By Simon Rocker
March 17, 2009
If you are a Hasmonean High School old boy - or even if you are not - then you might be interested in these reminiscences of the school from the 1980s circulating around the blogosphere.
They come courtesy of the Melchett Mike blog of former pupil Mike Isaacson, who paints a less than reverent portrait of Jewish school life.
Here's a taster:
"While I understand that Sabbath observance is now a prerequisite for admission, until 1985 (when I left), at least, only around a third of boys were religious. To save time picking teams for playground football, we just played Yids against Yoks (pejorative Yiddish for Jews and non-Jews, respectively).
"Around a quarter of teachers were not Jewish, while a similar number were merely Jewish ‘lite'. And all of them used to tear their hair out having to deal with the narrow-minded stupidity of the controlling religious 'elite'. At one stage, for example, literature considered subversive - including, I seem to recall, George's Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (about as sexually explicit as an illustrated Bible) - was banned from the syllabus and school library."
And here's another, from a post on the site by Daniel Shaya about a teacher:
"He had just introduced a classmate's backside to Timothy (his beloved slipper). Realising that a book had been strategically placed to cushion the blow, he stuck his hand down the boy's trousers and pulled out a Gemarah Baba Metziah.
"The boy got an extra punishment..."
And one more, posted by Nathan Aziroff:
"Has anyone mentioned Da Rebbe Cooper - not the man with the golden gun but the teacher with da real hard pinch!!
"I remember once there was a group of nisht kasher yidden (as we used to refer to the less frum boys) who were playing football in the playground and Rabbi Cooper seeing this went up to the boys and said ‘You'll score more goals if you put your cuppels on!' a Rebbe Cooper special that will remain in my mind for all eternity.
"We all laugh and joke about the poor teaching quality at Hasmo but lets face it, for most of us they were the best years of our lives."