Many years ago, Martin Buber published stories about the Hasidic tzadikim in two volumes: “The Early Masters” and “The Later Masters.”
Those who didn’t make it into Buber’s volumes are known as “The Remaindered Tzadikim.”
For the first time, a collection of tales about them is being made available rather than being thrown on a trash heap, as was usually done in the past.
Editor Oluv Ha-Sholem has said, “The point of Buber’s collection was to introduce people to the fascinating world of Hasidic thought. My collection has no point at all.”
First among them: The Jurassic Parker Rebbe!
Rabbi Brontosaurus Berl Gotterdammerung, the Jurassic Parker Rebbe, was named for his maternal grandmother, Bronta Sura.
He was married to his wife, Leah Gruesome, for 57 years.
“Long ones,” he used to say.
1. The Rebbe and Kashrus
The Rebbe was asked, “All the halachas of Torah are suspended when there is danger to life. Suppose we should get stuck on a desert island and it should be necessary to eat something assur, how would we shecht an alligator?”
“Mit nachis that he didn’t shecht you first,” answered the Rebbe.
2. The Rebbe and Fame
The Jurassic Parker Rebbe was asked, “What do you think of Andy Warhol’s comment, ‘In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’?”
The Rebbe said, “That was in the ’60’s. These days, we can only pay for a minute and a half.”
3. The Rebbe and the Dybbuk
The Rebbe was asked the following shayle: “Rebbe, there is a halacha that a man must ‘rejoice his wife’ on Erev Shabbos. If, however, the body of his wife is inhabited by a dybbuk, and he does his mitzvah, is he committing adultery?”
“At best, if the dybbuk was a woman, too.”
4. The Rebbe and the Man Who Was Banging His Head Against a Wall
One day, the Rebbe came upon a man who was banging his head against a wall. The man recognized him and said, “Rebbe, I have a terrible headache. Make a brucha that my headache should go away.”
The Rebbe said to him, “Nu. Stop banging your head like that, and your headache will stop.”
Without missing a klopp, the man replied:
“Oh, Rebbe, I couldn’t do that. I come from a long line of frimmer yidden on both sides who spent their whole lives banging their heads against walls. I was brought up to bang my head against a wall. It’s a family minhag. It’s the most important thing in my life. There is scientific evidence that banging your head against a wall has beneficial effects on the immune system. My brother stopped banging his head against a wall and now he is an inter-faith minister. The Shulchan Aruch says that a man should spend as much time as he can every day banging his head against a wall. Didn’t the Rambam discuss it in the Mishneh Torah? Doesn’t the Holy Zohar say that if all Israel would truly and sincerely bang their heads against walls, then ‘The King will enter the Field of Holy Grapefruit and the Queen will be re-united with her Mother-in-law’?”
The Rebbe said, “So here’s my brucha: b’ezras Ha-Shem, you should find a softer wall.”