Purim Report

"I was bored," he explained. "Hate crimes keep our phone ringing. I thought if I created one, it would give us something to do."

Bernstein said it hadn't occurred to him that his arrest would prevent him from properly dealing with the perpetrator — in this case, himself.

"Obviously, we are saddened to hear about what Bernstein allegedly, purportedly and reputedly did, and we strongly condemn his actions." said Abraham Foxman, ADL's national director. When asked whether he had ever made a prank phone call himself, Foxman giggled and then hung up the phone.

Rabbi's calling is rock, not redeemer

After years of being told he looks like a member of the rock band ZZ Top, Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of S.F. decided to leave his organization to join the aging rockers.

"It was a tough call," Langer said, "working to bring Moshiach or rock 'n' roll into Jewish lives. But, I guess, rock 'n' roll wins out."

When asked whether he had his own agenda in joining the band, the rabbi said, "Absolutely."

"Unfortunately, I can't undo the damage that was done in the 'Legs' video," he said, referring to one that zoomed in on numerous women's knees, thighs and calves in a bar. "You can rest assured that in any future videos, the women will be modestly dressed."

Hawk and dove fly Israel, together

Tikkun readers were shocked to hear that leftist Michael Lerner, the magazine's editor, and rightist Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America were teaming up to create one organization.

When asked how they would merge since they fall on opposite sides of the Israeli political spectrum, Klein said, "Politics, shmolitics, we both equally care about Israel and that's all that matters."

Acknowledging both he and Klein were thorns in the side of the Jewish community, Lerner welcomed the opportunity to create twice as much controversy. Saying he was tired of being the Jewish community's sole whipping post, he thought his alliance with Klein would leave them both less susceptible to criticism.

"I'm looking forward to being in bed with Klein — politically speaking, that is," Lerner said.

Election 2001: Renew, reuse, recycle

Citing a list of recycled Holy Land politicians before him — namely Shimon Peres — Mordecai of Shushan held a press conference on the eve of Purim to announce his political comeback.

"I am the next prime minister of Israel," announced Mordecai, who named King Ahasuerus, the man responsible for his first political stint, as his campaign manager.

Standing in front of a banner reading his new get-out-the-vote slogan — "Blessed is Mordechai, He's our Guy!"– the prime minister-wannabe said his first order of business when elected would be to change the name of Israel's Hadassah hospitals back to his niece's Persian moniker, Esther.

Dressing up for Purim not a drag

The Top 5 Reasons to put on a costume for Purim this year, as determined by American Jewish Committee pollster David Leddermanski:

*Dressing up like Vashti following King Ahasuerus' drunken orders to wear only a crown gets you on the waiting list at the Sea of Galilee's only nudist kibbutz.

*Dressing up as a prune hamantaschen gives you automatic membership to the JCC (Jews for Cleaner Colons), including a free subscription to their morning daily, "Jewish and Regular."

*Dressing up at all, in the years following your bar mitzvah, qualifies you to be the Bureau of Jewish Education's poster teen. This means they will fly you first class on a free trip to the Holy Land and won't tell your mother you got stoned outside a Tel Aviv disco.

*Dressing up as Queen Esther ranks you as the sapphic-Semitic magazine Lilith's No. 1 "(S)hero To Watch Out For," a title that will enamor Jewish lesbians everywhere.

*Dressing up as Haman could land you a last-minute presidential pardon.

–Alexandra J. Wall and TJ Michels