Thursday, April 29, 2004

Where to start? I got another African scam email! Yay! It's been a while. This time it was Liberia. Alas, Africa has no shortage of the political upheavals that spawn these spammings.

A friend is making a Friends finale party. Double yay! And about TV, Smallville...well, there was this scene, right? And the show was great, sure, but this one was like one of Proust's madeleines (which they sell at Starbuck's, heh). The floodgates opened, and a traumatic childhood incident came back to me. Except it didn't really happen, see- it was in my mind only all those years ago. And pondering that fact made it all the more traumatic.

Damn, I need help.

My desk is strewn with newspapers. I got the Post today for its Friends special magazine, and AM-NY for its automatic subway article, among others (I saw people reading it on the train), and the Forward and Sentinel, as always. (The Times is in my bag.) Anyway, the back page of the Sentinel has the usual ArtScroll ad. One new book I'd like to check out is "Hallel," if only to see how (if at all) they treat Yom Ha'atzmaut, and how they deal with half hallel, Channukah, and so on . But the winner is this book:

"A Unique New Hebrew-Language Sefer from a Unique Rav and Posek"

"Yiddish" [in Yiddish letters]

"by Rabbi David Cohen" [without the standard "shlita" that follows his name, so I'm only 99.9999% certain it's him]

Here's the winning line: "...Rabbi Cohen starts with the premise that Yiddish is a holy language and that its sayings are rooted in Tanach, the Talmud, and Midrash..."

Oh, give. me. a. break. "Holy language" my a**. Hitler spoke it too, you know (and in a purer form). I remember seeing a sign from the Warsaw ghetto in the Museum of Jewish Heritage (an exhibit of the Oneg Shabbos/Ringblum archives): It was a notice, in German, for Jews to report to the square for deportation (and death). In big letters, it said, "AUFRUFF." Since then, we've tried not to use that phrase for a Shabbat Chatan anymore.

(Note for y'all: The Sabbath before a Jewish wedding, the groom is called to the Torah reading to say a blessing [or even to read]. This is called a "Shabbat Chatan" ["Groom's Sabbath"] in Hebrew [a bride has something roughly analogous called a "Shabbat Kallah," or "Bride's Sabbath] or "Aliyah LaTorah," "Going up to the Torah." The more frequently used term, though, is the Yiddish "Aufruff," "calling up-" the same phrase the Nazis used here.)

And he tells us it's holy. Dis-gusting. OK, it's part of Jewish history and many great (and simple) people spoke it, etc. etc. But come. on. As if to clinch the deal, they also offer tapes by R. Reisman called "The Mussar Shmoozen of Yirmiyahu Hanavi" [Jeremiah].

"Shmoozen." Sure. That's what Yirmiyahu called them. Would it have killed them to say "Drashos?"

I think I'll order some heraldry books now. And a flag one from the UK. Thirty-three pounds (figure it out), but so worth it.

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