalTech, where he earned his PhD, and to UCLA, where he taught for a while. And, now, whatever you are thinking, crank letters, although they sometimes sound like Purimspiels, are meant to be taken seriously, even if the authors sound like—I will leave the rest of this sentence and thought to you, a discerning reader who can tell a faux Purimspiel from a real one and also a crank letter from a Purimspiel, faux or real, and a serious person from a misguided moron. Got that? In case you are confused, regardless of the business about Purimspiels, what you are reading at this very moment (these very words) is only the introduction to what may or may not be a Purimspiel, even though you might be tempted to think otherwise. It also is not a crank letter, whatever you may think, since it was not written by a misguided moron—misguided, maybe (like most of the rest of humanity, other than you, of course), and sometimes a moron, yes, especially when it comes to love, which is probably why the long-lost manuscript of The Kamah Sukkah caught my eye. But I will leave the decision of who’s who, who’s what, and what’s what to you, the highly intelligent, discerning reader—after all, you are able to read, even if your tv is on in the background or perhaps, God forbid, even the foreground—so that you can decide on your own. God help you if you can’t get through this sentence, which I got lost in too, so if you had a hard time, don’t feel too bad. This kind of sentence has a name, which I forgot, and was popular in England several hundred years ago in the writings of people like Henry Fielding, who as you may recall wrote Tom Jones, which has nothing to do with anything here or, for that matter, anything anywhere. What it is, though, I will leave to you to decide. And by “it” I refer to the whole of life—the whole megillah of existence, if you will—not just Purimspiels, non-Purimspiels, crank letters, and misguided explanations. Oh—one more thing, if you don’t mind: Let all of this go or else you most definitely will need extra sessions with your shrink the morrow, or maybe even two-morrows, even if you don’t think you will. Yes, “shrink” rhymes with “think,” even though it wasn’t intended, and like everything you have just read, has nothing to do with anything worth knowing or remembering, or just plain-old knowing or remembering, and since your memory may be flagging, it’s probably a good thing—about the remembering, that is, not the knowing—since there’s nothing here worth remembering anyway. Now, where was I? Since I really don’t remember, I will step out of the way and let you ease your way into this year’s maybe-or-maybe-not Purimspiel.
Announcing the first translation of a medieval guide suitable for the whole Jewish community, from frums to bums, including BuJews, HuJews, MuJews, Hindjews, Self-Hating Jews, Non-Jewish Jews, Converts, & Conversos
Shack up in the Jewish Love Shack with Your Main Squeeze (or maybe your whole community) and Davven with
ﬡ THE KAMAH SUKKAH תּ
THE DEFINITIVE, ULTIMATE, ONLY FIVE-WORLDS GUIDE TO SEX IN THE SUKKAH
by the Tzaddik of Plotznitzkyovitchky: The Second-to-Last (or maybe Second-to-Lust) Kabbalist of Plotz Translated by Anonymous Botch (or Blotch, if you prefer)
What your parents didn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t teach you • Everything you are dying to know & afraid of knowing • Tips & tricks from marvelous mystics • How to fulfill all 613 commandments in one shvitz
I. The First World: Asiyah: The World of Action
1. Why this book? Satisfying the first commandment to be fruitful and multiply
2. Who is the Tzaddik of Plotznitzkyovitchky: The Second-to-Last (or maybe Second-to-Lust?) Kabbalist of Plotz (sorry: not a relative of the late Sadie Plotznick)
3. By the way, what is sex?
4. What is a sukkah (succah, if you prefer, or love shack, according to a prominent local rabbi of English origins)?
5. How to build a sexually ergonomic sukkah and furnish it to satisfy your guests with special needs
6. The mitzvah of hospitality: How to get started: Singles mixer in the synagogue sukkah? Better ask the rabbi.
7. Serving or servicing your guests? Gluten or Gluten free? No quiche, please, but how about sukkahtash?
8. To wear or not to wear: Over, under, around, + the first-ever gender-neutral Sukkot guide to waterproof apparel
9. Jewelry: Charms and amulets, chais, double chais, gold chains, diamond tiaras, turbans, rings, kosher piercings
10. To wear or not to wear: Kippah or yarmulke, shtreiml, kaftan, tefillin, tallit, tallit katan, midi-skirt, sheitl, long sleeves, knee socks
11. Shabbat in the sukkah. Special blessings. Special situation: What to do about that pesky second Shabbat soul?
II. The Second World: Yetzirah: The World of Formination)
1. Positions your mother and great-aunt never told you about. Special positions for tiny sukkahs.
2. Toys and enhancers. Toys, not goys. And no, schmaltz and pshav are not lubricants.
3. Shake it, baby: How to use the lulav–How about Myrtle on the right, Willa on the left, Lulu in the middle, spreading Joy and peace?
4. Cosplay/role playing, including how to celebrate Purim in advance without being too forward
5. Menages a trois and more
6. Ushpizin: How to decide which ushpizin to invite (erotic dancers?) so as to avoid the uppity ones (ex-mates)
7. Sukkahs and the single girl and guy
8. Don’t forget that etrog before it’s good for nothing but compost
9. Afrodisiacs for beginners: What to spike the chicken soup with
10. Which way to lean to attract more of the yetzer hara
11. Tantric shmantric: What’s all the fuss with the frumsters?
12. Special advice for every type of Jew, from atheist to zionist
13. Blessings and prayers
14. Ancient Jewish love charms, notions, and potions to be sukkahsexful
III. The Third World: Beriah: The World of Creation
1. From Temple Tart to Sukkah Slut: How to deal with greedy female guests and ushipizin
2. From Stiebele Shlump to Sukkah Stud: How to deal with greedy male guests from this world and ushpizin from the next world
3. Nymphos and Cougars
4. Challenges for princesses and obsessive-compulsive women so they don’t break a nail or scratch their knees
5. Resurrection and the aging man: He can raise the lulav but that’s about it
IV. The Fourth World: Atzilut: The World of Emanation
1. Tips from the Talmud and Zohar and from the Holy Holy Holy Mothers
2. Counting & aligning with those heavenly bodies: Using gematria (Jewish numerology) and astrology in your kavannah (intentions)
V. The Fifth World: The World of Adam Kadmon
1. Saying farewell to the Sukkah, cleanup, and more. What happens in the Sukkah stays in the Sukkah
2. Hoshanah Rabbah–Using the lulav one last time for something very special
Appendicitis: The World of Tsuris
1. Spetzele situations: What if the following come on to you, or vice versa: The rabbi, Hadassah rep, Hebrew school teacher, board president, chazzan, ushpizin, whole sisterhood, men’s council, local Catholic priest, butcher, mohel? A non-Jew, someone you went out with once 10 years ago, a gay or lesbian congregant, one or more of the kabbalistic sefirot?
2. Unwanted pregnancies and social diseases: Because you are doing a mitzvah, you are protected. No other protection needed. See somewhere in the Shulchan Aruch, the definitive guide to Jewish law.