Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Second of Three "3 Day Yomim Tovim" - Over the Hump

I'm not quite sure why Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, allowed His calendar to produce the much dreaded 3 Day Yom Tov, but I'll leave that to minds greater than my own.....
As far as they go, our three-day was quite lovely. The food was great (don't bring up the liver-sicles...somebody turned the succah fridge on maximum...). There was singing in the succah, there was dancing in the succah....
We were lucky to have Tante Meta and Uncle Jerry join us on the first night (us - including Erica & Moshe who will be staying for the duration). Gabriel ate with us on the first day as well as shabbos lunch. Though Mom went to Monsey for Yom Tov, she invited us to be her guests in the Kehilla's Catered Succah on Friday night and I'll tell you that by that point, not having to shlep all that food and paraphernalia up and down 6 (!!!) flights and serve, and wash (we use silver and stemware in the succah) was a much welcome treat. I did miss the "drop-in" phenomenon that night though. This occurs when the Catered Succoh "lets out".... all the people who ate catered wander by and drop in, for a peek, a shnapps, a smile, a marzipan brownie {wink}..... and we love it. At one point today Chazzan Frankel ambled in and Jen pipes up, "OK, now it's a party!".
Binyomin (a.k.a. Joseph 2.0) is returning to our home for the last days of Succos. We are looking forward to laughing with him and remembering "old times". Mom will also be back in town, which will be very nice for the whole family.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kickoff! - Joey

Kickoff! - Sports

Here's a link to Joey's first article for the Queens College Knight News.
He wanted me to wait until his second article comes out on Wednesday. He says it'll be better.
I've been working on my patience lately, but I haven't reached that level {grin}

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Missed Mario

Mario is the superintendent of the building adjacent to ours. Mario is a religious Catholic. Mario has an appreciation for Orthodox Judaism dating back to the days he pushed Rav Schwab zt"l's wheelchair.
Whether it was a theological discussion that he had with the Rav or merely watching the middos of a Godol is unclear, but Mario has been coming to Neilah for quite some time. He stands quietly and solemnly in the back row, wearing a white yarmulke and appears to be "hedging his bets". I've always liked to see Mario present at this time. It reminds me that when Moshiach comes, all the nations of the world will concur that Hashem is the one and only.
Mario wasn't there for Neilah tonight...not for Ashrei, not for Shemona Esrei, not for Avinu Malkeinu - not even for Sheimos. This bothered me.... I don't know what to make of it...
Avram tells me he saw Mario come to shul on second day Rosh Hashana so I suppose I feel a little better...

More Tales from the Mikveh

Back in the day when Michael was the "mikveh man" on Erev Rosh Hashana and Erev Yom Kippur we heard some pretty great stories. I mean, who can top the guy who managed to lock himself in the changing room or the unclaimed pair of men's underpants left long after the Yomim Tovim (did he NOT feel a breeze???!?)?
Honestly, I thought we'd heard it all. Unil Michael tells me that he was standing in the vestibule of the Mikveh this Erev Yom Kippur and a guy breezes past him in a robe and flip flops, wishes everybody a "gmar tov" and exits to the street.... Michael was astounded. He was informed that the man arrived in the same dubious attire... Now keep in mind, we DO NOT live in a bungalow colony, nor to we live in a totally Jewish neighborhood, nor did the guy live next door (I know this because Michael was so fascinated by this phenomenon that he ran up the stairs and visually "followed" the guy for two blocks).
I'm not going to even comment on this one. I'm just going to let it stand on its own......

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prepared, But Never PREPARED...

As Yom Tov approaches, I am once again struck by the eternal "homemaker's conundrum".
Although I have completed all {well most...} of the physical preparations for Yom Tov {yes folks, there will be raisin challah, tongue, sweetbreads, lox quiche, salami quiche florentine, butternut kugel, apple kugel, apple cranberry kugel, potato kugel, veal (woo hoo!), sole/salmon medallions, potato kugel, stuffed cabbage, broccoli kugel - did I leave out any body's favorite/special request? Whew....}, my spiritual preparations have suffered markedly....
There never seems enough quiet time to sit down, reflect, repent and come up with a viable "teshuva plan". Yes, you heard right. I've made "menu plans" for this never-ending succession of three day Yomim Tovim, juggled guests to fit with various meals, and yet my non-existent teshuva plan is appalling.... How do I figure out a way to prioritize this along with my guest lists and menu plans? This year, as every year, I MUST find a way. I just know that if I don't, when I stand in shul on Rosh Hashana, I will once again realize that I have failed miserably in this regard.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two Neginah Orchestrated Weddings In Three Days...

What did you say? Speak up! I see your mouth moving but I don't hear a thing! What are your lips mouthing? Oh, my ears are bleeding? How perceptive you are! That may be a tiny minor side effect of being forced to listen to Neginah Orchestra play at two weddings in the past three days. Don't get me STARTED. I went to the ladies room to ESCAPE the noise last night and I swear the stall was shaking. Dinner music? Dinner music? Aren't people supposed to be able to have conversations during the dinner (non-dancing) portion of the evening? Must I listen to some fellow SHRIEKING while the band beats some jungle tune of indiscriminate nature?

This rebuttal from Neginah as posted in one of their ads: (Colors added by me. Comments in parentheses added by me as well)

Neginah has been delivering supreme happiness (oh is that what I felt?) for over four decades, with only one mission—your absolute satisfaction. (Or deafness, whichever comes first). There's a leader in the Jewish music world. And there's a reason that leader leads.From simple celebrations to spectacular sixty-piece orchestras, from Chasidic to contemporary, Neginah gives you everything you want. Any style. Any sound. Any instrument. Any band size. Any way you like it. (I'd like it if you'd leave my auditory nerves intact, thank you) Anywhere. Anytime. It's your simcha. And Neginah is your band. (Maybe the band of others who don't particularly care about their guests, but not of mine)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mother in Law 102

Erica called from the grocery store yesterday because Moshe wanted her to find out from me which kind of chicken he likes.
I guess all the surreptitious scrutiny pays off {grin}.

Mother in Law 101

I'm smiling.
I'm really trying hard to get this mother in law thing right and although I do kick myself silently on a regular basis (you know me... hard on others... even harder on myself), I truly think things are going well.
Sunday night was my nephew Dani's wedding and Moshe turns to me at one point and says, "Hey, tomorrow is Labor Day. Are we doing anything together?". {Insert big smile here}
Since the weather was perfect we decided on an outdoor activity. But as Avram had to bring my gown to Boro Park, I had to work and Erica and Moshe had laundry/shopping to do, we got a late start - sadly too late for Michael, who had a previous chavrusah commitment. We met E & M in Bryant Park and they brought a new game they had purchased and we played until it was too dark to see the board anymore. Aviv showed up right in time to play with us as well. We then set out to the nearby pizza place, but apparently, New York is less and less the "city that doesn't sleep" and it was already closed for the night. We went to Mr. Broadway instead and were reminded what a nice deli place it really is. The mood was great and the mini soccer ball that Joseph had brought along helped keep the guys walking/running/whatever-they-do-with-a-soccer balling all around the streets of Manhattan.