Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Same-Sex Unions and Child Sacrifice and Simchas Torah

If sanity has anything to do with being in step with the greater world, then I think it’s time to have myself committed because I'm totally out of step.

Exhibit A: My mail

Looking through my Yom Tov mail I found an envelope emblazoned with the following, bold-print logo:

Same-Sex Unions and Child Sacrifice:
Obama, McCain, Jihad & the Judeo-Christian View

I read that through a few times, to make sure I understood it. I don’t.
Then I read the text below:

Also Inside (and Free!)…
Obsession, the movie on DVD
Video Sermon on DVD

I kid you not.

All of this courtesy of the following return address:

The Judeo-Christian Vew
P.O. Box 734
Vista, California 92085-0734

I feel bad for any Judeo-Christians out there. Bad enough they’re entirely confused about their oxymoronic religious identity, now they have to put up with child sacrifice!

I also hope my mailman (sorry, postal carrier) doesn’t think I’m one of those Judeo-Christians.

Exhibit B: Simchas Torah
Yom Tov, thank Gd, was pretty good.

Our YU Torah Tours group was wonderful, very enthusiastic and outgoing and energetic and everything we could have wanted.

The Shemini Atzeres derashah was kind of dead, not because the material was bad but because I was under the weather with a cold, and because the shul was freezing - some well-meaning energy saver had turned off the heat before Yom Tov, thinking it would be hot from all of the dancing…

Phone rang off the hook at home and at shul all through Yom Tov, scaring me no end, but in the end there were no emergencies.

And the event that proved again that I am out of touch with the world around me: A prankster (whom I usually adore) tossed candies at the Shacharis chazan on Simchas Torah, for Mashiv haRuach Umorid haGeshem.

I have a really hard time with that. Shemoneh Esreih, per the gemara, shouldn’t be interrupted even if a king comes up to you and demands your attention. Interrupt it for a gag? And such a cheap, cliché gag?!

So of course I had to be the heavy, clamp down and glare dourly and let it be known (by expression rather than announcement) that such behavior would not be tolerated, lest people take this as license to go even further.

And then half a dozen other people had to come up to the prankster and tell him that they thought it was funny, that they’ve seen a lot more elsewhere, that it’s good he’s livening things up. A few had to tell me that I don’t have to be a stick in the mud.

I hate being the bad guy.

Now it’s time to take on the rest of the year.


  1. Two months without holidays. Nu? Doesn't life get easier?

  2. Thanks for the laugh, I don't know what to make of your mail. Our house has been surprisingly un-flooded by Spanish campaign literature this month. Perhaps they've finally figured out that despite our ambiguous last name, we actually speak English.

    Do you HAVE to be the bad guy all the time? Maybe you can negotiate that as part of your contract: On holidays a, b, and c, if someone does (whatever they shouldn't do), the rabbi will frown. On holidays x, y, and z, the President is responsible for dour looks, head shaking, and glares.

    It's all about delegating. ;-}

  3. Batya-
    Nope. cf my "15 minute increments" post.

    That would be great. I'll have to take it up with my president (along with other things you have suggested in the past...).

  4. I hate being the bad guy.

    It is all about how you do it. Using the Teddy Roosevelt approach could work.

    Speak softly and hit the prankster with a big stick. You might find that it leads to far less talking in shul. ;)

  5. B"H

    You were right; they were wrong about the candle throwing.

    I believe a scorpion bite also warrants stopping the 18, but a far cry from candles.

    BTW, as a San Diegan, I can tell you that Vista has always been a bastion for that kind of stuff. If it's not one, it's another.

  6. Jack-
    I once read about a rabbi who punched out a congregant in a dispute. Not the best method of conflict resolution, but it was probably pretty satisfying at the time.

    Vista? That's a Windows thing, right? (lifelong east coaster)