Culture, Religion

Boardwalk, Park Place, and Gehennom

I was recently sent a link to a blog post about a Monopoly-style board game purchased in Hasidic Brooklyn called “Handel Ehrlekh” (“dealing ethically,” and/or “wheeling and dealing”).
Included in the game are a variety of “soul searching” cards, both good and bad. Some of the bad ones are pretty amazing:

“Yiddeshe Tokhter! Du host aroys gelakht ven mener hoben gehert! Zeyer a groyse pritzus! Shtel dokh in ‘mikhutz lamakhane’ un blayb aroys 3 gang.” (Jewish daughter! You laughed when men could hear you. Very immodest! You’re excommunicated! Lose three turns.)
“Geredt English tzuvishin zikh! Yiddish redn taylt up fun di goyim! Shtel dokh in ‘mikhutz lamakhane’ un blayb aroys 3 gang.” (You spoke English amongst yourselves. Speaking Yiddish separates us from the Gentiles! You’re excommunicated! Lose three turns.)
“Geleynt a treyfene bikhl! Tomey, Tomey! Arayn in Gehenom un blayb aroys 2 gang.”Ungevoren di 2 tayereste pletzer vos du host.” (You read an unkosher book. Unclean, unclean! Got to Hell and lose two turns. Lose your two most valuable properties!)
“Geholfen di Tziyonistishe medinah! Fun a shaykhes tzu reshoim kumt keyn guts nisht aroys! Nor shoden! Tu teshuvah! Zitz in a yeshivah 2 geng, un tzol far di yeshiva vifel es kost far yededn aroys gebliben gan $50 far tzedokoh!” (You helped the Zionist country! No good can come out of an association with evil people, only bad! Repent! Sit in a yeshivah for two turns, and pay $50 tuition per day to charity).

The board has some important locations on it, including:

Don’t miss the “shtreiml gesheft” on the bottom center. The bottom left corner is a picture of the swirling hellfires of “Gehennom” (Hell). Continuing clockwise around the board, the box with the arrows at ten o’clock points to a second box called “Mikhutz Lamakhane” or excommunication (i.e. Kherem.) The text reads “Harkhek mekhover ra, keyner tor zikh mit dir nisht khavren”. (Stay away from a bad neighbor, nobody is allowed to act friendly towards you.) It’s not all about hellfire and excommunication, though. Sprinkled throughout the board are various Hakhnosas Orkhim (hospitality), tzedoko, and yeshiva/kollel squares.

The rules are evidently like Monopoly, except that there are a few changes:

Some of those are:
The oldest player plays first as a sign of respect.
While one who lands on a “wedding hall’ has to pay rent, he also receives a $50 stipend from charity towards “Hakhnosas Kale” (marrying off a bride).
There’s a “tzedoko” in addition to the bank. Every profitable transaction requires players to donate ma’aser (a tenth) of the proceeds to charity. Of course, if a player runs out of money, he receives charity. This results in the game being never ending, for, if you run out of money, you immediately receive a tzedoko (charity) stipend.
“Az es treft zikh un di tzedoko pushke iz shoyn leydik, makht der gabai tzedoko a groysn ‘appeal’ un yeder shpiler zol gebn khotsh $50. (Es farshteyt zikh tomer men hot.)”
If the tzedoko runs out of money, the adminstrator should make a giant appeal, and each player should donate at least $50 (if he has it).

Check out the whole thing here.

3 thoughts on “Boardwalk, Park Place, and Gehennom

  1. Wow! What a sick and twisted game. If this doesn’t meet the standards for child abuse via theological manipulation and fear I don’t know what will. I hope this is a joke – if not, the people who have designed and created this masterpiece of guilt should be thrown into Gihenom on earth – where they could burn in their own pots of boiling water while being dissected piece by piece as God reads all the wonderful creative writing in each of those individual monopoly squares. And, sitting in the front row seats will be all those wonderful children who passed go and had the notion, rational, and logic to never come back. Good for you Kinderlach.
    A concerned Rabbi

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