A Modern Orthodox friend of mine who is a loyal Yankee fan cringed the other day when I asked if he might leave a TV on to watch the opener of the American League Championship Series, with the Bombers facing Texas in Arlington.
If you lived in Brooklyn in the 70s, or visited, you'll recall the famous sign that greeted motorists coming off the Verrazano Bridge onto the Belt Parkway welcoming you to "America's 4th Largest City." Yes, Brooklyn was once a city, but what the sign, posted by then-Borough President Sebastian Leone, was really saying, in Brooklynese, is "If Brooklyn was a city, it'd be bigger than all them other cities, except four."
As holidays go, Sukkot has its fair share of rituals. In addition to building the huts and eating in them, the prayer for dew, the ushpizin and of course the blessing of the four species, I’ve added one of my own.
Filmmaker Michael Moore is out with an interesting open letter that's worth a read, however you feel about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque issue, because of its passion and articulation and his citation of George Washington's famous letter to the Jews. In the letter, a vintage copy of which can be found on display at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Washington writes:
Before the weather took a turn for the worse, I’m glad I took my two boys on a trip to Coney Island on Thursday. For me, it’s not only a fun outing but a trip through time, since I grew up a short walk from the Coney Island shorefront on the outskirts of Bensonhurst.
I’m not sure when the discussion shifted from the cost of adding HBO and Showtime to the spiritual meaning of Shabbat and kashrus. But it came toward the end of my discussion with the cable guy who came to my house today. I know it was after I told him that next week would be rough for scheduling an installation date because of Rosh HaShanah. But somewhere in the course of my switching from FiOS, the cable guy expressed interest in switching from Christianity.
I'm told that if a blogger fails to post several times a week, he or she might as well close up shop. Never mind that without the occasional vacation it becomes harder to post anything coherent and engaging, let alone do so prolificly. And so, even while touring the Carribean on a cruise ship (in my mind while sitting at home in my den) your blogger faithfully refreshes the Continuum, albeit with a repeat, reposted from last summer. Just as relevent today, if not more so.
I spent most of Monday and Tuesday immersed in the inspirational tale turned tragedy that was the life of Yoseph Robinson. In case you missed the story, he was the young Jamaica-born man who came to America, was sucked into a life of crime, gave it up to become a successful music impresario and later turned to Orthodox Judaism.