October 6, 2006
P.O. Box 30811
Seattle, WA 98113
Last evening, the general membership of the Philolexian Society, Columbia University's student organization dedicated to improving the rhetorical skills and literary awareness of its members, voted to name The Punching Rabbi the official pugilist clergyman of the society. We make this designation in recognition of the outstanding contributions to American literature made by Accoutrements' novelty products. With its "finger-activated arms" and "spring-action head," The Punching Rabbi truly is the "Semite with might who fights for what's right."
While much of the Society's raison d'etre centers around lively, earnest debate, there is yet wisdom for us in the words of Talmudic Sage Shammai, who, on your informative packaging, states, "Say little and do much." We always prefer to solve our difficulties with words, but atimes we, too, find ourselves in situations in which violence is simply the only solution, as in our easily-won war with Princeton's Whig-Cliosophic Society. Similarly, this jabbing Jew is firmly grounded in a textual and discursive tradition spanning millennia, evidenced by your website's impressive claim that this rough-and-tumble rabbi has been "fighting for wisdom for 3000 years." Fortunately, Accoutrements also manufactures The Punching Rabbi's long-time rival, The Fighting Nun; and, to clean up after the ensuing holy mess, Jesus Adhesive Bandages. While the Rabbi would always prefer to follow in the wise words of Hillel, "Do not do unto others what you would not prefer done to you," this hard-hitting Heeb knows that sometimes, you just gotta punch a nun.
Much like revered woman of letters Maya Angelou knew why the caged bird sang, we know why the rabbi must fight. As a man of the cloth charged with the continuation and triumph of an ancient and beleaguered people, a nation persecuted throughout the ages, we find it admirable that this rabbi is willing to "put up his 'davvening dukes'" to fight for his people. If the Society were in the midst of a 19th century Ukrainian pogrom, we Philos would want no one other than The Punching Rabbi at our side. We in the Society are no strangers to religious conflict. Our weekly debates often take place right next door to the Korean Campus Crusade for Christ's concerts... for Christ. While we support the Constitution (which our spiritual forebear Alexander Hamilton helped to write) in its guarantee of the freedom of religious expression, our vigorous and impassioned debates are often tragically drowned out amid their praiseful din. Thus, we understand the rabbi en toto in his zeal to win the clergy/pugilist bantamweight title, regardless of possible conflict in the convent. After all, one sometimes finds oneself in that regrettable but necessary position of needing to punch a nun.
As proponents of -- indeed crusaders for! -- open discourse and intellectual exchange, we are lifelong learners in search of the truth in all its forms. Yea verily, it is thus that we laud you for your own commitment to utter and complete honesty in your advertising and production. Your website boasts of The Punching Rabbi's "realistic hair and beard." From a company with such integrity, we expect nothing short of the most convincing fakeries of natural human protein. Also, it is clear that your commitment to the truth is not one you take lightly. Merely from a cursory glance at The Punching Rabbi's expertly crafted facial features, a quick look at his "stern eyes, heavy brows and... long silver beard," one knows that this cold-cocking cleric means business. Even if that business involves punching a nun.
We have been charged with the duty of informing you of this distinction, which we hope you will deem an honor. Though the Philolexian Society, established in 1802, is Columbia University's oldest student organization, and one of the oldest literary societies in the nation, it has never before seen fit to name an official pugilist clergyman. However, the undeniable kindred spirit between your company and our society, manifest in The Punching Rabbi, drove us to break all precedent in this case. We hope that it will also facilitate friendly contact between us in the future. We thank you for your patience, and wish you a pleasant autumn.
Amitai Schlair and Joshua Schwartz