I know from my sitemeter statistics that I have about fifteen or twenty non-Jewish (or at least not Sabbath-observant) readers. So, for those of you who may not know this: in the front of Jewish religious books (of modern authorship), the publisher will often print one or, more usually, several letters of approbation from known authorities--meaning, authorities on the subject at hand or just big-shot smart rabbis. They'll either say something along the lines of, "I read this book and I like it" or "I haven't read this book but I like the author and the book is probably fine." These are called haskamas.
Not being a big-shot smart rabbi or a known authority on any halachic topic that I'm aware of (The Laws of Short-Row Heels?) , I have never had the opportunity to write a haskama of my very own. However, lately it's been occurring to me that really, I do have adequate knowledge, authority, and background to write one on this CD, which was produced by this yid in honor of his father.
So, my haskama runs thusly:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the opportunity of listening to the CD, U'Shmuel B'korei Sh'mo produced by Mr. M. O. Chassid. Although I do not know Mr. Chassid personally, I have heard from reliable sources that he is a true ben Torah who can carry a tune. His fine musical taste and love for his father are evident in the quality of his CD.
I have found this work to be ideally suited the ba'alas ha'bayis who is really way too tired to be cooking, but still striving to stay awake and focused on cooking for long enough to make nice Shabbos food for all the how many guests did you say are coming and did you just say that all of them are teenage boys? Many of the songs are lively enough to bop around the kitchen to, so much so that you should be careful your floor isn't slippery with the water you just spilled while checking the lettuce before you start chopping the onions with that really deadly chef's knife you have--you know, the one you dropped to the bottom of the keilim mikva when you had the baby in the snugli and nowhere to put him down. Even in the small hours of the morning, when you regret not realizing before beginning that new recipe that it had to bake at a different temperature from everything else going in the oven, and you are lightheaded with your fourth diet coke of the evening and debating whether or not, as an eishes chayyil, it is better to hide the empty cans from your husband to spare him the pain of realizing how many you drank or just be honest about it and leave them in the garbage where chances are you'll luck out and he won't see them anyway, these songs will inspire you with a sense of the kedusha of your work. They may even keep you alert enough to remember to put salt in the chulent. And the challah! Do not forget to put the salt in the challah! It tastes terrible if you forget it, and you'll be so mad at yourself if after all that work and setting your alarm for 3:30 am so you can put the loaves in plastic bags as soon as they're cool enough not to steam up the plastic you realize that they're inedible and have to send your husband out to the bakery to buy challot at the last minute. Trust me. You will.
I highly recommend this CD to all Jewish women, particularly those with small children who insist on only listening to Uncle Moishy CDs, because Mr. Chassid has the advantage of having a name that could potentially fool good-natured toddlers if you call him "Uncle M. O. C." It sounds a lot like Moishy if you say it fast.
May Hashem grant the producer of this CD health and parnassah, or at least enough parnassah off of this CD to want to do it again so that we can enjoy another one. Oh, and may He also grant Yidden everywhere the sense to realize that pirating a CD with an actual song on it about Melech Rachaman is just... I mean, really, we just shouldn't have to go there. Come on, people! Think a little!
With blessings for a heimishe kitchen,