Warning: The Following is Satire and Written by Esteemed Staff Writer: Zaydee Gaga
Nefesh B’Nefesh, a North American organization which, in partnership with the Jewish Agency and other Israeli groups and foundations has helped 50 000 people make aliya in the past 15 years, has scheduled an urgent meeting for later this week following an incident in a Queens shul on Shabbos.
One of the organization’s board members was visiting the shul to celebrate the bar mitzva of a relative. After the Torah reading, a shul member recognized the Nefesh B’Nefesh representative and wished him mazal tov. He then added, “May I ask you a Nefesh B’Nefesh related question?” The visitor politely replied, “Of course.” The shul member continued, “The bar mitzva boy read the Torah portion beautifully, including the segment regarding witnesses found by the court to be liars, and their appropriate punishment. The boy read the following sentence…
וְלֹ֥א תָח֖וֹס עֵינֶ֑ךָ נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּנֶ֗פֶשׁ עַ֤יִן בְּעַ֨יִן֙ שֵׁ֣ן בְּשֵׁ֔ן יָ֥ד בְּיָ֖ד רֶ֥גֶל בְּרָֽגֶל
which translates to…
You shall not have pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot (Devarim19:21)
The man continued, “I’m the one who usually layns in this shul, and this is the only time the Torah uses the term ‘Nefesh B’Nefesh’. Does it make sense for such a distinguished organization’s title to reference the punishment for false testimony?” The board member was flabbergasted. “Are you sure? Is this the only time the Torah uses that term?” The baal koreh nodded. The board member replied, “I’ve been with the organization for 15 years, and this has not been pointed out to me. This is definitely something I’ll have to discuss with my colleagues.”
The board member was contacted after Shabbos, and a meeting about the issue is scheduled to take place later in the week. If readers have suggestions for an alternative name please contact the board of Nefesh B’Nefesh.