10/16/2006

Very Random ADD Yontif Post

  • There’s something very disconcerting about driving on the highway to Jerusalem listening to Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”. I’m not counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike. And everyone on this road might be looking for something, but it ain’t ‘America’.
  • That said, other songs on that album – the Concert at Central Park – have renewed resonance, especially ‘The Boxer’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’, ‘Homeward Bound’, and ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’. The rendition of ‘Bridge’ on that album sends shivers down my spine.
  • Driving toward the old city, we avoided traffic by taking a shortcut through East Jerusalem. This made the wife nervous. Ruchama picked up on this and asked ‘Where are we going?’ I answered, ‘To see our cousins’. She asked, ‘What’s his name?’ ‘Ahmed’. ‘Does he have children?’ ‘Yes. He has lots and lots of children’. Funny kid.
  • There are three Jews in the news lately who I’d have a hard time not taking a crowbar to if I saw them on the street. This one, this one, and this one. The third is less known in the U.S.A., so I’ll summarize his exploits. Apparently, he has 65 unpaid moving violations, and, in a state of intoxication, ran his SUV straight over a small car containing the Deputy Mayor of Tzfat, his wife, and 2 kids. Three are dead. This [insert expletive of choice] should be lynched by the townsfolk of Tzfat. I just found out that I have a close relative who works for a company that services Mondrowitz’s appliances. I have half a mind to dress in their uniform, go in there, and, um, fix the plumbing, i.e., eliminate the risk to the neighborhood kids. The Monsey chicken man is probably the least heinous of the three.
  • The upside of living near a bunch of soldiers (the development across the street is for army lifers) is that the shul runs like a clock. The turnover between Kiddush and the chassanim on Shabbat/Shemini Atzeret/ Simchat Torah was astounding. The down side is that they apparently like to have large dogs. I don’t like large dogs. Especially when they are not curbed by the owners.
  • Simchas Torah is a Diaspora holiday. It was not invented in Israel, where they had one day of Yom Tov but read the Torah in a triennial cycle (like a primitive Daf Yomi of sorts. That’s why everything could be done over 2 days. In Israel today, you get all of the Simchas Torah customs plus geshem and yizkor all on the same day, plus a Kiddush in the middle. Shul was over 6 hours long. Longer than Rosh Hashana.
  • I like the fact that in yizkor, everyone stays in while the victims of the Holocaust and fallen soldiers are commemorated.
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