Monday, September 21, 2009

New Year, New Men

I had the most wonderful spiritual experience at the Jewish Renewal service in Jerusalem on Sunday. I find that the people who attend the service has assorted spiritual seekers, misfits who can't fit into the normal ways of praying in regular synagogues (like myself), etc. The services were held in the courtyard of the beautiful Nature Museum underneath a tent, which was open on all four sides, reminiscent of biblical Abraham's tent. Of course, none of my family wanted to experience this type of tefillah (prayer) with me. They'd rather sit at home and watch tv. I wanted to talk to God with a group. We were asked to meditate for 7 minutes each on the past year, the present and the future, with each part separated by the call of the shofar. Dr. Kagan had this down to a perfect science. I had never heard a shofar being blown the way he did it - for zichronot (remembrances) section of the prayers, he did the sounds much like a siren. For the Priestly blessing, all those that wanted to bless others were outside the circle, and those that wanted to be blessed (that's me), were inside the circle, beneath a tallit. Yes, I too would have sat home to watch tv had Nava Tehilla not had services for Rosh Hashana. And I prayed that everyone in their family would go towards the correct path, which is correct for them, for healing, happiness with what we have and of course, money. I always pray for money.

The rain poured down that morning, which was earlier than usual. Rains don't begin for another 2-3 weeks or so. So we all felt that the blessings will come earlier than usual - before their expected time.

A few days before the holiday my Wild Daughter, the youngest, showed me various expensive makeup she got from an admirer. The admirer was a dermatologist who has two clinics - one in Jerusalem and one up North. "You said I should find a doctor" she told me. Yes, I told her to find either a doctor, lawyer, professor-in-training, healer, accountant, dentist, even a student. Just someone with a future. But this guy wasn't Jewish. I don't know whether he was Moslem or Christian but he was definitely an Arab from the North of Israel. He came to fetch her on Thursday night. He was dressed very nicely, was very polite and quiet, and looked a bit like an Arab Clark Kent. Definitely not her type, but she obviously likes free makeup. And seeing him sitting there waiting for her to get ready, I felt sorry for him. She's definitely not like the girls in his part of the world. She'll torment him. I know. I had previous boyfriends call me up in agony, telling me in broken English "She not behave nice to me."

On Friday morning, I warned her - if you don't like him other than his giving you makeup, then I suggest you don't lead him on and don't see him again. Plesae don't break hearts before Rosh Hashana. The fact that he was from a different religion crossed my mind of course, but wasn't the main focus of my conversation with her.

She told me "He'd do anything for me. He'd even convert to Judaism for me." And I wondered what his family would think of that. But I let it go and asked God to give her direction. The right direction - whatever that may be.

My other loud complaining daughter (the third one) who runs around the house and smashes doors and cabinets - is now being nicknamed The Smasher. Well, I got a lift home with her on Sunday after her security guard shift was over. She warned me not to come to her work and talk "that language." What language, I asked her. "You know" she told me. I assumed either it was English peppered with "f" words, or Arabic. So I really didn't know. She tells me of this potential boyfriend, who is older than her usual choice of boyfriends. He's 27, Jewish and drives a Mercedes taxi. She tells me he likes our kind of music and not the Middle Eastern Israeli music all my kids listen to. He loves rock music.

She tells me, "he loves the group with the tongue. You know the tongue?"

I asked her "You mean Kiss?"

"No, the ones you like".

"Oh! The Rolling Stones!"

"Yes, that's it. He loves them."

I look at her. Sounds like a normal young man. Finally.


Mer said...

Hilarious stories you share! I think you could write this into a book or make it into a TV series. Who could make this shiz up? There! Then you would be rich and famous. Pitch it to someone......

jerusalemgypsy said...

Thanks Mer. I always thought a TV series based on us would rake in the ratings. After all, we've always considered ourselves the Israeli version of the Osbournes.

Art Finkle said...

We have a teachable moment (if fleeting) to tell the story of Shofar. Its influence on prayer and its historical antecedents going back to the Temple sacrifices.

For full explanation, go to

Shofar Sounders WebPage

Shofar WebPage