Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Back home

Sometimes it's the little things that really drive it home. I was tying my shoelaces this morning- double knot, as always, because they tend to come undone- when I sighed a bit. You see, for the last week, saying Birkat Kohanim every morning, I only did one knot when getting dressed, so I could get them off more quickly. And now, after duchaning more in one week than I have in six months, I'm back to the galut.

They say that one reason we don't duchan every day in Chutz LaAretz is so Kohanim will miss it and want to move to Israel, maybe taking others with them. Well, I miss it. Move to Israel? Alas, not a major force in me right now.

Speaking of which, it's funny what you don't hear when you're in the middle of something. The new president of the OU made a bit of a tumult with his comments on olim. He apparently said (or, it seems, was misquoted as saying) that while the people who made aliyah in previous decades were losers who were fleeing from something and ended up schnorring, the ones who make it now are successful and doing it because they're really idealistic (i.e., their lives here are so good they must have higher goals).

What's funny is that I had just been discussing this with a friend and my sister (in reference to some people we met in Israel), and took a completely opposite view. To me, it's "cool" and easy to make aliyah now. I much more admire those who did it years back, when Israel was tougher to make it in and they had stars in their eyes. I guess where he sees ideals, I see fashion, and where he sees failure, I see idealism. Go figure. Eilu v'Eilu? Maybe. Or maybe he's thinking of a different decade in the past than I. Ah well. I think it's a big contretemps over nothing, alas.

And the trip and convention itself? A-MAZING. I had such a great time. It deserves a new post, so I'll try to add more (with photos, I hope) at some later point.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Yay for Yehudit!

(And yay for alliteration!) If I read things right, she finished in just over six and a half hours. Here she is, half a mile from the finish, pausing for the camera. Again, Yay!

Of course, I missed the good shots, like the guy running in full Star Wars Stormtrooper costume, or the two Brits with a flag and poppies (gotta remember to wear mine this week). I did get a guy with a cake on his head (it was his birthday), and another in a kilt, and more, but hey- this is the most important! Yet again, Yay!

Have a good week, y'all. And savor that victory, Yehudit.
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"Jerusalem is the city where Jewish kings are buried, not Arab terrorists."

Have I ever mentioned that there are times (OK, lots of times) when I just love Tommy Lapid? This is one of them. (I can't help noticing that it's "Tomy" on the official site, with "y" as an email initial.)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Good News

To tell the truth, I've been smiling- at least on the inside- for the last day or so. The election news is fantastic, if for no other reason than who it makes mad and shows up. Of course, a lot that's much more important rested on this election, so it's good news for that as well. (Indeed, some of the former are related to the latter.)

Geez, that makes no sense. So the better news: The two main points made by the president in his victory speech dealt were reforming the tax code and social security. A man after my heart.

Anyway, I was thinking. I have no idea what this may mean, but consider: Clinton won two terms, followed by Bush, who's just won his second. Last time this happened? Well, FDR won four times (and Cleveland's second nonconsecutive term was followed by McKinley's first and incomplete terms), but the last time there were two two-victory presidents in a row was Lincoln and Grant. Of course, Lincoln didn't finish his term, so the last time it really happened was Jefferson-Madison-Monroe. Perhaps we're at a stage of consensus, where we don't throw presidents out. Or something like that.
I'm searching for a word here...there's a certain distinct kind of tragedy in seeing a U.S. Army deserter, returning from North Korea after forty years, being court-martialed while wearing a detail-perfect modern uniform that's clearly been supplied just for this occasion.

I suppose justice has been served. I'd hate to have been the prosecuter on this one, though. Or the defense, come to think.