Monday, February 02, 2004

I figure anonymous e-mail forwards are pretty securely in the public domain. Here's one of my favorites, courtesy of Ayelet W.:

Oy, Mars?

Message Houston (JTA) - In a stunning development, it has been learned
that there is life on Mars-but not the kind that had been anticipated.
The first indication, based on the current U.S. space mission, came
when the small roving vehicle called Sojourner spotted a sign on the
rocky terrain of the Red Planet that read, "Welcome To Chabad
House-Bring Moshiach Now." The sign, in English, thrilled and confused
NASA scientists at the NASA Space Flight Centre in Houston,who had no
idea what it meant.

Only after thorough research did they learn that it revealed the
presence of a dedicated and particularly hearty group of Lubavitch
Chasidim, known for their tireless efforts to reach Jews in the most
remote regions, urging them to perform mitzvoth. "We've been here for
some time now doing our work," said a cheerful Rabbi Lou Steinwalker,
mission commander of the spaceship "Mitzvah 613", in an exclusive
phone interview.. When asked how long he had been on Mars and how he
got there, he said only, "where there's a will, there's a way."

He then excused himself, explaining that it was time for prayer and he
was looking for a minyan. In a subsequent phone call, the Rabbi noted
that in recent days another synagogue has been formed on Mars - -- a
Reform congregation that he would not set foot in. Following up on
that information, we contacted Rabbi Uri Negev, a Reform leader in
Israel, who said that when he had met secretly with the chief rabbis
of Israel in Jerusalem recently, they told him that if Reform Jews
wanted to pray in peace, they should go to Mars.

"So we did," said Rabbi Negev, "and no one has bothered us, except the
local Conservative congregation that keeps trying to borrow our
membership list." A Conservative congregation on Mars? Yes, it is
true, acknowledged a leader of the Jewish Theological Seminary. "We
discovered that blending Jewish law and modernity just doesn't work on
Earth, and we're always looking for new venues," explained Rabbi
Ismore Sources. The rabbi complained bitterly of financial competition
from the United Jewish Appeal's Interplanetary Division, which has
been scouring Mars via satellite in search of potential donors.

Stephen Solomon, the chief executive of the charity acknowledged that
highly motivated fund-raisers have been active throughout the galaxy
for several light years. "We've determined through a Strategic Planet
Plan that our most compelling marketing strategy is rescue," he said.
"The trouble is that we haven't found anyone out there to save!"

That's been a problem, as well, for Abraham Loxsmith of the B'nai
B'rith Anti-Defamation League. "We are prepared to open a major branch
on Mars, and we've already ordered the press releases and fax papers.
But, so far, no one has defamed us." Loxsmith is considering whether
the lack of defamation may be due to a form of active, even hostile,
disinterest in Jews that qualifies as anti-Semitism.

All this sudden interest among Jews about Mars has motivated Malcolm
Phoneline to form a new umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents
of Major Martian Jewish Organizations (CPMMJO). He said the group has
already received several calls from anonymous rabbis inquiring as to
whether there were any Pell grants available on Mars.

Meanwhile, a number of kosher-for-Passover tours have scouted out the
Red Planet as a unique alternative to places like Palm Springs and
Hawaii for jaded holiday vacationers. One tour operator noted that
Rabbi Orson Vells has already been hired to conduct and broadcast the
communal Seders, to be called "The War Of The Words," and that space
stations are under construction to transport large supplies of oxygen,
horseradish and shmura matzah for the eight-day festival. "It will be
out of this world," the travel expert said, "and, I assure you, very
tastefully done.."

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