Minutes From The Council of Sages

{Before the establishment of Tiberias and Caesaria as centers for great Talmudic discourse and for the written codification of Jewish Law, the great sages of Judaic knowledge formed what had been referred to as “The Council of Sages”, although in Aramaic Ganim Taybloch has been translated to the more colloquial The Wiseguys“.  The Council would meet on alternate Wednesdays at the home of one of the Sages.  The host Sage was expected to provide tea and pastries, and the business of formulating Jewish Law and Custom would proceed in earnest.}

From the previous meeting.

Resolved: The date of the New Year will be moved from January 1 to a date in September.  It is recognized that choosing a date near either Solstice is unjust to the Hemisphere who has to labor either in intense heat, or frigid cold.  Further, the choice of a date near the Vernal Equinox is also out because it would interfere with St. Patrick’s Day. The date in September near the Autumnal Equinox, will be arbitrarily selected each year after we have consulted with the Oracle at Delphi.

The Finance Report.

It is agreed that someone has to pay for all this learning and wisdom that we are providing.  After all, Sages can’t be expected to hold a regular job.  To make up the shortfall, we will appoint a “Sage For The Day” from the ranks of our benefactors.  Our first honoree will be Ephraim the Drooler.

New Business. 

A resolution proposed by a group of Sage Reformers to reduce the length of the Yom Kippur Fast from 24 hours to 90 minutes was narrowly defeated.

A resolution by the Sage Reformers (hereinafter referred to as the Four Meshugahs, or the Gang of Four) to define that the fast only applies to kosher food, meaning that eating lobster quiche with a side of Jimmy Dean Sausage was permitted, was passed.  On a technicality, discussion on the nature of the fast was reopened.  The technicality: Chaim the Wise (aka He Who Only Owns One Garment, and everyone knows it!),  Avram the Prudent and Ruven the Goniff were all out of the room, arguing about a card playing debt, when the resolution came up for a vote.  When the Sages returned to the room, with Chaim the Wise sporting a black eye and a cut lip, they sided with the Sages in voting down the Gang of Four’s proposal.

Discussion on the length of High Holiday Services was opened. One of the Gang of Four observed that they were far too long.  Citing the great Hillel, who summed up the contents of the Torah, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your buddy. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go study.” as an indication of the need to be brief.  Others viewed that the length of the Service should be increased; but maybe with a catered lunch break included, or a social hour.  The discussion became heated and threatened to descend into physical force when Chaim the Wise said that it was Avram the Prudent who had peeked at the discard pile in the card game. And besides Ruven the Goniff is known to keep extra cards under the table.  Ruven questioned how wise Chaim the Wise was, saying “You ain’t so smart!”, and poked Chaim in the chest.  Avram the Prudent made peace by suggesting that it was time to enjoy the prune danish with a glass of tea.

Further discussion on the length of the High Holiday Services was tabled to the next meeting; but the Gang of Four said they were cutting out after 45 minutes regardless, claiming they needed time to study for the medical boards.  And then Chaim the Wise gestured to Ruven the Goniff, “oh yeah? I’m smarter than you!  You big Lug!!” {editor’s note: A lug, big or otherwise, is a rarity among the Sages, which is why Ruven has been so admired by the likes of Meyer Lansky, Bernie Madoff and Joe Lieberman.}


It was agreed that since the move of the New Year from January 1 to September, it will have to be reviewed whether it is permissible to pitch in the World Series on Yom Kippur, or whether the opposing team should simply be compelled to forfeit the game.


With no further bloodshed or harsh words, although Ruven threw two shekels at Chaim and said, “here! give everyone a break and go buy yourself another garment!”, the Council of Sages concluded this session.

Next meeting.

In two weeks at the home of Ephraim the Jeweler, referred to earlier in error as “Drooler”, although it was pointed out by Avram that Ephraim does indeed drool.

To those who it is appropriate: L’Shana Tovah.  To those who it is not appropriate… whatever.

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