The Time the Rabbi Was Investigated

Moshe, Label and Chuck, machers at their synagogue, were furious at the congregation’s choice of a new rabbi. “We’ve got to do something,” Moe insisted.

They and their friends were accustomed to running things. This time,  too many younger members had voted overruling their choice.

“Let’s investigate him; he must have done something,” said Labe.

“But, what?” asked Chuck.

“I’ve got an idea,” said Moe. “I’ll hire one or two of the Russians from Brighton Beach to come up with something. Didn’t he speak of a trip he and the wife took last year to Russia?”

“Yeah, but what could they find?” asked Labe. “He’s a rabbi.  They say he’s so germophobic he cleans his hands lots of times each day.”

“For money, they can find anything,” replied Moe. For money, they can get Ruskies to say anything. “And even if he didn’t do anything in Russia, once we’ve started the investigation, we’ll have the right to look into his books; we’ll get Peretz’s accounting firm to audit his finances. We’ll cross check every simcha he ever did, making sure that he fully reported the fees he was given.” The auditor would also cross check expenditures from his rabbinic discretionary account.

So that is what they did, Moe, Larry and Chuck.

They found some hapless Russians to indicate (off the record) that the rabbi and his wife had stood by at a Moscow hotel while three prostitutes urinated on a bed. Nothing could be corroborated, but their investigation had begun.

Once it was ongoing, women’s club president, Maxine Weinberg, began whispering  at Shabbat Kiddush they should “Impeach 45!” She wasn’t exactly sure why the rabbi should be called “45” but it had a nice ring to it. Perhaps as an older woman, she thought it pertained to a choice promoted by the newer crowd, those under 45.

Moe offered his accountant to perform the audit. Others preferred someone more independent, but Moe referred to the Golden Rule. It was his gold, and he ruled.

Two years on, the investigation was still ongoing. The congregation was as divided as ever.  The rabbi still conducted services.  Maxine still whispered, “Impeach 45.”

Want to know what happened?

Hang on, the verdict’s not in.

About the Author
A resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, I hold BA and MA degrees in economics, and spent the first decade after graduate school in journalism. I have worked on Wall Street, met a payroll, won a wire service award, and served on three boards. With a partner, I am involved in a litigation funding business.