In day school they tell you that the Hebrew month after the jam-packed fall holidays is called Mar-Heshvan; the pre-fix “mar” here means “sad.” We are sad that we have run out of holidays and have a blank month ahead. I feel terrible admitting this, but I feel a bit relieved and, of course — because being Jewish — I feel a bit guilty for feeling relieved.
We all love holidays, but the condensed way that the season barrels into the first weeks of school and work schedules, knocks us over every time. Out-of-office e-mails, the huge outlay of money and the tedium that can accompany meal after meal, service after service, cleanup after cleanup can be daunting. People at the office think Shmini Atzeret must be made up. How many holidays can one religion possibly have in a month?
I hope this finds you well. Thank you for your memoir, “Born Round: A Story of Food, Family and a Ferocious Appetite.” I was not born round but have been successfully making my way to that shape for years. I admire your honesty and your discipline in discussing your weight struggles. On the food and family front, Jews and Italians have a lot in common. You do pasta. We do challah. It’s all carbs.
On a recent trip to Israel I spotted some unusual graffiti: “Am Yisrael Chai,” written in royal blue Hebrew letters on a pillar holding up an overpass. The truth is that I have seen this graffiti many times before. In fact, a friend who saw this writing on a wall years earlier loved it. “What a country!,” she said. “Even the graffiti is meaningful!”
Many of us remember Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” as a theme song of adolescence. He created an image for us of moving blindly ahead on long, bleak expanses of highway and made it a metaphor about life. Today we might move from roads to treadmills, but the sentiment stays the same.
Judaism is a great product. So why does our poor customer service get in the way, again and again?
Special To The Jewish Week
These are days when retail lines are filled with disgruntled people returning holiday presents that they can’t re-gift, like that sweater with only one sleeve or the alarm clock that plays “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” It’s a great time for sales and also a great time to think about customer service.