The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Once again, I did not get a chance to acknowledge all the recent Holidays, so, here are my belated “Happy Holidays” and some random remarks.

As long as I celebrated Purim, I always loved that day – precisely for what it represents and what we are celebrating. Of course, in our illustrious neighbourhood, people usually tend to forget the forest for the trees – and the rush to outperform each other in the Misheloach Manot department usually overshadows everything else. Plus, this was the first Purim without munchkins – so, the celebratory spirit was slightly on the thin side. Also, due to slight monetary constrains, I decided to honour the spirit of the holiday by spending whatever money I could on the gifts for the poor and giving only one Misheloach Manot – to my mom. This year, I sort of wanted to get a costume, but by the time I figured out whom I wanted to be (a witch, of course), it was a bit late in the game. On the plus side, a good acquaintance from Riverdale invited me for the festive meal, and, as The Bronx community is much more chilled than ours, I ended up having a smashing time – even surrounded by liberals. Of course, Americans can not drink properly – as was demonstrated again by that particular feast. By the time I was ready to leave, the hostess observed that only 6 bottles of wine were consumed! Later that evening, while summarizing the whole thing on facebook, she came to the realization that the whole 10 bottles were empty – after 30 guests (at which point she thought that that was a sufficient alcohol consumption)! My American born and raised Jewish brothers and sisters – you have absolutely no knowledge of what true drinking entails!

Which brings me to Pesach, during which the absence of munchkins was present as well, but, all in all, I had a nice Holiday and enjoyed the overpriced poor bread – otherwise known as matza. Also remembered why and what we celebrate.

Which brings me to Shavuot, during which the absence of munchkins was felt too. Also, that is usually the time we start turning on the air conditioning – and this time there was no exceptions (sigh). I love Shavuot, but the three H weather is not usually conducive to deep thoughts and introspections. None the less, it was a time of great celebration.

On Purim I made the requisite visits to schul – and this time did not manage to avoid The Head Yenta. On Pesach and Shavuot the will was there – but the body was not willing, so, ended up missing Birkat Cohanim, for a change.

On the side note: people always claim that they get cold just by looking at my flip flops in October (and beyond); by the same token, I get hot just by looking at our esteemed matrons and maidens, dressed all (or mostly) in black garments, usually constructed from non-breathable materials.

And now – a little note from my grouchy side. I love my friends; I enjoy their company and I am always very grateful to all of them for their hospitality and delicious meals. But (a tiny fly in the ointment) there is usually at least one guest at every meal whose extreme intellectual abilities, wide and varied educational background, and solid political views give me indigestion and make my head pound and my blood boil. Having attained certain maturity, I came to the conclusion that arguing with idiots is a total waste of breath, time, and energy – but sometimes I simply can't listen to all the nonsense uttered and not roll my eyes.

This particular Holiday season was, unfortunately, not an exception. Below is a short list of brilliant things I have heard this time around (hopefully, I will write rebuttals to at least some of those):

As I learned American history in Russia, I am not qualified to offer my opinion on that particular subject.

We need affirmative actions today because we used to have slavery.

The high rate of anti-Semitism amongst the blacks is very surprising.

99.9% of Americans believe that Obama is a great orator.

Israel needs to be soft on Arabs since it is fighting the war of public opinion.

Obama is willing to give federal support to the Jewish schools; Romney would only give it to the Protestant ones.

Christians taught Muslims blood libels; our esteemed cousins could not possible arrive at those on their own.

England had no right to exist as a country.

Secular anti-Semites are baffled by our community: here is a collection of smart, educated, worldly people, so the presence of religious believes in not clear.

We (the current wave or Russian Jewish immigrants) are here due to the tireless efforts of Mikhail Gorbachev.

We needed the internet asifa.

There is no American exceptionalism.

I am sure there was much more, but my brain blessedly blocked it from my memory.

Aside from that (and the absence of munchkins), I had a wonderful and pretty meaningful Holiday season.

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