What Do I Say to Myself?

It started out without any long-range plan or fixed agenda. Michael and I would leave shul Shabbat morning, and I would, on occasion, invite him over for a shot of whiskey – an offer he was not going to turn down. It started to happen more and more often, until it became a regular occurrence. At some point, Ezra decided to tag along, and, at some time thereafter, during my Thurs. morning shopping excursion to the shuk, I would pick up a container of fake cream herring. (Let me explain: the herring is real enough, but the ‘cream’ is actually mayonnaise. Don’t ask; you don’t want to know.) Now if I’m having whisk(e)y and herring, I’m going to need some coffee to go with it, and if I’m having coffee, the least I can do is offer some to my guests. Or ‘guest,’ because by this time, the Hesslers were off to sandier pastures in Beersheba (see one of my previous posts).

Then someone we know began promoting the services of Farm to Family, which is not in any way a farm, but an on-line site that sells all manner of good things to eat. And there on page whatever of their site were the offerings from MordyZ Fish Delicacies, including real, genuine, actual, authentic, Ashkenazic creamed herring. Perhaps I’ve died and gone to Heaven? But no, Heaven has come to our apartment on Hakeren, here in Ma’ale Adumim, here in The Land. Not so long ago, Irwin decided that we were having too much fun without him. Would he be welcome to join us? Of course. There are other occasional guests, like Gil (lots of cold brew coffee), when he and Natania are with us, and The Levines – although Richard will eschew the whisk(e)y, the herring, and the coffee.  Perhaps I should mention that I have added to my repertoire mixing cocktails – like White Russians, Boulevardiers, and Negronis — to the delight of those assembled.

Continue reading

More to Come, or So I Promised

More to come; I’m just getting started. Does that sound like sort-of-a-promise to you? That perhaps I haven’t exhausted the topic? It does to me; and I should know because I’m the one who wrote it. I concluded a recent article on Beersheba, Nor Any Drop to Drink, by saying just that. Then I began my most recent article, What Do You Do When You’re All Alone?, which took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to write. Now it’s a few weeks later and my memory groweth cold and fades away like morning dew. Usually, Barbara takes reasonable notes during the AACI study trips, so I have something to jog my memory, but this time she didn’t. Not only that, but the few bits of information I had put together are not much help. Still, I will carry on, as the song goes, On a wing and a prayer, trying to reconstruct enough of what we witnessed and share it with you, my small but discerning audience.

Part of the blur in my brain relates to the singularity of the trip’s focus. As with most of the AACI’s study trips, there is a heavy emphasis on social action, whereby we meet with individuals and groups that are trying to make life better for folks in their community. All of this is inspiring, but it’s easy to lump everything together into one humongous Tikun Olam blob – as in, I can’t remember who said what and who’s doing what.

Continue reading