JEWLARIOUS SATIRE -- Apple Hill, NY -- The Jewish High Holiday season has often been referred to as the World Series of Judaism or the Tour de Torah, and rabbis have long been concerned about how their congregants prepare for this spiritually and physically intense time.
The 5767 season which just began, has all ready become mired in scandal as David Kaufman and Steven Hoffman have been suspended by their synagogue for testing positive for davening [prayer] enhancing substances (davenoids). Like Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco and Floyd Landis who have been accused of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs, Kaufman and Hoffman's davening has been called into question.
The National Davening Association (NDA) confirmed that Kaufman and Hoffman's "A" samples tested positive and that they are now waiting for the test results from the "B" samples before passing final judgment. The davenoid test was administered the day after Kaufman and Hoffman broke the long standing NDA hagbah or Torah lifting record during the Rosh Hashana torah service. Kaufman's record breaking hagabah spanned ten and half columns wide which was followed by Hoffman on the second day of Rosh Hashana with a full 11 column wide lift.
Synagogue officials have been cooperating fully with the NDA investigators who, following the davenoid test, raided Kaufman and Hoffmans' tallis and tefillin bags. An official close to the investigation said that their tefillin had been doped, loaded with extra parchments and that their tallises were found to have a fifth titzis string.
Kaufman and Hoffman, long time friends and active members of the shul, denied using davenoids. "This is all just a big misunderstanding," Kaufman proclaimed. "We were told that we were trying out some Sephardic customs that would give us a lift going into the High Holiday season."
Fellow shul member, Jeremy Wohlberg was skeptical. "I daven right next to them and I noticed that their schuckling [swaying] was stronger and faster than usual," he said. "They were moving with such force and intensity that I started to get violently whipped by their fringes." Another synagogue member who requested anonymity noted that they looked "bigger" under their tallises than usual, and that in a superhuman feat, the two stood for the entire Yom Kippur service, which was not normally their custom.
"We are innocent," Hoffman declared. "Our hagbah lifts are a result of our increased kavanah [devotion] we have from focusing on prayer, repentance and charity [tefillah, t'shuvah and tzdakah]."
As the community waits for the sample to come back, long time congregant Wohlberg summed up their mood, "If it's true, it's a shandah [scandal]. What will the poor children think?"