Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ice Cream for Dinner

[This week's Toronto Torah is here!]

[Many of my recent posts have been more on the fluff side, and so I thought I would post tonight on a shiur I'm developing - but the shiur most on my mind is technical, on the Tur's view of Tevilas Kelim and the need for 40 seah vs. the Smak's understanding, and it just isn't working out in a blog-appropriate way. So, it's another fluffish post; my apologies to those who are looking for meatier material.]

As I type this, I’m hard at work on a serious container of chocolate and vanilla and some-undefined-chunky-stuff ice cream. (1.5 liters, for those who think in metric; really big, for the rest of us. It will all be gone by the time I finish writing this post, if my teeth don’t freeze.)

I’m usually a pretty healthy eater – real meals, with red things and green things that grew from the ground or ripened on trees, and even the occasional whole grain thing. If I want to grow up to be Batman, I need to eat right.

Nonetheless, over the years I have learned the importance of a Good Mood, and I’m in need of a Good Mood, so ice cream for dinner it is.

The week’s actually gone pretty well, thank Gd, all predictions of doom in the Rebbetzin’s absence to the contrary. Getting the kids up in the morning, assigning them clothes, parcelling out breakfasts and lunches and dinners, cooking the odd (but not too odd) meal myself, doing laundry and dishes (but not simultaneously, at least not if I was holding bleach)… it’s been pretty smooth, in no small part due to my wife’s preparation.

But today was very challenging, and so I’m falling back on one of the best pieces of advice I know: Get into a Good Mood.

I took a surprisingly long time to learn how important this can be; I dislike and distrust self-indulgence, and I've been taught to tough out any problems. But eventually my too-slow brain came to understand that this is not self-indulgence or surrender; it’s actually an investment in success.

Presumably, this counsel is not as important for some, but if you’re like me – no poker face, heart worn directly on sleeve and bereft of armor, you’ve read me long enough to know – then a Good Mood is key. Being down will affect everything from counseling to derashah-writing to program planning to communications to flyer design to committee recruitment (not to mention השראת השכינה).

Hence the ice cream.

Which is starting to melt on my keyboard, so I guess that’s it for this post. I have mood-altering work to do.


  1. meatier -cute
    joel rich

  2. My sister used to say "The best things in life are illegal, immoral, or milchig"

    (She was in high school then, so some of the deeper pleasures were not yet part of her life)

  3. Joel-
    That was actually accidental...

    Good line; my compliments to your sister.