Thursday, September 04, 2008

Talkin' 'Bout Shacharis?!...

...I thought we was talkin' 'bout practice! Either way, it will all be cleared up below in the first ever Elul Zman Press Conference.

Well, sorta...Rabbonon V'rabbosei please take your seats for a recap of the closing schmooze from Reb Allen Iverson at the end of last zman:

Iverson: "It's starting right now, Moshe let's go!"

Reporter: "Overall, Allen, tell us how last zman ended for you as a chabura"?

Iverson: "We shteiged man. It ain't a whole bunch to that. Simple as that, we shteiged.

Reporter: "What did you talk about in The Mashgiach’s office?"

Iverson: Everything, you know, just me and him, you know, just let him know that I'm the ben Torah in his chatzir and if anyone tries to intrude, I'll be the first one to bite and protect his makom Torah, you know, the same thing I've been saying from day one.

Reporter: "Were you upset about the comments he made publicly last Shabbos?"

Iverson: "No question about it. That's what happens when people batel though, you know. When people batel, there is a whole bunch of room for negativity and I don't feed into this stuff and I do not do any talking. I don't run my mouth. If The Mashgiach has any issues with me, I believe there are things that I can control, things that I can get a grip on but this is what happens when people batel, you know one year you go to the top chabura and the next year you're out in the first year shiur. That's what happened, you know, everybody take shots at Allen Iverson. It's just unfortunate that I can't say back."

Reporter: "Are you on the same page with The Mashgiach?"

Iverson: "Yeah we're one the same page. I don't have a problem with The Mashgiach. I love The Mashgiach. You people may not believe it or feel me when I say it but I do. He's helped me do so much in my yidishkeit, helped me be the ben Torah that I am. If there's no Mashgiach, then there's no “Talmid Chochom” Allen Iverson. He's done a lot for me as far as helping me in and out of the Beis Medrash but I mean when people batel, this is the type of stuff that happens, nebach. This is what goes on when people batel, you know. When you shteig everything is everything. But when people batel, it's all about Allen Iverson and The Mashgiach. When we shteig, I know that I get the praise and The Mashgiach gets the praise but when people batel it's on me and The Mashgiach. That's something that I have to learn to accept and deal with. Y'all wonder why I don't say that I'm “the top guy in the Yeshiva”...I don't feel like I'm the “the top guy in the Yeshiva” because look as this press conference. I mean look at what we're talking about. That's why I say I'm not “the top guy in the Yeshiva”. I feel like I'm the best learner out here...the best learner in the world. “Top guys in the Yeshiva” don't go through this. “Top guys in the Yeshiva” wives don't have to go to school and hear "is your husband coming back?" What's going on with your husband and The Mashgiach and yadayada? She's nineteen years old and that's what she has to deal with. It hurts because I know that I'm better than that. I do all I can for this city, this Yeshiva, this Kollel, and my fellow bnei Torah. I don't think nobody in the world learns harder than me. For me, going through this is tough. I'm tired you know, everybody on Yeshiva Lane know, all y'all know that I want to be here. Ain't no secret. Everybody knows that I want to be a Learner for the rest of my career. But I'm tired and I'm hurt too.

Reporter: "Could you clear about your davening habits since we can't see you daven?"

Iverson: "If The Mashgiach tells you that I missed Shacharis, then that's that. I may have missed one Shacharis this year but if somebody says he missed one Shacharis of all the Shachreisim this year, then that's enough to get a whole lot started.

Reporter: "So you and The Mashgiach got caught up on Shabbos about Shacharis?"

Iverson: "If I miss Shacharis, I miss Shacharis. It is as simple as that. It ain't about that at all. It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about Shacharis. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be “the top guy in the Yeshiva”, and we're talking about Shacharis. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about Shacharis, not a seder, not a seder, not a seder, but we're talking about Shacharis. Not the sedarim that I go out there and die for and learn every seder like it's my last but we're talking about Shacharis man. How silly is that? Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about Shacharis. We're talking about Shacharis man. (laughter from the media crowd) We're talking about Shacharis. We're talking about Shacharis. We're not talking about the sedarim. We're talking about Shacharis. When you come to the Beis Medrash, and you see me learn, you've seen me learn right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about Shacharis right now. (more laughter)

Reporter: "But it's an issue that your Mashgiach continues to raise?"

Iverson: "Hey I hear you, it's funny to me too, hey it's strange to me too but we're talking about Shacharis man, we're not even talking about the sedarim, we're talking about Shacharis."

Reporter: "Is it possible that if you made Shacharis, not you but you would make your chavrusos/chaverim better?"

Iverson: "How in the hell can I make my chavrusos/chaveirim better by making Shacharis?

Reporter: "So they can be used to praying with you."

Iverson: "They should be used to praying with me? Those are my chavrusos/chaveirim. So my learning is going to deteriorate because I'm not making Shacharis with my chavrusos/chaveirim? Is my learning going to get worse? I'm asking you, is my learning going to get worse? So what about my learning? Is my learning going to get better because other people are batteling in my Yeshiva, I mean, do that hurt me? Do you think that hurts me? I'm being honest, people are batteling but do that hurt me? Does that hurt me when I go out there and learn for 60 minute hours, does that hurt me as a learner? Does that hurt me if this person is batteling or that person is batteling? Do it hurt me?

Reporter: "You don't need it as much as they do."

Iverson: "What do you mean by I don't need it as much?"

Reporter: "Because you're the iluy"

Iverson: "What do you mean I'm the iluy?"

Reporter: "Because you're better than they are. One of the best in the Yeshiva."

Iverson: "So why are we talking about switching Yeshivas or there's a problem with me? No, I'm not obviously I'm not. You're contradicting yourself man. If I'm the iluy, then why is all this happening?" Why does my wife have to deal with this? Why? I'm “the top guy in the Yeshiva”. Why am I supposed to be having this meeting? Why am I talking to y'all about this?

Reporter: "You said that you and The Mashgiach are on the same page but it does not sound like it?"

Iverson: "We are on the same page. We are. I'm upset because of one reason...we are in here. I don't want to deal with this man, I don't want to go through this man. This is where I want to be. I love this place, I love my chavrusos/chaveirim/rebbeim, I don't have any problems with The Mashgiach at all. The Mashgiach has problems with me as far as hashkafah...I do not know about this thing with Shacharis because I have not been missing any Shachreisim. I don't have any problems with The Mashgiach, this Honhala at all. I just don't want to go through this. That's my only problem. I don't want to go through this. Why? I don't feel that it's right. I mean me, my Rebbeim, my chavrusos/chaveirm, this Yeshiva lost. You don't hear about any one of my chavrusos/chaveirim going through this. It's me. It's just me. I have to deal with it. And now it ain't about me and The Mashgiach. It's about him. It's about Allen Iverson. The ball is in his corner.

Reporter: "What can you do different next year?"

Iverson: "I don't know. All I can do is live. That's all I can do. I am going to have to deal with this all summer. I don't have a problem with The Mashgiach. That's my man but with this stuff here, we are not as tight as I though we were. I do not talk to y'all about The Mashgiach. What hurt me was when y'all asked him about me, there should have been no comment. If you going to get rid of Allen Iverson, then get rid of Allen Iverson. Do not assassinate his character, just get rid of him. Simple as that. If Allen Iverson leaves Yeshiva, it is to make the Kollel better. Why should I have a problem with that? The yungerleit shouldn't have a problem with it. Why? Because you're doing it to make the Kollel better. That's why you are making the move. But to assassinate his character, to say we're switching him because he does not show up to Shacharis, he is late…

Reporter: "Do you think you'll be back?"

Iverson: "Hell yeah I'm coming back."

Reporter: "Did you ask your Mashgiach if you could come back?

Iverson: "Did I ask him!...I have to ask my Mashgiach if I can come back?!"

Reporter: "As opposed to switching Yeshivas?"

Iverson: "I ain't going nowhere. The Mashgiach ain't going nowhere.

Reporter: "Did The Mashgiach tell you that?"

Iverson: "Yeah"

Reporter: "Both things?"

Iverson: "Both"


  1. too, too funny. brilliance.
    (and I still maintain that G has waaaay too much free time on his hands)

  2. The press conference was pretty funny too.

    His inarticulation reminds me of the people I used to travel with from the Bronx to Brooklyn every day earlier this year.