Typical day in Rabbi Rapp’s class


Rabbi Dani Rapp recently had some work of his published in a journal by the Oxford Press. He wrote a chapter in the fourth section of the book entitled The Employee Free Choice Act, Unions, and Unionizing in Jewish Law. The book can be found here. A rather prestigious accomplishment for anyone in the field of Academia, let alone a little Jew who grew up in Queens, New York.

In honor of Rabbi Rapp’s recent accomplishment, Tani “T-Bone Capone” Gutterman sponsored today’s shiur party, complete with taco chips (even one bag with a slight jalépeño taste!), salsa, peanut m&m’s, bbq pringles and some stella doras. Needless to say, the party was a huge success, and we’ve now successfully added the mesquite BBQ Pringles to the list of “Shiur-party-staples”.

I’m not exactly sure what it was that did it, but I was a little hyper today. OK, that’s an understatement. I had a 45-minute squat-press workout during class. During class? But how!? Oh that’s simple…

It all started when Avri “Shift” Shafransky sat down next to me in the “barrier desk” I had earlier placed between us so that the layout of the second to last row was, from right to left, Eli (that’s me!), Shift, empty desk, Josh “Piago” Pianko, empty desk, Danny “Gooooldbeerg” Goldberg, David “Shmeltzmeister” Shmelzer, empty desk.

For those of you counting at home, that’s seven desks. So when I took my knees, sucked them way up to my chest, and then produced enough forward motion with my quadrilaterals to push the Shift away from me, I also managed to displace enough power to push the desk next to him. Closer to Piagodog. What would happen if I pushed the empty desk into Piago? So I did. And Piago slid.

At first he only slid a little, but with the encouragement from others in the class, I slowly pushed harder and harder until I pushed Piago into the desk next to him. Once my legs were fully extended, I had nowhere to go. No problem…I took the desk in front of where the Shift used to be, and put it right next to me. My legs pusshed up against my chest real tightly, I was a spring waiting to have my tension released.

But there was a silent art to these pushes. I had to somehow manage to push everyone, all the way on the other side of the room, even further than they already were, without alerting Rabbi Rapp. This may have been simple in other classes, but Rabbi Rapp is very involved in his Shiur, and so it was a bit more difficult than you may have thought.

In the end however, I proved Mark “Justin Time (read: just in time)” Rocklin wrong. Here are the photos of the eleven (that’s four added to the medley from the onset) desks pushed up on each other.

Shift is in the sweatshirt, Josh "Nasty" Nass is in front of him, Justin behind, Piago to his left, Moving further down is Goooldbeerg, and T-Bone Capone in the back corner

These desks must be greatly astonished to find themselves together, for assuredly they had never met before.


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